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Andrew Kerr | Investigative Reporter

Democratic Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez and her top aide are no longer board members of the outside PAC credited with orchestrating her political rise, according to a corporate document filed Friday to a Washington, D.C., agency.

The New York Democrat and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, joined the board of Justice Democrats in December 2017, according to the political action committee’s website. It also said the two held “legal control over the entity” at the same time it was playing a key role in supporting Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign prior to her shock victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in June 2018.

Attorneys for Ocasio-Cortez said she was removed from Justice Democrats’ board in June 2018, but she was listed an “entity governor” of the PAC as recently as March 14, according to corporate filings, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Has Ties To A Dark Money Group)

Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were officially removed from Justice Democrats’ board on March 15, according to a corporate document filed that day to the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

It’s unclear why it took Justice Democrats more than eight months to formally remove Ocasio-Cortez from its board. The PAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that she and Chakrabarti controlled Justice Democrats while it simultaneously supported her primary campaign.

If the FEC finds that her campaign and the PAC were operating in affiliation, it could result in “massive reporting violations” or potentially even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith previously told TheDCNF. Another former FEC commissioner, Hans von Spakovsky, wrote in a March 10 Fox News op-ed that he believes there’s sufficient evidence to “justify opening a criminal investigation” into Ocasio-Cortez.

Alexandra Rojas and Demond Drummer replaced Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti on Justice Democrats’ board. Both have close ties to the congresswoman.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti no longer listed as governors of Justice Democrats on March 18, 2019, at 3:16 pm. (Screenshot/DCRA)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti no longer listed as governors of Justice Democrats, the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs shows on March 18, 2019, at 3:16 pm. (Screenshot/Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs)

Rojas, Justice Democrats’ executive director, was a field organizer for the Ocasio-Cortez campaign in 2018 while she was also serving as campaign director for the PAC. Chakrabarti preceded Rojas as executive director.

Drummer is the executive director of New Consensus, a nonprofit group that played a key role in developing the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal was written in a single weekend in December by New Consensus, Justice Democrats and Ocasio-Cortez staffers, along with the Sunrise Movement, a climate advocacy organization.

“We spent the weekend learning how to put laws together,” Chakrabarti told The New Yorker in January. “We looked up how to write resolutions.”

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Phillip Stucky | Contributor

Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand confessed during a Monday town hall on MSNBC that she should have done more to combat gun laws during her time in the U.S. Senate.

“I regret, actually, not caring about other communities,” Gillibrand said about her time in office. “My community didn’t have the gun violence that other parts of the state had, and in fact, the biggest issue for upstate New York was hunting rights.”

“My mother didn’t just cook the Thanksgiving turkey, she shot the Thanksgiving turkey, so I came from a different lens, but what I regret is I should have cared more about ending gun violence in other places and so the first thing I did when I became a senator was met with families who lost their loved ones to gun violence,” she continued. (RELATED: 2020 Democratic Hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand Can’t Even Get Her Home Delegation To Back Her)

“When you meet a mother or father who has lost a child to gun violence, there is no way you will ever not answer them directly and say I will do something to end gun violence, and that’s what I did.”

Gillibrand formally announced she was running for president in the 2020 Democratic primary last week. A recent report revealed that one of the parents involved in a college entrance cheating scandal co-hosted a fundraiser for the rising Democrat. She was also one of the first Democrats to come out against former Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a decision that cost her some sway with the party’s donor elite.

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has a complicated relationship with sleep — and coffee — according to a series of tweets unearthed Monday. And he’s not above using the same joke more than once. Or more than 10 times.

Writer Anna Fitzpatrick discovered the tweets in what initially appeared to be an effort to explain why 10-year-old tweets should not be used to judge presidential candidates.

“we should vet every presidential candidate but digging up their tweets from 2009 is a low blow. every tweet from 2009 is bad,” she tweeted.

She then made an example of Booker, citing a 2009 tweet in which he lamented a lack of sleep. “‘Sleep’ and I broke up a few nights ago. I’m dating ‘Coffee’ now. She’s Hot!”

But then Fitzpatrick realized that Booker had repeated the same joke just two years ago.

