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Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Burr arrives inside Hart Senate Office Building in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) arrives inside the Hart Senate Office Building before former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen testified behind closed doors before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 19, 2019

By Mark Hosenball and David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, known as perhaps Congress’ most bipartisan panel, is split along party lines over whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, sources told Reuters.

The division is unsurprising in Washington’s bitterly partisan climate but raises a broader question: If the Senate intelligence panel cannot produce a consensus view of what happened with Trump and the Russians, what committee can?

It would in turn stir doubts about whether congressional investigations into Trump will result in lawmakers trying to start impeachment proceedings against the Republican president.

At least six congressional committees are probing whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow in its efforts to sway U.S. voters to support Trump in 2016; whether Trump has tried to obstruct investigations; whether his businesses have ties to Moscow; and whether he has used his office to enrich himself.

The inquiries have months to go and much could change, especially with a long-running probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller not yet completed and many hours of congressional hearings, both open and closed, still to play out.

But at the moment, sources said, Intelligence Committee members have been considering the production of dueling final reports, one from the committee’s eight Republicans and one from its seven Democrats, reaching different conclusions.

Congressional sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that both Republicans and Democrats on Senate Intelligence agreed there was a lack of direct evidence pointing to collusion. The two sides disagree on circumstantial evidence.

The Democrats say there is enough circumstantial evidence to support a finding of collusion in the committee’s final report. Trump’s fellow Republicans on the panel say there is not.

“There is no hard evidence of collusion,” a Democratic source said, but “plenty of circumstantial evidence.”

Senate Intelligence oversees America’s spy agencies, from the CIA to the intelligence-related functions of the FBI.

Led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr, the panel’s members also include Republicans Marco Rubio and Susan Collins, as well as Democrats Mark Warner, Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden.

A spokeswoman for Burr declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Wyden, a senior committee Democrat.

Burr told CBS last month that the committee, at that time, had found no proof that Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow.

Trump denies any collusion occurred and has repeatedly blasted such inquiries as a “witch hunt.”

DUELING REPORTS

If Senate Intelligence, and possibly other committees in Congress, end up producing conflicting reports, Americans looking to Congress for explanations about links between Moscow and the Trump campaign are likely to be disappointed.

Moreover, experts said, such an outcome could reduce the odds of an eventual Trump impeachment. Under the Constitution, the impeachment process would begin in the Democratic-led House of Representatives, but it would fall to the Republican-led Senate to decide whether to remove Trump from office.

“This may indicate that Republicans don’t think there’s a smoking gun, nothing that ties the president to a conspiracy,” said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington.

“It leaves things with no impeachment, probably. … If the Republicans are saying: ‘Uh uh, this is not impeachable,’ then I don’t think it’s going to happen,” she said.

Entrusted with some of the most sensitive U.S. secrets, Senate Intelligence began its Trump-Russia probe shortly after Trump took office. It is now moving to re-interview key witnesses, with senators joining staff investigators in the questioning for the first time, the sources said.

The committee will assess a January 2017 report from the U.S. spy agencies that found Russia interfered in the 2016 election in various ways. Russia denies any meddling.

Also being scrutinized by the panel are the role of social media in the 2016 campaign, the security of U.S. voting systems and steps former President Barack Obama’s administration took – or did not take – after initial reports of Russian interference.

But the central topic of the committee’s probe will be the question of collusion.

Bipartisan oversight on those questions is crucial, said Norman Ornstein, a political analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

“If there is a bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee, assuming it’s a full exposition, that would make a difference, even if Burr and Warner had different interpretations,” he said.

