Trump calls for John Kerry to be prosecuted for Iran talks amid heightened tensions

WORLD NEWS Trump calls for John Kerry to be prosecuted for Iran talks amid heightened tensions  https://linewsradio.com/trump-calls-for-john-kerry-to-be-prosecuted-for-iran-talks-amid-heightened-tensions/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump went after former Secretary of State John Kerry again Thursday, calling for the former senator and top U.S. diplomat to be prosecuted for meeting with Iranian leaders and “telling them what to do.”

It’s an accusation that Kerry strongly denies and that legal scholars question the merits of as well. A source close to Kerry said that he has not talked to Iranian leaders since Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump’s charges against Kerry come as his own administration has heightened tensions with Tehran. U.S. officials said Iran and its proxies were preparing an attack against U.S. forces in Iraq, sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the region and deploying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Baghdad in a show of force.

Senior Trump aides met at the White House on Thursday to discuss next steps, with concerns growing about a clash between the two sides. But the president said he was not interested in war with Iran; he wanted to talk to Iranian leaders, but it was Kerry who has blocked that, according to the president.

“John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly he should be prosecuted on that, but my people don’t want to do anything,” he said Thursday during a White House announcement on cutting costs for medical expenses.

Trump has repeatedly called for the prosecution of certain political opponents, including Hillary Clinton, Kerry’s predecessor at the State Department and a fellow Democratic presidential candidate. But the president made it seem as if he had discussed prosecuting Kerry with some advisers. The White House did not respond to questions about that.

“He’s talking to Iran and has been — has many meetings and many phone calls, and he’s telling them what to do. That is a total violation of the Logan Act,” Trump continued.

While Kerry has said publicly that he’s spoken to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, a source close to him said that he has not talked to Iranian leadership since then.

“When he did before then, it was to urge them to stay in the deal,” the source said. “And no, of course he has never discouraged a call. He’s urged everyone on all sides to talk and use diplomacy.”

Kerry himself denied Trump’s accusations through a spokesperson, who told ABC News on Thursday that, in part, “Everything President Trump said today is simply wrong, end of story. He’s wrong about the facts, wrong about the law and sadly he’s been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep America safe.”

The Iranian government also denied contacts with Kerry, with Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi telling MSNBC, “This is something new to us, that John Kerry has told us to not talk to the current president or his administration.”

The law in question — the Logan Act — is an arcane statute that has received renewed attention in recent years. Signed into law in 1799, it penalizes private individuals for negotiating or collaborating with foreign governments on issues involving the United States without the federal government’s permission. There has only been one indictment under the law — in 1803 against a Kentucky farmer who wrote an op-ed calling for western states to secede and ally themselves with France — and the charges were ultimately dropped. No one has ever been prosecuted under the law.

It is “unclear whether the federal government does in fact have the power to limit this particular speech and whether the statute is overbroad in its coverage,” according to a 2010 article in the Houston Journal of International Law.

But throughout the years, politicians have used it to bully opponents, urging prosecution of them for what could be seen as traitorous behavior. Critics argued Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn should’ve been prosecuted for urging Russia to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories that the Obama administration was going to abstain on and see passed. Russia ultimately voted in favor of the resolution.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Boston Red Sox visit the White House; some team members opt out in protest

Sports News Boston Red Sox visit the White House; some team members opt out in protest https://linewsradio.com/boston-red-sox-visit-the-white-house-some-team-members-opt-out-in-protest/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Boston Red Sox visited the White House Thursday afternoon to celebrate their October World Series win with President Donald Trump – an event a number of minority team members skipped in opposition to administration policies.

Several key members of the team have opted out of the White House visit, including Red Sox manager and three-time World Series champion Alex Cora. Cora told Puerto Rican newspaper El Nueva Dia he “doesn’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,” because of the Trump administration’s disaster relief response to Hurricane Maria.

Trump touched on disaster relief during a rally with supporters in Florida Wednesday night. While announcing $448 million in new disaster relief for areas of the Florida panhandle still recovering from Hurricane Michael, the president claimed that Puerto Rico received $91 billion to recover from Hurricane Maria.

According to fact checks from the Associated Press and the Washington Post, only $11 billion has been distributed to Puerto Rico so far. The president’s number included the total $41 billion Congress announced and $50 billion in expected future aid.