That’s when she realized there might just be a pattern. (RELATED: Cory Booker Confirms He’s Dating, And The Rumor Mill Points To A Hollywood Actress)

Booker, who recently tossed his hat into the ring for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also announced some personal news: he has severed ties with both coffee and sleep, and is currently seeing actress Rosario Dawson.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A Virginia student accused of sexual misconduct said Fairfax County Public Schools treated male students “disproportionately harsher” than female students in sexual harassment cases.

The 18-year-old male student, referred to as “John Doe” in the lawsuit, said the district violated his free speech, due process rights and did not investigate the situation properly. Doe was suspended and sent to a different school, according to the lawsuit given to The Daily Caller News Foundation by attorney Jesse Binnall.

A Robinson Secondary School female accused two male students of sexual harassment after her buttocks were allegedly slapped in December 2018. Surveillance video reportedly showed Doe did not hit the female student, according to the lawsuit.

Doe befriended the female student who was new to the school.

“Doe and Student A had classes together and would see each other at school outside of class,” the lawsuit said. “Doe flirted with Student A, which included friendly conversations, putting his arm around her and playfully poking her in class. Student A did not reject these overtures. In fact, she would often seek out Doe’s company and return his flirtations.”

The lawsuit claims the female student “colluded” with her friends to make false statements and the assistant principal was allegedly “seeking evidence that was inculpatory and ignored exculpatory evidence,” according to the lawsuit.

Binnall told TheDCNF one of the witnesses changed her story.

“If a male student and female student are both engaged in mutual sexual contact or touching on school grounds, it is common for the male student to be punished and for the female student not to be punished, based on gender,” the lawsuit said.

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Pictured is a hand on a shoulder. SHUTTERSTOCK/Andrey_Popov

Doe’s punishment could affect his college wrestling scholarship and entry to a “prestigious” university unless his record gets cleaned by a judge, The Washington Post reported Sunday. A hearing is expected March 22. (RELATED: Education Department’s Budget Proposal Includes First Ever Teacher Voucher Program)

“He was never given a fair shot to make his case to prove that he was innocent in a school district that doesn’t even have a presumption of innocence,” Binnall said to TheDCNF.

John Torre, a spokesman for FCPS, would not comment on the specifics of the case to WaPo, but said the school district “thoroughly investigates all allegations of Title IX violations and takes action, where appropriate.”

Title IX does not allow sex-based discrimination to education programs receiving federal funding. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed sweeping changes to Title IX to clarify students’ rights and schools’ legal obligations in November 2018.

FCPS is dealing with two other federal lawsuits over mishandling of sexual allegation cases, according to WaPo.

The district is the 10th largest in the U.S. and serves more than 187,000 students.

Robinson Secondary principal Matt Eline could not provide comment on the case.

FCPS did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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A Justice Department official who worked on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case is leaving the special counsel’s office, a spokesman for Robert Mueller said Monday.

“Zainab Ahmad has concluded her detail with the Special Counsel’s Office but will continue to represent the office on specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail,” special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement, first reported by Yahoo! News.

Ahmad’s departure is the latest signal that Mueller’s probe is nearing its end. Carr confirmed Thursday that Andrew Weissmann, the high-profile Mueller prosecutor who handled cases against Paul Manafort, is planning to leave the team. (RELATED: Mueller’s ‘Pit Bull’ Is Leaving, Signaling Investigation Is Nearly Over)

Ahmad, a counterterrorism prosecutor, is one of the Mueller team members to sign Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn departs after a plea hearing at U.S. District Court, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Flynn has cooperated with several investigations as part of his plea agreement. He is expected to testify later in 2019 in a trial against his former business partner, Bijan Kian. Kian was indicted on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent of Turkey.

Ahmad and Weissmann recently came under scrutiny over their interactions during the 2016 campaign with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

It recently emerged that Ohr testified to Congress on Aug. 28, 2018, that he briefed Ahmed, Weissmann and FBI officials in September 2016 about his interactions with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the anti-Trump dossier.

Ohr, who served as a back-channel between Steele and the FBI, said he told the Justice Department and FBI officials Steele’s reporting on the Trump campaign was unverified and needed further investigation. Nevertheless, the FBI relied heavily on the dossier’s allegations to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

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Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes filed suit against Twitter and some Twitter users Monday for $250 million in compensatory damages, alleging the social media platform engaged in “shadow-banning conservatives.”

“Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon,” Nunes’ legal team wrote in the filing. “Twitter is ‘responsible’ for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content.”

