US nuclear general says would resist ‘illegal’ Trump strike order

Amid rising nuclear tensions with North Korea and concern over the potential for war, the top U.S. nuclear commander said on Saturday that he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons.

Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada that he had thought a lot about what to say if he received such an order.

“I think some people think we’re stupid,” Hyten said in response to a question about such a scenario, reports Reuters. “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”

Hyten, who is responsible for overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, detailed the process that would follow such a command.

As head of STRATCOM “I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” he said in his remarks, which were retransmitted in a video posted on the forum’s Facebook page.

“And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I‘m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

Hyten said running through scenarios of how to react in the event of an illegal order was standard practice, and added: “If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Hyten’s remarks.

The general’s comments came after U.S. lawmakers, including some Republicans, expressing concern about Trump’s authority to wage war using nuclear weapons.

Trump has traded insults with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and threatened in his maiden United Nations address to “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people if it threatened America.

Some senators want legislation to alter the nuclear authority of the U.S. president and a Senate committee on Tuesday held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike.

Courtesy: Fox News

Franken Case Sets Off Debate Over Line Between Abuse and a Mistake

By KATIE ROGERS and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Michael Bennet et al. sitting at a table: Senator Al Franken in January. He was accused by a woman of kissing and groping her in 2006.© Al Drago/The New York Times Senator Al Franken in January. He was accused by a woman of kissing and groping her in 2006.

WASHINGTON — A day after the latest in a dizzying series of sexual assault revelations enveloped Senator Al Franken and rattled the Capitol, politicians and comedians were left trying to assess the line between predatory behavior and an inexcusable mistake, as calls mounted for him to resign.

Mr. Franken, Democrat of Minnesota and a veteran of both comedy and politics — two industries under increased scrutiny for fostering cultures where sexual abuse is pervasive — was targeted by Republicans, including President Trump, who has himself been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and assault. Republicans are grappling with their own senatorial scandal, as Roy S. Moore pursues a Senate seat amid accusations of assaulting teenage girls.

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But that did not diminish their zeal as they called on Mr. Franken to step down.

On Twitter, Mr. Trump publicly hinted at a pattern of assault, and the political fallout continued as two Minnesota candidates for governor, both Democrats, called on Mr. Franken to resign. The conservative writer and activist L. Brent Bozell III said Mr. Franken had been “caught red-handed conducting lewd an unacceptable behavior,” adding, “there is a pervert in the United States Senate.”

By Friday evening, Mr. Franken had canceled a coming appearance at a book fair in Miami.

But while there was no widespread public showing of support for Mr. Franken, a number of his allies, including three former “Saturday Night Live” colleagues and 10 former aides, all women, said that they did not believe his behavior fit a pattern or was in the same realm of misconduct as other high-profile men accused of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, including the comedian Louis C.K. and the producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I’m just so upset about this atmosphere and good people being dragged into it,” said Jane Curtin, a member of the original cast of “Saturday Night Live” with Mr. Franken from 1975 to 1980 who has been close with him since. “It’s just like the red menace. You don’t know who’s going to be next.”

Ms. Curtin said that in a comedy setting where women were at times not valued or dismissed because of their gender, Mr. Franken was a powerful ally who viewed female writers and comedians as his equal. But she was also among several who said they were disappointed by Mr. Franken’s conduct and were struggling with the episode, which happened during his comedy career.

“I was surprised,” Ms. Curtin said. “If he did that, that’s really stupid, but I have never seen him in a situation where he has been sexually aggressive with anybody.”

Others, including the woman who said he forcibly kissing her during a 2006 U.S.O. tour of the Middle East, grappled with his expressions of remorse. The woman, Leeann Tweeden, read an apology from the senator during a Friday appearance on the “The View.”

In another appearance, on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Ms. Tweeden, a radio newscaster, said she had not told her story for political gain, and that his fate was up to the people of Minnesota to decide. She said she wanted women to feel more comfortable to share their experiences.

“Because if he did this to somebody else, or if anybody else has stayed silent, or anybody else has been the victim of any kind of abuse, maybe they can speak out and feel like they can come forward in real time and not wait a decade or longer,” she said.

As Washington wrestled with how to categorize Mr. Franken’s behavior, which was accompanied by a photo that showed him appearing to grope Ms. Tweeden as she slept on a military plane, even some ardent defenders of women’s rights said the senator’s offense was not so grievous as to require his resignation.

