Trump Impeachment Defense Team Expected to Include Epstein Lawyers; Nadler Says the Impeachment Is No Longer Just About the President; Dershowitz Draws Line on His Role in Trump Impeachment Defense (VIDEO)

By NBC News. President Donald Trump’s defense team for his Senate impeachment trial will include former independent counsel Ken Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, and famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, sources familiar with the president’s legal strategy told NBC News Friday.

Also joining the team is Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as Clinton special counsel, and Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who joined the White House in November to help manage the messaging around impeachment, the sources said.

The addition of the high-profile names, who have regularly appeared on Fox News defending the president, will add some star power to the team that will publicly argue Trump’s case in the well of the Senate in a historic moment that will play out on live television.

Leading the legal team will be White House counsel Pat Cipollone, a Trump ally who has been steeped in the details of the case since the inquiry began but lacks experience as a public trial lawyer or television personality. Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, who has argued a dozen cases before the Supreme Court and guided the president through Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, will also play a leading role. (Read more from “Trump Impeachment Defense Team Expected to Include Epstein Lawyers” HERE)


WATCH: Jerry Nadler Says the Impeachment Is No Longer Just About the President

By Daily Caller. Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler claimed that the Senate would be on trial along with President Donald Trump.

Nadler made the comment during House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Wednesday morning press conference, where he was named as one of seven impeachment managers. . .

“The Senate is on trial as well as the president,” he insisted. “Does the Senate conduct a trial according to the Constitution, to vindicate the republic? Or does the Senate participate in the president’s crimes by covering them up?” (Read more from “WATCH: Jerry Nadler Says the Impeachment Is No Longer Just About the President” HERE)


Lawyer Alan Dershowitz Draws Line on His Role in Trump Impeachment Defense

By NPR. When President Trump’s defense team delivers its opening statement in the Senate impeachment trial next week, famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz will have a starring role.

But in an interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly on Friday, he sought to make clear that his involvement is limited to arguing that the two articles of impeachment do not satisfy the constitutional criteria for removing the president from office.

“I will not be involved in arguing the facts, nor will I be part of the defense team in the sense of strategy on the facts. My role is limited. I am doing precisely the same thing I would be doing had Hillary Clinton — who I voted for — been elected president and had the Republicans try to impeach her,” Dershowitz told All Things Considered. . .

Dershowitz, who consulted with former President Bill Clinton’s defense during his impeachment trial, said he would not weigh in on the issue of whether witnesses should be allowed in the Senate trial — an issue being pushed by Democrats and so far resisted by Republicans. (Read more from “Lawyer Alan Dershowitz Draws Line on His Role in Trump Impeachment Defense” HERE)

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Romney Loses GOP Support After Challenging Trump on Impeachment

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney lost support from Republicans and independents in his home state during the weeks after he called for witnesses in President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, a new poll shows.

The Morning Consult survey found support for Romney, 72, going down after he called for former national security adviser John Bolton to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial, which began on Thursday.

The poll shows the senator’s approval rating falling among Utah Republicans from September through December 2019, and independents also shifted to disapproving of Romney over the quarter.

In the prior quarter, 65% of Utah Republicans supported Romney, and while a majority still do presently, that number sank to 57%.

The numbers are particularly striking for Utah, one of the most Republican states in the country. Romney romped to victory in his 2018 Senate bid and has been considered a local hero of sorts among his fellow Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints constituents and others. (Read more from “Romney Loses GOP Support After Challenging Trump on Impeachment” HERE)

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20 U.S. Army Soldiers Died in Training Accidents Last Year

Twenty U.S. Army soldiers died in training accidents over the last year, while another 70 were seriously injured, according to statistics obtained by the Washington Examiner. . .

“Military training is inherently dangerous and while any loss of life is tragic, it is difficult to reduce the numbers to zero,” retired Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, who directs the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, told the Washington Examiner. “Military aviation, operating vehicles over open terrain at night, weapons firing with live ammunition are among the military skills that must be practiced but carry high risks. A rise from 18 to 20 training deaths in a year, while unfortunate, is not a statistically significant rise.”

The slight increase coincides with the Army’s efforts to improve combat readiness across the force. The Pentagon placed an emphasis on combat capability after the Trump administration published its national defense strategy, which aims to counter conventional adversaries like Russia and China.

Rigorous training is necessary in order to confront U.S. adversaries, according to former Army pilot Bradley Bowman, who runs the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. . .

