Southwestern at Bullitt Central
Southwestern at Bullitt Central
Since he changed his legal address from Trump Tower in New York City to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., some have assumed that’s where he'll go after leaving Washington. There’s just one problem.
Attorney General William Barr has appointed U.S. attorney John Durham as special counsel to secure his probe into the origins of the Russia investigation as president-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office.The authority of the special counsel will make it more difficult for the incoming Biden administration to fire Durham, allowing the attorney to continue his work on the probe. The order appointing Durham special counsel is dated October 19; however, Barr wrote that the order should not be made public until after the general election, “because legitimate investigative and privacy concerns warrant confidentiality.”> News: Here is a copy of the order from Barr appointing John Durham as special counsel of the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe pic.twitter.com/rUFbDO6Amj> > -- Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) December 1, 2020"I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered [Robert] Mueller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election," Barr told the Associated Press.Durham's investigation "is focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI," Barr said.Crossfire Hurricane was the name given to the FBI's investigation of possible collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian operatives. The more than two-year probe yielded no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to disrupt the 2016 election.As a result of Durham’s investigation, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email that he used to apply for a FISA warrant against former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page. Clinesmith was involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation from its early stages. In August 2016, the FBI agents who opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation gave Trump his first intelligence briefing, and Clinesmith approved a summary of that briefing along with former agent Peter Strzok.
The pro-democracy activist is “traumatised” after being arrested under a controversial security law.
The United States could begin sharing sensitive intelligence with Honduras about inbound flights carrying drugs, U.S. officials told Reuters, even as the Central American country faces scrutiny from Washington over drug-related corruption. A proposed memorandum of understanding on intelligence sharing, which has not previously been reported, has yet to be finalized by the U.S. and Honduran governments.
Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial White House coronavirus adviser, left federal employ much the same way he entered it: with an appearance on Fox News.
Pennsylvania's highest court questioned Tuesday whether Bill Cosby's alleged history of intoxicating and sexually assaulting young women amounted to a signature crime pattern, given studies that show as many as half of all sexual assaults involve drugs or alcohol. Cosby, 83, hopes to overturn his 2018 sex assault conviction because the judge let prosecutors call five other accusers who said Cosby mistreated them the same way he did his victim, Andrea Constand. “That conduct you describe — the steps, the young women — there’s literature that says that’s common to 50% of these assaults — thousands of assaults — nationwide,” Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor asked a prosecutor during oral arguments in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has defended his decision to close down multiple emergency Federal Reserve loan programs at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging.
As Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) bid farewell to his colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday, the retiring lawmaker received a standing ovation from the rest of the upper chamber.In an emotional speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Alexander is "leaving this body and those of us in it, and the nation it exists to serve, stronger and better because you were here."> WATCH: Sen. Mitch McConnell gets emotional while speaking on Sen. Lamar Alexander: "You're leaving this body and those of us in it and the nation it exists to serve stronger and better because you were here." pic.twitter.com/JKqBpefAM5> > -- The Hill (@thehill) December 2, 2020Veteran Democratic senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), also heaped praise on Alexander. Schumer, referring to Alexander as his friend, said he "will leave this chamber with a legacy that every senator should be proud of," emphasizing instances in which he's reached across the aisle despite potential personal political cost.Feinstein, meanwhile, said "I truly have come to appreciate Sen. Alexander's fairness, interest in solving problems, and his bipartisanship. Most of all, I so appreciate your friendship."In his final address, Alexander said the Senate needs "a change of behavior" resulting in lawmakers ceasing to block each other's amendments. > Not something you see often -- bipartisan standing ovation on Senate floor for retiring GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander after he wraps up farewell address, which featured a heavy emphasis on his cross-aisle relationships and bipartisan accomplishments, especially on education issues> > -- Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrekwalsh) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com Trump will sign McConnell's coronavirus stimulus bill, Mnuchin says The naked corruption of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit
Carlos Rojas Rodriguez confronted then-candidate Joe Biden about deportations in 2019. Here's what Rodriguez wants to see from the president-elect.
