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Pro-Trump super PAC airing ads praising Van Drew

Rep. Jeff Van Drew. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

A super PAC supporting President Donald Trump began airing ads in South Jersey last week boosting U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew immediately after the congressman formally switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

POLITICO first reported Friday in New Jersey Playbook that The Committee to Defend the President, a super PAC run by a former Colorado state senator, had purchased $208,400 in television air time and $50,000 in online ads on Dec. 19 — the same day Van Drew made his party switch official and pledged his “undying support” to Trump.

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The 30-second ad began airing Dec. 21, the super PAC announced on Twitter. It praises Van Drew for “standing by President Trump rather than participating in a sham impeachment.”

“It takes guts to stand up for what’s right, even when the mob rises against you,“ the ad says.

The ad comes as Van Drew, who is likely to run for reelection in 2020 as a Republican in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, faces three GOP candidates who were in the race when Van Drew was a Democrat.

Brigid Callahan Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University who is already seeking the Democratic nomination, alleged Van Drew “named his price” while switching parties and that the ad buy will effectively go against “rank and file loyal Republicans who were seeking their party’s nomination in order to oppose Van Drew well before he named his price.”

In a tweet, the super PAC said Harrison was “spewing lies” by accusing Van Drew of having a “price.”

Van Drew left the Democratic Party as internal polls showed his support plummeting among registered Democrats in the 2nd District, and as Democratic Party leaders who immediately embraced his candidacy in 2018 were abandoning him.

Some local Democratic leaders in the district blamed Van Drew’s opposition to impeaching Trump for contributing to losses in New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District, where three Democratic incumbents were running as “Team Van Drew.”

The Committee to Defend the President was founded in 2013 as the “Stop Hillary PAC.” It’s run by former Colorado state legislator Ted Harvey and political consultant Guy Short, according to reports.

The committee first garnered major media attention in 2017, when it aired an ad that asked voters to call a number to “pledge your support” to defend Trump. In October, the Washington Post reported that the super PACs ran an ad on Facebook that told users their voter registrations were incomplete and then took them to a page that harvested their data.

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For black athletes, wealth doesn’t equal freedom

In America, there’s a significant kind of public insistence that one’s “freedom” is fundamentally tied to one’s wealth.

Much of the country views America through an aspirational and transformative lens, a colorblind and bias-free utopia, wherein wealth conveys equality and acts as a panacea for social and racial ills. Once an individual achieves massive financial success, or so the message goes, he or she will “transcend” the scourge of economic and racial inequality, truly becoming “free.”

Working in parallel with this reverence for this colorblind version of the “American Dream” is the belief that economic privilege mandates patriotic gratitude. Across industries and disciplines, Americans are told to love their nation uncritically, be thankful that they are exceptional enough to live in a country that allows citizens the opportunity to reach astronomical heights of economic prosperity.

For the nation’s black citizens, there’s often an additional racialized presumption lurking under the surface of these concepts: the notion that black success and wealth demands public silence on systemic issues of inequality and oppression.

These are durable and fragile ideologies that prop up the concept of the American Dream – durable because they are encoded in the very fabric of American culture (most Americans, including African Americans, have readily embraced these ideologies as assumed facts); yet fragile because it’s all too easy to see that one’s economic privilege is a lousy barrier against both individual and systemic discrimination and oppression.

Consequently, black people have also been among the most vocal challengers of these ideologies, as we’ve seen most recently with the Colin Kaepernick and the NFL #TakeAKnee demonstrations. In a show of solidary with the free agent quarterback, professional football players – the vast majority of whom are black – have been kneeling during the National Anthem as a means of protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

WATCH: NFL players team up in defiance and solidarity

Over the past few weeks, the president of the United States has brought renewed attention to the inherent tensions that define the ideologies of the “American Dream” through his repeated public criticisms of these kneeling NFL players.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues,” Trump recently tweeted, he or she should not be allowed to kneel. Labeling the protestors actions “disrespectful” to the country, flag and anthem, President Donald Trump has called for players to be fired, encouraged a boycott of the NFL, insisted that the league pass a rule mandating that players stand for the anthem and derided the protestors as “sons of bitches.”

