Gaetz to Dem counsel: ‘We want Schiff in the chair! Not you!’

closeHouse Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Trump impeachment inquiryVideo

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Trump impeachment inquiry

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., upbraided Democratic Intelligence Counsel Dan Goldman on Monday to demand that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., take the stand to testify in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

“We want Schiff in the chair! Not you!” Gaetz said to Goldman.

Gaetz’s pronouncement, which interrupted the questioning by the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins of Georgia, drew strong condemnation from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who warned the Florida lawmaker that interruptions would not be tolerated.

NUNES LOOKS AT LEGAL OPTIONS AFTER SCHIFF RELEASES PHONE RECORDS IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

“You’ve been warned before,” Nadler said after slamming the gavel. “You cannot simply yell out.”

Gaetz’s call to have Schiff testify has been echoed by many other Republican lawmakers on the Judiciary Committee.

Collins grills Goldman: Biden only one who committed quid pro quoVideo

“Where’s Adam? Where’s Adam?” Collins asked rhetorically to Goldman during his questioning. “It’s his report.”

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released earlier this month a 300-page report stating that Trump seriously misused the power of his office for personal political gain by seeking foreign intervention in the American election process and obstructed Congress by stonewalling efforts to investigate.

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The report did not render a judgment on whether Trump’s actions stemming from a July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors," warranting impeachment. That is for Congress to decide. But it details “significant misconduct" by the president that the House Judiciary Committee will begin to assess Wednesday.

Doug Collins: Democrats are destroying House rulesVideo

"The evidence that we have found is really quite overwhelming that the president used the power of his office to secure political favors and abuse the trust American people put in him and jeopardize our security,” Schiff said at the time of the release.

Schiff added: “Americans need to understand that this president is putting his personal political interests above theirs. And that it's endangering the country."

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

US Attorney Durham objects to IG findings on Russia probe origins in stunning statement

closeDOJ releases inspector general's findings on FBI surveillanceVideo

DOJ releases inspector general's findings on FBI surveillance

The 476-page report finds no evidence of political bias or intentional misconduct, but finds 17 'significant errors or omissions' in FISA applications; David Spunt reports from the Justice Department.

The U.S. attorney who is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe released a rare statement Monday saying he disagrees with conclusions of the so-called FISA report — after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found in that review that the probe's launch largely complied with DOJ and FBI policies.

“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” U.S. Attorney John Durham said in a statement.

FISA REPORT: DOJ WATCHDOG RELEASES FINDINGS ON RUSSIA PROBE SURVEILLANCE

Horowitz released his report Monday saying his investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding efforts to launch that 2016 probe and to seek a highly controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early months of the investigation. Still, it found that there were "significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised."

“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” Durham said. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”

As Horowitz has conducted his review of DOJ actions during the Russia probe, Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has also been conducting a wider inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

Fox News reported in October that Durham's ongoing probe has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr ripped the FBI’s “intrusive” investigation after the release of Horowitz’s review, saying it was launched based on the “thinnest of suspicions.”

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement.

Barr expressed frustration that the FBI continued investigating the Trump campaign, even as “exculpatory” came to the light.

DOJ releases Inspector General's report, no political biasVideo

“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” Barr said. “Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.”

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller acknowledged in his report that investigators did not find evidence of a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Russians in 2016 – which the FBI probed extensively.

Barr said the FISA report shows a “clear abuse” of the surveillance process.

“In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source,” Barr said.

He added, “The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.”

Monday’s FISA report dealing with the investigation into Trump’s campaign has long been expected. Horowitz in September submitted a draft of the report to Barr and the FBI so they could identify any classified information. But it had not been publicly released until now.

The release comes as Washington has been consumed with impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee is holding the inquiry’s latest hearing Monday, days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are moving forward with plans to bring articles of impeachment against the president over his dealings with Ukraine.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Original Article

FISA report: DOJ watchdog releases findings on Russia probe surveillance

closeHorowitz report expected to find FBI justified in probing Trump campaign, but falsified documentVideo

Horowitz report expected to find FBI justified in probing Trump campaign, but falsified document

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is set to release a report expected to document misconduct during the investigation into President Trump's 2016 campaign. Gregg Jarrett and Francey Hakes react.

The Justice Department’s inspector general on Monday released the long-awaited internal review concerning the origins of the Russia investigation, revealing that while the probe's launch complied with DOJ and FBI policies, there are "significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised."

Specifically, the report concluded that investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding efforts to seek a highly controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early months of the Russia investigation — but faulted the FBI over numerous "omissions" and "inaccuracies" in the application process.

CARTER PAGE ACCUSES DOJ OF ‘ORWELLIAN OVERREACH’ OVER EFFORT TO PREVENT HIM PREVIEWING FISA REPORT

The IG probe identified at least 17 "significant" errors in the Page applications and said they would launch a new audit into the FISA process.

At the same time, the report said key officials including former FBI bosses James Comey and Andrew McCabe did not act with political bias and extended a similar finding to the overall surveillance efforts targeting Page.

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page,” the report said.

IG Horowitz to release the highly anticipated report on alleged FISA abuseVideo

IG Michael Horowitz and his investigators probed how the unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original FISA warrant for Page in October 2016, as well as other decisions at the outset of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.

The release comes as Washington has been consumed with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee was holding the inquiry’s latest hearing Monday, days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are moving forward with plans to bring articles of impeachment against the president over his dealings with Ukraine.

But the sprawling, nearly 500-page FISA report is sure to become a political football of its own, alongside the impeachment probe.

Republicans, led by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., have contested the FISA warrant and its subsequent renewal applications, claiming that the FBI misrepresented key evidence and omitted exculpatory information.

Nunes blasted the FBI for not revealing that evidence used to support the warrant application came from an unverified dossier compiled by Steele as opposition research for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Democrats have pointed to a footnote in the warrant application that gave a general characterization of the nature of the information and how the FBI believed that it was part of an effort to get information to discredit Trump’s campaign, though it did not specifically mention Clinton or the Democratic National Committee.

Horowitz’s team has questioned why the FBI considered Steele a credible source, and why the bureau seemed to use news reports to bolster Steele’s credibility.

The inspector general has said his team has “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.” Page, who has been vocal about his belief that he was unjustly targeted, has expressed frustration over not being interviewed for Horowitz’s investigation. Page was never charged with a crime as a result of the surveillance.

Trump and his Republican allies have long questioned the Justice Department’s efforts to secure the surveillance warrants. Earlier this year, Attorney General Bill Barr said "spying" did occur against the Trump campaign during the campaign. But critics pushed back: James Comey, who was FBI director at the time, dismissed Barr’s claims, saying he “never thought of” electronic surveillance as “spying.”

Next, Horowitz is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning to answer questions about his probe.

The Horowitz findings come amid another, broader inquiry related to the 2016 election: Barr has assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, to conduct an inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. That investigation is criminal in nature, and Republicans may look to it to uncover wrongdoing that the inspector general wasn’t examining.

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Ahead of the release, some of the people who worked at the FBI at the time attempted to get ahead of the report to defend their actions. Lisa Page, the ex-FBI lawyer who carried on an extramarital affair with former FBI head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok as the two exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the investigation, recently granted an interview for a sympathetic piece at The Daily Beast, saying “there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all.”

Meanwhile, a key FBI player during the time frame, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, has been facing the prospect of federal charges after Horowitz faulted him in a separate inquiry over statements he made during a Hillary Clinton-related investigation. The review found that McCabe "lacked candor" when talking with investigators, but the former FBI official has denied wrongdoing. McCabe has not been indicted.

Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

Original Article

What’s the good news?

closeCancel culture strikes in Vegas puppet showVideo

Cancel culture strikes in Vegas puppet show

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On the roster: What’s the good news? – Biden: Warren would be ‘very angry’ about veep talk – House heads into closing impeachment arguments – DOJ watchdog Horowitz's report to be released – Excuse me…?
WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?