On Monday, Zineb Curran, the vice president of corporate communications for the Red Sox, told ABC News that the team supports and respects Cora’s decision.”We are grateful to our ownership for creating a culture where we discuss these issues openly and encourage individual decision making,” he said.

Trump has recently disinvited other championship-winning teams from visiting the White House when their players were critical of him, including the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

“Each Red Sox player is a shining example of excellence living out an American sporting tradition that goes back many generations,” Trump said at the event after recounting the Red Sox’s road to a World Series victory. “From the open fields of our rich farmlands to the playgrounds and the vacant lots of our great cities, kids everywhere learned to catch fly balls, swing for the fences and race for the plate. Baseball is truly America’s pastime.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Trump ‘very surprised’ about subpoena for son Donald Trump Jr.

Political News Trump 'very surprised' about subpoena for son Donald Trump Jr. https://linewsradio.com/trump-very-surprised-about-subpoena-for-son-donald-trump-jr/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he was “very surprised” by the subpoena for his son, Donald Trump Jr., issued by the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee.

“My son’s a good person,” Trump said, “He works very hard. The last thing he needs is Washington, D.C. He would rather not ever be involved.”

He also said he was leaving the question of whether Mueller should testify to Congress up to his “very great attorney general,” William Barr.

But just as soon as he said he said he won’t get involved in the decision, the president then launched into an extended argument about why there should be no further investigations stemming from the Russia probe, saying there was “no collusion and essentially no obstruction.” Trump has not previously used the qualifying description “essentially.”

The president did not say whether his son should fight the subpoena but he did say that he had previously testified “for a massive amount of time.”

On Capitol Hill, Republicans blasted the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, for signing off on the subpoena.

GOP Sen. Rand Paul took a major swipe at Burr, telling reporters that the subpoena is an “overzealous persecution of the president’s family” and that it couldn’t have happened “without Republicans being complicit in it.”

“At some point this is is not about finding facts, this smacks of politics,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a committee member, told reporters Thursday morning. “And I think we have an important job to do to try to keep the intelligence committee out of politics…”

“I can understand his frustration at being asked to come back after having cooperated for such a long period of time, seeing now that the Mueller report has concluded, sort of wondering what the purpose of this is,” Cornyn said of Trump Jr.

Other Republicans also expressed their sympathies for Trump Jr.

“I think about the time that he spent hours with our staff and testimony that’s recorded, and then now everything post the Mueller report coming out, and its conclusions of no collusion or any crime,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “What more is there to do now?” he added.

The top Democrat on the committee – Sen. Mark Warner – told reporters that he commends Burr for his work on the committee and for working with him in such a bipartisan manner.

“Some of the criticisms out there are not the first time the chairman or I have received criticisms over this investigation,” Warner told reporters.

“I am proud of this committee because we’re the only committee that is still bipartisan, still following the facts. And we’re going to continue that process,” he said.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said that while she can’t talk about the subpoena, she has Burr’s back.

“I believe that Senator Burr has been a very good chairman, has done an excellent job conducting this investigation and has worked very closely with the ranking Democrat on the committee,” Collins said.

Trump Jr. has previously met with three congressional committees, including the Senate Intelligence Committee in December of 2017, with whom he met for more than nine hours as part of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He met with the Senate Judiciary Committee in September of 2017 for more than five hours and with the House Intelligence Committee for more than eight hours in December of 2017.

It is unclear why the committee wants Trump’s son to return to testify.

A source close to Trump Jr. said there was an agreement between the president’s son and the committee that he would only have to come in and testify once as long as he was willing to stay for as long as they’d like, which the source said he did.

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Posted On 09 May 2019

No “wedding” but a funeral: Yes, all those stars really did show up for that ‘Avengers: Endgame’ scene

Entertainment News  No "wedding" but a funeral: Yes, all those stars really did show up for that 'Avengers: Endgame' scene https://linewsradio.com/no-wedding-but-a-funeral-yes-all-those-stars-really-did-show-up-for-that-avengers-endgame-scene/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — (Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame) If you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame, you know Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark basically sacrifices himself to save the universe, and is later honored at a lakeside memorial.  But was everyone really there?

After all, the attendees at the funeral are a who’s who of the Marvel universe: Chris Evans’ Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy crew, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer from Ant-Man, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and many more.  So, were any of them added digitally?

“Not a single one,” director Anthony Russo tells ABC Radio. “I think it was the most well-rehearsed shot we ever did.”