Separate, partisan reports would tell a more familiar story, he said. “Then we’re back to the dynamic where Republicans will believe the Burr report, while Democrats, the mainstream media, the intellectual community and the Never-Trumpers are going to believe the Warner report,” Ornstein said.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and David Morgan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Jockeys, most of whom are children, compete during the 18th International Camel Racing festival at the Sarabium desert in Ismailia
Jockeys, most of whom are children, compete on their mounts during the 18th International Camel Racing festival at the Sarabium desert in Ismailia, Egypt, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

March 19, 2019

By Amr Dalsh

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) – Remote-controlled robot jockeys lined up at a major camel racing festival in northeastern Egypt, as owners came under pressure from campaigns to stop using child riders.

Organizers fielded around 20 robots – child-sized devices with a whipping arm that can be triggered at a distance – alongside dozens of real children as part of a trial run.

“God willing, in a year, there will be no human jockeys, except for some adults for the sake of tradition,” said Eid Hamdan Hassan, head of the Egyptian Camel Federation, which organized the festival in the Sarabium desert of Ismailia.

Several Gulf countries have banned child jockeys from the traditional Bedouin sport after rights groups said the youngsters were often injured and some had been abducted or sold by their families.

Owners at last week’s Egyptian event said the bans had prevented them from fielding teams in Gulf festivals – and they hoped the move to robots would help them get in.

Esam el-Din Atiyah, president of the African Camel Racing Federation, which includes Egypt, acknowledged that child riders were sometimes injured. “Human rights organizations have said that this is child exploitation,” he said.

He personally wanted Egypt to move to robot-only events, but the transition was costly and would take time, he added.

Young jockeys at the event – local children mostly aged 6-13 – defended the tradition and their participation.

Sayed Mohamed, 11, said children were better than robots at steering.

“The camel might lean sideways. We (the children) are better at riding leaning camels so that we can straighten its route.

“The robot works well with camels that don’t tend to lean.”

Around 150 camels competed in eight categories over distances from five to 15 km, cheered on by more than 1,000 spectators.

Local tribes prepare their best camels with a special diet of beans, barley, date paste and milk.

Victory raises a camel’s value. “When a camel wins, you sell it for a good price – from 150,000 to 200,000 Egyptian pounds($8,700-$11,600),” said camel owner Mohamed Mostafa. “The camel that doesn’t win is sold for only 10,000.”

(Additional reporting by Lena Masri; writing by Aidan Lewis and Lena Masri; editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

Democratic lawmakers are rewriting a law to ensure President Donald Trump won't escape "criminal liability" if he is re-elected and time runs out to indict him, Rep. Eric Swalwell said Tuesday.

"I don't think any person should be above the law," the California Democrat, who is mulling a run at the presidency, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "What concerns me right now is the president may escape criminal liability because he could win reelection and the statute of limitations could run out."

The current policy rules out indicting a sitting president, Swalwell added, so "we should rewrite the law. The statute of limitations can continue to run, so once you're out of office, you can be indicted."

And the law, he added is "in the works because there are "indictments waiting for this president."

Swalwell said he also has every confidence lawmakers will see special counsel Robert Mueller's report, as Congress just voted unanimously to see it and Trump is "outnumbered."

The lawmaker also said Tuesday he believes Trump colluded with Russia, and he thinks there is circumstantial evidence.

"The president knew the Russians were seeking to help him," said Swalwell. "So he went out as a candidate, invited them to hack more, did not tell his family not to take any of these meetings. He was told by Roger Stone that Wikileaks was also going to be putting out materials damaging to his opponent and he went on the stage and said I love Wikileaks. This is circumstantial evidence which in a court of law can be treated as the same as direct evidence. Yes, he's colluded."

Source: NewsMax Politics

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained to reporters Monday what kind steps she may consider to lower the federal voting age to 16 years old at a press conference in Ferguson, Missouri.

“We’re obviously collecting thoughts about it. Just because someone has a good idea — any of us — doesn’t mean it’s going to the Floor next,” Pelosi said. “It means you go through the process. You build consensus. You build a crescendo. That’s another club I’m starting: the crescendo club.”