The lawsuit alleges defamation, conspiracy and negligence, reported Fox News. It also seeks an “injunction compelling Twitter to turn over the identities behind numerous accounts he says have harassed and defamed him,” according to Fox News. (RELATED: Democrats Credit Health Care For House Win And Are Divided On What To Do)

The suit also names former Republican National Committee online communications director Liz Mair. Nunes’s lawyers say her tweets “implied that Nunes colluded with prostitutes and cocaine addicts, that Nunes does cocaine, and that Nunes was involved in a ‘Russian money laundering front.’”

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (L) arrives for a closed-door hearing with Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, in the basement of the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol March 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (L) arrives for a closed-door hearing with Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, in the basement of the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol March 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“To be fair, I think [T]he Fresno Bee writing up your investment in a winery that allegedly used underage hookers to solicit investment — an allegation you’ve known about for years, during which you’ve stayed invested in it, I might add — did surprise you,” Mair tweeted at Nunes June 22, 2018.

Mair wrote on Twitter Monday after news of the suit broke that she is declining to comment but posted a link for donations to cover her legal fees.

Nunes filed the complaint in Virginia state court Monday and is also seeking $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and the specified users. He wrote that Twitter was “knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory – providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers – thereby facilitating defamation on its platform.”

Nunes’s legal team also wrote that Twitter should not be exempt from defamation liability because the platform actively curates and bans content to the point that it should have liability like other organizations that can be guilty of defamation, reported Fox News.

Nunes’s filing linked Twitter’s actions to influencing the 2018 midterm elections in which Republicans lost the House of Representatives. (RELATED: Twitter Censors ‘The Federalist’ Co-Founder Over Lisa Page Tweet)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey speaks during a press event at CES 2019 at the Aria Resort & Casino on January 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

News of Nunes’s suit comes on the same day Twitter said it “mistakenly remove[d]” a tweet from The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis’s account Monday but denied employing “shadow banning” tactics against users.

Twitter representatives including CEO Jack Dorsey have been invited to Capitol Hill by lawmakers numerous times to testify on how their platforms deal with issues like terrorist propaganda and more.

Twitter declined to comment on the suit to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

  • Jewish and Muslim Democrats in the House of Representatives gathered for a private meeting to discuss anti-Semitism and religion after Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar received backlash for repeatedly using anti-Israel tropes.
  • The anti-Trump organization Bend the Arc moderated the discussion and a representative reportedly made an anti-Semitic joke during the meeting.
  • Democratic Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes questioned why the “joke” was appropriate and criticized its use.

A member of a progressive anti-Trump organization, comprised of American Jews, used an anti-Semitic trope while meeting with Muslim and Jewish House Democrats to discuss recent allegations of anti-Semitism within the party, according to a report published Sunday.

Democratic Michigan Rep. Andy Levin invited Bend the Arc to moderate a discussion on religion and anti-Semitism between Muslim Democrats in the House and some of their Jewish Democratic colleagues, reported The Washington Post. In addition to Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, America’s first two Muslim congresswomen, other freshman progressives were also invited, such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has defended anti-Israel statements Omar made.

Bend the Arc is a left-wing advocacy group whose mission is “rising up in solidarity with everyone threatened by the Trump agenda to fight for the soul of our nation.” The group, whose members are progressive Jews, has been critical of Israeli policies and sympathizes with Palestine, which is reportedly why they were chosen to attend. Bend the Arc’s PAC was organized by Alexander Soros, the son of Democratic mega-donor George Soros.

The meeting was largely in response to Omar’s claim that Republican support for Israel is bought by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Her comments received swift condemnation from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership.

“It is deeply disappointing and disturbing to hear Rep. Ilhan Omar’s choice of words in her exchange with a journalist yesterday wherein she appears to traffic in old anti-semitic tropes about Jews and money,” House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement at the time. “Her words are deeply hurtful and offensive, particularly as they build on previous comments she made about Jews ‘hypnotizing’ the world in support of Israel — another old trope born of hate-filled texts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Bend the Arc did not comment on Omar’s use of anti-Israel tropes, but issued a statement condemning President Donald Trump for calling for her resignation. The organization subsequently praised Omar for her apology. (RELATED: Minnesota Democrats Reportedly Want Ilhan Omar Out — She Blames Trump)

During the meeting, a Bend the Arc representative who was facilitating the discussion, reportedly made a joke about Jews and money in what was claimed to be an attempt to ease tensions, according to WaPo. Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes, another freshman in attendance, questioned why the joke was appropriate.

