James Barrett


In a video that’s stirred up some attention online, a self-described father of a college graduate asks Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), whose platform includes “a plan to cancel student loan debt,” if he can get his money back after “working a double shift” and dutifully saving so he could pay for his daughter’s college education. Her answer inspires an exasperated response from the man.

In a video highlighted over at Twitchy, the father approaches Warren to ask her about her student loan cancellation plan.

“My daughter’s getting out of school, I saved all my money, so she doesn’t have any student debt,” the man says. “Am I going to get my money back?”

“Of course not,” the Massachusetts senator responds.

“So, we end up paying for people who didn’t save any money, then those who did the right thing get screwed,” the father says.

He goes on to describe the actions of his “buddy,” who he says makes more money than him but didn’t use his money responsibly. Meanwhile he worked a “double shift” and carefully put money away in order to make sure his daughter wasn’t burdened with debt.

“So, you’re laughing,” the man says in response to Warren’s reaction. “Yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing,” he says after the senator appears to protest. “We did the right thing — and we get screwed,” the frustrated father says before walking away.

On her official campaign website, Warren details her “plan to cancel student loan debt on day one of my presidency” which includes giving debt relief to “42 million Americans”, addressing “racial disparities” in student debt, and “making public college and technical school tuition-free.” A few excerpts below (formatting adjusted):

…I will start to use existing laws on day one of my presidency to implement my student loan debt cancellation plan that offers relief to 42 million Americans — in addition to using all available tools to address racial disparities in higher education, crack down on for-profit institutions, and eliminate predatory lending. … Here’s how it will work:

I’ll direct the Secretary of Education to use their authority to begin to compromise and modify federal student loans consistent with my plan to cancel up to $50,000 in debt for 95% of student loan borrowers (about 42 million people).

I’ll also direct the Secretary of Education to use every existing authority available to rein in the for-profit college industry, crack down on predatory student lending, and combat the racial disparities in our higher education system. …

I’ll ensure that borrowers get the relief they deserve by simplifying the application processes, doing affirmative outreach to borrowers to encourage them to apply, clearing out backlogged applications, using available data to match borrowers with their discharge options, automatically cancelling debts, discharging loans for groups instead of requiring individuals applications, and fixing any adverse effects of the debt on borrowers’ credit history. These programs will allow for additional relief — beyond the broad debt cancellation available to 42 million borrowers — for as many as 1.75 million borrowers.

Further, my administration will roll back harmful changes by the Trump administration to the rules that govern these programs and implement new rules to ensure that borrowers get the greatest opportunity to cancel their debts allowable under the law. …

In addition to canceling existing student debt, we must take steps to improve college affordability and curb the growth of student loan debt in the future. I have already called for new laws making public college and technical school tuition-free, supporting HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions and working to close the racial gaps in access to higher education and college completion, and ending for-profit colleges’ access to federal student aid.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: WATCH: Father Asks Elizabeth Warren If He’s Going To Get His Money Back After Paying For Daughter’s Education

President Trump ushered in the first official week of the Senate impeachment trial by reminding the Democrats behind the whole “hoax” about their past impassioned comments on the process that clash glaringly with their current rhetoric.

After having been sworn in Thursday by Chief Justice John Roberts, the U.S. Senate begins the impeachment trial in earnest Tuesday afternoon with a debate over a resolution setting the trial rules, followed by the opening arguments. Sunday night, Trump retweeted a video produced by The Daily Caller that includes an inconvenient collection of clips starring key Democrats involved in the impeachment process effectively arguing against their present actions (video below).

The first prominent Democrat featured in the video is a more corpulent, 20-year-younger Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who headed up the drafting of the two impeachment articles against Trump, declaring ahead of Bill Clinton’s impeachment that “an impeachment of a president is an undoing of a national election — and one of the reasons we are so angry about what [the Republicans] are doing is they … are ripping asunder our votes, they are telling us our votes don’t count!”

Next up is a younger Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who’s been calling for Trump’s impeachment since before he took office, calling the Republicans’ impeachment of Clinton all about “hate” and channeling Hillary saying, “You go out there and do the people’s work, and I’ll take care of you later!” (The Democrat crowd gets a big kick out of the congresswoman’s joke about a president abusing his power to take advantage of a young intern and publicly humiliate his wife.)