You won’t find anything too surprising in Apple’s new “The Morning Show.” It starts out as basically a woke “Network” that in subsequent episodes turns into a standard-issue potboiler – Intrigue! Scandal! Office politics!
So what?
You can watch “The Mandalorian” or Jeff Goldblum’s new show (please do) or old episodes of “Magnum P.I.” (Would you be so lucky!) It’s not like we’re running out of things to distract ourselves.
We only bring up “The Morning Show” because it’s making some of its living off of how you do politics. Everyone has a right to make a living, and politics is no exception. In fact, we make our living off of how you do politics, too.
Our hope, though, is that we are additive. We assume you already know what you know and feel how you feel. We certainly didn’t come here to deal with any of that messy business. We wish you the best in your affections and antipathies. Our job is just to give you information in context as you look for the end of whatever ideological rainbow you’re chasing.
We also do not think that you are stupid. We understand that as a self-selected group of a third of a million people, our readers are not a representative sample. If we had a nation entirely of Halftime Report readers, we would have excellent government, political comity and a looming civil war over dressing recipes and Sturgill Simson albums.
But heckuva lot more than 300,000 people will watch Apple’s new show. And here’s what they think about American news consumers – you: You’re depressed, addicted, partisan morons.
As the neutral-chaotic, vulpine network boss is explaining to the producer of the eponymous show “how things really are” he offers a little soliloquy about news consumers:
“People get their horrible news delivered to the palm of their hand 24/7 and they get it the way they like it, colored the way they want it,” he, the Diana Christensen of the new century, intones, “The news is awful. But humanity is addicted to it. The whole world is depressed by it.”
Well that tore it for us, right there. That lazy, conventional cynicism passed off as realism is a mainstay of mainstream thinking. It’s been that way at least since Andy Griffith gave us Lonesome Rhodes in 1957.
Separate yourself for a second from your rooting interest in the ongoing political fight in America today.
How are things?
Our nation is basically at full employment, wages are up, year-over-year and we are as close to at peace with the world as we are ever likely to be. Crime is, in historical context, low. Technological innovation makes ordinary what would have seemed miraculous just a generation ago and, as of this writing, the Steelers are still on track for the playoffs.
We are not talking about what could go wrong. That is, as usual, almost everything. We are not talking about what has gone wrong before. That is a great deal. We are not talking about the opportunities to do good that have been missed. That is a list almost without end.
But the news is not awful. Humanity is not addicted to it. The world is not depressed by what’s going on.
Now, it’s certainly true that many people are making themselves too comfortable in their little partisan news silos. Snowflakeism is prevalent and not limited to any age or political philosophy. And cynics know that bad news – even apocalyptic-sounding news – works for people hunkered down in those cramped spaces.
And yes, sometimes the news is “awful.” There’s corruption, murder, abuse, disease and discord. But is that new? We’d gladly take the producers of the show to four or five times in the past hundred years where it was worse.
Humanity is not addicted to bad news. Humanity is addicted to hope. In the face of the most hideous abuses – far worse than crappy American politics in the second decade of this century — people remain hopeful and optimistic. It is that optimism in the face of sure-fire suffering and loss that makes us who we are. It is that indomitable spirit.
And the whole world is not depressed. The people of this planet are making their way as best as they can. They are loving the weak. They are providing for those who depend on them. They are trying to leave this place better than it found it. That’s not true for everybody in the world, but it’s true for a greater number of people than who “The Morning Show” says are depressed morons.
It’s cheap and easy to make a living off of the end of America or the end of the West or the end of anything. People on all sides do it. They don’t tell you the good news. They don’t tell you why you should be happy to be alive at this moment more than any other in history. They do not celebrate with you.
And that’s because they think of you as that fictional producer does: Addicted to pap, depressed about the country’s future and hopelessly biased.
Our plea to you: Defy them at every turn. In every way you can, stage a rebellion of informed, optimistic liberty. We have never thought any less than that of you and will be here for reinforcements whenever you need.
THE RULEBOOK: KEEP THOSE MOTIVES IN CHECK
“Two motives preponderated in that opposition: one, a jealousy entertained of our future power; and the other, the interest of certain individuals of influence in the neighboring States, who had obtained grants of lands under the actual government of that district.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 7
TIME OUT: ‘HALF A LEAGUE ONWARD’
History: “On December 9 [1854], The Examiner prints Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade,’ which commemorates the courage of 600 British soldiers charging a heavily defended position during the Battle of Balaklava, in the Crimea, just six weeks earlier. Tennyson had been named poet laureate in 1850 by Queen Victoria. … The sudden death of Tennyson’s dear friend Arthur Hallam in 1833 inspired several important works throughout Tennyson’s later life, including the masterful In Memoriam of 1842. Later that year, he published a volume called Poems, containing some of his best works. The book boosted Tennyson’s reputation, and in 1850 Queen Victoria named him poet laureate. … Tennyson’s massive frame and booming voice, together with his taste for solitude, made him an imposing character. … In 1859, he published the first four books of his epic Idylls of the King. Eight more volumes would follow. He continued writing and publishing poems until his death in 1892.”
Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
SCOREBOARD
DEMOCRATIC 2020 POWER RANKING
Biden: 26 points (no change in points)
Warren: 19.4 points (no change in points)
Sanders: 17.2 points (no change in points)
Buttigieg: 10.2 points (no change in points)
[Averages include: Quinnipiac University, CNN, Monmouth University, NBC News/WSJ and ABC News/WaPo.]
TRUMP JOB PERFORMANCE
Average approval: 43 percent
Average disapproval: 52.8 percent
Net Score: -9.8 percent
Change from one week ago: no change in points
[Average includes: Quinnipiac University: 40% approve – 54% disapprove; CNN: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 51% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve – 54% disapprove; Monmouth University: 45% approve – 52% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
BIDEN: WARREN WOULD BE ‘VERY ANGRY’ ABOUT VEEP TALK
Axios: “Former Vice President Joe Biden said Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be on his list of potential VP nominees, although he claims she'd be ‘very angry at my having said that.’ Biden told ‘Axios on HBO’ that he would base his VP choice on lessons learned from his time serving as No. 2 to former President Barack Obama. ‘[Y]ou have to have somebody who knows that you and he or she are totally simpatico in terms of your ideology, where you want to take the country, your vision for the country, and you have to be able to turn over significant responsibility to them,’ Biden said. … Biden acknowledged it would be valuable for the Democrats to have a woman or person of color on the ticket, but said it'd be presumptuous for him to name a potential VP list without being the nominee. ‘I'd add Senator Warren to the list. … The question is would she add me made to her list. You know.’”
Warren likes all-female ticket – AP: “Elizabeth Warren said Sunday she believes Americans are ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman can’t beat President Donald Trump. ‘Sure, why not?’ the Democratic presidential candidate told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of a town hall campaign event in Charleston. ‘I think (voters) would support a lot of different combinations.’ In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat, some Democrats have expressed hesitation about nominating another woman to take on Trump in 2020. But Warren argued that women notched historic wins during the 2018 midterms, suggesting voters are worried less about gender than the message candidates are offering. … Warren has said she’d consider tapping Harris as a running mate. She also told the AP she would be ‘open’ to asking former Vice President Joe Biden to reprise his old job.”
Buttigieg releases summary of consultancy work – Fox News: “Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is calling on a consulting firm he used to work for to release a list of clients he was assigned, and to release him from his nondisclosure agreement — while releasing a summary of his work there, amid concerns about potential conflicts of interest if he were elected president. ‘I believe transparency is particularly important under the present circumstances in our country, which is one of the reasons why I have released all tax returns from my time in the private sector and since,’ the South Bend, Ind. mayor said in a statement. ‘I am today reiterating my request that McKinsey release me from this agreement, and I again make clear that I authorize them to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve.’”
America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue – Fox News: “Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, with another 430 at risk of shutting their doors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. … As the crisis worsens, it has started to generate increased attention on the campaign trail. Presidential candidates are now talking about the rural hospital shortage on a regular basis, unlike past cycles, as they court voters in critical states like Iowa where the thinning medical infrastructure is an everyday reality. ‘Rural health just simply has not been a topic in presidential debates and campaigns in the past,’ said Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). … ‘It's surfacing the issue as a key presidential campaign topic as we move forward.’ Voters in rural Iowa say health care access is one of their top concerns and will play a role in deciding who to vote for in the Feb. 3 caucuses.”
HOUSE HEADS INTO CLOSING IMPEACHMENT ARGUMENTS
Bloomberg: “House investigators give their closing summations Monday in the Democrats’ case against President Donald Trump as they continue debating how far they want to go in drafting articles of impeachment later this week. Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday his panel is on track to decide on what charges will be brought against the president, setting up an historic vote on impeachment in the full House before Congress leaves for a scheduled holiday break on Dec. 20. Likely articles of impeachment are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he said. ‘There’s a sense of urgency, because he will do anything — judging from his past conduct — that he can to get interference and to rig the next election,’ Nadler said of Trump on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ program. Judiciary Committee Democrats worked through the weekend preparing for Monday’s hearing at which the staff counsels of both parties will outline opposing views of the evidence from months of work by multiple House committees.”
DOJ watchdog Horowitz's report to be released today – Fox News: “The Justice Department's internal watchdog is set to release a highly anticipated report Monday that is expected to document misconduct — including the deliberate falsification of at least one key document — during the investigation into President Trump's 2016 campaign. At the same time, the report, as described by people familiar with its findings, is expected to conclude there was an adequate basis for opening one of the most politically sensitive investigations in FBI history. It began in secret during Trump’s 2016 presidential run before then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller ultimately took it over. … The release of Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz's review is unlikely to quell the partisan battles that have surrounded the Russia investigation for years. It's also not the last word: A separate internal investigation continues, overseen by Attorney General Bill Barr and led by U.S. Attorney John Durham. That investigation is criminal in nature, and Republicans may look to it to uncover wrongdoing that the inspector general wasn’t examining.”
Cruz suggests Ukraine interfered in U.S. election – Axios: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on NBC's ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday that Ukraine ‘blatantly interfered’ in the 2016 election, repeating a conspiracy theory that experts warn has been promoted by Russian intelligence services. Cruz is one of several Republican senators who have refused to disavow the allegations that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, despite receiving a briefing from intelligence officials that this is an alternative narrative being propagated by Russian security services. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who said he did not attend the briefing, claimed on ‘Meet the Press’ last week that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ‘actively worked’ for Hillary Clinton. The Ukrainian election conspiracy is one of the defenses that Trump's allies have used to justify his decision to withhold military aid to the country.”
Pergram: House votes on impeachment articles would be monumental – Fox News: “There are important roll call votes on Capitol Hill — but votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump would be monumental. … The House Judiciary Committee is likely to entertain three to five articles of impeachment for Trump. … It’s then up to the Judiciary Committee to actually approve the articles and send them to the House floor. The House must then vote to adopt or reject those articles. Without question, these votes on articles of impeachment would be the most critical ballots cast in the 116th Congress. They could be the cardinal votes many lawmakers would make during their congressional tenures. That said, 55 House members who voted on the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 have remained in the House.”
PLAY-BY-PLAY
Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., announces retirement Politico
House Dems, Trump trade man Robert Lighthizer close to deal on U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement
WSJ
Ruth Bader Ginsburg temporarily blocks release of Trump's financial recordsFox News
House, Senate announce bipartisan deal banning surprise medical bills, raising tobacco purchase age to 21Roll Call
SupCo leaves Kentucky ultrasound law in place Fox News
AUDIBLE: *SLOW CLAPPING*
“People ask me questions about present situations in life, and I say, ‘I don’t know, I’m just an actor. I don’t have any opinions. Actors are pretty stupid. My opinion is not worth anything. There’s no controversy for me, so don’t engage me in it, because I’m not going to participate.’” – Actor Anthony Hopkins to Interview Magazine
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
EXCUSE ME…?
SciTechDaily: “One of the first things new viewers of the cartoon ‘Rick and Morty’ might notice about Rick Sanchez is his penchant for punctuating his speech with burps. Linguistics can provide a new way to read into the dimension-hopping grandfather’s midsentence belching. Researcher Brooke Kidner has analyzed the frequency and acoustics of belching while speaking. By zeroing in on the specific pitches and sound qualities of a midspeech burp in ‘Rick and Morty,’ the work takes aim at finding what latent linguistic meaning might be found in the little-studied gastrointestinal grumbles. ‘There has not been any serious attempts to acoustically or phonetically describe the characteristics of belching in over 60 years,’ Kidner said. … Human speech contains a wide soundscape of nontraditional words, such groans and gasps, that still convey meaning and make up what is called a paralanguage. Belching during speech is a relatively less common paralinguistic item.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“My contention is that important as this debate [on the Holy War] is, it has become impoverished and embittered because it has been wrongly framed, because it has been so dominated by two warring tendencies—one sectarian, the other secular—both of which fundamentally misapprehend the historical role of religion in American public life.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in the New Republic on April 9, 1984.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Original Article

