court

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

The father of a 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim was found dead in a town hall after an apparent suicide Monday.

Police and paramedics found 49-year-old Jeremy Richman around 7 a.m., the Newtown Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday. His daughter Avielle Richman, a first-grader, was killed in the 2012 shooting that left 20 children and six faculty members dead.

Richman co-founded the Avielle Foundation that aimed to prevent violence through brain research and was a neuropharmacologist for more than 20 years, according to the CT Post. (RELATED: Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies In ‘Apparent Suicide’)

“The death appears to be a suicide, but police will not disclose the method or any other details of the death, only to state the death does not to appear to be suspicious,” the Facebook post said.

“This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole, the police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time,” Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said, according to the post.

Richman’s suicide comes after Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello committed suicide on March 17. Another Parkland shooting survivor also died after an “apparent suicide” Saturday.

“My god,” Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said on Twitter Monday. “This is awful, horrible, devastating news. Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brain’s violence triggers.”

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled victims of the 2012 shooting could sue gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

The father of a 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim was found dead in a town hall after an apparent suicide Monday.

Police and paramedics found 49-year-old Jeremy Richman around 7 a.m., the Newtown Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday. His daughter Avielle Richman, a first-grader, was killed in the 2012 shooting that left 20 children and six faculty members dead.

Richman co-founded the Avielle Foundation that aimed to prevent violence through brain research and was a neuropharmacologist for more than 20 years, according to the CT Post. (RELATED: Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies In ‘Apparent Suicide’)

“The death appears to be a suicide, but police will not disclose the method or any other details of the death, only to state the death does not to appear to be suspicious,” the Facebook post said.

“This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole, the police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time,” Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said, according to the post.

Richman’s suicide comes after Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello committed suicide on March 17. Another Parkland shooting survivor also died after an “apparent suicide” Saturday.

“My god,” Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said on Twitter Monday. “This is awful, horrible, devastating news. Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brain’s violence triggers.”

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled victims of the 2012 shooting could sue gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

The father of a 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim was found dead in a town hall after an apparent suicide Monday.

Police and paramedics found 49-year-old Jeremy Richman around 7 a.m., the Newtown Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday. His daughter Avielle Richman, a first-grader, was killed in the 2012 shooting that left 20 children and six faculty members dead.

Richman co-founded the Avielle Foundation that aimed to prevent violence through brain research and was a neuropharmacologist for more than 20 years, according to the CT Post. (RELATED: Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies In ‘Apparent Suicide’)

“The death appears to be a suicide, but police will not disclose the method or any other details of the death, only to state the death does not to appear to be suspicious,” the Facebook post said.

“This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole, the police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time,” Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said, according to the post.

Richman’s suicide comes after Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello committed suicide on March 17. Another Parkland shooting survivor also died after an “apparent suicide” Saturday.

“My god,” Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said on Twitter Monday. “This is awful, horrible, devastating news. Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brain’s violence triggers.”

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled victims of the 2012 shooting could sue gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms.

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South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called for a new special counsel at a Monday press conference that would look into the FBI and DOJ to see what led to the Russia investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Graham said he plans to ask Attorney General William Barr to set up a new special counsel to look into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant process, saying he would like someone similar to special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.

“Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign?” Graham said at the press conference. “I don’t know but I’m going to try to find out.”

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham delivers remarks about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a mark up hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Graham said he did not know what the timeline of the second special counsel would be, but that he would be in touch with Barr to determine the next steps.

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Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

Yale University rescinded the admission of one student allegedly linked to the nationwide college bribery scandal.

It is not clear how the unnamed student is connected to the scandal, WTNH reported Monday.

It is also unclear when the school repealed the admission.

Yale spokesman Thomas Conroy said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Monday that the school “rescinded the admission of one student as a result of this matter” and provided a link to a statement from the college’s president.

The massive bribery scam allegedly involved cheating on the SAT and ACT college entry exams and bribing college athletic coaches. Authorities charged at least 50 people, including two celebrities. (RELATED: ‘Desperate Housewives’ Star Allegedly Used SAT Cheating Scheme To Improve Her Child’s Score)

Actor Lori Loughlin appears in this court sketch at a hearing for a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mona Shafer Edwards NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

Actor Lori Loughlin appears in this court sketch at a hearing for a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mona Shafer Edwards

Actor Felicity Huffman (R) appears in this court sketch at an initial hearing for defendants in a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 12, 2019. Image created March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mona Edwards NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

Actor Felicity Huffman (R) appears in this court sketch at an initial hearing for defendants in a racketeering case involving the allegedly fraudulent admission of children to elite universities, at the U.S. federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mona Edwards

Yale President Peter Salovey said in the statement that one of the school’s coaches “gave bogus athletic endorsements.”

Soccer coach Rudy Meredith allegedly gave fraudulent endorsements to two applicants. The school denied admission to one of the students while the other is attending the school.

“When applicants sign their applications, they attest that the contents are true and complete,” Salovey wrote on March 15. “Although I do not comment on specific disciplinary actions taken with respect to an individual student, our longstanding policy is to rescind the admission of students who falsified their Yale College applications.”

Yale is not the only school to crack down or express disciplinary actions against students possibly involved with the scandal. (RELATED: USC Bars Students Possibly Linked To Admission Bribery Scandal From Registering For Classes)

“Applicants in the current admissions cycle who are connected to the scheme alleged by the government will be denied admission to [the University of Southern California],” the university said to TheDCNF on March 15. “Six students are in the current admissions cycle.”

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) also said it would consider “cancellation of admission” for admitted or enrolled students who “misrepresented any aspect of his/her application.”

Applicants to the University of Texas at Austin must sign a certification that says, “I certify that the information I have provided is complete and correct, and I understand that the submission of false information is grounds for rejection of my application, withdrawal of any offer of acceptance, cancellation of enrollment and/or appropriate disciplinary action.”

Twelve people accused of involvement in the cheating scandal are set to appear in a Boston federal court Monday, USA Today reported.

Stanford University, UT Austin and Wake Forest University did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comment.

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Peter Biar Ajak, the South Sudan country director for the London School of Economics' International Growth Centre based in Britain, arrives at the courtroom in Juba
Peter Biar Ajak, the South Sudan country director for the London School of Economics’ International Growth Centre based in Britain, arrives at the courtroom in Juba, South Sudan March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

March 25, 2019

NAIROBI (Reuters) – A former World Bank economist whose detention in South Sudan has caused an international outcry was one of seven men charged on Monday with insurgency and sabotage, more than seven months after his arrest.

Peter Biar Ajak, who is country director for his native South Sudan for the International Growth Centre which studies emerging economies at the London School of Economics, had been held since last July.

He had not appeared in court until last Thursday, despite months of calls by U.S. senators and other international figures for him to be charged or released.

Biar’s lawyer and lawyers for the other defendants denied the charges against them, which were brought on Monday under anti-terrorism and security laws.

Appearing in court on Monday, Biar repudiated a document that was presented as his statement.

“The investigation was conducted under gunpoint to my head,” he said.

His lawyer, Monyluak Kuol, asked for the case to be dismissed, telling the court Biar was a civilian with no connection to the charges against him.

Ajak Mayol Bior, lawyer for one of the other defendants, businessman Kerbino Wol, said no act of terrorism had been committed and charges of arms possession were fabricated.  

A childhood refugee from the long war that ended with South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011, Biar fled to the United States as a youth, was educated at Harvard and Cambridge and later worked at the World Bank. His supporters say he was promoting South Sudan’s peace process when he was arrested.

South Sudan has been in a state of civil war since 2013, two years after its founding, after political disagreements between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy, Riek Machar, degenerated into a military confrontation.

At its peak, the conflict uprooted a quarter of the country’s population of 12 million and devastated its oil-dependent economy. A regionally brokered deal last year, which had Machar return to government again as Kiir’s deputy, ended the fighting although pockets of violence remain in some parts.

(Writing by George Obulutsa)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

The Supreme Court denied an appeal Monday from an unknown foreign entity disputing a grand jury subpoena issued in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which is now complete.

Little is known of the case, which is under seal — the identity of the foreign corporation, the country in which it is based, and the nature of the subpoena are all unknown.

The entity, which is a foreign financial institution, contested the subpoena under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the laws of its own country. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected those arguments, prompting an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The entity warned of far-reaching effects on U.S. foreign policy were the D.C. Circuit’s ruling allowed to stand.

“The D.C. Circuit broke from the FSIA’s text, this Court’s precedents, other circuits’ holdings, and the longstanding rule in America and abroad that one sovereign may not exercise criminal jurisdiction over another,” the company wrote in its petition to the high court. “If left to stand, the ruling would wreak havoc on American foreign policy — possibly alienating U.S. allies, undermining diplomatic efforts, and inviting reciprocal treatment abroad for American agencies and instrumentalities.”

The Trump administration asked the Court to reject the appeal. (RELATED: When Clarence Thomas Speaks)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2019. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2019. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Chief Justice John Roberts intervened at an earlier phase of the litigation, temporarily blocking a contempt order that issued after the company refused to comply with the subpoena in December 2018.

The full Court ultimately let that order take effect in January. As a result, the company has been subject to a $50,000 fine for each day it failed to furnish the items the subpoena sought.

The Court gave no reasoning for denying Monday’s appeal, as is typical of orders of that nature.

The special counsel submitted his completed report to Justice Department leadership Friday. Attorney General William Barr shared a general summary of that report to Congress on Sunday. Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

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  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign or any Trump associates conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
  • That finding deals a heavy blow to Democrats and some in the media who have pushed at least seven different theories of collusion over the past two-plus years.
  • Many of those theories derived from the infamous Steele dossier.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller put a nail in the coffin for the numerous conspiracy theories that the Trump campaign worked with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election.

Over the past two years, at least seven main theories of collusion have appeared in the press and through the infamous Steele dossier.

Former Trump associates Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone were all alleged at various points to have colluded with Russia. The infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was also alleged to be where collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia occurred.

And then there was the case of Peter Smith, the late GOP operative who allegedly worked with hackers to track down Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

The theories percolated in the media, often stoked by Democrats like California Rep. Adam Schiff, who said he saw “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion.

But Mueller dispelled those theories in a report of his 22-month investigation.

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote, according to Attorney General William Barr. (RELATED: Justice Department Details Mueller’s Conclusions: No Collusion)

Mueller found no evidence that Trump, his associates, or other Americans worked with Russians to release emails through WikiLeaks. He also found no evidence that Trump associates helped the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company that planted disinformation on American social media networks.

Here are those seven conspiracy theories.

Carter Page

The Steele dossier alleges that Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser, took part in a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership. According to former British spy Christopher Steele, Page was working under the direction of Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman, to carry out the conspiracy.

“The reason for using WikiLeaks was ‘plausible deniability’ and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team,” alleged Steele in a memo in late July 2016.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee is conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks in November 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In exchange for the help, Trump’s team agreed to side with Russia on the Ukraine issue.

According to Steele’s Aug. 10, 2016 memo, Page had “conceived and promoted” the idea of releasing stolen DNC emails through WikiLeaks in order to swing Democrats away from Hillary Clinton and towards Bernie Sanders.

Steele also claimed that Page met in Moscow with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, in early July 2016. Diveykin is alleged in the dossier to have told Page about blackmail material on both Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Page has vehemently denied the allegations from the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain four surveillance warrants against the former Trump aide.

Page was not charged in the Mueller investigation.

George Papadopoulos

The FBI’s initial collusion theory involved Papadopoulos, a 32-year-old energy consultant.

On July 31, 2016, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Papadopoulos based on a tip the bureau had received from the Australian government.

Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K., had claimed that during a May 10, 2016, meeting in London, Papadopoulos told him that Russia had information on Hillary Clinton that it planned to release later in the campaign.

Papadopoulos said that two weeks before that meeting, he had breakfast in London with another diplomat, Joseph Mifsud, who told him that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.

Papadopoulos insists that he did not tell anyone on the campaign about Mifsud’s remarks and that he did not view, handle or disseminate Clinton emails.

He pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2017, to lying to the FBI about the extent of his contacts with Mifsud, but he was never charged with a more serious crime.

He served a 14-day prison term and is releasing a book Tuesday.

Michael Cohen

The former Trump lawyer is accused in the dossier of visiting Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purposes of paying off hackers.

“The agenda comprised questions on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the CLINTON campaign,” reads Steele’s Dec. 13, 2016, memo.

The dossier’s allegations against Cohen were viewed as some of the strongest claims of collusion that have surfaced during Russia gate.

Cohen has vehemently denied the claims since BuzzFeed published the dossier. On Feb. 27, after he had been sentenced in the special counsel’s probe to three years in prison, Cohen testified that he has never been to Prague.

The testimony was seen as a knockout blow for the dossier’s credibility. Mueller’s findings seemingly ended all debate on the matter.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on Dec. 12 on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to Congress.

Paul Manafort

In addition to being linked in the dossier to Carter Page, the former Trump campaign chairman was found to have sent cryptic emails during the campaign referencing Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who was locked in a business dispute with Manafort.

The special counsel also focused Manafort’s role in sending polling data during the campaign to two Russian oligarchs.

“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in an email to an associate on July 7, 2016, The Washington Post has reported.

In April 2016, shortly after he joined the Trump team, Manafort asked the same associate in an email how he could use his new position to “get whole.”

The email has widely been interpreted as Manafort suggesting that he would use his job on the Trump campaign to settle his debts with Deripaska.

But little came of Manafort’s links to Deripaska. Manafort was convicted in federal court in Virginia on Aug. 21, 2018, on charges related to his Ukraine consulting work. He cooperated with the special counsel after pleading guilty on Sept. 14, 2018, to working as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine.

The special counsel’s office hinted at times that prosecutors had evidence that dealt with the core issues of the investigation, but they never presented the evidence during court hearings.

