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Zachary Stieber

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling the removal of 11 statues from the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection, saying they “pay homage to hate.”

The statues represent soldiers and officers who served in the Confederate Army, which lost in the U.S. Civil War. They include statues of Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, who were president and vice president of the Confederacy.

Pelosi, in a letter (pdf) to Joint Committee on the Library Chairman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the committee’s vice chairwoman, says statues in the Capitol “should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.”

“Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed,” she said.

“While I believe it is imperative that we never forget our history, lest we repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.”

The joint committee should direct Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton to immediately take steps to remove the statues, she said.

One hundred statues, two from each state, are in the National Statuary Hall Collection, displayed in the hall and throughout the Capitol.

A statue of Jefferson Davis (second from left), president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, is on display in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 24, 2015. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

Lofgren said in a statement that she agrees with Pelosi that the statues should be quickly removed, asserting that the Capitol “belongs to the American people and cannot serve as a place of honor for the hatred and racism that tears at the fabric of our nation, the very poison that these statues embody.”

Blunt said in a statement that it’s not up to the committee he heads or Blanton to decide which statues are in the Capitol.

“Under the law, each state decides which two statues it will send to the Capitol. Several states have moved toward replacing statues, and others appear headed in the same direction,” he said.

“This process is ongoing and encouraging. As Speaker Pelosi is undoubtedly aware, the law does not permit the architect of the Capitol or the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to remove a statue from the Capitol once it has been received.”

States have been allowed to replace statues donated to the collection since 2000 through a request in writing after a statue has been displayed for at least 10 years, according to Blanton’s office (pdf). The request must be approved by the Joint Committee, which can waive the time requirement if a state requests.

Subjects of statues must be a dead person who was a U.S. citizen and “is illustrious for historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services.”

Blunt told reporters in Washington that at least three or four new statues are being processed now, including one from Missouri, which is replacing a statue of Thomas Hart Benton, a slaveholder, with a statue of Harry Truman.

“My view would be unless there’s specific congressional action that voids the agreements with the states, that the states appear to be headed in this path anyway, and that’s the better way to deal with it,” he said.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Pelosi Wants 11 Confederate Statues Removed From US Capitol

Illinois state police officers won’t arrest people for violating Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders.

“No individual will be arrested or taken to jail for a violation of the Executive Orders or emergency rules,” the Illinois State Police said in a statement.

Officers are focusing on urging voluntary compliance with the orders and will not issue criminal misdemeanor penalties against individuals for violation of the orders or rules.

But officers may apply the rules to corporations, LLPs, or other business entities, the statement continued.

“We encourage all citizens to continue to do their part to maintain public health as we move forward in the days ahead with Reopening Illinois,” police added.

Pritzker, a Democrat, filed emergency rules last week that make opening a business against his orders a class A misdemeanor.

Violators could be fined up to $2,500 and receive up to one year of jail time.

State officials compared the possible citation to getting a traffic ticket and said no one would get arrested, though a court appearance would be required.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces a stay-at-home rule to combat the spread of the CCP virus during a news conference in Chicago, Ill., on March 20, 2020. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo)

State lawmakers disagreed, alleging an overreach of Pritzker’s authority.

“It will be a dark day in Illinois when we charge small businesses with a jailable crime for salvaging their livelihoods.” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement.

Lawmakers said Pritzker didn’t announce the change during his daily briefings on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The 12-person Joint Committee on Administrative Rules was set to vote on whether to block the new rules, but Pritzker withdrew them before a vote could happen.

Staff from the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to the Journal Star, told the committee that the order was withdrawn.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Illinois State Police Won’t Arrest Anyone for Violating Executive Orders

Millions of Michigan residents will receive applications in their mailboxes for absentee voting, state officials announced Tuesday.

Michigan, a crucial swing state, has 7.7 million registered voters, 1.3 million of whom are on the permanent absentee ballot list.

The applications will allow residents to take part in elections later this year without voting in person, state Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“No Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” said Benson. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.”

The application asks people if they’re a U.S. citizen and a qualified voter. Applicants can choose whether to receive an absentee ballot for the August 4 state election, the November 3 national election, or both.

The three-page document (pdf) includes a warning telling people who are not citizens that they cannot vote.

One page is a cover letter from Benson telling residents that they have the right to vote by mail in every election.

Applicants were told to sign the form before taking a photograph that clearly shows the signature and submit it via email. The other method is mailing or dropping the signed form off to their local clerk.

Some jurisdictions began mailing the applications previously, Benson said, before the choice was made to send them to all registered voters.

