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CORRUPTION

RNC Chair Asked Nominee for $500,000 in Possible Pay-to-Play Scheme for Ambassadorship: Report

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appears to be enmeshed in an possible pay-to-play scheme, asking a nominee for $500,000 after his ambassadorship nomination ran into trouble.

When the confirmation for President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the Bahamas stalled in the Senate, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel dashed off an email to the nominee, San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester.

“Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?” McDaniel wrote in an email, according to CBS News, which reports the email came “as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance.”

Manchester, who had donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, replied quickly.

“As you know I am not supposed to do any, but my wife is sending a contribution for $100,000,” he wrote. “Assuming I get voted out of the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday to the floor we need you to have the majority leader bring it to a majority vote … Once confirmed, I our [sic] family will respond!”

Related: Payday Lender Accidentally Exposes Corrupt Pay-to-Play Scheme Between RNC and White House

CBS spoke with Manchester, telling him, “You know what this looks like.”

“Well — it looks like it to you. But it’s not the facts,” Manchester responded. “My wife gave out of separate funds and she in fact loves Donald Trump.”

Manchester told CBS it’s just “part of politics.”

“You give and you give and you give and you give some more and more and more,” he said.

He ultimately was forced to withdraw.

This is not the first ambassador nominee who has given huge sums to the RNC or to team Trump. Gordon Sondland, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal, became Trump’s ambassador to the European Union despite having no experience for the role. He also gave Trump’s inauguration committee $1 million. The New Republic reports many of Trump’s ambassadors are high-dollar donors.

Among them, Kelly Knight Craft, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “donated $1 million alongside her husband.”

 

 

 

 

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CORRUPTION

Facing Subpoena and Calls for Impeachment Embattled AG Barr Agrees to Testify Before Congress – In 5 Weeks

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Attorney General Bill Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee rather than risk a likely subpoena and court fight. His testimony will not be until July 28, nearly five weeks from today.

Barr’s spokesperson made the announcement, framing it as a casual appearance.

Barr is facing growing calls for his impeachment or for him to resign over what many – including two DOJ whistleblowers testifying before the House Wednesday – are calling his extreme politicization of the Justice Dept.

This will be the first time Barr has appeared before Congress to testify in more than a year. Barr was supposed to appear before the House on March 31 but did not. On June 1 he told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler that “he would not appear at a hearing that the committee wanted to hold on June 9,” Roll Call reported.

Barr testified before the Senate on May 1 of last year. Also last year Barr testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee on April 9 and a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on April 10.

 

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CORRUPTION

‘Barr Lied’: AG Tried to Fire US Attorney for SDNY – Berman Says ‘I Have Not Resigned’ and He’s Not Leaving: Reports

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The US Attorney for the powerful Southern District of New York did not resign and is not “stepping down.” Attorney General Bill Barr declared in a late Friday night press release that Geoffrey Berman “is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service.”

That was a false claim.

Katherine Faulders, an investigative reporter covering the White House and Capitol Hill for ABC News reports Berman was “fired.”

Berman says not only did he not resign, he learned of Barr’s intentions only after the press release had been published. And he says he has no intention of resigning – he will stay in his job until the Sensate confirms his replacement.

“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” Berman said in a statement, ABC News reports. “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.”

“Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption,” he continued. “I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor – and intend to ensure that this Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.”

Former SDNY prosecutor Mimi Rocah says Barr “lied.”

The New York Times adds the stand off sets “up a crisis within the Justice Department over one of its most prestigious jobs.”

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CORRUPTION

Barr Blasted for Wrongly Suggesting Obama and Biden Abused Their Power, Had ‘Level of Involvement’ in Russia Probe

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Attorney General Bill Barr is under fire for wrongly suggesting former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden abused their power and had some “level of involvement” in the FBI’s investigation of now-President Donald Trump.

On Monday Barr announced that he does not “expect” the federal prosecutor he appointed to lead that investigation “will lead to a criminal prosecution of either man.”

But Barr also suggested both men had engaged in an abuse of power, without offering any proof, in what some see as a clear attempt to disparage them.

“We have to bear in mind what the Supreme Court recently reminded us of in the ‘Bridgegate’ case. As the court said there, there’s a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr declared.

“Now, as to President Obama and Vice President Biden – whatever their level of involvement – based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man.”

Barr is known to choose his words very carefully, to paint the picture he wants Americans to see. A federal judge has already chastised him for his four-page Mueller investigation letter, calling it “distorted” and “misleading.”

And by declaring there won’t be a “criminal investigation,” he gets the words “criminal” and “investigation” or “prosecution” tied to both Democrats in the press.

His remarks immediately led to headlines like these:

“Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe”

“Barr Says Probe Won’t Likely Lead to Prosecution of Obama, Biden”

“Barr Says He Doesn’t Expect Criminal Probe Into Obama or Biden”

On social media many saw through Barr’s tactics:

 

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