GOP lawyer turns impeachment tables by scorching Bidens at hearing

close'Legitimate basis' for Trump to have concern about Hunter Biden's role on Burisma board, GOP counsel saysVideo

'Legitimate basis' for Trump to have concern about Hunter Biden's role on Burisma board, GOP counsel says

GOP counsel Steve Castor questions the Biden family's Ukraine connection during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee's second impeachment hearing.

The top lawyer for Judiciary and Intelligence Committee Republicans testified Monday that there was a “legitimate basis” for President Trump to ask Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine.

During impeachment inquiry testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee, minority counsel Steve Castor tried to turn the tables on the Democrat-led investigation into whether President Trump tried to pressure his Ukrainian colleague into investigating a political rival by withholding aid and a White House meeting by arguing that there were real concerns about the former vice president’s son’s involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings.

BIDEN BLAMES STAFF, SAYS NOBODY ‘WARNED’ HIM SON’S UKRAINE JOB COULD RAISE CONFLICT

“Hunter Biden was reportedly receiving $50,000 to $83,000 a month for compensation for his role on the Burisma board,” Castor said of the former vice president’s son.

Castor questioned why a person who doesn’t have a history with Ukraine and doesn’t speak either Ukrainian or Russian would have a senior role on the company’s board.

“At the time that Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, his father, former Vice President Biden, was the Obama Administration’s point person for Ukraine.”

GOP Counsel: Dems seek to impeach Trump because they disagree with his policiesVideo

Castor speculated that the only reason Hunter Biden was on the Burisma board was because his father was the vice president at the time, and leading the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine.

“Hunter Biden was not qualified to serve on the board,” Castro said. “There is a legitimate basis for President Trump to have a concern about Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The impeachment inquiry into Trump began when a whistleblower reported that the president had pushed Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine—specifically, why Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who at the time was investigating Burisma Holdings.

Trump used his presidential power for political and personal benefit, House Intel majority counsel saysVideo

Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates in Ukraine and by a number of high-level U.S. foreign service members, there has been no evidence the former vice president or his son broke the law.

Original Article

Impeachment tensions flare: Dem counsel says Trump abused power, as GOP rips ‘rubber stamp’ hearing

closeHouse Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Trump impeachment inquiryVideo

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on Trump impeachment inquiry

The House Judiciary Committee heard the impeachment inquiry’s official findings during an unruly hearing Monday, with lawyers from both parties sparring in blunt terms over whether President Trump indeed abused his power in his dealings with Ukraine as committee members repeatedly clashed over a process Republicans decried as a "rubber stamp."

The hearing — which consisted of lawyers for both parties essentially making their closing arguments, including by showing video clips of key statements from witnesses, Trump and others — comes as the committee is expected to vote in the coming days on articles of impeachment against Trump.

BIDEN BLAMES STAFF, SAYS NOBODY ‘WARNED’ HIM SON’S UKRAINE JOB COULD RAISE CONFLICT

“The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power,” Barry Berke, the counsel for Judiciary Committee Democrats said, explicitly alleging that Trump tied military aid to investigations he wanted Ukraine to carry out for his personal political benefit.

Berke showed various video clips of testimony from prior witnesses, including from Ukraine top diplomat Bill Taylor and former NSC official Dr. Fiona Hill, as well as clips of comments made by Trump.

But Stephen Castor, the counsel for House Judiciary Republicans, denied the Democrats' characterization of Trump's July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying, “To impeach a president, who 63 million people voted for, over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney.”

"There is simply no clear evidence that President Trump acted with malicious intent in withholding a meeting or security assistance," Castor said.

Painting the inquiry as politically driven above all else, Castor referenced reported focus groups convened by Democrats, accusing them of testing whether quid pro quo, bribery, or extortion "were more compelling to sell to the American public."