“This is not a Harvey Weinstein situation,” said Debra Katz, a civil rights lawyer who handles sexual harassment cases. “Harvey Weinstein was a serial predator who used his power to put women in very vulnerable situations. He abused that power by sexually assaulting women. That’s not what this is.”

Ms. Katz also drew a distinction between Mr. Franken’s role as a comedian and that of a senator.

“Context is relevant,” she said. “He did not do this as a member of the U.S. Senate. He did this in his capacity of someone who was still functioning as an entertainer.”

Victoria Jackson, who also overlapped with Mr. Franken on “Saturday Night Live,” said he did not have a history of acting in an inappropriate manner in that workplace, where humor was often bawdy. She remembered him telling her he was troubled she acted like “a ditz” in meetings when he knew she was smart, a comment that unsettled her but one that she ultimately did not feel was harassment.

“I have a lot of stories of sexually inappropriate things that have happened to me in my life from people in show business,” Ms. Jackson, 58, said in an interview. “As far as Al Franken, he never said or did anything inappropriate to me the six years I was on ‘Saturday Night Live.’”

Several of Mr. Franken’s former aides said that they believed Ms. Tweeden’s accusation, but that her account did not match what they experienced on Capitol Hill. They expressed disappointment in his actions but defended his track record as a lawmaker who promoted women in his office and valued their opinions.

Natalie Volin Lehr, a former aide who signed a joint statement in Mr. Franken’s defense, said in an interview on Friday that Mr. Franken was being judged unfairly, and that his track record in office had been one of defending women’s rights.

“He’s had unsavory jokes in the past that he’s regretted,” Ms. Volin Lehr said of Mr. Franken’s comedy career. She said the photo published Thursday fell into that category, “but it is hard to see how this is comparable to the other incidents that women have brought forward in the recent past.”

Those who knew him also said Mr. Franken was a dedicated husband to Franni Bryson, whom he married in 1975 and whose struggle with alcohol abuse has been publicly discussed by the couple. A former “Saturday Night Live” colleague, the writer Marilyn Suzanne Miller, cried as she defended Mr. Franken on Friday, saying, “He wouldn’t do it to Franni.”

The senator may not have welcomed all of his defenders. An Ohio Supreme Court justice, who is running for governor as a Democrat, shared his sexual experiences with “approximately 50 very attractive females” as he attempted to defend Mr. Franken.

“Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males,” Bill O’Neill wrote Friday on Facebook in a post that has since been removed. “I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”

Courtesy: The New York Times

Republican Governors’ 2018 Dilemma: What to Do About Trump?

By JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS
a group of people looking at a screen: Govs. Rick Scott of Florida and Scott Walker of Wisconsin spoke to the Republican Governors Association conference in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday.© Ana Ramirez/Austin American-Statesman, via Associated Press Govs. Rick Scott of Florida and Scott Walker of Wisconsin spoke to the Republican Governors Association conference in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — For nearly a decade, meetings of the Republican Governors Association were buoyant, even giddy, affairs, as the party — lifted by enormous political donations and a backlash against the Obama administration — achieved overwhelming control of state governments.

But a sense of foreboding hung over the group’s gathering in Austin this past week, as President Trump’s unpopularity and Republicans’ unexpectedly drastic losses in elections earlier this month in Virginia, New Jersey and suburbs from Philadelphia to Seattle raised the specter of a political reckoning in 2018.

“I do think Virginia was a wake-up call,” said Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who took over here as chairman of the governors association. “There’s a pretty strong message there. When Republicans lose white married women, that’s a strong message.”

In a series of closed-door meetings, governors tangled over how best to avoid being tainted by Mr. Trump, and debated the delicate task of steering Mr. Trump’s political activities away from states where he might be unhelpful. Several complained directly to Vice President Mike Pence, prodding him to ensure that the White House intervenes only in races in which its involvement is welcome.

A larger group of governors from agricultural and auto-producing states warned Mr. Pence that Mr. Trump’s proposed withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement could damage them badly.

Republicans have long anticipated that the midterm campaign will prove difficult. But the drubbing they suffered in Virginia, where they lost the governorship by nine percentage points, along with at least 15 state House seats threaded throughout the state’s suburbs, has the party’s governors worried that 2018 could be worse than feared.