Manafort was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison on March 13.

Trump Tower

Democrats have seized on a June 9, 2016, meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians as the strongest verifiable evidence of collusion to emerge during the Russia saga.

Trump Jr. accepted the meeting after receiving an email on June 3, 2016, from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who worked for Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

In the email, Goldstone said that Agalarov’s billionaire father had met with Russia’s “Crown prosecutor” and wanted to offer the Trump campaign “with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very helpful to your father.”

Trump Jr. accepted, writing: “If it is what you say I love it.”

Donald Trump, Jr. greets supporters at campaign stop for Republican senate nominee Patrick Morrisey and Republican candidate for the House of Representatives Carol Miller ahead of the 2018 midterm elections at Phillips Machine Service in Beckley, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Donald Trump, Jr. greets supporters in Beckley, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Goldstone responded to say that a “Russian government attorney” would fly to the U.S. for the meeting.

Trump Jr. attended the meeting with Manafort and Jared Kushner. Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya attended along with Goldstone and several other Russians.

All attendees have claimed that the meeting was a waste of time and that no information regarding the campaign was exchanged.

Veselnitskaya provided the campaign with a short memo containing research compiled by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that, ironically, commissioned the Steele dossier. Veselnitskaya was working at the time with Fusion GPS on an investigation of Bill Browder, a London-based financier who spearheaded the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law opposed by the Kremlin.

Mueller investigated the Trump Tower meeting. Goldstone and other attendees appeared before Mueller’s grand jury.

Goldstone responded to Mueller’s finding of no collusion in a message to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“After 2 years, Robert Mueller has delivered his report, stating there was no collusion in the 2016 Presidential election,” Goldstone said. “That includes my email to Donald Trump Jr. and the subsequent Trump Tower meeting … which as I have stated from the beginning, had nothing to do with collusion.”

Veselnitskaya was indicted by prosecutors in Manhattan related to her work against Bill Browder. No other Trump Tower attendees other than Manafort were charged by the special counsel.

Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi

One theory of collusion that emerged over the past year was that Trump confidant Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi were linked to WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors keyed in on Stone because of tweets he sent and remarks he made in August 2016 that suggested he had inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release emails stolen from Democrats.

Stone said in interviews that he had communications with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On Aug. 21, 2016, he tweeted that it would “soon [be] the Podesta’s time in the barrel.”

Stone has insisted that he had no direct contact with WikiLeaks or Assange. He also claims that he did not know that WikiLeaks would release Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails in October 2016.

Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in California. (John Sciulli/Getty Images)

Instead, he’s maintained that he received tips about the timing and seriousness of the email releases from Randy Credico, a left-wing activist who is friends with a WikiLeaks attorney.

Stone released text messages that showed Credico providing information about the timing of the email releases.

Corsi was a focus because of emails he sent in August 2016 in which he suggested he had inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

“Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps,” Corsi wrote in the Aug. 2, 2016, email to Stone, seemingly referring to Assange, who lives under asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

“One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”

“Time to let more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC.”

Corsi was offered a plea deal by the special counsel but says he rejected it. Prosecutors wanted him to plead guilty to making false statements about exchanging WikiLeaks-related emails with Stone.

Corsi said he deduced on his own that WikiLeaks had Podesta’s emails and that he had no contact with anyone affiliated with the group.

Stone was indicted by the special counsel on Jan. 24, but not on charges related to conspiracy with Russia or WikiLeaks. He was instead charged with making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee regarding his discussions about WikiLeaks with associates and Trump campaign officials.

Peter Smith

One of the more bizarre collusion conspiracy theories involved Peter Smith, a GOP donor and political operative who lived in Chicago.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in June 2017 that Smith worked with numerous conservative operatives and hackers to obtain the 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server.

The conspiracy theory came to encompass close Trump associates, including Michael Flynn. Smith wrote in correspondence that he had been in contact with Flynn regarding the effort to hunt down Clinton’s emails.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Mueller was asking witnesses about the Smith operation. The story festered in the media, with follow-up reporting from BuzzFeed.

Smith died by suicide on May 14, 2017.

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  • Carter Page is speaking out for the first time in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s finding that nobody on the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.
  • Page was Prime Suspect #1 in the government’s collusion investigation. He was a target of illegal government leaks to the media.
  • But Page said he was “not even slightly” worried he would face indictments by Mueller.

Carter Page insists he was never worried about being indicted in the special counsel’s probe, which ended on Sunday with more of a whimper than a bang.

“Not even slightly,” the former Trump campaign adviser insisted to The Daily Caller News Foundation on Sunday when asked if he ever expected to be charged in the investigation.

“That’s why I laughed at this stuff all along,” he said.

Page, 47, was at one point in time a major focus of the Russia investigation, which was led by special counsel Robert Mueller and played out in the media.

In a letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr said Mueller found no evidence that President Donald Trump, Trump associates or members of his campaign conspired with Russia to sow disinformation or release emails stolen from Democrats. (RELATED: Mueller Finds No Collusion)

The letter exonerates Trump. It also exonerates Page, who was a volunteer national security adviser for Trump’s team.

Page was one of four initial targets of that counterintelligence investigation, which was formally opened by the FBI on July 31, 2016. Dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation started with George Papadopoulos, another young Trump aide who joined the campaign at the same time as Page.

During the probe, Page faced perhaps the most intrusive media and government scrutiny other than Trump himself. He faced it all without the base of support enjoyed by Trump, or his financial means.

Page was placed under government surveillance, was targeted by at least one FBI informant, and was the subject of a series of leaks by government officials to the media. He was also the target of public ridicule, allegations that he was a Russian agent and the death threats that accompanied such an explosive charge. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Campaign Adviser During Campaign, Beyond)

FBI Director Robert Mueller III testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Dec.14, 2011 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Page, a Naval Academy graduate, dispels the idea that he’s a victim.

He says Trump was the true target and that he was collateral damage.

Page has said he had interactions over the years with the FBI and CIA, largely because of his work in Moscow, where he worked as a consultant during the 2000s. He landed back on the U.S. government’s radar just after he joined the Trump campaign in March 2016. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey and other U.S. officials discussed Page after he joined Trump’s team. The FBI deployed a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with Page in July 2016.

The pair met at an event held at Cambridge University on July 11-12, 2016 where the upcoming U.S. election was the topic of discussion. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was in attendance, as was Sir Richard Dearlove, a former chief of MI6.

Halper, a colleague of Dearlove at Cambridge, approached Page at the conference, and the pair remained in contact through September 2017, the same month the FBI’s fourth and final Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant expired.

It is still unclear what information the FISA warrants and Halper recovered from Page. But Page’s absence on the roster of indictees in the Mueller investigation suggests they didn’t find much.

The FBI appears to have applied for the first FISA against Page in September 2016, around a month before obtaining the warrant on Oct. 21, 2016.

Applications that have been declassified and released show the Steele dossier was a major component of the investigation. Compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by Democrats, the dossier makes several serious allegations against Page, all of which he denies.

Steele claimed in his 35-page report that Page worked with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to conspire with the Russians. It was also Page’s idea to release emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee through WikiLeaks, Steele’s sources said.

The dossier also alleges that Page met with two sanctioned Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, during a trip to Moscow he made just before his Cambridge visit. During an alleged conversation with Sechin, the dossier says that Page offered to lobby against Russian sanctions in exchange for a brokerage stake on a deal involving Rosneft, the Russian oil giant.

Steele, a former MI6 officer, shared those allegations with reporters, including Michael Isikoff at Yahoo! News. On Sept. 23, 2016, Isikoff published an article laying out the claims about Page. It would later be revealed that Isikoff was one of a handful of reporters who Steele met with at the behest of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump.

Republicans in Congress have investigated the FBI’s applications for the FISA warrants. They say that bureau officials withheld key evidence from FISA Court judges regarding the provenance of the Steele dossier, which remains unverified.

That investigation is expected to intensify now that Mueller has closed his investigation. Page is among those supporting the probe.

Page was also targeted with a series of damaging media leaks that he believes were tied to his decision to speak out publicly about the dossier’s allegations. His first television appearance was with PBS’s Judy Woodruff on Feb. 15, 2017, a month after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed.

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson on Capitol Hill on Oct. 16, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

On April 3, 2017, a story broke in BuzzFeed that Page was targeted for recruitment in 2013 by two Russian spies. Page was not accused of wrongdoing in the case. One of the Russian spies was recorded calling Page an “idiot.” Nevertheless, Page’s contacts with Russian operatives fit into the prevailing narrative that he had illicit ties to Russia. James Wolfe, a senior staffer for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has since been identified as leaking information to BuzzFeed for the report. He pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with the BuzzFeed reporter, who he was dating at the time.

A bigger bombshell landed a week after the BuzzFeed report.

On April 11, 2017, The Washington Post broke the news that Page was the target of a FISA application. In order to be targeted with that type of surveillance, the FBI and Justice Department would have had to present probable cause that Page was working clandestinely as an agent of Russia.

The source for that leak of classified information has yet to be identified.

“I think it’s all interrelated, right?” Page said when asked whether the leaks were a response to his media appearances. “It’s all retribution.”

The Washington Post leak had its intended effect, Page argues.

The argument at the time was that if the FBI felt that Page was a Russian agent, then surely he must have been. That thesis has since come under scrutiny as it became clear the FBI relied heavily on the Democrat-funded dossier to meet that probable cause standard.

Even Halper, the FBI-CIA informant, hinted to Page that collusion was a non-starter.

“It seems attention has shifted a bit from the ‘collusion’ investigation to the ‘contretempts’ [sic] within the White House,” Halper wrote in a July 28, 2017 email to Page.

“I must assume this gives you some relief,” he continued, urging Page to “be in touch when you have the time. Would be great to catch up.”

Twenty-six months after its publication, none of the major allegations in the dossier have been verified. There is strong reason to doubt many of its claims.

Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer, has denied one of the dossier’s most serious collusion allegations under oath. On Feb. 27, he told Congress that he has never visited Prague, which is where the dossier claims Cohen visited in August 2016 to pay off Russia-linked hackers.

The dossier has other inaccurate information about Cohen. The source who provided information to Steele was also an intermediary for allegations about Page.

Page is vague when asked about his dealings with the FBI and the Mueller team. He has recently — albeit reluctantly — acknowledged he testified to Mueller’s grand jury on Nov. 1, 2017. He told TheDCNF that he was informed that he was not a target of the investigation.

“I was never even asked any question which comes anywhere near the zone of illegality. Not by a long shot,” he said.

He hinted he was informed during the course of the investigation that he was not a target. Federal prosecutors place individuals involved in investigations into three separate categories: witness, subject and target.

Page made an analogy to salsa: “mild, medium or hot.”

“I was the mildest of the mild,” he said.

Page concedes that if he has one regret, it’s not speaking out forcefully against allegations that began trickling into the press about him in the run-up to the 2016 election. He said if he had not been so easy-going in the face of allegations he was a Russian agent, he could have avoided further surveillance and media attention.

“If I had fought about the witch hunt earlier, all of this stuff wouldn’t have transpired,” he said, noting his relative obscurity made him an easy target for investigators, in the media and in government.

“It’s a lot easier to paint a picture on a blank slate,” he added.

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Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen
Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

March 25, 2019

(Reuters) – Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 U.S. lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed.

The amount will be shared equally between the two companies that jointly developed the drug. Bayer and J&J do not admit liability under the agreement.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

A caravan of mostly Central Americans began its trek toward the United States over the weekend, setting the stage for what will likely be another showdown between border enforcement officials and migrants.

Around 1,200 migrants formed a caravan in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas and, following the same route as numerous groups before them, started their journey northward Saturday, according to Reuters. The U.S.-bound group is made of mostly Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, but also includes Cuban migrants.

The National Migration Institute — a department within the government of Mexico that tracks immigration — said the migrants were already within the country before they decided to assemble into a caravan near the country’s southern border with Guatemala.

The latest caravan will likely further inflame tensions between these Central American countries and the White House. President Donald Trump, who has made increased immigration enforcement a hallmark of his executive agenda, has threatened Central American governments with repercussions for allowing migrants to freely make their way to the U.S.

“… Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!” Trump tweeted in late December upon the news of a 15,000-person caravan heading northward.

The number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has surged in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security predicting nearly 100,000 apprehensions by the end of this month — which would mark the highest number in over a decade.

A group of Central American migrants surrenders to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A group of Central American migrants surrenders to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Unlike in the early 1990s and early 2000s, the migrants getting apprehended today are mostly Central American and unaccompanied children, individuals who cannot be as easily deported as adult Mexican nationals. Border enforcement resources have been stretched thin because of this, forcing overcrowded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities to release about 100,000 illegal aliens in the past three months. (RELATED: Central American Migrants Are Sending Billions Back To Their Home Countries)

The vast number of migrants are also submitting so many asylum requests that border checkpoints have buckled under the weight. Officials with the El Paso Border Patrol sector revealed that they temporarily closed their highway checkpoints due to the record amount of asylum requests.

The Trump administration has begun implementing what is known as the “remain in Mexico” policy in response to the immigration and asylum surge, The directive calls for foreign nationals who claim asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to remain within the Mexican interior as their case runs through the U.S. immigration court system. The new policy is meant to curb abuse by asylum seekers who do not show up to their court date and simply disappear in the U.S. after making their claim.

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Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway called on Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California to resign Monday after the release of Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

“When you’re talking about collusion and talking to Russia, and conspiracies and obstruction of justice for two years with no proof other than people leaking to you or you just, you just guffawing with the anchor next to you and fake lawyers on TV and the journalists who are pretending to be lawyers for that moment. You’re calling us all … You’re saying that we did not win fairly and squarely,” Conway said on “Fox & Friends” Monday.