She added, “You have an idea? Let’s see how many people you can convince. Let’s see what the other views are that we can enhance this.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Ferguson, MO (Credit: KMOV Video screenshot)

Pelosi, at her weekly presser last Thursday, told The Daily Caller she always supported lowering the voting age. The Democrat-proposed legislation, known as the “For The People Act” (H.R.1), included a debate over a failed amendment intended to lower the voting age to 16 years of age. The amendment was defeated 126-305, but H.R.1 passed.  (RELATED: 125 Democrats And 1 Republican Vote To Lower Voting Age To 16)

“I myself, personally — I’m not speaking for my caucus. I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16,” Pelosi said last week. “I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about government to be able to vote.” (RELATED: Pelosi Says She Personally Supports Lowering The Voting Age To 16)

The Speaker further elaborated on her thoughts concerning the issue Monday night when she joined Missouri Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay to talk about and take questions about H.R.1, as well as the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (H.R.4).

“ …. When kids are in high school is really a prime time for them to be aware of civics. Many years ago, when I was in school, civics was a requirement. Then — remember that? Well, you don’t remember that, but you read about it.”

She continued:

But then, it became an elective, and I don’t know. There were other things kids took instead. So, the point is that when they are in high school, we see such a heightened interest in history and civics and climate and gun safety and you name it. And that would be a time for them to be registered to vote. Now, we want to start something that might say ‘register to register.’  But you’ve got to get them on there because once they leave high school, not all kids go to college. And even if they do, they might not be in that same sense of community that they as high school students can make a big difference. More and more, more and more.

Pelosi previously supported a local effort two years ago in San Francisco known as Proposition F, which would have lowered the voting age for municipal elections, but the measure was defeated.

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Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: The Supreme Court stands before decisions are released for the term in Washington
FILE PHOTO: The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 19, 2019

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday endorsed U.S. government authority to detain immigrants awaiting deportation anytime – potentially even years – after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions, handing President Donald Trump a victory as he pursues hardline immigration policies.

The court ruled 5-4, with its conservative justices in the majority and its liberal justices dissenting, that federal authorities could pick up such immigrants and place them into indefinite detention at any time, not just immediately after they finish their prison sentences.

The ruling, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, leaves open the possibility of individual immigrants challenging the federal law involved in the case on constitutional grounds if they are detained long after they have completed their sentences.

In dissent, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer questioned whether the U.S. Congress when it wrote the law “meant to allow the government to apprehend persons years after their release from prison and hold them indefinitely without a bail hearing.”

The Trump administration had appealed a lower court ruling in the case that favored immigrants, a decision it said would undermine the government’s ability to deport immigrants who have committed crimes. Trump has backed limits on legal and illegal immigrants since taking office in January 2017.

The plaintiffs included two legal U.S. residents involved in separate lawsuits filed in 2013, a Cambodian immigrant named Mony Preap convicted of marijuana possession and a Palestinian immigrant named Bassam Yusuf Khoury convicted of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance.

Under federal immigration law, immigrants convicted of certain offenses are subject to mandatory detention during their deportation process. They can be held indefinitely without a bond hearing after completing their sentences.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

Former Trump personal attorney Cohen departs after House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after testifying before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young


March 19, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Federal authorities sought warrants to investigate Michael Cohen’s email accounts in July 2017, nine months before the office and hotel room of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer were raided, according to documents made public on Tuesday.

Emails were sought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which is probing Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as by the FBI, dating back as far as June 2015, according to the documents.

The nearly 900 pages of documents provide new insights into the investigations into Cohen, who had been Trump’s personal lawyer and self-described fixer for more than a decade, and more detailed accounts of his financial dealings.

They were released after U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Monday ordered federal prosecutors to make redacted versions public, in response to requests by various news media organizations.

Cohen began cooperating with federal investigators soon after the April 2018 raids on his office and hotel room.

He eventually pleaded guilty to multiple crimes, including campaign finance violations in connection with payments of hush money to silence two women who claimed to have had sexual relationships with Trump.

