The Raisina Dialog is a multilateral forum dedicated to tackling the world’s most challenging problems. Global leaders in politics, business, media and civil society are sponsored in New Delhi each year to examine participation on a wide variety of relevant international policy issues. The Dialog is organized as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral conversation involving heads of government, cabinet ministers and representatives from local government, as well as senior executives from the private sector, media and academia. The Foundation for Observer Research organizes the conference in cooperation with the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs.
The Raisina Dialog is a diverse and inclusive platform, with attendees from all walks of life. They place a greater emphasis on maintaining the conference is an inclusive and secure space for all participants, irrespective of gender identification, sexual orientation, race, age, faith or impairment. This event included ministers of foreign affairs from 13 countries, namely Iran, Australia and Russia. India and Finland reached a deal during the Raisina Dialogue. Russia has also stated that it backs India for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Russia also declared at the Raisina Dialog that this is backing India for permanent membership of the latter. Brazil is also heading to India.
On the margins of the Raisina Dialogue, India and Finland signed a Defense MoU, which aims to strengthen the collaboration among countries when it comes to production, engineering, R&D related equipment.
Global leaders taking part in India’s most extensive global conference Raisina Dialog praised the governance and dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about several global problems. Talking at the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialog 2020, former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated he wanted to see India as a “solid part of the international partnership of democracies” and to admire the governance of Prime Minister Modi in that regard. He said that he would like to see India as a vital member of the global democratic coalition. ETV Bharat News also reported the fact that he admired Prime Minister Modi’s guidance in that respect.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose speech focused on problems faced by “liberal democracies” in handling their own country’s political demonstrations, congratulated Prime Minister Modi, under whose rule India has now become “self-defined” seems to be the breaking news.
Harper said India would never become a “bastion of Western liberals” and its heritage is “coming back in full force” under the present government. India’s role will be a big part of the answer in the future. If I can pay respect here to Prime Minister Narendra Modi I think this is going to be the sort of India that the dream of Prime Minister Modi is building, “Harper said. Former South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo said the position of global leaders, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be crucial in “overturning the recent trend” in the midst of challenging times.
In the breaking news, Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose speech focused on the Afghan peace efforts, praised Prime Minister Modi for “all the assistance given to the people of Afghanistan and managed to hold us near and precious.”
In ETV Bharat News, we concluded that this day marked the start of the fifth edition of Raisina Dialog in New Delhi. The flagship meeting, collectively hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Foundation for Observer Research, was India’s commitment to international efforts to find alternatives, recognize prospects, as well as provide continuity to a century that has seen an eventful two decades.
The three-day conference will put together 700 foreign delegates, 40 per cent of whom will be women, reflecting India’s dedication to equality between men and women.
New Voter ID rules raise concerns of fraud, ballot rejection
Voters in Florida and Georgia who wish to vote by mail in the governor’s elections next year will need to take one more measure to guarantee they get a ballot: providing registration.
In 2020, only two states had ID requirements for voters requesting a mailed ballot. This year, Republicans across the country have focused on mail voting, imposing new restrictions on a process that grew in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to data collected by the Voting Rights Lab, legislation requiring extra registration for postal voting was passed in Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas, in addition to Florida and Georgia.
Republicans, capitalising on former President Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations of massive irregularities in last year’s White House race, argue that registration is needed for mailed ballots to prevent fraud and increase voter trust. There is no suggestion of systematic voter irregularities in 2020. Multiple arguments by Trump and his supporters were dismissed by courts, a group of federal, state, and local election authorities declared it the most stable election in U.S. history, and Trump’s own attorney general said he saw nothing that would affect the result.
Critics argue that adding ID criteria to receive a mailed ballot is not only inappropriate, it also provides another way for electors to make an error that would prevent them from voting absentee. They claim that identification is now needed when registering to vote and voting in person for the first time.
When ID is still required to cast a mailed vote, as is now the case in Georgia, critics argue that further ballots would be refused. It is also predicted to disproportionately impact poor, black, and college-age citizens, who are more likely to be without an ID or to have one with an incorrect address.
“Every additional provision you introduce would result in further ballot rejections, people who mistakenly refuse to comply or do not comply correctly with those requirements,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy programme at NYU’s School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, which advocates increased voter access.
Democrats are particularly concerned about a Republican measure in Michigan that would require voters to demand a printed copy of their ID while seeking a mailed ballot. While the state’s Democrat governor is likely to block any voting restrictions, the state has a special mechanism that might cause this and other voting bills to become law if enough voters vote for it and the GOP-controlled Legislature passes it.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, has rebuffed Republican suggestions that IDs are more stable than the new system, which depends on comparing a voter’s signature on ballot applications or return envelopes to the signature on file at the election office.
