John Kerry: Trump’s Soleimani Story a ‘Cover-Up’; Trump Authorized Soleimani’s Killing 7 Months Ago

By Breitbart. On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry said he believed the Trump administration’s stories about the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani were a “coverup.”

Kerry said, “Obviously they’ve been all over the place , in fact, the place. and in fact the decision we now learn to go after Soleimani was made in June. We have heard all kinds of different stories imminence, about embassies, no there aren’t embassies this is a shifting story that is so shifting that I think is beginning to look like a coverup over their original choices.” (Read more from “John Kerry: Trump’s Soleimani Story a ‘Cover-Up’” HERE)

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Trump Authorized Soleimani’s Killing 7 Months Ago

By NBC News. President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of an American, according to five current and former senior administration officials.

The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani, officials said.

That decision explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq, in which a U.S. contractor was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded, the officials said.

The timing, however, could undermine the Trump administration’s stated justification for ordering the U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3. Officials have said Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was planning imminent attacks on Americans and had to be stopped. (Read more from “Trump Authorized Soleimani’s Killing 7 Months Ago” HERE)

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Kansas Man Requests ‘Trial by Combat’ in Court

A Kansas man has requested that an Iowa court grant his motion for a “trial by combat” to settle a custody dispute with his ex-wife and her attorney on the battlefield.

David Ostrom, 40, of Paola, Kansas, has cited in court documents that his ex-wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, of Harlan, Iowa, has “destroyed (him) legally,” the Des Moines Register reported Monday.

The Carroll Times-Herald reported that Ostrom filed a request with the Iowa District Court in Shelby County to give him 12 weeks to source or forge Japanese swords used in battle. . .

Ostrom told the Register that he got the idea for the duel after he learned about a 2016 New York Supreme Court case in which New York Supreme Court Justice Philip Minardo said that duels had not been abolished under state law.

Ostrom said the motion began when he became frustrated with his ex-wife’s attorney, Matthew Hudson, saying he wanted to take the fight to “the field of battle where (he) will rend their souls from their corporal bodies.” (Read more from “Kansas Man Requests ‘Trial by Combat’ in Court” HERE)

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Congressional Candidate Calls President Trump America’s Number One Domestic Terrorist

Democratic Georgia House candidate Nabilah Islam called President Donald Trump “America’s #1 domestic Terrorist” in a Twitter post Monday.

Trump made news by retweeting a poorly photoshopped image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer standing in front of an Iranian flag wearing Islamic attire, posted from an anonymous Twitter account called “D0wn_Under.” . . .

Islam is part of a crowded Democratic field running to represent the party in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, a swing district currently represented by retiring five-term Republican Rep. Rob Woodall, who narrowly defeated Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux in 2018. (Read more from “Congressional Candidate Calls President Trump America’s Number One Domestic Terrorist” HERE)

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Sanctuary County: Judge Issues First Gun Confiscation Denial Under New Red Flag Gun Law

A judge in Colorado denied a law enforcement request to confiscate a man’s guns under Colorado’s red flag gun law, which just took effect Jan. 1, according to KCNC-TV.

The law allows for law enforcement or family members to file for an extreme risk protection order if they deem someone to be a danger to themselves or others, leaving the final decision up to a judge.

In the case of this denial, a woman in Limon, Colorado, reported to police that she was being verbally and physically threatened by a man with a handgun, who she claims had a problem with drugs and alcohol.

A judge in Lincoln County, where the order was filed, denied the request, but the reason for the denial has not been made public.

Lincoln County is considered a Second Amendment sanctuary, where residents have voted to not honor the red flag law, although Democratic state Rep. Alec Garnett said even the denial shows that the law worked as intended. (Read more from “Sanctuary County: Judge Issues First Gun Confiscation Denial Under New Red Flag Gun Law” HERE)

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Trump: Impeachment ‘Should Not Even Be Allowed to Proceed’; Republican Believes Nancy Pelosi Withheld Impeachment Articles for Nefarious Reasons (VIDEO)

By Townhall. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she was finally willing to transmit two articles of impeachment over to the Senate next week so the upper chamber could begin its impeachment trial of the president. On Sunday, President Trump tweeted his thoughts on the looming Senate trial, echoing concerns that such a trial only gives credence to the partisan House witch hunt that masqueraded itself as a legitimate impeachment inquiry.