In a dramatic ploy more befitting of a scripted reality television show, the president gloated that he had instructed Vice President Mike Pence to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts game the moment any player kneeled. This was an orchestrated show of power and outrage, designed to send a flamboyant political message given that Trump and Pence knew in advance that on that particular day, the Colts were playing the San Francisco 49ers – the team that currently has the most protestors. The NFL’s announcement this week that the league has no plans to penalize protesting players is the most recent event to provoke the president’s fury; taking to social media during the early morning, he once again equated kneeling with “total disrespect” for our country.

As many have pointed out, the president’s moralizing outrage toward the NFL players is selective and deeply flawed – his apparent patriotic loyalty hasn’t stopped the billionaire politician from criticizing the removal of Confederate statues, or attacking a Gold Star family, or mocking Sen. John McCain’s military service.

The NFL players and their defenders have repeatedly stated that the protests are intended to highlight racial inequality and oppression. They’ve also explained that their decision to kneel emerged from a desire to protest peacefully and respectfully after a sustained conversation with military veterans.

Trump has chosen to ignore these rationales and the structural issues of inequality that motivate the protests and instead, advance a narrative exclusively concerned with overt displays of American patriotism and the “privilege” of the NFL players. As one of president’s advisors explained, by aggressively targeting the NFL players, Trump believes that he is “winning the cultural war,” having made black “millionaire sport athletes his new [Hillary Clinton].”

READ MORE: As ‘America’s sport,’ the NFL cannot escape politics

It’s a cynical statement, revealing the president’s perception of the jingoism of his base of supporters who envision him as a crusader for American values and symbols.

In casting the black protestors as the antithesis of all of this, Trump has marked the players as unpatriotic elites and enemies of the nation. For a president who has consistently fumbled his way through domestic and foreign policy since he was elected, a culture war between “hard-working” and “virtuous” working-class and middle-class white Americans and rich, ungrateful black football players is a welcome public distraction.

Trump’s attacks on the NFL protestors are rooted in those competing tensions inherent to the American Dream: that wealth equals freedom; that economic privilege demands patriotic gratitude; and most importantly, that black people’s individual economic prosperity invalidates their concerns about systemic injustice and requires their silence on racial oppression.

Among the protestors’ detractors, this has become a common line of attack, a means of disparaging the black NFL players’ activism by pointing to their apparent wealth. The fact that systemic racism is demonstrably real and that individual prosperity does not make one immune to racial discrimination appears to be lost on the protestors’ critics.

Theirs is a grievance that suggests that black athletes should be grateful to live in this country; that racism can’t exist in America since black professional athletes are allowed to play and sign contracts for considerable sums of money; that black players owe the nation their silence since America “gave” them opportunity and access; that black athletes have no moral authority on issues of race and inequality because of their individual success; and that black athletes’ success was never theirs to earn, but instead, was given to them and can just as easily be taken away.

This culture war being waged over black athletes is not new. Black athletes – and entertainers – have long been hyper-aware of their peculiar place in American society as individuals beloved for their athletic and artistic talents, yet reviled the moment they use their public platform to protest systemic racial inequality. The parallels between the #TakeAKnee protests and the protests of Muhammad Ali or John Carlos and Tommie Smith are readily apparent; so too are there important similarities to the case of Paul Robeson.

An outspoken civil rights activist, collegiate and professional football player, lawyer, opera singer and actor, Robeson had his passport revoked in 1950 because of his political activism and speech – actions that all but destroyed his career. The star athlete and entertainer, “who had exemplified American upward mobility” quickly “became public enemy number one” as institutions cancelled his concerts, the public called for his death and anti-Robeson mobs burned effigies of him.

During a 1956 congressional hearing, the chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities beat a familiar refrain with Robeson, challenging the entertainer’s accusations of American racism and racial oppression. He saw no sign of prejudice, he argued, since Robeson was privileged, having gone to elite universities and playing collegiate and professional football.

READ MORE: Poll: Americans divided on NFL protests

Black athletes, even the silent ones, largely understand that their economic privilege doesn’t insulate them from the realities of racial discrimination. They also understand that their wealth and success is precarious and is often dependent not only upon their athletic performance, but also upon them remaining silent on issues of racial injustice, especially those that appear to question the “American Dream” or implicate the American public by association.