Voters appear eager to punish Mr. Trump.

“Any time the titular head of the party is underwater, obviously there’s going to be issues there. You can’t just ignore that,” said Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who is facing re-election in a state that Mr. Trump lost by less than a percentage point.

The battle for Congress, already center stage, will draw only more attention if the embattled Roy S. Moore loses an Alabama Senate race in December, jeopardizing Republican control of the chamber. But the contests for governor are perhaps more consequential.

Next year’s statehouse races will reorder the country’s political map for a decade, because many of the 36 governors elected will have a strong hand in redrawing state legislative and congressional boundaries after the 2020 census.

Several candidates and strategists said the governors association had been pressing recruits to define themselves early and develop independent personal brands. But that is a more complicated task than it was during the Obama years, when Republican governors shared an easy template of railing against a Democratic administration and fiscal profligacy at the state level.

What Republicans agree on is that their candidates must avoid the contortions of Ed Gillespie, their Virginia nominee for governor, who embraced Mr. Trump’s divisive messages on immigration, crime and Confederate “heritage” but danced inartfully around whether he actually supported the president.

“You can’t be halfway in and halfway out,” said Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, a conservative and admirer of Mr. Trump’s.

Mr. Haslam, a more centrist voice who did not vote for Mr. Trump, agreed. “If you try to wear somebody else’s clothes, they never fit,” he said.

But that consensus breaks down over whether to appear with Mr. Trump in their states.

Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, a fierce supporter of Mr. Trump’s, said Republicans should “absolutely” stump with the president in 2018. “He is the leader of our country,” Mr. LePage said. “He is the leader of our country, and we should respect our leader.”

Yet even one of Mr. Trump’s most enthusiastic cheerleaders declined to say whether he would welcome the president to campaign alongside him in 2018. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who is expected to challenge Senator Bill Nelson next year, repeatedly ducked questions at a news conference about whether he believed Mr. Trump would be helpful to Republicans during the midterm elections.

In a visit to Florida in September, Mr. Trump publicly urged Mr. Scott, who describes the president as a personal friend, to oppose Mr. Nelson for the Senate seat.

“We’ll see what happens in 2018,” Mr. Scott said, insisting: “I don’t know if I’m going to be a candidate.”

Other Republican governors do not bother with the rhetorical dance, believing that an invitation to Mr. Trump is a political death wish. His approval rating is in the 30s in a swath of states that the party will be defending next year, and the last thing that governors in liberal-leaning or even moderate parts of the country want to do is make it easier for Democrats to link them to the president.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, who faces a 2018 re-election fight in one of the country’s bluest states, urged Republican candidates to distinguish themselves from “the mess in Washington,” and instead stress economic issues close to home. So far, Mr. Hogan said, Republicans are not running campaigns equal to the political environment.

a group of people sitting at a table with a red chair: Republicans agree that their candidates must avoid the contortions of Ed Gillespie, their Virginia nominee for governor, who tried to tiptoe around President Trump.© Parker Michels-Boyce for The New York Times Republicans agree that their candidates must avoid the contortions of Ed Gillespie, their Virginia nominee for governor, who tried to tiptoe around President Trump.“We’ve got to run some more effective campaigns,” he said, “that aren’t quite as negative and divisive.”

Asked whether it was safe to assume that he would keep Mr. Trump out of Maryland, Mr. Hogan chuckled and said: “That’s pretty safe.”

After Mr. Pence delivered public remarks, winning restrained applause from a lobbyist-heavy audience when he brought greetings from Mr. Trump, he used a private meeting with the governors on Wednesday to tell them that the White House stood ready to help their campaigns, according to Republican officials who were in the room and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal private conversations.

Mr. Hogan and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the departing head of the governors association, candidly told Mr. Pence that they hoped the administration would prove collaborative and respect the wishes of governors who want Mr. Trump to stay away. After Mr. Pence returned to Washington, the discussions turned more bluntIn a separate meeting, political strategists briefed the governors on the Virginia results in depth, outlining just how badly swamped Mr. Gillespie had been by Democratic turnout, two attendees said.

In that session, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a former chairman of the governors association, said the group should prepare to raise an unprecedented sum of money — the figure he floated was $130 million — to fund political rescue operations in the crucial final months of the 2018 campaign.