He adds, “[Of] course…because of the nature of the scene we had…we had to be very quiet about it. We would we would always refer to that scene internally as ‘The Wedding,’ in order not to tip anything.”

One of the mourners was unrecognizable to many fans: Ty Simpkins, a 17-year-old actor, played Harley, a bullied kid who Tony befriends in 2013’s Iron Man 3.

“We just thought very specifically about who was important in Tony’s life,” Anthony says.

“We love Easter eggs,” director Joe Russo admits of Simpkins’ presence. “Clearly he’s grown quite a bit. So we had a feeling that most people would not recognize him, but it’s great, because that’s part of the conversation you have in the movie. ‘Who’s that kid?!'” 

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Trump outlines plan to tackle ‘surprise medical bills’

noipornpan/iStock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump announced that his administration plans to treat the extra pain some patients experience when they’re faced with so-called “surprise medical bills” and the unexpected high cost that comes with treatment by out-of-network physicians.

The president outlined the principles the administration would support as part of a larger legislative agenda that tackles medical bill sticker shock after emergency services and elective surgery.

“For too long, surprise billings, which has been a tremendous problem in this country, has left some patients with thousands of dollars of unexpected and unjustified charges,” the president said. “Not a pleasant surprise, a very unpleasant surprise.”

“No one in America should be bankrupted unexpectedly by health care costs that are absolutely out of control. No family should be blindsided by outrageous medical bills,” Trump said.

The president – who has been at battle with Democrats in Congress – said he is eager to work with “both parties” to find a legislative solution and was joined by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress for the announcement.

Senior administration officials told reporters that in emergency situations, the administration wants to make co-payments for emergency care the same for patients regardless of whether they go to an emergency room that’s in or out of network.

For elective surgery, the administration wants to address situations where patients get a surprise charge for a procedure that they understand to be in-network when an out-of-network physician – such as an anesthesiologist – is brought into a procedure.

One of the guests in the room, Drew Calver, a high school history teacher and swim coach from Austin, Texas, was slammed with a $109,101 medical bill after he was hospitalized for a heart attack in 2017.

Calver was taken to an out-of-network hospital and charged $164,941. His insurance paid $55,840, leaving the father of four with a seemingly insurmountable bill. After the story was reported by NPR, the hospital mostly waived the bill but it’s an example of the unexpected costs some patients are faced with.

“I feel like I was exploited at the most vulnerable point in my life, so I hope Congress hears this call to take action, close the loopholes and work towards that transparency,” Calver said when invited to make remarks by the president.

The president also welcomed Elizabeth Moreno and her father, retired physician Paul Davis, to talk about being hit by a whopping $17,000 bill for a routine urine sample. Moreno had the test done at an out-of-network lab.

A survey by the University of Chicago found that fifty-seven percent of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill that they thought would have been covered by insurance, and a 2018 poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 67% of Americans worry about unexpected medical bills.

“Laying out principles for Congress to address surprise billing is another major step in President Trump’s efforts to deliver on this commitment: You, as the American patient, have the right to know what a prescription drug or healthcare service costs before you receive it,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We aim to address surprise billing in a way that will protect American patients from this abusive practice and lay a foundation for a system where the patient is put at ease and in control.”

Taking on surprise medical bills has received bipartisan support in Congress. Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said members of Congress plan to introduce legislation in July.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Donald Trump intends to nominate acting Pentagon chief to fill role permanently: Sarah Sanders

Political News President Donald Trump intends to nominate acting Pentagon chief to fill role permanently: Sarah Sanders https://linewsradio.com/president-donald-trump-intends-to-nominate-acting-pentagon-chief-to-fill-role-permanently-sarah-sanders/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump intends to nominate Patrick Shanahan to serve as his next Defense secretary, according to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate,” Shanahan said in a statement. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy. I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”

The Pentagon’s Inspector General recently cleared Shanahan of alleged bias in favoring Boeing, his previous employer, during his tenure at the Pentagon.

Shanahan has served more than four months as acting Defense secretary, the longest such tenure in history, even though for much of that time it had been expected that he would be nominated to the position.

The former Boeing executive arrived at the Pentagon in 2017, serving as former-Defense Secretary James Mattis’ deputy despite no foreign policy or military experience. He stepped into the role of acting Defense Secretary on Jan. 1 after Mattis resigned from office following the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

The president’s nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

As deputy, Shanahan managed the Pentagon’s budget, as well as day-to-day operations, and oversaw the creation of Trump’s Space Force. During his nomination process for the deputy role, the late-Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, threatened to block his nomination because of his lack of experience and 31-year stint at a major defense company. But Shanahan was ultimately confirmed in a 92-7 vote.