“You in fact running around jutting your jaw out and saying ‘I’m worried about the effect of institutions.’ You were disparaging the institutions. You were demeaning and deriding our great democracy — The presidency of the United States. Adam Schiff should resign,” she continued. “He has no right as somebody who has been pedaling a lie day after day after day. Unchallenged. Unchallenged and not under oath. Somebody should have put him under oath and said, ‘Do you have evidence? Where is it?’ Because Bob Mueller already ran the fair and the full investigation. And any partisan, politicized investigation from here on in will never have the credibility of the Mueller investigation.”

WATCH:

Attorney General William Barr delivered his report on the Mueller probe to Congress Sunday, and wrote that Trump and his campaign team did not collude with any Russian entities during the election. Barr also said there was no evidence to suggest Trump obstructed justice.

Conway said the media has gotten away with being overly biased and has yet to pay for their mistakes with Russia and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress — No Collusion)

“There is not a single person in the media who got the 2016 elections so chronically and embarrassingly wrong [and] lost their jobs. And they probably won’t here, too. Look what they did to Brett Kavanaugh. The second most popular story in the Trump presidency was the Russian collusion fake hoax nonsense. The most covered stories I read last night in a condensed period of time was Brett Kavanaugh,” she said earlier in the interview.

“And they treated him the same way. That is a microcosmic version of what they tried to do to President Trump and his campaign and his family for the last two years. It’s a drive-by. They abandoned all standards, all personal ethics, all professional duty. Do you realize major papers in this country won Pulitzer prizes over their reporting over something that is totally fake? Over 13,000 stories combined by two major print outlets and two major cable stations not named Fox News. And as somebody who engages with those people [as] much as I can, and tries to get out there, we were basically were being told we were liars.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway called on Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California to resign Monday after the release of Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

“When you’re talking about collusion and talking to Russia, and conspiracies and obstruction of justice for two years with no proof other than people leaking to you or you just, you just guffawing with the anchor next to you and fake lawyers on TV and the journalists who are pretending to be lawyers for that moment. You’re calling us all … You’re saying that we did not win fairly and squarely,” Conway said on “Fox & Friends” Monday.

“You in fact running around jutting your jaw out and saying ‘I’m worried about the effect of institutions.’ You were disparaging the institutions. You were demeaning and deriding our great democracy — The presidency of the United States. Adam Schiff should resign,” she continued. “He has no right as somebody who has been pedaling a lie day after day after day. Unchallenged. Unchallenged and not under oath. Somebody should have put him under oath and said, ‘Do you have evidence? Where is it?’ Because Bob Mueller already ran the fair and the full investigation. And any partisan, politicized investigation from here on in will never have the credibility of the Mueller investigation.”

WATCH:

Attorney General William Barr delivered his report on the Mueller probe to Congress Sunday, and wrote that Trump and his campaign team did not collude with any Russian entities during the election. Barr also said there was no evidence to suggest Trump obstructed justice.

Conway said the media has gotten away with being overly biased and has yet to pay for their mistakes with Russia and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (RELATED: Justice Department Delivers Mueller Conclusions To Congress — No Collusion)

“There is not a single person in the media who got the 2016 elections so chronically and embarrassingly wrong [and] lost their jobs. And they probably won’t here, too. Look what they did to Brett Kavanaugh. The second most popular story in the Trump presidency was the Russian collusion fake hoax nonsense. The most covered stories I read last night in a condensed period of time was Brett Kavanaugh,” she said earlier in the interview.

“And they treated him the same way. That is a microcosmic version of what they tried to do to President Trump and his campaign and his family for the last two years. It’s a drive-by. They abandoned all standards, all personal ethics, all professional duty. Do you realize major papers in this country won Pulitzer prizes over their reporting over something that is totally fake? Over 13,000 stories combined by two major print outlets and two major cable stations not named Fox News. And as somebody who engages with those people [as] much as I can, and tries to get out there, we were basically were being told we were liars.”

You can Follow Nick on Twitter

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 [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S.
The U.S. Supreme Court building is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

March 25, 2019

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by a unidentified company owned by a foreign government to contest a grand jury subpoena related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s now-completed inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, though the justices’ action does not force the firm to comply.

A federal judge has imposed an ongoing fine of $50,000 a day against the company, which had asked the justices to hear its appeal of a December lower court ruling that upheld a judge’s decision to hold it in contempt for refusing to fulfill the document request made in the subpoena.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal in a brief order with no noted dissents from any of the nine justices.

Mueller submitted a final report on his findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Friday. On Sunday, Barr said Mueller did not find a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

The case has remained a high-profile mystery, with the Supreme Court and lower courts declining to identify the company, the country that owns it or the specific purpose of the subpoena. The company has said it was a witness – as opposed to a suspect – in Mueller’s investigation.

Court filings show that the company has a U.S. office, though it has said it possesses no relevant documents in the United States. Court papers detailing its legal arguments have been made public but all information about the specific facts of the dispute are redacted.

The Supreme Court in January refused to put the lower court ruling on hold. According to court filings, the daily fine imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell started accruing on Jan. 15, so the company could now owe more than $3 million. Such fines accrue until the grand jury is no longer sitting. It is unknown whether the grand jury has completed its work.

The subpoena was issued in July 2018. Howell in September ordered the company to comply.

The legal question is whether the company is protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a law that allows foreign countries to avoid being sued in U.S. courts. The law does not cover commercial activities. The company argues that this law protects it not just in civil cases but also in criminal cases. The company also argued that foreign governments are immune from contempt findings in U.S. courts.

Lawyers for the company said in the court papers the lower court ruling it is contesting “would wreak havoc on American foreign policy – possibly alienating U.S. allies, undermining diplomatic efforts, and inviting reciprocal treatment abroad for American agencies.”

On behalf of Mueller’s office, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the Trump administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, asked the justices not to take up the case, deeming the lower court rulings correct.

The redacted court filings showed that the investigation involved in the case was the Mueller probe. Mueller neither concluded that Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe, nor did he exonerate him of obstruction.

Mueller charged a series of Russian individuals and three Russian companies. The conviction of former Trump campaign chairman involved his concealment from the U.S. government of millions of dollars he was paid as a consultant to pro-Russia Ukrainian politicians. Manafort has been sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison in two criminal cases brought by Mueller’s team.

Trump denied collusion and obstruction. Russia denied interfering in the election

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a Dec. 18 ruling that was not made public until Jan. 8, concluded “there is a reasonable probability the information sought through the subpoena here concerns a commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S.
The U.S. Supreme Court building is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

March 25, 2019

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by a unidentified company owned by a foreign government to contest a grand jury subpoena related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s now-completed inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, though the justices’ action does not force the firm to comply.

A federal judge has imposed an ongoing fine of $50,000 a day against the company, which had asked the justices to hear its appeal of a December lower court ruling that upheld a judge’s decision to hold it in contempt for refusing to fulfill the document request made in the subpoena.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal in a brief order with no noted dissents from any of the nine justices.

Mueller submitted a final report on his findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Friday. On Sunday, Barr said Mueller did not find a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

The case has remained a high-profile mystery, with the Supreme Court and lower courts declining to identify the company, the country that owns it or the specific purpose of the subpoena. The company has said it was a witness – as opposed to a suspect – in Mueller’s investigation.

Court filings show that the company has a U.S. office, though it has said it possesses no relevant documents in the United States. Court papers detailing its legal arguments have been made public but all information about the specific facts of the dispute are redacted.

The Supreme Court in January refused to put the lower court ruling on hold. According to court filings, the daily fine imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell started accruing on Jan. 15, so the company could now owe more than $3 million. Such fines accrue until the grand jury is no longer sitting. It is unknown whether the grand jury has completed its work.

The subpoena was issued in July 2018. Howell in September ordered the company to comply.

The legal question is whether the company is protected under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a law that allows foreign countries to avoid being sued in U.S. courts. The law does not cover commercial activities. The company argues that this law protects it not just in civil cases but also in criminal cases. The company also argued that foreign governments are immune from contempt findings in U.S. courts.

Lawyers for the company said in the court papers the lower court ruling it is contesting “would wreak havoc on American foreign policy – possibly alienating U.S. allies, undermining diplomatic efforts, and inviting reciprocal treatment abroad for American agencies.”

On behalf of Mueller’s office, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the Trump administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, asked the justices not to take up the case, deeming the lower court rulings correct.

The redacted court filings showed that the investigation involved in the case was the Mueller probe. Mueller neither concluded that Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe, nor did he exonerate him of obstruction.

Mueller charged a series of Russian individuals and three Russian companies. The conviction of former Trump campaign chairman involved his concealment from the U.S. government of millions of dollars he was paid as a consultant to pro-Russia Ukrainian politicians. Manafort has been sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison in two criminal cases brought by Mueller’s team.

Trump denied collusion and obstruction. Russia denied interfering in the election

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a Dec. 18 ruling that was not made public until Jan. 8, concluded “there is a reasonable probability the information sought through the subpoena here concerns a commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a company owned by an unidentified foreign government that has refused to turn over information demanded by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The justices didn't comment Monday in turning away the company, which is racking up a fine of $50,000 a day for not complying with the grand jury subpoena for documents.

Mueller turned over his report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, but the status of the grand jury is unclear.

Fines have been accruing since Jan. 15 and could total nearly $3.5 million. New daily fines stop once the grand jury is discharged.

Mueller found no evidence President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Trump claims vindication.

Source: NewsMax

The Nike swoosh logo is pictured on a store in New York City
The Nike swoosh logo is pictured on a store in New York City, New York, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider reviving a copyright case in which Nike Inc was accused of unauthorized use of photographer Jacobus Rentmeester’s famous 1984 photograph of basketball superstar Michael Jordan soaring through the air.

The justices turned away an appeal by Rentmeester, a former Life Magazine photographer, of a lower court’s ruling throwing out his copyright infringement lawsuit against the sportswear company. Rentmeester had said the decision against him by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could stifle creativity and reward piracy.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham and Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McClean, Virginia
U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his house after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election in McClean, Virginia, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 25, 2019

By Makini Brice and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday it was up to the U.S. Justice Department to decide if detailed findings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation would be made public, a day after the attorney general said President Donald Trump had been cleared of any collusion.

Mueller wrapped up his investigation after nearly two years on Friday and submitted his findings to Attorney General William Barr, who on Sunday released a four-page summary saying there was no evidence of criminal collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. Mueller’s report left unresolved whether Trump obstructed justice.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Monday said President Vladimir Putin was ready to improve ties with the United States following the release of Barr’s summary and called on the United States to formally recognize there was no collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Trump last week openly backed the public release of the report from the investigation, which he had repeatedly lambasted as a “witch hunt.”

The Barr summary handed Trump a political victory ahead of his 2020 re-election effort, even as Democratic challengers and lawmakers vowed to press on with other investigations into his business and personal dealings.

Democrats also called for the full findings from Mueller to be released to Congress and the public and vowed to call Barr to appear before lawmakers to answer questions.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that while Trump wanted the special counsel’s report to come out, it was not up to him.

“I think that the president is doing exactly what he should and that’s leaving that decision into the hands of the attorney general and we’ll see what decision he makes on that front,” Sanders said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” program on Monday.

Sanders declined to comment on whether Trump would invoke presidential privilege to withhold any information. But Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, said it “would be very inappropriate” to release the president’s written answers to the special counsel, saying they were confidential. Despite lengthy negotiations, Mueller never obtained an in-person interview with the president.

“As a lawyer, you don’t waive privileges and you don’t waive investigative detail absent either a court order or an agreement between the parties,” Sekulow told CNN in an interview, adding that Barr would make the final decision.

Trump embraced the summary’s findings, retweeting Barr’s assessment and related headlines news media despite years of decrying the “fake news” as #ReleaseTheFullMuellerReport trended nationwide on social media.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in a on a conference call with reporters, called on Washington to make the first move to reset ties and repeated Moscow’s denial of any interference in U.S. elections and internal affairs or those of any other country.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said the allegations of election meddling against a number of Russians were politically motivated.

Mueller’s investigation led to charges and guilty please against dozens of people, including a series of Russian nationals and companies as well as several advisers to President Donald Trump, including this former campaign chairman and national security adviser.

(The story was refiled to add the dropped word “said” in the first paragraph)

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

Nick Givas | Media And Politics Reporter

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Monday the release of the Mueller report marked the best day of Donald Trump’s presidency and called it “good news” for all Americans.

“If the appointment of Robert Mueller was the worst day of his presidency, the release of Robert Mueller’s report was the best day of his presidency,” Scarborough said Monday.

“So that’s a big headline. But also another big headline. It is good news. Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. It is good news that the president of the United States did not conspire with Russia to influence the 2016 election.” (RELATED: Scarborough Says Supreme Court Will Decide If Trump Can Be Indicted Or Not)

WATCH:

Attorney General William Barr delivered his report on the special counsel probe to Congress Sunday, and wrote that Trump and his campaign team did not collude with any Russian entities during the election. Barr also said there was no evidence to suggest Trump obstructed justice either.

Scarborough continued to defend Mueller and said the country can rest soundly knowing Trump did not collude with the Russian government in any way.

“And we know, because unlike Donald Trump and the right-wing hacks that were chopping Robert Mueller to pieces for two years, we know that Robert Mueller actually is an honorable man. And we can put our heads on the pillows tonight and know that while Donald Trump did a lot of terrible things and acted abhorrently during this investigation and tried to undercut the rule of law, we know at least … we can have confidence that the president of the United States did not collude with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Right? Good news,” he said.

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Mike Lynch, Founder and Chairman of Autonomy Corporation, poses for photographers at an awards ceremony in central London
FILE PHOTO: Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy, poses for photographers at an awards ceremony in central London March 13, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

March 25, 2019

By Georgina Prodhan

LONDON (Reuters) – British entrepreneur Mike Lynch artificially inflated revenue at his Autonomy software company before selling it to Hewlett Packard for $11 billion, the U.S. firm’s lawyer told a London court on Monday.