The 20 soldiers killed in the past year died in a variety of accidents. West Point cadet Christopher Morgan, 22, died and 22 others were injured when their truck crashed in June. Army Staff Sgt. David Gallagher, 51, was killed and three others were injured when their M1 Abrams tank rolled over earlier that month. Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess, 34, was killed in a similar accident when his Humvee rolled over in May. (Read more from “20 U.S. Army Soldiers Died in Training Accidents Last Year” HERE)

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New Report: Wall Street Thinks a Warren Presidency Could Be Catastrophic

Investors at a major bank that Sen. Elizabeth Warren once criticized are worried about how sweeping economic changes that she’s vowed to implement if she becomes president could affect their bottom line.

Mother Jones reported on Friday that the research arm of Barclays, a powerful London-based bank and financial services firm, circulated five reports late last year for paying clients, including hedge funds, commercial banks and insurance companies, about what the tumultuous Democratic primary could mean for the markets.

“Given Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) policies that she asserts are ‘big structural’ change and ‘economic patriotism,’ her quantifiably more liberal voting record, and her steady rise in the polls and betting markets, investors and corporates across asset classes and geographies have taken note and posed questions,” the first report said, according to Mother Jones.

Barclays analyzed nearly 50 of Warren’s various plans in October and November — shortly after she surged in national polls — and echoed Warren’s own stance that a victory by the Massachusetts senator would be bad news for large corporations and financial titans. . .

Still, the report pointed out that a victory by Warren, or fellow progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, would present opportunities for certain sectors and consumers. For instance, if she successfully broke up big banks, it could benefit smaller regional banks that have taken a beating from increasing consolidation. Plus, her call to hike the minimum wage could boost retailers and auto dealers, as working-class Americans have more money to spend. (Read more from “New Report: Wall Street Thinks a Warren Presidency Could Be Catastrophic” HERE)

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Overweight Terrorist Arrested in Iraq Sparks Stream of Internet Memes

A massive 560-pound jihadi dubbed “Jabba the Jihadi” has been nicked by Iraqi forces, sparking a stream of hilarious Internet memes.

Hate preacher Abu Abdul Bari had to be loaded onto a flatbed truck after he was nabbed in his Mosul bolthole by Iraqi security forces. . .

Macer Gifford, a Brit who fought against the death cult in Syria, tweeted: “I’m delighted to say that the Islamic State’s very own Jabba the Hutt has been captured in Mosul.

(Read more from “Overweight Terrorist Arrested in Iraq Sparks Stream of Internet Memes” HERE)

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Texts From a Mysterious Belgian Number Shed Light on Possible Surveillance of Ambassador to Ukraine

House Democrats on Friday released text messages that shed new light on a possible surveillance campaign against Marie Yovanovitch when she served as ambassador to Ukraine.

The documents are screenshots of messages on the encrypted platform WhatsApp exchanged between Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate, and an individual he identified Friday as Anthony de Caluwe.

The messages show that the man Hyde identified as de Caluwe appeared to provide updates in March 2019 on Yovanovitch’s activities in Ukraine.

Hyde emerged Wednesday as the latest player in the Ukraine saga when Democrats released a batch of documents messages supplied by Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman who worked closely with Rudy Giuliani to collecting information about Yovanovitch. . .

According to messages released on Wednesday, Hyde told Parnas in a March 23, 2019 text that “private security” was monitoring Yovanovitch. (Read more from “Texts From a Mysterious Belgian Number Shed Light on Possible Surveillance of Ambassador to Ukraine” HERE)

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President Trump’s Warning: Virginia Proves Again Democrats ‘Will Take Your Guns’ (VIDEO)

On January 17, 2020, President Donald Trump pointed to the gun control situation in Virginia, noting that it proves once more the Democrats “will take your guns” if voted into office.

He made this point amid the all-out war on guns by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and the newly elected Democrat majority in the state legislature.

Virginia Democrats started this week intent on passing legislation allowing a total ban on the ownership of AR-15s and similar guns, but they dropped the confiscatory bill after thousands of NRA members flooded the hallways outside state Senate offices.

(Read more from “President Trump’s Warning: Virginia Proves Again Democrats ‘Will Take Your Guns’” HERE)

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Court Rejects Male Prisoner’s Motion for Preferred Female Pronouns

A federal appeals court rejected a male federal prisoner’s request to be addressed with female pronouns in accord with his gender identity.

Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, an appointee of President Donald Trump, issued the opinion denying Norman Varner’s motion to be addressed with female pronouns.

In 2012, Varner plead guilty to attempted receipt of child pornography and was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison and then 15 years of supervised release. He had previously been convicted on a state charge of possession of child porn and failure to register as a sex offender.