Six people were missing in Haines, Alaska, on Wednesday after record rains triggered landslides that destroyed four homes in the mountainous southeast, state troopers said. The landslide covered the area in 9 feet of mud, trees and debris, an Alaska state trooper said in a written statement. Troopers and police evacuated residents by boat but a search for the missing was suspended late on Wednesday "due to rumbling unstable ground," the troopers said.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed his opposition to a bill approved by parliament the previous day to suspend U.N. inspections and boost uranium enrichment, saying it would be “harmful” to diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and easing U.S. sanctions. The tug-of-war over the bill, which gained momentum after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month, reflects the rivalry between Rouhani, a relative moderate, and hard-line lawmakers who dominate parliament and favor a more confrontational approach to the West. The bill would suspend U.N. inspections and require the government to resume enriching uranium to 20% if European nations fail to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions on the country's oil and banking sectors.
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of the Trump campaign in Nevada, is fighting ferociously against his state’s decision to reward its six electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden, alleging widespread voter fraud and hyping litigation to overturn Biden’s victory.But a nonprofit ethics and transparency group affiliated with Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, has already conceded Biden’s victory and is looking ahead to the new administration.“It’s become clear that we’re going to be having a Biden team and a Biden administration in 2021,” said Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, in an interview on Tuesday. The new administration is “what we will remain focused on going into next year.”Sutherland stressed that Laxalt’s work with the Trump re-election campaign, and his efforts to invalidate Biden’s win in Nevada, were entirely separate from his work with APT, a tax-exempt nonprofit that’s barred by law from engaging in political or partisan activity. “That is something he does in a personal capacity outside his role in APT,” Sutherland said. “As a 501c3, we, and Adam when he works with us, do not engage in anything with a partisan or political bent.”Nevada Gov. Calls Trump’s Conspiracy Theory Retweet ‘Unconscionable’ But Laxalt maintains his position as APT’s outside counsel and frequent spokesman even as he works with the Trump team in a personal capacity. And the fact that the group he works with is planning for a reality he refuses to concede underscores just how great a divergence has developed within the broader conservative movement. One faction appears unable to acknowledge the reality of Joe Biden’s win—perhaps for fear of offending Trump. Another doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed for when that reality comes about.Illustrating the political complications that these two pulls can create for the president’s political allies, Sutherland followed up on her initial interview with The Daily Beast to clarify her statement—and hedge her view on the outcome of the election. “As Biden is working to build out his team, APT will provide transparency and scrutiny, even as litigation on the election results are ongoing,” she wrote.As a leading Trump campaign official in Nevada, Laxalt has been a face of the campaign’s efforts to overturn the state’s presidential contest. Last month, he appeared at a news conference in North Las Vegas—alongside former Trump intelligence chief Ric Grenell and GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp—to level allegations of widespread voter fraud and preview a lawsuit demanding that a state court declare Trump the winner, despite trailing by more than 33,000 votes.The Shady Ex-Cop Behind Trump’s Nevada Voter-Fraud FarceAs part of that lawsuit, the campaign submitted a list of thousands of voters who it said had cast ballots in Nevada despite living out of state. Many of those voters turned out to be military servicemen and their families stationed outside of Nevada, but who are permitted by law to cast ballots in the state.Like nearly all of the Trump campaign’s election-related lawsuits over the past month, the Nevada effort has so far fallen short. Last week, Nevada’s Supreme Court certified Biden’s win in the state. The campaign’s efforts persist nonetheless, and the president and his attorneys continue to gripe about a nonexistent conspiracy against him perpetrated by high-level government officials—including Republicans—and voting machine companies with nebulous ties to foreign dictators.Those voting machine conspiracy theories, which largely focus on the company Dominion Voting Systems, have not extended to Nevada, or Laxalt's efforts there. But on Tuesday, the president hailed a Nevada court ruling allowing both presidential campaigns to inspect voting machines used in the state’s largest county. In a tweet on the ruling, Trump tagged Grennell, Schlapp, and Laxalt.Founded this year, APT uses open records requests and other transparency tools to root out apparent conflicts of interest and ethical breaches among government officials and interest groups. APT is a conservative-leaning group, though Sutherland, a former research director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, said it has and will continue to investigate Republicans and Democrats alike.“We have demanded accountability and transparency from a variety of groups and politicians from both sides of the aisle. That momentum will not change as we head into a Biden administration,” she said.APT has already begun to file open records requests for documents related to incoming Biden administration officials, Sutherland said. “We are taking a look at each individual that will be nominated to the cabinet, and who President-elect Biden is surrounding himself with, what that network has done in the past, and what they would mean in a Biden administration.