Waters’ Democrat-celebrated performance is followed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), now House speaker, who laments, “Today the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance.” Continuing to echo Republicans’ current complaints, which she is now forcefully dismissing, the younger Pelosi says, “In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear — privacy, fairness, checks and balances — have been seriously violated. And why? Because we are here today because Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred…”

Then comes then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), who reminds us that “the President of the United States does not serve at the pleasure of the legislature … He is elected directly by the people of the United States of America, and an election of a president is the only nation-wide vote the American people will ever cast — that’s a big deal.”

The Daily Caller-produced video was tweeted out by former senior White House advisor and political commentator Oliver McGee, whose post Trump retweeted: “CAUGHT-ON-TAPE: Dems on @BillClinton’s Impeachment!” McGee captioned the video. “Retweet! This Impeachment Hoax of @POTUS is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDOING of a legitimate 2016 election, and an UNLAWFUL HIJACK ATTEMPT of a 2020 REELECTION LANDSLIDE of @realDonaldTrump! Dems want POWER FIRST NOT PEOPLE FIRST!”

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate will hold what is expected to be a fiery debate over the resolution that sets the trial rules. After the debate, both sides will present their opening arguments.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: WATCH: Trump Kicks Off Impeachment Week By Reminding Democrats What They’ve Said In The Past About Impeachment

After hundreds of supporters of an Iran-backed Shiite Iraqi militia stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, President Trump pointed squarely at Iran, accusing the country — the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism — of “orchestrating” the attack and promising that Iran “will be held fully responsible.” Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded Wednesday by taunting Trump, declaring, “You can’t do a damn thing.”

In response to recent attacks by the Iran-supported Kataeb Hezbollah militia, including an attack Friday that resulted in the death of an American contractor, the U.S. military conducted strategic airstrikes on five of the militia’s facilities in Iraq and Syria on Sunday. Kataeb Hezbollah, the U.S. Department of Defense noted in a statement on the airstrikes, has “a strong linkage” with Iran’s Quds Force, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

In retaliation for the airstrikes, which killed some 25 of the militia’s fighters, hundreds of supporters of the Iran-backed group converged on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, with dozens breaking into the compound and setting fires amid shouts of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Trump responded by blaming Iran and vowing to take action. “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!” Trump tweeted Tuesday, adding in another post: “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat.”

On Wednesday, Khamenei made his first public remarks about the attack on the embassy by tauntingly responding to Trump’s threat.

“That guy has tweeted that we [the United States] see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and we will respond to Iran,” Khamenei said in a televised address on state-controlled TV Wednesday, as reported by The Daily Mail.

“First of all, you can’t do a damn thing! This has nothing to do with Iran,” Khamenei continued. “Secondly, be logical…The people of this region hate America. Why don’t Americans understand this? You Americans have committed crimes in Iraq, you have committed crimes in Afghanistan. You have killed people.”

“If the Islamic Republic decides to oppose or fight against a country, it will do this explicitly,” said the leader.

Late Tuesday, the Defense Department announced that Trump has deployed 750 U.S. soldiers to the region and has ordered an additional 3,000 or so to prepare for potential deployment in the coming days.

In a press statement issued Tuesday night, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that he has ordered the immediate deployment of 750 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The full brigade, which consists of about 4,000 soldiers, is preparing for potential deployment.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in the statement.

During an impromptu press conference Tuesday evening, Trump was asked if he could “foresee going to war with Iran.””I don’t think that would be a good idea for Iran,” he said. “It wouldn’t last very long. Do I want to? No. I want to have peace. I like peace. And Iran should want peace more than anybody. So I don’t see that happening. No, I don’t think Iran would want that to happen. It would go very quickly.”

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: Iranian Leader To Trump: ‘You Can’t Do A Damn Thing’; Trump Deploys Troops

As usual, the White House has done a lot to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, including the traditional presidential turkey pardon and President Trump’s formal declaration that Thursday is “a National Day of Thanksgiving.” The White House is also taking the opportunity of the holiday to troll the president’s political enemies and their “impeachment stunt.”

“Congress broke for Thanksgiving late last week. Thanks to the far left’s impeachment stunt, the House has been effectively shut down for weeks,” the White House tweeted Wednesday. “That isn’t stopping President [Donald Trump] from working hard for the American people!”

