Justice

DOJ sends gun legislation package to White House as debate rages over mass shootings

The Department of Justice has sent a package of legislative proposals on gun violence to the White House, a person familiar with the matter told Fox News, as the debate rages over how lawmakers and the president should respond to a recent spate of deadly mass shootings. The White House has had the proposals for two weeks, according to the source, but has not yet sent anything See More along to Capitol Hill. It was not immediately clear what proposals are included in the DOJ package.

Safety deficiencies suspected in dive boat fire after preliminary investigation: report
And about ‘Sharpiegate’ …
DOJ sends gun legislation package to White House as debate rages over mass shootings
August jobs report to be released
Robert Mugabe, longtime ruler of Zimbabwe, dead at 95

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James Comey bruised by inspector general’s ‘damning’ report — but he should prepare for worse, critics warn

The reputation of James Comey took a hit Thursday with the release of a scathing inspector general’s report on his handling of memos about contacts with President Trump. However, the fired former FBI director should be wary of what Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham may find in his probe into the origins of the Russia See More investigation, critics warn. “Obviously, today was a bad day for James Comey,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. and chairman of the influential House Freedom Caucus, on “Hannity.” He added it was unbelievable that Comey was nonetheless going on Twitter, seeking apologies from his detractors.

Republicans on Capitol Hill warned the inspector general’s report could be only the start of a series of blows to the reputations of key law enforcement figures. The inspector general report said Comey violated bureau policies by drafting, leaking and retaining memos documenting private discussions with President Trump. The Justice Department’s official watchdog concluded that the memos Comey kept were, in fact, “official FBI records,” and said he set a “dangerous example” with his actions.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s own account was hacked, used to post vulgar messages
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appears to have been hacked on his own platform, with several offensive tweets posted to his account.

The tweets, posted Friday and deleted within minutes, included the use of the N-word, other vulgar comments, and one message claiming there was a bomb at Twitter’s headquarters.

Other tweets gave shoutouts to people, and pushed the hashtag “#ChucklingSquad” — the name of an online chat, according to The Daily Beast.
Another tweet read: “Hitler is innocent go follow @taytaylov3r if you want every Jew gassed.” The account also retweeted another Twitter user who wrote, “Nazi Germany did nothing wrong.”
@TwitterComms

We’re aware that @jack was compromised and investigating what happened.
Twitter released a brief statement saying, “We’re aware that @jack was compromised and investigating what happened.”
Dorsey’s compromised account immediately caused panic among some on the platform, stirring worry that President Trump’s account could also be hacked.

Video from 2005 raid on Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion showed nude images of young women

Video of a 2005 police raid of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion reveals a home partially decorated with illicit photos and imagery of young women. Inside the home, the video shows a wall covered in artsy nude photos of men and women, a painting of a nude woman lying on her back and a photo of a naked woman – reportedly Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell – lying on a sandy beach. Police also discovered a green massage table leaning against a wall under framed photos of Epstein, who was accused of molesting dozens of girls at the mansion.
By 2006, Palm Beach investigators had interviewed more than 30 young women – some of whom were minors at the time of the alleged crimes. In the end, prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers negotiated a then-secret plea deal which led Epstein to serve just 13 months in jail under work-release privileges, allowing him to visit his office six days a week.

Cadbury ridiculed over new chocolate bar meant to promote diversity

The British confectionery giant Cadbury faced backlash on social media for a new candy bar introduced in India that features four types of chocolate — dark, blended, milk and white — to promote diversity. “This is as absurd as Kendall Jenner fighting police brutality with a Pepsi,” tweeted legal analyst Imani Gandy. “Congratulations to Cadbury for solving racism,” wrote restaurant critic Tejal Rao. Cadbury rolled out the multi-flavored chocolate bars Aug. 15 — teaming up with the global advertising agency Ogilvy — to celebrate India’s Independence Day. – Reported by the New York Post


California is making it difficult for primary voters to review the criminal justice record of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.