HP is suing Autonomy founder Lynch, once hailed as Britain’s answer to Bill Gates, along with his former finance chief Sushovan Hussain for $5 billion after the 2011 deal went disastrously wrong for the Silicon Valley group.

Lynch denies any wrongdoing and says HP’s mismanagement was responsible for the failure of the acquisition.

HP had bought big data firm Autonomy with the aim of making it the centerpiece of a plan to transform HP from a computer and printer maker into a software-focused enterprise services firm, a shift that rival IBM had already pulled off.

But a year later HP wrote down the value of Autonomy by $8.8 billion, saying it had uncovered serious accounting improprieties. These have led it to pursue Britain’s biggest-ever fraud trial against Lynch and Hussain.

Lawyer Laurence Rabinowicz QC, representing HP, told London’s High Court that Lynch and Hussain had knowingly been involved in “widespread and systematic false accounting” to create a materially false picture of Autonomy’s finances.

Autonomy had engaged in “revenue-pumping” by encouraging customers to buy its products in exchange for buying goods from them that it did not need, restructuring deals to produce upfront license fees, and covertly selling pure hardware not even programmed with its software at a loss, he said.

Rabinowicz said the issues were not a matter of complex financial niceties but rather of clear intention. “This is not a business dispute about how to apply accounting procedures,” he said. “This is a fraud case.”

Lynch observed proceedings from a back corner of the courtroom, occasionally scribbling notes or sending messages on his phone.

The 53-year-old, who also faces criminal wire- and securities-fraud charges in the United States, which carry a maximum 25-year prison term, is likely to appear before the London court around July.

Lynch received about $800 million for his stake in Autonomy, which started to turn sour before it was completed.

Many shareholders baulked at the 79 percent premium, and the architect of the strategy, then-chief executive Leo Apotheker was sacked.

Lynch was subsequently fired by Meg Whitman, who took over as HP CEO in 2012.

Both former CEOs are likely to appear as witnesses in the trial which is expected to continue until the end of the year.

(Additional reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors on a wild half-court heave Sunday night.

Trailing 112-114 with only seconds remaining, Jeremy Lamb lost control of the ball on the inbounds, regained control and fired it from behind half court.

Not only did he make the shot, but he banked it in to secure a 115-114 win for the Hornets. The video is downright absurd. (RELATED: Jimmer Fredette Signs With The Phoenix Suns On Two-Year Deal)

How? How was that possible? He shouldn’t even have been able to get the shot off. There shouldn’t have been any chance at all for that work.

Yet he smoked that sucker from about 50 feet away. Not only did he make it, but Lamb was shockingly calm afterward. (RELATED: NBA Star Wears Horrendous Disguise To Music Festival. What Do You Think?)

That’s the spirit of a winner. You don’t celebrate things you’re expected to do.

That’s without a doubt one of the wildest endings that I’ve seen in the NBA in a very long time. I’m not sure how much crazier it could get.

That was the definition of a desperation heave, and it banked in. Welcome to the wild world of pro sports.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Mike Krzyzewski took a moment to comfort several UCF players after they failed to beat Duke Sunday night.

UCF nearly upset the Blue Devils but failed to score on two different chances in the closing seconds. They were literally inches away from pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent NCAA tournament memory. (RELATED: Duke Survives Massive Scare From UCF In The Second Round Of The NCAA Tournament)

The legendary basketball coach went to multiple players on the Knights and tried his best to cheer them up.

Watch the video of his small act of kindness below:

The scene in the UCF locker room was much worse than it was on the court. Emotions were flowing as the players tried to stomach the wild ending that knocked them out of the tournament. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

It was an incredibly jarring scene.

You can hate Duke all you want, but there’s no doubt it’s a class-act program. Coach K didn’t have to comfort the players he just beat, and most coaches wouldn’t even consider such a thing.

Yet, the five-time national champion took a small amount of time to let them know it’d be okay. If that’s not classy, then I haven no idea what is.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Mike Krzyzewski took a moment to comfort several UCF players after they failed to beat Duke Sunday night.

UCF nearly upset the Blue Devils but failed to score on two different chances in the closing seconds. They were literally inches away from pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent NCAA tournament memory. (RELATED: Duke Survives Massive Scare From UCF In The Second Round Of The NCAA Tournament)

The legendary basketball coach went to multiple players on the Knights and tried his best to cheer them up.

Watch the video of his small act of kindness below:

The scene in the UCF locker room was much worse than it was on the court. Emotions were flowing as the players tried to stomach the wild ending that knocked them out of the tournament. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

It was an incredibly jarring scene.

You can hate Duke all you want, but there’s no doubt it’s a class-act program. Coach K didn’t have to comfort the players he just beat, and most coaches wouldn’t even consider such a thing.

Yet, the five-time national champion took a small amount of time to let them know it’d be okay. If that’s not classy, then I haven no idea what is.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

A miner works inside the Novovolynska-9 coal mine in Novovolynsk
A miner works inside the Novovolynska-9 coal mine in Novovolynsk, Ukraine August 2, 2018. Picture taken August 2, 2018. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

March 25, 2019

By Natalia Zinets

NOVOVOLYNSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian police are investigating two companies and a factory over a coal deal which some anti-corruption campaigners say epitomizes the difficulties of doing business in the east European country.

The sums involved in the deal are small but the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, an independent watchdog, says it illustrates the lack of transparency in Ukrainian business, an issue in a presidential election on Sunday that has cost President Petro Poroshenko support.

State-run coal company Volynvuhillia ordered the Novovolynska-9 mine it oversees in Novovolynsk, northwestern Ukraine, to sell coal to privately held Ukrainskiy Natsionalniy Product (UNP), company documents show. A contract was agreed in December 2017 and sales began two months later.

Volodymyr Yurkiv, the mine’s director at the time, told Reuters he complained to the energy ministry about the contract because it allowed UNP to pay eight percent less for its coal than the minimum price set by the ministry for private buyers.

He and trade unions also protested to the ministry when miners went unpaid as Volynvuhillia spent on other projects and went into the red. Police are now probing Volynvuhillia over the non-payment of 5.9 million hryvnias ($220,000) in salaries from July 15 to Sept. 5, 2018, suspecting unnamed UNP officials of lining their pockets while the miners struggled to make ends meet, according to court documents. Police declined to name the officials.

Energy ministry figures show wage arrears in state mines had reached 138.8 million hryvnias by Jan 1. Former Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk told Reuters the arrears were largely caused by company officials spending money that should go to salaries on big purchases such as equipment because of the kickbacks that often go with such purchases.

Asked about the sales contract with UNP, Andriy Pylypiuk, acting manager of Volynvuhillia, said the coal purchase price in the original contract was an error that was corrected after the deal and that UNP quickly started paying more for its coal.

Company documents seen by Reuters confirmed the price increase.

Pylypiuk said his company supported selling to UNP because no other firm wanted to buy coal from Novovolynska-9 and that UNP had offered to pay up front. He denied wrongdoing.

Andriy Dombrov, who owns UNP, declined to answer Reuters’ questions. Police provided no details of how the investigation is going. The energy ministry declined comment.

(For election graphic click https://tmsnrt.rs/2EEQ22R)

COAL ENRICHMENT

A second police investigation is underway into an arrangement under which Volynvuhillia pays a local factory to enrich, or clean, the coal sold to UNP. Police are probing whether this arrangement, part of the sales contract between UNP and Volynvuhillia, is a criminal conspiracy.

Mykhailo Bondar, head of a parliamentary subcommittee on the coal industry, says Lvivska Vugilna Compania (LVC) enrichment factory is being paid for a job it does not do because it lacks the technology needed. Yurkiv said the coal had previously gone directly to electricity generators without being enriched.

Andriy Vengryn, who is a principal at LVC as well as a representative of UNP, denied any wrongdoing in the deal with Volynvuhillia. He confirmed LVC is doing the enriching and said the factory needs the extra coal to improve its financial well-being, telling Reuters: “I am in full compliance with the law.”

He added that under his management LVC had been rescued from the verge of bankruptcy. “There are a lot of unfair rumors about me,” he said.

When Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk tried to step in last May, his order that the deal with UNP be canceled was not acted on. Nasalyk did not respond when asked about his order not being carried out.

A special energy ministry commission has twice recommended Pylypiuk’s dismissal, in March last year and in May. But the energy ministry said Pylypiuk had provided written justifications for his and Volynvuhillia’s actions and that it found no grounds to dismiss him.

“The deal between UNP and Volynvuhillia epitomizes many of the problems of doing business in Ukraine,” Andriy Savin, a lawyer at the Anti-Corruption Action Centre in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, told Reuters. “Such deals show why foreign investors are so wary of investing in Ukraine.”

“This (situation around the sales deal between Volynvuhillia and UNP) … is undermining Poroshenko’s authority,” said Mykhailo Volynets, leader of the Ukrainian miners’ trade union.

Looking ahead to this month’s election, he said the situation helped explain why people “want changes, new faces in power,” he said.

Poroshenko’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment but the president has dismissed such criticism in the past.

“We launched the first decisive battle against corruption in Ukraine — we have created reliable independent anti-corruption bodies … We have cleared the stable of corruption schemes in the energy sector and public procurement,” he said in January.

($1 = 26.8645 hryvnias)

(Writing by Matthias Williams, Editibg by Timothy Heritage)

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Houston vs Ohio State
Mar 24, 2019; Tulsa, OK, USA; Houston Cougars guard Galen Robinson Jr. (25) and Houston Cougars guard Corey Davis Jr. (5) celebrate after their game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Guard Corey Davis Jr. led a balanced attack with 21 points, and backcourt mate Galen Robinson Jr. had 13 points, five assists and a career-high six steals to lift No. 3 Houston to the Sweet 16 with a 74-59 victory over No. 11 Ohio State on Sunday night in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Okla.

Houston (33-3) will play No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-6) in the round of 16 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kentucky advanced with a 62-56 victory over No. 7 Wofford in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday.

Houston led 39-31 at the half but missed its first eight shots of the second half to let Ohio State (20-15) remain within striking distance.

C.J. Jackson’s fourth 3-pointer of the game drew Ohio State within 49-44 with 11:45 left. By that time, the Buckeyes had made 10 of their first 23 attempts from long range.

Ohio State got into the bonus with 9:57 left, but every time the Buckeyes appeared to be making a run, Houston blunted the push with a key basket.

Robinson, a senior leader, broke down the Ohio State defense late in the shot clock for a layup and Davis intercepted a pass in the paint and dribbled the length of the court for another point-blank leaner for a 60-49 Houston lead with 7:27 left.

Ohio State committed turnovers on its first three possessions and on four of its first five, and Houston took advantage to take a slim early lead.

The Buckeyes, however, were uncharacteristically on fire from the perimeter, making eight 3-pointers in the first half, including back-to-back bombs by forward Kaleb Wesson, who normally does most of his damage on the inside.

When Wesson picked up his second foul with 5:44 left in the first half, Ohio State led 27-25. But with Wesson on the bench for most of the rest of the half, Houston went on a 12-6 run and led 39-31 at intermission. Fabian White and Robinson had four points each and Corey Davis Jr. had a 3-pointer in the surge.

Davis, who scored 26 points and made seven 3-pointers in Houston’s first-round rout of Georgia State, led Houston with 11 first-half points.

Despite Ohio State’s 3-point success in the first half, the Cougars pounded Ohio State in the paint, 20-2. The Buckeyes also damaged their chances with eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes. They finished with 14 for the game.

Jackson led Ohio State with 18 points, and forward Wesson added 15.

White had 11 points for Houston, and Armoni Brooks had 10.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors
Mar 24, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles the ball up the court against the Detroit Pistons in the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Stephen Curry returned from a one-game absence to hit five 3-pointers and total a game-high 26 points Sunday night as the Golden State Warriors shook off the embarrassment of a 35-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks one day earlier to turn back the Detroit Pistons 121-114 in Oakland, Calif.

The Golden State win, coupled with Denver’s loss at Indiana earlier in the day, allowed the Warriors (50-23) to move a half-game ahead of the Nuggets (49-23) in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.

The 50-win season was the sixth straight for the Warriors, their fifth in a row under coach Steve Kerr.

The loss dropped Detroit (37-36) from sixth to seventh in the Eastern Conference and further jumbled the four-team battle for the final three playoff spots. That duel also includes Brooklyn (38-36), Miami (36-37) and Orlando (35-38).

In a matchup between two teams playing the second night of a back-to-back, with both having lost Saturday, the Warriors finally created some distance between themselves and the Pistons with a 9-0 burst late in the second period.

Andrew Bogut, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney had hoops in the run, which turned a 51-47 game into a 13-point Warriors lead.

Green beat the halftime horn with a 3-pointer to push the Golden State lead to 63-49 at the break, and Golden State went on to lead by as many as 20 in the third period before the Pistons rallied.

Reserves Luke Kennard and Thon Maker had 10 points apiece as Detroit, which lost Saturday night at Portland, got within 112-103 with still 4:59 to play.

But Curry then connected on his fifth 3-pointer of the game, and the Warriors were able to hold the visitors at arm’s length the rest of the way.

Curry shot 5-for-10 on 3-pointers and Thompson 4-for-6, helping Golden State shoot 52.0 percent on threes (13-for-25). Golden State shot 61.3 percent overall.

Curry also found time for a team-high nine rebounds.

Thompson finished with 24 points, Green 14 and Looney 11 for the Warriors, while Kevin Durant recorded a 14-point, 11-assist double-double.

Blake Griffin had 24 points and Andre Drummond a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Pistons, who shot 46.4 percent overall and 12-for-31 (38.7 percent) on 3-pointers.