Trump has repeatedly hammered the “do nothing Democrats” for wasting time and taxpayer money on the “partisan witch hunt” impeachment inquiry. In recent tweets, Trump has pointed to polling data showing a decline in support for impeachment since the official Democrat-led inquiry began.

The “impeachment scam,” Trump is predicting, will end up backfiring in 2020. “Democrats going back to their Districts for Thanksgiving are getting absolutely hammered by their constituents over the phony Impeachment Scam,” he tweeted this week. “Republicans will have a great #2020 Election!”

Among the poll numbers Trump has highlighted were results reported by Vanity Fair, which found that Independents overwhelmingly say the impeachment issue is “more important to politicians than it is to me” (62 to 22%) and “more important to the media than it is to me” (61 to 23%). The new polling, Vanity Fair reported last week, “suggests [the] Democrats’ impeachment push could alienate key voters.”

Along with slamming the other party this week, Trump has been holding rallies and giving official and unofficial Thanksgiving proclamations. In a rally in Sunrise, Florida on Tuesday, Trump made clear that he will not cave to those on the “radical left” who want to do away with Thanksgiving.

“As we gather together for Thanksgiving, you know, some people want to change the name Thanksgiving,” Trump told his supporters at the jam-packed rally Tuesday. “They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving. And that was true also with Christmas. But now everybody’s using Christmas again. Remember this?”

“But now we’re going to have to do a little work on Thanksgiving,” Trump said. “People have different ideas. Why it shouldn’t be called Thanksgiving. But everybody in this room, I know, loves the name Thanksgiving. And we’re not changing.”

Trump’s comments came amid claims of a “War on Thanksgiving,” including from Fox News, which reported Wednesday: “Twitter users used the hashtag ‘#WhatLiberalsCallThanksgiving’ to mock the president’s remarks. One person, who said she was Native American, pointed to how she prefers to instead name the fourth Thursday of November a #nationaldayofmourning.’”

On Wednesday, Trump officially proclaimed Thursday “a National Day of Thanksgiving.”

“THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 2019, as a National Day of Thanksgiving,” he said.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: White House Trolls Democrats On Thanksgiving Break

With the former president recently making public comments triggering to the radical left — including that all that hashtag “woke” activism isn’t actually activism — The Washington Post felt compelled to give Americans on the left side of the aisle a little more “perspective” on the man whose legislative legacy Donald Trump has almost completely wiped out. The reason Democratic presidential candidates have been struggling so hard to figure out how to discuss Barack Obama, David Swerdlick writes for the Post, is that Obama isn’t what they think he is.

“Perspective: Democratic presidential candidates still can’t figure out how to talk about the most popular figure in their party, [Swerdlick] writes, and there’s a simple reason,” the Post tweeted Sunday. “Barack Obama is a conservative.”

As Swerdlick highlights, Obama has tweaked some of his fellow progressives in recent public comments about the flawed assumptions and approaches of Democrats and their supporters.

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly,” the former president told a group of young activist at an Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago in late October. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

As if that wasn’t enough to outrage the permanently outraged, Obama added a sobering reality check to those increasingly steering the party toward more overtly socialist policies: The Democratic presidential candidates would be wise to come back more to the center because “[t]his is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear, writes Swerdlick, that the leading Democratic contenders “can’t quite figure out how to talk about the most popular figure in their party,” which poses a major problem because he “casts a long shadow over the 2020 primary campaign”:

Preserving Obama’s legacy is the heart of former vice president Joe Biden’s pitch to voters — which has allowed his rivals to mark him as complacent. More left-leaning candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), say the next president needs to do more to push for health-care reforms and combat income inequality — but lately, she’s struggling to sell her proposals. Onetime Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro has ripped his former boss’s record on immigration and deportation. Meanwhile, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg raced to have a reporter correct a story that misquoted him citing “failures of the Obama era.” Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) said in Wednesday’s debate that it’s crucial to “rebuild the Obama coalition” because “that’s the last time we won.” Picking and choosing which parts of Obama’s tenure to embrace, and how firmly to embrace them, has become a delicate game in the primary season.

So why are they struggling to much to frame both their praise and criticism of The One? Because none of them have accepted what Swerdlick believes to be the hard truth about Obama.