The state’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recently removed archives on incarceration rates from its website. Harris has attempted to portray herself as a progressive on criminal justice on the campaign trail, but her record has faced growing scrutiny. Most recently, Harris was called out by one her 2020 challengers on the debate stage.

The reports contained information from Harris’ tenure as attorney general from 2011 through 2017. During that time, data shows more than 120,000 black and Latino citizens were sent to prison.

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“I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings. Immediately,” he said, adding: “The politics of this be dammed. When we look at history at what happened when the president started acting like an authoritarian. The question is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.” “I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell in the Senate and President Trump is saying he was acquitted by the Congress. I belief we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands.” But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was more cautious.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “It’s obvious the president committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.” Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has said her Justice Department, if elected president, would go forward with obstruction of justices charges against Trump, was the first to elaborate. “We all watched the testimony [former special counsel Robert Muelle], I read the report,” she said. “There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less.” Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey agreed. Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development also was in favor of punishment. “I was first of candidate to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said, adding: “I believe that the evidence is plain and clear. And if it goes that far, you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.” The progressive Democrats on the stage Wednesday night for the second round of debates among presidential candidates were all in favor of tossing President Donald Trump in jail.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also resigned from a planning committee in protest. Caucus members said they will also boycott the rest of a weeklong series of events marking the 400th anniversary and have instead planned alternative commemorations Tuesday in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. Trump’s comments about Cummings were the latest rhetorical shot at a lawmaker of color to spark outrage. Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now.” Caucus chair Del. Lamont Bagby said in an interview the group unanimously reached the boycott decision more than a week ago. But he said the president has “continued his attacks” since then and his remarks about Cummings’ district were more of the same. Virginia’s black state lawmakers announced Monday they will boycott a ceremony this week commemorating the beginnings of American democracy because President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend. Trump will join national and state leaders and dignitaries at Tuesday’s event, a commemorative session of the Virginia General Assembly at which Trump is to deliver remarks. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the caucus was pushing “a political agenda.” “The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President, who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the caucus said in a statement. The convening of a legislative assembly in 1619 formed the basis of today’s representative system of government in the United States. The Virginia General Assembly is considered the oldest continuously operating legislative body in North America. The caucus’ statement did not specifically mention Cummings but said Trump’s “repeated attacks on Black legislators and comments about Black communities makes him ill-suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history.” When the Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported earlier in the month that Trump would take part in the event, top Democratic lawmakers said they would not attend. Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said at the time that their decision was “disappointing and embarrassing.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said its members would not attend Tuesday’s event in historic Jamestown marking the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. The boycott comes after Trump’s weekend comments referring to Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore-area district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Tuesday’s events are just one part of a yearlong commemoration called American Evolution meant to honor key milestones in the state’s colonial history, including the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded Africans in English North America. “President Trump passed criminal justice reform, developed opportunity zones securing record-setting investment in distressed communities, and pushed policies that created the lowest unemployment rates ever for African Americans, so it’s a bit confusing and unfortunate that the VLBC would choose to push a political agenda instead of celebrate this milestone for our nation,” she said in a statement.

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Papadopoulos specifically requested the Department of Justice look at the dollar bills given to him due to the department’s probe into the origins of the Russia probe, with Papadopoulos being used as a reason to start an investigation. The money is believed to be supplemental evidence as the Justice Department is getting closer to acquiring transcripts of recorded conversations between Papadopoulos and an alleged informant of the FBI — Stefan Halper.

“They were looking to make a conspiracy case, using me with this fake information to then hurt Trump…what they were trying to do is fabricate a conspiracy among the Trump campaign and President Trump using their own people,”

Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos is going to Greece to return ,000 given to him for reasons he believes constitute as entrapment. Papadopoulos claims the money is marked bills, and was given to him in a plot by the Obama-era FBI and CIA to charge him with a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The money aroused suspicion with Papadopoulos, prompting him to turn it into his lawyer where it has been stored in a safe.

“All my work was actually dedicated to undermining Russian influence and interests throughout the world
yet I find myself somehow as Patient Zero of a Russian conspiracy, and that was the moment when I realized how dominant and how manipulative PSYOPs (psychological operations) are,”

said the former Trump campaign aide.