The president also tweeted a video featuring his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, being interviewed by Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday. In the interview, Giuliani argued the two articles of impeachment against the president should promptly be dismissed at the beginning of Trump’s Senate trial. Giuliani said the two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, are not impeachable acts under the Constitution.

The former New York City mayor said the two articles of impeachment are not even crimes and therefore should be dismissed by the Supreme Court. Giuliani admitted that there was nothing in the Constitution expressly giving the Supreme Court power over Congress on the subject of impeachment, but Giuliani also pointed out that there was nothing in the Constitution expressly giving the Supreme Court power to declare a law passed by Congress unconstitutional. The Supreme Court should similarly step in like they did in the Madison decision, Giuliani argued, to resolve the clash between the two branches of government.

(Read more from “Trump: Impeachment ‘Should Not Even Be Allowed to Proceed'” HERE)

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Top House Republican Believes Nancy Pelosi Withheld Impeachment Articles for Nefarious Reasons

By The Blaze. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Fox News Sunday that he believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has withheld the approved articles of impeachment from the Senate for nefarious reasons.

Speaking with host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy said the “dirty little secret” about Pelosi delaying the articles is that she has done so in order to boost Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose campaign is gaining momentum by the day. . .

“This harms Senator Sanders, who is in first place and could become their nominee, because he will be stuck in a chair, because Nancy Pelosi held the papers, different than what she said to the American public why she had to move so urgently,” he continued.

“She told the American public it was urgent. She had to move so fast. The only reason why she should be — that she is doing this that no one is talking about — it is harming Bernie Sanders, the senator, who has been coming into first place, who could win Iowa and propel himself to be the nominee,” McCarthy explained. “It’s the exact same thing they did to him four years ago.”

(Read more from “Top House Republican Believes Nancy Pelosi Withheld Impeachment Articles for Nefarious Reasons” HERE)

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Spy Court Picks FISA Abuse Denier to Tackle FISA Abuse

By The Federalist. The nation’s top spy court appointed an Obama-era Justice Department official who has denied and downplayed FBI surveillance abuse to assess the FBI’s response to a scathing new report cataloguing problems with how the agency secured authority to spy on a Donald Trump campaign affiliate.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) presiding Judge James Boasberg appointed David Kris to review the FBI’s proposed changes to its surveillance application process even though he spent the past few years running interference for the FBI as substantive criticism of the agency mounted.

Lengthy investigations in the House of Representatives and by the Department of Justice inspector general showed major problems with the claims the FBI made as part of an investigation into whether Trump was a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Those problems include withholding exonerating evidence, undue reliance on shady sources, and outright alteration of evidence.

Kris, who served as assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, recently claimed the IG report that catalogued egregious abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) powers actually vindicated the FBI. He also smeared Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, saying his initial sounding of the alarm about those abuses was incorrect, threatened national security, and should be harshly punished. . .

The appointment of a former official who served as an apologist for the FBI signals that the court isn’t particularly concerned about the civil liberty violations catalogued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the year-long surveillance of Carter Page. Page is the Trump campaign affiliate whose phone and email communications federal agents wiretapped, and who had confidential human sources and overseas intelligence assets placed against him. False claims that Page was a Russian spy were leaked to the media by government officials as part of a years-long campaign to paint President Trump as a traitor who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. (Read more from “Spy Court Picks FISA Abuse Denier to Tackle FISA Abuse” HERE)

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FBI to Follow FISA Court Recommendations on Wiretapping

By ABC 33 40. In the wake of its surveillance abuse scandal, the FBI has said it will follow recommendations made by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. That’s the court that approves government wiretaps on U.S. citizens.

Several weeks ago, the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) reported finding egregious errors made by the FBI in its controversial wiretap of a former Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. In at least one instance, the IG found, an FBI lawyer had doctored a document presented to the court. . .

