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[Politics] GOP Senator: Secret FBI Report Shows No Kavanaugh Misconduct A top Senate Republican said Thursday the confidential FBI report on charges that Brett Kavanaugh sexually abused women three decades ago "found no hint of misconduct" by the Supreme Court nominee.Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, made his remarks... Published:10/4/2018 10:02:03 AM
[US News] MOVE those goal posts! Dick Durbin narrative shifts QUICKLY after FBI’s Kavanaugh report blows up in Dems’ faces

And the "next attempt at a roadblock" IS...

The post MOVE those goal posts! Dick Durbin narrative shifts QUICKLY after FBI’s Kavanaugh report blows up in Dems’ faces appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/4/2018 10:02:03 AM
[Media] Yeah NO! Brit Hume dumps cold water on Senate Dems’ claim FBI investigation shows Kavanaugh’s ‘inappropriate behavior’

Senate Dems claim there is information in Kavanaugh’s past FBI background checks that show involvement in either inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse. Because of COURSE, they did. Yowza — Senate Dems say in new letter that there is information in Kavanaugh's past FBI background checks that involve either inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse […]

The post Yeah NO! Brit Hume dumps cold water on Senate Dems’ claim FBI investigation shows Kavanaugh’s ‘inappropriate behavior’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/4/2018 9:32:23 AM
[Politics] Voters Say FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Won’t Satisfy Anyone

Democrats think the FBI’s expanded background investigation into allegations of sexual assault lodged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will prove fruitful. Republicans do not. Regardless, voters in both parties don’t think it will satisfy anyone.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that the FBI will find evidence to corroborate Christine Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, including 21% who think it’s Very Likely. Fifty-one percent (51%) think it’s unlikely, with 32% who feel it’s Not at all Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Rasmussen Reports invites you to be a part of our first-ever Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project. Learn more about how you can contribute

(Want a free daily email update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 1-2, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:10/4/2018 9:32:22 AM
[The Blog] New Democrat strategy on Kavanaugh: Slag the FBI

"This isn’t a story; it’s a page from the National Enquirer."

The post New Democrat strategy on Kavanaugh: Slag the FBI appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/4/2018 9:02:58 AM
[US News] FBI investigation BACKFIRING, DiFi? Sen. Dianne Feinstein goes after Rachel Mitchell and her memo in DESPERATE dig

Is it our imagination or is Senator Dianne Feinstein forgetting the old adage about never letting them see you sweat? DiFi seems a little … touchy? Huh, wonder why that is. Could be that her lame attempt to hijack the court by throwing the Ford Hail Mary is completely falling apart and the FBI investigation […]

The post FBI investigation BACKFIRING, DiFi? Sen. Dianne Feinstein goes after Rachel Mitchell and her memo in DESPERATE dig appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/4/2018 8:32:08 AM
[Politics] JUST IN: Fox News confirms FBI report shows NO evidence to support any Kavanaugh allegations As we all expected, the FBI report that was released this morning shows no evidence to corroborate any allegations against Kavanaugh of sexual assault or misconduct: From Fox News: A source familiar . . . Published:10/4/2018 8:32:08 AM
[Politics] JUST IN: Fox News confirms FBI report shows NO evidence to support any Kavanaugh allegations As we all expected, the FBI report that was released this morning shows no evidence to corroborate any allegations against Kavanaugh of sexual assault or misconduct: From Fox News: A source familiar . . . Published:10/4/2018 8:32:08 AM
[Media] ‘You tried to destroy an innocent man’: New witnesses from Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer FALL FLAT

Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer have a new article out in the New Yorker on two witnesses who are frustrated that the FBI wasn’t interested in what they had to say about SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh: “I feel like I’m being silenced." The FBI declined to interview primary witnesses related to the Kavanaugh allegations it […]

The post ‘You tried to destroy an innocent man’: New witnesses from Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer FALL FLAT appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/4/2018 8:11:45 AM
[The Blog] WSJ: White House says FBI comes up empty in report on Kavanaugh

Let the games ... end.

The post WSJ: White House says FBI comes up empty in report on Kavanaugh appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/4/2018 7:24:23 AM
[Markets] Explosive Report Details Chinese Infiltration Of Apple, Amazon And The CIA

One week ago, President Trump stood up at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council and accused China of attempting to tamper with US elections - mimicking some of the same allegations that had first been levied against Russia nearly two years prior. In his speech, Trump claimed that China was working to undermine Republicans, and even the president himself, warning that "it's not just Russia, it's China and Russia." While the media largely shrugged off this proclamation as more presidential bombast probably inspired by the burgeoning US-China trade beef, the administration continued to insist that it was taking a harder line against Chinese efforts to subvert American companies to aide the Communist Party's sprawling intelligence apparatus. As if to underline Trump's point, the FBI had arrested a Taiwanese national in Chicago the day before Trump's speech, accusing the 27-year-old suspect of trying to help China flip eight defense contractors who could have provided crucial intelligence on sensitive defense-related technology.

But in a game-changing report published Thursday morning, Bloomberg Businessweek exposed a sprawling multi-year investigation into China's infiltration of US corporate and defense infrastructure. Most notably, it confirmed that, in addition to efforts designed to sway US elections, China' intelligence community orchestrated a pervasive infiltration of servers used to power everything from MRI machines to the drones used by the CIA and army. They accomplished this using a tiny microchip no bigger than a grain of rice.

BBG published the report just hours before Vice President Mike Pence was expected to "string together a narrative of Chinese aggression" during a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington. According to excerpts leaked to the New York Times, his speech was expected to focus on examples of China's "aggressive moves against American warships, of predatory behavior against their neighbors, and of a sophisticated influence campaign to tilt the midterms and 2020 elections against President Trump". His speech is also expected to focus on how China leverages debt and its capital markets to force foreign governments to submit to its will (something that has happened in Bangladesh and the Czech Republic.

China

But while those narratives are certainly important, they pale in comparison to Bloomberg's revelations, which reported on an ongoing government investigation into China's use of a "tiny microchip" that found its way into servers that were widely used throughout the US military and intelligence infrastructure, from Navy warships to DoD server farms. The probe began three years ago after the US intelligence agencies were tipped off by Amazon. And three years later, it remains ongoing.

Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.

During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.

With those two paragraphs, Bloomberg has succeeded in shifting the prevailing narrative away from Russia and toward China. Or, as Pence is expected to state in Thursday's speech (via NYT) "as a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country."

The story begins with a Silicon Valley startup called Elemental. Founded in 2006 by three engineers who brilliantly anticipated that broadcasters would soon be searching for a way to adapt their programming for streaming over the Internet, and on mobile devices like smartphones, Elemental went about building a "dream team" of coders who designed software to adapt the super-fast graphics chips being designed for video gaming to stream video instead. The company then loaded this software on to special, custom-built servers emblazoned with its logo. These servers then sold for as much as $100,000 a pop - a markup of roughly 70%.  In 2009, the company received its first contract with US defense and intelligence contractors, and even received an investment from a CIA-backed venture fund.

  • Elemental also started working with American spy agencies. In 2009 the company announced a development partnership with In-Q-Tel Inc., the CIA’s investment arm, a deal that paved the way for Elemental servers to be used in national security missions across the U.S. government. Public documents, including the company’s own promotional materials, show that the servers have been used inside Department of Defense data centers to process drone and surveillance-camera footage, on Navy warships to transmit feeds of airborne missions, and inside government buildings to enable secure videoconferencing. NASA, both houses of Congress, and the Department of Homeland Security have also been customers. This portfolio made Elemental a target for foreign adversaries.

Like many other companies, Elementals' servers utilized motherboards built by Supermicro, which dominates the market for motherboards used in special-purpose computers. It was here, at Supermicro, where the government believes - according to Bloomberg's sources - that the infiltration began. Before it came to dominate the global market for computer motherboards, Supermicro had humble beginnings. A Taiwanese engineer and his wife founded the company in 1993, at a time when Silicon Valley was embracing outsourcing. It attracted clients early on with the promise of infinite customization, employing a massive team of engineers to make sure it could accommodate its clients' every need. Customers also appreciated that, while Supermicro's motherboards were assembled in China or Taiwan, its engineers were based in Silicon Valley. But the company's workforce featured one characteristic that made it uniquely attractive to China: A sizable portion of its engineers were native Mandarin speakers. One of Bloomberg's sources said the government is still investigating whether spies were embedded within Supermicro or other US companies).

But however it was done, these tiny microchips somehow found their way into Supermicro's products. Bloomberg provided a step-by-step guide detailing how it believes that happened.

  • A Chinese military unit designed and manufactured microchips as small as a sharpened pencil tip. Some of the chips were built to look like signal conditioning couplers, and they incorporated memory, networking capability, and sufficient processing power for an attack.
  • The microchips were inserted at Chinese factories that supplied Supermicro, one of the world’s biggest sellers of server motherboards.
  • The compromised motherboards were built into servers assembled by Supermicro.
  • The sabotaged servers made their way inside data centers operated by dozens of companies.
  • When a server was installed and switched on, the microchip altered the operating system’s core so it could accept modifications. The chip could also contact computers controlled by the attackers in search of further instructions and code.

In espionage circles, infiltrating computer hardware - especially to the degree that the Chinese did - is extremely difficult to pull off. And doing it at the nation-state level would be akin to "a unicorn jumping over a rainbow," as one of BBG's anonymous sources put it. But China's dominance of the market for PCs and mobile phones allows it a massive advantage.

One country in particular has an advantage executing this kind of attack: China, which by some estimates makes 75 percent of the world’s mobile phones and 90 percent of its PCs. Still, to actually accomplish a seeding attack would mean developing a deep understanding of a product’s design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location - a feat akin to throwing a stick in the Yangtze River upstream from Shanghai and ensuring that it washes ashore in Seattle. "Having a well-done, nation-state-level hardware implant surface would be like witnessing a unicorn jumping over a rainbow," says Joe Grand, a hardware hacker and the founder of Grand Idea Studio Inc. "Hardware is just so far off the radar, it’s almost treated like black magic."

But that’s just what U.S. investigators found: The chips had been inserted during the manufacturing process, two officials say, by operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army. In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.

Some more details from the report are summarized below:

The government found that the infiltration extended to nearly 30 companies, including Amazon and Apple.

  • One official says investigators found that it eventually affected almost 30 companies, including a major bank, government contractors, and the world’s most valuable company, Apple Inc. Apple was an important Supermicro customer and had planned to order more than 30,000 of its servers in two years for a new global network of data centers. Three senior insiders at Apple say that in the summer of 2015, it, too, found malicious chips on Supermicro motherboards. Apple severed ties with Supermicro the following year, for what it described as unrelated reasons.

Both Amazon and Apple denied having knowledge of the infiltration (Amazon eventually acquired Elemental and integrated it into its Amazon Prime Video service). Meanwhile, the Chinese government issued a conspicuous non-denial denial.

  • In emailed statements, Amazon (which announced its acquisition of Elemental in September 2015), Apple, and Supermicro disputed summaries of Bloomberg Businessweek’s reporting. "It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental," Amazon wrote. "On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, 'hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server," Apple wrote. "We remain unaware of any such investigation," wrote a spokesman for Supermicro, Perry Hayes. The Chinese government didn’t directly address questions about manipulation of Supermicro servers, issuing a statement that read, in part, "Supply chain safety in cyberspace is an issue of common concern, and China is also a victim." The FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, representing the CIA and NSA, declined to comment.

Bloomberg based its story on interviews with 17 anonymous sources, including 6 former government intelligence officials. One official told BBG that China's long-term goal was "long-term access" to sensitive government secrets.

  • In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information.
  • The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who - in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration - detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information.

One government official says China’s goal was long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks. No consumer data is known to have been stolen.

Notably, this revelation provides even more support to the Trump administration's insistence that the trade war with China was based on national security concerns. The hope is that more US companies will shift production of sensitive components back to the US.

  • The ramifications of the attack continue to play out. The Trump administration has made computer and networking hardware, including motherboards, a focus of its latest round of trade sanctions against China, and White House officials have made it clear they think companies will begin shifting their supply chains to other countries as a result. Such a shift might assuage officials who have been warning for years about the security of the supply chain—even though they’ve never disclosed a major reason for their concerns.

As one government official reminds us, the extent of this attack cannot be understated.

  • With more than 900 customers in 100 countries by 2015, Supermicro offered inroads to a bountiful collection of sensitive targets. "Think of Supermicro as the Microsoft of the hardware world," says a former U.S. intelligence official who’s studied Supermicro and its business model. "Attacking Supermicro motherboards is like attacking Windows. It’s like attacking the whole world."

But perhaps the most galling aspect of this whole scandal is that the Obama Administration should have seen it coming.

  • Well before evidence of the attack surfaced inside the networks of U.S. companies, American intelligence sources were reporting that China’s spies had plans to introduce malicious microchips into the supply chain. The sources weren’t specific, according to a person familiar with the information they provided, and millions of motherboards are shipped into the U.S. annually. But in the first half of 2014, a different person briefed on high-level discussions says, intelligence officials went to the White House with something more concrete: China’s military was preparing to insert the chips into Supermicro motherboards bound for U.S. companies.

And thanks to Obama having dropped the ball, China managed to pull off the most expansive infiltration of the global supply chain ever discovered by US intelligence.

  • But that’s just what U.S. investigators found: The chips had been inserted during the manufacturing process, two officials say, by operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army. In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies.

The inconspicuous-looking chips were disguised to look like regular components but they helped China open doors that "other hackers could go through" meaning China could potentially manipulate the systems being infiltrated (as a reminder, these chips were found in servers used in the US drone program).

  • The chips on Elemental servers were designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, according to one person who saw a detailed report prepared for Amazon by its third-party security contractor, as well as a second person who saw digital photos and X-ray images of the chips incorporated into a later report prepared by Amazon’s security team. Gray or off-white in color, they looked more like signal conditioning couplers, another common motherboard component, than microchips, and so they were unlikely to be detectable without specialized equipment. Depending on the board model, the chips varied slightly in size, suggesting that the attackers had supplied different factories with different batches.
  • Officials familiar with the investigation say the primary role of implants such as these is to open doors that other attackers can go through. “Hardware attacks are about access,” as one former senior official puts it. In simplified terms, the implants on Supermicro hardware manipulated the core operating instructions that tell the server what to do as data move across a motherboard, two people familiar with the chips’ operation say. This happened at a crucial moment, as small bits of the operating system were being stored in the board’s temporary memory en route to the server’s central processor, the CPU. The implant was placed on the board in a way that allowed it to effectively edit this information queue, injecting its own code or altering the order of the instructions the CPU was meant to follow. Deviously small changes could create disastrous effects.
  • Since the implants were small, the amount of code they contained was small as well. But they were capable of doing two very important things: telling the device to communicate with one of several anonymous computers elsewhere on the internet that were loaded with more complex code; and preparing the device’s operating system to accept this new code. The illicit chips could do all this because they were connected to the baseboard management controller, a kind of superchip that administrators use to remotely log in to problematic servers, giving them access to the most sensitive code even on machines that have crashed or are turned off.
  • This system could let the attackers alter how the device functioned, line by line, however they wanted, leaving no one the wiser. To understand the power that would give them, take this hypothetical example: Somewhere in the Linux operating system, which runs in many servers, is code that authorizes a user by verifying a typed password against a stored encrypted one. An implanted chip can alter part of that code so the server won’t check for a password—and presto! A secure machine is open to any and all users.

Shortly after the report was published, the US Department of Defense has scheduled a national-security related press conference for 9:30 am ET on Thursday. It didn't reveal the subject of the briefing, but the timing is certainly suspicious...

But regardless of what is said on Thursday, one thing probably won't change: Expect to hear a lot less about Russia, and a lot more about China as the deep state's interference myopic focus on the former shifts to the latter. As Kevin Warsh framed the question during a Thursday interview with CNBC where he asked "are we at the beginning of a 20-year Cold War?" in response to a question about curbing China's influence - both economically and defensively. We imagine we'll be hearing a lot more about the breach from senior US officials, including both the vice president and the president himself, in the very near future.

Published:10/4/2018 7:24:23 AM
[Brett Kavanaugh] The end is nigh (Scott Johnson) The FBI has completed its supplemental background investigation on Judge Kavanaugh. Senate Democrats have deployed their final set of talking points intended to protract the proceedings and defeat the nomination. If any Republican has not yet picked up the clues that these talking points have been pursued in transparent bad faith, he should have his mirror and crayons confiscated by the Senate Majority Leader. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley tweeted Published:10/4/2018 6:34:12 AM
[US News] Sen. Chuck Grassley, White House launch preemptive strikes on Dems mad about the FBI supplemental background file 

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley took to Twitter early this morning to explain how senators will review the supplemental FBI background file now that it has been received by Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Supplemental FBI background file for Judge Kavanaugh has been received by @senjudiciary Ranking Member Feinstein & I have agreed to […]

The post Sen. Chuck Grassley, White House launch preemptive strikes on Dems mad about the FBI supplemental background file  appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/4/2018 5:31:46 AM
[Markets] FBI Turns Over Completed Kavanaugh Report To White House

Hours after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a cloture vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh late Wednesday, a vote that would set Democrats up for an important procedural vote on Friday and a confirmation vote Saturday, the FBI has handed in to the White House its report on SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Reuters reported.

Kav

According to a White House spokesman, it's expected that the FBI will turn the report over to the Senate later in the day. Senators will then have the opportunity to review a single copy of the report, which will be located in a secure room, before the vote, per Bloomberg.

"All senators will be able to review the report over the next couple of days," McConnell’s office said in a statement.

With Republicans clinging to a razor-thin 51-49 majority and five senators — including three Republicans — still waffling on their final votes, the conservative jurist’s prospects of Senate confirmation remain in doubt and could potentially depend on the files' contents.

White House Spokesman Raj Shah pushed for a speedy vote even though senators have yet to review the report.

"Senators have been given ample time to review this seventh background investigation," Shah said in a statement posted to Twitter. "This is the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents. With this additional information, the White House is fully confident the Senate will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court."

 

With a vote looming, senators are under to make up their minds ahead of a make-or-break test vote.

 

Published:10/4/2018 4:33:09 AM
[Markets] Don't Count On The FBI To Clear Up The Kavanaugh-Ford Farce... Its Record Is Flawed

Authored by James Bovard, op-ed via USAToday.com,

The FBI has a history of mistakes, bias and cover-ups. It might take us beyond 'he said, she said' on Kavanaugh and Ford, but don't expect too much...

After last week’s explosive congressional hearing, the Senate and the Trump administration agreed to reopen the FBI background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Former FBI chief James Comey wrote Sunday that “the FBI is up for this” because it is “full” of "people who just want to figure out what’s true." 

But truth has often been a scarce commodity in FBI investigations. Consider these cases stretching back decades:

  • The chief of the FBI’s violent crimes section was sent to prison in 1997 for destroying a report criticizing FBI conduct in a 1992 showdown at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. A federal judge lambasted the FBI and Justice Department for misleading testimony and withholding key evidence in that landmark case.

  • When a 1993 FBI tank assault against the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, ended in an inferno, FBI officials emphatically denied that they had any link to the fire. After it was revealed six years later that the FBI tanks had fired pyrotechnic devices during the assault, Attorney General Janet Reno sent U.S. Marshals to seize Waco-related evidence at FBI headquarters.

A history of FBI screw-ups and bias

  • Solid investigations by FBI agents can vanish. A few days after the 9/11 attacks, FBI chief Robert Mueller declared that there were “no warning signs” of suspicious Arabs receiving pilot training in America — despite pre-9/11 reports by FBI agents in Phoenixand Minneapolis. Though the FBI is often venerated nowadays, a 2002 congressional report concluded that FBI incompetence and negligence helped make the United States “a sanctuary for radical terrorists.” 

  • After the worst terrorism attack since 9/11 left 49 people dead at an Orlando nightclub, FBI chief Comey promised in 2016 to "leave no stone unturned" and to work "in an open and honest way, and be transparent about it." But the federal case against the killer's widow collapsed this March after jurors belatedly learned that the killer's father was anFBI informant, and that there was a key falsehood in the confession produced by the FBI.

  • Last January, federal Judge Gloria Navarro slammed the FBI and Justice Department for withholding important evidence in the Bundy Ranch case (including the deployment of FBI snipers around the Bundy property), leading her to dismiss all federal charges.

  • In June, an inspector general report revealed that the FBI gave deference (including disregarding false statements) to Hillary Clinton's aides during the investigation of her email server. The FBI delayed speaking to Clinton until the end of the investigation and planned to absolve her “absent a confession from Clinton.” This Looney Tunes standard for resolving the controversy might have been partly the result of visceral anti-Trump bias by some FBI officials handling the probe.

The FBI has perennially exaggerated the quality of its evidence, almost always to the benefit of prosecutors. A 1997 inspector general report found that FBI lab experts provided court testimony "that appeared tailored to the most incriminating result" involving "speculation beyond (their) scientific expertise.” A 2004 National Academy of Sciences report concluded that decades of FBI court testimony matching bullets to specific firearms in thousands of homicide cases was “unreliable” and “misleading under federal rules of evidence."

The Washington Post reported in 2015 that flawed FBI trial testimony might have helped sentence 32 people to death. And the FBI helped convict a teenager for murder based on a DNA hair match; the defendant was released from prison 28 years later after a re-examination showed it was the hair of a dog.

FBI won't be voice of God on Kavanaugh

Despite past pratfalls, FBI agents might be able to take the Kavanaugh controversy slightly beyond its “he said, she said” and “somebody heard something” level. Exposing contradictions between witnesses and charges could smite a few of the many doubts permeating this case. But it would be naive to view an FBI executive summary of a stack of memos recapping FBI interviews as the voice of God. 

Americans should blame bipartisan shenanigans for this FBI rush job. The Trump White House wrongfully withheld from the Senate thousands of pages of Kavanaugh’s records from the Bush White House, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office may have leaked Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation just before the Senate vote on the nomination. Such chicanery almost ensures greater disdain for the Senate and the Supreme Court, regardless of the outcome of the Kavanaugh brouhaha.

Published:10/4/2018 4:00:52 AM
[Markets] Blasey Ford's Attorneys Fuming After McConnell Files Friday Cloture On Kavanaugh

Attorneys representing Christine Blasey Ford sharply condemned the FBI background investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh late Wednesday, after the agency signaled that their probe was over without interviewing Ford, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for a Friday cloture - a key procedural vote that will pave the way for Kavanaugh's final confirmation.

"An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford-- nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony-- cannot be called an investigation," said Ford's attorneys in a statement. "We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth."

Two senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee told Fox News on Wednesday that they've been instructed to plan on voting Sunday. 

Sources previously told Fox News that Senators and some aides would be able to start looking at the FBI’s background investigation on Thursday morning and that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would be given the first chance to look at the report.

The bureau's investigation, ordered last week by President Trump, was designed to look into allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Kavanaugh, who has been accused by three women of separate alleged incidents. Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come foward, testified before the Senate Judiciary last week about her claims. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations against him. -Fox News

On Wednesday night, President Trump tweeted: "Wow, such enthusiasm and energy for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Look at the Energy, look at the Polls. Something very big is happening. He is a fine man and great intellect. The country is with him all the way!" 

Earlier Wednesday we reported that the FBI was essentially finished with their supplemental report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, after which they will send a single copy to Capitol Hill where it will be held in a Senate Judiciary Committee safe, two senior Senate sources told Fox News

***

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Il), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that preparations are underway to review the report on Thursday, while Republicans are putting strict limits on the viewing. 

According to Durbin, the one copy will be taken from the safe and made available to senators - with each party taking turns viewing it in one-hour increments. 

Get this — one copy! For the United States Senate,” he said. “That’s what we were told. And we were also that we would be given one hour for the Dems, one hour for the Republicans. Alternating.

“We tried to reserve some time to read it. That is ridiculous,” he said. “One copy?!”

“Bizarre, it doesn’t make any sense,” he added. -The Hill

A senior Democratic aide confirmed the restrictive viewing conditions to The Hill, which notes that if all 100 senators decide to review the document and it takes each senator 30 minutes to read it, it could take up to 50 hours for the entire chamber to examine it. 

"Do the math," said Durbin. "That’s a lot of time."

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) says that Senators will be able to view the FBI report in the "secure compartmented information facility" in the Capitol Visitor Center, which is large enough to hold a large group of senators. Corker has urged Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to make several copies. 

Republican aides, however, say that alternating a single copy of an FBI background report between parties is typical practice for judicial nominees. 

Judiciary Committee Republicans on Tuesday tweeted out a 2009 memorandum of understanding stating that photocopying or other reproduction of the FBI background reports is prohibited.

It also states that notes and memoranda derived from the contents of the FBI background investigation reports may be made and shall be destroyed or secured in the same manner as the reports themselves.

Reports are considered confidential Senate Judiciary Committee documents and unauthorized disclosure of them is subject to punishment under the Senate rules. -The Hill

It is unclear whether any of the FBI report will be made public, however Senator John Thune (R-SD), the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, told Fox News that "some of it will probably make its way out into the public and into the mainstream." 

"But most importantly, at least right now, is that all senators who are going to have the responsibility to vote on this nomination have an opportunity to review it, assess it and come to their own conclusions about what’s in there."

And regardless of what the FBI concludes, we anticipate it won't satisfy Democrats, who are already up in arms over the fact that the agency didn't interview Kavanaugh accuser, Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh as part of the probe, with sources saying that their congressional testimony last week was sufficient. 

Published:10/4/2018 12:00:56 AM
[Markets] Creating A Suspect Society: The Scary Side Of The Technological Police State

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”—Philip K. Dick

It’s a given that Big Brother is always watching us.

Unfortunately, thanks to the government’s ongoing efforts to build massive databases using emerging surveillance, DNA and biometrics technologies, Big Brother (and his corporate partners in crime) is getting even creepier and more invasive, intrusive and stalker-like.

Indeed, every dystopian sci-fi film (and horror film, for that matter) we’ve ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science and technology, Big Business, and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful—but not without help from the citizenry.

On a daily basis, Americans are relinquishing (in many cases, voluntarily) the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to navigate an increasingly technologically-enabled world.

As journalist Anna Myers notes, “Fingerprint readers, eye scans, and voice recognition are no longer just the security methods of high-tech spy movies. Millions of mobile phone, bank, and investment customers now have these technologies at their fingertips. Schwab uses voice recognition, Apple uses fingerprints, Wells Fargo scans eyes, and other companies are developing heartbeat or grip technology to verify user identity. Whether biometric technology will thrive or meet its demise depends not only on the security of the technology, but also whether the U.S. legal system will adapt to provide the privacy protections necessary for consumers to use it and for companies to invest in its development. Currently there is no federal law and only one state with a law protecting biometric information.”

Translation: thus far, the courts have done little to preserve our rights in the face of technologies and government programs that have little respect for privacy or freedom.

Consider all the ways we continue to be tracked, hunted, hounded, and stalked by the government and its dubious agents:

By tapping into your phone lines and cell phone communications, the government knows what you say.

By uploading all of your emails, opening your mail, and reading your Facebook posts and text messages, the government knows what you write.

By monitoring your movements with the use of license plate readers, surveillance cameras and other tracking devices, the government knows where you go.

By churning through all of the detritus of your life—what you read, where you go, what you say—the government can predict what you will do.

By mapping the synapses in your brain, scientists—and in turn, the government—will soon know what you remember

By mapping your biometrics—your “face-print”—and storing the information in a massive, shared government database available to bureaucratic agencies, police and the military, the government’s goal is to use facial recognition software to identify you (and every other person in the country) and track your movements, wherever you go.

And by accessing your DNA, the government will soon know everything else about you that they don’t already know: your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your health history, your inclination to follow orders or chart your own course, etc.

Of course, none of these technologies are foolproof.

Nor are they immune from tampering, hacking or user bias.

Nevertheless, they have become a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to render null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Consequently, no longer are we “innocent until proven guilty” in the face of DNA evidence that places us at the scene of a crimebehavior sensing technology that interprets our body temperature and facial tics as suspicious, and government surveillance devices that cross-check our biometricslicense plates and DNA against a growing database of unsolved crimes and potential criminals.