“The comment referred to in the article was an approach to use humor to call attention to an often-used Jewish stereotype. The facilitator apologized when another meeting participant expressed concern with the comment,” Ginna Green, chief strategy officer of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Like the rest of the training, this conversation was open and candid in a way that brought leaders closer to greater connection and understanding.”

“It’s not okay,” Hayes told The Washington Post when discussing the exchange. “These [sorts of jokes] are off-limits. It’s confusing for someone like me who is trying to learn.”

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

“I’m looking to try to understand everybody’s perspective,” Hayes added. “This isn’t my community.”

Both Omar and Tlaib’s time in congressional office has been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism. (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Sees Herself In Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Ilhan Omar)

Omar has defended her anti-Israel statements, such as ones invoking Allah to expose Israel’s “evil doings,” and she is on record stating that Israel is not a democracy. She also gave an interview to a host that referred to Israel as the “Jewish ISIS” and mocked how Americans speak about al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.

Omar and Tlaib notably waited until after they won their congressional election to reveal their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish Israel by economically depriving the country for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Anti-Defamation League describes the movement as “the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence.”

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Paulina Likos | Contributor

WATCH:

With millions of new jobs created, President Donald Trump has had his fair share of economic accomplishments. In foreign policy, the United States is now making better deals with other countries. On immigration, this administration is working diligently toward tighter border security. While Trump is following through with his campaign promises, there are those in the media who would like to diminish his achievements. (RELATED: Foxconn Says It Will Be Up And Running By 2020 After Trump Talks)

It doesn’t take much to acknowledge the facts. Regarding U.S. economic progress, even CNN’s Poppy Harlow said, ‘It’s good to see, but will it last?’ At the very least, she acknowledged the positive impact Trump’s policies have had on the economy.

Kevin Hassett, Chair of White House Council of Economic Advisers, said it best when he responded to a critique, “The tone of the critique is extremely incorrect and if you think we did something wrong you should accuse us of making an error, but accusing us of being dishonest is beyond the pale.” (RELATED: ‘My Father Was His Kryptonite’: Meghan McCain Launches Tirade Against Trump)

Click to watch Trump’s successes since taking office thus far.

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Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

Twitter claimed it “mistakenly remove[d]” a tweet from The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis about Lisa Page’s congressional testimony Monday but denied employing “shadow banning” tactics against users.

Davis tweeted out a portion of the former FBI lawyer’s testimony last week but soon noticed that the tweet was not appearing for other users, despite still being visible when he was logged into his own account.

On Monday, Twitter Support confirmed to Davis that they mistakenly removed the tweet, writing in an email, “Our priority is to keep people safe on Twitter. As part of that work, we sometimes mistakenly remove content that doesn’t break our rules.”

“When those mistakes happen, we work quickly to fix them,” the tech company added. “We have corrected the issue.”

Twitter did not preemptively inform Davis that action was taken on the tweet, nor did they indicate why it was initially removed. Davis noted that Twitter also did not explain why he was still able to see the tweet when he was logged into his account, even while it was removed for other users.

“Is conning users a bug, or a feature?” Davis questioned.

When tweets are removed for violations, Twitter uses one of three enforcement options: limiting the tweet visibility, requiring tweet removal, and hiding a tweet while waiting for a user to remove it.

A person familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that removing the tweet was an “error,” but a Twitter spokesperson denied that the company ever uses “shadow banning” as an enforcement method.

“Shadow banning” refers to situations where an account and/or its content is suppressed without the user’s knowledge.

“Twitter does not engage in bias and we categorically do not enforce so-called ‘shadow banning‘ tactics. Period,” Twitter told the Caller. “We enforce the Twitter Rules dispassionately and equally for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation. We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our effort.”

Twitter has faced allegations of shadow banning before, most prominently this past fall when several Republican congressmen’s accounts were suppressed in Twitter search results. (RELATED: Twitter Algorithm Buried Republicans For Something Totally Out Of Their Control)

Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz announced at the time that he was bringing a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the company, and Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes was said to be exploring legal options.

On Monday, Nunes filed a lawsuit seeking over $250 million in damages from Twitter for allegedly “shadow-banning conservatives” and systematically censoring opposing viewpoints.

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