“There is no evidence that this move prevents or discourages fraud,” said Benson. “It also makes it more difficult to spot fraud since those attempting to fraudulently request an absentee vote simply need to provide a copy of a false ID, while forging a signature is even more difficult.”
Republican Mike Shirkey, the majority leader of the Michigan Senate, has said that voters support ID requirements and that it is important to ensure that eligible voters are Michigan citizens. “The only way to do so is with a state-issued ID,” he said.
Benson reported that 130,000 of Michigan’s 7 million eligible voters do not have a state ID or driver’s licence. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, a Democrat, stated that one-quarter of his city’s Black people do not own a car, and more do not have home printers.
“If your family has a car, a phone, and a printer copier at home, these bills aren’t so bad,” Duggan said. “This is what is wrong: They have crafted a series of bills that make life much more difficult for a wealthier family without laptops or a vehicle to vote than most families. This is the essence of voting suppression.”
Voter ID provisions have long been a source of contention in the election wars, with previous campaigns focusing on laws governing in-person voting. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 36 states had ID standards for voting at polling stations as of 2020.
Most accept a variety of nonphoto authentication, such as a bank or utility bill. Many states permit electors to sign an oath under penalty of perjury stating that they are who they want to be.
Democrats also stated that ID standards are acceptable as long as various means of identification are approved and electors have the ability to sign an affidavit if they do not have an ID or fail to carry it to the polls. Democrats in Congress are pushing federal bills this year that would require an affidavit in any state that has a voter ID law.
The additional ID provisions for requesting or submitting mailed ballots are new this year. Just Alabama and Wisconsin previously needed registration to submit a mailed vote.
To submit a postal ballot, Florida residents would need to include their driver’s licence number, state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number, according to a newly signed rule. Those wishing to vote by mail in South Dakota must have a copy of a photo ID or a notarized oath.
When seeking and returning an absentee ballot in Georgia, voters must have their name, date of birth, address, and driver’s licence or state ID card number.
Georgia state Sen. Brian Strickland, a Republican whose district is south of Atlanta, told reporters last month that the requirement was intended to step away from relying on local election officials to fit voter signatures on file to applications and ballots, which he characterised as a “not workable operation.”
“This was a major complaint from both sides,” Strickland said.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said he has long backed an ID provision. He claims he has been sued by both Democrats and Republicans over signature matching, and that the procedure is arbitrary.
“When it comes to photo ID, it’s really objective,” he said.
In reaction to Democratic challenges, court settlements in many states have ensured electors that they will have the ability to correct issues caused by a lost or mismatched signature.
The Georgia law is now being challenged in court, with one arguing that the ID provision increases the risk of fraud and identity theft. According to a federal complaint brought by a coalition of county election board members, candidates, and others, the requisite personal identity details can be easily compromised, opening the door for ballots to be submitted and cast using voters’ names and information without their consent.
Georgia state Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat representing a metro Atlanta district, said the law is based on myths shared by Trump and his supporters and would hurt voters.
“At the end of the day,” Jordan said, “we shouldn’t forget the bill’s roots, the meaning behind it, and how many of these proposed clauses can be used to invalidate the will of the voter.”
Pennsylvania Senator played a central role in Trump’s Oust Acting Attorney General conspiracy
The presence of the congressman emphasised how far the former president was willing to go to reverse the election, and Democratic lawmakers have started to call for investigations into such attempts.
He also took a back seat to higher-profile loyalists in President Donald J. Trump‘s circle when Representative Scott Perry joined his colleagues in a months-long effort to undo the outcome of the presidential election, endorsing “Stop the Steal” events and supporting an attempt to overturn millions of legally cast votes.
But Mr. Perry, an outspoken Republican from Pennsylvania, played a major role in the turmoil that took place this month at the top of the Justice Department, when Mr. Trump considered firing the acting attorney general and only backed down when top department officials threatened to resign en masse.
It was Mr. Perry, a member of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, who first made Mr. Trump aware that, according to former administration officials who met with Mr. Clark and Mr. Trump, a comparatively unknown Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, the acting civil division director, was sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s view that the election had been stolen.
Mr. Perry introduced Mr. Clark to the president, whose openness to electoral fraud conspiracy theories provided Mr. Trump with a welcome change from the acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who stood by the election results and consistently defied the president’s attempts to reverse them.
The previously unreported position of Mr. Perry, and the quiet conversations that followed between Mr. Trump and Mr. Clark, underscored how much the former president was able to use the government to subvert the election, appealing to more junior and comparatively unknown figures for assistance as he was rebuffed by ranking Republicans and cabinet members.