Such conversations mostly took place out of earshot of the news media. More than a dozen governors declined to be interviewed. One of the private sessions was devoted to “Disrupting the Mainstream Media.” And in their main public remarks, few Republicans seemed willing to acknowledge the forbidding political environment that appears to be developing.

Answering questions from reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Walker played down the significance of Republicans’ recent defeats in New Jersey and Virginia. He described both of them as Democratic states.

Mr. Pence, in his speech and even in his private comments, did not hint at the looming obstacles for Republicans in 2018 or mention how the administration would address the prospect that Mr. Moore, who has been accused of making sexual advances on teenagers, will win the Alabama Senate seat.

Privately, though, some of the governors acknowledged the gulf between their base voters and themselves when it comes to Mr. Trump. Voicing contempt for the president the way that Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, both retiring senators, have would only cause difficulties for them and their would-be Republican successors in primaries, where loyalty to Mr. Trump could become a litmus test.

While few would criticize Mr. Trump directly, Republicans in Austin expressed fear that the party was becoming defined as divisive, even nasty, turning off the swing voters who helped bring Republican governors to prominence throughout the Obama years.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a Republican seeking a second term in 2018, said the party had to communicate in a tone “that’s respectful of diversity, that’s respectful of trying to find solutions in a civil manner.” Catering to fiery activists, he said, would be a recipe for ruin.

“If we don’t convey the right tone, we might energize a small percent of our base, but we still need to have independents,” said Mr. Hutchinson, who is facing a primary challenge from the right. “We still need to have those that are not traditional Republicans, that are joining in our coalition. You don’t want to turn those voters off.”

Courtesy: The New York Times

U.S. House of Representatives approves tax overhaul, fight shifts to Senate

Reuters
Trump: ‘The Tax Is Going Really Well’
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By David Morgan and Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Republican U.S. lawmakers on Thursday took an important step toward the biggest tax code overhaul since the 1980s as the House of Representatives approved a broad package of tax cuts sought by President Donald Trump.

The tax debate now moves to the U.S. Senate, where that chamber’s separate plan has already encountered resistance from some Republicans. No decisive Senate action is expected until after next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Trump, who is looking for his first major legislative win since he took office in January, went to the U.S. Capitol just before the vote to urge House Republicans to pass the tax bill, which Democrats call a give-away to the wealthy and businesses.

“A simple, fair and competitive tax code will be rocket fuel for our economy, and it’s within our reach. Now is the time to deliver,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after the largely party-line House vote of 227-205.

Congress has not thoroughly overhauled the sprawling U.S. tax code since Republican Ronald Reagan was president. The House measure is not as comprehensive as Reagan’s 1986 sweeping package, but it is more ambitious than anything since then.

But the path forward for the tax plan in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow majority, is fraught with obstacles about concerns over the federal deficit, healthcare and the distribution of tax benefits. Republicans can lose no more than two Senate votes if Democrats remain united in opposition.

Senate Republican tax writers made the risky decision to tie their plan to a repeal of the requirement for people to get healthcare insurance under former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. That exposed the tax initiative to the same political forces that wrecked Republicans’ anti-Obamacare push earlier this year.

The House bill, which is estimated to increase the federal deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years, would consolidate individual and family tax brackets to four from seven and reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

It also would scale back or end some popular tax deductions, including one for state and local income taxes, while preserving a capped deduction for property tax payments.

Democrats have pointed to analyses showing millions of Americans could end up with a tax hike because of the elimination of popular deductions. Repealing or cutting some deductions is a way to offset the revenue lost from tax cuts.

“It’s a shameful piece of legislation, and the Republicans should know better,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers before the vote.

Thirteen House Republicans opposed the bill, all but one from New York, New Jersey and California – states with high taxes where residents would feel the pinch from eliminating the deduction for state and local income taxes.

“This fight is not over. I look forward to continuing negotiations to improve this proposal for my constituents,” said Republican U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin of New York, who opposed the bill.

Investors have cheered the prospect of a tax overhaul and U.S. stocks rose and the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after the House passed its bill.

Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, said stocks’ strong gains on the day were helped by the House vote.

‘HIGHER HURDLE’

“It’s helping stocks now and the bond market’s turned around,” he said. “The tax plan isn’t a foregone conclusion but it passed the lowest hurdle in the House. The even higher hurdle is to have something pass in the Senate.”