The opinion notes that, in 2018, Varner asked the district court to change his name on the document ordering his committal to “Kathrine Nicole Jett,” to reflect his transgendered status. The lower court rejected the name change, stating “Norman Varner” was his legal name at the time the court’s documents were prepared.

In his motion, Varner stated failure by others to use his preferred female pronouns when addressing him “leads me to feel that I am being discriminated against based on my gender identity.” (Read more from “Court Rejects Male Prisoner’s Motion for Preferred Female Pronouns” HERE)

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Man Released After Arrest for Arson Now Charged With Child Rape

Advocates of so-called criminal justice reform are so good at concocting a utopian vision of criminal behavior under their jailbreak proposals that they start believing their own virtual reality. The problem for them is that criminals on the streets don’t work like liberal arts textbooks on “restorative justice.” Now, New York Democrats are learning this the hard way. They have lost control of the narrative because of the logical consequences of their illogical legislation.

Anthony J.M. Hart of Glen Falls, New York, is the latest poster child – one of many – for New York’s abolish bail law, which has been phased in by state judges over the past few months. Hart was arrested in Warren County on November 7 for setting fire to a vacant home. He was released on his own recognizance several days later because the arson charge did not qualify for a bail requirement, meaning the judge had to release him immediately.

This is the sort of people who are considered “low-level, nonviolent” threats by the Left. But as Reagan said, leftist ideology is rooted in “utopian presumptions about human nature.” Well, Hart’s human nature kicked in, and on Tuesday, he was arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl. Hart was charged with second-degree rape and second-degree criminal sexual act for an incident that is alleged to have happened in Warren County on December 31.

There is no limit to the number of needless victims that will be created as a result of people with this sort of threat potential being let out on the streets. In order to push this and similar legislation, liberals (in some states, with the help of Republicans) propagate a talking point that our jails are filled with low-level criminals who aren’t a threat, and incarceration just winds up being costly and counterintuitive. It’s a great talking point. But the data shows the opposite – that almost everyone serving even a little time is a repeat offender. Moreover, there are many violent criminals who escape justice.

Now the reality on the streets is catching up to that fact. When leftists refer to crimes as “nonviolent” and “low-level,” they obfuscate an important point. Given the threshold for probable cause and certain evidence standards, more often than not, some of the most violent criminals are undercharged and are most certainly under-convicted. On paper, second-degree assault or third-degree arson doesn’t sound so bad, but often the worst beatings that horrify the public only result in a second-degree charge, not to mention an eventual plea deal, driving down the punishment even further.

For example, on Tuesday night, 20-year-old Jay Vasquez-Paulino was caught on tape in the Bronx beating a woman violently and threatening her with a knife.

Vasquez-Paulino was released on an appearance ticket, pursuant to the new bail law. Anyone would agree he is a violent threat, but ultimately, because the victim didn’t sustain major injuries, Vasquez-Paulino was only charged with second-degree menacing, attempted third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and second-degree harassment. None of those crimes qualify for a bail hearing because they were regarded as low-level.

But the reality is the overwhelming number of hard-core assaults are only charged as second or third-degree offenses. Ditto with rape and murder charges. In fact, even Reeaz Khan, the illegal alien charged with the horrific rape and murder of 92-year-old Maria Fuertes in Queens, was only charged with second-degree murder. He was also charged with first-degree rape and is finally being held. But again, even some of the most horrific criminal acts don’t result in charges that the system treats seriously enough. Now, they are being downgraded even further. The core problem with these jailbreak proposals is that criminal charges are very technical and do not reflect the threat level of the offender. New York took away the ability of the judge to analyze the threat level as well as prior criminal history to set a level of bail.

It all gets back to the dirty little secret of the criminal justice system. We have a ton of violent crime in this country. Most of the people serving meaningful time in prison are violent repeat offenders, and there is a heck of a lot more crime on the streets because of loopholes, plea deals, and technicalities. Thus, if your obsession is to reduce the prison population rather than reducing crime, there is only one way to do it – release violent criminals. The problem is that doesn’t sound quite as mellifluous as the release of “first-time, low-level, nonviolent, reform-minded” criminals. And the public is catching on. (For more from the author of “Man Released After Arrest for Arson Now Charged With Child Rape” please click HERE)

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‘Extreme Vetting’? Trump Administration to Continue Training Saudis on Our Military Bases

It is not too much to ask for a process to ensure that those who come into our country as immigrants or on long-term visas actually have a love for this country or, at the very least, not a hatred for it. Indeed, President Trump promised a moratorium on immigration from the Middle East until such a system could be conceived. But now the administration is not even ending the visa program that brings them to our military bases, even after the Pensacola attack.