The presence of Mr. Perry is also likely to increase criticism of House Republicans who continue to advance Mr. Trump’s baseless and thoroughly debunked accusations of electoral fraud, even after the inauguration of President Biden this week and as Congress prepares for an impeachment trial that will investigate whether the Capitol riot was triggered by such speaking.
It is uncertain when Mr. Perry, who serves the region of Harrisburg, met Mr. Clark, a resident of Philadelphia, or how well they knew each other prior to Mr. Trump’s introduction. It was only in late December that Mr. Clark told Mr. Rosen about the introduction brokered by Mr. Perry, who was among the thousands of people feeding Mr. Trump the false expectation that he had won the election, former Trump administration officials said.
Yet Mr. Trump is extremely unlikely to have met Mr. Clark otherwise. Department officials were surprised to learn that Mr. Clark had been personally called by the president on many occasions and that the two had met in person without alerting Mr. Rosen, the officials said. The policy of the Justice Department stipulates that the president initially talks on all matters with the attorney general or the deputy attorney general, and then, if allowed, a lower-level official.
As the deadline for Congress to affirm the election of Mr. Biden approached, Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark debated a proposal to have the Department of Justice send a letter to Georgia state legislators informing them of a voter fraud investigation that could invalidate the results of the state’s Electoral College. Former officials who were briefed on the proposal said that hundreds of voter fraud investigations nationally by the department had not turned up ample instances of fraud to change the election result.
The proposal was also discussed with Mr. Trump by Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark, setting off a chain of events that almost led to the ouster of Mr. Rosen, who had declined to send the letter.
The political fallout was rapid after The New York Times published the specifics of the scheme on Friday. In a letter on Saturday, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told the Justice Department that he will investigate Mr. Trump and Mr. Clark’s attempts to use the agency “to further Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election results.”
“The majority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, said it was “unconscionable that a leader of the Trump Justice Department would conspire to subvert the will of the people.” He called on the inspector general of the department, Michael E. Horowitz, to investigate “this attempted sedition.
According to a person briefed on the investigation, Mr. Horowitz has already opened an investigation into whether Trump administration officials illegally pressured Byung J. Pak, who unexpectedly resigned this month as the U.S. attorney in Atlanta after being pressured to take steps related to the election. Mr. Durbin is also investigating the matter.
Mr. Trump also attempted to compel officials from the Justice Department, including Mr. Rosen and the acting solicitor general, Jeffrey Wall, to file a complaint before the Supreme Court that, according to an individual briefed on the request, would contest Mr. Biden’s victory.
A brief was also drawn up by one of Mr. Trump’s outside attorneys for the department to file with the court. Department officials and White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone told Mr. Trump that, for many reasons, the proposal would fail, including the fact that the department did not have the grounds to appeal the result, the individual said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the fight between Mr. Trump and officials from the Justice Department over the Supreme Court filing.
Another example of the disposal of impeachment managers is the episode with Mr. Clark and Mr. Perry, where they put together their argument that Mr. Trump should again be barred from taking office.
Mr. Clark declined to comment on Mr. Perry’s relationship, and he categorically refused to formulate any scheme to remove Mr. Rosen. He said that there had been “a candid discussion with the president of options and pros and cons” that The Times had wrongly portrayed, but he declined to provide details. Because of “the strictures of legal privilege,” he refused to say anything more about his interactions with Mr. Trump or lawyers from the Justice Department.
Asked if his discussions with the president had violated the policy of the department regulating communication with the president, he said that, as part of their duties, senior lawyers at the agency offered legal advice to the White House. All my official communications were law-compliant,” he said.”
The acting head of the Civil Division was appointed in September by Mr. Clark, a member of the Conservative Federalist Society. He also managed the environmental and natural resources division of the department, where he had served under President George W. Bush.
To repeated requests for comment, neither Mr. Perry nor his top aides replied.
Some Senate Republicans have become increasingly concerned, like Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, that if they do not interfere and separate themselves from Mr. Trump, the chaos wrought by the former president might damage the political fortunes of Republicans for years to come. The episode is an unwanted reminder that even though Mr. Trump is no longer in office, negative details about his presidency will continue to surface.
And the position of Mr. Perry in the discussions could further exacerbate tensions in the House, where Republicans were already livid by Democratic lawmakers for fanning the flames before the Capitol riot, with some members of the rank-and-file calling for the dismissal of legislators who led attempts to overturn the election.
Mr. Trump’s pressure on the Department of Justice, including any plans he may have considered to oust Mr. Rosen, also raises legal concerns for him.