“It’s because the former president, going back at least to his 2004 Senate race, hasn’t really occupied the left side of the ideological spectrum,” he insists. While he was of course no Republican, “Obama never dramatically departed from the approach of presidents who came before him.”

“There’s a simple reason: Barack Obama is a conservative,” Swerdlick declares. His “evidence,” that while Obama embraced left-wing positions like the Paris climate accords, Dodd-Frank, pro-choice policies, and same-sex marriage (after opposing it), his “constant search for consensus” ultimately made him be “conservative” on key domestic initiatives, like Obamacare and gun control, and foreign policy…

The underlying concept for his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, with its individual mandate, was devised by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and first implemented at the state level by Mitt Romney, then the Republican governor of Massachusetts. Obama wanted to protect Americans from the effects of a prolonged recession, so he agreed, in one of his defining votes as a senator, to a bailout of banks — and as president, he prioritized recovery over punishing bankers for their role in the financial crisis. In his first inaugural address, he affirmed the power of the free market “to generate wealth and expand freedom.”

Until the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, Obama studiously avoided any push for gun control. Indeed, in his first term, he signed laws that loosened restrictions on bringing firearms to national parks and on Amtrak. Though cast as a “dithering” peacenik who led “from behind,” he stuck with his thesis that the imperative “to end the war in Iraq is to be able to get more troops into Afghanistan,” and he prosecuted a drone war in Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Obama was a “conservative” in the end, suggests Swerdlick, because he “believes, fundamentally, that the American model works — even if it hasn’t been allowed to work for everyone.”

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: Washington Post: ‘Obama Is A Conservative’

Controversy over whether or not to reveal the name of the man widely believed to be the whistleblower whose complaint prompted the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry ratcheted up even further on Wednesday after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out an article and quote including the whistleblower’s alleged name. While Democrats and the left-leaning media expressed outrage about Trump’s social media post, an impeachment inquiry transcript released by the office of Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff includes the very name Trump tweeted out.

As reported by RedState, Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee who is heading up the Democrats’ impeachment efforts, appears to have accidentally allowed the name widely identified as the whistleblower to appear in the transcript of the committee’s interview with top U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

In the transcript, the interviewer asks Taylor if the name of the man who has been widely reported as the whistleblower “ring[s] a bell?” Taylor responds, “It doesn’t.”

“So, to your knowledge, you never had any communications with somebody by that name?” Taylor is asked, to which he replies, “Correct.”

The failure to redact the name means one of two things, suggests Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, either he’s not the whistleblower or the Democrats made a massive error.

The alleged identity of the whistleblower was first reported by RealClearInvestigations’ Paul Sperry, who describes his identity as “an open secret inside the Beltway.”

Sperry reported last week that the whistleblower is allegedly a 33-year-old “registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.” The whistleblower reportedly “left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media” and “has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia,” Sperry reports, citing federal documents.

The alleged whistleblower “was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” a former NSC official told RealClearInvestigations.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out an article and a quote naming the alleged whistleblower. In response to blowback from the left-leaning media, the president’s son tweeted: “The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn’t been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID’d him.”

“PS: Maybe Real Clear Politics & others wouldn’t have been able to ID the alleged whistleblower if the NY Times didn’t out that he was a CIA official detailed to the WH?” Trump added. “The media is full of sh** with their faux outrage over me tweeting something already in the public domain!”

As The Daily Wire reported, the whistleblower’s attorney announced Sunday that his client is willing to answer Republicans’ questions, but only in written form. President Trump, who has provided some of the descriptions of the alleged whistleblower included in Sperry’s report but has not named him publicly, responded to the attorney’s offer with an unequivocal rejection. “The Whistleblower gave false information and dealt with corrupt politician [Adam] Schiff,” Trump tweeted Monday. “He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable!”

Perception that the whistleblower is motivated by a partisan political agenda was further inflamed this week after tweets from 2017 by the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid, resurfaced in which Zaid celebrated that the “coup has started” in the federal government against Trump and his “impeachment will follow.”

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: Alleged Whistleblower’s Name Appears In Transcript Released By Democrats

The war between President Trump and the House Democrats continues to escalate, as Democrat-led House committees issue subpoenas related to the impeachment inquiry, while the White House refuses to cooperate, and Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trade barbs both publicly and behind closed doors.