The Pistons had beaten the Warriors 111-102 in their earlier meeting in Detroit.

Kennard chipped in with 20 points off the bench for Detroit, while Ish Smith had 14, and Maker and Langston Galloway 12 apiece.

The night began with an on-court ceremony during which Pistons center Zaza Pachulia received his 2018 championship ring from the Warriors.

Pachulia played 14 minutes off the bench, totaling four points, four assists and two rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

March 25, 2019

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded that nobody associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or knowingly coordinated” with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr says he does not see enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

But that does not necessarily mean Trump is in the clear – he still faces multiple investigations into his business and other aspects of his political campaign, and Democrats are launching a wave of probes from Capitol Hill.

Following are some possible next steps as Washington continues to wrestle over Russia’s role in the election, the conduct of Mueller’s investigation and other aspects of the Trump-Russia saga.

HOW MUCH OF MUELLER’S REPORT CAN BE MADE PUBLIC?

Barr said he wants to release as much of Mueller’s report as he can, as long as it does not undermine legal proceedings that should be kept secret, such as grand jury interviews, or interfere with other ongoing investigations. He is now going through the report to determine what can be released.

Democrats are pressing Barr to release the entire report so they can draw their own conclusions. If he does not do so, expect a protracted tug-of-war that could end up in court.

THE QUESTION OF OBSTRUCTION

Foremost on Democrats’ minds is whether Trump obstructed justice by interfering with Mueller’s probe and other investigations.

Barr says he did not, but he adds that Mueller presented evidence on both sides of the question. Democrats will press for access to Mueller’s full report – as well as the underlying evidence he collected over the course of an investigation that interviewed 500 witnesses and issued more than 2,800 subpoenas.

The Democratic chairs of six House of Representatives committees said on Friday they expected that evidence to be turned over on request to their panels, which cover everything from taxes to banking.

The House Judiciary Committee is also expected to continue its own investigation into alleged obstruction of justice after requesting documents from 81 people and organizations several weeks ago.

TRUMP’S ALLIES SAY IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON – OR MAYBE NOT

The Russia probe has dogged Trump’s presidency from his first months in office. Trump allies say it is now time to move on and focus on substantive issues like trade and the economy.

But some of Trump’s biggest supporters on Capitol Hill do not want to put the issue to rest just yet.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, has said he wants to investigate whether top officials at the Justice Department discussed forcing Trump from office, and is pressing the FBI to hand over documents relating to their surveillance of Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser on Trump’s election team.

BARR ON THE HILL

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, said he planned to ask Barr to testify before his committee to explain why he thought Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice.

Many Democrats are already suspicious of Barr’s views on the issue. As a private lawyer, Barr wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department last year arguing that Mueller’s obstruction inquiry was “fatally misconceived” and saying that presidents have “all-encompassing” authority over law enforcement investigations, even those that relate to him directly.

Barr’s views of presidential power are relevant not only when it comes to obstruction of justice but other issues like how much the administration is required to cooperate with congressional investigators – which will be a key issue over the next two years.

Barr faced pointed questions from Democrats during his January confirmation hearing. Any session devoted to obstruction of justice and presidential powers could be much more contentious.

MUELLER SPEAKS?

Mueller has not spoken publicly over the course of the 22-month investigation, but that might change now that his work is done.

Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff have said they may try to get him to testify in front of Congress. The questioning might be relatively polite – as a former FBI director and decorated Vietnam War veteran, Mueller is one of the most respected people in Washington.

But his testimony may not be that revealing. Mueller has cultivated a reputation as a scrupulous prosecutor, and he may not be willing to discuss evidence or reach conclusions not contained in his report. Also, as special prosecutor, he is required to defer to Barr as to what can be disclosed to the public.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Ross Colvin and Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something extraordinary on Wednesday.

He spoke.

Appearing before the Supreme Court is rather like meeting your spouse’s family for the first time. The questions are relentless, probing and impolite. One hundred questions over the course of an hour-long argument is typical. Attorneys arguing cases can expect an interruption from a justice just moments into their presentation, and it is not unusual for the justices to interrupt one another.

Yet Thomas is generally an observer at the blood sport that is oral argument. Since taking the bench in 1991, he has rarely asked questions of the attorneys arguing before the Court. His silent stretches run so long (he did not ask one question from 2006 to 2016) that the very fact of his speaking is a news event.

The questions he asked Wednesday, in a dispute concerning racism in jury selection, were his first questions in almost three years and his second intervention this decade.

Thomas is alone in this approach to argument among his colleagues. His silence draws curiosity and ire in equal measure, particularly since he is widely regarded as the most gregarious of the justices.

Scholarly treatment of Thomas’s silence is similarly mixed. One 2017 journal article in the Northwestern University Law Review from Professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Aaron Nielson compiled and reviewed every question Thomas has ever asked during oral argument, encompassing his service on the Supreme Court and his prior work on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Jones and Nielson concluded that Thomas is an adept questioner who should intercede more often.

“Reviewing these questions demonstrates that although Thomas has not frequently spoken, when he has posed questions, they have been thoughtful, useful, respectful, and beneficial to his colleagues of whatever ideological stripe,” the study reads.

Jones and Nielson noted Thomas’s questions focus intensely on the text of the law. Following the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, they suggest oral arguments would benefit from a questioner with Thomas’s “laser-like focus on the text.”

“Putting aside the merits of textualism as an ending point, or even as a starting point, in statutory interpretation, the merits of having an active voice in oral argument that demands investigation of and discussion about the statutory language seem incontrovertible,” they write.

“With Justice Antonin Scalia’s departure from the Supreme Court, the need for a justice to ask these sorts of questions is obvious,” they add.

When Thomas does ask questions, Jones and Neilson say, they tend to come near the end of the argument. His Wednesday inquiries came during a brief rebuttal period, only after the attorney asked if there were any remaining questions. The justice himself speculated that his delicate approach to questioning is a function of his southern pedigree during an event at the University of Kentucky in April 2012.

“Maybe it’s the southerner in me,” Thomas wondered. “Maybe it’s the introvert in me, I don’t know. I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush's casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Others are more harsh in their appraisal of Thomas’s silence. Writing in the Florida Law Review in 2009, David Karp argued Thomas’s approach to oral argument is ultimately self-defeating. (RELATED: Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments)

Perhaps more than any other justice in modern history, Thomas is intensely interested in course correction. He does not believe the Court ought to abide by cases which offend his vision of the Constitution, and he regularly invites litigants to bring challenges to foundational decisions he believes are wrong. In February alone he released opinions criticizing and New York Times v. Sullivan (a landmark freedom of the press case), Gideon v. Wainwright (establishing a right to counsel for indigent defendants) and Roe v. Wade.

Thomas is a prolific opinion writer who has pressed his judicial philosophy over dozens of lone dissents and concurring opinions. Karp says Thomas could better advance his own views and enrich the Court’s internal debate by contributing to oral arguments.

“Through his silence, Justice Thomas not only evades the deliberative process, but he also diminishes his own influence,” Karp wrote. “Justice Thomas’s silence allows advocates to ignore him and his views.”

“Because of his willingness to rethink the constitutional order, Justice Thomas would force the Court to reconsider basic premises,” Karp added.

Karp believes the role of oral argument in the deliberative process makes Thomas’s silence especially strange. The justice told Newsweek in 2007 that his views on a given case are well-developed by oral argument. Before arguments he reads legal briefs from both sides, additional filings from interested parties, the decisions below, the record of facts, and discusses his thoughts with his law clerks. As such, in Thomas’s view, the argument is not especially important to the disposition of a case.

But Karp is skeptical of that perspective, arguing that it is unbelievable that even the most gifted jurist could approach the complex work of the Supreme Court without questions.

“It seems unbelievable that Justice Thomas genuinely has no questions to ask about any of the nation’s most difficult cases,” Karp wrote. “Even the most learned judge with well-developed outlooks on the law should have questions.”

The Supreme Court will hear cases through Wednesday touching partisan gerrymandering and the power of federal agencies.

Sarah George and Paul Ingrassia contributed research. 

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski speaks to reporters ahead of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski speaks to reporters ahead of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

March 25, 2019

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement Sunday on Instagram, ending one of the league’s most dominant and colorful careers after nine seasons.

“It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today,” wrote Gronkowski, who turns 30 in May.

Quarterback Tom Brady, who has thrown twice as many touchdowns to Gronkowski (78) as any other player (Randy Moss, 39) in his career, commented on the tight end’s Instagram post, writing, “Love u man!! The (GOAT)!! Couldn’t be a better person or teammate!!!!”

Gronkowski — who has battled serious injuries to his back and knee and missed 29 games in his career — openly pondered retirement last offseason. A three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gronkowski caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games from 2010-18.

–The Pittsburgh Steelers’ contract talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are “still ongoing,” general manager Kevin Colbert told the NFL Network.

“This is probably his last contract as an NFL player, so it’s significant,” Colbert said.

Roethlisberger, 37, is entering the final season of the $87.4 million deal he signed in March 2015. He is due a base salary of $12 million in 2019. In his 15th season as Pittsburgh’s starter, Roethlisberger posted his best statistical season in 2018 as he led the league in completions (452), attempts (675) and passing yards (5,129).

–If first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury knows who his Arizona Cardinals will select next month with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, he isn’t letting on. In an interview with NFL Media this weekend, Kingsbury said the team hasn’t made a decision.

“I think everything’s on the table,” he said. “When you have that first pick, you’ve gotta turn over every stone and look at every scenario that’s out there, and so we’re definitely doing that.”

One frequently mentioned possibility is that the Cardinals — who selected quarterback Josh Rosen with the No. 10 overall pick in 2018 — will choose Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy-winner from Oklahoma and trade Rosen. Arizona finished an NFL-worst 3-13 last season.

–Two-time 1,000-yard receiver Jeremy Maclin announced his retirement, making the announcement at his wife’s baby shower.

Philadelphia’s first-round pick (19th overall) in 2009, Maclin played five seasons with the Eagles (2009-12, 2014), two with the Kansas City Chiefs (2015-16) and spent last year with the Baltimore Ravens.

Maclin, 30, sat out the 2013 season after tearing his ACL in training camp. He caught 85 passes for a career-high 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Eagles in 2014 and then rejoined former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid in Kansas City, catching 87 passes for 1,088 yards and eight scores in 2015.

–New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been sued by the owners of the New Jersey home he rented, contending the value has fallen by 30 percent since a man’s body was found there.

In court documents filed last week, the owners said they are seeking $700,000 in damages, according to NorthJersey.com.

The body of music producer Roosevelt Rene was found in the basement of the home last June. Jenkins’ brother, William Jenkins, was charged with aggravated manslaughter and other charges related to Rene’s death.

–Former New England Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell has ended his short NFL career, he announced.

Speaking at an event at his alma mater, Georgia, Mitchell told attendees he was moving on to a “new chapter” of his life.

The oft-injured Mitchell was waived by the Patriots before the 2018 season and spent the year out of the league. He was continuing to battle a knee issue after missing all but one preseason game in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” — Letter to Congress from Attorney General William Barr

Now that the findings of the Department of Justice have exonerated the president, will Democrats follow their own advice, admit there was no collusion or obstruction and Move On?

The liberal activist organization of that name was founded a generation ago when Congress investigated and tried to impeach President Clinton. Congress didn’t take the advice of legal experts and constitutional scholars then, and unfortunately it looks like Democrats intend to repeat the mistake.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) says regardless of the report’s findings, he will pursue investigations even “broader” than what the special counsel has done with 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, some 500 search warrants and more than $25 million over the last two years.

Democrats and the media should be trying to heal the nation not divide us. Instead, Democrats intend to spend the next two years subpoenaing and dragging every member of Trump’s administration, his family and business associates to testify before their committees.

Nadler says he’s doing it to protect “the rule of law.”

But will House Democrats really respect the institutions and traditions of American jurisprudence? If the past is prelude, the answer to that questions is, sadly, no.

Democrats did away with the presumption of innocence for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Kavanaugh, with his family and the American people paying the price Now, Democrats are now ready to abandon other bedrock principles of American justice.

One of the most basic principles is equality before the law!

The Constitution prohibits double jeopardy. It’s a matter of basic fairness — no one should be victimized by vindictive prosecutors armed with the power of government and $25 million in financial backing of the U.S. Treasury.

Congressional Democrats’ endless investigations, leaks and political machinations violate the spirit of that constitutional prohibition. Americans understand that, no matter what the spin or who stands accused. The constitution guarantees fair and equal justice for every American regardless of who they are!

Democrats want to convict President Trump in the court of public opinion to set the stage for impeaching him. That’s what Rep. Nadler told George Stephanopoulos: “Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.” Fortunately Mueller’s exoneration of President Trump will make that extremely difficult to do, despite media persecution and false news stories,

The Democrats are ready to violate another norm of legal precedent by asking Attorney General Barr and the DOJ to release every scrap of paper the special counsel gathered.

Prosecutors normally don’t release confidential material gathered during an investigation out of respect for the privacy of individuals not charged with a crime.

”The normal procedure is that unless there’s a damn good reason, you don’t release grand jury material,” Nadler said a generation ago when he opposed releasing the evidence behind the Ken Starr report.

Nadler and fellow Democrats accused the Judiciary Committee of seeking the background material to build a public case for impeaching President Clinton.

“They don’t think there is enough of a vote for impeachment yet out in the public,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), the second ranking Democrat on the committee, said. “So what you have a very one-sided, partisan effort to release material, before the president gets a chance to review it or respond to it, that makes the president look bad.”

Nadler took a page from that playbook and now demands the raw material Mueller obtained to build his own case for impeaching President Trump. Furthermore, he says the White House “should not get an advance look at the report” or the evidence.