Voters cast their ballots at the Ferndale Public Library in Ferndale, Mich., on March 10, 2020. (Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)

The new plan will cost $4.5 million, which will come from money the state is getting from the federal government through a virus relief package passed in March, Michigan Department of State spokesperson Jake Rollow told Bridge.

Voters Not Politicians, a group working to get more people to vote, applauded the move and called for the state legislature to authorize sending absentee ballots, not applications, to voters.

“Automatically sending ballots with pre-paid return postage will cut the red tape, save money, and empower all Michiganders to vote safely in this year’s elections,” Nancy Wang, the executive director, said in a statement.

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) also applauded Benson’s decision.

President Donald Trump, a Republican who narrowly won Michigan in 2016, has voiced objections to widespread voting by mail.

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans,” he said in a statement last month.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Monday that the issue is with absentee ballots, not applications.

The Michigan GOP, reached Tuesday, said a spokesperson would return the call later.

Michigan altered voting rules in 2018 to let anyone vote by absentee ballot without providing a reason. Absentee voting in the March primary increased from 18 percent in 2016 to 38 percent this year.

Turnout in the 50 elections held across 33 counties in May included 99 percent of people participating voting by mail or in a drop box, Benson said. The percent of eligible voters who participated was 25 percent, a jump from the average turnout in the past decade of 12 percent.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: All Michigan Voters to Receive Absentee Ballot Applications

A businessman who donated to President Donald Trump was named as head of the U.S. Postal Service, which could face a significant restructuring as it faces pressure from the president to hike prices and billions in added debt.

Louis DeJoy’s selection as postmaster general of the United States was announced Wednesday by the service’s Board of Governors.

The businessman “understands the critical public service role of the United States Postal Service, and the urgent need to strengthen it for future generations,” Robert Duncan, chair of the board, said in a statement.

Members “appreciated Louis’s depth of knowledge on the important issues facing the Postal Service and his desire to work with all of our stakeholders on preserving and protecting this essential institution,” Duncan added.

DeJoy was previously chairman and CEO of New Breed Logistics, a shipping company with over 9,000 employees.

He said his work brought him into contact with the Postal Service.

“I have a great appreciation for this institution and the dedicated workers who faithfully execute its mission,” he said in a statement.

One of the CCP virus relief packages approved by Congress lets the Postal Service borrow up to $10 billion from the Department of the Treasury. Postmaster General Megan Brennan, who is retiring, said last month that sales were “plummeting” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The sudden drop in mail volumes, our most profitable revenue stream, is steep and may never fully recover,” she said, releasing an estimate that the service’s net operating loss would grow by more than $22 billion by the end of 2021.

President Donald Trump holds a CCP virus response meeting with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on April 30, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Trump on Pricing

Trump later in April said he won’t authorize more funding for the Postal Service unless it raises shipping rates for Amazon and other companies it handles packages for.

“The Postal Service is a joke because they’re handing out packages for Amazon and other internet companies. And every time they bring a package, they lose money on it,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

Amazon and other online-based companies are dropping a big portion of packages off at post offices, leaving the Postal Service to deliver them but lose money in the process, the president said. The Postal Service should raise prices by about four times, he added.

“For some reason—these people have been in there a long time—but for some reason, they’re very cozy with some of these companies, and they don’t raise the price of a package,” he added.

United States Postal Service mail carrier Lizette Portugal finishes loading her truck amid the COVID-19 pandemic in El Paso, Texas, on April 30, 2020. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

Donations

Both DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, have donated extensively to Trump and Republicans. DeJoy donated more than $1.1 million to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and nearly $1 million to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between Trump’s reelection campaign and the RNC.

DeJoy’s latest donation saw $210,600 go to Trump Victory in February. Wos was named U.S. ambassador to Canada that month.

Wos has donated about $150,000 to the RNC and tens of thousands to Trump Victory.

DeJoy is also slated to serve as finance chairman for the committee hosting the upcoming RNC convention in North Carolina. He is advising Trump on how to best reopen the country from the pandemic-fueled lockdown.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, in a statement accused Trump of rewarding “a partisan donor by installing him at the United States Postal Service.”

“The Postal Service is in crisis and needs real leadership and someone with knowledge of the issues. This crony doesn’t cut it,” he added.

“My understanding is that the Postmaster General is appointed by the board. The board is appointed by the president. So there you have it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters in Washington on Thursday.

New Breed

DeJoy transformed New Breed Logistics, a small, family-owned company with 10 employees, into a nationwide provider of logistics solutions employing more than 9,000 people, according to the Board of Governors. New Breed was a contractor to the Postal Service for more than 25 years, receiving awards from the service during four of them.