Tensions immediately flared as the hearing began Monday morning, with a demonstrator being removed by Capitol Police after yelling at Democratic Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. Republican lawmakers also repeatedly sparred with Nadler over their desire for a minority hearing where Republicans could call their own witnesses – something he has not granted. The partisan parliamentary battles over obscure points of order escalated from there.

DEVIN NUNES ON PHONE RECORD RELEASE: 'WE'RE DEFINITELY GOING TO TAKE LEGAL ACTION'

In his opening statement, Nadler argued that “every fact” from the anonymous whistleblower who ignited the probe by filing a complaint about Trump’s conversation with the leader of Ukraine over desired investigations this summer has been substantiated by the Democratic-led investigation.

"The evidence shows that Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, has put himself before his country. He has violated his most basic responsibilities to the people,” Nadler said. “He has broken his oath. I will honor mine. If you would honor yours, then I urge you to your duty.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler: 'President Trump put himself before country'Video

Republicans opened the hearing by saying Democrats have long been motivated by a desire to remove Trump from office even before Trump’s phone call this summer with the president of Ukraine. GOP Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, said Democrats have turned the Judiciary Committee into "a rubber stamp" for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff.

“Where is the impeachable offense?” Collins said, adding, “This may be known as the focus group impeachment.”

Rep. Collins: Where's the impeachable offense? Why are we here?Video

Republicans on the committee repeatedly made procedural objections. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., called for a point of order requesting Nadler schedule a minority day hearing. Nadler said that that is not the purpose of Monday's hearing and that he was considering Collins' and Republicans' request.

The White House on Monday fought back against the hearing, accusing Democrats of having “had their minds made up about impeachment since November 8, 2016” – when Trump was first elected.

Democrats say Trump's push to have Ukraine investigate rival Joe Biden and issues related to the 2016 election while at the same time withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia. It’s unclear what articles of impeachment will be sought by Democrats, but it could result in impeachment charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction.

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As Democrats draft the articles, Pelosi's challenge will be to go broad enough to appease her liberal flank, which prefers a more robust accounting of Trump's actions reaching back to Mueller's findings, while keeping the charges more tailored to Ukraine as centrist lawmakers prefer. Democratic leaders will meet later Monday evening.

The hearing sets off a pivotal week as Democrats march toward a full House vote expected by Christmas. In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the constitution's bar of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Trump and his allies acknowledge he likely will be impeached in the Democratic-controlled House, but they also expect acquittal next year in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority. Trump's team is turning attention elsewhere, including Monday's release of a long-awaited Justice Department report into the 2016 Russia investigation.

A vote to convict in the Senate requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 53 of 100 seats. It is unlikely that any Republican senators would cross party lines and vote to remove Trump from office.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Supreme Court leaves Kentucky ultrasound law in place

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 9

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The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions.

The justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law.

SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY BLOCKS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REQUEST TO RESUME FEDERAL EXECUTIONS

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The ACLU argued that “display and describe” ultrasound laws violate physicians’ speech rights under the First Amendment.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the Kentucky law, but its sister court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a similar measure in North Carolina.

Doctors’ speech also has been an issue in non-abortion cases. The federal appeals court in Atlanta struck down parts of a 2011 Florida law that sought to prohibit doctors from talking about gun safety with their patients. Under the law, doctors faced fines and the possible loss of their medical licenses for discussing guns with patients.

In Kentucky, doctors must describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. Women can avert their eyes and cover their ears to avoid hearing the description or the fetal heartbeat. Doctors failing to comply face fines and can be referred to the state’s medical licensing board.

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The law was passed in 2017 and was signed by the state’s anti-abortion governor, Republican Matt Bevin. He narrowly lost his reelection bid last month. But Republicans remain in control of the state legislature.

Original Article

Biden blames staff, says nobody ‘warned’ him son’s Ukraine job could raise conflict

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Biden says he won't appear as impeachment witness in potential Senate trial

2020 Democrat hopeful Joe Biden tells Fox News' Peter Doocy he will not voluntarily appear if called to testify in a Senate impeachment trial for President Trump.

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed in a new interview that when his son Hunter was a board member of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while he was in office, no one informed him that it could pose a problem.

Biden insisted again that Hunter did nothing wrong, but this time appeared to fault his staff for not cluing him in that there could be concerns about his son's involvement with the foreign company that had been under investigation while Biden was in office and dealing with Ukraine policy.

FORMER VP BIDEN DISMISSES CLAIMS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TURNING HARD LEFT

"Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest. Nobody warned me about that," Biden told NPR in a story posted Monday.

State Department official George Kent addressed this during his testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, acknowledging that he told staff members there was concern over the appearance of a conflict of interest, but that no one told the vice president because his older son Beau was suffering from what was ultimately a fatal battle with brain cancer.

"They should have told me," Biden says now. Hunter's dealings and the elder Biden's role ousting a prosecutor looking into Burisma are being used by Trump and his supporters against the now-2020 presidential candidate, even as Trump's effort to press for an investigation into that conduct has spurred the impeachment inquiry.

"The appearance looked bad and it gave folks like Rudy Giuliani an excuse to come up with a Trumpian kind of defense, while they were violating the Constitution," Biden said.

Trump's impeachment inquiry has focused primarily on his request for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, as well as Democratic activities during the 2016 election. Democrats have accused Trump of using a White House visit for Zelensky and the delay of military aid to Ukraine as leverage.

JOE BIDEN GETS JOHN KERRY 2020 ENDORSEMENT

Trump insists he did nothing wrong and that he never called for any quid pro quo with the investigations. His administration claims that Trump was simply concerned about corruption within the Ukrainian government, asserting that is part of why he delayed the aid. Trump has also hammered the Bidens for alleged impropriety, blasting the former vice president for pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

In the past, Biden has bragged publicly about threatening to withhold money from Ukraine in order to force the prosecutor's termination, but he claims it was due to suspicions of corruption, not because of his son's role with Burisma.

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Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently endorsed Biden for president, also claimed following a Biden campaign event Sunday that he "had no knowledge" of Hunter's involvement with Burisma while he was secretary.

This, despite Kerry's stepson Christopher Heinz reportedly notifying two of Kerry's aides after Hunter Biden became a Burisma board member. Heinz and Hunter Biden had been business partners, co-owning the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca. According to the Washington Examiner, an email from Heinz to Kerry's aides distanced Heinz from Burisma, saying "there was no investment by our firm in their company," and claiming ignorance as to why Hunter became involved in the Ukrainian firm.

Fox News' Rob DiRienzo contributed to this report.

Original Article

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on impeachment evidence: Live updates

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The House Judiciary Committee is holding an impeachment hearing Monday where committee lawyers are presenting evidence in the case, as Democrats begin to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump at the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The committee is expected to receive the “presentations of evidence” from Judiciary Committee Majority Counsel Barry Berke and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman. Stephen Castor will serve as counsel for Republicans on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Original Article

Marianne Williamson falls for fake news story about Trump pardoning Charles Manson

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Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 9

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Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson got slammed on social media after she apparently fell for a fake news story Sunday night that claimed President Trump pardoned Charles Manson, the murderous cult leader who died in 2017.

"There is something deeply sinister about Trump pardoning Charles Manson, even posthumously," she wrote to her 2.8 million Twitter followers. "Dog whistles of the very worst possible kind…"

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON: I'M NOT SOME 'CRYSTAL WOO-WOO LADY' PEOPLE ON THE 'LEFT' SAY I AM

The self-help author, who's running a longshot candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, later deleted the tweet and admitted the information was erroneous in a follow-up tweet. “Glad To have been wrong," Williamson wrote in a tweet that she also subsequently deleted.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON EXPLAINS DELETED DORIAN TWEET, GIVES ODD EXPLANATION FOR WHY SHE'S NOT 'ANTI-SCIENCE'

Marianne Williamson appeared to have fallen for a satirical news story Sunday night, tweeting there was "something deeply sinister" about President Trump pardoning murderer Charles Manson.

Marianne Williamson appeared to have fallen for a satirical news story Sunday night, tweeting there was "something deeply sinister" about President Trump pardoning murderer Charles Manson.