It should come as no surprise then that Colin Kaepernick, whose protests turned him into a national pariah despite his on-the-field talents, has filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing the league and its teams of blackballing him because of his political beliefs. “Principled and peaceful political protest,” Kaepernick’s lawyers argued in a statement, “should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government.” Whether the ostracized Kaepernick will win his grievance is unknown, but it is certainly telling that he and his lawyers have rooted their claims in contested definitions of freedom and the precarious economic privilege of outspoken NFL players.

For the loudest and most vocal critics of black protestors, in particular, outspokenness is tantamount to treason, grounds for the harshest of punishments. Perhaps they would benefit from a close reading of James Baldwin, who once argued: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

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‘I never understood wind’: Trump goes on bizarre tirade against wind turbines | US news

He says he knows more about Isis than his generals, and claims to understand politicians “better than anybody”. Now there is another subject in which Donald Trump’s expert knowledge surpasses that of everybody else: wind turbines, though he calls them windmills.

“I’ve studied it better than anybody I know,” the president asserted in a bizarre segment from a weekend speech to young conservatives in West Palm Beach, Florida, close to his winter retreat at Mar-a-Lago where he is spending the holidays.

“I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. They’re noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”

The Hill

President Trump: “I never understood wind, you know I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody.”

December 22, 2019

Trump ripped into a range of familiar targets in a speech lasting more than one hour at the Turning Point USA student action summit, from the Democrats and House speaker Nancy Pelosi, to his recent impeachment and the so-called Never Trumpers in the Republican party who he said were “the dumbest human beings on earth”.

But it was his rambling and often nonsensical remarks about wind turbines, during a diatribe against the Green New Deal and renewable energy resources, that raised eyebrows.

“They’re made in China and Germany mostly,” Trump said of wind turbines, of which there are more than 57,000 across the US, according to the American Wind Energy Association. “But they’re manufactured tremendous if you’re into this, tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything.

“You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything, right?”

It was unclear what exactly Trump meant, or how Trump equated wind turbines converting clean air into energy to toxic fumes fouling the atmosphere. But he did share his thoughts on their appearance.

“You see all those [windmills]. They’re all different shades of color,” he said. “They’re like sort of white, but one is like an orange-white. It’s my favorite color, orange.”

The president’s “war on wind” is not new: earlier this year he was ridiculed for his claims that wind turbines destroyed property values and caused cancer from their noise.

He is accused of having begun his tirades against wind turbines after wind farm developments were proposed near the golf course he owns in Scotland.

There is some evidence that wind turbines have a negative impact on wildlife: a 2013 study by the Wildlife Society estimated widespread fatalities in California, including close to a million bats and more than half a million raptors, including bald and golden eagles.

The president’s final words on the subject, before hailing himself an “an environmentalist” presiding over an environment “in very good shape”, concerned the long-term aesthetics of wind turbines.

“You know what they don’t tell you about windmills? After 10 years they look like hell. They start to get tired, old,” he said, lamenting that owners of ageing windmills not replacing them without government subsidies was “a really terrible thing”.

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Republicans ‘open to hearing Senate impeachment witnesses’

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Republican Senator Mitch McConnell says he has not ruled out allowing witnesses to testify in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

Congressional lawmakers are wrangling over Senate trial rules, with Democrats demanding witnesses be called so what they term a fair trial can take place.

Mr Trump was formally impeached by the House last week for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senate trial is expected to begin next month, after the holiday break.

The president is accused of pressuring the Ukrainian president to start an investigation into his political rival, Democratic presidential front runner, Joe Biden.

Mr Trump is accused of doing this by withholding military aid and making a White House visit contingent on co-operation.

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Media captionThe story of impeachment by a Christmas choir

Democrats have so far refused to handover the articles of impeachment voted through in the House – the charges – to the Senate.

They want assurances from Mr McConnell that their chosen witnesses – at least four current and former White House aides with knowledge of the Ukraine affair – will be allowed to testify.

What did Mr McConnell say?

“We haven’t ruled out witnesses,” Mr McConnell told Fox News on Monday.