The women included Stormy Daniels, a porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, who later sued Trump unsuccessfully to end her hush money agreement.

Cohen was sentenced in December to serve three years in prison. Since pleading guilty, he has publicly turned on Trump, telling a U.S. House of Representatives committee last month that his former boss was a “con man” and “cheat.”

Trump has denied having sexual relationships with the women, and said his campaign did not collude with Russia. Moscow has denied meddling in the 2016 election.

The filings showed how the FBI made extensive use of its access to Cohen’s Apple iCloud account, which allowed him to coordinate his work across several devices including an iPhone, iPad Mini and laptop.

They detailed how investigators believed money going to Cohen, including to his firm Essential Consultants, was for political consulting, including from international clients with issues pending before the Trump administration.

Among the payments Cohen was believed to have received was $600,000 from AT&T Inc for consulting about “political issues, including net neutrality, the merger between AT&T and Time Warner and tax reform,” and $583,333 from an investment firm controlled by Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg.

FBI agents said they were able to locate where Cohen was staying by using internet protocol, or IP, addresses attached to those devices.

Much of the discussion about campaign finance issues was redacted.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson, Anthony Lin, David Morgan and Andy Sullivan in Washington, and Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

Actor Bruce Willis was born Mar. 19, 1955, in Oberstein, Germany.

Willis turned 64-years-old on Tuesday. Willis is best known for his role in the 1988 classic Christmas film “Die Hard.” (RELATED: Bruce Willis’ Film ‘Air Strike’ Axed After Co-Star Disappears)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Actor Bruce Willis attends the 2017 Room To Grow Spring Benefit at Guastavino's on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Actor Bruce Willis attends the 2017 Room To Grow Spring Benefit … (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Die Hard is one of the greatest movies of all time and a perfect one to pull out of your cabinet during the Christmas season. It’s a shame that Willis’ birthday doesn’t fall around the holidays, because there would be no better way to celebrate than turning on this classic film. (RELATED: Celebrate Bruce Willis’ Birthday With His Top 10 Movies Of All Time [Video])

Even though it’s only March, It’s still a great flick to watch anytime, but it’s hardly the only classic film Willis has ever made. The award-winning actor has also starred in other classics such as “Pulp Fiction,” and “The Sixth Sense.”

Bruce Willis Die Hard (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

Bruce Willis Die Hard (Photo: YouTube Screenshot)

He was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1987 for his role in “Moonlighting”; a People’s Choice Award for Actor in a New TV Series in 1986 for his role in “Moonlighting”; and another People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Star In A Drama in 2000 for his role in “The Sixth Sense” among many others.

Willis is one of the greatest actors in American history, and we all wish him the happiest of birthdays.

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Source: The Daily Caller

At least 127,000 blacks and Hispanics were sent to prison in California during the time Kamala Harris served as the state’s attorney general, The Washington Free Beacon is reporting.

Harris, now serving in the U.S. Senate, is currently running for the Democratic nomination for president.

The Free Beacon, in data obtained from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said at least 44,172 black offenders and 83,370 Hispanic offenders were sent to California prisons between n 2011 and 2016.  By comparison 48,761 whites and 11,182 “other” were incarcerated during that time.

Many of those were prosecuted by her office or that of a state attorney who reported to her, the Free Beacon noted.

The website pointed out that the numbers translate into 23.6 percent of new inmates being black and 44.5 percent being Hispanic. According to the Free Beacon, The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 39.1 percent of Californians were Hispanic/Latino and 6.5 percent were black or African American.

Yet, as a presidential candidate, Harris has touted herself as a progressive on racial justice and has claimed to have reduced racial disparities in the criminal justice system, according to the Free Beacon. At one point, she labeled President Donald Trump a racist during an interview with The Root.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The brother of Jeff Bezos’s mistress sold racy text messages from the Amazon CEO to the National Enquirer, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Michael Sanchez — the brother of Bezos’s lover, Lauren Sanchez — reportedly sold the billionaire’s secrets for $200,000 to the Enquirer’s publisher, American Media, the report notes. Michael denied sending the National Enquirer “the many penis selfies” but declined to comment about whether he sent the publication other photos of Bezos, according to WSJ.