According to fact-checking website Snopes.com, the story about Trump and Manson is satirical and stems from a phony article published on Nov. 16 by MoronMajority.com. It was then picked up by political website the Daily Kos, which didn't label the article satire, and it seems Williamson picked up on it over the weekend.

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Manson died in November 2017 at 83 after suffering a heart attack and respiratory failure, triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body. He had been serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Steele warned that IG report contains information previously blacked out, report says

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Horowitz report will reportedly criticize FBI leaders for handling of Russia probe

The IG report on the origins of the Russia probe will reportedly hit FBI leadership for their handling of the investigation, according to The New York Times.

Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy and author of the anti-Trump dossier, was reportedly told that the Justice Department will release information about him that was previously blacked out in the department’s internal watchdog report on the investigation into President Trump’s 2016 campaign due on Monday.

The New York Times, citing two individuals with knowledge of the situation, reported that Attorney General William Barr approved the release of the previously redacted information in Michael Horowitz’s 400-page report. The report called Steele’s heads-up unusual and said he was not given any indication of whether the information would benefit or hurt him. An after-hours email from Fox News to the Justice Department was not immediately returned.

Steele is poised to be a notable figure in the Horowitz report because he provided opposition research into the Trump campaign's connections to Russia which was funded by Democrats and the Clinton campaign.

Much of the Steele dossier has been proven discredited or unsubstantiated, including the dossier's claims that the Trump campaign was paying hackers in the United States out of a nonexistent Russian consulate in Miami, and that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to conspire with Russians.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller also was unable to substantiate the dossier's claims that Carter Page, who worked on the Trump campaign, had received a large payment relating to the sale of a share of Rosneft, a Russian oil giant, or that a lurid blackmail tape involving the president existed.

IG Horowitz to release the highly anticipated report on alleged FISA abuseVideo

Horowitz's report, as described by people familiar with its findings, is expected to conclude there was an adequate basis for opening one of the most politically sensitive investigations in FBI history and one that Trump has denounced as a witch hunt. It began in secret during Trump's 2016 presidential run and was ultimately taken over by Mueller .

The report comes as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry in Congress centered on his efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Democrat Joe Biden — a probe the president also claims is politically biased.

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Still, the release of Inspector General Michael Horowitz's review is unlikely to quell the partisan battles that have surrounded the Russia investigation for years. It's also not the last word: A separate internal investigation continues, overseen by Trump's attorney general, William Barr and led by a U.S. attorney, John Durham. That investigation is criminal in nature, and Republicans may look to it to uncover wrongdoing that the inspector general wasn't examining.

Trump tweeted Sunday: "I.G. report out tomorrow. That will be the big story!"

Fox News' Gregg Re and the Associated Press contributed to this report

Original Article

Elizabeth Warren reveals she made $1.9 million from private legal work over 3 decades

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Marsh: Warren vs. Buttigieg is the fascinating Democrat matchup to watch

Math and history favor the one who wins at least one of the first contests and Super Tuesday, Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh says.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., received $1.9 million from private legal work during her time as a law professor stretching back three decades, according to a release by her campaign.

The work, since 1986, included fees from large corporate clients, her campaign said in the release.

Some of her clients included the attorneys for Rabobank, a Dutch financial institution that became a creditor in the Enron bankruptcy; former directors of Getty Oil, who were involved in Texaco’s bankruptcy; and women whose allegations of harm from silicone breast implants produced by Dow Corning were imperiled when the company filed for bankruptcy.

In May, Warren released a list of 56 cases on which she worked as an attorney going back to the 1980s, as The Associated Press reported; 15 pages of newly released data showed she was paid over $1.9 million on nearly 40 of those cases in total.

WARREN IN POLLING SLIDE AMID MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN CRITICISM

The release Sunday came against the backdrop of an escalating feud between Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. The senator has condemned the closed-door fundraisers that the mayor has attended, suggesting Buttigieg could be making secret promises to top donors.

Buttigieg and his campaign responded that Warren should release past tax returns that detail her work for corporate clients. Warren previously had released 11 years of tax returns.

“We must nominate a candidate who can create the most robust possible contrast against Republicans on conflicts of interest and corruption issues. … Elizabeth does not sell access to her time — no closed door big dollar fundraisers, no bundling program, no perks or promises to any wealthy donor,” said Warren Communications Director Kristen Orthman.

She added: “Any candidate who refuses to provide basic details about his or her own record and refuses to allow voters or the press to understand who is buying access to their time and what they are getting in return will be seen by voters as part of the same business-as-usual politics that voters have consistently rejected.”

Tracking Pete Buttigieg's rise from relatively unknown Midwestern mayor to Democratic presidential contenderVideo

Warren’s campaign said Sunday’s information provides more details on her business income that her returns did not provide because they didn’t fully itemize earnings.

Also Sunday, Warren said she believed Americans would be ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman couldn’t beat Trump.

“Sure, why not?” she told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of a town hall campaign event in Charleston, South Carolina. “I think (voters) would support a lot of different combinations.”

Kamala Harris out of the 2020 presidential primary runningVideo

Warren has said she’d consider picking California Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate. She also told the AP she would be “open” to asking former Vice President Joe Biden to reprise his old job.

“Look, it would be presumptuous of me to be talking about individuals, but I’m open to getting this right because that’s what we want to do,” Warren said. “We want to build a Democratic ticket and a stronger Democratic Party that’s ready to get out there and compete at the national level, at the state level, at the local level.”

Last week, Harris abruptly dropped out of the race for the presidential nomination, prompting a debate about whether a party claiming it valued diversity and inclusion was shortchanging candidates of color and women.

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Other than Warren, the top tier of Democrats has been made up entirely of white men.

Warren argued that voters were worried less about identity politics than the messages that candidates were offering.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

DOJ watchdog Horowitz’s report to be released, as Dems prep impeachment hearing

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Horowitz report will reportedly criticize FBI leaders for handling of Russia probe

The IG report on the origins of the Russia probe will reportedly hit FBI leadership for their handling of the investigation, according to The New York Times.

The Justice Department's internal watchdog is set to release a highly anticipated report Monday that is expected to document misconduct — including the deliberate falsification of at least one key document — during the investigation into President Trump's 2016 campaign.

At the same time, the report, as described by people familiar with its findings, is expected to conclude there was an adequate basis for opening one of the most politically sensitive investigations in FBI history. It began in secret during Trump’s 2016 presidential run before then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller ultimately took it over.

The report comes as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry in Congress centered on his efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Democrat Joe Biden — a probe the president also claimed has been politically biased. The House Judiciary Committee is expected hold a hearing Monday on the inquiry's findings.

The release of Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz's review is unlikely to quell the partisan battles that have surrounded the Russia investigation for years. It's also not the last word: A separate internal investigation continues, overseen by Attorney General Bill Barr and led by U.S. Attorney John Durham. That investigation is criminal in nature, and Republicans may look to it to uncover wrongdoing that the inspector general wasn’t examining.

Sources told Fox News in October that Durham's probe into potential FBI and Justice Department misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 election through the spring of 2017 has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation — and Horowitz's report will shed light on why Durham has been leading a criminal inquiry.

IG Horowitz to release the highly anticipated report on alleged FISA abuseVideo

Horowitz has forwarded to Durham evidence that an FBI lawyer manipulated a key investigative document related to the FBI's secretive surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016 and 2017 — enough to change the substantive meaning of the document, according to multiple reports last month.

"I think we'll learn part of the story tomorrow," Page told the Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures." "What I've learned from some of the leakers and one of the papers of record: a top reporter there said there's a lot of exculpatory evidence that's remaining classified, and there's been internal battles."

It is unclear how Barr, a strong defender of Trump, will respond to Horowitz's findings. He has told Congress that he believed "spying" on the Trump campaign did occur and has raised public questions about whether the counterintelligence investigation was done correctly.

The inspector general's investigation began in early 2018, and has focused in part on the FBI's surveillance of Page. The FBI applied in the fall of 2016 for a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page's communications, flatly telling the court that Page was an "agent" of a foreign power.

DOJ OUTLINES STRZOK 'SECURITY VIOLATIONS'; FINDS 'PARANOID' CASE AGENT NOTICED STRZOK WAS SITTING ON WEINER LAPTOP

Page was never charged and has denied any wrongdoing. The ultimately successful warrant application on Page relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele – whose anti-Trump views have been well-documented – and cited Page's suspected Russia ties.