He accused Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of holding “an absurd position” and said she is “apparently trying to tell us how to run the trial”.

“You know, I’m not anxious to have this trial, so if she wants to hold onto the papers, go right ahead.”

“Look, we’re at an impasse. We can’t do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everyone enjoy the holidays,” the Kentucky Republican added.

Mr Trump is the third president in US history to be impeached. But he is unlikely to be removed from office, as his Republican party has a majority in the Senate, where a trial will be held as stipulated in the US Constitution.

What are Democrats saying?

Democrats renewed their demand for witnesses over the weekend after an email emerged suggesting the White House sought to freeze aid to Ukraine just 91 minutes after Mr Trump spoke to President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone in July. That call is at the centre of the allegations against Mr Trump – charges he denies.

Top Senator Democrat Chuck Schumer said the email was an “explosive” reminder of the need for senate witnesses to testify.

Mr Schumer said he and his Republican counterpart remain at an impasse after holding a “cordial” meeting on Thursday to discuss trial rules.

During a press conference in his home state of New York on Sunday, Mr Schumer said Republicans “have come up with no good reason why there shouldn’t be witnesses, why there shouldn’t be documents”.

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Media captionChuck Schumer – “Not a single good argument why these witnesses shouldn’t testify”

He added: “We don’t know what the witnesses will say. We don’t know how the documents will read. They might exonerate President Trump or they might further incriminate him. But the truth should come out on something as important as an impeachment.”

Democrats argue that Republicans will not act as impartial jurors during the impeachment trial, after Mr McConnell pledged last week to work with “total co-ordination” with the White House.

‘Corrupt purpose’

On Monday, Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen wrote to the Government Accountability Office asking about the legality of Mr Trump’s decision to withhold congressionally approved aid to Ukraine.

Mr Van Hollen said in his letter that Mr Trump violated the Impound Control Act because he had a “corrupt purpose” when he withheld the aid, and did not notify Congress of the delay as required by the law.

  • Trump impeachment: A very simple guide
  • How Ukraine story unfolded

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, who narrowly won election in the majority Republican state in 2017, told ABC News on Sunday that the allegations against Mr Trump were “serious” but he will keep an open mind in the trial.

“I’m trying to see if the dots get connected. If that is the case, then I think it’s a serious matter. I think it’s an impeachable matter,” he said. “But if these dots aren’t connected and there are other explanations that I think are consistent with innocence, I will go that way too.

“What I really want to see, though, is to fill in the gaps,” he said. “There are gaps.”

Want to find out more?

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Buttigieg Fundraising Consultant Offered Influence to Wealthy Donor in Email

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event where he is endorsed by actor Kevin Costner, at a high school in Indianola, Iowa, U.S. December 22, 2019. (Rachel Mummey/Reuters)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing criticism for an email one of his top fundraisers sent out that appeared to peddle influence to wealthy donors in exchange for cash contributions.

“If you want to get on the campaign’s radar now before he is flooded with donations after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, you can use the link below for donations,” read the email, which was sent by H.K. Park of the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm The Cohen Group and obtained by Axios.

The Cohen Group is listed by the Buttigieg campaign as one of its top fundraisers, or those who have raised at least $25,000 for the South Bend, Indiana mayor’s campaign.

The potential donor was reportedly concerned about the nature of the campaign solicitation, saying it smacked of pay-to-play tactics.

“It’s very telling and concerning that one of the campaign’s major bundlers would talk like that,” the donor, who chose to remain anonymous, told Axios. “If that’s the way he’s operating, it’s in the public interest for people to know what’s being said.”

“What would this suggest about the way he’s going to interact with Silicon Valley if the implication is pay-for-play?” the donor added.

The Buttigieg campaign has pushed back on pay-to-play accusations, arguing that the email did not come directly from the campaign and does not represent anything other than an early call to support the candidate.

“The campaign did not see or authorize the language in this email. But it is ridiculous to interpret it as anything more than asking potential supporters who may be interested in Pete to join our campaign before caucusing and voting begins,” Buttigieg campaign spokesperson Sean Savett said. “We are proud to have more than 700,000 donors who have already donated to our campaign, and the only promise any donor will ever get from Pete is that he will use their donations to defeat Donald Trump.”