Shanahan clashed with senators, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during the Munich Security Conference in Germany last month. Graham was rallying support from European allies to leave a residual force in Syria to ensure security and stability for partners in the region. But Shanahan was seen as undercutting that message, telling those same allies that the U.S. was pursuing a unilateral withdrawal by the end of April.

“Well, if the policy is going to be that we are leaving by April 30, I am now your adversary, not your friend,” Graham told the Washington Post that he said to Shanahan.

But a U.S. official told ABC News the two have since patched their relationship.

In his time as acting Pentagon chief, Shanahan visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and attended the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels and the Munich Security Conference, meeting with key partners and allies. He has also navigated the president’s decision to declare a national emergency on the southern border which pulls billions of dollars from the Pentagon’s coffers.

Shanahan has already authorized $1 billion of Pentagon counter-narcotics money to be shifted around to pay for the construction of barriers at two border areas by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has weathered congressional criticism for the Pentagon’s plans to shift money for specific military construction projects to future border spending, for now the Pentagon continues to assess what projects might be affected.

Shanahan spent three decades rising through the ranks of Boeing as an engineer, last serving as senior vice president of supply chain operations. He’s been credited with rescuing Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, earning the nickname “fix-it man.”

When Shanahan took the deputy job in 2017, he divested his financial interests related to Boeing and signed an ethics agreement barring him for participating in Boeing-related activities — as is typical for government officials transitioning from the private sector.

But his long run at Boeing also raised concerns by congress and watchdog groups that he could have favored the company over other large defense contractors while serving at the Pentagon.

In late March, the Pentagon’s Inspector General launched a narrow-focused investigation to see if Shanahan had violated those ethics agreements by disparaging Boeing competitors during Pentagon meetings.

The investigation concluded that while Shanahan would at times reference his experience at Boeing his comments were interpreted by meeting participants as ways to improve “government management of DOD programs, rather than to promote Boeing or its products.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Rosenstein honored at farewell ceremony amid lingering questions about role in Mueller probe

Political News Rosenstein honored at farewell ceremony amid lingering questions about role in Mueller probe https://linewsradio.com/rosenstein-honored-at-farewell-ceremony-amid-lingering-questions-about-role-in-mueller-probe/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The nation’s top law enforcement officials hosted a ceremony Thursday honoring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose planned departure from the Justice Department comes amid renewed scrutiny over his role overseeing the special counsel’s Russia investigation and his relationship with President Donald Trump.

After a series of tributes, Rosenstein began his remarks by noting that all Justice Department officials take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution that overrides “loyalty to anyone else.”

“Seeking the truth requires an open mind,” he said. “There are many people in this room who stood with me on the ramparts of justice.”

“He’s faced criticism from all corners but has proven remarkably unflappable,” Attorney General Bill Barr, speaking just before Rosenstein, told a crowd of hundreds gathered in the Justice Department’s Great Hall.

At the start of his remarks, Barr cracked a joke about media commentary surrounding Rosenstein’s appearance during a news conference prior to release of the Mueller report, where he stood essentially motionless as Barr sparred with the media.

Calling Rosenstein over to stand next to him, Barr said: “There’s been a debate raging for the last few months and I think we have to get it resolved and decided tonight” Which one of us is capable of the most deadpan expression?” he said, referring to the news conference and Barr’s recent testimony to Congress.

Rosenstein’s career has spanned three decades across multiple levels of the criminal justice system.

But it was only days into his two-year tenure as deputy attorney general that he was thrust into the national spotlight over his role in writing a memo that the White House misleadingly used to justify President Trump’s decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey.

Comey’s firing followed by the recusal of former attorney general Jeff Sessions in the Russia investigation prompted Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, a decision that would go on to largely define the remainder of his time as the nation’s number two law enforcement official. Sessions was on hand for the tribute as were White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, White House counsel Emmet Flood and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have at various points through the investigation have cast Rosenstein as a villain.

House Republicans threatened Rosenstein with impeachment over his refusals to hand over classified documents relating to the origin of the investigation into Trump’s campaign. A New York Times story from from late 2018 that Rosenstein once suggested the possibility of surreptitiously recording President Trump and enlisting Cabinet members to remove him from office by using the 25th Amendment further fueled calls from Republicans for Trump to oust him.