That’s quite an about face from the Jerry Nadler of 1998 who fought for Clinton to have time to look at the Starr report. “The president is asking for two days. The Republicans say no,” he said bitterly.

The DOJ does not release such information to protect the innocent. Furthermore, the Trump administration has a legal right to review the report, prepare a response, rebuke any false accusations and information covered by executive privilege. 

As for an impartial hearing, President Trump can expect no better from House Democrats than Senate Democrats gave Judge Kavanaugh.

Chairman Nadler already convicted the president of obstruction of justice before seeing the attorney general’s letter and the Mueller report.

House Democrats don’t care that the special counsel found the president did not collude with the Russians or obstruct justice. They will continue their investigations, attempts to smear the president. Like Javert obsessed with Jean Valjean, Democrats can’t help themselves.

All Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, should be celebrating the fact investigators found no evidence of collusion. However, Democrats won’t take the finding of no collusion or obstruction for an answer.

That tells you they were never pursuing the truth, just a political vendetta and a different outcome for the 2016 election. Their obsession with President Trump will only further divide the nation, not help unite us.

Rep. Nadler says he wants to protect the rule of law and “the institutions we depend on for our democratic form of government.”

But Democrats are weakening those institutions by engaging in relentless political warfare. Voters elected Congress to address the very real challenges our country faces — an opioid epidemic, China’s economic aggression, the crisis on our southern border, the difficulty of raising a family, to name, just a few.

Our system is founded on belief in equal justice under the law. All will be held accountable.

We hope the politicians, intelligence officials, journalists and media executives who fed Americans unfounded speculation, conspiracy theories for the last two years that have done incalculable damage to our country and its institutions will be held accountable.

Preserve the principles of justice on which our incredible country was founded.

Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is vice chairwoman of America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

Bob Barr | Former Congressman (R-GA)

The college-admissions scandal announced this involved public and private colleges and universities from coast to coast. It netted the perpetrators tens of millions of dollars, and ensnared media darlings along with working-class individuals. While it may be the largest such scandal in the history of modern higher education, it is not the first and likely won’t be the last.

At the outset, it is important that this “vast college prep conspiracy” be considered and treated solely and precisely for what it is — a criminal enterprise fueled by greed. Grift on a massive scale.

Already, however, some on the Left are shifting the focus from the crass criminality of the scandal’s many participants, to a broader political attack on “privilege” in America. Others, on the conservative side are blaming affirmative action as the predicate for what the federal indictment properly characterized as a “racketeering enterprise.”

While the cheating scandal very well may exhibit elements of “class privilege” and affirmative-action abuse, obscuring the scheme by viewing it through the lens of contemporary public policy debates diminishes its importance and increases the likelihood it will be repeated.

Ten years ago, the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) system was shaken by a massive cheating scandal; orchestrated not by students trying to improve their grades, but by teachers and administrators fearful that lower student scores on standardized tests mandated by the federal “No Child Left Behind Act,” would slow the spigot of federal tax dollars on which the schools had become dependent.

When news of the APS scandal broke, many educators and public officials in Atlanta and across Georgia sought to have it addressed administratively; as a policy failure rather than a criminal enterprise. The pressure to thus downplay the scandal was pronounced. Fortunately, the venue in which the cases unfolded over the following five years remained exactly where it should have been — in criminal court.

Atlanta’s public schools still have not recovered fully from that sordid scandal, but the example set by aggressive prosecution of the teachers and administrators involved — a process free of partisan politics or racial division — remains a gold star in a state not often cited for upholding high ethical standards.

We all should hope that a decade from now, the 2019 college preparatory cheating scandal will be similarly remembered and cited as an example of how greed rising to the level of systemic criminality must be addressed by prosecution rather than policy debate. This is a task far more difficult than it should be, considering that in today’s hyper-partisan climate virtually every matter of constitutional or legal significance is distilled down to an excuse to challenge someone’s racial, gender, political or class worldview.

A review of the indictment unsealed just days ago — charging more than four dozen individuals with fraud, money laundering and racketeering in a scheme to afford children with parents of means an unfair advantage to gain admittance to top-tier universities — makes clear why the criminal process must remain front and center.

The scheme charted in the federal indictment was extensive in every important respect: taking place over several years and with tentacles reaching from university athletic and admission officials, to individuals employed by organizations supposed to fairly administer college entrance exams and even to include high school teachers; all were part of the grift. Virtually no aspect of the college-entrance process was unsullied by the racketeering scheme, including tax laws and various other federal laws designed to ensure fair competition in college admission processes.

The scheme was so brazen and sophisticated that — as detailed in the indictment — the managers of the conspiracy maintained their own “waiting lists,” so that if a child whose parents already had paid bribes (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) to secure their admittance to a chosen university ultimately decided not to go to that school, the ringleaders simply gave that “slot” to the child of another crooked parent.

Thankfully, our federal criminal justice system remains largely insulated from the childish vagaries that have infected the parameters of public policy debate in modern America. While it would boost ratings if the scandal were presented as a “reality” show rather than a federal criminal proceeding, allowing it to be trivialized in such way would do great and lasting harm to our nation’s system of higher education.

Bob Barr (@BobBarr) represented Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He currently serves as president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Kentucky vs Alabama
Mar 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson reacts during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Alabama and basketball coach Avery Johnson parted ways Sunday, just three days after the Crimson Tide suffered an opening-round defeat on their home court in the NIT.

The two sides had spent the past few days negotiating a buyout of Johnson’s contract, though no terms were announced on Sunday.

“After meeting with Coach Johnson, we made the decision to mutually part ways,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in news release issued by both Johnson and the school. “This was not an easy decision, and we thank him for his contributions over the past four seasons. We wish Coach Johnson and his family the very best.”

Alabama will begin the search for its next coach immediately, according to the news release. Assistant coach John Pelphrey will serve as head coach in the interim.

“I would like to thank The University of Alabama, Bill Battle and the Board of Trustees for providing me the opportunity to serve as the head basketball coach,” Johnson said in the release. “I’d also like to thank President Bell and Greg Byrne, our assistant coaches, support staff, the fans and student body for making this such a special experience for me and my family. Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to thank all of the players and parents. It was an honor and privilege to work with these young men and their families. This was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The SEC now has three openings for a head basketball coach: Alabama, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

The top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama’s coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm.

Johnson’s contract ran through 2023 and was set to pay him approximately $3 million annually. It called for the school to pay him $8 million if was fired without cause before April 15, but fell to $6 million after that.

In his four seasons at Alabama, Johnson went 75-62, with a 34-38 conference record.

As an NBA coach, Johnson has a 254-186 record over stints with the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He was the NBA Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season, when the Mavericks finished 60-22 and won the Western Conference title.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that there is compelling evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with Russian interests during the 2016 presidential election.

The accusation comes as special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation without charging any U.S. citizen with a collusion-related crime, though six Trump associates were charged for unrelated criminal offenses.

“There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” Schiff told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“I have trust in [Mueller’s] prosecutorial judgment,” Schiff added. “But that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people.”

Schiff listed several episodes as substantiating the collusion charge, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Kremlin-aligned lawyer, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s post-election conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and erstwhile Trump confidant Roger Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks.

The conduct underlying those widely reported episodes did not result in criminal indictments, though Flynn and Stone were charged with various process crimes. Mueller’s investigation, at Schiff’s urging, of Donald Trump Jr., Erik Prince and Jared Kushner for lying to Congress also concluded without indictments. (RELATED: Tucker Calls For Roger Stone Pardon)

WATCH the interview:

Attorney General William Barr will deliver a top line summary of Mueller’s report to Congress on Sunday. It is not yet clear whether Congress or the public will have access to Mueller’s report in full. In a Friday letter to relevant committee chairmen, Barr said he would make decisions as to disclosure consistent with the law and DOJ practice.

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible,” Barr wrote.

A related dispute as to executive privilege may follow. The White House may wish to shield portions of the report that relate to communications within the executive branch, among other subjects. Such a move is sure to draw fierce criticism from Democrats.

Whatever the particulars of the special counsel’s report, Schiff indicated that the House Intelligence Committee would continue its investigations, Mueller’s own conclusions notwithstanding.

“We have an independent obligation to share the facts with the American people,” Schiff said. “We in the Intelligence Committee have a particular obligation to determine whether there is evidence that the president may be compromised in any way, whether that is criminal or not.”

The House Judiciary Committee is separately undertaking its own wide-ranging investigation of the president.

Mueller submitted his final report to Justice Department leadership on Friday.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said anything related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe should be released to the public Sunday, as Attorney General William Barr looks over the completed report.

“If he is going to release all of the information, then I want all of it released,” Jordan said on ABC’s “This Week.” I want those 302’s. I want the conversations between Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, the guy who wrote the dossier, Glenn Simpson, the guy the Clinton campaign hired to put the dossier together, I want all those conversations that Bruce Ohr had with Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele. Those notes from the FBI, I want all that made public.”

WATCH:

“I want the FISA application to be made public! They used that dossier, took it to a secret court, didn’t tell the court the Clinton campaign paid for that document, didn’t tell the court that a foreigner who was desperate to stop Trump from being elected president, wrote the document,” Jordan continued. “Let’s release it all.”

Regardless of the reports findings, which is likely to show no collusion between Trump and Russia, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler requested a number of documents from the White House and is sending letters seeking information from people and organizations close to President Donald Trump on March 4. (RELATED: Nadler Unleashes Massive Document Requests Into Threats Against Rule Of Law)

Nadler sent the requests to 81 groups, people and organizations, searching for Constitutional abuses and corruption by Trump. The New York Democrat said Sunday the requests for documents are to “begin investigations, to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, about corruption and abuse of power.”

Democrats and cable news pundits have begin to say the Mueller report is a cover up, even though it has not been released.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing and any attempt by the White House and President Donald Trump to block parts of special counsel Robert Mueller's report from Congress or the public would not be "right" nor "successful," according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

"The president must personally assert executive privilege, and I do not believe it exists here at all because, as we learned from the [former President Richard] Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing," Nadler told NBC's "Meet the Press."

". . . The president may try to assert it, may try to hide things behind it, but I don't think that's right or [would] be successful."

Rep. Nadler referred to the unanimous 1974 Supreme Court ruling on the Nixon tapes that rejected executive privilege overriding the judicial process.

President Trump has reportedly weighed using executive privilege to review classified material not related to any indictment legal proceeding, merely the public release of potentially politicized material that is not used in review criminality.

"Congress must get all the information and the evidence that the Department of Justice may have in order to exercise our function of being able to hold the president accountable," Nadler told host Chuck Todd. "If we don't do that, if we can't do that the president is effectively above the law."

Source: NewsMax

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Angry protesters greeted Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar as she arrived at a Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser Saturday in California.

Protesters shouted “shame on you, terrorists,” “Burn the Quran!” and “Ilhan Omar, go to hell!” in an apparent response to what many see as Omar’s anti-Semitic language and anti-Israel comments that she has made, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Protestors Rabia Kazan and Nahren Anweya interrupt a news conference to call for the resignation of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) outside the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

Protestors Rabia Kazan and Nahren Anweya interrupt a news conference to call for the resignation of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) outside the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

The fundraiser, held in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles, was by invitation only and was entitled “Advancing Justice: Empowering Valley Muslims.” A small number of counter-protesters were also on hand to support Omar. (RELATED: Minnesota Democrats Want To Topple Ilhan Omar And Nominate New Candidate)

Omar has provoked accusations of anti-Semitism with her frequent attacks on Israel, suggesting at one point that it had “hypnotized the world” and prayed that Allah would “awaken” it. She divided the Democratic Party this month over a resolution that was first meant to condemn anti-Semitism but became a reprimand against virtually every form of discrimination. (RELATED: Rep. Omar Denies Anti-Obama Comments — But Her Own Audio File Confirms Them)

The Los Angeles Police Department deployed officers at the scene but would not disclose the number involved, according to City News Service.

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was also in the area on Saturday. Sanders visited a Los Angeles mosque to honor the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets students gathering outside the U.S. Capitol as part of a nationwide walk-out of classes to demand stricter gun laws in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) greets students gathering outside the U.S. Capitol as part of a nationwide walk-out of classes to demand stricter gun laws in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

“Your background is different than mine,” Sanders said to about 200 members of the Islamic Center of Southern California. “What a joy it is to share that.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Democrats are pressing for full disclosure of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation and vowing to use subpoena powers and other legal means if necessary to get it.

Attorney General William Barr was expected to release his first summary of Mueller's findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said, on what lawmakers anticipated could be a day of reckoning in the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Russian efforts to elect him. Since receiving the report Friday, Barr has been deciding how much of it Congress and the public will see.

Democrats are on a hair trigger over the prospect that some information may be withheld.

"I suspect that we'll find those words of transparency to prove hollow, that in fact they will fight to make sure that Congress doesn't get this underlying evidence," Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House intelligence committee, said on ABC's "This Week."

His plan: Ask for information and if that's denied, "subpoena. If subpoenas are denied, we will haul people before the Congress. And yes, we will prosecute in court as necessary to get this information."

At his resort in Florida, Trump stirred from an unusual, nearly two-day silence on Twitter with the anodyne tweet Sunday morning: "Good Morning, Have a Great Day!" Then followed up: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Democrats won't be willing to wait long for the Justice Department to hand over full information on the probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the election and whether the president later sought to obstruct the investigation.

"It won't be months," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Asked if he still believes Trump obstructed justice, he indicated there has been obstruction but "whether it's criminal is another question."

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and oversaw much of his work, analyzed the report on Saturday, laboring to condense it into a summary letter of main conclusions.

The Russia investigation has shadowed Trump for nearly two years and has ensnared his family and close advisers. And no matter the findings in Mueller's report, the probe already has illuminated Russia's assault on the American political system, painted the Trump campaign as eager to exploit the release of hacked Democratic emails to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and exposed lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts.