The fundraising technique, called “bundling,” is an example of the kind of high-dollar strategy that fellow Democratic 2020 candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have disavowed. During Thursday’s Democratic debate, Warren went after Buttigieg for holding a private fundraiser in a wine cave with wealthy donors.

“The mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine,” Warren said, referencing an opulent Napa Valley fundraiser Buttigieg attended earlier this month. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”

Buttigieg hit back, reminding Warren that she held high-dollar fundraisers herself during her campaign for Senate and transferred the resulting funds to her presidential campaign.

“This is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot yourself pass,” the mayor said.

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IG excoriates FBI conduct in Russia probe, concludes FISA warrants misled court

The FBI’s investigation into alleged Russia-Trump collusion was properly opened without political bias in 2016 but quickly devolved into “serious performance failures” that misled the courts about the flaws with the bureau’s evidence and its star informant Christopher Steele, the Justice Department’s chief watchdog concluded Monday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz spared few words for the
FBI and its chain of command as he concluded the bureau misled the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court with at least 17 errors and omissions that
rendered each of four applications for surveillance warrants grossly inaccurate.

“Our review found that FBI personnel fell far short of the
requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a
FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate,’” Horowitz wrote. “We identified
multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA
application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate
documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time
the application was filed.

Specifically, the IG found, FBI agents had not corroborated
any of the allegations in Steele’s dossier before using his source information
to support its first FISA warrant on Oct. 21, 2016 and even blew past concerns
of a senior DOJ official about Steele’s political biases.

In subsequent applications to renew the FISA warrants in 2017, the FBI failed to inform the FISA judges that Steele’s main intelligence source had raised a stunning red flag by disavowing information attributed to that source, the report said.

The massive omission and false assertions in the FISA applications
“made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger
than was actually the case,” the IG found.

“We concluded that the failures described above and in this
report represent serious performance failures by the supervisory and
non-supervisory agents with responsibility over the FISA applications,” the IG

While evidence indicated that the case agents in the Russia
probe were mostly to blame for failing to flag the inaccuracies, omissions and
Steele credibility issues, accountability needed to be assigned all the way to
the top of the bureau, Horowitz said.

“In our view, this was a failure of not only the operational team, but also of the managers and supervisors, including senior officials, in the chain of command,” the report said.

Attorney General William Barr on Monday applauded the IG work, saying it had substantiated “a clear abuse of FISA process.”

“In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source,” Barr said.

The biggest winners in the long-awaited IG report were Rep.
Devin Nunes and his Republican colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee
who flagged the serious flaws in the FISA process back in 2018 and Carter Page,
the Trump campaign adviser targeted by the surveillance warrants whose privacy
was clearly violated by faulty FBI warrants.

Specifically, the IG found, that none of the four
allegations Steele had made about Page and that were included in the FISA warrants
was corroborated, including that he met in July 2016 with two senior Russians
close to Vladimir Putin.

“We found that the FBI did not have information
corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s
reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or
subsequent renewal applications,” the report said.

Steele, the former MI6 agent who was hired by Clinton’s
Fusion GS opposition research firm, was among the biggest losers in the report,
which portrayed his dossier as essentially intelligence garbage.

The report divulges that concerns about Steele’s reliability
as an informant pre-dated the first FISA applications when a senior Justice
official, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Evans in the National Security
Division, flagged Steele’s political bias and connections to Hillary Clinton’s
campaign, which paid for his dossier.

Evans warned that “Steele may have been hired by someone
associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC, and that the foreign
intelligence to be collected through the FISA order would probably not be worth
the risk of being criticized later for collecting communications of someone
(Carter Page) who was politically sensitive,” the report found.

But senior DOJ and FBI officials, including then-Deputy FBI
Director Andrew McCabe, chose to proceed.

That decision resulted in the courts getting a substantially
false picture of Steele’s credibility, one that was never corrected during the
time the FISA warrants were active, the report said. The FBI misstated the
value of Steele’s past intelligence work and hid the lack of corroboration for
the allegation in his dossier, the IG concluded.