Increasingly, we are all guilty until proven innocent as the government’s questionable acquisition and use of biometrics and DNA to identify individuals and “solve” crimes makes clear.

Indeed, for years now, the FBI and Justice Department have conspired to acquire near-limitless power and control over biometric information collected on law-abiding individuals, millions of whom have never been accused of a crime. 

Going far beyond the scope of those with criminal backgrounds, the FBI’s Next Generation Identification database (NGID), a billion dollar boondoggle that is aimed at dramatically expanding the government’s ID database from a fingerprint system to a vast data storehouse of iris scans, photos searchable with face recognition technology, palm prints, and measures of gait and voice recordings alongside records of fingerprints, scars, and tattoos.

Launched in 2008, the NGID is a massive biometric database that contains more than 100 million fingerprints and 45 million facial photos gathered from a variety of sources ranging from criminal suspects and convicts to daycare workers and visa applicants, including millions of people who have never committed or even been accused of a crime.

In other words, innocent American citizens are now automatically placed in a suspect database.

For a long time, the government was required to at least observe some basic restrictions on when, where and how it could access someone’s biometrics and DNA and use it against them. 

That is no longer the case.

The information is being amassed through a variety of routine procedures, with the police leading the way as prime collectors of biometrics for something as non-threatening as a simple moving violation. The nation’s courts are also doing their part to “build” the database, requiring biometric information as a precursor to more lenient sentences. And of course Corporate America has made it so easy to use one’s biometrics to access everything from bank accounts to cell phones.

We’ve made it so easy for the government to target, identify and track us—dead or alive.

It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

For instance, in March 2018, Florida police showed up at a funeral home, asked to see the corpse of 30-year-old Linus F. Phillip, and attempted to use the dead man’s finger to unlock his cell phone using his biometric fingerprint. (It turns out, cops unlocking cell phones with dead people’s fingerprints is now relatively common.)

In 2016, the Department of Justice secured a warrant allowing police to enter a California residence and “force anyone inside to use their biometric information to open their mobile devices.”

Two years earlier, in 2014, a Virginia court “declared it legal to use criminal suspects’ fingerprints to open up smartphones.”

This doesn’t even touch on the many ways in which the government is using our DNA against us, the Constitution be damned.

In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling in Raynor v. Maryland, which essentially determined that individuals do not have a right to privacy when it comes to their DNA.

Although Glenn Raynor, a suspected rapist, willingly agreed to be questioned by police, he refused to provide them with a DNA sample.

No problem: Police simply swabbed the chair in which Raynor had been sitting and took what he refused to voluntarily provide. Raynor’s DNA was a match, and the suspect became a convict. In refusing to hear the case, the U.S. Supreme Court gave its tacit approval for government agents to collect shed DNA, likening it to a person’s fingerprints or the color of their hair, eyes or skin.

Whereas fingerprint technology created a watershed moment for police in their ability to “crack” a case, DNA technology is now being hailed by law enforcement agencies as the magic bullet in crime solving. 

It’s what police like to refer to as a “modern fingerprint.” 

However, unlike a fingerprint, a DNA print reveals everything about “who we are, where we come from, and who we will be.”

With such a powerful tool at their disposal, it was inevitable that the government’s collection of DNA would become a slippery slope toward government intrusion.

Certainly, it was difficult enough trying to protect our privacy in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Maryland v. King that likened DNA collection to photographing and fingerprinting suspects when they are booked, thereby allowing the government to take DNA samples from people merely “arrested” in connection with “serious” crimes.

At that time, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that as a result of the Court’s ruling, “your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”

Now, Americans are vulnerable to the government accessing, analyzing and storing their DNA without their knowledge or permission.

As the dissenting opinion in Raynor for the Maryland Court of Appeals rightly warned, “a person desiring to keep her DNA profile private, must conduct her public affairs in a hermetically sealed hazmat suit.... The Majority’s holding means that a person can no longer vote, participate in a jury, or obtain a driver's license, without opening up his genetic material for state collection and codification.”

All 50 states now maintain their own DNA databases, although the protocols for collection differ from state to state. That DNA is also being collected in the FBI’s massive national DNA database, code-named CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), which was established as a way to identify and track convicted felons and has since become a de facto way to identify and track the American people from birth to death.

Indeed, hospitals have gotten in on the game by taking and storing newborn babies’ DNA, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent. It’s part of the government’s mandatory genetic screening of newborns. However, in many states, the DNA is stored indefinitely.

What this means for those being born today is inclusion in a government database that contains intimate information about who they are, their ancestry, and what awaits them in the future, including their inclinations to be followers, leaders or troublemakers.

For the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time before the government gets hold of our DNA, either through mandatory programs carried out in connection with law enforcement and corporate America, or through the collection of our “shed” or “touch” DNA.

While much of the public debate, legislative efforts and legal challenges in recent years have focused on the protocols surrounding when police can legally collect a suspect’s DNA (with or without a search warrant and whether upon arrest or conviction), the question of how to handle “shed” or “touch” DNA has largely slipped through without much debate or opposition.

Yet as scientist Leslie A. Pray notes:

We all shed DNA, leaving traces of our identity practically everywhere we go. Forensic scientists use DNA left behind on cigarette butts, phones, handles, keyboards, cups, and numerous other objects, not to mention the genetic content found in drops of bodily fluid, like blood and semen. In fact, the garbage you leave for curbside pickup is a potential gold mine of this sort of material. All of this shed or so-called abandoned DNA is free for the taking by local police investigators hoping to crack unsolvable cases. Or, if the future scenario depicted at the beginning of this article is any indication, shed DNA is also free for inclusion in a secret universal DNA databank.

What this means is that if you have the misfortune to leave your DNA traces anywhere a crime has been committed, you’ve already got a file somewhere in some state or federal database, albeit it may be a file without a name. 

In other words, you’re a suspect to be watched.

As Forensic magazine reports, “As officers have become more aware of touch DNA’s potential, they are using it more and more. Unfortunately, some [police] have not been selective enough when they process crime scenes. Instead, they have processed anything and everything at the scene, submitting 150 or more samples for analysis.”

Even old samples taken from crime scenes and “cold” cases are being unearthed and mined for their DNA profiles.

Today, helped along by robotics and automation, DNA processing, analysis and reporting takes far less time and can bring forth all manner of information, right down to a person’s eye color and relatives. Incredibly, one company specializes in creating “mug shots” for police based on DNA samples from unknown “suspects” which are then compared to individuals with similar genetic profiles.

If you haven’t yet connected the dots, let me point the way.

Having already used surveillance technology to render the entire American populace potential suspects, DNA technology in the hands of government will complete our transition to a suspect society in which we are all merely waiting to be matched up with a crime.

No longer can we consider ourselves innocent until proven guilty. Now we are all suspects in a DNA lineup until circumstances and science say otherwise.

Of course, there will be those who point to DNA’s positive uses in criminal justice, such as in those instances where it is used to absolve someone on death row of a crime he didn’t commit, and there is no denying its beneficial purposes at times.

However, as is the case with body camera footage and every other so-called technology that is hailed as a “check” on government abuses, in order for the average person—especially one convicted of a crime—to request and get access to DNA testing, they first have to embark on a costly, uphill legal battle through red tape and, even then, they are opposed at every turn by a government bureaucracy run by prosecutors, legislatures and law enforcement.

What this amounts to is a scenario in which we have little to no defense of against charges of wrongdoing, especially when “convicted” by technology, and even less protection against the government sweeping up our DNA in much the same way it sweeps up our phone calls, emails and text messages.

Yet if there are no limits to government officials being able to access your DNA and all that it says about you, then where do you draw the line?

As technology makes it ever easier for the government to tap into our thoughts, our memories, our dreams, suddenly the landscape becomes that much more dystopian.

With the entire governmental system shifting into a pre-crime mode aimed at detecting and pursuing those who “might” commit a crime before they have an inkling, let alone an opportunity, to do so, it’s not so far-fetched to imagine a scenario in which government agents (FBI, local police, etc.) target potential criminals based on their genetic disposition to be a “troublemaker” or their relationship to past dissenters.

Equally disconcerting: if scientists can, using DNA, track salmon across hundreds of square miles of streams and rivers, how easy will it be for government agents to not only know everywhere we’ve been and how long we were at each place but collect our easily shed DNA and add it to the government’s already burgeoning database?

It’s not just yourself you have to worry about, either.

It’s also anyone related to you who can be connected by DNA.

These genetic fingerprints, as they’re called, do more than just single out a person. They also show who you’re related to and how. As the Associated Press reports, “DNA samples that can help solve robberies and murders could also, in theory, be used to track down our relatives, scan us for susceptibility to disease, or monitor our movements.”

Capitalizing on this, police in California, Colorado, Virginia and Texas use DNA found at crime scenes to identify and target family members for possible clues to a suspect’s whereabouts.

Who will protect your family from being singled out for “special treatment” simply because they’re related to you? As biomedical researcher Yaniv Erlich warns, “If it’s not regulated and the police can do whatever they want ... they can use your DNA to infer things about your health, your ancestry, whether your kids are your kids.”

For that matter, how do you protect yourself against having your DNA extracted, your biometrics scanned and the most intimate details of who you are—your biological footprint—uploaded into a government database? 

What recourse do you have when that information, taken against your will, is shared, stolen, sold or compromised, as it inevitably will be in this age of hackers? We know that databases can be compromised. We’ve seen it happen to databases kept by health care companies, motor vehicle agencies, financial institutions, retailers and intelligence agencies such as the NSA.

And what about those cases in which the technology proved to be wrong, either through human error or tampering?

It happens more often than we are told.

For example, David Butler spent eight months in prison for a murder he didn’t commit after his DNA was allegedly found on the murder victim and surveillance camera footage placed him in the general area the murder took place. Conveniently, Butler’s DNA was on file after he had voluntarily submitted it during an investigation years earlier into a robbery at his mother’s home.

The case seemed cut and dried to everyone but Butler who proclaimed his innocence.

Except that the DNA evidence and surveillance footage was wrong: Butler was innocent.

That Butler’s DNA was supposedly found on the victim’s nails was attributed to three things: one, Butler was a taxi driver “and so it was possible for his DNA to be transferred from his taxi via money or another person, onto the murder victim”; two, Butler had a rare skin condition causing him to shed flakes of skin—i.e., more DNA to spread around, much more so than the average person; and three, police wanted him to be the killer, despite the fact that “the DNA sample was only a partial match, of poor quality, and experts at the time said they could neither say that he was guilty nor rule him out.”

Unfortunately, we now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed, convicted and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. 

This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.

While the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent government officials from searching an individual’s person or property without a warrant and probable cause—evidence that some kind of criminal activity was afoot—the founders could scarcely have imagined a world in which we needed protection against widespread government breaches of our privacy on a cellular level.

Yet that’s exactly what we are lacking.

Once again, technology has outdistanced both our understanding of it and our ability to adequately manage the consequences of unleashing it on an unsuspecting populace.

In the end, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what all of this amounts to is a carefully crafted campaign designed to give the government access to and control over what it really wants: you.

Published:10/3/2018 11:34:32 PM
[Markets] The Wall Street Journal: Procedural vote on Kavanagh set for Friday, final vote could come Saturday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a Friday procedural vote on Brett Kavanaugh as senators prepared to scrutinize an FBI report into allegations of sexual assault against the Supreme Court nominee.
Published:10/3/2018 10:33:00 PM
[Markets] Senators set to review Kavanaugh FBI investigation Thursday, may vote Saturday Senators set to review Kavanaugh FBI investigation Thursday, may vote Saturday Published:10/3/2018 9:29:00 PM
[Politics] McConnell: No All-Senate Briefing On FBI Kavanaugh Probe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shot down New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer's request to have the FBI brief all senators about its report on sex assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In a letter Wednesday to the Senate... Published:10/3/2018 8:05:10 PM
[Markets] 'Neighborhoods Are Crying Out': Baltimore Is Nation's Deadliest Big City, Says FBI

Baltimore continues its descent into chaos. The Democratic Party has been asleep at Baltimore City Hall for nearly five decades, as the now de-industrialized region had the highest homicide rate among the nation’s 50 largest cities (population over 500,000) last year and the second-highest violent crime rate overall, according to new crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Since the American High (the late 1960s), the city's population has been halved. Baltimore was once at the center of American ingenuity for its massive steel manufacturing plants -- but not so much anymore. The city has been rotting from within for decades. When one thinks of Baltimore today, automatically The Wire, 2015 riots, and murders come to mind.

According to The Baltimore Sun, the city has sustained a vicious upcycle in violent crime since 2015, when the per annum number of homicides soared well above 300 for three consecutive years after civil unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s death from injuries suffered in police custody.

On Monday, the FBI published a new report that showed Baltimore had the highest per capita homicide rate (56 per 100,000) not just in the city's history, but the highest rate of any American city with more than 500,000 people.

"Sometimes it does seem, I won’t say hopeless, but there are neighborhoods that are crying out," said Councilman John Bullock, whose West and Southwest city districts have experienced the worst violence in America. Opioids and homicides are all too common in that part of town.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said Tuesday that her team has been attempting to stomp out the homicides by targeting the causes: extreme wealth, health, and education inequality that fuels black market drug trade.

"Our efforts to reduce violent crime are producing clear results," Pugh said. "Crime is declining in every category."

Pugh told The Baltimore Sun that some high-risk neighborhoods under the Violence Reduction Initiative had seen reductions in crime. Such areas receive much-needed resources, ranging from new street lights to low wage jobs.

"We are not satisfied and are determined to reduce crime and violence much more," Pugh said. "One murder in Baltimore is one murder too many. But I am convinced that by addressing the root causes that give rise to hopelessness and eventually to criminal activity, we will make Baltimore safer for all residents."

On the FBI's list, Detroit had the highest overall violent crime rate for 2017, and ranked number two in homicides, with 40 per 100,000 people. Memphis, Tenn., followed (28 homicides per 100,000), then Chicago (24 per 100,000), Philadelphia (20 per 100,000) and Milwaukee (20 per 100,000).

With nine months of the year in the bag, there were 216 homicides in Baltimore, which is down 16 percent compared to last year.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said the FBI report was "shocking and disappointing, but it doesn’t come as a complete surprise."

Violence in Baltimore is "something we’ve been focused on from day one," Hogan said.

"We just passed some tough, new crime laws that are going to take effect Oct. 1, tougher sentences for people who commit gun crimes, tougher sentences on repeat violent offenses. I’ve been criticizing judges for lenient sentences and letting repeat violent offenders out," he said. 

Despite a slight reduction in this year's homicides, the governor called crime in Baltimore a "problem that's not going away."

"The city’s got to invest more," Hogan said. "The mayor’s got to be more focused. We’re going to continue to back them up as much as we possibly can."

City Councilman Brandon Scott, said city officials should compare this year's crime decline to post 2015 riots (<300 people killed per anum).

Scott, who chairs the Council’s Public Safety Committee, said the current levels of violent crime cannot be accepted.

"The new normal should be the opposite," he said. "The new normal should be us beating those record levels we saw a few years ago."

A significant contributor to the chaos in Baltimore is the racial wealth divide. JPM profiled Baltimore in a 2017 report that specified wealth inequality has a multitude of ramifications for communities and families. Racial economic inequality in Baltimore is very similar to the nation.

As for the homicides in Baltimore, well, the upcycle is not going away anytime soon, and it is likely to spread or amplify in other American cities, as long as the government and the Federal Reserve continue pushing flawed Keynesian policies that have produced the widest wealth inequalities in modern history.

To sum up, the system is broken and chaos in Baltimore is the end result.

 

Published:10/3/2018 6:57:51 PM
[The Blog] Katz: The FBI can have therapist notes, polygraph data when they interview Dr. Ford

"Your continued withholding of material evidence despite multiple requests is unacceptable..."

The post Katz: The FBI can have therapist notes, polygraph data when they interview Dr. Ford appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/3/2018 6:28:16 PM
[2018 News] ‘Christine Ford threw her under the bus.’ Strained ‘sex assault’ witness Leland Keyser is seen for the first time as close family member confirms she did NOT corroborate school friend Ford’s story to FBI ‘Christine Ford threw her under the bus.’ Strained ‘sex assault’ witness Leland Keyser is seen for the first time as close family member confirms she did NOT corroborate school friend Ford’s story to FBI. Yet another lie from Doctor Ford. There’s enough now that we’re losing track. Christine Ford’s high school friend, Leland Keyser, was […] Published:10/3/2018 6:00:18 PM
[US News] THERE it is! Dianne Feinstein’s already discrediting an FBI report she hasn’t read, steps on her own rake again

"We're moving those goal posts" again!

The post THERE it is! Dianne Feinstein’s already discrediting an FBI report she hasn’t read, steps on her own rake again appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/3/2018 4:59:20 PM
[FBI] Why the FBI’s Kavanaugh Investigation is a Minefield—for the FBI Partisans on both sides should not expect bombshells. Investigations aren’t magic and FBI agents aren’t magicians. Published:10/3/2018 4:59:20 PM
[Markets] After 17 Months, The Mueller Probe Is Finally Winding Down.

The Mueller probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government has continued long past its expected termination date (it was initially expected that the probe wouldn't last more than a year from Mueller's appointment in May 2017). And with the mid-term elections roughly one month away, signs that the probe is winding down are finally starting to emerge. As the Associated Press reported on Wednesday, several members of Mueller's team of prosecutors have been reassigned back to various divisions of the Department of Justice, while Mueller's increasing reliance on outside prosecutors suggests that he has been narrowing the probe's focus.

Mueller

While the grand jury inquiry into Roger Stone is still ongoing, Mueller is refocusing on two key threads of his probe: The original allegations of collusion, as well as allegations that President Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Besides the grand jury inquiry into Stone, other elements of the Mueller investigation remain active, including inquiries into whether the president took action to obstruct the probe and the central unresolved question of whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election.

But after a series of indictments and high-profile plea deals with Trump associates in recent months, Mueller's shown signs of narrowing his focus, referring cases to other offices of the Justice Department, letting other U.S. attorneys largely take over cases he brought and allowing prosecutors to leave his team without replacement.

As the AP reports, two prosecutors assigned to the Russia investigation are returning to their duties at DOJ, joining two others who left the probe over the summer.

They are:

  • Brandon Van Grack: Grack was one of the prosecutors responsible for securing a guilty plea from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn: He has already returned to the Justice Department's national security division, but will continue to be involved in the Flynn case. Flynn is expected to be sentenced in December.

  • Kyle Freeny: Freeny will end her involvement with the probe later this month and return to the DOJ's money laundering division. Both Freeny and Grack aided in the prosecution of Paul Manafort.

  • Ryan Dickey: Dickey, a computer crimes specialist, aided in the investigation of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian social media troll farm accused of masterminding Russia's attempt to "sow discord" among the US public via social media. He also worked on the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the DNC and Clinton Campaign. 

  • Brian Richardson: Richardson was part of a team that prosecuted former Skadden Arps attorney Alex van der Zwaan for lying to the FBI while they were investigating Manafort and others involved in his Ukrainian work.

To be sure, existing case law suggests that a sitting president most likely cannot be indicted. But it's widely expected that Mueller will produce a final report detailing his findings once his probe has concluded. Last month, Mueller's team made two serious concessions to Trump, offering to allow the president (or rather, his lawyers) to answer questions in writing, and promising to keep those questions focused on the Russian collusion element of the probe, instead of asking that Trump sit for an interview. Then again, subpoenaing the president to try and force an interview likely would have triggered a lengthy legal battle that likely would have ended in front of the Supreme Court.

 

Published:10/3/2018 4:59:20 PM
[US News] MORE conditions? Christine Blasey Ford happy to hand over evidence to FBI WHEN they interview her

We thought they wanted a thorough investigation, so why hold evidence hostage?

The post MORE conditions? Christine Blasey Ford happy to hand over evidence to FBI WHEN they interview her appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/3/2018 3:58:48 PM
[Politics] Pentagon: Substance in Suspicious Letters Castor Seeds One of the four envelopes had a return address, which the FBI is now pursuing as a lead. Published:10/3/2018 3:58:48 PM
[Politics] Grassley says FBI report on Kavanaugh “VERY CLOSE!” Chuck Grassley told reporters that from what he’s being told by people in the know, the FBI report on Kavanaugh is “very close”: POLITICO – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said . . . Published:10/3/2018 1:58:02 PM
[The Blog] Flake: No, the FBI doesn’t need to look into Kavanaugh’s drinking; Update: Report this afternoon?

“The Senate will vote on this nomination this week.”

The post Flake: No, the FBI doesn’t need to look into Kavanaugh’s drinking; Update: Report this afternoon? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/3/2018 1:26:10 PM
[Politics] Grassley says FBI report on Kavanaugh “VERY CLOSE!” Chuck Grassley told reporters that from what he’s being told by people in the know, the FBI report on Kavanaugh is “very close”: POLITICO – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said . . . Published:10/3/2018 1:26:10 PM
[Markets] FBI Lacks Approval To Interview Kavanaugh Or Ford; Senate Testimony Deemed "Sufficient" 

The FBI hasn't interviewed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, according to Bloomberg, citing "two people with knowledge of the matter," who added that the agency doesn't have clear authority from the White House to do so. 

Instead, Ford's testimony that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high school party in 1982 was deemed "sufficient," according to the sources who asked not to be identified. 

The White House on Monday reportedly instructed the FBI to expand their investigation.

In a Tuesday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Ford's attorneys said that the FBI still hadn't contacted them after five days since the Judiciary Committee and White House announced that the FBI had been directed to conduct a supplemental investigation into Ford's claims. 

"We have received no response from anyone involved in this investigation, and no response to our offer for Dr. Ford to be interviewed. This afternoon, we learned of media reports that the FBI does not intend to interview either Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh. We hope this reporting is inaccurate," reads the letter. 

During Tuesday's White House press briefing, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted: 

As we've said several times, the President indicated that whoever the FBI deems necessary to interview, he's fine with that, but he's also asked that the Senate be the ones that determine the scope of what they need in order to make a decision on whether they vote Kavanaugh up or down. I can also tell you, both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford were questioned in the most public way possible by the members of the Senate who are ultimately the ones who have to make the determination on whether or not they vote for Judge Kavanaugh. If they have additional questions for either one of them, they had a time and an opportunity certainly to ask those.

The FBI probe, which is expected to conclude on Wednesday, while the report won't be released to the public according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 

"We'll get an FBI report soon. It will be made available to each senator and only senators will be allowed to look at it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, adding "That's the way these reports are always handled." 

An FBI investigation was launched after Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) derailed Kavanaugh's confirmation by refusing to vote "yes" pending a probe demanded by Senate Democrats.

The White House and Republican senators asked the FBI to reopen a background investigation on Kavanaugh the day after Flake's line in the sand, as Flake and two other GOP senators remain undecided on Kavanaugh's confirmation pending the results of the FBI's investigation. 

Published:10/3/2018 1:00:37 PM
[Markets] Watch Live: White House Holds First Press Briefing In Weeks; Kavanaugh In Spotlight

The White House is holding its first on-camera press briefing since September 10, according to Bloomberg White House reporter Jennifer Epstein. 

The focus will undoubtedly be on the Kavanaugh confirmation circus playing out between the House Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh accusers, GOP holdouts spearheaded by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and the FBI - which is slated to conclude its brief investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the Supreme Court nominee. 

White House reporters are sure to ask press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Trump mocking Kavanaugh accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, at a Mississippi rally Tuesday night - drawing wide criticism from both sides of the aisle. 

Also in focus is sure to be a Tuesday story from the New York Times accusing the Trump family of engaging in "questionable" and "dubious" tax strategies, "including instances of outright fraud" that greatly increased the fortune Trump inherited from his father, Fred Trump. 

The White House responded Tuesday night, with Sarah Sanders noting: "Fred Trump has been gone for nearly twenty years and it's sad to witness this misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times," adding "Many decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions."

Watch: 

Published:10/3/2018 12:03:40 PM
[The Blog] NBC: FBI leaving “dozens of potential sources of information” outside of Kavanaugh probe

Whiplash.

The post NBC: FBI leaving “dozens of potential sources of information” outside of Kavanaugh probe appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/3/2018 11:26:20 AM
[Politics] Christine Ford’s friend REFUSES to back Ford allegations against Kavanaugh with FBI The woman that Christine Ford suggests is her good friend still refused to back her story when interviewed by the FBI over the weekend. She says she doesn’t know Kavanaugh and has . . . Published:10/3/2018 10:59:16 AM
[Trump Administration] Watch Live: White House Press Briefing with Sarah Sanders

By R. Mitchell -

Sarah Huckabee Sanders - 13

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a briefing to update the media on the events and issues of the day including: Sec. Pompeo’s press conference on Iran U.N. decision against U.S. Sanctions on Iran New York Times article on Trump taxes Update Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation FBI supplemental background ...

Watch Live: White House Press Briefing with Sarah Sanders is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:10/3/2018 10:59:16 AM
[US News] NEW: Friend denies Dr. Ford helped her with polygraph exam, but questions remain

Just to update you on a story that was posted last night, Monica McLean, a retired FBI agent and friend of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, denied that she received any “assistance whatsoever in connection with a polygraph exam”: New: Ford’s team releases statement from Monica McLean, the Ford friend cited in an ex-boyfriend’s anonymous statement […]

The post NEW: Friend denies Dr. Ford helped her with polygraph exam, but questions remain appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/3/2018 10:27:13 AM
[Politics] Christine Ford’s friend REFUSES to back Ford allegations against Kavanaugh with FBI The woman that Christine Ford suggests is her good friend still refused to back her story when interviewed by the FBI over the weekend. She says she doesn’t know Kavanaugh and has . . . Published:10/3/2018 10:27:13 AM
[] The Morning Rant "So, are we to understand that in his long, sordid history of drinking and boofing and raping and boofing (a history that 6 FBI investigations somehow failed to discover), Brett Kavanaugh managed to select only Democratic women to rape and... Published:10/3/2018 10:27:12 AM
[Politics] NBC News asks Jeff Flake if it bothers him that the FBI hasn’t interviewed Christine Ford – [VIDEO] Christine Ford and her attorneys are very upset that the FBI hasn’t interviewed her and the media is most certainly playing along. This morning NBC’s Today Show asked Jeff Flake if it . . . Published:10/3/2018 8:56:18 AM
[Politics] NBC News asks Jeff Flake if it bothers him that the FBI hasn’t interviewed Christine Ford – [VIDEO] Christine Ford and her attorneys are very upset that the FBI hasn’t interviewed her and the media is most certainly playing along. This morning NBC’s Today Show asked Jeff Flake if it . . . Published:10/3/2018 8:56:18 AM
[Politics] Continetti: Senate Swing Votes Will Vote on Kavanaugh Based on FBI Investigation Outcome

The post Continetti: Senate Swing Votes Will Vote on Kavanaugh Based on FBI Investigation Outcome appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/2/2018 7:52:59 PM
[In The News] Report: Possible End Date For Kavanaugh Investigation Sooner Than You Think

By DCNF -

The FBI investigation into sex assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh could end as soon as Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Report: Possible End Date For Kavanaugh Investigation Sooner Than You Think is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:10/2/2018 7:52:58 PM
[The Blog] McConnell: The FBI’s report on Kavanaugh won’t be shared with the public

"We'll be voting this week."

The post McConnell: The FBI’s report on Kavanaugh won’t be shared with the public appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/2/2018 7:22:03 PM
[Markets] Kavanaugh FBI Report Won't Be Released To Public: McConnell

The results of a recently opened FBI investigation into claims of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh will be made available to the Senate, but not the public, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 

"We'll get an FBI report soon. It will be made available to each senator and only senators will be allowed to look at it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday, adding "That's the way these reports are always handled." 

An FBI investigation was launched after Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) derailed Kavanaugh's confirmation by refusing to vote "yes" pending a probe demanded by Senate Democrats.

The White House and Republican senators asked the FBI to reopen a background investigation on Kavanaugh the day after Flake's line in the sand, as Flake and two other GOP senators remain undecided on Kavanaugh's confirmation pending the results of the FBI's investigation. 