Republicans have long promised tax cuts and see enacting the legislation as critical to their prospects of retaining power in Washington in the November 2018 congressional elections, particularly after failing to meet their promise to repeal Obamacare.

But it will be a challenge in the 100-seat Senate, where Republicans can lose no more than two votes from their 52-48 majority if they hope to enact tax reform.

The Senate version has already faced criticism from several Republican lawmakers, including Senator Susan Collins, who helped sink the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare.

Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said Trump called him on Wednesday after Johnson announced his opposition to the current Senate plan because of what he said were unequal rates for small businesses and non-corporate enterprises known as “pass-throughs,” versus corporations.

Courtesy: Reuters/Yahoo

Trump’s tax reform plan: Who are the winners and losers?

President Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled their plan for a massive tax overhaul.

The plan, meant to be a framework for Congress to negotiate into legislation, still has missing parts. And as the House prepares to vote on the Senate’s budget plan Thursday, some lawmakers, including Republicans, still have qualms with parts of the tax framework.

One issue is whether to curb tax-free deposits in 401(k) retirements accounts, something that Trump has said he opposed. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wants to curtail them.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to “negotiate” and speculate on if Trump could work with lawmakers and change the 401(k) rules but told Fox News Thursday morning that he is “committed” to protecting the middle class’ retirement accounts.

“The president will get much of what he wants I think in tax reform, but we are a co-equal branch,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. “And we’re going to write it.”

But read on for a look at who wins and loses under the proposal as it stands now.

Winners

Corporations with high tax rates: The framework lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. Trump initially wanted to lower it to 15 percent but said his “red line” for the rate is 20.

It also lowers the tax rate for small businesses to 25 percent. The majority of small business owners would use the extra cash to expand businesses and hire additional employees, Alfredo Ortiz, president of the nonprofit Job Creators Network, told Fox News.

Heirs to large estates: The plan eliminates the so-called death tax, or estate tax. The federal estate tax, which typically affects wealthier Americans, is a tax on property transferred after the owner’s death.

People who do their own taxes: With the framework, Republicans hoped to simplify the tax code and the way Americans file their taxes. The plan collapses the number of brackets from seven to as little as three.

High-income households: The framework includes multiple tax cuts for high-income taxpayers, including the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT is a supplemental income tax meant to offset benefits a person with a high income could receive.

Low-income households: The plan doubles the standard deduction, which reduces the amount of taxed income, to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, making low-income taxpayers a winner, Steve Odland, CEO of the Committee for Economic Development, told Fox News.

It also increases the child tax credit which could be beneficial to families.

Losers

Taxpayers in high-tax states: The plan eliminates state and local tax deductions, meaning taxpayers in states with high taxes will lose out on the write-off. This impacts those in mostly blue states, such as California and New York.

Congressional Republicans in New York and New Jersey have warned that they’ll reject the Senate’s budget plan Thursday as they are upset over this provision.

Accountants: Because the plan would streamline the tax process, less people would potentially need to hire tax accountants, lawyers and firms, Odland predicted.

Trump has said he wants to put H&R Block “out of business.”

National debt: The plan would result in approximately $2.2 trillion of net tax cuts — a blow to the national debt, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said.

“Given today’s record-high levels of national debt, the country cannot afford a deficit-financed tax cut,” the nonprofit said.

Social programs: With the greatly reduced amount of tax collections the plan calls for, it’s possible that domestic spending on programs such as welfare programs and education could take a hit, Henry Aaron, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Fox News.

People who want a concrete plan: Aaron also said the plan was lacking in details, making it difficult for policy experts to come up with concrete estimates of the framework’s impact.

“People can make assumptions about what the details will be and make estimates based on their assumptions, but you won’t really know until the details are in,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

Courtesy: Fox News

U.S. Risks ‘Coup’ if Mueller Investigation Continues, Republicans Warn

Graham Lanktree

,

Newsweek

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign assisted Russia in its effort to interfere in the 2016 election amounts to an attempt to overthrow the government, Republicans have argued.

“We are at risk of a coup d’etat in this country if we allow an unaccountable person, with no oversight, to undermine the duly-elected President of the United States,” said Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz from the chamber floor.