The report quoted the FBI agent handling Steele as saying “he
would not have approved the representation” that Steele had been a reliable informant
because “most” of his information had not in fact been corroborated.

“We concluded that these failures created the inaccurate
impression in the applications that at least some of Steele’s past reporting
had been deemed sufficiently reliable by prosecutors to use in court, and that
more of his information had been corroborated than was actually the case,” the
report found.

The report divulges that other intelligence community
assets, including the CIA, so distrusted Steele’s dossier that they urged it
not be included in the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia
interference in the 2016 election.

“The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) expressed concern
about the lack of vetting for the Steele election reporting and asserted it did
not merit inclusion in the body of the report. An FBI Intel Section Chief told
us the CIA viewed it as ‘internet rumor,’” the report noted.

Separately, the report also confirmed reporting I did more than
a year ago that the FBI obtained exculpatory information from Page and George
Papadopolous, two of the targeted campaign aides in the investigation, but did
not disclose that information to the FISA judges even though it “raised
questions about the validity of allegations under investigation.”

The report cites several instance, including Page telling an
FBI informant in August 2016 he never had contact with Manafort and Papadopoulous
repeatedly insisting to an informant that the campaign wasn’t involved in
hacking or distributing Clinton’s emails.

The FBI actually had recorded undercover statements from Papadopolous
stating in fall 2016 that “as far as I understand … no one’s
collaborating, there’s been no collusion and it’s going to remain that

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DOJ: Impeachment votes undercut House case for McGahn testimony

That bolsters the Trump administration’s argument that the courts should simply butt out of the legal showdown, the DOJ filing says.

“The reasons for refraining are even more compelling now that what the Committee asserted—whether rightly or wrongly—as the primary justification for its decision to sue no longer exists,” the DOJ lawyers wrote, without elaborating on that claim.

House lawyers indicated in advance of last week’s committee and floor votes that the panel planned to push on with its impeachment-related investigations. And Democratic lawmakers who led the House impeachment inquiry have long contended that their efforts to gather more evidence would continue, and that the timing of the impeachment vote reflected the urgency of the matter but not the conclusion of the effort to obtain witnesses and documents.

One open question is whether a Senate trial — whose contours remain unsettled — will involve attempts to seek testimony from witnesses who never appeared before any House panel. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, in particular, has requested testimony from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.

Justice Department attorneys argued in their new submission that the looming prospect of a Senate trial is yet another reason for the judicial branch to stand aside.

“If this Court now were to resolve the merits question in this case, it would appear to be weighing in on a contested issue in any impeachment trial,” the DOJ legal team wrote. “The now very real possibility of this Court appearing to weigh in on an article of impeachment at a time when political tensions are at their highest levels—before, during, or after a Senate trial regarding the removal of a President—puts in stark relief why this sort of interbranch dispute is not one that has ‘traditionally thought to be capable of resolution through the judicial process….’”

“This Court should decline the Committee’s request that it enter the fray and instead should dismiss this fraught suit between the political branches for lack of jurisdiction,” the Justice Department lawyers added.

The DOJ filing was one of several submissions expected Monday in response to requests the appeals court issued about an hour after the impeachment votes last week, seeking clarification of the impact of the votes on the McGahn case and a parallel legal fight for access to grand jury secrets in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

Both those cases are expected to be heard on Jan. 3 by partially-overlapping three-judge panels. The Justice Department, which brought the cases to the appeals court, is not urging any delay of those arguments. However, the DOJ lawyers said the court shouldn’t rush to get a decision in the McGahn case out — potentially leaving a ruling until after the expected impeachment trial is complete.

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What is the pay gap between men and women?

The disparity in how much women make compared with men comes up often in the political discourse, tagged with a call to action to help women’s paychecks catch up.

Several leading Democratic presidential candidates recently highlighted one of the biggest imbalances — saying that a Latina woman must work 23 months to make the amount a white man makes in one year, or that they make 54 cents on the dollar.

PolitiFact has been fact-checking claims about women’s pay for years. It’s important to know a speaker’s choice of words can significantly affect whether their point about the gender pay gap is right or wrong.