On Wednesday, Democrats walked out of a closed-door meeting with Trump about Syria after the president allegedly called Pelosi either a “third-rate politician” or a “third grade politician” — like everything else, the exact phrasing of his alleged put-down is in dispute. In response, Trump took to Twitter to troll his political opponents, mocking Pelosi’s “total meltdown” while sounding the alarm about her mental health and blasting the Democrats’ “witch hunt” impeachment efforts.

“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say,” Pelosi told reporters in a joint press conference with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer after the mess of a meeting on Wednesday.

The president, the Democrats claim, insulted “third-rate”/”third grade” Pelosi and suggested that they “probably appreciated communist Islamic State terrorists in the Middle East,” Fox News reports.

“I pray for the president all the time, and I tell him that — I pray for his safety and that of his family,” Pelosi said later Wednesday. “Now, we have to pray for his health — because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

But Trump says the only one who truly had a meltdown was Pelosi, and her mental health is what should really concern Americans.

“Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” Trump tweeted along with an image of Pelosi standing up during the meeting in apparent protest of his comments (tweets below).

“The Do Nothing Democrats, Pelosi and Schumer stormed out of the Cabinet Room!” he tweeted, this time with a photo of the Democrats’ now-empty seats.

Prior to the “Nervous Nancy” tweet, Trump posted another photo of Pelosi and her fellow grim-faced Democratic leaders at the meeting, trollingly asking, “Do you think they like me?”

“Nancy Pelosi needs help fast!” Trump tweeted later, in an echo of her condescending comments about his mental health. “There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs,’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!”

Trump, who’s been even more busy on Twitter than normal, has been repeatedly tweeting and retweeting on the impeachment inquiry.

One of his particular targets is House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), whom he’s calling on House Republicans and any “honest House Democrats” to “vote to censure for “his brazen and unlawful act of fabricating (making up) a totally phony conversation with the Ukraine President and U.S. President, me.”

Trump has also retweeted posts by other Republicans, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who warned that Democrats are “trying to impeach [President Trump] behind closed doors … excluding the public, the press, and even Members of Congress from this process.”

Trump has also highlighted tweets by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemning the Democrats for how they are handling the inquiry.

“Already, House Democrats’ impeachment ‘inquiry’ is violating norms and precedent,” McConnell wrote in a post retweeted by Trump. “They are denying Republicans and President Trump the same rights that Democrats and President Clinton received during those impeachment proceedings.”

Some of Trump’s many impeachment-themed tweets below:

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: Trump Sounds Alarm: Pelosi Needs Help!

On Tuesday, BNN Bloomberg reported that the $1.57 billion allocated to the building of the southern border wall has “yielded just 1.7 miles” of new wall thus far.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has put up just 1.7 miles of fencing with the US$1.57 billion that Congress appropriated last year for President Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border, a federal judge was told,” the outlet reports. “A lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives provided the information Tuesday to the judge in Oakland, California, who is weighing requests from 20 state attorneys general and the the Sierra Club to block Trump from using funds not authorized by Congress to build the wall.”

In a court filing, the lawyer told U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam that according to information provided by the administration, as of April 30, 2019, “it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding.”

But in a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Trump blasted the claims as misleading.

“Much of the Wall being built at the Southern Border is a complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers with a brand new Wall and footings,” he wrote. “Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed. Also, tremendous work is being done on pure renovation – fixing existing Walls that are in bad condition and ineffective, and bringing them to a very high standard!”

After Democrats refused to give him the full $5 billion he requested for border wall construction, prompting the longest partial government shutdown in history, Trump declared a national emergency at the border over the humanitarian crisis caused by a massive influx of illegal immigrants, which has overwhelmed our already overburdened immigration system. That declaration allows Trump to redirect billions to the border.

Democrats, however, are attempting to cap how much Trump can allocate to the construction of the border wall. “Rep. John Garamendi, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, suggested in a Thursday statement cited by Defense News that the president was using the military construction budget ‘and other critical projects as a personal slush fund to fulfill a campaign promise,'” Business Insider reported last week. “Garamendi, whose subcommittee oversees military construction, presented a bill Wednesday that would cap military spending at $250 million per national emergency, Defense News reported.”