In its warrant application, the FBI inaccurately assured the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court on numerous occasions that media sources independently corroborated Steele's claims, and did not clearly state that Steele worked for a firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Much of the Steele dossier has been proven discredited or unsubstantiated, including the dossier's claims that the Trump campaign was paying hackers in the United States out of a nonexistent Russian consulate in Miami, and that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to conspire with Russians. Mueller also was unable to substantiate the dossier's claims that Page had received a large payment relating to the sale of a share of Rosneft, a Russian oil giant, or that a lurid blackmail tape involving the president existed.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to hear testimony from Horowitz on Wednesday, said he expected the report would be "damning" about the process of obtaining the warrant.

"I'm looking for evidence of whether or not they manipulated the facts to get the warrant," Graham, R-S.C., told "Sunday Morning Futures."

Fox News' Brooke Singman, Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Reporter’s Notebook: House votes on impeachment articles would be monumental decisions

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Pelosi requests House Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment against Trump

Democrats in House Judiciary Committee work through the weekend ahead of impeachment hearing; David Spunt reports.

CAPITOL HILL – There are important roll call votes on Capitol Hill — but votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump would be monumental.

Think about votes cast in 2009 and and 2010 for or against ObamaCare. A failed effort to undo ObamaCare in 2017. Votes in 2008 to salvage the economy with the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Votes last Congress on tax reform. Various votes to fund the government and hike the debt ceiling. And, in the Senate, votes to confirm Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

News organizations and political firms have traved major votes on the floors of the House and Senate each year. Some of those votes may define a career. Look at the nay vote cast by the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to end Republican efforts to unwind ObamaCare. Separately, voters in Maine and Colorado respectively took note of the votes by Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Cory Gardner to confirm Kavanaugh last fall. That vote is sure to resonate in the reelection bids for Collins and Gardner next year.

All of those votes have been major, reverberating throughout a given Congress – and even for decades to come. Despite multiple efforts to gut ObamaCare, it has remained the law of the land. Still, “aye” ballots for ObamaCare proved to help end the congressional careers of many House and Senate Democrats. Republicans weaponized that vote against those Democrats. Some paid with their political lives in 2010 and beyond. Lots of House Republicans lost the House for the same reason last year because of their votes for the tax bill and for trying to repeal ObamaCare.

We won’t know if the votes by Collins and Gardner for Kavanaugh will sway the outcomes of their Senate contests next year. But, barring illness, the 54-year-old Kavanaugh could serve on the high court for decades. The decisions by Collins and Gardner to confirm Kavanaugh are likely to echo in American jurisprudence for years.

Eric Shawn: President Trump's pending impeachment trialVideo

These are all high-profile roll call votes, as weighty as can be. But, there is yet one more, hyper-elite classification of House and Senate votes, more consequential than the rest. These are votes to go to war and to impeach a president.

These momentous votes have filtered through the decades. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is still known as the only House member to oppose the war resolution following Sept. 11, 2001. The late Rep. Jeannette Rankin, R-Mont., was the first woman ever elected to Congress, but in addition to her trailblazing for women, historians have recalled her votes opposing U.S. involvement in World War I and World War II.

“I cannot vote for war,” said Rankin when she opposed the U.S. declaring war against Germany in World War I. Rankin’s words about war were emblazoned on the base of her statue in the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center. It’s one of two statues from Montana in the official congressional collection.

Other lawmakers voted against the U.S. entering World War I. But, Rankin was the only member of either body to vote “nay” after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Many prominent members, including future Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, R-Ill., then a congressman, tried to persuade Rankin to vote “aye” so the tally would be unanimous. But, Rankin resisted. Her position was so unpopular that she abstained from voting on future war declarations against Germany and Italy. Her political career ended soon afterwards.

This brings us to present day.

New questions over phone records in House Democrats' impeachment reportVideo

NUNES BLASTS SCHIFF FOR 'BLATANT DISREGARD' OF IMPEACHMENT RULES

The House Judiciary Committee is likely to entertain three to five articles of impeachment for Trump. The House would not simply throw a broad resolution on the floor with members voting up or down to impeach. These articles would be honed and massaged, narrow and concrete. Members would focus on what they accused the president of doing, such as an indictment. It’s then up to the Judiciary Committee to actually approve the articles and send them to the House floor. The House must then vote to adopt or reject those articles.

Without question, these votes on articles of impeachment would be the most critical ballots cast in the 116th Congress. They could be the cardinal votes many lawmakers would make during their congressional tenures. That said, 55 House members who voted on the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 have remained in the House.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee considered five articles of impeachment and approved three for then-President Richard Nixon. Nixon resigned before the articles went to the House floor. In 1998, the Judiciary Committee prepared four articles of impeachment but the full House okayed only two of them.

Details of the articles would paramount, so members of Congress from both parties would want to evaluate the articles — study them, ponder them, and then, with a deep sigh, decide how to vote.

We always hear an array of TV commercials from upstarts and political neophytes just before each congressional election, boasting about how if you elect them, they’ll head to Washington and have the courage “to take the tough votes.”

Well, congratulations, members of the 116th Congress. You won the lottery.

Pelosi only seems to invoke religion when she attacks Trump -- is that being a good Catholic?Video

Americans are likely to remember how all current 431 members of the House voted, yea or nay, on each article of impeachment.

Think of the vulnerable, freshmen Democrats who helped propel their party to the majority in 2018, representing districts Trump won in 2016. There are 31 such Democrats. Look closely at how freshmen Democrats like Reps. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Anthony Brindisi of New York and Joe Cunningham of South Carolina vote.

Republicans wouldn’t be out of the woods yet, either. Consider the challenges of an impeachment vote for swing-district Republicans including Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, John Katko of New York and Don Bacon of Nebraska.

Potential articles of impeachment have centered on “bribery” — specifically mentioned in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution — abuse of power, contempt of Congress and obstruction of justice. All such potential articles would be fissionable enough to incinerate many a political career if a lawmaker were to vote the wrong way.

But, one potential article of impeachment would be practically thermonuclear: treason.

Again, Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution mentions “treason” as a defined transgression worthy of impeachment. One could see how House Democrats might try to make a case for treason with President Trump.

The House essentially accused Sen. William Blount of Tennessee of treason in the republic’s first impeachment in 1797. The House argued Blount covertly worked with Britain to acquire territory in the south. The House impeached Federal Judge West Hughes Humphreys in 1862 for supporting the Confederacy. No other House impeachments have ever wandered into treason as possible grounds for impeachment.

This speaks to why the House may impeach President Trump on some articles and not others. That’s why members are so curious to learn what the articles may be and decide how to vote on each individual.

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It’s just a simple question, right? Binary. Yea or nay? Members do this all day long.

But, votes on the impeachment of Trump are likely to be the most momentous of a lawmaker’s career. And, the decisions lawmakers make will pulsate through the American experience like no other ballot they cast before.

Original Article

Nunes blasts Schiff for ‘blatant disregard’ of impeachment rules; blames ‘vendetta’ against Trump

closeHouse Intel Ranking Member Devin Nunes will pursue legal action on exposed phone recordsVideo

House Intel Ranking Member Devin Nunes will pursue legal action on exposed phone records

EXCLUSIVE: House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes blasted committee Chairman Adam Schiff for what he called an “alarming” and “blatant disregard” for the rules governing the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump, saying Schiff transmitted his investigative findings to the Judiciary Committee for the next phase in the proceedings without consulting him.

Fox News exclusively obtained the letter Nunes, R-Calif., sent to Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday night. In the letter dated Friday, Nunes wrote that Schiff chose not to consult with him so that he could meet a “bogus” deadline for impeaching the president. The GOP congressman also accused the Democrat of having a “vendetta” against the president.

“I write in objection to your December 6, 2019 transfer of additional records and other materials relating to the Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry to the House Committee on the Judiciary,” Nunes wrote.

