The legal team representing President Trump in his Senate impeachment trial will include some familiar faces, especially for regular viewers of Fox News.
Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down an airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and warned that the world is watching for its response. Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain said Iran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations," in a statement issued after a meeting of officials in London. Iran admitted on Saturday it had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident.
House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI’s reform of FISA applications.The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris’s past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.“If the FISC’s goal is to hold the FBI accountable for its serious misconduct, Mr. Kris does not appear to be an objective — or likely effective — amicus curiae for several reasons,” the letter states. “At minimum, the selection of Mr. Kris creates a perception that he is too personally invested on the side of the FBI to ensure it effectuates meaningful reform.”A Republican official with knowledge of the letter told National Review that the letter signaled a concerted Congressional effort to reform FISA.“For too long, the FBI has remained largely un-checked when it comes to the FISA process. Congress must ensure that FISC stands ready to protect civil liberties without even the slightest indicia of political bias,” he said.The letter appears to be a follow-up to Monday comments from Meadows, who said in an interview that Republicans were “appealing this to the Judge” regarding Kris's appointment. The North Carolina Congressman also slammed the move to appoint Kris, saying that “there’s no way” Kris is the right man to address abuses “if he doesn’t even acknowledge that there is a problem.”Kris, a former assistant attorney general in the Obama DOJ’s national security division, has extensive experience with the FISA Court, serving as an amicus curiae, or special adviser, since March 2016.A frequent contributor to Lawfare blog, Kris was an outspoken defender of the FBI’s authority in surveilling Page, who was accused of being a Russian agent.Following the release of heavily-redacted FISA applications used to surveil Page in July 2018, Kris doubled down. “It seems to me very likely that if we get below the tip of the iceberg into the submerged parts and more is revealed, it will get worse, not better,” for Page, he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow at the time. The letter references Kris's comment to Maddow as evidence that he is biased in favor of the bureau and against Page.DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed in December that the FBI knowingly withheld information that Page was a CIA informant in order to obtain a FISA warrant against him, and even doctored an email to keep the information from the court. The report also revealed that the bureau did not inform the FISC of the partisan origins of the uncorroborated Steele dossier despite its playing a "central and essential" role in their application to surveil Page.In their letter, Jordan and Meadows also request that Boasberg give greater insight into the details surrounding the court’s assessment of the Page applications, including when it “first received any indication that information contained in the FBI’s surveillance applications for Carter Page was misleading or false.”
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New documents turned over to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday night include messages between Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and Derek Harvey, an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The Daily Beast was first to report that Parnas helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Harvey in 2018 to help the lawmaker's investigative work, and it appears the practice continued into 2019.The exchanges between Parnas and Harvey, which span several months in early 2019, show the two arranging several meetings and phone calls to discuss two claims that have been central to Trumpworld’s dirt-digging mission in Ukraine and the president’s subsequent impeachment: supposed corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and a plot against Trump by Ukrainian officials during the 2016 election. “We need to set a time for Skype w your four people,” Harvey wrote in an April 2019 message to Parnas, apparently referring to former Ukrainian officials claiming to have information on Biden. “It looks like we can get all the interviews set up for Tuesday or Wednesday whatever works better for you,” Parnas wrote back.“Wednesday would be best here,” Harvey wrote. “It allows me to prep a staff lawyer to assist. Any suggested line of questions? Full names of who we will interview?”Parnas responded, “Sounds good will put together there (sic) names and questions that I recommend.”Parnas then sent Harvey a list of names including several widely discredited former Ukrainian officials who were shown to be in close contact with Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for a dirt-digging mission against Biden that is at the heart of the impeachment. In addition to setting up interviews and arranging meetings, the messages between Parnas and Harvey also show the two exchanging several news articles critical of Biden and his son Hunter. In another message in March, Harvey appeared to task Parnas with doing research on claims the Ukrainian government worked with Hillary Clinton’s allies in 2016 to find compromising information on then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a conspiracy theory frequently espoused by Trump and his allies. Harvey also mentioned Parnas “working through (John) Solomon,” a former columnist at The Hill who had been in contact with Nunes, Giuliani, and Parnas. The Daily Beast reported that Solomon sent a version of his article last year to Parnas and Trumpworld lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing before it was published on the The Hill's website.A lawyer for Parnas, Ed MacMahon, told The Daily Beast previously that his client aided Nunes in arranging meetings and calls in Europe in 2018. Congressional records show Nunes, Harvey, and two of Nunes' other aides went to Europe in late 2018 for four days, using over $63,000 of government funds for the trip.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
An off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.
Before Kensington Palace, Frogmore Cottage, and declaring a pursuit of financial independence, Meghan Markle already lived like a queen.
A "Marriage Story" actress and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room was infested with bedbugs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday broke nearly 72 hours of silence over alleged surveillance and threats to the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, saying he believed the allegations would prove to be wrong but that he had an obligation to evaluate and investigate the matter. In interviews with conservative radio hosts, Pompeo said he had no knowledge of the allegations until earlier this week when congressional Democrats released documents from an associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney suggesting that Marie Yovanovitch was being watched. The documents provided by Parnas suggested there may have been a threat to Yovanovitch shortly before she was abruptly recalled last spring.