Along with the resources Trump has opened up through the emergency declaration, he is also asking Congress for $4.5 billion to address non-border wall immigration needs. After denying it for months, Democrats have finally agreed that we are indeed facing a “humanitarian crisis” at the border, but they are still reluctant to fully approve of Trump’s request. “Democrats said they would review the request but raised concerns about some of the proposals,” USA Today reported when Trump first made the request three weeks ago. “More than $150 million of the new money would be used to accommodate ‘significant increases’ in immigrants detained, for instance.”

Trump is also requesting $8.6 billion in funding for the border wall for the new budget, which is over six times the amount provided in the past two budgets and a request that Democrats will almost certainly reject.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Daily Wire: Report: Just 1.7 Miles Of Wall Built; Trump: ‘WRONG’

Speaking to the press Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Attorney General William Barr of having committed a “crime” by “not telling the truth” to Congress about Robert Mueller’s response to his summary of the principle findings of the special counsel’s final report.

“What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America is not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime,” Pelosi told reporters in comments reported by CNBC Thursday. “He lied to Congress,” she alleged when asked about her claim again. “If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime. Nobody is above the law.”

While she directly accused the attorney general of commiting a “crime,” Pelosi would not give a straight answer about if he should go to prison for his alleged criminal offense, saying only that there’s a “process involved.”

As CNBC notes, the Justice Department has responded to Pelosi’s “deadly serious” accusation, spokeswoman Kerri Kupac calling the speaker’s comment a “baseless attack on the Attorney General” that is “reckless, irresponsible and false.”

While some Democrats, including Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), continue to accuse Barr of misrepresenting Mueller’s final report — despite Mueller himself reportedly making clear that he did not believe Barr’s summary of the report’s key findings was “inaccurate or misleading” — Pelosi appears to be referencing Barr’s previous statement to the House last month concerning reported “frustration” among the special counsel’s team about the information in his summary.

Asked by Florida Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist if he knew what reports that the special counsel’s team was “frustrated at some level with the limited information” in his summary were referencing, Barr said, “No, I don’t. I think I think, I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view I was not interested in putting out summaries.”

Barr’s follow-up comments about the special counsel’s team wanting him to put more information out, specifically their summaries, aligns with the recently leaked letter from Mueller sent to Barr three days after Barr’s summary report to Congress. In a March 27 letter to Barr, Mueller expressed concern about the “new public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation” and asked Barr to release the special counsel’s summaries of the report’s findings (formatting adjusted):

The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions. We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is new public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations. See Department of Justice, Press Release (May 17, 2017). While we understand that the Department is reviewing the full report to determine what is appropriate for public release — a process that our Office is working with you to complete — that process need not delay release of the enclosed materials.

The Post reports that Barr and Mueller had a phone conversation the next day in which Mueller explained that he was concerned about the media coverage of Barr’s summary but also said that he did not believe the summary was “inaccurate or misleading.” Barr told Mueller he wanted to wait to release the entire redacted report, which included the summaries, rather than releasing it “piecemeal.”

“A day after Mueller sent his letter to Barr, the two men spoke by phone for about 15 minutes, according to law enforcement officials,” the Post reports. “In that call, Mueller said he was concerned that media coverage of the obstruction investigation was misguided and creating public misunderstandings about the office’s work, according to Justice Department officials.”

“When Barr pressed Mueller on whether he thought Barr’s memo to Congress was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not but felt that the media coverage of it was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said,” the Post reports. “In their call, Barr also took issue with Mueller calling his memo a ‘summary,’ saying he had never intended to summarize the voluminous report, but instead provide an account of its top conclusions, officials said.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman addressed Mueller’s letter and the follow-up phone call in a statement to the Post. “After the Attorney General received Special Counsel Mueller’s letter, he called him to discuss it,” said the spokeswoman. “In a cordial and professional conversation, the Special Counsel emphasized that nothing in the Attorney General’s March 24 letter was inaccurate or misleading. But, he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the Special Counsel’s obstruction analysis.”

This article has been revised for clarity.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Dailywire: Pelosi Accuses Barr Of Committing A ‘Crime’; Justice Department Slams Her

In a blistering condemnation of the dismissal of all 16 felony charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association (IPBA) has accused State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office of having “fundamentally misled” the public about the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the case.

The backlash against the decision Tuesday by Foxx’s office to suddenly drop all charges in the high-profile “hoax hate crime” case continues to mount. On Wednesday, the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), which represents prosecutors across the country, released a statement detailing what Foxx’s office did wrong. On Thursday, the IPBA, which “serves as the voice for nearly 1,000 front line prosecutors across the state,” issued its own, even more directly accusatory statement.