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn is fresh off a presidential pardon and ready to get back into some trouble.President Trump pardoned his short-lived national security adviser last week, after Flynn had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Flynn has since been sharing dubious allegations of voter fraud, and on Wednesday, boosted a message telling Trump to take some radical actions to stop it.In a full-page Washington Times ad from something called the We the People Convention, Ohio Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski tries to draw a comparison between Lincoln trying to save the union in 1863 and Trump trying to claw back the 2020 election, using some disputed facts along the way. Zawistowski alleges a lot of similarities between the two times, from "Democrat/Socialist federal officials plotting to finish gutting the U.S. Constitution" to big tech "actively censoring free speech and promoting leftist propaganda." So to counter that, the We the People Convention suggests Trump "declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution" in order to hold a presidential election re-vote overseen by the military.> Big pro-authoritarian energy in Trumpland today:> > The president's (recently pardoned) former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, shared a message encouraging President Trump to "temporarily suspend the Constitution," impose martial law and "silence the destructive media." pic.twitter.com/cQh0wl7oWw> > — Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 2, 2020Flynn shared the ad on Twitter on Wednesday, seemingly trying to encourage a bunch of Fox News hosts and QAnon supporters to share it. It's just one of many disputed facts and allegations about the election that are apparently flowing through the mind of the man who used to oversee America's national security.More stories from theweek.com Trump will sign McConnell's coronavirus stimulus bill, Mnuchin says The naked corruption of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit
Pakistan’s top court on Tuesday resumed the hearing of an appeal from the family of American journalist Daniel Pearl against the acquittal of a British-born Pakistani man convicted over the 2002 beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter. The key suspect in Pearl’s slaying, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death and three others were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the plot. The acquittal is now being appealed separately by the government and Pearl’s family, a process that under Pakistani law could take years.
Israel edged closer on Wednesday towards a fourth national election in two years after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main governing partner, Benny Gantz, backed an opposition move to dissolve parliament. Parliament gave preliminary approval to a dissolution bill, but the legislation needs to pass three as yet unscheduled votes to become law, giving Netanyahu and Gantz, the defence minister, more time to work out differences over a national budget. The coalition crisis could plunge Israel into more political uncertainty as it prepares for a new U.S. administration led by Joe Biden, deals with the coronavirus pandemic and awaits Iran's next moves after the assassination of its top nuclear scientist last week, a killing that Tehran blamed on Israel.
Attorney General William Barr revealed Tuesday that he had secretly given U.S. Attorney John Durham special counsel status in October, explaining that the designation assured Durham and his team "that they could complete their work, without regard to the outcome of the election." The decision was news to President Trump, The New York Times reports. But Trump wasn't satisfied, Axios adds.Trump and his allies are "piling extreme pressure" on Barr to release Durham's findings on the FBI's investigation of Trump and Russia, and they view Durham's special counsel designation "as a smokescreen to forestall the release of the so-called Durham report, which senior administration officials believe is already complete," Axios says. "Trump has been ranting about the delay behind the scenes and mused privately about replacing Barr with somebody who will expedite the process."Democrats view Durham's criminal investigation as motivated entirely by politics and revenge, and Barr's move was widely seen as a way to ensure it will continue after President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. Trump abruptly pushed out all U.S. attorneys appointed by his predecessor soon after he took office, but special counsels can only be removed by an attorney general under a narrow set of documented criteria. Barr used a work-around with Durham, though, and that would apparently make it much easier for Biden to end the investigation.> This is a very good point from @steve_vladeck. The appointment itself does not comply with the regs. If Barr can appoint someone pursuant to his general statutory appointment authority and apply the regs, it is very likely that the next attorney general can rescind the order. https://t.co/UTOWOt7MZH> > — Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 1, 2020A Justice Department official told The Washington Examiner that "attorneys general have often appointed prosecutors to act as special investigators, either under the special counsel regulations or outside them," so Durham's appointment wasn't so unusual. But because Durham, the current U.S. attorney for Connecticut, "was not appointed pursuant to the special counsel regulation, it is possible the next attorney general could rescind Mr. Barr's directive that special counsel rules would apply to him, then end his inquiry without any finding of misconduct," the Times reports."I suppose the calculation is that there is a political cost" for doing so, Duke University law professor Samuel Buell told the Times. But Barr's move is an "odd" use of the special counsel provision.More stories from theweek.com Trump will sign McConnell's coronavirus stimulus bill, Mnuchin says The naked corruption of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit
A "private proposal" for COVID-19 relief was said to be brought to senior GOP members Monday night — before a fresh set of disagreements followed.