After a supposedly vetted Saudi military trainee killed three people at Naval Air Station Pensacola, I noted that this would be the perfect time for Trump to fulfill a key campaign promise on immigration, as well as a promise to end the gun-free zone policies. In December 2015, Trump promised a “total and complete shutdown” of Middle Eastern migration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” and “where this hatred comes from.” Now, following the Pensacola terror attack, the Trump administration is refusing to terminate the Saudi training, much less suspend the broader program, much less suspend any of the hundreds of thousands of long-term visas and green cards given out to nationals of countries where this “hatred” is pervasive.

The Hill reported on Thursday that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper plans to visit the naval base in Pensacola next week and announce new security measures. However, one of those security measures will not be terminating these foreign military training programs. Instead, the DOD will be resuming the training of roughly 850 Saudis after it was temporarily suspended following the attack. In fact, several weeks ago, Esper expressed his desire to grow the program’s enrollment by 50 percent.

Are we really to believe that in just a few weeks’ time, officials have carefully vetted not just the 850 existing Saudi trainees but the several thousand others from countries like Afghanistan? How can we really know the nature of their family ties and whether they subscribe to jihadist views when we missed openly jihadist social media postings of Mohammad Alshamrani, the shooter at Pensacola?

The answer to these questions is further disquieting given that Attorney General William Barr seemed to indicate that we don’t even care about the Sharia supremacist views of those who enter the country for military training, much less as civilians. During Monday’s press conference, the attorney general announced that 21 members of the Saudi military were disenrolled in the training and are being sent back after 17 of them “had social media containing some jihadi or anti-American content” and “15 individuals (including some of the 17 just mentioned) had had some kind of contact with child pornography.”

I expected Barr to continue and declare emphatically that we will not tolerate jihadist sympathizers on our soil, much less on our bases, and that in the future there will be a system of vetting to bring in only those who we can confidently certify are against jihad. Instead, he went on to say that nothing posted was criminal under our laws. “However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia determined that this material demonstrated conduct unbecoming an officer in the Saudi Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the 21 cadets have been dis-enrolled from their training curriculum in the U.S. military and will be returning to Saudi Arabia (later today).”

As Andrew McCarthy observed in a recent column, our government is missing the point about terror threats. It’s not just about vetting visa applicants to see if they are carrying cards that identify them as members of a known terror group. It’s about vetting for the anti-American, Sharia-supremacist mindset.

“Consequently, it has long been known that our capacity to protect America from jihadist attacks hinges on our ability to discourage the infiltration of the political ideology that fuels them, which would necessitate vetting for sharia supremacism and jihadism when foreign Muslims seek to enter the United States,” wrote McCarthy, who studied Islamic ideology carefully as the lead prosecutor in one of America’s earliest Islamic terror trials. “Nevertheless, though the Constitution would not prevent such vetting (there being no constitutional right for an alien to enter the U.S.), our laws, guidelines, and political conditions have made it practically impossible to bar foreigners from entering the United States on ideological grounds. Instead, we draw the line at violence: If it can be shown that an alien has ties to a known terrorist group, or has engaged in terrorist activities, that alien may be denied entry.”

This is the core point made by President Trump in his speech in Ohio on August 15, 2016, when he announced his plan for “extreme vetting.”

“A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” said then-candidate Trump as he announced a new screening policy. Noting how the recent terror attacks “involved immigrants or the children of immigrants,” Trump was the first Republican to drill down on the need to not only “screen out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups,” but also “screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.”

Trump again promised “to temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism,” noting that “the size of current immigration flows are simply too large to perform adequate screening.”

“We admit about 100,000 permanent immigrants from the Middle East every year,” observed Trump. “Beyond that, we admit hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and visitors from the same regions. If we don’t control the numbers, we can’t perform adequate screening.”

The president was so presciently on target. There is simply no way to properly vet just one category of Saudis, much less hundreds of thousands of visa and green-card applicants from the most volatile countries.

Fast-forward three years, and in 2018, by my best estimate, we handed out over 150,000 green cards to nationals of predominantly Muslim countries, not including over 100,000 foreign student visas and other visa categories.

Three years in, if this administration won’t even halt foreign military training programs following the Pensacola terror attack, this is yet another immigration promise that is headed for the ash heap of history, unless conservatives gently but firmly remind the president of his continued opportunity to fulfill it. (For more from the author of “‘Extreme Vetting’? Trump Administration to Continue Training Saudis on Our Military Bases” please click HERE)

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