Ford detailed her accusations during dramatic testimony last week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that Kavanaugh pushed her onto a bed and began to grope her. She says she was able to get away when Kavanaugh's friend, Mark Ford, jumped on the bed and sent them flying. 

The FBI will reportedly conclude their probe by Wednesday according to the Wall Street Journal, in a Tuesday report that hit just minutes after Ford's lawyers sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray claiming that their client had yet to be interviewed. 

"it has been five days and no interview yet?" reads the letter. 

That said, other reports have already proclaimed that Ford's testimony at the last week was sufficient, which, as WSJ reports, means this may be over by tomorrow...

People familiar with the process said Tuesday that the FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh could wrap up very soon, well ahead of the end-of week deadline.  

GOP aides on the Hill and another person familiar with the process said they were expecting the bureau to conclude its report as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Agents had interviewed at least four key people as of Tuesday in its background investigation of Judge Kavanaugh. The White House had given the bureau until Friday to wrap up the probe.

Senators would then be shown the FBI's findings, but it wasn't clear if the public would get a look as well.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on Tuesday the report was expected "soon" and "will be made available to each senator and only senators will be allowed to look at it."

And after that - the big debate will be whether it is made public...

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) said that in his 38 years on the Senate, "an FBI report, as far as I know, has never been made public" and that it could hurt the FBI in future investigations if the report was made public.

The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said "it depends" and she thinks a report it "should be limited" to the committee. She said in her past experience that is what has been done, but she was not clear on the format the FBI would release the results of its investigation.

So after the entire edge-of-the-seat public circus, it appears that the FBI isn't going to interview Ford, and whatever they conclude won't be made public unless some Senator leaks it. 

Published:10/2/2018 6:51:51 PM
[US News] ‘Inconceivable’: Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers contact FBI directly demanding she be interviewed

So now Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers are trying to tell the FBI how to conduct its investigation.

The post ‘Inconceivable’: Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers contact FBI directly demanding she be interviewed appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/2/2018 4:53:12 PM
[Markets] FBI Has No Plans To Interview Dr. Ford In Kavanaugh Probe: Reports

With Arizona Senator Jeff Flake waffling over whether he will ultimately vote to confirm Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh, NBC News - the news organization that Lindsey Graham has accused of colluding with Democrats to sabotage Kavanaugh's nomination - has confirmed that the FBI will not interview Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as part of its expanded background-check probe into Kavanaugh.

Though many suspected this was the case when the bureau neglected to reach out to Ford over the weekend, the way NBC tells it, this fact could become ammunition for Democrats who are seeking a further delay of a confirmation vote.

Kav

Using phrasing which suggests that the White House is still working to constrain the Kavanaugh probe despite Trump repeatedly insisting that the opposite is true, NBC reported that the administration believes "Ford's public testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was sufficient and the FBI would be wasting its time speaking to her again about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said a source familiar with the Trump administration's thinking."

NBC also cited legal and law enforcement experts saying that interviewing Ford should be a crucial step in "thorough and serious" investigation. 

But legal and law enforcement experts say there is much to be learned from interviewing a witness in a private setting by professional investigators who have had the opportunity to ask other witnesses about the allegations.

Critics, including Senate Democrats, have accused the White House of hampering the FBI's probe of the sexual assault allegation and additional sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh in order to push through his confirmation.

"If the FBI is permitted to do a thorough, serious, and professional investigation - as it is certainly capable of doing - and if agents discover additional facts as a result of that investigation, those facts could help confirm or refute statements made by Dr. Ford or Judge Kavanaugh," said Chuck Rosenberg, former FBI legal counsel and an NBC News analyst.

"Those facts would also be helpful if either is interviewed by the FBI, because additional information can help refresh memories or demonstrate inconsistencies. The more facts, the better, because more facts move you closer to the truth."

They also pointed out that prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who questioned Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, said that the five-minute increments for questioning Ford was not ideal.

In summary, expect Democrats to declare that this latest miscarriage of justice is an outrage that justifies another week-long delay of Kavanaugh's confirmation. Or even that lawmakers should revisit the issue after the midterms.

Published:10/2/2018 3:52:02 PM
[Kavanaugh] FBI’s Previous Probes Would Have Looked Into Kavanaugh’s Drinking

Previous FBI background checks should have determined whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had a substance abuse problem, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told reporters... Read More

The post FBI’s Previous Probes Would Have Looked Into Kavanaugh’s Drinking appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:10/2/2018 3:21:18 PM
[Politics] McConnell says FBI report will NOT be available to public Mitch McConnell says that the FBI report on Kavanaugh will only be available to Senators and will not be made public. This is how they are usually handled McConnell says: Despite calls . . . Published:10/2/2018 3:21:18 PM
[Politics] McConnell says FBI report will NOT be available to public Mitch McConnell says that the FBI report on Kavanaugh will only be available to Senators and will not be made public. This is how they are usually handled McConnell says: Despite calls . . . Published:10/2/2018 3:21:18 PM
[Politics] MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell: Should FBI Investigate Whether Kavanaugh Was ‘Rude or Showed Belligerence to Senators?’

The post MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell: Should FBI Investigate Whether Kavanaugh Was ‘Rude or Showed Belligerence to Senators?’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/2/2018 3:21:18 PM
[US News] WHOA NELLY! Harvard/Harris poll about Kavanaugh investigation is BAD for Dems, WORSE for Dianne Feinstein

We’re starting to think this whole FBI investigating Brett Kavanaugh thing isn’t going the way Democrats had hoped it would. Beyond even that, it would seem optics, in general, are bad for Democrats but even worse for Dianne Feinstein. Keep in mind the poll we’re sharing here isn’t from Fox News or any other conservative-leaning […]

The post WHOA NELLY! Harvard/Harris poll about Kavanaugh investigation is BAD for Dems, WORSE for Dianne Feinstein appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/2/2018 2:54:39 PM
[Politics] GOP Senator: Criminal Referral Should Be Sent for Swetnick’s ‘Apparently False Affidavit’ Submitted by Avenatti

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) tweeted on Tuesday that a "criminal referral should be sent to the FBI" after Julie Swetnick backtracked on some allegations she levied against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a sworn statement.

The post GOP Senator: Criminal Referral Should Be Sent for Swetnick’s ‘Apparently False Affidavit’ Submitted by Avenatti appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/2/2018 2:32:54 PM
[US News] ‘What a FRAUD’! Dianne Feinstein’s take on FBI’s Kavanaugh report suggests the Dems’ jig is officially UP

"Dems don't want the public to know what bullsh*t this whole thing has been, do they."

The post ‘What a FRAUD’! Dianne Feinstein’s take on FBI’s Kavanaugh report suggests the Dems’ jig is officially UP appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/2/2018 1:20:30 PM
[Markets] Trump Warns It's A "Very Scary Time" In America... For Men

Following his outspoken remarks on the Kavanaugh allegations and the confirmation process yesterday, President Trump stopped briefly to talk to reporters on the South Lawn before leaving the White House today.

"It’s a very scary situation when you’re guilty until proven innocent,” the president told reporters as he departed the White House on Tuesday.

“It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. This is a very difficult time.”

Trump explained that men whose behavior is “exemplary” for their entire lives are presumed to be guilty should women accuse them of sexual misconduct.

"What's happening here has much more to do that even the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice...

You could be someone that was perfect your entire life, and someone could accuse you of something - doesn't necessarily have to be a woman - and you're now automatically guilty until proven innocent."

"That's one of the very very bad things that's happening right now."

As The Hill notes, Trump's comments are likely to fuel the firestorm surrounding Kavanaugh's nomination and renew questions about his attitude toward the "Me Too" movement.

Nineteen women have accused the president of sexual misconduct or said they’ve had an extramarital affair with him. Trump has denied all of the allegations.

Asked by reporters on Tuesday whether he had a message for American women, Trump said: “Women are doing great.”

The president concluded by noting that he hopes for a “positive” vote in the Senate this week for Kavanaugh, but it will "be dependent on what comes back for the FBI.”

Published:10/2/2018 1:20:30 PM
[Markets] Flake May Vote "No" On Kavanaugh Regardless Of FBI Findings

GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona may not vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh regardless of the outcome of an FBI investigation he demanded last week, according to The Atlantic

Speaking with Jeffrey Rosen, the president of the Constitution Center, and Democratic Senator Chris Coons at The Atlantic Festival on Tuesday morning, Flake called the judge’s interactions with lawmakers “sharp and partisan.”

We can’t have that on the Court,” said the Arizona senator, who didn’t elaborate on which interactions he was referring to.

Flake’s “gentleman’s agreement” with Coons, from Delaware, led to the FBI reopening its investigation into Kavanaugh late last week. The bureau is examining the sexual-assault allegations of Christine Blasey Ford, who also testified on Thursday. -The Atlantic

Elaina Plott of The Atlantic caught up with Flake as he left the event and asked him if his comments meant that he would not vote for Kavanaugh, "even if the FBI cleared him by week's end." 

Flake "appeared rattled, and his handlers rushed him into the stairwell" reports Plott. 

"I didn’t say that …" he stammered. "I wasn’t referring to him." 

Meanwhile, Flake has appeared to waffle in recent days over whether or not he will vote to confirm Kavinaugh. In a late Friday night interview with McCay Coppins of The Atlantic, Flake said he remained "unsettled" by the lack of clarity contained within the allegations - and instead pivoted to Democrat Chris Coons's idea for the FBI investigation. 

"If it was anybody else, I wouldn’t have taken it as seriously. But I know Chris. … We trust each other," said Flake. "And I thought, if we could actually get something like what he was asking for—an investigation limited in time, limited in scope—we could maybe bring a little unity."

On stage Tuesday morning, Coons and Flake both expressed dismay about the partisan brawling over Supreme Court nominees. Coons called for “reduc[ing] the frequency with which we describe judges as wearing red or blue jerseys.” He argued that senators need to commit to reviving the practice of confirming nominees based on their qualifications, not ideology.

Speaking about politics more broadly, Flake echoed that sentiment: “We’ve got to come to a point again where failure to compromise … is punished at the ballot box, rather than rewarded.”

Is flake the most powerful lame duck politician in Washington right now? On Sunday, he admitted to 60 Minutes that he wouldn't have thrown the Kavanaugh confirmation into disarray if he was running for office again. 

In other words, Flake knows his actions don't reflect what his Republican constituency would prefer, and he doesn't care. 

Published:10/2/2018 12:23:16 PM
[Politics] Whitehouse: I’m ‘Satisfied’ With Scope of FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh

The post Whitehouse: I’m ‘Satisfied’ With Scope of FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/2/2018 11:23:20 AM
[Markets] GoFundMe Accounts For Kavanaugh And Ford Top $1 Million

GoFundMe campaigns established for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, have raked in over $1 million combined. 

Ford, who lives in a $3.3 million Palo Alto home and has had free legal representation by attorneys has a combined GoFundMe "take" of more than $700,000 between two campaigns. 

Kavanaugh, meanwhile, is likely to become the "poorest" Supreme Court justice with a mere $1.2 million home purchased in 2006 that has a mortgage of $865,000. His GoFundMe account, established by John Hawkins of Right Wing News, has reached over $500,000 of its $550,000 goal. 

Last week Kavanaugh and Ford both testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee over allegations by Ford that the Supreme Court nominee held her down and groped her at a high school party in 1982. Ford's account of the party is lacking in key details - however all of the individuals she named as having been in attendance have no memory of the event

On Tuesday the FBI has confirmed those individuals' accounts, after lame-duck GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona sabotaged Kavanaugh's confirmation by refusing to vote "yes" pending the results of an FBI investigation. Two other women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual harassment have similarly uncorroborated or refuted accounts, while a fourth accuser has been referred to the Department of Justice by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for issuing a false claim

Published:10/2/2018 11:23:20 AM
[The Blog] Susan Collins: I want the FBI to investigate Julie Swetnick’s “gang rape” claims too

Delay.

The post Susan Collins: I want the FBI to investigate Julie Swetnick’s “gang rape” claims too appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/2/2018 10:50:23 AM
[Markets] "Hero" Survivors Who Confronted Jeff Flake Work For Soros-Funded Nonprofit

Outgoing Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has insisted that his last-minute decision to demand that the FBI reopen its background check investigation into Trump SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh wasn't inspired by a pair of young women who accosted him in the halls of the US Capitol and loudly berated him with tear-jerking stories of sexual abuse.

But the timing of Flake's change of heart is certainly curious, and the liberal press has widely heralded the two young women has "heros" for helping to force a delay of Kavanaugh's confirmation by at least another week.

But one thing the progressive press hasn't reported is that the two young women weren't merely concerned citizens speaking truth to power. The reality is that Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher are both professional political activists employed by the Center for Popular Democracy.

And guess who finances the CPD?

That's right...

Soros

According to a report in the New York Post, the CPD is financed primarily by George Soros' Open Society foundation, the massive non-profit that supports groups fighting on behalf of the billionaire investors' political agenda across Europe and the US. That dramatic confrontation in front of a Senators-only elevators was a political stunt organized by a Soros-funded organization. This means that Soros has played as large a role as anybody in helping delay a confirmation vote on Kavanaugh.

Make no mistake. The Center for Popular Democracy is at the heart of the effort to stop Kavanaugh. A source forwarded to me an email sent from the organization: “Last week, you saw protestors interrupting the Kavanaugh hearings, trying to slow it down and show the Judiciary Committee how much they/we care. Those protests were organized by the Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy and other groups.”

Archila has another role beyond her duties as co–executive director of the center. She is also a member of the national committee of the New York-based Working Families Party. The WFP was founded in 1998 by the leaders of ACORN, the now-disbanded and disgraced group of community organizers.

In 2009, ACORN finally ran off the rails. Guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe secretly recorded employees in its offices in Brooklyn, Baltimore, Washington and San Bernardino, Calif. O’Keefe and a colleague posed as a prostitute and a pimp and said they were planning to import underage women from El Salvador for the sex trade. They asked for and received advice on getting a housing loan and evading federal taxes.

The impact that this confrontation had on Flake was readily apparent...

...Media reported an instant change in his demeanor, with his "eyes wet" and his chin tucked into his chest.

Additionally, one of the women has ties to the Working Families Party, and organization financed by alumni of ACORN, the group of community organizers that shut down in 2009 after conservative journalist James O'Keefe exposed some of its "organizers" engaging in nefarious behavior on behalf of the organization.

Furthermore, just imagine if two women cornered Dianne Feinstein in an elevator and demanded that she investigate how Christine Blasey Ford's letter describing her alleged assault leaked to the press?

But imagine if two women had cornered a Democratic senator in an elevator and demanded an investigation of who had leaked to the media Christine Blasey Ford’s letter alleging that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her. (Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he planned to investigate the leak.) There would have been sputtering outrage in media circles, and reporters would have breathlessly hunted down any ties between the women and outside groups.

If there is a takeaway here, it's that the US media is far too lenient on these "activists", often neglecting to perform even a simple background check to determine if they have any affiliations that might be cause for bias.

But given the current climate, we don't expect this to change any time soon.

Published:10/2/2018 10:19:57 AM
[Markets] Uranium One: FBI Refuses To Release Three-Dozen Secret Memos Involving Clintons, Russia And Obama

The FBI has refused to declassify 37 pages of materials related to the Uranium One deal, citing national security and the privacy issues, reports The Hill's John Solomon. The documents are thought to contain information regarding then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's involvement, as well as the Obama administration's knowledge of the controversial deal. 

The existence of the documents became known after a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) release of related material contained an entry entitled "Uranium One Transaction." The publicly available portion includes benign material, such as public letters from members of Congress who demanded information on the Uranium One approval. 

Perhaps the FBI’s unexpected “release” — and I use that word loosely, since they gave up no public information of importance — in the FOIA vault was a warning flare designed to remind America there might be evidence worth looking at.

One former U.S. official, who had access to the evidence shared with CFIUS during the Uranium One deal, said this to me: “There is definitely material that would be illuminating to the issues that have been raised. Somebody should fight to make it public.”

That somebody could be President Trump, who could add these 37 pages of now-secret documents to his declassification order he is considering in the Russia case. -The Hill

William Campbell and the FBI 

In October of 2017, John Solomon and Alison Spann broke the story of former CIA and FBI undercover agent, William D Campbell - who remained unnamed until this year. Campbell was deeply embedded in the Russian nuclear industry while Robert Mueller was the Director of the FBI - which paid him a $51,000 "thank you" award for his service.

For several years my relationship with the CIA consisted of being debriefed after foreign travel,” Campbell noted in his testimony, which was obtained by this reporter. “Gradually, the relationship evolved into the CIA tasking me to travel to specific countries to obtain specific information. In the 1990’s I developed a working relationship with Kazakhstan and Russia in their nuclear energy industries. When I told the CIA of this development, I was turned over to FBI counterintelligence agents.” -saracarter.com 

While undercover, Campbell was forced by the Russians (with the FBI's blessing) to launder large sums of money - which allowed the FBI to uncover a massive Russian "nuclear money laundering apparatus." Campbell claims to have collected over 5,000 documents along with video evidence of money being stuffed into suitcases, Russians bragging about bribing the West, and millions of dollars routed to the Clinton foundation. 

The evidence was compiled as Secretary Clinton courted Russia for better relations, as her husband former President Clinton collected a $500,000 speech payday in Moscow, and as the Obama administration approved the sale of a U.S. mining company, Uranium One, to Rosatom. -The Hill

Campbell initially discovered that Moscow had compromised an Maryland-based uranium trucking firm, Transport Logistics International (TLI) in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – which bribed a Russian nuclear official in exchange for a contract transport Russian-mined U.S. uranium, including "yellowcake" uranium secured in the Uranium One deal.

Yellowcake uranium

He delivered bribes from TLI in $50,000 increments to Russian nuclear official Vadim Mikerin of Tenex. Under orders from the FBI in order to maintain his cover, Campbell fronted hundreds of thousands of dollars he says he was never reimbursed for. As a result of Campbell's work, TLI co-president Mark Lambert was charged in an 11-count indictment in connection with the scheme, while Vadim Mikerin, who resides in Maryland, was prosecuted in 2015 and handed a four-year sentence.

Second, Campbell says that Russian nuclear officials revealed a scheme to route millions of dollars to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) through lobbying firm ARPCO, which was expected to funnel a portion of its annual $3 million lobbying fee to the charity. 

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.“ -William Campbell

Campbell told Congressional investigators that the Uranium One deal along with billions in other uranium contracts inside the United States during the Obama administration was part of a "Russian uranium dominance strategy" involving Tenex and its American arm Tenem - both subsidiaries of state-owned Russian energy company Rosatom. 

“The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One – for both its Kazakh and American assets – was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets,” he testified.  “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email …  asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.” 

“Rosatom/Tenex threw a party to celebrate, which was widely attended by American nuclear industry officials. At the request of the FBI, I attended and recorded video footage of Tenam’s new offices,” he added.

Officials with APCO - the lobbying firm accused of funneling the money to the Clinton Global Initiative, told The Hill that its support for CGI and its work for Russia were not connected in any way, and involved different divisions of the firm. 

What did Obama know?

As Solomon notes, a giant question remains that may be solved by the release of the 37-pages of classified information; what did the Obama administration know about this? 

Did the FBI notify then-President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other leaders on the CFIUS board about Rosatom’s dark deeds before the Uranium One sale was approved, or did the bureau drop the ball and fail to alert policymakers?

Neither outcome is particularly comforting. Either the United States, eyes wide open, approved giving uranium assets to a corrupt Russia, or the FBI failed to give the evidence of criminality to the policymakers before such a momentous decision. -The Hill

Campbell says that his FBI handlers assured him that Obama had been briefed by then-FBI Diretor Mueller on Rosatom's criminal activities as part of the president's daily briefing, however "politics" was the reason that the sale was approved anyway. 

Smearing Campbell

After Solomon broke the Campbell story, Democrats viciously attacked Campbell, a cancer-stricken man showered by praise by the Obama administration at a 2016 celebration dinner in Crystal City, VA. Since his undercover work in Russia, Campbell has undergone 35 intensive radiation treatments after being diagnosed with brain cancer and leukemia. 

Michael Isikoff

Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News wrote an article slamming Campbell - saying he would be a "disaster" as a witness because some of his claims could not be documented, an anonymous source told Isikoff (Isikoff's Yahoo News article was used by the FBI to support the FISA spy warrant on Trump aide Carter Page, after Isikoff was fed information by Christopher Steele).

Meanwhile, in a move which can only be interpreted as an effort to protect the FBI, the Obama administration and the Clintons, AG Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein even tried to suggest the nuclear bribery case uncovered by Campbell is not connected to the Uranium One deal

Via John Solomon last November

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in testimony last week and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a letter to the Senate last month tried to suggest there was no connection between Uranium One and the nuclear bribery case. Their argument was that the criminal charges weren’t filed until 2014, while the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval of the Uranium One sale occurred in October 2010.” -The Hill 

This rubbed several Congressional GOP the wrong way:

“Attorney General Sessions seemed to say that the bribery, racketeering and money laundering offenses involving Tenex’s Vadim Mikerin occurred after the approval of the Uranium One deal by the Obama administration. But we know that the FBI’s confidential informant was actively compiling incriminating evidence as far back as 2009,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, (R-Fla.) told The Hill, adding "It is hard to fathom how such a transaction could have been approved without the existence of the underlying corruption being disclosed"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a similar rebuke to Rosenstein, saying the deputy attorney general’s first response to the committee “largely missed the point” of the congressional investigations. 

Between the DOJ stonewalling Campbell and the MSM smear job he was subjected to after he went public, perhaps it's more important than ever that those 37 pages see the light of day. 

Published:10/2/2018 9:50:24 AM
[Markets] FBI Interviews Three Kavanaugh Witnesses Who Don't Remember Ford's Mystery Groping Party

It would seem the Democrats had better quickly switch the Kavanaugh narrative back to him being an immature teenage drinker quickly as The Washington Post reports that, according to sources, three witnesses whom Christine Blasey Ford alleges were at the party in her testimony have told The FBI that they do not recall the gathering.

The FBI has talked to alleged party guests Patrick J. Smyth, Mark Judge and Leland Keyser:

“[Smyth] truthfully answered every question the FBI asked him and, consistent with the information he previously provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he indicated that he has no knowledge of the small party or gathering described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, nor does he have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh,” Smyth’s lawyer Eric B. Bruce said in a statement, according to WaPo.

Having denied the Ford and Swetnick allegations in a formal statement, Judge’s lawyer Barbara Van Gelder said in a statement Monday, according to CNN:

“Mr. Judge has been interviewed by the FBI but his interview has not been completed,”

“We request your patience as the FBI completes its investigation.”

Keyser does not remember the gathering in question but has said she believes Ford.

“Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” Keyser’s attorney, Howard Walsh, wrote in a Friday statement, according to CNN.

“However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”

Ford had yet to be interviewed b The FBI as of Monday evening, but there are plenty more interviews to come as Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats signed a letter Monday with a list of 24 additional witnesses they want interviewed by the FBI.

Tick tock... Of course, the chance they are going to stop the delay tactics now is zero. Remember Merrick!

Published:10/2/2018 8:49:09 AM
[81fba97f-8590-593d-a402-78a14fc1b408] Kavanaugh chaos: You don't have to be Nostradamus to make a prediction about Dems and the FBI Who believes another FBI investigation of Brett Kavanaugh will be the end of it? If the FBI finds nothing to support Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party, will it be enough for Democrats to vote to confirm him? Published:10/2/2018 8:19:59 AM
[In The News] Three Witnesses Interviewed By FBI In Kavanaugh Probe Don’t Remember The Party In Ford’s Testimony

By DCNF -

The FBI had interviewed four people in its probe into Judge Brett Kavanaugh as of Monday afternoon, but the three witnesses whom Christine Blasey Ford alleges were at the party in her testimony do not recall the gathering, according to the Washington Post’s sources.

Three Witnesses Interviewed By FBI In Kavanaugh Probe Don’t Remember The Party In Ford’s Testimony is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:10/2/2018 8:19:59 AM
[Markets] "Aggressive" Kavanaugh Threw Beer In Man's Face, Sparking Barroom Brawl, Classmate Says

After being given "carte blanche" by the White House to interview Brett Kavanaugh's accusers as well as a smattering of his friends from high school and college, the FBI has wasted no time, with Reuters reporting on Tuesday that they have started questioning Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high school friend and alleged witness to the SCOTUS nominee's sexually aggressive behavior toward Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

While Judge's lawyer said that her client's "interview has not been completed," the bureau has also reportedly spoken with PJ Smyth, another one of Kavanaugh's high school contemporaries, who again denied that he witnessed Kavanaugh assaulting Ford.

Judge, author of a book entitled "Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk", "has been interviewed by the FBI but his interview has not been completed, his lawyer said. We request your patience as the FBI completes its investigation," his lawyer said.

However, the most salacious story to emerge since the start of the investigation was delivered by Kavanaugh's former Yale classmate, Chad Ludington, who spoke out on Monday to accuse Kavanaugh of lying to the Senate when he said he'd never "blacked out" from drinking.

Ludington went into more detail in a report that surfaced late Monday evening, when Bloomberg News published Ludington's account of a barroom brawl involving himself, Kavanaugh and former NBA star Chris Dudley at Demery's a longtime Yale hangout in New Haven, Connecticut. Ludington claimed that he witnessed an "aggressive and belligerent" Kavanaugh instigate a fight by throwing a beer in another patron's face after the man brusquely demanded that Kavanaugh and his friends stop staring at him.

Kav

The brawl took place after Kavanaugh and his friends were heading back from seeing British band UB40 at a venue in New Haven. While enjoying a few beers at a bar, Kavanaugh and his friends approached a local man whom they mistook for the lead singer of UB40. The man told them to "stop staring" at him, at which point Kavanaugh allegedly became belligerent. After a heated exchange of expletives, a brawl erupted.

"It was sort of a general feature of hanging out with Brett in college," he said in an interview. "When you’re having beers on a Friday or Saturday night, that was kind of Brett’s shtick. He was aggressive. He was belligerent."

Bloomberg dug up a police report about the incident that identified the local man as Dom Cozzolino. The then-21 year old victim - and UB40 lead singer lookalike - told police that Kavanaugh "threw ice at him". But Ludington claimed that Kavanaugh threw a beer in the man's face, provoking him into taking a swing.

"The next thing you know, Brett throws his beer at the guy," Ludington said. "The guy swings at Brett."

But other friends of Kavanaugh say it's entirely plausible that the judge was being truthful during his testimony. In a statement released Monday, Dudley said he never saw Kavanaugh black out.

Dudley didn’t respond to a voicemail and email left at his office asking about the incident in the bar. But in a statement he released Monday, he said "I will say it again, we drank in college."

"I was with Brett frequently in college, whether it be in the gym, in class or socializing. I never ever saw Brett blackout. Not one time," Dudley said. "I would also like to point out that going out never came before working hard and maintaining our focus on our goals."

Stories about the brawl allegedly became part of campus lore, since Dudley's involvement - Ludington said Dudley broke a beer bottle over their adversaries head - prompted a warning from the Yale basketball coach. Ludington added that he and Kavanaugh were "pretty buzzed" at the time of the incident, though he couldn't say for certain that Kavanaugh had blacked out.

Ludington doesn’t recall how much they had been drinking that night. The group was most likely “pretty buzzed,” he said, though not so drunk that he doesn’t have a clear memory of that night.

What the incident illustrates about Kavanaugh "is just the aggressiveness that came along with the alcohol, the hair-trigger machismo, which was pathetic," he said.

We imagine we'll be hearing more about this incident once the FBI inevitably reaches out to Ludington. In the meantime, there have been reports (via NBC) that Kavanaugh approached other friends from that era to ask them to corroborate his story. However, other media outlets have been unable to confirm that report.

But rest assured, as soon as there's something significant to report, it will almost certainly be leaked to the press.