New Breed merged with another company in 2014. DeJoy retired in 2015.

The board said it conducted an extensive nationwide search for a replacement for Brennan after she announced in October 2019 her intent to retire. The board reviewed the records of more than 200 candidates before narrowing the list to more than 50 candidates that underwent more in-depth vetting. The board interviewed more than a dozen candidates and followed up with seven of those.

A small list of candidates received final vetting before the choice of DeJoy.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Businessman Who Donated to Trump Put in Charge of US Postal Service

The first COVID-19 patient in the United States received a transfusion from a recovered patient, a hospital in Texas announced.

Convalescent plasma, one of four components of human blood, is collected from patients who were infected with COVID-19 but later recovered and given to critically ill patients.

The experimental treatment has been touted by some of the top health officials in the country as researchers race to find a proven treatment for the new disease, which is caused by the CCP (Communist Chinese Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

CCP VIRUS SPECIAL COVERAGE

Houston Methodist announced this week that it was the first hospital in the nation to treat a patient in the United States with the experimental method, following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcing approval to test the therapy.

The first patient received plasma on March 27 and a second patient received it a day later, the hospital system said in a statement.

Plasma from recovered patients may have antibodies against the CCP virus that could potentially help patients recover, according to Dr. Eric Salazar, a physician scientist with Houston Methodist’s Research Institute. Salazar and his team recruited blood plasma donors who have been in good health for more than two weeks since being diagnosed with COVID-19. Each donor gave a quart of blood plasma. Medical workers transfused the plasma into the two critically ill patients.

TOPSHOT – This photo taken on February 18, 2020 shows a doctor (R) who has recovered from the COVID-19 coronavirus infection donating plasma in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. – Chinese health officials on February 17 urged patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate blood so that plasma can be extracted to treat others who are critically ill. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The concept dates back to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and has been tested more recently during the Ebola and SARS outbreaks. Chinese researchers used the experimental therapy on five patients. Preliminary findings indicated positive results but researchers stressed evaluation in clinical trials is needed.

Salazar said using treatments now is crucial as the number of cases continues to rise in the United States.

“Convalescent serum therapy could be a vital treatment route, because unfortunately there is relatively little to offer many patients except supportive care, and the ongoing clinical trials are going to take a while. We don’t have that much time,” he said in a statement.

Physician-scientists at Houston Methodist are seeking approval from the FDA for follow-up experimental studies and hope to launch a multicenter trial across the nation looking at the therapy.

President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that early results from the treatment are “promising.”

“While much of the research has to be done—we have a lot of research left to do, obviously—this treatment on plasma has shown promising results in other countries,” he said.

Researchers are also looking at existing drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and Kevzara, as possible treatments for COVID-19. Doctors across the nation are prescribing the former, a malaria drug, along with other drugs to try to treat patients.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: First US Patient Gets Experimental Treatment for CCP Virus

Former tech executive Andrew Yang fired staffers and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) canceled advertisements following the Democratic caucuses in Iowa.

Yang, 45, fired dozens of staffers after receiving just 1 percent of the delegates in Iowa, four staffers who were fired told Politico. A Yang campaign official confirmed that dozens of staffers were fired but said the action was previously planned.

“As part of our original plans following the Iowa caucuses, we are winding down our Iowa operations and restructuring to compete as the New Hampshire primary approaches,” campaign manager Zach Graumann said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times.

“These actions are a natural evolution of the campaign post-Iowa, same as other campaigns have undertaken, and Andrew Yang is going to keep fighting for the voices of the more than 400,000 supporters who have donated to the campaign and placed a stake in the future of our country.”

Yang is campaigning in New Hampshire ahead of the Feb. 11 primaries, as are most of the other candidates.

Warren, meanwhile, cancelled ads in two early voting states after appearing to finish in third in Iowa. Warren’s campaign pulled over $350,000 worth of ads in Nevada and South Carolina that were slated to run from Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, according to Advertising Analytics.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden greets people at a campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Somersworth, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Warren, 70, whose campaign didn’t return a request for comment, told the Washington Post on the campaign trail in New Hampshire: “I just always want to be careful about how we spend our money.”

Warren still has ads slated to run in Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire—where the next three Democratic caucuses and primaries will be held. One of the ads showed former President Barack Obama praising Warren.

Most candidates sent out emails asking supporters for donations after Iowa. Warren’s campaign said that the numbers from Iowa looked good but said the campaign was hurt by the delay in releasing the results.