Trump turns to the ethics counsel for his defence, Trial Ahead,
Butch Bowers is used in ethics lawsuits to protect elected officials. But nothing quite like this has ever faced him.
It is up to Donald Trump to rise up and defend Bowers, a South Carolina election and ethics lawyer, as the Senate soon plunges into an impeachment trial unlike any other, centred on allegations that the former president incited the mob that rampaged through the U.S. On Jan. 6 at the Capitol. The stakes are immense for Trump, the first president twice impeached: if convicted, he may be barred from ever holding public office, ending any chances of mounting another bid for the White House in 2024.
After other legal allies passed on the case, Trump turned to Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles. That’s a dramatic departure from his first impeachment trial in 2020, when he was standing in his corner with a stable of influential lawyers, including Alan Dershowitz, Jay Sekulow, who represented him in the Russia investigation, and Kenneth Starr.
The first impeachment trial turned on allegations that Trump had illegally sought assistance from Ukraine for his reelection campaign. He was cleared by the Senate of those charges. The new trial could depend on broader legal issues, including “whether the Constitution even allows the Senate to take post-impeachment action,” said Sekulow, who is not involved in Trump’s legal defence.
Sekulow said he did not expect Bowers, who has years of experience defending elected officials and political candidates, including former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, to be hampered by never having defended a current or former president in a Senate trial against a failed impeachment attempt that morphed into an ethics investigation.
Sekulow said Friday, “He’s an excellent lawyer with a tremendous reputation who understands the law and politics.”
Bowers was suggested to Trump by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and told Fox News he sees him as Trump’s team’s “anchor tenant.” Jason Miller, Trump’s strategist, who also ran Sanford’s government and congressional campaigns, said Bowers “will do an outstanding job defending President Trump.”
A message seeking comment was not responded to by Bowers.
His plan for Trump’s defence is vague, but a simple choice is to challenge the legitimacy of the trial. Many Senate Republicans, the jurors he would have to convince, have indicated they have reservations about whether an impeachment trial for an ex-official is constitutional, even though it has happened before.
Meanwhile, the nine House managers investigating the case would almost certainly concentrate on linking Trump’s comments to supporters at a rally before the riot to the violence that soon followed, including urging them to “fight like hell.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will forward the impeachment article to the Senate on Monday, triggering the trial’s first step.
Opening arguments will start on Feb. 8, the week. On Friday evening, after reaching an agreement with Republicans who had pushed to delay the proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed the timeline to give Trump a chance to assemble his legal team and plan a defence.
While maybe nothing compares to the legal and political swirl of a Senate impeachment hearing, both in Washington and in guiding elected officials through the fray, Bowers has experience.
He worked as a lawyer for Sanford and another former governor, Nikki Haley, leading her through an inquiry into whether she had broken the law of state ethics.
Ultimately, an ethics commission cleared Haley. The lawyer “works hard, has an eye for detail and knows the law,” said Rob Godfrey, a former Haley advisor who partnered closely with Bowers during his representation of the governor.
Bowers worked for Sanford when, following revelations that Sanford had vanished from the state, state lawmakers considered impeaching him, leaving no chain of command for five days, to visit his lover in Argentina in 2009. The attempt never made it out of committee.
The Associated Press inquiries into the other trips to Sanford found that despite the low-cost travel laws of the state, he had flown on commercial airlines in high-priced seats and had used state aircraft for personal and political trips.
At the time, Bowers stated that the governor would be acquitted, arguing that the allegations were non-criminal and “limited to minor, technical matters.” Sanford continued to pay the highest fine of ethics in state history, $74,000, as well as almost $37,000 to cover the investigation’s costs.
Joel Sawyer, the long-time spokesperson for Sanford, said the strengths of Bowers lie in his cool nature and ability to investigate legal arguments without thinking about pomp and politics.
“If Donald Trump lets Butch be Butch and doesn’t try to make him someone he’s not, it’s going to be a great fit for Butch in terms of making nutty legal arguments and searching for television cameras,” Sawyer said. “If Trump wants him to be Rudy Giuliani or Sidney Powell 2.0, it won’t be good for anybody.”
In a battle over excessive donations, a 2016 lawsuit that ended with the then-lieutenant governor having to pay more than $70,000 in fines and reimbursements, Bowers represented Gov. Henry McMaster, a loyal Trump ally. Bowers and McMaster, a lifelong fixture of GOP politics in South Carolina, both shared office space at one point.
As well as a former South Carolina sheriff who pleaded guilty to embezzlement and corruption in office, Bowers was also a prosecutor for former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and the South Carolina Election Commission in lawsuits over voter ID rules. In 2018, in her successful defamation suit against Missouri’s athletics director, he was a counsel for University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.