Published:10/2/2018 6:51:14 AM
[] The Morning Report - 10/2/18 Good morning kids. Tuesday, and supposedly per yesterday's leaked rumor/misdirection play the FBI is wrapping up its investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, although I somehow doubt that. In any case, the nominee has already undergone 6 different, extensive background checks... Published:10/2/2018 6:51:14 AM
[World] Lindsey Graham Responds to Jeff Flake Criticisms, FBI Probe of Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Committee Member Lindsey Graham reacted to criticism of his colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake and his answered call for an additional FBI probe of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:10/1/2018 10:17:55 PM
[Markets] "I Don't Know What He Did" - Kavanaugh Accuser Backtracks On Key Assault Claims In NBC Interview

Third Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick just validated claims that she should be criminally prosecuted for lying in her initial sworn account alleging that Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh participated in "gang rapes" with his high school buddies back in the early 1980s.

In an interview with NBC news, Swetnick said that while she saw Kavanaugh aggressively hit on women at parties, she denied that she actually witnessed him participate in the rapes. She also said Kavanaugh wasn't a member of a group of boys who assaulted her during one of these parties.

"I cannot specifically say that he was one of the ones who assaulted me," Swetnick told Snow. "But, before this happened to me, at that party, I saw Brett Kavanaugh there, I saw Mark Judge, and they were hanging out about where I started to feel disoriented and where the room was and where the other boys were hanging out and laughing."

She added that Kavanaugh is an "admitted blackout drunk and drug addict."

Swetnick did not confirm that she saw Kavanaugh spike punch, one of the claims from her affidavit, she instead said that she merely "saw him around punch containers," and that she wouldn't have accepted a glass of punch if he were to hand it to her.

"I don’t know what he did," she added.

NBC was unable to corroborate Swetnick's claims after she provided four names to NBC News of people whom she said would confirm her accounts of the parties in the 1980s. After contacting all four, NBC reported that one said they did not remember Swetnick, one was dead and two did not respond. 

Swetnick's interviewer, Kate Snow, noted this before the interview and added that some details of Swetnick's account differed from her sworn affidavit.

"NBC News, for the record, has not been able to independently verify her claims. There are things she told us on camera that differ from her written statements last week."

However, after the interview, Snow clarified that "we're not discounting what she said in any way. We're just doing our reporting...There are a lot of people working on this."

In her sworn statement, Swetnick claimed that Kavanaugh "consistently engage(d) in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s."

During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Kavanaugh described Swetnick's allegations as "a joke." 

Meanwhile, President Trump said Monday that Swetnick "has very little credibility," but added that if she has any credibility, she should be interviewed by the FBI. As of Monday, the FBI hadn't reached out to her or her lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Still, Avenatti has insisted that his client has been 100% truthful...

...and that she has offered to take a polygraph test.

Though Avenatti has insisted that he's "under no obligation" to produce any evidence of her claims.

Published:10/1/2018 8:19:11 PM
[World] Michael Goodwin on Jeff Flake: Thought He Built a Bridge on Kavanaugh With Dems But Made of Sand

New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin said that if Sen. Jeff Flake thought he was "building a bridge with Democrats" by predicating his 'yes' vote on an FBI investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh, that "bridge" was indeed "built with sand."

Published:10/1/2018 6:16:56 PM
[Markets] McConnell: Kavanaugh To Get Senate Vote "This Week"

The Senate will vote this week on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

"Let me make it very clear. The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is out of committee. We’re considering it here on the floor," McConnell said. "We’ll be voting this week."

The Senate will first need to vote to cut off debate on the nomination before reaching a final confirmation vote. According to The Hill, if McConnell waited until Friday to file cloture on Kavanaugh's nomination that would set up an initial vote on ending debate as early as Sunday. If McConnell filed cloture before that, he could bring up the vote as soon as the Friday deadline passed or when the FBI wrapped up its investigation.

McConnell said Kavanaugh was "rightfully angry" after Thursday’s raucous Judiciary Committee hearing. The nominee forcefully and tearfully denied the assault allegation by Christine Blasey Ford, who testified earlier in the day, and separate claims by two other women who weren’t called to testify.

The Senator's comments, made during a Senate floor speech, come as the FBI is rushing to wrap up its investigation into multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh by Friday. GOP senators and aides have been careful not to pin down a specific timeline on Kavanaugh's nomination, arguing that the FBI could wrap up its work before the Friday deadline.

McConnell's pledge that the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh's nomination comes as Trump's nominee remains short of the simple majority needed to be confirmed. Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 majority meaning they can lose one GOP senator before they need help from Democrats to confirm Kavanaugh. No Democrats have said, yet, that they will support him.

GOP senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski remain undecided on Kavanaugh's nomination. Sen. Jeff Flake said last week that he would support Kavanaugh, but he was key to getting the one-week investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh.

Over the weekend, Flake said that he expected to support Kavanaugh unless the FBI finds something in its investigation.

Published:10/1/2018 5:46:24 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge has been interviewed by FBI Apparently the lawyer for Brett Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge has been getting requests from the media and has responded: NEWS – mark judge has been interviewed by the fbi, but his interview . . . Published:10/1/2018 5:16:26 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge has been interviewed by FBI Apparently the lawyer for Brett Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge has been getting requests from the media and has responded: NEWS – mark judge has been interviewed by the fbi, but his interview . . . Published:10/1/2018 5:16:26 PM
[The Blog] AP, WaPo: Swetnick has a long track record of dodgy legal disputes

Grassley to FBI: Go get the false claimants.

The post AP, WaPo: Swetnick has a long track record of dodgy legal disputes appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/1/2018 5:16:26 PM
[Kavanaugh] 4 Big Questions About the FBI’s 7th Kavanaugh Probe

President Donald Trump said Monday that it’s up to the FBI and the Senate to decide on the scope of the agency’s seventh background inquiry... Read More

The post 4 Big Questions About the FBI’s 7th Kavanaugh Probe appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:10/1/2018 4:46:10 PM
[Politics] McConnell makes BIG announcement on Kavanaugh nomination vote! Mitch McConnell just spoke on the Senate floor where he derided Democrats for their improper handling of these sexual assault allegations and for their moving of the goal posts since the FBI . . . Published:10/1/2018 3:51:28 PM
[US News] Beyond PARODY! Senate Dems try telling the FBI who to interview in Kavanaugh investigation and YEAH … NO

Democrats provided a list of 24 people and entities/organizations they feel the FBI should interview during their investigation into Kavanaugh. It’s funny how the Democrats seem to think they can tell the FBI how to do its job but beyond even that, look at the list. Now, from what we understand at the very least, […]

The post Beyond PARODY! Senate Dems try telling the FBI who to interview in Kavanaugh investigation and YEAH … NO appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/1/2018 3:17:43 PM
[The Blog] Former Obama/Hillary aides: The FBI has to get to the bottom of … “boofing”

Boof truthers?

The post Former Obama/Hillary aides: The FBI has to get to the bottom of … “boofing” appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/1/2018 3:17:43 PM
[Politics] McConnell makes BIG announcement on Kavanaugh nomination vote! Mitch McConnell just spoke on the Senate floor where he derided Democrats for their improper handling of these sexual assault allegations and for their moving of the goal posts since the FBI . . . Published:10/1/2018 3:17:43 PM
[The Blog] Flake: I’m making sure the FBI investigation is thorough, not just one to provide “cover”

"We actually need to find out what we can find out."

The post Flake: I’m making sure the FBI investigation is thorough, not just one to provide “cover” appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/1/2018 2:44:52 PM
[World] Jason Chaffetz: Democrats are Overplaying Their Hand With Kavanaugh Resistance

Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz said Monday on Outnumbered Overtime that the FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh will tear the country apart.

Published:10/1/2018 2:14:48 PM
[Markets] FBI Instructed To Expand Kavanaugh Probe After Trump Clashes With Reporters

The White House has instructed the FBI to expand its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to the New York Times, citing two people briefed on the matter. The new directive comes on the heels of a contentious Monday afternoon Rose Garden press conference held to discuss the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. 

Earlier in the presser, Trump became visibly annoyed at questions from CNN's Kaitlan Collins, telling her "Don't do that" when she began with Kavanaugh questions. 

Trump came under fire over the weekend for limiting the scope of the investigation to the first two Kavanaugh accusers, while not pursuing a third - Julie Swetnick, who accused Kavanaugh of running a date-rape gang-bang scheme at 10 high school parties in which boys were "lined up" outside of rooms to rape inebriated women. 

Less than 24 hours after her attorney, Michael Avenatti, revealed Swetnick's salacious claim, Politico reported that her ex-boyfriend, Richard Vinneccy - a registered Democrat, took out a restraining order against her, and says he has evidence that she's lying. 

"Right after I broke up with her, she was threatening my family, threatening my wife and threatening to do harm to my baby at that time," Vinneccy said in a telephone interview with POLITICO. "I know a lot about her." -Politico

"I have a lot of facts, evidence, that what she’s saying is not true at all," he said. "I would rather speak to my attorney first before saying more."

Trump said during Monday's press conference "It wouldn't bother me at all" if Swetnick were interviewed by the FBI, adding "Now I don’t know all three of the accusers. Certainly I imagine they’re going to interview two. The third one I don’t know much about."

The President ordered the one-week FBI investigation on Friday after lame-duck GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona cast the Senate floor vote into disarray by refusing to vote "yes" on Kavanaugh unless the more than three-decade-old claims were investigated. 

The White House, however, limited the inquisition to just four individuals; Mark Judge, P.J. Smyth and Leland Keyser - high school friends of Kavanaugh's that accuser Christine Blasey Ford says were at a party where she was groped - and who have all denied any knowledge of the incident. The fourth person to be questioned is Deborah Ramirez, another accuser who says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale party at which she admits she was extremely inebriated. 

In interviews, several former senior F.B.I. officials said that they could think of no previous instance when the White House restricted the bureau’s ability to interview potential witnesses during a background check. Chuck Rosenberg, who served as chief of staff under James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, said background investigations were frequently reopened, but that the bureau decides how to pursue new allegations. -NYT

"The White House normally tells the F.B.I. what issue to examine, but would not tell the F.B.I. how to examine it, or with whom they should speak," said Rosenberg. "It’s highly unusual — in fact, as far I know, uniquely so — for the F.B.I. to be directed to speak only to a limited number of designated people." 

In his Monday comments, Trump said that he would reconsider Kavanaugh's nomination if the FBI turned up any evidence that warranted it. 

"Certainly if they find something I’m going to take that into consideration," said Trump, adding "Absolutely. I have a very open mind. The person that takes that position is going to be there a long time."

In a five-page assessment, Rachel Mitchell - the veteran sex crimes prosecutor used by the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Kavanaugh and Ford, she notes: that a "‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that."

Michell writes: "I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard." 

We assume the same can be said for Kavanaugh's other accusers, however we'll just have to wait to see what the FBI concludes - along with what new claims will be brought in the interim, as we seem to get a new one every couple of days. 

Published:10/1/2018 2:14:45 PM
[FBI] Behind the Buzz: FBI Background Investigations Into Judicial Nominees The FBI’s role in the judicial nomination process is unique. Published:10/1/2018 1:14:44 PM
[Issues] Soros-Backed Progressive Activist Group Takes Credit for Flake Confrontation

The Center for Popular Democracy, a New York-based liberal activist group that receives the bulk of its funding from liberal billionaire George Soros and leads a massive $80 million anti-Trump network, is taking credit for the elevator confrontation last Friday that pushed Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) to call for an FBI investigation into the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The post Soros-Backed Progressive Activist Group Takes Credit for Flake Confrontation appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/1/2018 12:46:48 PM
[The Blog] NY Times: FBI investigation could be finished Monday, Democrats upset

"the investigation’s apparent narrow reach has infuriated the judge’s critics..."

The post NY Times: FBI investigation could be finished Monday, Democrats upset appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/1/2018 12:14:46 PM
[Politics] Megyn Kelly slaps DOWN stupid lib wanting FBI to do a criminal investigation over Kavanaugh allegations This morning on the Today Show Megyn Kelly slapped down more liberal idiocy as they claim it’s the FBI’s job to do a criminal investigation on these 35+ year old claims that . . . Published:10/1/2018 11:27:36 AM
[The Blog] Flake: “Not a chance” I would have agreed to reopen Kavanaugh FBI background check if I was running for re-election

"There's no incentive."

The post Flake: “Not a chance” I would have agreed to reopen Kavanaugh FBI background check if I was running for re-election appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:10/1/2018 11:27:36 AM
[Markets] Trump: 'Wouldn't bother me' if FBI interviews three Kavanaugh accusers Trump: 'Wouldn't bother me' if FBI interviews three Kavanaugh accusers Published:10/1/2018 11:27:36 AM
[Media] Must be a REASON: Byron York points out goalposts already moving in Kavanaugh fight after FBI investigation begins

Welp, the FBI is investigating Kavanaugh. Or Ford. Or something … to be honest, we’re not entirely sure what the heck they have to investigate when Ford can’t remember when, where, or who when it comes to her allegations against Kavanaugh. NOT to mention her own witnesses deny and even contradict her. But hey, Flake […]

The post Must be a REASON: Byron York points out goalposts already moving in Kavanaugh fight after FBI investigation begins appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/1/2018 10:45:07 AM
[Politics] Megyn Kelly slaps DOWN stupid lib wanting FBI to do a criminal investigation over Kavanaugh allegations This morning on the Today Show Megyn Kelly slapped down more liberal idiocy as they claim it’s the FBI’s job to do a criminal investigation on these 35+ year old claims that . . . Published:10/1/2018 10:45:07 AM
[US News] Oh FFS! Brian Fallon joins other Dems calling on FBI to investigate 1 word in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook

"You're embarrassing yourselves."

The post Oh FFS! Brian Fallon joins other Dems calling on FBI to investigate 1 word in Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/1/2018 10:23:55 AM
[US News] Heap big BUSTED: Did Elizabeth Warren MEAN to admit Dems are using FBI investigation just to stall Kavanaugh? (video)

Big Chief Shaky Fist, aka Elizabeth Warren, spoke in front of a large crowd, and after she gave Senator Jeff Flake huge props for pretending he cares about the crazy women who attacked him in the elevator, admitted the FBI investigation is and always has been about blocking Kavanaugh. Stalling. Of course, we knew that. […]

The post Heap big BUSTED: Did Elizabeth Warren MEAN to admit Dems are using FBI investigation just to stall Kavanaugh? (video) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/1/2018 10:17:50 AM
[Politics] Tom Cotton keeps hitting Democrats with TRUTH over Kavanaugh Tom Cotton has been busy hitting Democrats with doses of reality in the last 24 hours as they seek to move the goalposts on this FBI background investigation, now claiming that it’s . . . Published:10/1/2018 9:47:31 AM
[Politics] Tom Cotton keeps hitting Democrats with TRUTH over Kavanaugh Tom Cotton has been busy hitting Democrats with doses of reality in the last 24 hours as they seek to move the goalposts on this FBI background investigation, now claiming that it’s . . . Published:10/1/2018 9:47:31 AM
[US News] When Brett Kavanaugh was at Yale, THIS is what Dem HEROES in the Senate were doing. Time for an FBI investigation?

In light of all the talk in the Senate regarding sexual assault, etc., this old profile of Senator Ted Kennedy which recounted the time he and fellow Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut sexually assaulted a waitress and not a single Democrat cared: Senators Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd sexually assaulted a waitress in 1985. No […]

The post When Brett Kavanaugh was at Yale, THIS is what Dem HEROES in the Senate were doing. Time for an FBI investigation? appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:10/1/2018 7:43:58 AM
[Markets] Kavanaugh College Friend To Detail His "Violent, Drunken Behavior" To The FBI

With Washington in a frenzy over the FBI's probe of Judge Kavanaugh, which according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley would be no more than a week long and would be limited solely to “current credible allegations”, a new and potentially explosive allegation has emerged.

Late on Sunday, Charles Ludington, a former varsity basketball player and friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale, told the Washington Post that he plans to deliver a statement to the FBI field office in Raleigh on Monday detailing violent drunken behavior by Kavanaugh in college.

Ludington, an associate professor at North Carolina State University, provided a copy of the statement to The Post.

In it, Ludington says in one instance, Kavanaugh initiated a fight that led to the arrest of a mutual friend: “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.”

What prompted this latest last minute memory "recollection" by a peer of Kavanaugh's? According to the report, Ludington was deeply troubled by Kavanaugh appearing to blatantly mischaracterize his drinking in Senate testimony.

“I do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18 or even 21 year old should condemn a person for the rest of his life,” Ludington wrote. “However ... if he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences.”

The NYT also got an interview out of Ludington, and reported that Ludington said he frequently saw Judge Kavanaugh “staggering from alcohol consumption” during their student years. He said he planned to tell his story to the F.B.I. at its office in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday.

Kavanaugh told outside counsel Rachel Mitchell during the hearing that he has never "passed out" from drinking. "I’ve gone to sleep," he said. "But I’ve never blacked out, that’s the allegation. And that’s, that’s wrong."

During last Thursday's hearing, Kavanaugh was agitated by questions from Democratic senators about his history with partying and drinking, at one point asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) if she has ever blacked out due to alcohol consumption.

"I like beer,” he said in response to one of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) questions. “Do you like beer, senator? What do you like to drink?"

While this latest statement to the FBI does not corroborate the testimony of Ford, or the sexual assault allegations of several other women, Democrats have called for the FBI to take a broader look at "whether Kavanaugh may have misled senators by minimizing his carousing behavior in high school and college or by mischaracterizing entries in his high school yearbook that could indicate a penchant for drunken and misogynistic behavior."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), speaking on CNN, said Kavanaugh’s claims that he had never blacked out or suffered any memory loss while drinking don’t “quite make sense to me” and said she hoped the FBI would interview friends to determine whether that was credible.

She added that the FBI could also interview high school friends of Kavanaugh’s to determine whether his innocent explanations for portions of his yearbook entry are accurate.

“I’ve never heard that the White House, either under this president or other presidents, is saying: ‘Well, you can’t interview this person; you can’t look at this time period; you can only look at these people from one side of the street,’” she said. “I mean, come on.”

It is unclear if his testimony will play a role in the weeklong FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, the Times reported.

Several other classmates in recent days have accused Kavanaugh of misleading Congress over his alcohol consumption. Former FBI Director James Comey in a Times op-ed published Sunday charged Kavanaugh with "lying" under oath.

And while it is too early to determine what, if any, impact this latest statement to the FBI will have on Kavanaugh's candidacy, it would stand to reason that there is only so much opposition that the Supreme Court candidate can take before even he decides that the SCOTUS seat is just not worth the constant anguish and media spotlight. At least, that's what democrats are hoping.

Published:10/1/2018 4:43:47 AM
[Politics] Flake: 'No Chance' I Would Have Called for FBI Probe If Up for Re-election There is no chance Sen. Jeff Flake would have called for an FBI probe into allegations Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had he been up for reelection in November, the Republican lawmaker from Arizona said Sunday on "60 Minutes." Published:9/30/2018 9:10:25 PM
[US News] FISHING EXPEDITION? 2nd Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez reportedly spoke with the FBI, but accounts differ as to what she said

Multiple news outlets are reporting Sunday night that Deborah Ramirez, the 2nd woman to come forward who accused SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a party, spoke with the FBI today: The FBI reportedly spoke with Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez on Sunday. Ramirez reportedly supplied the FBI with the names of […]

The post FISHING EXPEDITION? 2nd Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez reportedly spoke with the FBI, but accounts differ as to what she said appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/30/2018 8:43:17 PM
[Kavanaugh] FBI Contacts Second Kavanaugh Accuser, Suggesting Wider Probe

The FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez in connection with its investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The bureau’s contact with... Read More

The post FBI Contacts Second Kavanaugh Accuser, Suggesting Wider Probe appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:9/30/2018 7:41:31 PM
[Featured News] Lacking Evidence Of Sexual Assault, Democrats Now Want Kavanaugh Investigated For Perjury

By R. Mitchell -

  by Peter Hasson Democrats still lack evidence to support sexual misconduct accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats demanded an FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh accusations but many now claim that the FBI’s investigation is inadequate. Some Democrats now want Kavanaugh investigated for perjury. Still lacking corroborating evidence ...

Lacking Evidence Of Sexual Assault, Democrats Now Want Kavanaugh Investigated For Perjury is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/30/2018 7:41:30 PM
[Markets] Lindsey Graham Blasts Feinstein's "Despicable Process" As She Demands FBI Release Scope Of Kavanaugh Probe

Seemingly unsatisfied with the fact that The FBI will not be interviewing everyone in the United States (living and dead), The Hill reports that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling for the White House and the FBI to release the written directive President Trump sent launching the investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Feinstein sent a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday requesting that a copy of Trump’s written directive be released to the committee.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations before the Senate, I am writing to request that you provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with a copy of the written directive by the White House to the FBI,” Feinstein wrote.

She also requested that the bureau release the names of any additional witnesses or evidence that is included if FBI agents expand the original investigation.

Feinstein's demands come shortly after President Trump raged about Democrats' "Obstruct & Delay" tactics, pointing out that no matter what he does "it will never be enough for Democrats."

And quite clearly the narrative is set as Deep Statist, and former FBI Director, James Comey called the seven-day time frame "idiotic," while defending the FBI's ability to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh in a NYT op-ed.

"It is better to give professionals seven days to find facts than have no professional investigation at all," Comey wrote in a Sunday op-ed for The New York Times.

"Agents can just do their work. Find facts. Speak truth to power."

But, with regard to the Democrats' new talking point - and clearly the angle that Feinstein is taking - regarding the 'limiting' of ther FBI investigation to 'just' one week, former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo made a quite insightful comment that has yet to produce a credible response from the left.

Caputo said Sunday on CNN that one week should be plenty of time to investigate the sexual misconduct claims brought forward by Christine Blasey Ford and two other women.

“We all know the FBI looked at 650,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails in just 24 to 36 hours so it'll just take a week,” Caputo said.

Caputo noted it took three days in 1991 for the FBI to investigate Anita Hill’s claims that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was then a nominee, had sexually harassed her.

However, Republicans are not taking this bullshit lying down as Slate.com reports that raging Lindsey Graham, speaking on ABC’s This Week today,  called for an investigation into Senator Feinstein's handling of how Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations came to light.

“We’re going to do a wholesale and full-scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process,” Graham said.

He listed the issues he wanted to look into: “Who betrayed Dr. Ford’s trust; who in Feinstein’s office recommended Katz as a lawyer; why did Ms. Ford not know that the committee was willing to go to California?”

One last thing...

Published:9/30/2018 6:42:24 PM
[Politics] FBI Spoke With Ramirez on Sunday As Part Of Kavanaugh Probe The FBI spoke with Deborah Ramirez on Sunday in its probe into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, CNN has reported. Published:9/30/2018 6:16:49 PM
[Politics] BOOM! Feinstein and Ford lawyers will be under FBI investigation! Senator Tom Cotton really ripped to Dianne Feinstein and the actions of the Democrats in the Kavanaugh affair, and he’s indicated that they ALL will be investigated by the FBI!! Watch below: . . . Published:9/30/2018 6:16:49 PM
[Politics] BOOM! Feinstein and Ford lawyers will be under FBI investigation! Senator Tom Cotton really ripped to Dianne Feinstein and the actions of the Democrats in the Kavanaugh affair, and he’s indicated that they ALL will be investigated by the FBI!! Watch below: . . . Published:9/30/2018 6:16:49 PM
[Politics] Trump Slams Dems For Criticizing 'Time, Scope' of FBI Probe into Kavanaugh President Donald Trump slammed the Democrats in a tweet on Sunday for their criticism of the FBI's investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying the probe will "never be enough" for Democrats. Published:9/30/2018 5:41:48 PM
[Markets] Still No Motive On Anniversary Of Las Vegas Massacre; Strip Goes Dark In Commemoration

One year after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, experts are no closer to determining why the attacker, 64-year-old gambler Stephen Paddock, laid down a hail of bullets at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 concertgoers and injuring over 400 who suffered gunshot wounds

On Monday, the Las Vegas strip will "go dark" at around the same time as Paddock opened fire on the crowd, in commemoration of the dead. 

Marquees along the Strip will go dark at 10:01 p.m. in a tribute that will last several minutes. The iconic signs also went dark on Oct 8, 2017, one week following the horrific tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. -LA Times

Experts remain puzzled as to Paddock's motive after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spent 10 months investigating, interviewing his relatives, girlfriend, ex-wife, doctor and casino hosts, reports the Wall Street Journalwhich notes that "several hypotheses on the Las Vegas gunman’s possible psychopathy and desire for infamy have begun to emerge, but they are tentative and based on limited evidence—a troubling outcome for people whose job it is to look for clues that could help prevent such a deadly incident in the future."

"People are bewildered by the case—there’s a bewilderment, and there’s a horror," said UC San Diego forensic psychologist, J. Reid Meloy. "The most troubling cases are those without an answer." 

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, head of the Vegas police, said upon the release of the final report in August that Paddock’s gambling losses may have been a factor; his bank accounts dwindled from $2.1 million to $530,000 in the two years before the attack. But the sheriff said investigators weren’t able to “definitively answer the why.” -WSJ

"We wish we knew more about it," said psychologist and threat-assessment expert John Nicoletti. "With all the missing data, what everybody says, it’s just speculation." 

FBI criminal profilers, meanwhile, have been working on their own Paddock report that is expected to be released soon. The agency's top official in Vegas said in a summer radio interview that the report may not deliver "a definitive why." 

"It’s a puzzling case and a challenging case," said retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole. "In a lot of ways, he is an outlier."

From the start, Paddock defied much of what professionals in this grim field have come to expect. Typically, mass shooters are younger men who nurse real or perceived grievances, according to a recent FBI study of 63 such attackers. Four out of five displayed some concerning behavior before an attack, including telling others on social media or in person of their violent intent.

Paddock was more clandestine. Video-surveillance footage shows him calmly gambling, eating and bringing more than 20 pieces of luggage up to his 32nd floor suite in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in the days before the attack. The luggage contained an arsenal of semiautomatic rifles, and he turned his room into a sniper’s nest to rain bullets down on a defenseless crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017. -WSJ

In the ensuing months, investigators were unable to find any animus which might explain Paddock's actions. That has left some experts to conclude that his motive was infamy

"Some people kill for notoriety and infamy, and that’s what he did," said Dr. Russell Palarea, president of the threat-assessment firm Operational Psychology Services. 

Meloy, the UCSD psychologist, thinks that Paddock's motive is tied to his father - who was a bank robber and con man who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1969, and determined to be a sociopath. 

"I began to think about psychopathy, Meloy told the WSJ. "when I was struck by the history of the dad and the fact that his biology was rooted in a father who had a diagnosis as a psychopath."

Meloy says that speculation by Paddock's brother in interviews that "he had done everything in the world he wanted to do and was bored with everything" supports his hypothesis, along with the fact that several other people described Paddock as emotionally detached. Meloy is not alone in this theory. 

The coldblooded and grandiose assault on a crowd of people Paddock had never met also bore characteristics of psychopathy, not of someone having a mental breakdown, said Dr. O’Toole, the retired FBI profiler. “It was a complete lack of empathy for the trauma and damage done to strangers,” she said. -WSJ

That said, the theory does have holes - including Paddock's lack of a violent past, impulsiveness and lying. Paddock called his mother before the attack to make sure she was safe ahead of Hurricane Irma. He also shared his investments and wealth with family and friends, such as his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. 

Paddock also took prescription medication to control anxiety, typically not a trait seen in those with no conscience. 

"In order to say that Stephen Paddock was a psychopath, you would have to do a posthumous assessment with case materials, you’d have to do interviews, you’d have to go back over years of behavior," said O’Toole.

One law enforcement official close to the investigation has his own theory: "My opinion is he was pissed over getting his butt kicked gambling, or he wanted to follow in his father’s shoes." 

Published:9/30/2018 3:10:15 PM
[The Blog] Is the FBI investigation limited in scope or not?

Confusion.