He was joined by other members of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-right group of Republicans, who brought a motion last week calling for Mueller step down because of “obvious conflicts of interest.” The measure wouldn’t be binding, but it would put the House on record in opposition to Mueller.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has begun issuing indictments in his Russia investigation. One law professor is arguing that the probe should not be taking place because Mueller was appointed illegally. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Their motion came the same week Mueller’s legal team made its first arrests in the investigation, indicting Trump campaign’s former chairman, Paul Manafort, and his business associate Richard Gates on 12 charges, including money laundering.

On Wednesday, the Republicans laid out their case for why Mueller must go. “We’ve got to clean this town up, and it will start with the resignation of Mr. Mueller and a proper investigation of all of this underlying case involving Comey, Lynch, the Clintons, and Russia,” said Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert.

The group argued that Mueller has a conflict of interest because he headed the FBI during an investigation into corruption at a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned atomic energy company Rosatom.

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While the investigation was ongoing, a nine agency panel, including the State Department, then led by Hillary Clinton, approved the sale of Canadian mining firm Uranium One to Rosatom. The Clinton Foundation later received millions in donations from current and former investors in Uranium One. Critics and former officials point out Clinton was not involved in the approval panel and nevertheless would have had to convince eight other officials to approve the sale.

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“It is far past time to thoroughly investigate this [Uranium One] deal, the Obama administration’s actions, and the Clinton family’s role,” said California Rep. Scott Perry.

The Congressmen also accused Mueller of having a vendetta against President Donald Trump because he fired former FBI Director James Comey over “this Russia thing.” When Trump fired Comey May 5, the lawman was investigating potential Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Comey has written in memos that Trump asked him to drop part of his investigation.

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Mueller was appointed to take up that investigation on May 17 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mueller can be fired by Rosenstein for conflicts of interest and other infractions.

“Could Mr. Mueller be acting with vengeance? Or to vindicate his good friend and colleague James Comey, who had a very public feud with the president?” asked Congressman Trent Franks from the House floor Wednesday.

“Jim and Bob are friends in the sense that co-workers are friends. They don’t really have a personal relationship,” Comey’s attorney David Kelley has said, pointing out that they have never been to each other’s homes but have had lunch together once and dinner twice during their decade-long overlapping careers at the Department of Justice.

Republican calls for Mueller to step down and for the investigation to shift focus to Hillary Clinton echo the president. “There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!” Trump urged Republicans a day before Manafort was indicted, calling allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia “phony.”

“Why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????” Trump tweeted the day Manafort and Gates were arrested. Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly has called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate Clinton.

  • “This is the scandal of our time,” said Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, one of the sponsors of last week’s motion, renewing his call for Mueller’s resignation. “It affects our national security and the views of the American people for justice and on elections.”

Courtesy: Yahoo News

House Dem’s new demand: Impeach Trump by Christmas

Texas Democrat Al Green said Wednesday he’s giving his colleagues in the House a Christmas deadline to vote on impeaching President Trump.

“I now announce that before Christmas, there will be a vote on the chief inciter of racism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, sexism and ethnocentrism,” he said on the House floor, adding that he prayed the United States will “continue to reject what the inciter in chief, Donald J. Trump has been causing this country to have to endure.”

This is hardly the first time Green has called for impeaching the president, though he hasn’t put a timeframe on it until now.

Last month, Green unveiled formal articles of impeachment, though it never made it to the House floor for a vote. At the time, Green said he wanted to give lawmakers extra time to read through the proposal.

Green’s resolution covered four articles of impeachment.

One accused the president of “inciting white supremacy, sexism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, race-baiting, and racism by demeaning, defaming, disrespecting and disparaging women and certain minorities.” Another alleged Trump brought “shame and dishonor to the office of the presidency by associating the majesty and dignity of the presidency with causes rooted in white supremacy, bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, white nationalism and neo-Nazism.”

GREEN INTRODUCES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST TRUMP

While acknowledging conservatives aren’t likely to jump on board and kick Trump out of the Oval Office, Green said, “Whatever others will do is their choice. My conscience dictates that I will vote to impeach.”

There’s not much enthusiasm among most congressional Democrats to impeach.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly downplayed talk of impeachment and on Sunday told CNN it wasn’t one of her legislative priorities.

Courtesy: Fox News

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