“Since they were announced today instead of last night, we didn’t get a big night of exciting news coverage about them (or the late-night boost in fundraising that usually comes with it),” the campaign said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, also cut ad spending in South Carolina by about $119,000, but at the same time added about $50,000 to ad buys in Nevada, Advertising Analytics said. Biden was in fourth in Iowa, a dismal finish after some projects suggested he could win.

This combination of Jan. 26, 2020, photos shows at left, Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Jan. 26, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa; and at right Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Sioux City, Iowa. After a daylong delay, partial results from Iowa’s Democratic caucuses showed Buttigieg and Sanders ahead of the pack. (AP Photo)

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: We took a gut punch in Iowa,” Biden told supporters in New Hampshire this week. Biden’s campaign urged supporters to donate on Thursday, with campaign manager Greg Schultz telling them: “I know you’re probably tired of getting fundraising emails. Trust us, we get it. But, after going through the expensive caucuses in Iowa, it’s absolutely necessary that we replenish our resources.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 78, planned to pour $5.5 million into new or expanded ad campaigns after pulling in $25 million in January alone. The haul was more than his rivals managed to raise in any quarter of 2019.

Fresh off strong showings in Iowa, both Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former South Bend mayor, and Sanders asked supporters for more money on Wednesday.

“The results out of Iowa show us winning the most votes. So we need to keep it up. We need to push and win New Hampshire. So far, polls have had us ahead. But that means the political establishment has us in their sights,” a campaign email from Sanders said.

“They spent hundreds of thousands to slow us down in Iowa. Joe Biden’s super PAC already bought nearly $1 million in ads in New Hampshire. Who knows what’s next.”

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Yang Fires Staffers, Warren Cancels Ad Buys After Iowa Caucuses

President Donald Trump issued an executive order this week giving federal employees a day off on Christmas Eve, or Dec. 24.

“All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall be closed and their employees excused from duty on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, the day before Christmas Day,” Trump wrote.

“The heads of executive departments and agencies may determine that certain offices and installations of their organizations, or parts thereof, must remain open and that certain employees must report for duty on December 24, 2019, for reasons of national security, defense, or other public need.”

Christmas Eve is not a federal holiday so without the order, federal employees would have been expected to report for work.

American presidents sometimes give federal employees half a day or a day off for Christmas Eve but the last time Christmas fell on a Wednesday, President Barack Obama did not.

The Obama administration decided to make federal employees report for a full day of work in 2013.

The decision is “consistent with historical precedent when Christmas has fallen on a Wednesday,” an official at the Office of Personnel Management told Government Executive at the time. “The government has remained open on Christmas Eve for six of the last nine times since 1946 that Christmas Day has fallen on a Wednesday.”

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump take part in the annual lighting of the National Christmas tree on The Ellipse in Washington on Dec. 5, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

In one exception, President George W. Bush gave federal employees a half fay off on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2002.

In 2012, Obama gave federal employees a day off or Christmas Eve and gave federal employees a half-day off on Christmas Eve in 2009.

Trump’s order included a directive to the director of the Office of Personnel Management to “take such actions as may be necessary to implement this order.”

Trump’s order came on the same day that the Senate passed a national defense bill that includes 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. It also includes a 3.1 percent pay raise.

Trump has praised the bill and said he would sign it.

Trump was spending Wednesday working, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said. He posted a number of tweets, commenting on the impeachment push against him.

The House was holding a debate on two articles of impeachment against Trump before it breaks for the Christmas holiday. House Democrats accused Trump of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Though the House requires only a simple majority to pass the articles, removing Trump from office would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is held by the GOP. A Senate impeachment trial would start in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Order Gives Federal Employees a Day Off for Christmas Eve

President Donald Trump said that he might go around the Commission on Presidential Debates, claiming the purported nonpartisan group is full of people who hate him.

“I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates. My record is so good on the Economy and all else, including debating, that perhaps I would consider more than 3 debates,” Trump said in a statement on Monday.

“The problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers. 3 years ago they were forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hillary. As President, the debates are up to me, and there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission,” he added.

“I will make a decision at an appropriate time but in the meantime, the Commission on Presidential Debates is NOT authorized to speak for me (or R’s)!”

In a statement sent to news outlets, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) claimed that it is nonpartisan.

“The televised general election debates are an important part of our democratic process. Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates has conducted 30 general election presidential and vice presidential debates. Our record is one of fairness, balance, and nonpartisanship,” it stated.

According to its website, the commission “was established in 1987 and has sponsored and produced all general election presidential and vice presidential debates since then. The CPD receives no funding from the government or any political party or campaign.”