The post Is the FBI investigation limited in scope or not? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/30/2018 2:38:47 PM
[Markets] White House Denies It Is "Micromanaging" Kavanaugh Probe

In response to NBC News and Wall Street Journal stories claiming that the White House Counsel's office, led by Don McGahn, has been "micromanaging" the FBI's "limited" background check probe into Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh, two White House spokeswomen disputed the reports, claiming that the Senate and the FBI - not the White House - have full discretion over the probe, and that the FBI will investigate whatever "credible" allegations arise.

As Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway took to the Sunday Shows, Trump denied the NBC and WSJ reports, saying on Twitter that he wanted the FBI to interview anyone they deemed appropriate.

As a reminder, on Saturday lawyer Michael Avenatti complained that the FBI had not contacted his client, Julie Swetnick, over her allegations that federal judge Brett Kavanaugh participated in the "gang rape" of girls at drunken high school parties, and shortly thereafter reports surfaced that the White House had asked FBI investigators to focus on only the first two named women who came forward with allegations against Kavanaugh.

According to the New York Times, the FBI is also planning to question Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge, as well as Leland Keyser and P.J. Smyth, who Ford alleged also attended the party where Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream for help, per Reuters.

The White House has reportedly asked the FBI to share its findings after it interviews Ramirez and Ford and Kavanaugh's high school associates. After that, the president and his advisers will decide whether the accusations should be investigated further.

During an interview with Fox News Sunday, Sanders said the Senate is dictating the terms of the probe:

"The White House is not micromanaging this process," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

"The Senate is dictating the terms," she said. "The FBI, this is what they do. And we’re out of the way and letting them do exactly that."

Meanwhile, Conway said on CNN's State of the Union that the investigation is "not meant to be a fishing expedition" but that investigators should be looking at anything "credible".

"The White House is not getting involved in the FBI investigation in that way," she said. "They should be looking at anything they think is credible within this limited scope."

Watch clips from the interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders...

...and the full interview with Kellyanne Conway on SOTU, during which she also shocks Jake Tapper by revealing that she was a victim of sexual assault:

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham on on ABC's "This Week" that the three Republican senators who pushed for the probe specifically asked that it be "limited in scope" and focus on the "credible allegations" from those who haven't testified (which suggests that Ford will largely be left out of it).

To be sure, investigators in the background check probe aren't obligated to share their findings with the public, but it's possible that Trump or members of the Senate Judiciary Committee could openly share them (or more likely leak them) to the press. Despite the White House's denials, we imagine the Senate, wary of perceptions that the probe is a sham so close to the midterms, will come forward with its own denial, saying that the FBI is free to conduct its investigation as it sees fit.

Published:9/30/2018 2:10:09 PM
[Media] Attention Senate Dems, here is what an FBI background check is and (more importantly) what it is NOT

Important details here.

The post Attention Senate Dems, here is what an FBI background check is and (more importantly) what it is NOT appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/30/2018 2:10:09 PM
[Brett Kavanaugh] Grassley to FBI: Investigate Anti-Kavanaugh Liar (John Hinderaker) As Scott noted a little while ago, Chuck Grassley’s patience with dishonest Democrats appears to be exhausted. Here is another sign: Grassley has referred an anti-Kavanaugh informant to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the FBI for criminal investigation: In my opinion, several other anti-Kavanaugh sources lied to the Judiciary Committee, but this one is unique because he has now admitted that he lied. Hence the criminal referral. Published:9/30/2018 1:08:52 PM
[Markets] WSJ Can't Corroborate Kavanaugh Accuser's "Gang Bang" Account After "Dozens" Contacted

After the FBI was instructed by the White House to interview two of the women who claim Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them - ignoring a third accuser represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti, The Wall Street Journal attempted to independently corroborate the 3rd accuser's story. 

Julie Swetnick - whose checkered past has called her character into question, alleges that Kavanaugh and a friend, Mark Judge, ran a date-rape "gang bang" operation at 10 high school parties she attended as an adult (yet never reported to the authorities). 

The allegations were posted by Avenatti over Twitter, which assert that Kavanaugh and Judge made efforts to cause girls "to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be "gang raped" in a side room or bedroom by a "train" of numerous boys." 

To try and corroborate the story, the Wall Street Journal contacted "dozens of former classmates and colleagues," yet couldn't find anyone who knew about the rape parties. 

The Wall Street Journal has attempted to corroborate Ms. Swetnick’s account, contacting dozens of former classmates and colleagues, but couldn't reach anyone with knowledge of her allegations. No friends have come forward to publicly support her claims. -WSJ

Soon after Swetnick's story went public, her character immediately fell under scrutiny - after Politico reports that Swetnick's ex-boyfriend, Richard Vinneccy - a registered Democrat, took out a restraining order against her, and says he has evidence that she's lying. 

"Right after I broke up with her, she was threatening my family, threatening my wife and threatening to do harm to my baby at that time," Vinneccy said in a telephone interview with POLITICO. "I know a lot about her." -Politico

"I have a lot of facts, evidence, that what she’s saying is not true at all," he said. "I would rather speak to my attorney first before saying more." Avenatti called the claims "outrageous" and hilariously accused the press of "digging into the past" of a woman levying a claim against Kavanaugh from over 35 years ago. 

Swetnick will appear Sunday night in a TV interview with Showtime's The Circus - the first woman to levy claims against the Supreme Court nominee to do so. NBC's Morning Joe teased a clip of the interview Thursday, in which Swetnick calls for an investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh. 

On Saturday, Mr. Avenatti, Ms. Swetnick’s lawyer, said on Twitter that he and his client hadn’t yet heard from the FBI, despite their repeated requests for an interview. Ms. Swetnick alleged earlier this week that Judge Kavanaugh attended a party in the early 1980s where she was gang-raped and that he tried to get women drunk at several gatherings so they could be targeted for sexual assault. -WSJ

"It is critically important that the public be informed of any hidden effort to limit the scope of the FBI investigation," said Avenatti. "The scope should be unlimited and the FBI should be tasked with determining whether an allegation is credible—as they do every day in this country."

Kavanaugh's first two accusers, Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, have accused Kavanugh of groping and exposing himself respectively. 

On Friday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake attempted to stall a Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh pending an FBI investigation, only to have Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) cut him off and call a snap vote, advancing the nomination to the full Senate floor. Flake then vowed to vote no on the full floor decision, and was joined by GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, just one day after Dianne Feinstein cornered her in a hallway for an apparent "talking to." 

While walking into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a key vote, said "yes," when asked if she supports Sen. Jeff Flake's proposal for a delay.

CNN asked: And do you think it should be limited to Ford’s accusations or should it include an investigation into other allegations?

Murkowski responded: "I support the FBI having an opportunity to bring some closure to this." -CNN

An official with the Trump administration said the reopening of Kavanaugh's FBI background check was being handled "as any update to a background investigation would be handled if new, derogatory information is introduced." 

"The FBI field agents will investigate this as they typically do under the constraints of there being new, derogatory information," the official said. "They’re not going to go on a fishing expedition."

Trump told reporders on Saturday that the White House gave the FBI "free reign" in the Kavanaugh inquiry to "do whatever they had to do, whatever it is that they do." 

"Having them do a thorough investigation, I actually think it will be a blessing in disguise," Trump said. "It will be a good thing."

"The White House is not micromanaging this process," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an interview with Fox News Sunday

That said, the Journal notes that just because the FBI wasn't granted the authority to interview Swetnick doesn't mean they can't ask other witnesses about her allegations. 

Former FBI officials say they are confident an investgation can be conducted by next Friday, according to the Journal, which adds that background checks for presidential appointees or judicial nominees often need to be done within a matter of weeks. That said, "background investigations are different from criminal investigations in that they are done at the request of a “client”—in this case the White House—and investigators are unable to deploy search warrants or grand jury subpoenas. Potential witnesses are allowed to decline requests to be interviewed," the Journal adds. 

The limitations on what the FBI will be able to investigate differed from what former officials said would be the best approach, given the level of public scrutiny and likelihood that the bureau could be accused of not chasing down every lead. -WSJ

"If I was in charge of this, I would tell [FBI] Director [Chris] Wray, we need to call up every single person on this," Mr. Danik said. "You don’t want anyone out there who can say in a week or two, ‘They never talked to us, they never heard from us.’" 

Published:9/30/2018 1:08:52 PM
[Markets] Grassley Refers Potential False Kavanaugh Accuser To FBI/DOJ For Criminal Investigation

The Senate Judiciary Committee has referred an individual to the FBI/DOJ for criminal investigation after for potential "materially false statements" about US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

On Monday, Jeff Catalan of Newport, RI called Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's office with "allegations concerning a rape on a boat in August of 1985," according to a transcript of the phone call. 

Catalan claimed that in 1985, "a close acquaintance of the constituent was sexually assaulted by two heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark," reported CNN, citing the transcript and noting that the incident reportedly took place on a boat in Newport harbor. After Catalan's friend learned about the assault, "he and another individual went to the harbor, located the boat the victim had described and physically confronted the two men, leaving them with significant injuries," the report notes.

Whitehouse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, asked Kavanaugh about the incident Tuesday, which Kavanaugh denied. 

"No," Kavanaugh said in a phone call with the Committee. "I was not in Newport, haven't been on a boat in Newport. Not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined. This is just completely made up, or at least not me. I don't know what they're referring to."

After a transcript of the call was released, Catalan recanted over Twitter, saying "Do everyone who is going crazy about what I had said I have recanted because I have made a mistake and apologize for such mistake." 

Over an hour after Catalan recanted, CNN ran a story that included his accusation but not his recanting. Three hours later, they updated their story to include his backpedal. 

A statement from the Judiciary Committee reads: 

"One tip was referred to the committee by staff for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). While Whitehouse referred the accuser to a reporter, the committee took the claim seriously and questioned Judge Kavanaugh about the allegations under penalty of felony. Judge Kavanaugh denied any misconduct. After the transcripts of that interview became public, the individual recanted the claims on a social media post," reads a statement by the Judiciary Committee. 

"...when individuals provide fabricated allegations to the Committee, diverting Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations, it materially impedes our work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations," Grassley says in the letter. 

Read the letter below: 

Published:9/30/2018 10:41:21 AM
[Media] ‘THERE’S your Devil’s Triangle’! Will the FBI act on THIS beer-fueled ‘provable groping incident’? [pic]

"I demand an FBI investigation."

The post ‘THERE’S your Devil’s Triangle’! Will the FBI act on THIS beer-fueled ‘provable groping incident’? [pic] appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/30/2018 10:09:12 AM
[Politics] White House Aides Say Trump Didn't Set Limits on Kavanaugh Probe President Donald Trump's team pushed back against reports that the White House has laid down the ground rules for a brief FBI probe into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.Trump ordered the investigation on Friday into the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh... Published:9/30/2018 10:09:12 AM
[The Blog] We know the scope of the FBI investigation. Now what?

League of libations

The post We know the scope of the FBI investigation. Now what? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/30/2018 8:41:27 AM
[Politics] Trump Says FBI Has 'Free Rein' in Kavanaugh Investigation The woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were students at Yale has agreed to cooperate with an FBI investigation, her lawyer said.Deborah Ramirez's lawyer, John Clune, said Saturday that agents want to interview Ramirez,... Published:9/30/2018 5:24:04 AM
[Politics] BOOM!! Grassley makes a CRIMINAL referral over Kavanaugh accusations… Grassley today sent a letter to the FBI recommending a criminal referral into the man who made false accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s part of the letter, the guy’s name is redacted: . . . Published:9/29/2018 9:34:46 PM
[Politics] BOOM!! Grassley makes a CRIMINAL referral over Kavanaugh accusations… Grassley today sent a letter to the FBI recommending a criminal referral into the man who made false accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s part of the letter, the guy’s name is redacted: . . . Published:9/29/2018 9:07:16 PM
[Markets] Elizabeth Warren Hints At 2020 Presidential Run

Pocahontas is almost ready to make it official.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Saturday during a town hall meeting that she would consider a run for the Democratic nomination in 2020 once the midterms are over.

"After Nov. 6, I will take a hard look at running for president," Warren told the crowd in Holyoke, Mass., provoking uproarious applause.

During the meeting, the Democrat shared her views on President Trump's agenda and the state of the country in the Trump era, while also weighing in on the controversy surrounding Trump's SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh and the allegations of sexual misconduct that have forced the postponement of his confirmation vote pending the outcome of a limited FBI background-check probe, as USA Today reported.

"I watched powerful men helping a powerful man make it to an even more powerful position," Warren said, according to the newspaper. "And I thought, 'Times up'". "It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government and that includes a woman at the top."

After she declared what was essentially a soft declaration of her 2020 campaign, the crowd responded with a standing ovation, as video of the event showed.

Previously, Warren had stayed quiet on her 2020 plans, telling NBC's "Meet the Press" back in March that she wanted to focus on her current job, and denied wanting to run (though her name has consistently been ranked among the likely contenders for the Democratic nom in what remains a wide-open field).

"I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That's where I'm focused. That's where I'm going to stay focused," Warren told MTP. "I'm not running for president."

However, Warren refused to "pledge" to serve out her full six-year term.

Watch the video below:

According to RealClearPolitics, Warren, who will be defending her seat in 2018, currently boasts a double-digit lead over her Republican challenger, Beth Lindstrom.

Warren

The Boston Globe pointed out that Warren has been campaigning for Democrats in battleground states and making other moves that could presage a presidential run. According to federal filings, she has $15.6 million in her campaign war chest.

Meanwhile, at a rally in West Virginia, President Trump urged the crowd to vote for Republicans on Nov. 6, saying Warren is "conservative" compared with the new base of the Democratic Party.

"They've gone crazy. They've gone loco."

 

Published:9/29/2018 8:38:26 PM
[In The News] Judiciary committee refers false allegation against Kavanaugh to the FBI

By R. Mitchell -

The Senate Judiciary Committee referred to the FBI on Saturday a false allegation of sexual misconduct levied against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. “The Senate Judiciary Committee today referred for criminal investigation apparent false statements made to committee investigators alleging misconduct by Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” a letter from the Committee read. “The ...

Judiciary committee refers false allegation against Kavanaugh to the FBI is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 7:34:51 PM
[In The News] FBI Contacts Second Kavanaugh Accuser, Suggesting Wider Probe

By DCNF -

Deborah Ramirez

The FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez in connection with its investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

FBI Contacts Second Kavanaugh Accuser, Suggesting Wider Probe is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 6:34:51 PM
[The Blog] CNN: Here’s what to expect from the FBI’s expanded investigation

"They could interview someone who says I saw Judge Kavanaugh get beamed down from a UFO..."

The post CNN: Here’s what to expect from the FBI’s expanded investigation appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/29/2018 6:07:43 PM
[Markets] White House limits FBI probe to two sexual-misconduct claims against Kavanaugh White House limits FBI probe to two sexual-misconduct claims against Kavanaugh Published:9/29/2018 5:33:35 PM
[In The News] You knew this was coming: Left not happy with restrictions on FBI investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh

By R. Mitchell -

36 hours… yup, that’s all it took for the progressive elite to find something about the FBI’s investigation into sexual misconduct claims against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Left-leaning NBC News reported that the White House has limited the scope of the FBI’s supplemental background check investigation to only claims with at ...

You knew this was coming: Left not happy with restrictions on FBI investigation into allegations against Kavanaugh is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 5:03:19 PM
[US News] IMPORTANT: Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti confirms to Alyssa Milano the FBI has not reached out to him

Both the Judiciary Committee and the FBI seem to be blowing off Michael Avenatti and his client.

The post IMPORTANT: Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti confirms to Alyssa Milano the FBI has not reached out to him appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/29/2018 4:34:04 PM
[Politics] BREAKING! FBI has contacted ANOTHER Kavanaugh accuser…. So we were all wondering just how limited the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh is going to be, and we got a partial answer – it will definitely contain Deborah Ramirez’s accusations. From . . . Published:9/29/2018 3:33:40 PM
[In The News] Tammy Bruce: Three questions the FBI MUST ask Blasey Ford next week

By R. Mitchell -

Fox News commentator and New York Times bestselling author Tammy Bruce has a few questions she thinks the FBI should ask Christine Blasey Ford when the FBI comes to talk to her next week. “I would suggest FBI questions that might jog Dr Ford’s memory,” Bruce posted to Twitter. 1)Did you ...

Tammy Bruce: Three questions the FBI MUST ask Blasey Ford next week is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 3:11:57 PM
[Politics] BREAKING! FBI has contacted ANOTHER Kavanaugh accuser…. So we were all wondering just how limited the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh is going to be, and we got a partial answer – it will definitely contain Deborah Ramirez’s accusations. From . . . Published:9/29/2018 3:11:56 PM
[2018 News] Hatch worried about time limit on FBI Kavanaugh investigation NEW: Hatch wrote to FBI Director Wray today to ensure the supplemental Kavanaugh investigation meets POTUS's designated timeline. Hatch requested that the FBI notify officials if any witnesses attempt to delay the investigation or decline to cooperate.https://t.co/ARGC72ErPp pic.twitter.com/NGG3t3c4Ah — Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 29, 2018 Hatch worried about time limit on FBI Kavanaugh investigation. […] Published:9/29/2018 2:32:32 PM
[Markets] A Dress Rehearsal For Impeachment, Pat Buchanan Blasts "Malevolent Accusers"

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Unz.com,

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was approved on an 11-10 party-line vote Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yet his confirmation is not assured.

Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, has demanded and gotten as the price of his vote on the floor, a weeklong delay. And the GOP Senate has agreed to Democrat demands for a new FBI investigation of all credible charges of sexual abuse against the judge.

Astonishing. With a quarter century in public service, Kavanaugh has undergone six FBI field investigations. They turned up nothing like the charges of sexual misconduct leveled against him these last two weeks.

In his 30 hours of public testimony before the judiciary committee prior to Thursday, no senator had raised an issue of a sexual misconduct.

But if Brett Kavanaugh is elevated to the Supreme Court, it will be because, in his final appearance, he tore up the script assigned to him. He set aside his judicial demeanor to fight for his good name with the passion and righteous rage of the innocent and good man he believes himself to be.

He turned an inquisition into his character and conduct as a teenager into a blazing indictment of the Democratic minority for what they were doing to his reputation and his family.

Rather than play the role of penitent, Kavanaugh did what Clarence Thomas did 30 years before. He attacked the character, conduct and motives of his Democratic accusers.

And did the judge not speak the truth? With few exceptions, all four dozen Senate Democrats are determined to defeat him, even if that requires them to destroy him.

They rejected Brett Kavanaugh the day he was nominated.

Why? Because the judge is a conservative and a Catholic, hence an unreliable vote to sustain Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that discovered hidden in the Constitution a woman’s right to abort her unborn child.

The verdict on the judge came down in the hearts and minds of his enemies the moment that he was named. They had him convicted, before they met him. And once his fate was decided, the only remaining issues were where to find the dirt to bury him with, and how to make it look like they had given Kavanaugh a fair hearing.

Contrast how Kavanaugh, who has served his country with distinction for decades, was treated Thursday, and how Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was treated.

Ford was greeted with courtly courtesy by Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley. No Republican senator asked her a question. Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor of sex crimes brought in from Arizona, quizzed her as though she were a 15-year-old girl who had just been attacked, not a 51-year-old woman whose uncorroborated accusations were designed not only to defeat a Supreme Court nomination but to destroy the career, family and future of a federal judge.

After each five-minutes of polite questioning by Mitchell, Democratic senators took turns lauding Ford’s courage, bravery and heroism in agreeing to appear.

Ford’s testimony as to what she says happened in 1982 did seem credible and compelling. Yet, to allow her accusation of attempted rape to stand without tough and thorough cross-examination, given the stakes involved, was a dereliction of Senate duty.

Consider. Ford does not recall how she got to the party where the alleged assault took place. She does not know where the party was held. She does now recall how she got home.

None of the other four she said were at the party recall being there. Her best friend, whom she apparently left behind as the lone woman in a house with a pair of drunken rapists, does not recall any such party. Nor does she recall ever having met Kavanaugh.

Consider the other charges leveled against Kavanaugh in the last two weeks: Exposing himself in the face of a freshman girl in a dorm at Yale. Participating in a series of at least 10 parties in high school where planned gang rapes of drunken and drugged women were a regular feature, with the boys lining up outside bedrooms.

In six FBI background investigations of Kavanaugh, interviewing countless friends and contemporaries from high school days, none of this wild and criminal misconduct of the early ’80s was mentioned.

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, “I hope that the American people will see through this charade.”

They had best do so. For what is being done to Kavanaugh is, if Democrats take control of Congress in November, a harbinger of what is to come. The assault on Kavanaugh, converting a man known for his integrity into a youthful Jack the Ripper in 10 days, is the playbook for what is planned for Trump.

The Kavanaugh lynching is a dress rehearsal for the impeachment of Donald Trump. And the best way to fight impeachment is the way the judge fought Thursday.

In defending yourself, go after your malevolent accusers as well.

Published:9/29/2018 2:32:32 PM
[Media] WHAT media bias? CNN’s spin on what friend of Dr. Ford is expected to tell the FBI sends heads CRASHING to desks

"You're not even trying to be honest at this point."

The post WHAT media bias? CNN’s spin on what friend of Dr. Ford is expected to tell the FBI sends heads CRASHING to desks appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/29/2018 12:04:11 PM
[In The News] Trump orders FBI investigation into accusations against Kavanaugh – Here’s what that means

By R. Mitchell -

On Friday, President Donald Trump ordered the FBI to perform a supplemental investigation in order to update Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s background check with information from Christine Blasey Ford, the people she named in her allegations, and other accusers that came out just ahead of Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote. Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school buddy ...

Trump orders FBI investigation into accusations against Kavanaugh – Here’s what that means is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 11:33:44 AM
[Trump Administration] Trump Authorizes FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh

By DCNF -

President Donald Trump ordered the FBI to conduct an investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh as requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Trump Authorizes FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/29/2018 11:05:10 AM
[US News] Shot/chaser GOLD: Proof-positive that Sen Chris Murphy was for an FBI investigation before he was indifferent about it

Dems are going to get hernias from all the goal post moving.

The post Shot/chaser GOLD: Proof-positive that Sen Chris Murphy was for an FBI investigation before he was indifferent about it appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/29/2018 10:03:02 AM
[World] Jeff Flake Calls for Brett Kavanaugh FBI Investigation: Dan Bongino Reacts

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino called out Sen. Jeff Flake Saturday on “Fox & Friends” for requesting an FBI investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/29/2018 9:07:52 AM
[US News] Shocker! NARAL helps prove an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh ‘will never satisfy the left’

Endless moving of the goal posts.

The post Shocker! NARAL helps prove an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh ‘will never satisfy the left’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/29/2018 9:07:51 AM
[US News] Conservatives react to Dr. Ford’s attorney moving the goalposts on the FBI investigation

As we told you last night, Debra S. Katz, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney, was not entirely thrilled with the reopened FBI investigation as President Trump limited its scope and time. Which just about everyone could have predicted would happen: WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED SUCH A RESPONSE? (aside from everyone with a brain) https://t.co/Fo3vKqC5TV — […]

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Published:9/29/2018 8:01:16 AM
[US News] IT BEGINS? Watch for a lib attack on the FBI investigation because of Kavanaugh’s ties to Christopher Wray

So, how soon until we hear that we can’t trust the FBI investigation that libs have been calling for for weeks now that President Donald Trump has actually ordered the FBI investigation? Prediction: a week from now we'll be arguing over why we should or should not trust the FBI after it says it can't […]

The post IT BEGINS? Watch for a lib attack on the FBI investigation because of Kavanaugh’s ties to Christopher Wray appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/29/2018 7:30:54 AM
[The Week In Pictures] The Week in Pictures: Justice Kavanaugh Edition (Steven Hayward) Who knew that Flake could take flakery to a whole new level. This theme headline may seem premature, but I don’t think so. In fact, the FBI “investigation” now is unlikely to turn up anything. Meanwhile, another delay, during which Democrats will manufacture more phony allegations, and attempt to intimidate Senators because they think it worked yesterday on Flake, is more like to backfire. There is polling evidence that Republican Published:9/29/2018 6:32:48 AM
[World] Jeff Flake Calls for Brett Kavanaugh FBI Investigation: Tucker Carlson Reacts

Tucker Carlson on Friday declared Sen. Jeff Flake the "ringmaster of the partisan circus" after he called for an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/28/2018 8:32:52 PM
[The Blog] Dem Sen. Chris Murphy: Kavanaugh is the most dangerous SCOTUS pick of our lifetime — no matter what the FBI finds

Hedging.

The post Dem Sen. Chris Murphy: Kavanaugh is the most dangerous SCOTUS pick of our lifetime — no matter what the FBI finds appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/28/2018 7:29:23 PM
[The Blog] Ford’s attorney: We can’t impose ‘artificial limits’ on this FBI investigation

The sound of goalposts being moved...again.

The post Ford’s attorney: We can’t impose ‘artificial limits’ on this FBI investigation appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/28/2018 6:58:53 PM
[Politics] Trump Orders ‘Supplemental’ FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh Allegations

President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, stipulating that the probe must be limited and completed within one week.

The post Trump Orders ‘Supplemental’ FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh Allegations appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/28/2018 6:34:01 PM
[US News] Women’s March thanks Sen. Jeff Flake by calling him a ‘rape apologist’

The official Twitter account for the Women’s March thanked Sen. Jeff Flake for his move today to get the FBI to reopen its background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh by calling the Arizona Republican a “rape apologist”: Every @SenateGOP member of the judiciary — including @JeffFlake — voted to support moving the confirmation to Brett […]

The post Women’s March thanks Sen. Jeff Flake by calling him a ‘rape apologist’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/28/2018 5:31:59 PM
[] How To Be a Useful Idiot While Being Praised By Other Useful Idiots For Being a Genius This morning, Megan McArdle declared, with her friends the Cucks, that the Republicans must allow a short time-limited FBI investigation for the safety of the Republic even though she fully conceded that Republicans have every right to be suspicious of... Published:9/28/2018 5:31:58 PM
[World] Brett Kavanaugh FBI Investigation: The Five React

The panel on The Five reacted Friday to the call for an FBI investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/28/2018 4:58:02 PM
[US News] Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford’s attorney respond to reopened FBI background investigation

We’re starting to see some reactions from the major players now that President Trump has officially ordered the FBI to “conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file” that’s “limited in scope and completed in less than one week”: Statement from President @realDonaldTrump:“I’ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge […]

The post Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford’s attorney respond to reopened FBI background investigation appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/28/2018 4:58:00 PM
[US News] CAPITULATION: Trump orders FBI investigation of Kavanaugh allegations

It’s official. The Judiciary Committee formally asked President Donald Trump to order the FBI to reopen its background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Judiciary Committee says they'll request the Trump Administration ask for an FBI investigation, this is a big deal. Democrats were asking for this for a long time and it didn't look like […]

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Published:9/28/2018 4:28:30 PM
[Markets] Trump orders FBI to reopen investigation into Kavanaugh Trump orders FBI to reopen investigation into Kavanaugh Published:9/28/2018 4:28:30 PM
[In The News] FLAKE FALTERS, Calls For FBI Probe Of Blasey Ford Claims As Kav Advances To Floor

By DCNF -

Jeff Flake unhappy

Anxiety and confusion prevailed in the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday, as GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona struck a tentative deal with Democrats providing for an FBI probe of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

FLAKE FALTERS, Calls For FBI Probe Of Blasey Ford Claims As Kav Advances To Floor is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust.

Published:9/28/2018 4:28:30 PM
[Politics] Judge Kavanaugh's Temperament It may be too soon to say for certain how long the Democrats will be able to stretch the week's delay they've won on Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation vote in the Senate. It's not too soon, though, to say that quite apart from the FBI investigation they've demanded, any delay will be used by the Democrats to bolster their campaign against his confirmation on grounds other than sexual assault. A glimpse of this is already being reported in the Times. Its Supreme Court correspondent, Adam Li... Published:9/28/2018 4:28:30 PM
[Politics] BREAKING – IT’S OFFICIAL: The FBI will conduct a background investigation into Kavanaugh allegations The Senate Judiciary Committee is announcing that they are officially calling on the Trump administration to request a limited FBI background check of Kavanaugh regarding the allegations: MORE: Senate panel says supplemental . . . Published:9/28/2018 3:59:52 PM
[The Blog] Mission impossible: Find credible witnesses in a political war to alleged 36-year-old incident

Mark Judge: Willing to talk to FBI or other law-enforcement agencies.