“I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false,” Rosenstein said in response to the story at the time.

In contrast, Democrats and former law enforcement officials have accused Rosenstein of not standing up enough to the president’s frequent attacks against the DOJ and FBI, along with his decision to praise the president in his resignation letter.

“I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations and for the goals you set in your inaugural address,” Rosenstein wrote.

Just months earlier, Trump defended his decision to tweet out a picture showing Rosenstein behind bars along with a host of other political figures and other law enforcement officials.

“Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from,” Comey wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed in reference to Rosenstein and Barr. “Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values.”

Democrats have also recently raised questions over Rosenstein’s decision not to recuse from the obstruction case against President Trump despite his role as a key witness to several of the episodes cited by Mueller’s investigators.

In one contentious exchange during Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony to the Senate last week, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., pressed whether Rosenstein had been cleared by DOJ ethics officials to participate in the decision. Barr said Rosenstein had been cleared at the start of the investigation and dismissed questions that his role as a witness should mean he should have had his recusal re-evaluation.

It’s unclear whether lawmakers plan to call Rosenstein to personally testify about the investigation following his official exit from the department on Saturday.

Jeffrey Rosen, a former lawyer who served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation, was nominated by President Trump to replace Rosenstein and is expected to face a confirmation vote before the Senate sometime next week.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Showdown over Mueller report is a ‘constitutional crisis,’ Pelosi says, but resists calls to impeach Trump

Political News Showdown over Mueller report is a 'constitutional crisis,' Pelosi says, but resists calls to impeach Trump https://linewsradio.com/showdown-over-mueller-report-is-a-constitutional-crisis-pelosi-says-but-resists-calls-to-impeach-trump/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration has become a constitutional crisis, with the president asserting executive privilege over the entire Mueller report and lawmakers moving to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

But she said that calling it a constitutional crisis has not changed her approach to launching impeachment proceedings.

“We have investigations that will give us facts and the truth,” Pelosi told ABC Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce at her weekly news conference in the Capitol.

“This is not about Congress or any committee of Congress. It’s about the American people and their right to know and their election that is at stake and that a foreign government intervened in our election and the president thinks it is a laughing matter.”

Pelosi said she agrees with House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler that the country is in a “constitutional crisis,” but repeatedly emphasized Democrats won’t rush their approach to oversight, pointing to the mounting case her party is building through its investigations – and she stressed that Democrats still haven’t heard directly from special counsel Robert Mueller.

“When we’re ready, we’ll come to the floor, and we’ll just see,” Pelosi said when asked about the timing of a floor vote holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, hinting that Democrats may package contempt resolutions together for multiple administration officials, including former White House counsel Don McGhan, who the president has blocked from turning over documents, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who denied Democrats’ request for six years of the president’s tax returns.

“There may be some other contempt of Congress issues that we want to deal with at the same time.”

“We’re asking in the constitutional way for the administration to comply. We still have more opportunities. We’ll see if Mueller will testify and that will that will make a big difference in terms of where we go from here.”

Pelosi’s delicate balance between her base’s impulse and the president’s provocation has not moved her from her stance – a deep-rooted commitment not to split the country by jumping the gun on impeachment.

“We’re going to do the right thing. That’s just the way it is and it is going to be based on fact and law and patriotism – not partisanship or anything else,” she said. “It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with E Pluribus Unum,” she said referring to the Latin motto on the Great Seal of the United States, and also all U.S. currency and coins meaning “Out of many, one.”

“Impeachment is one of the most divisive things that you can do, dividing a country unless you really have your case with great clarity for the American people,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi acknowledged, “Yes, there is some enthusiasm” for impeachment, but the current strategy “is producing results.”

“This administration wants to have a constitutional crisis because they do not respect the oath of office that they take to protect and defend the Constitution, support the constitution of the United States,” she said. “The fact is our judgment has to be on the facts of what they did in relationship to the law.

“We will go forward with that and we won’t go any faster than the facts take us or any slower than the facts take us.”

Pelosi said “it’s appalling” that the Trump administration “would not even pretend to want to protect our elections and in fact be an obstacle” to finding out more about how Russian interference happened “so we can prevent it from happening again.”

“We follow the facts,” she continued. “Now as I said yesterday, the president is almost self-impeaching because he is everyday demonstrating more obstruction of justice and disrespect for Congress’s legitimate role to subpoena.”

