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Impeachment Hearing Backfires: Witness Accuses Two Republicans of ‘Doing the Bidding’ of Russia

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The House Republicans’ impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden was dealt another significant blow when former Giuliani aide Lev Parnas, known as his Ukraine “fixer,” during a televised hearing declared two current Republican lawmakers were “doing the bidding” of Russia.

Parnas testified that U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who was present at the hearing as his name was mentioned, and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), “were doing the bidding for the Russians.”

Democratic Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee, Jamie Raskin, asked Parnas, “At what point did Mr. Giuliani begin working directly with Russian agents and Russian assets? Individuals who would later become sanctioned by Donald Trump’s own Treasury Department for spreading propaganda and disinformation against Joe Biden.”

Parnas said, “probably around May, June of 2019.”

Parnas also said “absolutely,” when asked if he and Giuliani were “aware that these people were basically just doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin?”

READ MORE: Letitia James Legally Compelled to Target Trump’s Assets: Fox News Report

“So he had no hesitation about spreading lies that were concocted by Russian agents?” Raskin asked.

“As long as it fit the narrative. Absolutely not,” Parnas answered.

“How were you and Giuliani able to take these false allegations peddled by corrupt officials and Russian agents and promote and amplify them here in the United States in our political system? Weren’t media groups skeptical of your claims?” Raskin continued.

That’s when Parnas dropped the bombshell.

“Most media groups I’d probably say all, except for Fox and a few other right-wing media groups, didn’t want to take any of the information and that aggravated Rudy Giuliani and John Solomon, him and other players. And the main group that was being pushed through was Fox, Sean Hannity and some other media personalities over there.”

“But then there was also other people that were doing the bidding for the Russian people, in Congress,” Parnas continued, “like Senator Ron Johnson, like Congressman Pete Sessions, that sits here right now there, was with me from the very beginning of this journey into finding, digging dirt on Joe Biden.”

(In 2019 The New Yorkers award-winning investigative journalist Jane Mayer reported, “no journalist played a bigger part in fuelling the Biden corruption narrative than John Solomon, who until last week was an opinion columnist and executive vice-president of The Hill, in Washington.”)

During his opening statement, Parnas also indicted Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘How Fascism Came to Germany’: Historian Warns Trump ‘Knew Exactly What He Was Saying’

“Everything was for the ultimate benefit of Donald Trump and thereby Vladimir Putin. Because the team’s investigations were centered around Biden and Ukraine, I was designated the point person in every matter they pursued,” Parnas said. “That is how that is how I know with certainty that these Biden stories are untrue then and are untrue now. Congressman Pete Sessions, then Congressman Devin Nunes, Senator Ron Johnson, and many others understood they’re pushing a false narrative.”

“The same goes for John Solomon, Sean Hannity, and media personnel, particularly at Fox News, who used this narrative to manipulate the public ahead of the 2020 elections. Sadly, they’re still doing this today as we approach the 2024 elections. We cannot separate this conspiracy from the Russian-Ukraine war because Trump has no intention to keep aiding Ukraine.”

“Without the support of the United States and NATO, millions in Ukraine will suffer and die. If we allow Russia to defeat Ukraine eventually that suffering will reach American shores. Today, I admit my own wrongdoings. I have been a convicted federal election campaign and fraud crimes and served my sentence. I do not hide that from reality. It is part of my truth. Despite rigorous attempts by those in power to silence me. I will be silenced no longer.”

The Lincoln Project’s co-founder, Mike Madrid, responded to Parnas’ opening statement: “Pete Sessions. Devin Nunes. Ron Johnson. Sean Hannity. Traitors.”

Calling Republicans “a national security risk,” political strategist Rachel Bitecofer wrote: “House Republicans knew their source was a Russian asset, the same House Republicans did the same thing during the Ukraine blackmail impeachment where intel told them their info was Russian disinformation but they used it anyway.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Meet the Republicans Who Voted Against Condemning Putin’s Illegal Abduction of Children

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‘Your Client Is a Criminal Defendant’: Judge Denies Trump Request to Skip Trial for SCOTUS

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Barely hours after New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan gave Donald Trump the same set of rules requiring him to appear in court as all other criminal defendants, the ex-president’s attorney requested his client be allowed to skip trial next Thursday to attend the U.S. Supreme Court arguments on his immunity claim.

“If you do not show up there will be an arrest,” Judge Merchan had told Trump Monday at the start of his criminal trial, according to MSNBC’s Jesse Rodriguez. Trump is facing 34 felony charges for falsification of business records related to his alleged attempts to cover up hush money payments in an effort to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

Judge Merchan had read from the same rules that apply to all defendants, but right at the end of day one of trial Trump attorney Todd Blanche made his request.

MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin reports, “after the potential jurors are gone, the fireworks start after Blanche asks Merchan to allow Trump to attend the SCOTUS argument on presidential immunity next Thursday, 4/25.”

READ MORE: ‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

“The Manhattan DA’s office opposes the request, saying they have accommodated Trump enough,” MSNBC’s Katie Phang adds, citing Rubin’s reporting.

Judge Merchan “acknowledges a Supreme Court argument is a ‘big deal,’ but says that the jury’s time is a big deal too. Blanche says they don’t think they should be here at all, suggesting that the trial never should have been scheduled during campaign season.”

“That comment appeared to trigger Merchan, who asked, voice dripping with incredulity, ‘You don’t think you should be here at all?'” Rubin writes.