The post Mission impossible: Find credible witnesses in a political war to alleged 36-year-old incident appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/28/2018 3:59:52 PM
[The Blog] GOP announces: Will vote tomorrow to proceed on nomination, FBI investigation to last no longer than a week

Soon.

The post GOP announces: Will vote tomorrow to proceed on nomination, FBI investigation to last no longer than a week appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/28/2018 3:27:54 PM
[Politics] BREAKING – IT’S OFFICIAL: The FBI will conduct a background investigation into Kavanaugh allegations The Senate Judiciary Committee is announcing that they are officially calling on the Trump administration to request a limited FBI background check of Kavanaugh regarding the allegations: MORE: Senate panel says supplemental . . . Published:9/28/2018 3:27:54 PM
[US News] THERE it is! Sen. Chris Murphy just proved that ‘an FBI investigation is completely pointless’ to appease Dems on Kavanaugh

"Who saw this coming?"

The post THERE it is! Sen. Chris Murphy just proved that ‘an FBI investigation is completely pointless’ to appease Dems on Kavanaugh appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/28/2018 3:27:53 PM
[Markets] Kavanaugh Nomination Hits Snag After Republicans Agree To FBI Probe

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination has been stalled on the Senate floor after GOP leadership agreed Friday afternoon to a one-week delay for an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the Supreme Court nominee. Earlier in the day, the Judiciary Committee approved Kavinaugh's advancement by a vote of 11-10 along party lines.

"There's going to be a supplemental FBI background investigation" said Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in a Friday statement, which he said would last no longer than a week. 

Cornyn, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and a number of other Republicans had huddled in McConnell's office Friday afternoon to discuss how to proceed on the confirmation following a call from three key senators to delay the vote. -CNBC

Immediately prior to the Judiciary Committee voted, GOP Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona - who is not running for reelection - attempted to push for a delay pending an FBI investigation, however he was unsuccessful after Chairman Grassley rushed the vote. 

Flake then vowed to vote no on the full floor decision, and was joined by GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, just one day after Dianne Feinstein cornered her in a hallway for an apparent "talking to." 

While walking into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a key vote, said "yes," when asked if she supports Sen. Jeff Flake's proposal for a delay.

CNN asked: And do you think it should be limited to Ford’s accusations or should it include an investigation into other allegations?

Murkowski responded: "I support the FBI having an opportunity to bring some closure to this." -CNN

With a slim majority in the Senate of 51-49, the GOP would have been unable to push ahead with a Kavanaugh vote without at least Flake or Murkowski's support, as Vice President Mike Pence could break a tie in a deadlock. 

The move by Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring from the Senate after this year, was cheered by several Democrats, including Sen. Chris Coons (Del.), a fellow member of the Judiciary Committee.

“He and I dont share a lot of political views but we share a deep concern for the health of this institution and what it means to the rest of the world and the country,” said Coons, who huddled with Flake before he announced his position. -WaPo

When asked Friday afternoon what he thought about the delay, President Trump said "I'm going to let the Senate handle that," insisting that he would not get involved in pressuring the dissenting GOP senators to vote either way. 

"I'm going to rely on all of the people including Senator Grassley who's doing a very good job," added Trump. 

Meanwhile, CNBC reports that an attorney for Mark Judge, Kavanaugh's high school friend said to have been in the room during an alleged groping incident, says that Judge "will answer any and all questions posed to him" by the FBI. 

"If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr. Judge's cooperation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him," Judge's lawyer Barbara Van Gelder told CNBC in an email. -CNBC

Accuser Christin Blasey Ford says that both Judge and Kavanaugh were extremely drunk at a 1982 party that she has scant memories of, when Kavanaugh grinded his body against hers on a bed and attempted to take her clothes off. She testified that it was only after Judge jumped on the bed that the attack stopped. 

Of note, four individuals named by Ford have all denied any memory of the party - including Ford's "lifelong" friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, who says she has never been at a party where Kavanaugh was in attendance. 

Published:9/28/2018 2:59:52 PM
[World] Jeff Flake Calls for Brett Kavanaugh FBI Probe: Lindsey Graham Reacts

Sen. Lindsey Graham reacted to the astonishing call by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake for an FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/28/2018 2:37:21 PM
[US News] GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski joins Jeff Flake’s call for Kavanaugh vote delay pending FBI investigation

"McConnell can’t move forward on the floor if Flake and Murkowski are together on this."

The post GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski joins Jeff Flake’s call for Kavanaugh vote delay pending FBI investigation appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/28/2018 2:37:20 PM
[Brett Kavanaugh] Flake Flakes Out (John Hinderaker) Earlier this morning, Senator Jeff Flake said he would vote Yes on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But when the Judiciary Committee met and voted, he threw a curve ball: Flake voted Yes and the nomination went to the Senate floor on an 11-10 party line vote. But Flake said he will ultimately vote for the nomination only if there is a brief delay to permit another FBI investigation. Lisa Murkowski Published:9/28/2018 2:37:20 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Murkowski responds to Flake’s request for FBI investigation Murkowski has just spoken with NBC News on Flake’s request for an FBI investigation. You’re gonna be shocked. NOT. So I guess she’s going to back him and hold her vote to . . . Published:9/28/2018 1:56:33 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Murkowski responds to Flake’s request for FBI investigation Murkowski has just spoken with NBC News on Flake’s request for an FBI investigation. You’re gonna be shocked. NOT. So I guess she’s going to back him and hold her vote to . . . Published:9/28/2018 1:56:33 PM
[The Blog] Flake proposes one-week delay in final vote to let FBI investigate as Committee votes to confirm

Hoo boy.

The post Flake proposes one-week delay in final vote to let FBI investigate as Committee votes to confirm appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/28/2018 1:29:31 PM
[Kavanaugh] BREAKING: Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Kavanaugh to the Floor, Flake Requests 1-Week FBI Investigation

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh now faces a full Senate vote, after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 Friday along party lines in favor of... Read More

The post BREAKING: Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Kavanaugh to the Floor, Flake Requests 1-Week FBI Investigation appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:9/28/2018 1:29:31 PM
[Uncategorized] Senate Judiciary Committee Votes Yes on Kavanaugh, But Flake Wants to Delay Floor Vote Flake wants to give the FBI a week to investigate Published:9/28/2018 1:00:47 PM
[World] Sheldon Whitehouse: Kavanaugh's Calendar 'May Be Powerful Evidence' Backing Up Ford's Accusation

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) pleaded with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to pursue an FBI investigation of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/28/2018 11:29:19 AM
[Markets] GOP Leaders Threaten Rosenstein With Subpoena If He Refuses To Testify About McCabe Memos

Roughly nine months after Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he would not fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller without "good reason", House Republicans are again moving to haul him in for questioning following a steady drumbeat of pressure that has intensified over the past week. This comes after they said they would subpoena the memos themselves late Thursday.

Rosie

According to the Washington Post, Rosenstein will be called back to Capitol Hill to testify, and if he refuses, the House will subpoena him, said Rep. Mark Meadows, who tweeted Friday that GOP leadership had agreed on a plan.

The calls for Rosenstein's testimony have intensified since the New York Times published a bombshell story last Friday alleging that Rosenstein tried to organize an attempt to oust President Trump via the 25th amendment, and that he had suggested surreptitiously recording the president. However, the story, which was drawn from memos allegedly taken by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, has been disputed by some people who attended a meeting with McCabe and Rosie the day before Mueller's appointment was announced. Since then, reports about Rosenstein's imminent firing/resignation have proven false, as Trump has said he wants to hear Rosenstein's side of the story. The two, who met briefly Thursday, will meet again next week.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday that the Judiciary Committee "is calling the shots" and that "we support the Judiciary Chairman."

As WaPo points out, House Republicans attempted to curry the votes to impeach Rosenstein, claiming that his Rosenstein's DOJ wasn't complying with an investigation into the genesis of the Mueller probe. But in recent weeks House leaders had changed their tune, saying that Rosie had become cooperative. Trump has also considered firing him at least twice.

An agreement from GOP leaders to call Rosenstein to testify puts to rest any lingering speculation that the House would schedule a vote to impeach Rosenstein during the last few days that lawmakers are in town, before departing Washington for an extended pre-midterm campaign period. Meadows’s tweet did not say exactly when he expected Rosenstein to appear on Capitol Hill, but it will surely be after most lawmakers are scheduled to be away from Washington.

Earlier this week, Meadows said that he wanted Rosenstein to testify next week. On Thursday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he thought Republicans were "moving in a good direction as far as getting Mr. Rosenstein to come before Congress," and that he expected Rosenstein would meet with lawmakers "soon".

Jordan also added the joint committee plans next week to meet with former FBI general counsel James Baker. Lawmakers also are expected to meet during the third week of October with Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, the firm behind a dossier detailing Trump’s alleged personal and business ties to Russia, according to two members. Ohr is married to Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who met on several occasions with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who compiled the information in the dossier.

While it's unclear exactly when Rosenstein will testify, his testimony will come as Republicans interview several other witnesses in their investigation, including Nellie Ohr, wife of former deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, who had ties to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired an ex-British spy to compile the Trump dossier, that were not properly disclosed.

Then again, it's still certainly possible that Trump could change his mind and fire Rosenstein before he has an opportunity to testify.

Published:9/28/2018 11:00:47 AM
[Markets] House Committee Subpoenas 'McCabe Memos' Reportedly Detailing Rosenstein's Attempted 'Palace Coup'

Despite the staggering revelations regarding his pre-Mueller probe conduct that came to light a week ago, Rod Rosenstein looks set to keep his job - for now, at least. But while President Trump has insisted that he doesn't believe the report - which alleges that Rosenstein tried to recruit cabinet members for a palace coup and even suggested surreptitiously taping Trump in the Oval Office - the truth of the matter may soon be exposed thanks to House Oversight Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who on Thursday formally subpoenaed the DOJ to obtain copies of the incriminating memos, and other related materials, purportedly penned by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The NYT and other news outlets cited the memos as the original source for their story, though none of them actually obtained physical copies of the document - instead, they relied on "descriptions" of the memos' content conveyed by third parties who had reportedly seen them.

According to Fox News, Goodlatte sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday notifying him of the subpoena, which was issued as part of a joint investigation with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. Goodlatte is giving the DOJ - which has been notoriously reluctant to comply with Congressional subpoenas during the Trump era - a deadline of Oct. 4 to comply. The initial Times report claimed that McCabe had left copies of his memos at the FBI after he was fired earlier this year.

"Given the Department’s ongoing delays and/or refusal to produce these documents, I am left with no choice but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel their production," Goodlatte wrote to Sessions.

In addition to requesting all documents and communications pertaining to the memos, Goodlatte also subpoenaed the file  on the first FISA Court application requesting a wiretapping warrant on Trump Campaign advisor Carter Page, a warrant that was at the heart of the Obama Administration's suspected conspiracy to wiretap and investigate the presidential nominee of its rival party, according to the Washington Examiner. 

McCabe

Rosenstein has denounced the NYT report as "factually incorrect" while insisting that he never said or did the things he was accused of doing. Other anonymous sources who were reportedly in the room during a meeting between Rosenstein and McCabe where these issues were discussed were quoted saying Rosenstein made the comment about wiretapping the president in jest.

McCabe's lawyer, Mark Bromwich (who notably made an appearance during Thursday's Kavanaugh hearing) acknowledged the existence of the memos in a statement last week.

"Andrew McCabe drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions," McCabe’s attorney Michael Bromwich said in a statement. "When he was interviewed by the Special Counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos - classified and unclassified - to the Special Counsel's office. A set of those memos remained at the FBI at the time of his departure in late January 2018. He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos."

The memos, which were taken by McCabe, reportedly include details from debriefing sessions with former FBI Director James Comey about his meetings with Trump. They were intended to preserve details that may have been used in an obstruction case against the president.

Fox News reported that the meeting where Rosenstein purportedly made his comments took place on May 16, 2017. The meeting was attended by several DOJ officials, including McCabe and former FBI counsel Lisa Page, who was famously fired from the bureau after her anti-Trump text messages with former lover Peter Strzok were exposed. Notably, Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller the day after the meeting. The New York Times reported at the time that it had confirmed the details of the memos - the contents of which had been shared with the paper through an intermediary - with multiple people who had been briefed on their content.

Published:9/28/2018 7:26:00 AM
[Markets] Kavanaugh Confirmation Odds Soar As Key Vote Looms

Brett Kavanaugh's impassioned testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee transfixed a nation on Thursday as Wall Street traders turned away from their terminals to tune in, causing trading volumes to plummet.

The SCOTUS nominee's staunch rebuttal of the allegations levied by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her 36 years ago when they were both teenagers apparently convinced the handful of wavering moderate Republicans to throw their support behind Kavanaugh, as reports emerged last night that the Senate has the votes to confirm Kavanaugh, and that Senate Judiciary Committee leaders intend to hold a vote to recommend Kavanaugh first thing Friday morning, with the Senate confirmation following "in the coming days" (according to Mitch McConnell) - just in time for lawmakers to embark on an October campaigning blitz ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm vote.

According to Bloomberg, all eyes are three senators who have been undecided: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Flake told reporters he was undecided and the other two have declined to say where they stand. Meanwhile, Bob Corker of Tennessee said yesterday that he has decided how to vote - though he has yet to reveal his intentions. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has been meeting with Republicans about possibly voting for Kavanaugh. "We're still talking," Manchin said.

So, with Republicans reportedly on the cusp of confirming the long-awaited fifth vote that would cement a conservative majority on the nation's highest court for the next generation, and with President Trump having voiced his unequivocal support for his nominee after wavering earlier in the week...

...Online betting odds that Kavanaugh will be confirmed - which had dropped during Ford's testimony Thursday morning - rebounded sharply on Friday, showing that investors overwhelmingly expect Kavanaugh will fill the seat once held by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

However, the American Bar Association (the US legal world's largest organization) has continued to oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation, and on Thursday evening, it issued a statement asking the GOP to delay the vote on Kavanaugh until the FBI could conduct a more thorough investigation, with ABA President Robert Carlson urging the Senate to abide by its duty to "advise and consent'.

"The basic principles that underscore the Senate’s constitutional duty of advice and consent on federal judicial nominees require nothing less than a careful examination of the accusations and facts by the FBI," ABA President Robert Carlson wrote in a letter to Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein (Calif).

The letter, which is unlikely to sway Republicans, said that an appointment to the Supreme court "is simply too important to rush to a vote." "Deciding to proceed without conducting an additional investigation would not only have a lasting impact on the Senate’s reputation, but it will also negatively affect the great trust necessary for the American people to have in the Supreme Court," Carlson wrote in the letter, obtained by The Washington Post.

Kavanaugh touted his good standing with the ABA during Thursday's hearing, per the Washington Post.

As part of its review of Kavanaugh’s qualifications, the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary found that Kavanaugh  "enjoys an excellent reputation for integrity and is a person of outstanding character," contributing to its unanimous "well-qualified" rating. Kavanaugh and Graham together alluded to the ABA investigation at least three times Thursday.

Also calling for a delay to the vote was Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has often appeared on cable news networks to defend Trump, per Fox News.

Also calling for an FBI probe was Harvard Law School scholar Alan Dershowitz, often lauded by President Trump for his criticisms of the the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.  "Maybe we can get closer to the truth, although that is not certain," Dershowitz wrote in a Fox News opinion piece. "But right now there are too many unanswered question[s] to bring the confirmation of Kavanaugh" to "a vote of the Judiciary Committee as scheduled on Friday, much less to a vote of the full Senate.” It is “possible that one of them is deliberately lying. Right now, there is no way of knowing for certain, which is why the FBI needs to talk to the judge’s accusers and others."

Though even WaPo conceded that the ABA's pleas were "unlikely to sway Republicans."

Meanwhile protesters are already gathering on both sides of the aisle. Should Kavanaugh be confirmed, it could lead to another escalation in the extreme ideological anger - and violence - that has gripped the nation over the past two years.

Published:9/28/2018 6:55:10 AM
[Politics] ABA: Delay Kavanaugh Vote, Let FBI Investigate The American Bar Association is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to slow down on the vote on Brett Kavanaugh for a position on the Supreme Court until the FBI has time to do a full background check on claims of sexual assault made by Christine... Published:9/28/2018 6:00:10 AM
[Markets] Senate Insider: Kavanaugh Votes Secured

After an emotional day of testimony on Capitol Hill, a late Thursday report from Townhall citing a Senate insider reveals that Brett Kavanaugh has the votes to make it out of committee and will be confirmed on the floor for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court

Sens. Flake (R-AZ), Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), and Manchin (D-WV) are expected to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. All the Republicans are voting yes. Also, in the rumor mill, several Democrats may break ranks and back Kavanaugh. That’s the ball game, folks. -Townhall

Thursday's proceedings saw a rollercoaster of emotions from both Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford - who claims he groped her at a high school party in 1982. 

Ford's testimony was considered compelling, with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) calling her an "attractive, good witness," however betting site PredictIt showed Kavanaugh's odds of confirmation steadily climbing after ranking minority leader Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) laid out Ford's case. He stands at 74% as of this writing. 

PredictIt

Kavanaugh, on the other hand, shook the building with righteous indignation - slamming Democrats for smearing his family name and his lifetime of achievements. His opening statement was gripping and emotional - with Kavanaugh breaking down into tears several times, and seething with rage during other pivotal moments - such as when he excoriated Feinstein for withholding Ford's letter from the committee for several weeks before it was leaked to the press. 

Feinstein was taken aback, and immediately pivoted to a softer tact which was ultimately not convincing. The Democrats attempted several times to corner Kavanaugh on why he hasn't advocated for an FBI investigation into the allegations against him, to which Kavanaugh stated several times that this would ultimately be unproductive since the agency doesn't render an opinion, which was the Judiciary Committee's job. 

Kavanaugh's opening statement has already been made into a commercial: 

And his entire opening statement: 

Undoubtedly contributing to pro-Kavanaugh sentiment among GOP Committee members was Senator Lindsey Graham's fiery condemnation of the Democrats for turning the Supreme Court hearing into a circus. 

Democrats are now suggesting that Kavanaugh isn't fit for the Supreme Court because of his emotional testimony over accusations that will hang over his head for the rest of his life, confirmed or not. 

With no evidence, no corroborating witnesses, and the timing of the allegation, these allegations against an eminently qualified judge were just too thin to stop the Kavanaugh train. Remember Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) office had Ford’s letter since July. They sat on it for weeks. They kept it from Senate colleagues. And then they dropped it at the 11th hour in the hope of derailing the nomination. It was a Hail Mary pass—and it failed miserably. -Townhall

Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation vote is scheduled for Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Published:9/28/2018 4:57:28 AM
[Politics] Graham rips Dems for turning Kavanaugh hearing into ‘unethical sham’ Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham angrily blasted the Democrats’ handling of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process as “the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.” “If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us,” Graham (R-SC) said, his voice shaking, as he addressed Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. “What you... Published:9/27/2018 8:53:31 PM
[Politics] House GOP Subpoenas DOJ for McCabe Memos The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed the Department of Justice for memos written by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Published:9/27/2018 5:21:29 PM
[Politics] “My family’s been destroyed by this Senator” – Kavanaugh doesn’t hold back, gives Feinstein an EARFUL! — [FULL VIDEO] Kavanaugh was spitting fire today in his remarks with Senator Feinstein. She was trying to corner him by asking why he didn’t push for an FBI investigation. But Kavanaugh hit back hard, . . . Published:9/27/2018 3:51:22 PM
[Politics] “My family’s been destroyed by this Senator” – Kavanaugh doesn’t hold back, gives Feinstein an EARFUL! — [FULL VIDEO] Kavanaugh was spitting fire today in his remarks with Senator Feinstein. She was trying to corner him by asking why he didn’t push for an FBI investigation. But Kavanaugh hit back hard, . . . Published:9/27/2018 3:51:22 PM
[Markets] Watch Live: Kavanaugh Bests Feinstein In Fiery Opening Exchange

Update XI: "I am giving you the evidence now."

With that statement, Kavanaugh rebutted a question from Dianne Feinstein, making her look scattered and ineffectual by comparison.

In a statement that apparently surprised Feinstein, Kavanaugh categorically denied his accusers allegations, leaving her utterly baffled and struggling for a response. Asked about why he didn't support an FBI investigation, Kavanaugh responded that he wanted to immediately address the allegations at a hearing - a wish that was ultimately not granted, allowing the aspersions cast by his accusers to linger unaddressed for more than a week. "I'll do what the committee wants me to do," he said.

Responding specifically to questions about Julie Swetnick, Kavanaugh called her claims a "joke" and a "farce".

Feinstein asked Kavanaugh if he had anything more to say about Swetnick. He responded with a resounding "no."

So far, his performance is earning rave reviews.

Trump Jr. also weighed in.

 

 

Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham accused Ford of using her purported "fear of flying" as an excuse to delay the hearing as long as possible.

"You could not get a search warrant or an arrest warrant," off Ford's claims, he pointed out.

Here's Kavanaugh's opening statement.

* * *

Update X:  Kavanaugh's statement is far deeper, angrier and more detailed than pundits could have guessed. And while some pundits scolded him, others pointed out that his response is completely justified, as the Washington Examiner pointed out.

And maybe, on the "optics," the anger is not helpful. But on the score of justice, Kavanaugh's anger is totally fitting.

But if half the political machinery of the federal government, the leaders of one party, and about half of the media came after you with a campaign of lies - which is what this is, if Kavanaugh isn't guilty of rape and sexual assault - you would be angry.

If you fielded death threats, were called a rapist, and attacked not just by random Internet trolls and juvenile protests, but by major politicians who are still welcomed in polite society, you would be angry.

As Kavanaugh said about 30 minute into his opening statement, "we live in a land of due process and rule of law...and if we allow decades old allegations to stand...we will have abandoned that virtue."

"I swear before the nation, my family and God, I am innocent of this charge," Kavanaugh said, concluding his statement.

* * *

Update IX: Judge Kavanaugh has come out of the gate swinging, visibly furious and accusing Democrats of a "coordinated effort" to destroy his good name and his family, and pledging that he will continue fighting back. He firmly declared that he "has never sexually assaulted anyone - not in high school, not in college, not ever." He added that one of his closest female friends is a sexual assault survivor.

Kavanaugh described the last-minute flurry of allegations as "a calculated and orchestrated political hit," fueled in part by anger at Trump, the 2016 election and "revenge" on behalf of the Clintons. These smears were "expected if not planned by his opponents."

Kav

He accused the minority of replacing "advice and consent" with "search and destroy."

"Listen to the people I know," Kavanaugh pleads. "Listen to the witnesses who allegedly were at the event 36 years ago." Regardless of the outcome of the vote, Kavanaugh said that he would not be intimidated, even though the allegations have "destroyed my family and made me fear for our future."

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You have tried hard. You given it your all. No one can question your effort. Your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and destroyed my family will not drag me out."

The judge became visibly choked up while talking about his mother, then had to pause as he struggled to describe how his daughters said their prayers for Ford Wednesday night.

"That's a lot of wisdom for a 10-year-old."

He added that, throughout his career, he has been vetted numerous times, despite hundreds of hours of interviews and dozens of meetings with lawmakers. "Never a hint of anything of this kind and that's because nothing of this kind ever happened." 

He clarified that he socialized in high school with women from numerous private all-girls schools - but not Holton-Arms, the school attended by doctor Ford. He went on to emphasize how none of the people whom Ford said also attended the party corroborated her story, and that none of them lived near the location where the party allegedly took place - and neither did Ford.

Moving on to the calendars that he turned over, the party happened in a summer in 1982 on a weekend night, "my calendar shows all but definitively, I was not there."

In an effort to give the committee "a full picture of who I was" Kavanaugh reiterated that he didn't have sex in high school, or for many years after. He attributed boasts about the "Renata Club" and other sexually charged comments from his high school yearbook to his insecurity about his inexperience.

"I doubt we are alone in looking back in high school and cringing at some things," says Kavanaugh.

"For one thing our yearbook was a disaster. I think some editors and students wanted the book to be some combination of Animal House, Caddyshack, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High", which he notes, "were all popular movies at the time."

* * *

Update VIII: Following six hours of relatively persuasive testimony from Ford, it is now Kavanaugh's turn to rebut her allegations.

Betting odds of Kavanaugh's confirmation plunged on Thursday as pundits said Ford's testimony could be enough to convince moderate Republicans - and possibly even the president - to withdraw their support for the one-time "sure thing." That Kavanaugh's nomination will fall through is now the most likely outcome according to one popular online betting market. In second place was Kav squeaking by with a one-vote margin (with Vice President Mike Pence presumably casting the tie-breaking vote).

Odds

* * *

Update VII: While we're waiting for Kavanaugh's testimony, here's a summary of where we are at:

  • Ford says that she didn't have a political motivation in coming forward
  • Ford says she didn't authorize the release of the letter to the public and doesn't know how her allegations were made public
  • Senator Booker says the way sexual assault survivors are treated is `unacceptable' and submits seven letters supporting Ford
  • Ford says she would be happy to cooperate with FBI and would submit to interviews from staff on the committee
  • Ford testifies that Kavanaugh attended four or five parties with her where there was no sexually inappropriate behavior, except for the night in question
  • Ford says that Feinstein recommended Katz as an attorney
  • Ford says she didn't tell Leyland Keyser about alleged assault but expects Judge would remember
  • Mitchell's questioning didn't appear to deter Ford as she answered most questions without issue

* * *

Update VI: More anonymous White House officials have spoken to WSJ with their reaction to Ford's testimony. The upshot? It's not looking good for Kavanaugh.

Barring a major stumble by Ford, Kavanaugh will need to knock it out of the park to survive.

Former Trump White House officials described Thursday's hearing as a "disaster" for Republicans that ramps up the pressure on Judge Kavanaugh's testimony later in the day.

One former official called the hearing "worse than any Republican could have expected," describing Dr. Ford as a "very credible witness" and criticizing the performance of Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor hired by Republicans.

"Barring a big f***up by Ford, I don't see how Kavanaugh has a chance to save his own ass in his testimony," the official said.

Another former official said the hearing was "not very good" for the White House.

"Ford's testimony puts all the pressure on Kavanaugh," the official said. "He really needs to knock it out of the park."

Oddly enough, the Trump campaign sent out a fundraising message during Thursday's testimony calling the allegations against Kavanaugh "a witch hunt."

"They did it to Justice Clarence Thomas. They did it to Judge Robert Bork," the message read. "Now it's happening again."

As Ford teared up in response to declarations of sympathy from Kamala Harris - who declared "I believe you, we believe you" - and Corey Booker - who praised Ford's testimony a "nothing short of heroic" - some pundits questioned why the GOP prosecutor's questions haven't been nearly as penetrating as one might ahve expected.

* * *

Update V: Despite the lapses in Ford's story highlighted by the prosecutor and senators, political pundits have sounded off on Ford's testimony. And the overarching view is that she seemed credible enough to cast serious doubt on Kavanaugh's candidacy.

Ross Douthat from the NYT said the testimony was "too credible" to elevate Kavanaugh.

Despite the somber subject matter, the testimony included more than a few humorous moments.

Others pointed out that Ford's claim that the experience has been a source of enduring trauma appeared to clash with the numerous lapses in her memory.

Others pointed out that her testimony seemed rehearsed and inauthentic.

Meanwhile, Fox News' Chris Wallace - a host on Trump's favorite network - said he didn't see how "we could disregard [Ford]" and that her testimony was a "disaster" for Republicans.

During the committee's break for lunch, Senator Orrin Hatch stirred up a minor controversy when he told a group of reporters that he thought Ford was "attractive" and "pleasing" and that "she's a very nice person and I wish her well."