Pressed whether holding administration officials in contempt has any teeth to force compliance with subpoenas, Pelosi explained Democratic oversight “is very methodical.”

“It’s very Constitution-based. It’s very law-based. It’s very factually-based. It’s not about pressure. It’s about patriotism.”

“Will the administration violate the constitution of the United States and not abide by the request of Congress in its legitimate oversight responsibilities? Well, that remains to be seen,” she continued. “Every day they are advertising their obstruction of justice by ignoring subpoenas and by just declaring that people shouldn’t come and speak to Congress so that the American people can find out the truth about the Russian disruption of our election so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Boston Red Sox slated to visit the White House

Sports News Boston Red Sox slated to visit the White House https://linewsradio.com/boston-red-sox-slated-to-visit-the-white-house/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Boston Red Sox are slated to visit the White House Thursday afternoon to celebrate their October World Series win with President Donald Trump.

Several key members of the team have vowed to skip the White House visit, including Red Sox manager and three-time World Series champion Alex Cora. Cora told Puerto Rican newspaper El Nueva Dia he “doesn’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,” because of the Trump administration’s disaster relief response to Hurricane Maria.

Trump touched on disaster relief during a rally with supporters in Florida Wednesday night. While announcing $448 million in new disaster relief for areas of the Florida panhandle still recovering from Hurricane Michael, the president claimed that Puerto Rico received $91 billion to recover from Hurricane Maria.

According to fact checks from the Associated Press and the Washington Post, only $11 billion has been distributed to Puerto Rico so far. The president’s number included the total $41 billion Congress announced and $50 billion in expected future aid.

On Monday, Zineb Curran, the vice president of corporate communications for the Red Sox, told ABC News that the team supports and respects Cora’s decision.”We are grateful to our ownership for creating a culture where we discuss these issues openly and encourage individual decision making,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019

Former US government intelligence analyst charged with leaking classified information to journalist

Political News Former US government intelligence analyst charged with leaking classified information to journalist https://linewsradio.com/former-us-government-intelligence-analyst-charged-with-leaking-classified-information-to-journalist/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

pabradyphoto/iStock(WASHINGTON) — A former U.S. government intelligence analyst and Air Force veteran is charged with leaking classified information to a journalist, who then published the information in online reports, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.

It’s the latest case in a Trump Justice Department crackdown on leakers.

Authorities say Daniel Everette Hale, 31, from Nashville, Tennessee, worked at the National Security Agency and was enlisted in the Air Force. After leaving the Air Force worked for a contractor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency within the Department of Defense.

While a contractor, Hale held a top secret clearance, and used that clearance to access and print 36 top secret or secret documents, 23 of which had no relevance to his work at the NGA, prosecutors said.

Court documents also say that the reporter’s outlet published 17 documents in their entirety and 11 of those were marked top secret or secret.

The documents Hale allegedly leaked to the reporter pertained to drone strikes overseas and the terrorist watch list.

The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, published a 2013 story on the terrorist watch list that matches the description in the court documents, but is not named in the documents. Scahill also wrote a book in 2013 which touched on the topic of drones and was on tour for the book.

“[The Reporter] wants me to tell my story about working with drones at the opening screening of his documentary about the war and the use of drones,” Hale texted his friend after meeting the reporter at a bookstore event in Washington, D.C., court documents said.

The government alleges that Hale set up an encrypted messaging account to communicate with the reporter and traveled to New York to meet with the reporter. Hale also sent an unclassfifed version of his resume to the reporter while he was looking for other jobs in the intelligence community.

After a night of “hanging out with journalists,” court documents said, Hale texted his friend that the people who were there could provide him “life-long connections with people who publish work like this.”

The government also says that Hale stored documents on a home computer and on two flash drives. The government says that one of the flash drives contained encrypted software that was recommended by the news outlet to leak documents to them.

After The Intercept published information sensitive to the 2016 election, former NSA Contractor Reality Winner was charged and plead guilty to leaking classified documents to journalists. She is currently serving more than five years in prison.

In 2018, the Justice Department charged two more government officials with leaking to the press.

In June, DOJ charged a former Senate aide with leaking classified material to a New York Times reporter and in October they charged a senior Treasury Department employee with leaking “highly sensitive information” about suspects in the high-profile investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, the Justice Department said in October.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 09 May 2019