“The events of the past few days regarding the Cook County State’s Attorney’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case is not condoned by the IPBA, nor is it representative of the honest ethical work prosecutors provide to the citizens of the State of Illinois on a daily basis,” the statement reads.

“The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State,” the association continues. “Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.”

Among the “fundamentally” misleading statements Foxx and her office have made to the public: falsely claiming that she had recused herself, which would require appointing a special prosecutor, which she failed to do, keeping the decision in-house and thus still influenced by her. She has also “falsely informed the public that the uncontested sealing of the criminal court case was ‘mandatory’ under Illinois law,” a claim which “is not accurate.” The prosecutors also point to the still unexplained “emergency” hearing that resulted in the decision, which has “compounded” the appearance of “impropriety.”

“Lastly, the State’s Attorney has claimed this arrangement is ‘available to all defendants’ and ‘not a new or unusual practice,'” the prosecutors state. “There has even been an implication it was done in accordance with a statutory diversion program. These statements are plainly misleading and inaccurate.”

Read the full statement below:

The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association serves as the voice for nearly 1,000 front line prosecutors across the State who work tirelessly towards the pursuit of justice. The events of the past few days regarding the Cook County State’s Attorney’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case is not condoned by the IPBA, nor is it representative of the honest ethical work prosecutors provide to the citizens of the State of Illinois on a daily basis.

The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received. Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal.

The public has the right to know the truth, and we set out to do that here.

When an elected State’s Attorney recuses herself from a prosecution, Illinois law provides that the court shall appoint a special prosecutor. See 55 ILCS 5/3-9008(a-15). Typically, the special prosecutor is a neighboring State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Appellate Prosecutor. Here, the State’s Attorney kept the case within her office and thus never actually recused herself as a matter of law.

Additionally, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office falsely informed the public that the uncontested sealing of the criminal court case was “mandatory” under Illinois law. This statement is not accurate. To the extent the case was even eligible for an immediate seal, that action was discretionary, not mandatory, and only upon the proper filing of a petition to seal. See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(g)(2). For seals not subject to Section 5.2(g)(2), the process employed in this case by the State’s Attorney effectively denied law enforcement agencies of legally required Notice (See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(4)) and the legal opportunity to object to the sealing of the file (See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(5)). The State’s Attorney not only declined to fight the sealing of this case in court, but then provided false information to the public regarding it.

The appearance of impropriety here is compounded by the fact that this case was not on the regularly scheduled court call, the public had no reasonable notice or opportunity to view these proceedings, and the dismissal was done abruptly at what has been called an “emergency” hearing. To date, the nature of the purported emergency has not been publicly disclosed. The sealing of a court case immediately following a hearing where there was no reasonable notice or opportunity for the public to attend is a matter of grave public concern and undermines the very foundation of our public court system.

Lastly, the State’s Attorney has claimed this arrangement is “available to all defendants” and “not a new or unusual practice.” There has even been an implication it was done in accordance with a statutory diversion program. These statements are plainly misleading and inaccurate. This action was highly unusual, not a statutory diversion program, and not in accordance with well accepted practices of State’s Attorney initiated diversionary programs. The IPBA supports diversion programs, and recognizes the many benefits they provide to the community, the defendant and to the prosecuting agency. Central to any diversion program, however, is that the defendant must accept responsibility. To be clear here, this simply was not a deferred prosecution.

Prosecutors must be held to the highest standard of legal ethics in the pursuit of justice. The actions of the Cook County State’s Attorney have fallen woefully short of this expectation. Through the repeated misleading and deceptive statements to the public on Illinois law and circumstances surrounding the Smollett dismissal, the State’s Attorney has failed in her most fundamental ethical obligations to the public. The IPBA condemns these actions.

This irregular arrangement was an affront to prosecutors across the State, the Chicago Police Department, victims of hate crimes, and the people of the City of Chicago and Cook County. We strongly encourage our members and the public to review the National District Attorneys Associations statement on prosecutorial best practices in high profile cases.

Author: James Barrett

Source: Dailywire: Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association: State’s Attorney ‘Fundamentally Misled’ Public About Dismissing Smollett Case

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