Women on average do make less than men, but the government data isn’t based on men and women doing the same jobs. It’s an average that widens or closes by factors such as race, type of job, and age. Research suggests women are overrepresented in jobs that tend to pay less, for a variety of reasons.

Here’s a fresh look at the numbers, factors attributed to the gender pay disparity, and new legislation seeking to eliminate the pay gap.

Women get paid less, but there’s more to know

The median earnings for men and women who worked full-time, year-round were $55,291 and $45,097, respectively, according to 2018 Census Bureau data. In other words, women made 81.6 cents on the dollar compared to men. That was not statistically different from 2017, when women made 80.5 cents on the dollar.

Know this about the data: it is not a direct comparison of men and women doing the same work.

It compares all women’s earnings with all men’s earnings. The figure also does not adjust for other factors, such as degrees and jobs women pursue, the time they take off to care for children, the number of hours they work, and years of work experience. So while the data does show a disparity, it is not an apples-to-apples comparison of pay for equal work.

Other data commonly used to measure the gender pay disparity comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, particularly its reports on usual weekly earnings of wage and salary workers. (BLS gets its data from the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey sent to about 60,000 households nationwide.)

In the third quarter of 2019, women’s median weekly earnings were $825, or 82.3% of the $1,002 median for men, BLS reported.

The earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. Here’s a breakdown of that third quarter data:

• White women earned 82.2% as much as white men

• Asian women earned 83.7% as much as Asian men

• Hispanic women earned 87.3% as much as Hispanic men

• Black women earned 88.9% as much as black men

Median weekly earnings of blacks and Hispanics working full-time were lower than those of Whites and Asians, BLS said.

(Here’s detailed government data on earnings from 1960 through 2017.)

Pew Research Center analyzed data on the median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers and found that in 2018, women earned 85% of what men earned.

Beyond the numbers: What’s driving the disparity?

We often hear that discriminatory practices are a reason why on average women are paid less than men. Expert say it’s hard to measure how much of a role that discrimination plays in the disparity.

“Research shows that more than half of the gap is due to job and industry segregation — essentially, women tend to work in jobs done primarily by other women, and men tend to work in jobs done primarily by other men and the ‘men’s jobs’ are paid more,” said Jennifer Clark, a spokeswoman for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Clark cited education and race as other factors, too.

While career choices may be shaped to a certain extent by gender, “we do not know how much discriminatory ‘herding’ there is,” Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution previously told us.

Are things getting better for women?

It depends how far back you go.

The wage gap between women and men has narrowed a lot in the last 40 years, Clark said. “But progress essentially stalled in the last two decades,” she said.

Pew Research Center in March said there are now more women in higher-paying jobs traditionally dominated by men, yet “women as a whole continue to be overrepresented in lower-paying occupations,” and that may also contribute to the gender pay differences.

Democratic lawmakers in January re-introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, a renewed effort to update existing law on equal pay. The proposal requires a federal agency to collect from employers compensation and other employment data according to the sex, race, and national origin of employees, so that the information can be used in the enforcement of laws prohibiting pay discrimination.

The proposal passed in the House of Representatives and has stalled in the Senate.


Texas is among the states with the widest pay gaps for Latina workers

On Colbert, Kamala Harris flubs wage gap statistic

Fact-checking median pay for black, Hispanic, Native American women

Are a majority of working women earning the minimum wage? No

Bobby Scott says women earn 80 percent pay of white men for ‘similar’ jobs

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Graham to Pelosi: ‘You Can’t Be Speaker… And Senate Maj. Leader At The Same Time’

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) delivered his Christmas message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Monday telling her that under the current system “You can’t be Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader at the same time.”

Although she was quick to pass two articles of impeachment last week in the House charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of congress, Pelosi is holding off on passing the torch to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his fellow Republicans for a Senate trial. If she does, she said last week that the trial will be ‘unfair.’

“The Constitution outrage by Speaker Pelosi needs to end.. She is trying to run the Senate and deny President Donald Trump his day in court after the House’s sham impeachment process,” Graham wrote on Twitter Monday.

“Stop playing games with the Constitution. In our system, you can’t be the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader at the same time. The Senate will decide how we dispose of this sham created by the House,” Graham wrote, “If this continues into 2020, the Senate needs to strike back, standing up for our rights and ending this debacle.”