He went on to cite the rules governing the impeachment inquiry, passed in the House in October, which stated that “the chair of the Permanent Select Committee or the chair of any other committee having custody of records or other materials relating to the inquiry referenced in the first section of this resolution is authorized, in consultation with the ranking minority member, to transfer such records or materials to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

“As the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I received no consultation prior to the transfer of materials, in violation of H. Res. 660,” Nunes wrote. “Accordingly, I expect that you immediately provide me a full accounting of documents that were provided to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

“Your consistent and blatant disregard for the rules is alarming,” Nunes continued. “I can see no reason for you to continue to ignore these rules, which the Democratic majority put in place, other than to meet a bogus deadline of impeaching the President by Christmas.”

Schiff obtains, publicly releases phone records of political opponents and conservative journalistVideo

He added: “I urge you to put an immediate end to your vendetta against the President, stop your constant rule breaking, and begin treating this Committee and its oversight responsibilities with the seriousness they deserve.”

Last week, the Intelligence Committee voted to adopt and issue a scathing report on its findings from its impeachment inquiry. Democrats on the panel asserted that their inquiry “uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”

NUNES LOOKS AT LEGAL OPTIONS AFTER SCHIFF RELEASES PHONE RECORDS IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

In their impeachment inquiry, the committee conducted extensive interviews with witnesses connected to the Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine, after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that during a July 25 phone call, Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed showed a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump repeatedly has denied any wrongdoing.

The Democrats’ report claimed that Trump withheld nearly $391 million in military aid from Ukraine, conditioning its delivery as well as a White House visit with Zelensky on a public announcement that Zelensky was conducting the investigations. It also accused Trump of obstruction of justice for instructing witnesses not to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Rep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone recordsVideo

Nunes took issue with the issuance of the report to the Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., without consulting with him, as well as the transmission of additional underlying investigative material, according to an aide familiar with the matter. Also part of the committee’s report were Nunes’ phone records, which Schiff subpoenaed and released in connection with the impeachment inquiry.

Meanwhile, House Republicans issued their own report earlier this week delivering a point-by-point rebuttal to Democrats’ impeachment efforts.

“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” Republicans said in their report released Monday.

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Nevertheless, Nadler and Judiciary Committee Democrats, in consultation with Intelligence Committee and Oversight Committee Democrats, and at the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have begun drafting articles of impeachment, which are likely to encompass two major themes: abuse of office and obstruction.

The Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Monday, when counsels for the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees' Democrats and Republicans are to present evidence in the case.

Original Article

Mueller allegations ‘on the table’ in possible impeachment articles, Cicilline says

closeRep. David Cicilline on next steps in House Democrats' impeachment inquiryVideo

Rep. David Cicilline on next steps in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry

Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that when he and his colleagues draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, the scope may go beyond the president's request for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and may include allegations stemming from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Democrats mostly had stopped talking about the Mueller probe, which concluded that there was a lack of evidence to support allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, but made no decision on alleged obstruction of justice.

During a recent impeachment hearing, however, Democrats laid the groundwork for bringing Mueller's finding into impeachment efforts. Cicilline all but confirmed that articles of impeachment could draw on Mueller's investigation.

ESPER : DELAY OF UKRAINE AID DID NOT HAVE 'ANY IMPACT ON U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY'

"I think all of the potential articles of impeachment are on the table," Cicilline told "Fox News Sunday" when specifically asked about the Mueller's findings. He noted that he thought the Mueller report, taken in conjunction with the House Intelligence Committee's report on Trump's dealings with Ukraine, "will demonstrate and does demonstrate a pattern of behavior" in seeking election assistance from foreign powers.

While recognizing that a possible Trump impeachment may go beyond the issues covered in the Intelligence Committee's report — which was based on a fact-finding inquiry that included public hearings and closed-door interviews — Cicilline would not comment on when his committee would hold a vote. He also appeared hesitant to state whether there would be enough votes in the House even to impeach Trump at all.

"I don't think we know the timing of it," he said. "We're going to receive the evidence carefully, we're going to evaluate that evidence as it applies to the law that is set forth in the Constitution and make a judgment about what articles of impeachment, but the timetable, I think, is less clear."

Can the Mueller report resurface in the articles of impeachment?Video

When asked if he believed there was enough support for impeachment among his own party, Cicilline initially appeared to dodge the question by saying that the evidence "is overwhelming and uncontested," before anchor Chris Wallace cut him off and pressed the issue.

Cicilline then said he expected the "vast majority" of Democrats to "accept that evidence" and "move forward with impeachment."

MIKE PENCE: NOT A 'FOREGONE CONCLUSION' DEMS WILL SECURE IMPEACHMENT VOTES

Wallace also asked the congressman about the latest developments involving Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., releasing phone logs of calls that Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and his staff had with Rudy Giuliani and his associate Lev Parnas, who has since faced criminal charges for alleged campaign-finance violations. Records between Nunes' office and reporter John Solomon also were released.

Cicilline denied there was any problem with a congressional leader subpoenaing and releasing records of the private calls of a colleague on the other side of the aisle.

"Look, the Intelligence Committee has the solemn responsibility of collecting evidence relevant to the impeachment inquiry — all the evidence," he said, adding that its process was "lawful" and the "real question" was why Nunes' office was engaged in these communications.

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Nunes told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that he intended to take legal action against Schiff for this.

"You cannot release somebody's phone records, so for sure, that right has been violated," Nunes said, referring to California state law. "But, we also have to look at the constitutional aspects of this."

Fox News' Chris Wallace contributed to this report.

Original Article

Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry

closeRep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone recordsVideo

Rep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone records

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes on Schiff obtaining phone records.

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is looking to fight back after Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., subpoenaed and released his phone records in connection with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Nunes on Sunday warned his fellow Republicans that the same thing could happen to them, although he pointed out various legal grounds he was exploring to prevent this from happening again.

"I'm in California, so for sure, state law, you cannot release somebody's phone records. So, for sure, that right has been violated. But, we also have to look at the constitutional aspects of this, and do all the members of Congress have a right to privacy, and can just one member, because he doesn’t like someone and he’s a political opponent of someone, can that member just subpoena records and then release just to embarrass or to create a distraction or to build whatever fantasy-land narrative that they continue to build?"

LINDSEY GRAHAM TORCHES SCHIFF OVER IMPEACHMENT TACTICS: HE 'IS DOING A LOT OF DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY, AND HE NEEDS TO STOP'

Nunes pushed back against claims that the records were in connection to the Republican trying to get an ambassador fired, insisting that if he wanted to do this, he would be able to call Trump directly, "and I'm quite sure the president would probably listen to me."

One of the individuals linked to Nunes' office through the phone records was Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who recently was indicted over alleged campaign-finance violations.

Nunes explained how he came to be linked to Parnas. "I got a call from a number that was Parnas' wife. I remember talking to someone and I did what I always do, which is if I don't know who they are, you put them to staff and you let staff work with that person," he said.

Schiff obtains, publicly releases phone records of political opponents and conservative journalistVideo

Nunes noted that his office went through all of their records, and "we have no information from Parnas. We have no documents, we have nothing. We have no emails, so there's nothing that we have in our control from Parnas."

The Republican insisted Democrats were targeting him because "they don't like that we exposed them for the Russia hoax that they were involved in, that's what this is about."

Later in the interview, Nunes addressed the Russia investigation again, in light of the pending release of the report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz about possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] abuse by the FBI during the probe.

The report, which is expected to be released Monday, may confirm or refute assertions made by Republicans and Trump regarding the acquisition of a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Nunes was at the forefront of the GOP's attack on the FBI's methods, claiming they misrepresented evidence and left out exculpatory information about Page that affected the court's decision to grant the warrant and subsequent renewals.

"They key is whether or not what the House Intelligence Committee Republicans gave to the American people in February of '18, whether or not that was true or not true," Nunes said referring to his claims about possible FBI misconduct. "The additional evidence that Horowitz comes up with, that'll be great for us, because we're really interested if he found the exculpatory evidence that wasn't provided to the FISA court.

"We also want to know if he got to the bottom of the insurance policy. So, we know what the insurance policy is, it's something very specific. We want to know if he got to the bottom of that." This likely was a reference to the mention of an "insurance policy" against Trump that was discussed in text messages between former FBI attorney Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok, who both worked on the investigation. Strzok was removed from the investigation after his politically charged messages were discovered, and he was fired after a watchdog report found his political leanings could have influenced his work.