Barr has said he wants to release as much as he can under the law. That decision will require him to weigh the Justice Department's longstanding protocol of not releasing negative information about people who aren't indicted against the extraordinary public interest in a criminal investigation into the president and his campaign.

Democrats are citing the department's recent precedent of norm-breaking disclosures, including during the Clinton email investigation, to argue that they're entitled to Mueller's entire report and the underlying evidence he collected.

Even with the details still under wraps, Friday's end to the 22-month probe without additional indictments by Mueller was welcome news to some in Trump's orbit who had feared a final round of charges could target more Trump associates or members of the president's family.

The White House sought to keep its distance, saying Sunday it had not been briefed on the report. Trump, who has relentlessly criticized Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt," went golfing Saturday and was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter. Not so one of his guests, musician Kid Rock, who posted a picture with the president and the tweet, "Another great day on the links!" He added: "What a great man, so down to earth and so fun to be with!!"

The conclusion of Mueller's investigation does not remove legal peril for the president.

He faces a separate Justice Department investigation in New York into hush money payments during the campaign to two women who say they had sex with him years before the election. He's also been implicated in a potential campaign finance violation by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who says Trump asked him to arrange the transactions. Federal prosecutors, also in New York, have been investigating foreign contributions made to the president's inaugural committee.

As for Mueller, absent the report's details it was not known whether he concluded the campaign colluded with the Kremlin to tip the election in favor of the celebrity businessman. A Justice Department official did confirm that Mueller was not recommending any further indictments, meaning the investigation had ended without any public charges of a criminal conspiracy, or of obstruction of justice by the president.

In a letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the congressional judiciary committees, Barr noted on Friday that the department had not denied any request from Mueller, something Barr would have been required to disclose to ensure there was no political interference. Trump was never interviewed in person by Mueller's team, but submitted answers to questions in writing.

In a conference call Saturday about next steps, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a warning for his fellow Democrats, some of whom have pinned high political hopes on Mueller's findings: "Once we get the principal conclusions of the report, I think it's entirely possible that that will be a good day for the president and his core supporters."

A number of Trump associates and family members have been dogged by speculation of possible wrongdoing. Among them are Donald Trump Jr., who helped arrange a Trump Tower meeting at the height of the 2016 campaign with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was interviewed at least twice by Mueller's prosecutors.

All told, Mueller charged 34 people, including the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and three Russian companies. Twenty-five Russians were indicted on charges related to election interference, accused either of hacking Democratic email accounts during the campaign or of orchestrating a social media campaign that spread disinformation on the internet.

Five Trump aides pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller and a sixth, longtime confidant Roger Stone, is awaiting trial on charges that he lied to Congress and engaged in witness tampering.

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, said Saturday that the case of former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates will be handed off to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Gates was a key cooperator in Mueller's probe and court papers show he continues to help with several other federal investigations.

Justice Department legal opinions have held that sitting presidents may not be indicted. But many Democrats say Trump should not be immune from a public accounting of his behavior. Though the department typically does not disclose negative information about people who are not indicted, officials have at times broken from that protocol.

Former FBI Director James Comey famously held a July 2016 news conference in which he criticized Clinton as "extremely careless" in her use of a private email server but said the FBI would not recommend charges. The Justice Department also took the extraordinary step of making available to lawmakers the details of a secret surveillance warrant obtained on a Trump campaign aide in the early days of the Russia probe.

Source: NewsMax

David Hookstead | Reporter

Fans gave Minnesota star Jordan Murphy an emotional goodbye after losing to Michigan State Saturday night.

The Gophers got blown out by the Spartans in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but that didn’t stop the fans from showing their appreciation for Murphy, who has been a major part of the Minnesota program these past few years. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Coach Richard Pitino pulled him from the game with just under a minute and a half left as the crowd got to its feet, and started applauding.

The senior star shared some emotional hugs as he went down the bench.

That’s how this journey will end for every single player on ever single team except one. Sports are about huge emotional swings, and most people will hang up their shoes without ever getting close to a championship.

I have no doubt last night was a hard pill to swallow for Murphy. I have no doubt at all, but the sting of losing his final March Madness game will eventually fade.

When it does, people will always remember just how great he was for the Gophers.

Props to him on a very successful career in the Big Ten. Now, it’s time for him to go make some money playing this incredible sport.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Fans gave Minnesota star Jordan Murphy an emotional goodbye after losing to Michigan State Saturday night.

The Gophers got blown out by the Spartans in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but that didn’t stop the fans from showing their appreciation for Murphy, who has been a major part of the Minnesota program these past few years. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Coach Richard Pitino pulled him from the game with just under a minute and a half left as the crowd got to its feet, and started applauding.

The senior star shared some emotional hugs as he went down the bench.

That’s how this journey will end for every single player on ever single team except one. Sports are about huge emotional swings, and most people will hang up their shoes without ever getting close to a championship.

I have no doubt last night was a hard pill to swallow for Murphy. I have no doubt at all, but the sting of losing his final March Madness game will eventually fade.

When it does, people will always remember just how great he was for the Gophers.

Props to him on a very successful career in the Big Ten. Now, it’s time for him to go make some money playing this incredible sport.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Members of the Iraqi Civil Defence rescue team lift a ferry which sank in the Tigris River in Mosul
Members of the Iraqi Civil Defence rescue team lift a ferry which sank in the Tigris River with a crane in Mosul, Iraq March, 23, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

March 24, 2019

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament voted on Sunday to sack the governor of Nineveh after an overloaded ferry capsized, killing at least 90 people, in the provincial capital Mosul, state media said.

The boat was carrying families heading to an outing on an island in the Tigris River on Thursday when it sank. Many of the women and children on board could not swim.

Islamic State militants were driven from Mosul nearly two years ago, but relief has given way to impatience over alleged corruption as reconstruction of the destroyed city has stalled.

Scores of protesters swarmed Iraq’s president and the governor on Friday, forcing them to leave the site of the accident. The crowd threw stones and shoes at Governor Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan’s car, which sped off hitting two people, one of whom was taken to hospital.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Saturday formally asked parliament to remove Sultan. Iraqi law gives the federal parliament the right to sack provincial governors based on the suggestion of the prime minister.

Parliament also voted to sack Sultan’s two deputies, in line with Abdul Mahdi’s request. The governor can appeal the decision at court. He has not commented on the vote yet.

Abdul Mahdi’s letter to parliament accused Sultan of negligence, dereliction of duty, and said there was evidence he was misusing public funds and abusing power.

Protesters blamed negligence by the local government for the accident. The boat was loaded to five times its capacity, according to a local official.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Alison Williams)

Source: OANN

An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta
An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not among the 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter said.

The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of “ordering and committing the crime.” The CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed until he was sacked then sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury over his suspected role, is not on trial and has not appeared at any of the four court sessions convened since January, said seven sources, who are familiar with the proceedings but have not attended the trial.

Two regional intelligence sources told Reuters weeks after the killing that Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment by giving orders via Skype to a team of security and intelligence operatives.

The Saudi public prosecutor said in November that Qahtani had coordinated with deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had become a vocal critic of the crown prince’s policies following years as a royal insider.

The prosecutor said Qahtani had met the operatives charged with Khashoggi’s repatriation ahead of their journey to Istanbul. When Khashoggi resisted, the lead negotiator decided to kill him, according to the prosecutor.

Asiri is on trial, the seven sources told Reuters.

Three of the sources said that Maher Mutreb, the lead negotiator, and Salah al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert specialized in autopsies, are also on trial and could face the death penalty.

The sources said the defendants have legal counsel and have defended themselves in court by claiming they did not intend to kill Khashoggi or were merely carrying out orders.

The public prosecutor, the government media office, Qahtani and Asiri did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the trial. Reuters could not reach Mutreb, Tobaigy or any of the defendants’ lawyers.

Saudi Arabia wants to move on from the global outcry sparked by Khashoggi’s killing in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last October, which tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, prompted some investors to pull out, and intensified criticism of the country’s human rights record.

A credible investigation and trial are among Western demands to restore Saudi Arabia’s standing after the killing. But Riyadh has refused to cooperate with a U.N. inquiry, rejecting it as interference in its internal affairs.

It is unclear what evidence, if any, has been presented in court. Khashoggi’s remains have not been discovered, and Riyadh says it has not received evidence requested from Ankara, which says it has recordings related to the killing in which Qahtani features prominently.

A senior Turkish official said Ankara had shared all the necessary information with Saudi Arabia but that the cooperation had not been reciprocated. Turkey wants Riyadh to answer questions including where Khashoggi’s body is and who the Saudis standing trial in Riyadh are.

Three of the sources said a representative for the Khashoggi family attended at least one session to ask for an update on the public prosecutor’s investigation into Qahtani and for him to be brought before the court.

Qahtani has continued to wield influence in the crown prince’s inner circle and remains active on behalf of the royal court, Western, Arab and Saudi sources with links to the royal court told Reuters in January.

A Saudi official denied that at the time and said Qahtani remains under investigation and banned from travel.

Access to the trial has been limited to diplomats from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Turkey who are summoned on short notice and barred from bringing interpreters.

(Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Source: OANN

An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta
An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not among the 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter said.

The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of “ordering and committing the crime.” The CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed until he was sacked then sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury over his suspected role, is not on trial and has not appeared at any of the four court sessions convened since January, said seven sources, who are familiar with the proceedings but have not attended the trial.

Two regional intelligence sources told Reuters weeks after the killing that Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment by giving orders via Skype to a team of security and intelligence operatives.

The Saudi public prosecutor said in November that Qahtani had coordinated with deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had become a vocal critic of the crown prince’s policies following years as a royal insider.

The prosecutor said Qahtani had met the operatives charged with Khashoggi’s repatriation ahead of their journey to Istanbul. When Khashoggi resisted, the lead negotiator decided to kill him, according to the prosecutor.

Asiri is on trial, the seven sources told Reuters.

Three of the sources said that Maher Mutreb, the lead negotiator, and Salah al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert specialized in autopsies, are also on trial and could face the death penalty.

The sources said the defendants have legal counsel and have defended themselves in court by claiming they did not intend to kill Khashoggi or were merely carrying out orders.

The public prosecutor, the government media office, Qahtani and Asiri did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the trial. Reuters could not reach Mutreb, Tobaigy or any of the defendants’ lawyers.

Saudi Arabia wants to move on from the global outcry sparked by Khashoggi’s killing in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last October, which tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, prompted some investors to pull out, and intensified criticism of the country’s human rights record.

A credible investigation and trial are among Western demands to restore Saudi Arabia’s standing after the killing. But Riyadh has refused to cooperate with a U.N. inquiry, rejecting it as interference in its internal affairs.

It is unclear what evidence, if any, has been presented in court. Khashoggi’s remains have not been discovered, and Riyadh says it has not received evidence requested from Ankara, which says it has recordings related to the killing in which Qahtani features prominently.

A senior Turkish official said Ankara had shared all the necessary information with Saudi Arabia but that the cooperation had not been reciprocated. Turkey wants Riyadh to answer questions including where Khashoggi’s body is and who the Saudis standing trial in Riyadh are.

Three of the sources said a representative for the Khashoggi family attended at least one session to ask for an update on the public prosecutor’s investigation into Qahtani and for him to be brought before the court.

Qahtani has continued to wield influence in the crown prince’s inner circle and remains active on behalf of the royal court, Western, Arab and Saudi sources with links to the royal court told Reuters in January.

A Saudi official denied that at the time and said Qahtani remains under investigation and banned from travel.

Access to the trial has been limited to diplomats from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Turkey who are summoned on short notice and barred from bringing interpreters.

(Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Source: OANN

An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta
An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not among the 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter said.

The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of “ordering and committing the crime.” The CIA and some Western countries believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed until he was sacked then sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury over his suspected role, is not on trial and has not appeared at any of the four court sessions convened since January, said seven sources, who are familiar with the proceedings but have not attended the trial.

Two regional intelligence sources told Reuters weeks after the killing that Qahtani oversaw Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment by giving orders via Skype to a team of security and intelligence operatives.

The Saudi public prosecutor said in November that Qahtani had coordinated with deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had become a vocal critic of the crown prince’s policies following years as a royal insider.

The prosecutor said Qahtani had met the operatives charged with Khashoggi’s repatriation ahead of their journey to Istanbul. When Khashoggi resisted, the lead negotiator decided to kill him, according to the prosecutor.

Asiri is on trial, the seven sources told Reuters.

Three of the sources said that Maher Mutreb, the lead negotiator, and Salah al-Tubaigy, a forensic expert specialized in autopsies, are also on trial and could face the death penalty.

The sources said the defendants have legal counsel and have defended themselves in court by claiming they did not intend to kill Khashoggi or were merely carrying out orders.

The public prosecutor, the government media office, Qahtani and Asiri did not respond to requests for comment on the status of the trial. Reuters could not reach Mutreb, Tobaigy or any of the defendants’ lawyers.

Saudi Arabia wants to move on from the global outcry sparked by Khashoggi’s killing in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last October, which tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, prompted some investors to pull out, and intensified criticism of the country’s human rights record.

A credible investigation and trial are among Western demands to restore Saudi Arabia’s standing after the killing. But Riyadh has refused to cooperate with a U.N. inquiry, rejecting it as interference in its internal affairs.

It is unclear what evidence, if any, has been presented in court. Khashoggi’s remains have not been discovered, and Riyadh says it has not received evidence requested from Ankara, which says it has recordings related to the killing in which Qahtani features prominently.

A senior Turkish official said Ankara had shared all the necessary information with Saudi Arabia but that the cooperation had not been reciprocated. Turkey wants Riyadh to answer questions including where Khashoggi’s body is and who the Saudis standing trial in Riyadh are.