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Bill Barr Indicts 8 Including Mueller Top Witness for Funneling Millions in Foreign Donations to Schiff, Hillary Clinton and Democrats — New Data Shows Bill and Hillary Involved

UPDATE: Bill Barr Indicts 8 Including Mueller Top Witness for Funneling Millions in Foreign Donations to Schiff, Hillary Clinton and Democrats — New Data Shows Bill and Hillary Involved

Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja and Hillary Clinton (Allied Wallet)

The Liberal Media Is Covering This Up!…

Earlier this month The Gateway Pundit reported on the news that Democrat operative and Robert Mueller chief witness George Nader was indicted for his involvement in illegal campaign contributions from foreign entities to the Hillary campaign in 2016.

Nader was one of Mueller’s top witnesses and he is a top Democrat donor and convicted child molester.


But there is more to the story.

Bill Barr indicted eight individuals for illegally funneling foreign money to Adam Schiff, Hillary Clinton and several Democratic senators.

According to News Thud:

The list of the Dem organizations taking this illegal money is astounding – almost every Dem state organization and many super PAC’s including the big one Priorities USA.

All of the leading names in the Democratic party took in this money including Adam Schiff and Ted Lieu, Jon Tester, Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, etc.

The DOJ reported:

Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed against the CEO of an online payment processing company, and seven others, charging them with conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions, and related offenses, during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and thereafter.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 7, 2019, along with George Nader, Roy Boulos, Rudy Dekermenjian, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, Rani El-Saadi, Stevan Hill and Thayne Whipple. The 53 count indictment charges Khawaja with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed, and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation. Nader is charged with conspiring with Khawaja to make conduit campaign contributions, and related offenses. Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple are charged with conspiring with Khawaja and each other to make conduit campaign contributions and conceal excessive contributions, and related offenses.

According to the indictment, from March 2016 through January 2017, Khawaja conspired with Nader to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions, directed to political committees associated with a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election. By design, these contributions appeared to be in the names of Khawaja, his wife, and his company. In reality, they allegedly were funded by Nader. Khawaja and Nader allegedly made these contributions in an effort to gain influence with high-level political figures, including the candidate. As Khawaja and Nader arranged these payments, Nader allegedly reported to an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence.

The indictment also alleges that, from March 2016 through 2018, Khawaja conspired with Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple to conceal Khawaja’s excessive contributions, which totaled more than $1.8 million, to various political committees. Among other things, these contributions allegedly allowed Khawaja to host a private fundraiser for a presidential candidate in 2016 and a private fundraising dinner for an elected official in 2018.

The indictment further alleges that, from June 2019 through July 2019, Khawaja obstructed a grand jury investigation of this matter in the District of Columbia. Knowing that a witness had been called to testify before the grand jury, Khawaja allegedly provided that witness with false information about Nader and his connection to Khawaja’s company. Boulos, Diab, Hill, and Whipple also are charged with obstructing the grand jury’s investigation by lying to the FBI.

Currently, Nader is in federal custody on other charges.

You can see all of Ahmad Khawaja’s donations here.

Khawaja donated OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS to Democrat PAC Priorities USA!

The list of Khawaja’s donations is endless.

This is being covered up by the liberal mainstream media!

As we reported previously– George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and one of Mueller’s ‘star witnesses’ was charged in a Virginia federal court in July with additional child sex crimes.

Recall, Nader was previously indicted on June 3rd 2019 on child pornography charges.

According to a 3-count indictment, Nader was charged earlier in July for possessing child pornography and for traveling with a minor to engage in illegal sexual acts.

Nader is accused of transporting a 14-year-old European boy to the United States for sex in the year 2000.

Now this…

The indictment included information that George Nader was given an extreme amount of access to Hillary AND BILL Clinton during the election as he was funneling foreign money to Democrat politicians.

Nader may have been acting on behalf of the leader of the UAE in the donations scandal.

The indictment suggests the money was coming from the leader of the UAE in order to gain access with the Clintons.

This is another massive political scandal being covered up by the mainstream media to protect Democrats.