George Papadopoulos, a former member of the foreign policy panel to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, poses for a photo before a TV interview in New York, New York, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegr

Papadopoulos was approached by a man named Joseph Misfud in 2016, who told him about Russian knowledge of dirt on Clinton. Papadopoulos then urged a Department of Justice investigation into the Obama-era FBI’s role in starting the Russia probe and fueling the “collusion hoax.”

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Nonetheless, the incident was used to highlight a lack of coordination between the White House and the intelligence community with Coats often being the bearer of bad news. President Trump was vocal about his disagreements with Coats, reportedly telling him behind the scenes to stay quiet about threats of Russian meddling and even calling him out publicly in certain settings.

“Can you give me an example, other than Donald Trump, where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined? …You can’t find it because, I’ll tell you why, it doesn’t exist.” 

On Sunday, President Trump announced Republican Representative John Ratcliffe will take over as Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Ratcliffe has long been considered to be a Trump ally, but apparently made an impression during his interrogation of Robert Mueller. He had this to say during the hearing:

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., asks questions to former special counsel Robert Mueller, as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The latest change at the DNI could be a sign that the president is looking to downsize the department altogether in order to concentrate on information sharing efforts. Coats is expected to leave the department on Thursday, August 15th with the president saying an active director will be named in the near future.

There’s another shake-up in the Trump administration, with the latest move likely having a trickle-effect throughout the rest of the government.
The Texas congressman was already a rising star in the Republican Party after winning his election with more than 70-percent of the vote in the 2018 midterms. Ratcliffe was facing off against other high profile officials for the job, including chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. He also challenged Fred Fleitz, the former Chief of Staff for National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., asks questions to former special counsel Robert Mueller, as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ratcliffe will now be elevated to a post where the current official, Dan Coats, has often been at odds with the president and his administration. Perhaps the most memorable event during his tenure was his response after learning President Trump invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House. When asked about the invitation he laughed and acted as if it were a joke. Coats later said he meant no disrespect to the White House and admitted the exchange was somewhat awkward.

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“I agree with my fellow members of the Washington delegation that, as we have learned about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in special counsel Mueller’s report, it has become clear that the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s action necessitate impeachment,” Murray said in a statement shared on her website. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Sunday supported an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, a decision fueled by testimony provided by special counsel Robert Mueller last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said the House would decide whether to begin proceedings, “when we have a best strongest possible case” and that such a decision “will be made in a timely fashion.” Murray, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, joins a growing list of Democrats pushing for impeachment, including all seven of Washington’s Democratic House members. Mueller in his testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees noted the 2000 Justice Department determination that “a sitting president is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” He also said his team did not reach a determination whether Trump committed a crime.

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A pair of conservative columnists say Democrats have still not been held accountable for their antics during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.

In a recent radio interview with Breitbart, senior editor for The Federalist — Mollie Hemingway — put Democrat senators on blast for “willfully abandoning” Senate procedures to attack Kavanaugh. She singled out Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Corey Booker, saying they unfairly lobbed unsubstantiated accusations at the now Supreme Court justice and were never penalized for it.

Hemingway said not punishing politicians for slander during the confirmation hearing has allowed lasting damage to be done to Kavanaugh’s reputation:

“Damaging someone’s reputation is a real harm. We think of crime as being about actual acts of physical violence, but damage to a reputation causes real harm and it needs to be taken seriously, so that these things don’t happen again. Part of it is just about people being aware of what the left does with confirmation battles, but there also needs to be accountability.”

Brett Kavanaugh, listens to a question during the third round of questioning on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In a separate interview, her counterpart and chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network — Carrie Sevarino — doubled down on that stance. She said Democrats willingly peddled misinformation and false allegations to obstruct Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Hemingway and Sevarino said the conduct of Democrats during the hearing is another example of how the party has fallen prey to the “politics of personal destruction.” The duo are currently on tour promoting their book “Justice on Trial,” which chronicles Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation process.

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