Three of the sources said a representative for the Khashoggi family attended at least one session to ask for an update on the public prosecutor’s investigation into Qahtani and for him to be brought before the court.

Qahtani has continued to wield influence in the crown prince’s inner circle and remains active on behalf of the royal court, Western, Arab and Saudi sources with links to the royal court told Reuters in January.

A Saudi official denied that at the time and said Qahtani remains under investigation and banned from travel.

Access to the trial has been limited to diplomats from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Turkey who are summoned on short notice and barred from bringing interpreters.

(Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Source: OANN

Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 23, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; David Ferrer of Spain salutes the crowd after his match against Alexander Zverev of Germany (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

(Reuters) – David Ferrer is set to retire from professional tennis in May but the Spaniard showed he still has the tools to bring down the biggest names in the game after a stunning 2-6 7-5 6-3 win over world No. 3 Alexander Zverev at the Miami Open on Saturday.

The victory clearly meant a lot to the 36-year-old, who will bring the curtain down on his career at the Madrid Open.

“It’s a special day because it’s the last year of professional tennis for me. Winning these type of matches against a top 10 player like ‘Sascha’ is a gift,” he said.

“I’m very happy and I’m trying to enjoy every point and every moment.”

Ferrer will next face 21-year-old American Frances Tiafoe who fought past Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(6) 7-6(5).

Roger Federer, a year older than Ferrer but enjoying a career renaissance, rallied from a set down to beat Moldovan surprise package Radu Albot 4-6 7-5 6-3 in a stuttering start to the 20-times Grand Slam champion’s Miami Open campaign.

Federer, beaten by Dominic Thiem in last week’s BNP Paribas Open final, smashed 14 aces and broke Albot twice to advance to the third round but it was far from plain sailing for the 37-year-old against the world number 46.

“I expected a player with a great attitude, which he showed,” Federer said. “I have a lot of respect for those types of players who don’t have the size, have to find a different way to win. He’s a great, great player. I was impressed.”

Federer was stunned by Thanasi Kokkinakis in his opening match of the Miami Open last year and another early exit was beckoning when he dropped the first set on Saturday.

However, the Swiss battled back to break Albot while leading 6-5 in the second with a backhand volley winner to square the match. Albot could not convert a break point in the deciding set when tied a 3-3, and Federer took command from there to wrap up a match that lasted two hours and 10 minutes. Three-times Miami champion Federer finished with 38 winners but had to overcame 41 unforced errors to defeat Albot, who earned an ovation from the crowd for his efforts.

Federer will next face Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic on Monday.

ANDERSON FEELING GOOD

Earlier on Saturday, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson made a winning return to competition with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over rising Spaniard Jaume Munar. After more than two months away from the court with an elbow injury, the world number seven smashed 17 aces en route to the second round win over the 21-year-old Munar.

It was Anderson’s first tournament appearance since the Australian Open in January and he said he was happy with the way his elbow felt.

“To get through in three sets, it felt really good to be back out there. I’m happy with how the elbow responded. I feel like I’m hitting the ball great,” the sixth seed added. Two Russian prospects, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, had different fates on Saturday. The 10th seed Khachanov was beaten by Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-3 while his friend Medvedev, the 13th seed, toppled France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-1.

Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(4) 6-1. In other early action, Belgian David Goffin, the 18th seed, defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1, while Canadian 20th seed Denis Shapovalov came from a set down to beat Britain’s Dan Evans 4-6 6-1 6-3.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Chadband/Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha prepares to vote in the general election at a polling station in Bangkok
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (L) prepares to vote in the general election at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

March 24, 2019

By Kay Johnson

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai voters went to the polls on Sunday in a long-delayed election following a 2014 coup, in a race that pits a military junta chief seeking to retain power against a “democratic front” led by the populist party he ousted.

Turnout was expected to be high among the 51.4 million Thais eligible to vote for the 500-seat House of Representatives, which will choose the next government along with a Senate that is appointed entirely by the ruling junta.

Thailand has been under direct military rule since then-army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha overthrew an elected government linked to exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who himself was thrown out by the army in 2006.

Critics have said a new, junta-written electoral system gives a built-in advantage to pro-military parties and appears designed to prevent the main Thaksin-linked Pheu Thai party from returning to power.

Pro-Thaksin parties have won every election since 2001, but the past 15 years have seen crippling street protests that destabilized the government and hamstrung business.

Junta chief Prayuth, whose party has campaigned on maintaining order and upholding traditional Thai values of loyalty and devotion to the country’s monarch, appealed on his ability to keep peace as he made his final campaign appeal.

“Before, we always had crises. We must not let those crises happen again – understand?” he told a closing campaign rally.

The anti-Thaksin Yellow Shirts, mostly middle class and urban royalists who accuse his parties of corruption, have repeatedly taken to the streets, prompting the military to launch two coups in a decade.

Supporters of Thaksin, known as the Red Shirts, also occupied much of Bangkok’s main business and shopping districts for months in 2010 after a court dissolved a pro-Thaksin government, again paralyzing commerce until a crackdown that left at least 90 people dead and saw landmark buildings burned.

While the election results are due to be announced within a few hours of polls closing at 5 p.m. (1000 GMT), the make-up of the next government may not be clear for weeks afterwards, since no one party is likely to have enough seats for an outright win.

“I think it’s going to take a long time,” said Paul Chambers, lecturer in political science at Naresuan University in northern Thailand.

(Editing by John Chalmers and Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Hartford Practice
Mar 20, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Phil Cofer (0) speaks with the media before a practice in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Florida State forward Phil Cofer made his first statement about his father’s death this week, saying he “will miss him dearly.”

Cofer’s statement is posted on the GoFundMe page he started to raise money for his father’s funeral and lingering medical expenses.

“On Thursday March 21st, moments after my team’s win in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, celebration turned into devastation as I received a phone call that would change my life forever,” Cofer wrote. “My dad, Michael Cofer, had passed due to a battle with a long-term illness. My dad has always supported me on and off the court and I will miss him dearly.”

The elder Cofer, 58, was a former NFL linebacker who played 10 seasons (1983-1992) for the Detroit Lions.

The Detroit Free Press said the cause of death was a rare disease, which it did not name, that affects organs and tissue.

“My family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and now humbly asks for the community’s help with our existing and continuing expenses,” Phil Cofer continued in the GoFundMe post. “All proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward my Dad’s funeral expenses and my family’s outstanding and ongoing medical costs. My family will contribute any donations that exceed our funeral and medical needs toward a charitable organization.”

As of Saturday afternoon, nearly $31,000 of the campaign’s $100,000 goal had been raised. The NCAA and Florida State’s compliance department gave the go-ahead for the fundraiser.

Phil Cofer did not play Thursday against Vermont because of a right foot injury, but coach Leonard Hamilton said Cofer would be with the team Saturday night when the Seminoles face Murray State at Hartford, Conn.

Injuries limited Cofer, a senior, to 22 games (19 starts) this season. He is averaging 7.4 points and 26.1 minutes per game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Without a mention of John McCain after breaking from the president's criticism of his late friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered loyalty and laughs in a light-hearted, GOP fundraiser speech Friday as President Donald Trump looked on, Politico reported.

"If Lindsey's speaking, I want to come down here for two reasons," President Trump said, per a video posted by a Politico reporter. "No. 1: He's a great speaker; and No. 2, I know if I'm here, he's not going to say anything bad about me."

The media was shut out of attending the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, a Palm Beach County Republican Party fundraiser, per the report. President Trump had not planned to attend, but he did announce Sen. Graham after having dinner with the first lady Melania and his son Barron, according to attendees.

"We found a lot in common: I like him and he likes him," a jovial Graham joked in a light-hearted speech, those in attendance told Politico.

Among the other one-liners from Graham, who spoke "off the cuff," according to Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop:

  • On hailing the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: "There will be a Trump hotel there in 10 years," he cracked.
  • Graham jokingly asked the crowd if they wanted to see former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on the Supreme Court. Gowdy was in attendance and "mingling with the president," according to Politico.
  • After the crowd started a "lock her up" chant about Hillary Clinton, Graham quipped: "Don't lock her up! We want her to run again."

"Pretty typical Lindsey," one attendee told Politico of the 30-minute speech, which President Trump arrived for and left when it was done.

The following from the Trump inner-circle and Florida GOP were in attendance, per the report.

  • Emcee ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
  • Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
  • Florida Lt. Gov Jeanette Núñez.
  • Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.
  • Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.
  • Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks, Jr.
  • Conservative activist James O'Keefe.

One topic that was not broached, as the Mueller report was delivered to the Justice Department, was the Russia investigation.

"Nobody mentioned anything, other than all of us saw our phones and knew the report dropped," an attendee told Politico.

Source: NewsMax

Tennis - Australian Open - Second Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Second Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2019. South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in action during the match against Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

March 23, 2019

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Kevin Anderson made a winning return to competition at the Miami Open with a hard-fought victory over rising Spaniard Jaume Munar on Saturday.

After more than two months away from the court with an elbow injury, the world number seven outlasted the 21-year-old Munar 6-4 3-6 6-3 in their second round clash.

In his first tournament appearance since the Australian Open in January, the big-serving Wimbledon finalist boomed down 17 aces while converting three of his seven break chances.

“It was all good and I was really pleased with the way [the elbow] felt,” sixth seed Anderson said. “To get through in three sets, it felt really good to be back out there. I’m happy with how the elbow responded. I feel like I’m hitting the ball great.

“It’s always different playing matches than hitting in practice, but I’ve been able to up my load and how much I’m able to serve. That’s really encouraging and that’s why I felt good coming into this week.

“I’ve been able to do everything but hit serves recently. I always had the confidence that as soon as I got over that hurdle, I was going to find my form pretty quickly.”

Two of Russia’s young prospects, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, were also Saturday winners.

The 10th seed Khachanov beat Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-3 while his friend Medvedev, the 13th seed, toppled France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-1.

In other early action, Belgian David Goffin, the 18th seed, defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1, while Canadian 20th seed Denis Shapovalov came from a set down to beat Britain’s Dan Evans 4-6 6-1 6-3.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Tennis - Australian Open - Second Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Second Round – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2019. South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in action during the match against Frances Tiafoe of the U.S. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

March 23, 2019

(Reuters) – South Africa’s Kevin Anderson made a winning return to competition at the Miami Open with a hard-fought victory over rising Spaniard Jaume Munar on Saturday.

After more than two months away from the court with an elbow injury, the world number seven outlasted the 21-year-old Munar 6-4 3-6 6-3 in their second round clash.

In his first tournament appearance since the Australian Open in January, the big-serving Wimbledon finalist boomed down 17 aces while converting three of his seven break chances.

“It was all good and I was really pleased with the way [the elbow] felt,” sixth seed Anderson said. “To get through in three sets, it felt really good to be back out there. I’m happy with how the elbow responded. I feel like I’m hitting the ball great.

“It’s always different playing matches than hitting in practice, but I’ve been able to up my load and how much I’m able to serve. That’s really encouraging and that’s why I felt good coming into this week.

“I’ve been able to do everything but hit serves recently. I always had the confidence that as soon as I got over that hurdle, I was going to find my form pretty quickly.”

Two of Russia’s young prospects, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, were also Saturday winners.

The 10th seed Khachanov beat Australian Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-3 while his friend Medvedev, the 13th seed, toppled France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-2 6-1.

In other early action, Belgian David Goffin, the 18th seed, defeated Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1, while Canadian 20th seed Denis Shapovalov came from a set down to beat Britain’s Dan Evans 4-6 6-1 6-3.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the faculty of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, where he will co-teach a summer course in the United Kingdom on the origins of the Constitution.

Kavanaugh, who has evaded public attention following his bitter confirmation in October 2018, will remain in England for nearly six weeks while the Court is on its summer recess. The justice has generally kept a low profile since joining the Court, avoiding solo public appearances and divisive opinion writing.

“It is a rare opportunity for students to learn from a Supreme Court justice and we believe that contributes to making our law program uniquely valuable for our students,” the law school said in a statement.

George Mason University’s student newspaper was first to report that Kavanaugh joined the law faculty.

It is common for the justices to teach law abroad during the summer, when the high court is not in session. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch led seminars in Italy in July 2018, while retired Justice Anthony Kennedy taught in Austria.

Yet Kavanaugh’s 38-day course is unusually long in comparison to his colleagues, whose teaching commitments generally run a few short days. Ginsburg and Gorsuch’s Italian jaunt ran about two weeks, while Kennedy’s lasted about three.

Another round of skirmishes relating to Kavanaugh’s confirmation are likely this summer, which may be a factor in his lengthy retreat to the UK. Politico’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman will publish an account of Congress during President Donald Trump’s tenure in April, which purports to contain the definitive story on his confirmation. Another book called “Confirmation Bias” will follow in June from Carl Hulse of The New York Times.

Kavanaugh defenders Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino will publish their own book-length treatment of his nomination this summer, which is meant to preempt forthcoming projects thought to be unflattering, according to Axios. (RELATED: Supreme Court Deals Trump Administration Immigration Victory)

Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor and Jackie Calmes of the Los Angeles Times are also writing books on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times will publish a history of the justice’s early years this October called “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Brett Kavanaugh attends his ceremonial swearing at the White House on October 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Once a staple of law school programming, Kavanaugh lamented that he might never return to academia, after three women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. He denied those allegations.

“I love teaching law,” Kavanaugh told Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats during his second confirmation hearing in September 2018. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to teach again.”

Just days after that hearing, Harvard Law School announced it had cancelled Kavanaugh’s January-term course on the modern Supreme Court. The announcement followed weeks on intense pressure from students and alumni, who hoped the law school would disassociate itself with the beleaguered Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh was named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard in 2009.

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