The commission in October said it scheduled four 2020 general election debates, including one vice presidential debate.

The first presidential debate will take place on Sept. 29, 2020, at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

The vice presidential debate will be held on Oct. 7, 2020, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, followed by two more presidential debates: one at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 15 and one at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on Oct. 22.

The debates will last 90 minutes and not have commercials. The moderators have not been chosen as of yet.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Says He Might Bypass Presidential Debate Commission in 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s campaign said that some of the comments he made in the past to women were “disrespectful and wrong.”

According to a review of court records by ABC, Bloomberg, a 77-year-old billionaire who co-founded Bloomberg LP, showed that at least 17 women have taken legal action against the company in the past 30 years. Three of the cases specifically named Bloomberg.

None of the cases have made it to trial—five resulted in settlements—and only three cases are still active.

In one of the cases settled out of court, a woman alleged that Bloomberg repeatedly made crude and sexist comments. She said he told an employee who announced a pregnancy that she should “kill it.”

“He told me to ‘kill it’ in a serious monotone voice,” the woman alleged in a lawsuit. “I asked ‘What? What did you just say?’ He looked at me and repeated in a deliberate manner ‘kill it.’”

“The atmosphere was toxic and harassing,” Bonnie Josephs, who represented that woman, told ABC.

Julie Wood, a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson, said in a statement that Bloomberg made some “wrong” statements in the past.

“Mike Bloomberg has supported and empowered women throughout his career—from appointing women to the very top positions in his mayoral administration to supporting women candidates for higher office to an industry-leading 26-weeks of paid family leave at his company,” she said.

“At the same time, Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong. He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”

Employees at Bloomberg gave their boss a book in 1990 titled “The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg,” the New York Times reported last month. The book included one remark: “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.” Another alleged quote referenced Bloomberg’s sales pitch for his computer terminal, saying it would “do everything,” telling women: “I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”

A Bloomberg advisor issued a statement that included the exact same words: “Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong. He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”

His team also pointed reporters to how Bloomberg promoted abortion while mayor of New York City.

Donna Clancy, an attorney for three former employees who have sued Bloomberg and the company, told ABC that Bloomberg LP has a culture in which “women are not valued.”

“In fact, they’re objectified, based upon the complaints that I’ve filed on behalf of three plaintiffs and the history that’s listed in those complaints,” she said.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: Bloomberg Made ‘Disrespectful and Wrong’ Comments to Women in Past: Campaign

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) rejected all eight of Republicans’ requested witnesses, claiming they fall “outside the parameters of the impeachment inquiry.”

Ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and his Republican colleagues on the committee on Dec. 6 asked Nadler for eight witnesses, including the person who filed a complaint against President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, and Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, who helped compile the infamous Steele dossier at the center of the Russia probe.

Collins also asked to have House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) testify under oath.

“There is no indication the Judiciary Committee will hold any hearings with fact witnesses, and instead, will have to rely on a report written by Chairman Schiff and his staff,” Collins wrote.

“As the author of the Intelligence Committee report and the chief prosecutor for the House, it is imperative that Chairman Schiff testify before this committee and entertain questions from duly elected Members of Congress. At a minimum, he should testify about his report, just as Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Independent Counsel Ken Starr testified to this Committee about their reports.”

He also asserted that Trump “should be afforded the opportunity to confront his accusers” as cause to call the whistleblower to testify.

Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, waits for the start of his father’s debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., on Oct. 11, 2012. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

The other witnesses requested included a person who spoke with National Security Council official Alexander Vindman about Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden; and Democratic National Committee contractor Alexandra Chalupa, who met with Ukrainian officials during the 2016 election to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign.

Nadler noted in his letter to Collins on Dec. 9 that the Judiciary Committee shelved motions to call Schiff and the whistleblower to testify and said he sees “no reason to reconsider those requests.”

Five of the other witnesses Collins requested were already requested by House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and rejected by Schiff, who said the impeachment inquiry wasn’t going to be used “as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.”

“I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests [fall] outside the parameters of the impeachment inquiry as set forth in the report issued by the Rules Committee to accompany H. Res. 660,” Nadler said.

He said the eighth witness—the person in the intelligence community who spoke to Vindman about Trump’s call—also falls outside the parameters.

Nadler said he would schedule a meeting at the end of the hearing on Dec. 9 if Collins decides to subpoena any of the witnesses. Because Democrats control the House and have the majority in each committee, subpoena requests would likely be voted down.

Author: Zachary Stieber

Source: The Epoch Times: House Judiciary Chair Accepts None of Republicans’ Impeachment Witness Requests

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