FBI Agents had repeatedly gotten caught submitting false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify their wiretapping or spying on U.S. citizens.

The new protections called “Woods Procedures” were named for the FBI official who helped devise them, Michael Woods. They require the FBI, all the way to the top, to strictly verify each fact in a wiretap application. According to the IG, FBI officials violated the Woods Procedures when they wiretapped Page repeating the very mistakes the Woods Procedures were set up to avoid 15 years before. (Read more from “FBI to Follow FISA Court Recommendations on Wiretapping” HERE)

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Two Paratroopers Killed in Afghanistan

The two soldiers killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan were paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, the defense department announced Sunday.

The IED attack took place Saturday in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, bordering Pakistan to the south. Killed in the blast were Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia; and Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, according to a release. . .

“When our Nation called for its best Airborne Combat Engineers to deploy into harm’s way, Staff Sgt. McLaughlin and Pfc. Villalon answered without hesitation. They lived their motto, ‘Essayons,’ and embodied the values of the All American Engineer,” Col. Art Sellers, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, said in a released statement. “Their loved ones are now surrounded by a caring community offering comfort and assistance through this difficult time.”

McLaughlin, who joined the Army in 2012, was assigned to his current unit in 2016. He served there first as a horizontal construction engineer and then as a squad leader, according to officials with the 82nd Airborne. His awards included the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters signifying subsequent awards. . .

Villalon, who joined the Army in 2018 and was assigned to his current unit the following year, was also on his first combat deployment. His awards the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with “C” Device and the Army Achievement Medal. (Read more from “Two Paratroopers Killed in Afghanistan” HERE)

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Huge Earthquakes Hit Puerto Rico

Another earthquake in Puerto Rico has continued the terror of previous quakes that have left people without homes and power.

The magnitude 6.0 quake added further damage to homes and schools along the American protectorate’s southern coast, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey said at 8:54 a.m. the quake hit eight miles southeast of Guanica at a shallow depth of three miles.

According to Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, power outages in the southern part of the protectorate and were looking into further damage to the power plants. . .

Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans remain without power with thousands more living in shelters or sleeping on the sidewalk since last Tuesday’s quake, AP noted. (Read more from “Huge Earthquakes Hit Puerto Rico” HERE)

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Bernie Campaign Goes off on Joe Biden: He ‘Repeatedly Betrayed Black Voters’

The national co-chair of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign tore into former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on race in an op-ed Sunday.

Biden has “repeatedly betrayed black voters,” Nina Turner argued in an op-ed published in South Carolina newspaper The State.

She hammered Biden’s opposition to forced desegregation busing and his work with segregationist senators and wrote: “Biden didn’t just vote for bills designed to prevent black students from accessing white schools: in a series of personal letters he actively courted pro-segregation senators to support the legislation.”

“Sanders, by contrast, began his work in politics by organizing civil rights protests. As a college student, he helped lead a local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality in its push to desegregate housing. Sanders participated in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington and was arrested for protesting rampant school segregation in Chicago,” Turner wrote.

“In addition, Sanders has been pushing an education plan that supports local efforts to combat racial segregation,” she added. (Read more from “Bernie Campaign Goes off on Joe Biden: He ‘Repeatedly Betrayed Black Voters'” HERE)

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Here’s Who Trump Wants as Impeachment Witnesses

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that senators will “pay a price” if they block new witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, but the president quickly retorted that she and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff should also testify.

The House plans to vote this week to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate for the historic trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. It will be only the third impeachment trial in American history.

Trump tweeted right before and after Pelosi’s appearance, in both instances using derisive nicknames. He said both she and Schiff should appear in the Senate for testimony. . .

It is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate would call either Democrat to testify in the president’s impeachment trial, which could start as soon as this week. The Democratic-run House is set to vote this week to send the articles of impeachment after Pelosi ended a more than three-week delay. (Read more from “Here’s Who Trump Wants as Impeachment Witnesses” HERE)

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