* * *

Update IV: Ford's testimony has resumed, with Democrats including Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse once again pontificating about the injustice of the fact that the FBI hasn't been called upon to investigate Ford's claims for Kavanaugh's background file. In addition, he said once again that Mark Judge, the alleged witness to the assault, should have been subpoenaed.

Mitchell then asked Ford if there might be other contributing factors to the post-traumatic symptoms she has experienced in the wake of the assault. Mitchell then clarified that Ford had told her husband that she had experienced a sexual assault before they were married, then divulged more details during a therapy session in 2012.

In response to another one of Mitchell's questions, Ford described her fear of flying. After which, Mitchell asked how Ford had made it to Thursday's hearing.

"I flew," she replied.

Following this, Grassley struggled to make clear to Ford that he offered to send staff out to California to take her testimony. Ford eventually acknowledged that she appreciated the offer, though she says she was not made aware of it at the time.

Meanwhile, a WSJ reporter asked a senior White House official for Trump's thoughts on the hearing. "Too early for me to answer that," they said.

She had said she wanted to delay the hearing from Monday to Thursday so that she could drive to Washington.

In a statement to reporters during a break in the testimony, Chairman Grassley said that he likely wouldn't have a comment on the proceedings on Thursday., per Axios.

"During a break, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told reporters, "I don’t think I can make any comments at all today, maybe it’s something I ought to sleep on. This is pretty important. We ought to be thinking about it a lot and not making hasty comments."

Asked about the delay in Ford's disclosure, Ford said it took her Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's office a few weeks to get back to her. She also said that "beach friends" in Delaware had advised her to hire a lawyer and contact either the New York Times or the Washington Post - which inspired her to send an encrypted text to the Post.

Meanwhile, WSJ's Kimberly Strassel pointed out a few holes in Ford's story, including the fact, uncovered by the prosecutor, that nobody has actually seen Ford's therapy session notes from 2012.

 

* * *

Update III: In a sign that the rift between Trump and Kavanaugh is worsening, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two hadn't spoken in "the last couple of days."

In response to a question from Sen. Dick Durbin, Ford said she remembers encountering Mark Judge once following the assault during a trip to the Potomac Safeway, and that he appeared extremely uncomfortable, despite the two of them being friendly before the assault. Asked by Durbin about whether she could be mistaken about Kavanaugh's identity, she said she is "100% certain" that it was Kavanaugh who had assaulted her.

* * *

Update II: Rachel Mitchell's questioning has begun with an examination of texts between Ford and a Washington Post reporter, as well as the letter Ford wrote to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Ford offered a few minor corrections. Afterward, answering a question from Feinstein, Ford recounted how the assault impacted her mental health over the following four years, saying she struggled in her studies and in her "relationships with boys."

Ford likened coming forward to "jumping in front of a train" and said she had feared she would be "personally annihilated."

Asked if her accusation of Kavanaugh could be a case of mistaken identity, Ford replied "absolutely not" adding that she was flooded with adrenaline and norepinephrine.

Asked about the atmosphere of the party, Ford said she remembers a modestly furnished living room, and that Kavanaugh and Mark Judge were extremely inebriated. Ford clarified that the event "wasn't a party" saying instead that it was a gathering that she expected would lead to a party later.

In response to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy, Ford said the most indelible memory from that night was "the laughter" shared by Kavanaugh and Judge. "It sounded like two friends having a really good time."

Shifting back to Mitchell, the prosecutor asked about inconsistencies in Ford's testimony, like the number of people in attendance at the party (at one point Ford claimed there were four boys and two girls at the party, and at another time she said there were only four boys).

* * *

Update: With Ranking member Dianne Feinstein (who initially helped publicize Ford's allegations) nearly finished with his opening remarks, the headlines are starting to roll in...

Grassley opened the hearing by assailing Democrats, asking why they didn't publish Ford's allegations sooner, and apologizing to both Ford and Kavanaugh for the "vile threats" levied at their families. He also attacked Feinstein for failing to publicize the allegations until the last minute. The Iowa Republican promised a "safe, comfortable and dignified" atmosphere at the hearing. Ford is expected to testify first, with Kavanaugh following later in the day.

Meanwhile, Feinstein, blissfully unaware of the irony embedded in her statement, accused Republicans of rushing to judgment in promising to move ahead with a confirmation vote on Friday. "This is not a trial for Dr. Ford, it is a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh."

During her opening testimony, Ford, sounding choked up and on the verge of tears, described the alleged assault and explained how it had drastically altered her life, and said that, after finding out that his name was on a short list of SCOTUS candidates, she felt it was her "civic duty" to tell the public about the assault. Ford - who said she first told her husband about the assault during a couples counseling session in 2012 - claimed that, once she read media reports claiming Kavanaugh's confirmation was virtually assured, she decided to stay silent. However, she soon found herself being harassed by reporters, who told her that she would soon be outed with or without her consent. At this point, she said she decided to speak out to "describe the assault in my own words."

Ford says she and her family have paid a heavy price for "speaking out", saying they were forced out of their home because of the volume of death threats.

She concluded her opening testimony with a "request for caffeine."

CNN has published a list of committee members and pointed out that, of the 21 senators on the committee, only four are women.

Eleven Republicans:

Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa
Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah
Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina
Sen. John Cornyn, of Texas
Sen. Michael Lee, of Utah
Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas
Sen. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska
Sen. Jeff Flake, of Arizona
Sen. Mike Crapo, of Idaho
Sen. Thom Tillis, of North Carolina
Sen. John Kennedy, of Louisiana

Ten Democrats:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California
Sen. Patrick Leahy, of Vermont
Sen. Dick Durbin, of Ilinois
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota
Sen. Christopher Coons, of Delaware
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut
Sen. Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii
Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jeresey
Sen. Kamala Harris, of California

CNN is also reporting that Democratic senators aren't expected to consolidate their questions,

Senate Democrats are not expected to consolidate their questions, meaning no one is giving up their allotted time to ask questions in order to allow others more time. However, they are coordinating their questions.

* * *

After a series of delays and countless hours of haggling and speculation, President Trump's embattled SCOUTS nominee Brett Kavanaugh will face the first of what are now five accusers (two of them anonymous) who have alleged that he sexually attacked or assaulted them, or someone they know, in the distant past.

For the hearing, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford - who went public 11 days ago with allegations that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, attempted to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream for help during a high school party 36 years ago - will travel to Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building to answer questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as a female sex crimes prosecutor hired by committee Republicans. Kavanaugh, who has already sat for two days of confirmation hearings, will testify later in the day, where he will answer questions about allegations of past sexual misconduct.

The hearing, which is slated to begin at 10 am ET, is expected to be a media circus that has already drawn comparisons to the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, who was nearly waylaid by accusations of sexual harassment from former law clerk Anita Hill back in the early 1990s. The hearing is expected to last several hours.

Watch the hearing live below:

We've published a guide to everything readers need to know about the hearing a piece explaining the potential repercussions that this hearing could have on the #MeToo movement and a story detailing some of the latest allegations against Kavanaugh.

* * *

Democrats will seek to paint Kavanaugh as scattered and anxious, while Republicans are hoping to discredit Ford by focusing on gaps in her memories. Already, all of the people who Ford claims were at the party have said they either weren't there or that the incident never happened.

Another question that will be on viewers minds: What will Trump think of the hearing?

And will any more accusers step forward between now and the time the marathon session ends?

Published:9/27/2018 3:51:22 PM
[World] Christine Blasey Ford Brett Kavanaugh Allegation: Former FBI Agent on Accuser's Polygraph Test

The retired FBI agent who administered Christine Blasey Ford's polygraph test joined Shannon Bream on "Fox News @ Night."

Published:9/27/2018 8:53:05 AM
[Markets] Here's Everything You Need To Know About Thursday's Kavanaugh Hearing

A confirmation that appeared virtually guaranteed barely one week ago has been brought to the brink of an embarrassing political defeat for President Trump now that a total of five women (three using their names, two under the guise of anonymity) have accused Federal Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is Trump's pick to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, of sexual improprieties ranging from harassment to rape.

And while the credibility of all three of the named accusers has been brought into question (evidence of political bias, domestic instability and other discrediting factors have surfaced in media reports), initial accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will appear on Thursday to "confront" Kavanaugh, who she says pinned her to a bed, covered her mouth and attempted to remove her clothes during a high school party in the early 1980s. Though all of the people whom Ford has said were also in attendance at the party have either said they weren't there or that the incident that Ford is alleging never happened, Dems have continued to push for an FBI investigation. Meanwhile, GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have hired Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to handle most of the questioning. Questions for Senators will be capped at 5 minutes during the hearing, which is set to begin around 10 am ET. In order to avoid the media circus that characterized Kavanaugh's initial hearings, the committee has moved Thursday's hearing to the Dirksen Senate Office Building room 226, a smaller, more intimate venue.

Kav

Ahead of what's expected to be one of the most closely watched political events of the year (a year that also includes a mid-term election), USA Today and the Hill have published primers outlining everything readers need to know about the hearing, including their best guesses about what Senators might ask, as well as what's next for Kavanaugh's nomination should he retain President Trump's favor following the hearing. Notably, after a less-than-stellar performance during Kavanaugh's interview with Fox News earlier this week, Trump has raised the possibility that he might withdraw his support, saying he'd like to "see what's said" during Thursday's hearing.

Who Are The Other Accusers?

Five women have now accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

On Wednesday, Julie Swetnick, a client of attorney Michael Avenatti, alleged in a signed affidavit hat she witnessed Kavanaugh and high school classmate Mark Judge intentionally try to make girls "inebriated and disoriented" so the two boys, and a squad of their high school friends, could "gang rape" the women at high school parties. Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale at the same time as Kavanaugh, described an incident where Kavanaugh allegedly pulled down his pants and shoved his penis in her face. That incident, like the others, allegedly ocurred when Kavanaugh was very drunk.

Two additional accusations were made public Wednesday night after it was revealed that Kavanaugh had been questioned about anonymous allegations of assault from two women.

They have declined to come forward, but one woman claimed that she was raped on a boat by Kavanaugh, and another claims that her daughter witnessed Kavanaugh push another woman against a wall and tried to force himself on her while he was drunk. Kavanaugh was also questioned about an anonymous allegation that he raped a woman on a boat in Rhode Island back in 1985.

Credibility Test

Senators from both parties say the hearing will be a crucial test of Kavanaugh's and Ford's credibility.

"Juries smell truthfulness," said a Democratic senator. "Juries look for who is the most comfortable and nine times out of 10, that’s the one telling the truth."

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), a centrist Democrat who is undecided on how to vote, says he will "read body language and listen to what they’re saying and how they’re saying it" to assess the credibility of the witnesses.

What Happened During The Attack?

All four of the people whom Ford says were at the party say they have no recollection of the attack. Ford has also acknowledged crucial gaps in her memory.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary panel, said he is looking for "more context about the allegation and more specific" information.

What Will Democrats Ask?

Several Democrats have said they will ask "very detailed questions" about Kavanaugh's drinking habits and his sexual relationships beginning in high school. Their questions have one goal: To make Kavanaugh appear evasive. Because, as Axios explains, if Kavanaugh appears "awkward, stiff and evasive..." he's toast.

Democrats will likely reference a book written by Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, entitled "Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk," in which Kavanaugh is believed to be the inspiration for a character named Bart O’Kavanaugh.

"One of the more obvious things to go after is the tension between the image of Judge Kavanaugh’s choir boy or frat boy. Bluntly, you can find both in his own writings and speeches,” said committee member Sen. Christopher Coons.

Another Dem said "nobody believes" that Kavanaugh was a virgin for many years after high school.

What Will Be Outside Counsel's Role?

Republicans plan to defer to Mitchell, who has led her county's sex crimes unit as its head prosecutor.

"My plan for right now is to defer to our new staff member," said committee member Sen. John Kennedy. "I reserve the right, if I have any time left, to ask questions, but I’m not planning on it."

When Will The Senate Vote?

Grassley has scheduled a Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh's nomination for Friday, but he left open the possibility that the vote could be delayed. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to "plow right through" with Kavanaugh's nomination and has hinted that he could break with precedent and schedule a floor vote on Kavanaugh without a recommendation from the committee.

* * *

Meanwhile, both Kavanaugh and Ford have published their opening testimony. Read a highlighted version of Kavanaugh's remarks produced by the Washington Post here.

And one for Ford's here.

Published:9/27/2018 7:25:58 AM
[Markets] Empire Of Lies: Are "We, The People" Useful Idiots In The Digital Age?

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: useful hypocrites. That’s you and me, folks, and it’s how the masters of the digital universe see us. And they have pretty good reasons for seeing us that way. They hear us whingeing about privacy, security, surveillance, etc., but notice that despite our complaints and suspicions, we appear to do nothing about it. In other words, we say one thing and do another, which is as good a working definition of hypocrisy as one could hope for.”—John Naughton, The Guardian

“Who needs direct repression,” asked philosopher Slavoj Zizek, “when one can convince the chicken to walk freely into the slaughterhouse?”

In an Orwellian age where war equals peace, surveillance equals safety, and tolerance equals intolerance of uncomfortable truths and politically incorrect ideas, “we the people” have gotten very good at walking freely into the slaughterhouse, all the while convincing ourselves that the prison walls enclosing us within the American police state are there for our protection.

Call it doublespeak, call it hypocrisy, call it delusion, call it whatever you like, but the fact remains that while we claim to value freedom, privacy, individuality, equality, diversity, accountability, and government transparency, our actions and those of our government rulers contradict these much-vaunted principles at every turn.

For instance, we claim to disdain the jaded mindset of the Washington elite, and yet we continue to re-elect politicians who lie, cheat and steal. 

We claim to disapprove of the endless wars that drain our resources and spread thin our military, and yet we repeatedly buy into the idea that patriotism equals supporting the military. 

We claim to chafe at taxpayer-funded pork barrel legislation for roads to nowhere, documentaries on food fights, and studies of mountain lions running on treadmills, and yet we pay our taxes meekly and without raising a fuss of any kind.

We claim to object to the militarization of our local police forces and their increasingly battlefield mindset, and yet we do little more than shrug our shoulders over SWAT team raids and police shootings of unarmed citizens.

And then there’s our supposed love-hate affair with technology, which sees us bristling at the government’s efforts to monitor our internet activities, listen in on our phone calls, read our emails, track our every movement, and punish us for what we say on social media, and yet we keep using these very same technologies all the while doing nothing about the government’s encroachments on our rights.

This contradiction is backed up by a Pew Research Center study, which finds that “Americans say they are deeply concerned about privacy on the web and their cellphones. They say they do not trust Internet companies or the government to protect it. Yet they keep using the services and handing over their personal information.”

Let me get this straight: the government continues to betray our trust, invade our privacy, and abuse our rights, and we keep going back for more?

Sure we do.

After all, the alternative—taking a stand, raising a ruckus, demanding change, refusing to cooperate, engaging in civil disobedience—is not only a lot of work but can be downright dangerous.

What we fail to realize, however, is that by tacitly allowing these violations to continue, we not only empower the tyrant but we feed the monster.

In this way, what starts off as small, occasional encroachments on our rights, justified in the name of greater safety, becomes routine, wide-ranging abuses so entrenched as to make reform all but impossible.

We saw this happen with the police and their build-up of military arsenal, ostensibly to fight the war on drugs. The result: atransformation of America’s law enforcement agencies into extensions of the military, populated with battle-hardened soldiers who view “we the people” as enemy combatants.

The same thing happened with the government’s so-called efforts to get tough on crime by passing endless laws outlawing all manner of activities. The result: an explosion of laws criminalizing everything from parenting decisions and fishing to gardening and living off the grid.

And then there were the private prisons, marketed as a way to lower the government’s cost of locking up criminals. Only it turns out that private prisons actually cost the taxpayer more money and place profit incentives on jailing more Americans, resulting in the largest prison population in the world.

Are you starting to notice a pattern yet?

The government lures us in with a scheme to make our lives better, our families safer, and our communities more secure, and then once we buy into it, they slam the trap closed.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about red light cameras, DNA databases, surveillance cameras, or zero tolerance policies: they all result in “we the people” being turned into Enemy Number One.

In this way, the government campaign to spy on our phone calls, letters and emails was sold to the American people as a necessary tool in the war on terror.

Instead of targeting terrorists, however, the government has turned usinto potential terrorists, so that if we dare say the wrong thing in a phone call, letter, email or on the internet, especially social media, we end up investigated, charged and possibly jailed.

If you happen to be one of the 1.31 billion individuals who use Facebook or one of the 255 million who tweet their personal and political views on Twitter, you might want to pay close attention.

This criminalization of free speech, which is exactly what the government’s prosecution of those who say the “wrong” thing using an electronic medium amounts to, was at the heart of Elonis v. United States, a case that wrestled with where the government can draw the line when it comes to expressive speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.

The case arose after Anthony Elonis, an aspiring rap artist, used personal material from his life as source material and inspiration for rap lyrics which he then shared on Facebook.

For instance, shortly after Elonis’ wife left him and he was fired from his job, his lyrics included references to killing his ex-wife, shooting a classroom of kindergarten children, and blowing up an FBI agent who had opened an investigation into his postings. 

Despite the fact that Elonis routinely accompanied his Facebook posts with disclaimers that his lyrics were fictitious, and that he was using such writings as an outlet for his frustrations, he was charged with making unlawful threats (although it was never proven that he intended to threaten anyone) and sentenced to 44 months in jail.

Elonis is not the only Facebook user to be targeted for prosecution based on the content of his posts.

In a similar case that made its way through the courts only to be rebuffed by the Supreme Court, Brandon Raub, a decorated Marine, was arrested by a swarm of FBI, Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric ward because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted on his Facebook page. He was eventually released after a circuit court judge dismissed the charges against him as unfounded. 

Rapper Jamal Knox and Rashee Beasley were sentenced to jail terms of up to six years for a YouTube video calling on listeners to “kill these cops ‘cause they don’t do us no good.” Although the rapper contended that he had no intention of bringing harm to the police, he was convicted of making terroristic threats and intimidation of witnesses.

And then there was Franklin Delano Jeffries II, an Iraq war veteran, who, in the midst of a contentious custody battle for his daughter,shared a music video on YouTube and Facebook in which he sings about the judge in his case, “Take my child and I’ll take your life.” Despite his insistence that the lyrics were just a way for him to vent his frustrations with the legal battle, Jeffries was convicted of communicating threats and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

The common thread running through all of these cases is the use of social media to voice frustration, grievances, and anger, sometimes using language that is overtly violent.

The question the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to decide in Elonis is whether this activity, in the absence of any overt intention of committing a crime, rises to the level of a “true threat” or whether it is, as I would contend, protected First Amendment activity. (The Supreme Court has defined a “true threat” as “statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.”)

In an 8-1 decision that concerned itself more with “criminal-law principles concerning intent rather than the First Amendment’s protection of free speech,” the Court ruled that prosecutors had not proven that Elonis intended to harm anyone beyond the words he used and context.

That was three years ago.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis, Corporate America has now taken the lead in policing expressive activity online, with social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using their formidable dominance in the field to censor, penalize and regulate speech and behavior online by suspending and/or banning users whose content violated the companies’ so-called community standards for obscenity, violence, hate speech, discrimination, etc.

Make no mistake: this is fascism.

This is fascism with a smile.

As Bertram Gross, former presidential advisor, noted in his chilling book Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America, “Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties, or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. . . . In America, it would be super modern and multi-ethnic—as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic façade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal.”

The subtle appeal of this particular brand of fascism is its self-righteous claim to fighting the evils of our day (intolerance, hatred, violence) using the weapons of Corporate America.

Be warned, however: it is only a matter of time before these weapons are used more broadly, taking aim at anything that stands in its quest for greater profit, control and power.

This is what fascism looks like in a modern context, with corporations flexing their muscles to censor and silence expressive activity under the pretext that it is taking place within a private environment subject to corporate rules as opposed to activity that takes place within a public or government forum that might be subject to the First Amendment’s protection of “controversial” and/or politically incorrect speech.

Alex Jones was just the beginning.

Jones, the majordomo of conspiracy theorists who spawned an empire built on alternative news, was banned from Facebook for posting content that violates the social media site’s “Community Standards,”which prohibit posts that can be construed as bullying or hateful. 

According to The Washington PostTwitter suspended over 70 million accounts over the course of two months to “reduce the flow of misinformation on the platform.” Among those temporarily suspended was Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute.

Rightly contending that tech companies are just extensions of the government, former Texas congressman Ron Paul believes that social media networks under the control of Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook are working with the U.S. government to silence dissent. “You get accused of treasonous activity and treasonous speech because in an empire of lies the truth is treason,” Paul declared. “Challenging the status quo is what they can’t stand and it unnerves them, so they have to silence people.”

Curiously enough, you know who has yet to be suspended? President Trump.

Twitter’s rationale for not suspending world leaders such as Trump, whom critics claim routinely violate the social media giant’s rules, is because “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.”

Frankly, all individuals, whether or not they are world leaders, should be entitled to have their thoughts and ideas aired openly, pitted against those who might disagree with them, and debated widely, especially in a forum like the internet.

Why does this matter?

The internet and social media have taken the place of the historic public square, which has slowly been crowded out by shopping malls and parking lots.

As such, these cyber “public squares” may be the only forum left for citizens to freely speak their minds and exercise their First Amendment rights, especially in the wake of legislation that limits access to our elected representatives. 

Unfortunately, the internet has become a tool for the government—and its corporate partners—to monitor, control and punish the populace for behavior and speech that may be controversial but are far from criminal.

Indeed, the government, a master in the art of violence, intrusion, surveillance and criminalizing harmless activities, has repeatedly attempted to clamp down on First Amendment activity on the web and in social media under the various guises of fighting terrorism, discouraging cyberbullying, and combatting violence.

Police and prosecutors have also targeted “anonymous” postings and messages on forums and websites, arguing that such anonymity encourages everything from cyber-bullying to terrorism, and have attempted to prosecute those who use anonymity for commercial or personal purposes.

We would do well to tread cautiously in how much authority we give the Corporate Police State to criminalize free speech activities and chill what has become a vital free speech forum. 

Not only are social media and the Internet critical forums for individuals to freely share information and express their ideas, but they also serve as release valves to those who may be angry, seething, alienated or otherwise discontented. 

Without an outlet for their pent-up anger and frustration, these thoughts and emotions fester in secret, which is where most violent acts are born.

In the same way, free speech in the public square—whether it’s the internet, the plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court or a college campus—brings people together to express their grievances and challenge oppressive government regimes. 

Without it, democracy becomes stagnant and atrophied.

Likewise, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if free speech is not vigilantly protected, democracy is more likely to drift toward fear, repression, and violence. In such a scenario, we will find ourselves threatened with an even more pernicious injury than violence itself: the loss of liberty.

More speech, not less, is the remedy.

Published:9/26/2018 9:46:49 PM
[Markets] In Blow To Mainstream Media's Gun Narrative, Homicides Drop In 2017

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

The FBI released new homicide data this week, and at the nationwide level, the 2017 homicide rate fell slightly, dropping to 5.3 homicides per 100,000 from 2016's rate of 5.4.

According to the report, there were 17,284 homicides in 2017. For context: drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016 and more than 37,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016.

The US homicide rate remains down considerably from the 1990s, when the homicide rate reached 9.8 per 100,000 in 1991:

Homicide rates had reached a 51-year low in 2014, but have climbed since then.

Nationwide, homicide rates also varied widely by state. The US states with the highest homicide rates in the new report were Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Maryland, and Arkansas. The states with the lowest rates were New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maine, Idaho, and Rhode Island. (I have added the most recent data from Canadian provinces for additional context.)

We can see some geographical patterns if we look at the data in map form:

Northern states tend to have much lower homicide rates overall with some of the lowest rates being found in New England, the northern plains, and the Pacific Northwest.

Interestingly, the legal environment for gun ownership can vary widely in states with similar homicide rates. Massachusetts, for example, which is considered a restrictive state in terms of gun ownership, has a homicide rate nearly identical to that in Wyoming — where gun ownership laws are extremely lax. New Hampshire, which is also notable for having very lax gun-ownership laws, has the lowest homicide rate in the nation.

Moreover, as noted in earlier articles on this topic, many of the states with the highest homicide are seeing their rates driven up by homicides in just a handful of cities and neighborhoods — many of which, like Chicago and Baltimore — have very restrictive gun-ownership laws.

Moreover, as total gun sales in the US have increased in recent decades, homicide rates look to continue a long-term decline. According to the New York Times:

Overall crime has been steadily decreasing for the last 30 years in the United States. Inimai Chettiar, director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center, said the F.B.I.’s statistics — and her organization’s own projections — showed that the rise in crime in 2015-16 was most likely a blip in that trajectory, not the start of a crime wave.

Media pundits, however, have attempted to create a narrative in which there is increasing violence. For example, a current strategy employed by gun-control advocates is to fixate on "school shootings" as evidence of increasing violence, even as homicide rates decreased. However, much of the data used to support this narrative has been flawed. Last month, National Public Radio revealed that many school shooting incidents in a recent federal report had been exaggerated, or were completely false. This was a further blow to attempts to create a new narrative of mounting violence in the face of historical data showing that school violence overall, including school shootings, declined considerably after the mid-1990s.

But, for the sake of argument, let's say that school violence is increasing in just the past two or three years — even while overall homicides fall. It's not difficult to see what gun control advocates would fixate on school shooting in attempts to obtain more government restrictions on gun ownership. School shootings are dramatic events that make for good press conferences for politicians who pledge to "do something" for the children.

The fact that the overwhelming majority of homicides are a product of far more "mundane" factors, like gang violence and domestic violence, don't make for nearly as exciting news events. Thus, the fact that progress is clearly being made on those fronts is ignored while attention is drawn repeatedly to school shootings — which are then themselves reported at higher rates than is actually the case.

Perhaps predictably, politicians have also attempted to take credit when falling homicide rates are acknowledged. As The New York Times reported, Jeff Sessions has attempted to portray the federal government as a key factor in falling rates: 

“But our work is not done,” he said. “While we have made progress, violent crime and drug trafficking continue to plague our communities and destroy the lives of innocent, law-abiding Americans.”

In truth, there is no evidence at all that the federal government has had any role in falling homicide rates. If anything, the federal government's role in violent crime is a negative one as it continues to prosecute the war on drugs, making the illegal drug trade more lucrative and more violent.

Similarly, local police have shown little ability or willingness to confront homicides where they exist. As reported last month by USA Today, police are finding and prosecuting homicide suspects at lower and lower rates:

The national murder clearance rate — the calculation of cases that end with an arrest or identification of a suspect who can’t be apprehended — fell to 59.4 percent in 2016, the lowest since the FBI has tracked the issue.

The data tells a grim story of thousands of murders in which no one is held accountable, Adcock said.

“If we don’t address it, the issue is just going to get worse,” said Adcock, who recently started the Mid-South Cold Case Initiative , a nonprofit that aims to provide assistance to departments looking to bolster their cold case units. “The hole we’re in is just going to get deeper and deeper.”

The issue of murder clearance rates is in the spotlight as Chicago officials struggle to solve gun violence that’s plaguing the city. But the nation’s third-largest city, which only cleared 26 percent of its homicides in 2016, is just one among many big cities struggling to quickly solve gun crimes, according to FBI data and crime experts.

Part of this problem arises from the fact that police departments often prioritize going after petty drug violations and other minor crimes instead of homicides. Concentrating on drug offenses also bring financial rewards to police departments. Moreover, investigating drug cases offers numerous opportunities for making arrests and bringing revenue into the department via asset forfeiture laws. Given how police personnel are rewarded, drug investigations offer police staff more opportunities for professional advancement than does long hours devoted to homicide investigations that may or may not yield many promising leads.

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that a lower "clearance rate" simply means that the police are being careful. It's possible that, in the past, clearance rates were higher because police were less concerned about finding the right person. Clearance rates in themselves don't tell us that the police actually arrested the rightperson.

In either case, the fact that the police in many major cities are only making arrests for one-quarter of homicides reminds us why private gun ownership is so important for self-defense.