Nunes signaled he was not overly eager with anticipation of the upcoming report, noting that it was very limited in scope.

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"He's only looking at FISA abuse. All of that evidence needs to be sent to Durham, the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut." U.S. Attorney John Durham has been tasked with a more comprehensive investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation. Unlike Horowitz, Durham has the authority to file criminal charges.

"That’s ultimately going to be the key," Nunes said, "is, what does Durham find in looking at this entire debacle, which is targeting a political campaign by the FBI and the Department of Justice."

Original Article

Border apprehensions dropped in November for 6th consecutive month, per DHS data

closeImmigration issue absent at latest Democrat primary debate in OhioVideo

Immigration issue absent at latest Democrat primary debate in Ohio

Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli reacts on 'Fox & Friends' to the issue taking a backseat on the debate stage.

EXCLUSIVE: Law enforcement apprehended or turned away 42,649 migrants at the southern border in November, according to preliminary data reviewed by Fox News — a sixth month of declines that the administration is hailing as proof that the set of policies and initiatives to combat the border crisis is working.

The numbers (33,510 apprehended and 9,139 deemed inadmissible) represented a decline of roughly six percent since October, and a drop of over 70 percent since the height of the crisis in May, when more than 144,000 migrants were encountered.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data showed that the number of apprehensions of Central American family units has decreased by approximately 85 percent since May. The numbers were lower compared to the last fiscal year (FY) as well. So far in FY 2020, enforcement actions have been 29 percent lower than FY 2019 at this time.

AS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CONFRONTS MIGRANT CRISIS, DETENTION CENTERS ARE CLEARING OUT

The decline has come as the administration has taken a number of measures to end the border crisis and stem the flow of migrants north from Central America. Key to that has been ending the practice of “catch-and-release” by which migrants were held and then released into the U.S. as their hearings rolled on, often for years.

Officials attributed the decrease in apprehensions partly to the reduction of the pull factors drawing individuals up to the border. Now that most migrants have not been released inside the U.S., there has been less incentive for them to make that dangerous journey, and even if they do attempt it, the policies have made it easier for the government to send migrants home or to another country to await their hearings.

CBP: Border arrests doubled in 2019Video

The cornerstone of the administration’s new approach has been the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — involving migrants being sent back to Mexico to await their hearings. Known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, officials said that in addition to keeping migrants out of the U.S., it has reduced hearing times from years to just a few months.

AT HELM OF DHS, CHAD WOLF VOWS TO CONFRONT THE GANGS BEHIND ILLEGAL DRUGS, GUNS AND MIGRANTS

“The importance of MPP can’t be stated enough, it is what’s allowed us to take control of the crisis that we saw in April and May. The idea is to make sure we process individuals in a timely manner but make sure they wait south of the border,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News last month.

The policy has been challenged in the courts, with critics saying it violated migrants' rights and also put them at risk of violence by sending them back to Mexico. A decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected in the coming weeks.

Several Democrats seeking the White House in 2020 have attacked the policy, calling for it to be abolished. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has called for migrants to be allowed into the U.S. to make their claims “to qualified asylum officials, pursuant to international law.”

That policy by the administration has been combined with a host of other measures, including regional agreements with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala attempting to take a regional approach to the border crisis, and involving migrants claiming asylum there instead of the U.S.

Last month the administration announced it has started to send migrants to Guatemala as part of its “safe third country” agreement with the Central American nation.

“The president’s strategy to address the historic flood of Central American family units illegally crossing the border has worked and catch and release is over,” a senior administration official told Fox News.

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“We are removing, returning, and repatriating more illegal aliens, including Central American families, than ever before, and illegal border crossing cases are completed faster than ever,” the official said.

Accompanying the regional agreements: more traditional deterrents such as a wall on the southern border. The administration has built almost 80 miles of wall and has been ramping up efforts to try building approximately 450 miles of the barrier by the end of next year.

Original Article

Lindsey Graham torches Schiff over impeachment tactics: He ‘is doing a lot of damage to the country, and he needs to stop.’

closeSen. Lindsey Graham: The whole impeachment process in the House is not legitimateVideo

Sen. Lindsey Graham: The whole impeachment process in the House is not legitimate

Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham says the impeachment process in the House is partisan.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is preparing for a likely impeachment trial in the Senate, and he lambasted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for his actions in leading the inquiry into President Trump.

Republicans have been criticizing Schiff for subpoenaing and releasing phone records of calls between the office of former Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani associate Lev Parnass, and journalist John Solomon.

MIKE PENCE: NOT A 'FOREGONE CONCLUSION' DEMS WILL SECURE IMPEACHMENT VOTES

"I think it's dangerous," Graham said. "Here's what I would tell Adam Schiff. Do you really want to start calling other members, Republican members of Congress in oversight? Do you want me to call you to the Senate as part of Senate oversight?"

Graham said he would never do that, because "I'm not going to participate in things I think will destroy the country," Graham said. He pointed out that while members of Congress are not above the law, "we're not going to turn the Senate into a circus."

Graham continued to take Schiff to task for his role in the impeachment inquiry as a whole, pointing out that previous investigations were led by special counsels, not members of Congress with a partisan agenda.

"Adam Schiff is doing a lot of damage to the country," Graham said. "And he needs to stop."

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Schiff is one of several key figures President Trump has fiercely criticized throughout this process, but Graham said he would not recommend calling him or anyone else to testify at an impeachment trial. The senator claimed there would be no need to do so, barring a bombshell revelation between now and the beginning of a trial.

“When 51 of us say we’ve heard enough, the trial is going to end," Graham said. "The president’s going to be acquitted. He may want to call Schiff, he may want to call Hunter Biden, he may want to call Joe Biden. But here’s my advice to the president: If the Senate is ready to vote and ready to acquit you, you should celebrate that. And we can look at this other stuff outside of impeachment. Impeachment is tearing the country apart, I don’t want to give it any more credibility than it deserves.”

Original Article

Carter Page, on eve of DOJ IG report, says findings will only tell ‘part’ of the story

closeIG Horowitz to release the highly anticipated report on alleged FISA abuseVideo

IG Horowitz to release the highly anticipated report on alleged FISA abuse

Former Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page discusses the anticipated release of Horowitz IG report on potential FISA abuses.

Former Trump adviser Carter Page told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) report on alleged FBI surveillance abuses, set to be released on Monday, will only tell "part of the story."

Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found evidence that an FBI lawyer manipulated a key investigative document related to the FBI's secretive surveillance of Page in 2016 and 2017 — enough to change the substantive meaning of the document, according to multiple reports last month.

"I think we'll learn part of the story tomorrow," Page told host Maria Bartiromo. "What I've learned from some of the leakers and one of the papers of record; a top reporter there said there's a lot of exculpatory evidence that's remaining classified, and there's been internal battles."

Page said he "kept getting" calls from reports in the summer of 2016 asking about "totally false" Democrat-funded allegations about his Russia connections.

In its initial 2016 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application, the FBI flatly called Page "an agent of a foreign power." Page has never been charged with any wrongdoing.

DOJ OUTLINES STRZOK 'SECURITY VIOLATIONS'; FINDS 'PARANOID' CASE AGENT NOTICED STRZOK WAS SITTING ON WEINER LAPTOP

The ultimately successful Page application relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele – whose anti-Trump views are now well-documented – and cited Page’s suspected Russia ties. In its warrant application, the FBI inaccurately assured the FISA court on numerous occasions that media sources independently corroborated Steele's claims, and did not clearly state that Steele worked for a firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Gregg Jarrett: Why the 'fix was in' with Lisa Page and Peter StrzokVideo

Much of the Steele dossier has been proved discredited or unsubstantiated, including the dossier's claims that the Trump campaign was paying hackers in the United States out of a non-existent Russian consulate in Miami, or that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to conspire with Russians. Special Counsel Robert Mueller also was unable to substantiate the dossier's claims that Carter Page had received a large payment relating to the sale of a share of Rosneft, a Russian oil giant, or that a lurid blackmail tape involving the president existed.

Sources told Fox News in October that U.S. Attorney John Durham's separate, ongoing probe into potential FBI and Justice Department misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 election through the spring of 2017 has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation — and that Horowitz's report will shed light on why Durham's probe has become a criminal inquiry.

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