The report appears to conflict with rumors that President Donald Trump was behind the caper.

Neither Bezos nor Lauren replied to requests from WSJ for comment. The story appears to conflict with media-generated rumors that the president or Saudi Arabia were behind the leaked text messages. (RELATED: Bezos Investigated An Expose Into His Affair And Now Thinks He Knows Who’s Responsible)

Longtime Bezos consultant, Gavin de Becker, suggested in February that reports about the billionaire’s relationship with Lauren, a former TV anchor, started with a “politically motivated” leak from Trump supporters. Bezos announced that he and his wife MacKenzie were divorcing in January, two days after American Media approached him about the texts.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on "drug trafficking on the southern border" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on “drug trafficking on the southern border” in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Michael began conversations with the National Enquirer in 2018 about his sister’s relationship with Bezos, sources told WSJ. The Enquirer by then had already been following Bezos and Lauren, trying to determine whether the two were having an affair, sources claimed.

American Media CEO David Pecker was concerned that his connections with Trump would create the impression that the report was politically motivated. He was concerned Bezos would sue. Pecker and the company’s legal council, Cameron Stracher, argued during a lunch date in November 2018 about why Michael had been paid upfront for the texts.

Stratcher quit on the spot, sources said. His employment key card reportedly no longer functioned by the time he made the 10 minute walk back to American Media’s office.

Bezos struck back in February. He accused the National Enquirer’s parent company in a Feb. 7 blog post of trying to blackmail him with lewd photos of him and his mistress.

“I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing,” Bezos wrote in a Medium post. “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”

The billionaire owner of The Washington Post also pointed to his outlet’s coverage of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a potential reason for why people would target him. Subsequent reports have also noted that American Media once asked Saudi Arabian officials to invest in the company to stave off bankruptcy.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

Sen. Ted Cruz criticized a United Nations report that concluded Israel committed war crimes against Palestinians during a 2018 protest despite Hamas’s use of human shields.

“This U.N. report is on its face absurd and dishonest and we know because they have been doing it for a long time,” the Texas Republican said on a telephone call Monday hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. “Hamas and Hezbollah use human shields as a deliberate tactic. They use innocent Palestinian civilians, to put them in harm’s way, because they intend to exploit those human shields for when they are injured or killed when Israel defends itself.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council determined in the report, released Monday, that Israel used “excessive force” during the nine-month period in question. Over that time, Israeli security forces shot and wounded 6,016 protesters in Gaza and “there was no justification” for Israel’s use of force. The report did acknowledge Hamas encouraged Palestinian protesters to cause use incendiary kites, which caused “fear among civilians and significant damage to property in southern Israel.”

“The United Nations long has been a reservoir of deep anti-Israel animus,” Cruz continued. “This report today is yet another example of that.” (RELATED: Ted Cruz Explains Why Interventionist And Isolationists Are Both Wrong)

The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in May 2018 after President Donald Trump relocated the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that inspired thousands of Palestinians to riot and ultimately storm the Gaza-Israel border.

Hamas preemptively offered compensation to the families of Palestinians who were injured or killed during the demonstration — a spokesperson for the terrorist organization revealed the payment rates would be as high as $3,000, reported The Jerusalem Post. Humans were also reportedly used as shields, a concept that Cruz acknowledged.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“It is a repeated and deliberate strategy of Hamas to use human shields,” the Texas senator said. “The U.N. report ignores that reality.”

United States officials have maintained that Israeli Defense Forces acted appropriately.

“America stands with Israel for many reasons, but none more important than standing with Israel furthers our own national security interests,” Cruz added.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Source: The Daily Caller


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