Published:9/26/2018 7:48:08 PM
[Markets] Fourth Woman Accuses Kavanaugh

First it was Christine Blasey Ford who will testify tomorrow alongside Brett Kavanaugh whom she accused of sexual assault in 1982; then it was Deborah Ramirez, the second accuser who claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken party when they were freshmen at Yale University; then on Wednesday Julie Swetnick, defended by pop lawyer Michael Avenatti, said that Kavanaugh took part in efforts during high school to get girls intoxicated so that a group of boys could have sex with them. Kavanaugh rejected the latest claim Wednesday as "ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone."

Then, late on Wednesday an anonymous fourth woman accuser emerged when NBC reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee was inquiring about at least one additional allegation of misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Republican Senate investigators asked Kavanaugh about an anonymous complaint alleging that he physically assaulted a woman in 1998, according to a transcript from that phone call.

The complaint was originally sent to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Co.). Gardner's office did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. An investigator during the phone call read parts of the complaint to Kavanaugh, who denied the allegation.

"I will remain anonymous, but I feel obligated to inform you of this 1998 incident involving Brett Kavanaugh," the complaint says, according to the transcript. The complaint's author, who wished to remain unnamed, wrote that the incident involved her daughter and several other people.

"[My daughter's] friend was dating him, and they left the bar under the influence of alcohol," the complaint reads. "They were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually."

"There were at least four witnesses, including my daughter," it continues. "Her friend, still traumatized, called my daughter yesterday, September 21, 2018, wondering what to do about it. They decided to remain anonymous."

The letter's author did not provide any names. According to NBC, Kavanaugh said he had read the letter and denied the account.

"Did the events described in the letter occur?" one investigator asked.

"No, and we're dealing with an anonymous letter about an anonymous person and an anonymous friend," Kavanaugh said. "It's ridiculous. Total twilight zone. And no, I've never done anything like that."

* * *

Excluding the latest accusation, Kavanaugh had been publicly accused of sexual misconduct by three women, two of whom allege he violated them while under the influence of alcohol. In a statement published earlier on Wednesday, he denied all of the allegations.

In prepared testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he "categorically and unequivocally" denied Ford’s allegations. "I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge." Kavanaugh called other allegations against him "last-minute smears" and "grotesque and obvious character assassination."

Senators say they've gotten multiple alleged incidents, ranging in credibility, brought to their staffs' attention since Ford went public with her allegation earlier this month.

Sen. Dick Durbin recalling how his staff found out about a second woman, Deborah Ramirez's allegation, told reporters that "people call with rumors."

"Some of these are completely incredible and the staff dismisses it," he said. "I asked the same thing [about the Ramirez allegation], 'Why did you tell me this?' They said, 'Do you know how many calls we get?' You've got to be careful because it is it not above someone to plant some stupid idea, then have us say it, and have it blow up in our face."

* * *

Trump, defending his nomination of Kavanaugh, told reporters on Wednesday that Senate Republicans "could've pushed it through two and a half weeks ago, and you wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is frankly what I would've preferred, but they didn't do that."

A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday morning that while attorneys for Ford have provided them with the sworn declarations supporting Ford's allegations, the therapist's notes and the polygraph results cited in the original report by The Washington Post had not yet been turned over.

"They were conspicuously absent although they were both requested," George Hartmann told NBC News.

According to The Hill, Grassley told reporters Wednesday that his committee looks into any allegation about Kavanaugh brought to their attention as long as they could find the name of the accuser or the lawyer.

"All I can tell you is we’re handling it exactly like we've handled every newspaper report or everybody contacting our office or anonymous even, if we can get the name and or the lawyer we've followed up with the usual staff interrogation,” Grassley added asked about the latest allegation from a woman represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti.

Grassley said on Twitter he has about 20 investigators, including agents on loan from federal agencies, "tracking down all allegations/leads & talking to all witnesses & gathering all evidence." Second-ranking Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas said the committee has asked Avenatti to produce his client for a sworn interview.

* * *

All 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee called on Trump in a statement to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination or order an FBI investigation into all allegations against him.

And so with new accusers emerging by the day, if not the hour, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, a member of Republican leadership, said party leaders still intend to hold the Judiciary vote on Friday, stay through the weekend and confirm Kavanaugh on the Senate floor next week. He declined to say if there are 50 votes for Kavanaugh at this point, though he predicted the nominee will "get confirmed in the end."

It was unclear if there would be rioting if Kavanaugh was confirmed early next week.

Published:9/26/2018 7:16:38 PM
[The Blog] WaPo: Mark Judge’s former girlfriend wants to chat with FBI, Senate Judiciary

"This process is a disgrace."

The post WaPo: Mark Judge’s former girlfriend wants to chat with FBI, Senate Judiciary appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/26/2018 5:18:10 PM
[Markets] Suspected Chinese Spy Arrested In Chicago

A Chinese national and US Army reservist living in Chicago was arrested Tuesday for allegedly funneling biographical information on eight American defense contractors targeted for recruitment to a Chinese intelligence officer, according to the Justice Department

Ji Chaoqun, 27, was arrested for violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) - while his handler at a regional arm of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) was also arrested, according to the DOJ affidavit. "The MSS has maintained both a clandestine and overt human source collection capability though a network of defense attaches, academics, and spies operating in and out of China," reads the filing. 

While working from 2007 through late 2017 at an unnamed defense company described only as "among the world's top aircraft engine suppliers for both commercial and military aircraft," Chaoqun used the Apple iCloud to secretly communicate with the MSS about the eight individuals - all naturalized US citizens born in Taiwan or China now living in the United States - who were under consideration for recruitment. 

"The Apple iCloud SMS database included approximately 36 messages between Intelligence Officer A and JI, from on or about December 19, 2013 to July 9, 2015" reads the affidavit. 

According to the search warrant return, on or about August 30, 2015, an email was sent from JI, using Subject Account 1, to an email address hosted by "qq.com," stating, "eight sets of the midterm test questions for the last three years," which email was forwarded from Subject Account 1 to Intelligence Officer A. The subject line for the email was "Midterm test questions." Eight separate pdf documents were attached to the email. The eight separate pdf documents are background reports on eight US-based individuals generated by US-based companies Intelius, Inc., Instant Checkmate, and Spokeo. 

The eight individuals are current or former technologists, "including several individual specializing in aerospace fields." 

Chaoqun was born in China and arrived in the US from Beijing in August 2013 on an F1 Visa, before receiving his Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2015. In May, 2016 he joined the US Army Reserves under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program (MAVNI), which authorizes the US Armed Forces to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest. 

He traveled to China on three occasions since his arrival in the US to meet his handlers in a hotel room, messaging: "Hi Big Brother, I'm JI Chaoqun. I'm taking the G203 [train] and will arrive at Nanjing South Station at 22:37

Choaqun was arrested after an undercover FBI agent met with him on April 25 of this year, during which he "made multiple statements that corroborated the information revealed during the course of the investigation.

Published:9/26/2018 5:18:10 PM
[Markets] Joe Biden Explains To Democrats Why "An FBI Report Isn't Worth Anything"

Well this is awkward...

With leftists up and down the country triggered at the prospect of the confirmation Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the tactic has switched to character assassination and delay in a last ditch effort to hold up the vote into and beyond the midterms.

As the various sexual abuse allegations have crept out of the woodwork from registered Democrats sudden memory flashes from over 35 years ago, Democratic politicians across the land have demanded a full FBI investigation to get to the bottom of all this (which is an utter lie if any one of them were telling the truth, since the real goal is simply to delay and an FBI probe of something as ancient as this will take months).

The calls for an FBI probe are everywhere...

In a letter addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys argue that "a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions."

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is on the committee, said she believes Ford is telling the truth, asserted that agents in the FBI "are really well equipped to do this kind of investigation, but they're not being given the authority to do it" by the Justice Department or the Trump White House. "I believe that the FBI… should be compelled to do its job in terms of completing their background investigation and that's not being done."

While Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, has been criticized for how she's handled the allegations, also called for the FBI "to reopen and complete the background investigation."

Today, following a second (or third) set of allegations, Chuck Schumer demanded that Republicans suspend the Kavanaugh process and called for an FBI probe.

And finally there's Joe Biden, who piped in to insist that a sexual misconduct allegation from 35 years ago made by Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be probed by the FBI. “We did that for Anita Hill,” Biden told anchors on the Today Show last Friday.

Which is odd...

Since in 1991, former Vice President Joe Biden, as the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman during the Clarence Thomas Anita-Hill hearings, dismissed any conclusions the FBI came to in their report about the sexual harassment allegations Hill made against Thomas at the time.

The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn’t understand anything. The FBI explicitly does not in this or any other case reach a conclusion... period. So, judge, there is no reason why you should know this... 

The reason why we cannot rely on the FBI report - you wouldn’t like it if we did, because it is inconclusive,” Biden stated at the 1991 Committee hearing.

He continued,  “They say he said, she said, and they said, period...

So when people wave an FBI report before you, understand they do not, they do not, they do not reach conclusions. They do not make, as my friend points out more accurately, they do not make recommendations.

So it seems that when you're defending an African American judge accused of sexual misconduct, The FBI is useless; but when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations against a Republican (or as Joe put it 'dregs of society'), it's time to throw the FBI book at them?

Published:9/26/2018 4:18:34 PM
[Markets] Kavanaugh Accuser Slammed For Not Reporting "Gang Rape" Parties Allegedly Attended As Adult

The latest accuser to come out against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing harsh blowback from her claim to have attended 10 high school parties at which she claims systematic gang rapes took place, orchestrated by Kavanaugh and a friend. 

The 55-year-old accuser, Julie Swetnick, is two years older than Kavanaugh and would have been 18-years-old when she attended the alleged High School parties between 1981-1983. 

Many have noted that Swetnick, if she's telling the truth, did nothing about the alleged high school gang-rapes despite claiming she "witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaough and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be "gang raped" in a side room or bedroom by a "train" of numerous boys." 

Swetnick says she has a "firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their "turn" with a girl inside the room," yet she never reported the alleged rape parties to authorities despite having attended them as an adult

Meanwhile Swetnick's attorney, Michael Avenatti, slammed President Trump and GOP legislators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley for calling his client a liar.

With drama like this, no wonder nobody goes to the movies anymore.  

Published:9/26/2018 3:47:22 PM
[The Blog] Judiciary Committee Democrats to Trump: Open an FBI investigation or withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination

"...direct the FBI to re-open its background investigation and thoroughly examine the multiple allegations of sexual assault."

The post Judiciary Committee Democrats to Trump: Open an FBI investigation or withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/26/2018 2:15:19 PM
[Markets] "Habitual Liar" Trump And "3rd Rate Lawyer, Low Life" Avenatti Engage In Furious Twitter Spat

Following Wednesday's accusation against Brett Kavanaugh by Julie Sweatnick, who Kavanaugh and a friend, Mark Judge, systematically drugged and "gang raped" women at parties, Sweatnick's attorney Michael Avenatti and President Trump engaged in a fierce Twitter battle. 

Following Sweatnick's allegation that she knew about, and was ultimately victim to the rape gang (without ever reporting the alleged mass-rapings to authorities), President Trump tweeted: "Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!"

To which Avenatti replied: "“False accusations?” Like those crimes your fixer Cohen pled to? You are an habitual liar and complete narcissist who also is a disgrace as a president and an embarrassment to our nation. You are so inept that your “best and brightest” are Cohen and Giuliani. Let’s go."

Sweatnick's allegation is the latest in a series of unsupported allegations by women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s. 

Christine Blasey Ford accused the Supreme Court nominee of groping her at a party in the early 1980s which she can't remember the location, date or other specifics - while a second woman, Deborah Ramirez said that Kavanaugh waved his penis at her while at a Yale party. Ramirez's account is similarly hazy to Ford's. 

Graham chimes in

In response to the latest allegations, Senator Lindsey Graham - who sits on the Judiciary Committee - tweeted: "From my view, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it just did. The lawyer to porn stars has just taken this debacle to an even lower level. I hope people will be highly suspicious of this allegation presented by Michael Avenatti."

He then tweeted: "I have a difficult time believing any person would continue to go to – according to the affidavit – ten parties over a two-year period where women were routinely gang raped and not report it.

To which Avenatti responded: "So then let’s have an FBI investigation into ALL of the allegations. And let’s present All of the facts to the American people. Why are you hiding Mark Judge from testifying? Btw, I’m still confused as to your ever-changing position as to Sessions. Which is it today?"

Both Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning, while a vote has been scheduled to confirm Kavanaugh Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. EST. 

Published:9/26/2018 12:44:35 PM
[Markets] Avenatti Details Alleged Kavanaugh "Gang Rape" Scheme Involving Spiked Punch

Attorney Michael Avenatti has levied new allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Avenatti's client, Julie Swetnick, claims that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge made efforts to cause girls "to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be "gang raped" in a side room or bedroom by a "train" of numerous boys." 

"During the years 1981-1982, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to "spike" the "punch" at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say "No." This caused me to make an effort to purposely avoid the "punch" at these parties," reads Swetnick's declaration.  

"I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room," Washington resident Julie Swetnick said in a sworn affidavit released by attorney Michael Avenatti. "These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh," she added. Judge was a high school classmate of Kavanaugh. -Bloomberg

Swetnick goes on to say that she "became the victim of one of these "gang" or "train" rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present," adding that "Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During the incident I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what i was drinking."  

Thanks but no thanks

Democrats and liberal pundits have been distancing themselves from Avenatti of late - and appear to be hesitant to promote his latest claims, according to the Daily Caller

Senate Democrats have been hesitant to promote Avenatti’s claims and liberal pundits have expressed alarm that if Avenatti is bluffing, he could harm their efforts to stop Kavanaugh.

We don’t know who Michael Avenatti’s clients actually are. But if he’s overhyped the information he has for attention, he will have done real damage to the anti-Kavanaugh efforts — and will deserve to be exiled from cable TV and public life,” wrote Vox blogger Zack Beauchamp.

Katherine Krueger, managing editor of liberal website Splinter, said Avenatti “could easily risk hurting the movement to keep Kanavaugh [sic] off of the Supreme Court.” -Daily Caller

Now that Swetnick's claims against Kavanaugh have been officially levied, all eyes will be on Congressional Democrats to see if they pick up ball and run with it.  

On Tudsday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who sits on the Judiciary Committee, laid out his position on the Kavanaugh accusations - telling reporters that he isn't going to deny the Supreme Court nominee a seat based on flimsy allegations, and that he will "apply the rule of law" as his standard. 

What are they supposed to do, interview everyone in Maryland from the summer of 1982? 

We're talking about appointing someone to be in charge of the rule of law. I'm going to adopt the rule of law as my standard. If this were a criminal allegation you would never get out of the batter's box, because you can't tell the accused where it happened and when it happened, and there's no corroboration outside the accusation itself. You couldn't sue in civil court for the same reason - you could not even get a warrant

So I will respectfully listen to Dr. Ford, but here's the question for me and others; what is the standard? What is it going to be? Are you really innocent or guilty based on the accusation? Is there any presumption of innocence left in the confirmation process?

If the accusation is enough, God help us all. It's OK to challenge the accuser. 

I will respectfully listen, but if there's nothing new, I am not going to deny him a promotion to the Supreme Court based on a 35-year-old accusation where all of the facts that we do know about seem to suggest it didn't happen the way it was described. 

If this is enough to deny a person a seat on the Supreme Court who has otherwise lived a good life, then I don't know where this ends.

We imagine that given the level of evidence provided by Swetnick, Graham's stance may not change.  

Both Kavanaugh and his original accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning, while a vote has been scheduled to confirm Kavanaugh Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. EST. 

According to a Senate panel aide, Thursday's hearing will be held as scheduled. 

Published:9/26/2018 10:43:51 AM
[The Blog] Deborah Ramirez’s lawyer: She might be willing to testify at the hearing, even without an FBI investigation

"It wouldn’t surprise me if she would agree to do that."

The post Deborah Ramirez’s lawyer: She might be willing to testify at the hearing, even without an FBI investigation appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/26/2018 10:43:51 AM
[Brett Kavanaugh] Joe Biden then and now (Scott Johnson) The big Democratic talking point of the moment against moving to a confirmation vote on Judge Kavanaugh is the necessity of an FBI background check to investigate the Democrats’ late hits. Democrats amplify the talking point by dint of repetition among their media adjunct. Against the odds, then Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden usefully explained the vacuity of this talking point under somewhat analogous circumstances in 1991. “The next Published:9/26/2018 9:13:26 AM
[Markets] Trump Said To Keep Rosenstein

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed something that many suspected all along: that last week's bombshell New York Times story detailing a purported coup attempt by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, as well as subsequent reports that Rosie's firing/resignation was imminent, were planted to distract from the ongoing Kavanaugh confirmation saga - if only for a little while.

Rosie

The WSJ reported roughly around the same time as WaPo, that Trump has told several advisers that he is open to keeping Rosenstein on the job, while Rosenstein has given several DOJ employees the impression that he doesn't plan on quitting.

... by Monday afternoon, the succession plan had been scrapped. Rosenstein, who told the White House he was willing to quit if President Trump wouldn’t disparage him, would remain the deputy attorney general in advance of a high-stakes meeting on Thursday to discuss the future of his employment. The other officials, too, would go back to work, facing the prospect that in just days they could be leading the department through a historic crisis. - WaPo

In any case, before he makes a final decision, the president would like to hear Rosenstein's side of the story directly.

Earlier this week, the White House said the two would meet on Thursday once Trump had returned from Washington following the UN General Assembly meeting. According to his advisors, Trump's cautious approach to the story shows that he harbors doubts about the story's veracity (and also that he is listening to media figures and Congressional allies who have warned him to proceed with caution).

That raised at least the possibility that a roller coaster of a week could end with no major shake-up in the top ranks of the Justice Department, even as White House and Justice officials cautioned that it was impossible to know for sure what Mr. Trump would do. Mr. Rosenstein oversees special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any links to Trump campaign officials. Mr. Trump has dismissed the probe as “a witch hunt.”

The president has told advisers that he wants to hear directly from Mr. Rosenstein about reports that he discussed secretly recording the president and recruiting cabinet members to remove him from office, according to people who have spoken to the president. That meeting is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The president’s willingness to hear out Mr. Rosenstein signaled to advisers that he harbors doubts about whether the top official in fact sought to have him ousted him from the Oval Office, these people said. The issue arose after the New York Times reported that Mr. Rosenstein floated the idea in early 2017, something he has strongly denied.

As the president prepares to question Rosenstein, Republicans in the House are preparing a subpoena for memos allegedly detailing Rosenstein’s comments on surreptitiously recording the president. They are also reportedly pushing for him to come and testify.

While the two men haven't exactly seen eye to eye in the past, WSJ reported that tensions between Trump and Rosenstein have eased in recent months (for context, Republicans in Congress tried to forcibly remove Rosie from his post for the second time back in April following the FBI's raids on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's home, hotel and office)>

Mr. Rosenstein has been a target of the president’s ire as part of his disdain for Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but those tensions eased in recent months, White House officials said. According to people familiar with the matter, aides have counseled the president that Mr. Rosenstein is cut from a different cloth than James Comey or Andrew McCabe, two former FBI officials who have been sharply criticized by Mr. Trump.

"The president is genuinely conflicted," said one person who has spoken to the president. "He’s got an open mind about whether Rod really tried to orchestrate this."

The should-he-stay-or-should-he-go speculation over Mr. Rosenstein has gripped Washington because of the implications of ousting the man overseeing the Mueller investigation probe.

Meanwhile, following Monday's botched news fiasco, according to several anonymous friends of Rosenstein the Deputy AG's tone over the weekend suggested that he had no intention of stepping down.

White House officials said Thursday’s meeting between the two men could focus on terms of a resignation, which they said Mr. Rosenstein offered to White House chief of staff John Kelly last week. During a meeting with Mr. Kelly on Monday, Mr. Rosenstein said he wanted to speak with the president about why he would step down and discuss how his exit would be publicly described, according to people familiar with the matter.

People close to Mr. Rosenstein took issue with this depiction of Thursday’s agenda, however. And as Mr. Rosenstein talked to White House officials over the weekend about his possible departure, he spoke to friends who came away with the impression he had no immediate plans to step down.

White House officials said there was a real possibility that the president would decide to keep Mr. Rosenstein in his job after the meeting. "We’re ready for any and all possibilities," one official said.

Even Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he believed Rosenstein should stay on.

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said regardless of whether Mr. Rosenstein stays in his job, the Mueller probe should be paused and examined "in the interest of fairness."

"I’m not sure they should get rid of him," Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. Rosenstein. "But I do think they should take a serious look at whether he should be the decision maker." Among other factors, he said, Mr. Rosenstein was a witness in the investigation, given his role in the president’s May 2017 decision to fire Mr. Comey as FBI director.

Then again, in a slightly different twist, the WaPo, also late on Tuesday, reported that some officials said that Matt Whitaker, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s chief of staff, had told people he would be taking over for Rosenstein — an indication that the deputy attorney general’s departure was all but certain — and were surprised when it was announced that Rosenstein would remain in his job.

Sessions began telling people on Sunday that Rosenstein might be in trouble, according to people familiar with the matter. Others said they learned all the developments from news reports that evolved throughout the day.

What happens next? While it remained possible that Rosenstein could still resign or be fired imminently, people told WaPo that it was more likely that Rosenstein would stay in the job until after November’s elections and then depart, probably along with the attorney general.

Two White House officials said Tuesday that Trump is unlikely to fire Rosenstein until after the midterms, "as forcing out the deputy attorney general in the next month could motivate Trump’s detractors to turn out for elections in which dozens of congressional seats are in play and Republicans are fearful they are at risk of losing control of the House. And those who have observed Trump and Rosenstein together or have been told of their interactions said the president seemed to hold Rosenstein in somewhat higher regard than he did Sessions."

“For all of the president’s bluster, I’m not sure he doesn’t have at least some grudging respect for Rod,” said James M. Trusty, a friend of Rosenstein and former Justice Department official who works in private practice at Ifrah Law.

Published:9/26/2018 7:16:59 AM
[World] Brett Kavanaugh Nomination: Former FBI Official Blasts Kirsten Gillibrand's Call for Probe

A former member of the FBI's top brass in its New York office blasted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and other Democrats who have repeatedly called for an "FBI investigation" of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Published:9/25/2018 10:48:51 PM
[Politics] Flashback: Biden in 1991 Contradicts Senate Dems Today Calling for FBI Investigation Into Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The post Flashback: Biden in 1991 Contradicts Senate Dems Today Calling for FBI Investigation Into Sexual Misconduct Allegations appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/25/2018 9:46:46 PM
[The Blog] Cocaine Mitch: Democrats should consider this Joe Biden flashback on the value of FBI reports

"The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything, obviously doesn’t understand anything."

The post Cocaine Mitch: Democrats should consider this Joe Biden flashback on the value of FBI reports appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:9/25/2018 9:11:12 PM
[World] Joe Biden Says FBI Probes Aren't Good in Supreme Court Nominations, Sean Hannity Says

Sean Hannity said that many Democrats believe an FBI probe of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is the only way he can prove his innocence against claims of sexual harassment.

But, Hannity pointed out that one of the party elders made the exact opposite argument in a very forceful manner in 1991.

Then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.), who was presiding over the Clarence Thomas hearings, called for everyone to stop invoking the FBI in that manner.

Published:9/25/2018 8:40:44 PM
[Politics] Mitch McConnell throws Joe Biden right into Democrat’s faces!! This is awesome. NTK Network found an old clip of Joe Biden saying something very relevant to today’s outrage-fest by Democrats over Republicans not pushing for an FBI investigation into these specious . . . Published:9/25/2018 8:11:07 PM
[Politics] Mitch McConnell throws Joe Biden right into Democrat’s faces!! This is awesome. NTK Network found an old clip of Joe Biden saying something very relevant to today’s outrage-fest by Democrats over Republicans not pushing for an FBI investigation into these specious . . . Published:9/25/2018 8:11:07 PM
[US News] Enjoy this clip of Joe Biden telling Clarence Thomas that an FBI report isn’t worth anything

Watch as Joe Biden makes an excellent case against relying on FBI reports.

The post Enjoy this clip of Joe Biden telling Clarence Thomas that an FBI report isn’t worth anything appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/25/2018 6:42:04 PM
[Politics] Democrats’ ‘investigation’ calls are just code for delay Democrats are still calling for an FBI investigation of the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh — as if their actual preferred investigators in the media hadn’t already failed in massive efforts to corroborate the claims. Yes, their preferred probers. Democrats plainly sicced the press on Christine Blasey Ford back when she was still determined to remain... Published:9/25/2018 6:42:04 PM
[Media] This crap again?! The View’s Sunny Hostin pushes B.S. about Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI

"FFS, Sunny."

The post This crap again?! The View’s Sunny Hostin pushes B.S. about Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:9/25/2018 1:41:54 PM
[Markets] Kavanaugh's Fate Rests With Moderate GOP Senator Susan Collins

Assuming the nation moves beyond hazy recollections of groping, dick wagging and college gangbangs, the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will rest in the hands of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a moderate conservative poised to "make or break Brett Kavanaugh's chance at becoming a Supreme Court justice," reports The Hill

In particular, several Senate colleagues of Collins' are waiting for her to announce her stance on Kavanaugh before announcing their own positions - while Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (NY) has asked that centrists within his caucus "keep their powder dry on Kavanaugh" until they know where Republicans stand. 

Senate Republican aides think that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will likely vote the same way as Collins, who thus far has played a more vocal role in the debate over Kavanaugh. -The Hill

"We’re talking about a jury of one: Susan Collins," said a senior GOP aide to The Hill, who gave Collins a "51 percent chance" of voting for Kavaugh. The aide added: "When you look at Murkowski and even Flake, no one lets Collins get to the left of them, so she’s going to be the lodestar here." 

Democrats are in agreement that if Collins flips, Kavanaugh can be defeated. 

If Collins were to oppose him then that would be the kiss of death,” said Brian Fallon, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide and executive director of Demand Justice, which has helped lead liberal opposition to Kavanaugh. -The Hill

Collins was the target of an ad campaign created by three liberal activists in Maine, who established a crowdfunding campaign which raised $1.3 million to "fund her future opponent" unless she votes no on Kavanaugh. 

GOP Senators, meanwhile, will need to take a position if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) upholds his Monday promise to hold an up-or-down vote on the floor. 

Over her 22-year Senate career, Collins has built a reputation as a fair-minded, practical swing vote who is willing to stand up to Republican leadership and presidents from her own party.

She voted against former President Clinton’s impeachment in 1999, helped craft a compromise to get past a major partisan impasse over circuit court nominees in 2005, was a key player in sinking a proposal to repeal ObamaCare last year and has consistently criticized President Trump for controversial statements since he took office.

She also voted against Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump’s controversial picks to head the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency, respectively.

One of her first legislative accomplishments in the Senate decades ago was to co-sponsor an amendment with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to repeal a $50 billion tax break for the tobacco industry.

Kavanaugh will have virtually no chance at confirmation if Collins says she believes Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982, according to people on both sides of the partisan Supreme Court fight. -The Hill

If Collins supports Kavanaugh, on the other hand, it will be near impossible for Democrats to stop his ascension to the Supreme Court. "I think Collins will vote with us. Kavanaugh gave her the right answer on Roe v. Wade," said a female Republican senator who requested anonymity from The Hill

On Monday, progressives put pressure on Collins to vote against Kavanaugh - with 46 protesters arrested outside of her office on Capitol Hill. 

Also on Monday, Collins said that Senate investigators should reach out to a second woman accusing Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a drunken college party. 

That said, Collins did not call for an FBI investigation into accuser Christine Blasey Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school gathering.

"Based on what she was saying last week, there was nobody I know in Maine that thought she was going to do anything to stop or delay progress on the confirmation of Kavanaugh," said Bowdoin College Poli Sci professor, Janet Martin. "Not every woman has come out and been in support of the ‘Me Too’ movement or thinks there really is an issue here."

Published:9/25/2018 11:08:19 AM
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