Running Interference for Trump Team?
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who also was a member of the Trump transition team and remains close to the Trump administrationÂ is under fire Wednesday afternoon. Congressman Nunes (R-CA) just finished a press conference during which he announced U.S. intelligence agencies captured communications from members of the Trump transition team, and appeared to be running interference for PresidentÂ Donald Trump. Trump himself has been under fire for three weeks for his lie that President Barack Obama wiretapped him.
“Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following Novemberâ€™s presidential election,”Â Politico reports Nunes said.
“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information about U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition,” Nunes said before cameras.
“Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
Rep. Nunes also stated that “additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked,” referring to the practice of keeping U.S.Â Citizens’ names “masked,” or anonymous if they are not part of an investigation.
“None of this surveillance was related to Russia,” Nunes stressed.
Nunes says material collected was “significant information” about Trump and the transition team.
â€” Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 22, 2017
Chairman Nunes made his remarks without even telling his Vice Chairman, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.
Here’s a clip of Q&A with reporters:
â€” CSPAN (@cspan) March 22, 2017
Many journalists and other experts were stunned by Nunes’ remarks, wondering why he was addressing the media with these allegations. They also stated he appeared to be running interference for the Trump Administration, and wondered why he would tell the Trump administration â€“Â some of who are subjectsÂ of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation. Also questioned were if he had revealed classified information.
Heat Street creatorÂ Louise Mensch, who has been closely following the Trump-Russia story, writes:
â€” Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 22, 2017
â€” Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 22, 2017
â€” Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 22, 2017
Washington Post National Security Reporter:
Nunes, who is concerned about leaks, holds presser to describe what he said is “all classified information” about FISA collection. Hmmmm.
â€” Ellen Nakashima (@nakashimae) March 22, 2017
Salon political reporter:
in what way is Nunes not running interference on behalf of an administration that is currently under investigation?
â€” Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) March 22, 2017
Nunes is clearly on a mission to protect Trump. The question is why. https://t.co/KBPlMxYfC6
â€” Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 22, 2017
â€” Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 22, 2017
Hillary Clinton’s Press Secretary:
â€” Nick Merrill (@NickMerrill) March 22, 2017
-This was all legal
-This does not support Trump’s claims
-Devin Nunes appears to have leaked classified info. https://t.co/jGfy0ugdVy
â€” Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) March 22, 2017
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This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.Â
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‘Corruption of the Highest Order’: Experts ‘Sickened’ at ‘Definitely Bought’ Clarence Thomas and His ‘Pay to Play’ Lifestyle
Legal and political experts are expressing outrage and disgust after ProPublica’s latest investigation into the alleged unethical and unlawful actions of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, with some demanding his resignation and others calling it “corruption of the highest level,” “Pay. To. Play.,” and one simply saying, “This sickens me.”
“Is Clarence Thomas the most corrupt Supreme Court justice in our history? One of the most corrupt senior officials in our history? There is no doubt any more,” writes David Rothkopf, the foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator.
ProPublica is the nonprofit journalism organization that has exposed multiple instances of what experts have said is Justice Thomas’ corruption, abuse of ethics, contributions to the destruction of the high court’s reputation, and actual violations of federal law. Justice Thomas has either not commented or denied any wrongdoing.
“Clarence Thomas Secretly Participated in Koch Network Donor Events,” is the headline on Friday’s installment from ProPublica, which reveals: “Thomas has attended at least two Koch donor summits, putting him in the extraordinary position of having helped a political network that has brought multiple cases before the Supreme Court.”
The Koch network is a right-wing group of political organizations founded by “the Koch Brothers,” Charles and his late brother David.
“One of the Koch network’s most powerful allies,” is how ProPublica’s latest, lengthy investigation describes Justice Thomas The report begins with his arrival in Palm Springs International Airport to attend a “long weekend” that for Koch network members and supporters would include “strategizing, relaxation in the California sun and high-dollar fundraising.”
“The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving.”
“That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term.”
That case, ProPublica reports, is one that could greatly benefit Koch and America’s ultra-wealthy.
“The Koch network is among the largest and most influential political organizations of the last half century, and it’s underwritten a far-reaching campaign to influence the course of American law. In a case the Supreme Court will hear this coming term, the justices could give the network a historic victory: limiting federal agencies’ power to issue regulations in areas ranging from the environment to labor rights to consumer protection. After shepherding the case to the court, Koch network staff attorneys are now asking the justices to overturn a decades-old precedent. (Thomas used to support the precedent but flipped his position in recent years.)”
As with most of ProPublica’s investigations, this report includes both allegations of illegal actions and unethical behaviors.
Experts are voicing concern.
“Clarence Thomas might not be the finest Justice money can buy, but he’s definitely bought,” charges Moe Davis, the well-known retired U.S. Air Force colonel, attorney, educator, politician, and former administrative law judge.
Former federal prosecutor and legal commentator Mimi Rocah, who is now he elected District Attorney for Westchester County, New York expressed disgust.
“As a public servant who sacrifices donor $ (I don’t take donations from elected officials, PBAs, or attorneys with cases before my office), b/c I believe the justice system should be free from even the appearance of political influence, this sickens me.”
“Thomas and his billionaire pals have trashed the court’s reputation,” observed author Mark Jacob, a former Chicago Tribune editor.
“Corruption of the highest order,” is how Heather Cox Richardson, the well-known historian, author and professor of history described Justice Thomas’ alleged actions. “Personally, I’d go right to resign. It’s long overdue. And I’d revisit the cases he’s decided—including Citizens United and Shelby v Holder, which together handed our democracy to the rich—while we’re at it.”
“Does Justice go better with Koch?” mocked Jane Mayer, the award-winning author and investigative reporter at The New Yorker. “Clarence Thomas will judge a momentous case this term affecting all federal regulations after secretly partying for years with involved polluters.”
Journalist and conspiracy theory expert Mike Rothschild wrote: “Clarence Thomas hanging out with the Kochs and Harlan Crow at Bohemian Grove. No human sacrifice, no devil worship, just some old rich dudes scheming to take rights away from the rest of us. The conspiracy is in plain sight, and it doesn’t bother hiding.”
New York Times bestselling author, legal expert and senior editor at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick summed it up: “Pay. To. Play.”
‘Total Nonsense’: Joe Scarborough Pours Cold Water on Panic Over Kamala Harris in 2024
On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough rushed to Vice President Kamala Harris’ defense over hand-wringing in some Democratic quarters that Pressident Joe Biden should boot her as his running mate in On Friday morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough launched into a full-throated defense of Vice President Kamala Harris, stating that she should absolutely remain President Joe Biden’s running mate in 2024.
According Scarborough, a former Republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the panic in some Democratic quarters over Harris is “total nonsense.”
“Well, there is this undercurrent, like she’s black and a woman, and that’s why people don’t like her because she’s a vice president. ‘What are we going to do? We need to change her.!” the aggravated “Morning Joe” host began. “I just go, where were you when Dan Quayle was vice president? Where were you? Nobody remembers this.”
“Every vice president, we hear this all the time: ‘Change your vice presidents,'” he continued. “I’m here to say, it’s total nonsense. Nobody has ever voted against any presidential candidate because of who their vice president was.”
“If you look at Kamala’s numbers, they’re not that far off from where every other mocked and ridiculed and loathed vice president has been,” he concluded.
‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive
Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.
Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”
The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”
“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”
Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”
Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”
“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”
Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”
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