“He then softly asks Blanche to move along from that objection, on which he has already ruled. Merchan then got stern, ruling that Trump is not required to be at SCOTUS but is required, by law, to attend his criminal trial here.”

“Your client is a criminal defendant in New York. He is required to be here. He is not required to be in the Supreme Court. I will see him here next week,” Judge Merchan told Blanche, CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane reported.

That was not the only request Trump’s attorneys made to have their client excused from the criminal proceedings.

Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien reports, “Blanche says that the campaign has taken pains to schedule events on Wednesdays and asks Merchan if Trump be excused from any hearings that take place on Wednesdays, when the jury is in recess. Merchan says he will take this into consideration.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Blanche also asked Judge Merchan to allow Trump to skip trial to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. While the judge has yet to rule, Trump told reporters at the end of day one of trial, “it looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation.”

The judge told Trump, “I cannot rule on those dates at this time.”

But Trump told reporters, “It looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam, it’s a scam trial.”

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‘What Will Happen in the Situation Room?’: Trump Appearing to Sleep in Court Fuels Concerns

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Donald Trump’s apparent sleeping in court on day one of his criminal trial for alleged business fraud related to a cover-up of “hush money” election interference has critics concerned.

While initial reactions to the news largely mocked him as “Sleepy Don,” or “Drowsy Don,” political and legal experts are wondering if the 77-year old ex-president would be able to stay awake during times of crisis, when an alert president would be critical to the nation’s security.

The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman, the longtime “Trump whisperer,” reported the ex-president “seemed alternately irritated and exhausted Monday morning,” “appeared to nod off a few times, his mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest.” She added the ex-president’s attorney “passed him notes for several minutes before Mr. Trump appeared to jolt awake and notice them.”

READ MORE: ‘Staged Photo Op’ of Trump With Black Chick-fil-A Patrons Was ‘True Retail Politics’ Says Fox News

Haberman followed up her Times article with a CNN appearance detailing more of what she saw. The Guardian‘s Victoria Bekiempis, MSNBC’s Katie Phang, and others also reported Trump was seen nodding off.

Critics raised concerns that question Trump’s ability to perform the duties of President.

“If Trump is too old and weak to stay awake at his own criminal trial, what do you think will happen in the Situation Room?” asked former senior advisor to President Barack Obama Dan Pfeiffer.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch invoked Hillary Clinton’s famous “3 AM phone call” ad from the 2008 campaign, and wrote:

“2008: Which candidate can handle the 3 a.m. phone call?

2024: Which candidate can handle the 3 p.m. phone call?”

Several also noted that Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, testified for 11 hours on live television before a congressional committee and did not fall asleep. Some also noted that President Joe Biden sat for a five-hour deposition with Special Consul Robert Hur and did not fall asleep.

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

Calling it “simply incredible,” professor of law, MSNBC/NBC News legal contributor and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance asked, “If he can’t keep his eyes open when his own liberty is at stake, why would Americans have confidence he’s capable of focus when our country’s interests require sound presidential leadership?”

MSNBC contributor Brian Tyler Cohen commented, “To be clear, ‘Sleepy Joe’ is awake and criss-crossing the country, while Trump is literally asleep at his own criminal trial.”

Former journalist Jennifer Schultz observed, “Moment of truth for all the legacy media outlets who hyped the Biden age stories. Now we have actual evidence of the other candidate falling asleep at a critical time.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Fox Personality’s Tweet Called ‘Jury Tampering’ by US Congressman

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A Fox personality and Fox News contributor’s social media post on Monday is raising eyebrows, as one U.S. Congressman calls it “jury tampering” and a legal expert suggests it could be “conspiring to commit jury tampering.”

Clay Travis is an attorney and the founder of the conservative “sports and American culture” website Outkick, which was purchased by Fox Corporation in 2021.

His Fox News bio calls him “the founder of the fastest-growing national multimedia platform,” and, “One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry,” who “provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics.”

READ MORE: ‘Not a Good Start’: Judge Slams Trump’s ‘Offensive’ Recusal Claims as a ‘Loose End’

On Monday, Travis’ account on X, formerly Twitter, displayed a post that reads: “If you’re a Trump supporter in New York City who is a part of the jury pool, do everything you can to get seated on the jury and then refuse to convict as a matter of principle, dooming the case via hung jury. It’s the most patriotic thing you could possibly do.”

“Jury tampering. That’s what they do. *It’s a felony,” wrote U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) in response.

National security attorney Bradley Moss weighed in, writing, “Clay is arguably conspiring to commit jury tampering here by encouraging someone to deliberately engage in jury nullification. Not a wise move by Clay.”

Former federal and state prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, now the editor-in-chief of MediasTouch, wrote simply, “This is MAGA.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Sirius XM host Dean Obeidallah, also an attorney, commented, “Hoping Manhattan DA is aware of this attempted jury tampering by Fox News regular Clay Travis.” He also wrote: “This is the exact type of juror tampering I knew Trumpers would engage in. Next Clay will tell Trumpers to bribe jurors or witnesses. MAGA is a cancer!”

Travis, responding to Congressman Swalwell, denied the allegation:

“This isn’t jury tampering you imbecile. I would nullify if I were seated on this jury as a matter of principle. I think all Americans with a comprehension of basic justice should do the same.”

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