Bowers worked as a special advocate in the United States on voting issues. Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Justice was Florida’s legal counsel for the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain, and chaired the South Carolina Election Commission from 2004 to 2007. Bowers graduated from Tulane University School of Law in 1998 with degrees from the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston.
State Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a former South Carolina Democratic Party president and long-time associate of President Joe Biden, who has faced Bowers in court many times, said he expected the “understated” Bowers, also a South Carolina Air National Guard colonel, to make decisions not based on personality in the case, which Harpootlian said was in contrast to Trump’s previous attorneys.
“Harpootlian said, “Trump would not be able to make Butch someone that he is not.
Democrats are starting to rein in immigration bill standards,
It only took Democrats days to gauge how far the ambitious immigration plan of President Joe Biden would go in Congress to realise that if anything emerges, it is likely to be substantially more modest.
As they prepare themselves to solve a politically flammable problem that has been resisted by significant Congressional intervention since the 1980s, Democrats use terms such as “aspirational” to characterise the initiative of Biden and “herculean” to articulate the commitment they would need to prevail.
A similar message came from the White House on Friday, when Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the new administration hopes that the proposal for Biden would be “the basis” of Congressional immigration discussions. The cautious tones of Democrats underscored the fragile path they face with their minority voters, leftists and activists on a paramount issue.
And long-time advocates of immigration supporting an all-out war admit that they will have to settle for less than absolute victory. “Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice, said in an interview that paving a path to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally, the centrepiece of Biden’s plan, is “the stake at the top of the mountain. “We will look at them if there are ways to advance toward that summit by building victories and momentum.”
For some persons, the citizenship process in Biden’s proposal will take as little as three years, eight years for others. The plan will make it easier for some employees to remain temporarily or indefinitely in the U.S., offer development assistance to Central American nations in hopes of minimising immigration, and work towards improving technology for border screening.
No. 2 In an interview this week, Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois said the most likely package to emerge will provide a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers. They are immigrants who have spent most of their lives in the U.S. since being illegally brought here as infants.
Under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, over 600,000 of them have conditional permission to remain in the U.S. This initiative was developed administratively by former President Barack Obama, and Durbin and others would like to see it passed into law.
Durbin, who called Biden’s “aspirational” proposal, said that he also hoped for other components, such as more agricultural and other workers’ visas.
“We understand the 50-50 Senate’s political reality that any immigration changes will require cooperation between the parties,” said Durbin, who is on track to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that legislation generated by the Senate is likely to “not reach the same levels” as the proposal by Biden.
The Senate is equally divided between the two parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris, with her tie-breaking vote, tipping the chamber in favour of the Democrats. Still, major legislation requires 60 votes to resolve filibusters in order to pass, or endless procedural delays. That means that all 50 Democrats will have to join 10 Republicans in order to pass an immigration measure, a tall order.
“In particular, passing immigration reform through the Senate is a herculean task,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who will play a leading role in the fight as well.
Several Republicans agree with Durbin’s evaluation.
“Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has worked with Democrats on past immigration efforts, said, “I think the room in the 50-50 Senate would be some sort of DACA deal. “I only think comprehensive immigration, given this environment, is going to be a tough sale.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who has pursued earlier immigration agreements, praised aspects of the bill, but said she needs more visas for international workers heavily used by her state’s tourism industry, highlighting the detailed negotiations ahead.
The Democrats have daunting obstacles.
In a house and senate where Republican support for relaxing immigration restrictions is typically scarce, they have razor-thin majorities. Acrid partisan relationships were further exacerbated by the clamorous tenure of former President Donald Trump. Biden would have to expend a lot of political resources and time combating the pandemic and rebuilding the economy on previous, higher priority bills, making his future clout unclear.
Furthermore, significant tactical discrepancies would have to be settled by Democrats.
Sharry said immigration groups prefer Democrats to press for a bill as strong as possible without giving Republicans any compromises on issues such as boosting spending on border protection. He said expectations for a bipartisan breakthrough are “the errand of a fool” since for so long the GOP has overwhelmingly resisted expending opportunities for citizenship.
But winning without votes from the GOP would mean virtual unanimity among Democrats in Congress, a huge challenge. That would also suggest that Democrats would either have to abolish the filibuster in the Senate, which they may not have the votes to do, or find other procedural ways through the 60-vote hurdle.
“I’ll start negotiating” with the Republicans, Durbin said. He said a compromise bill “if we can do it” would be much better because it would increase the chances of passage.
Democrats are already facing Republican attacks, eyeing next year’s elections, on a topic that helped dominate Trump’s win in 2016 by boosting his support from many white voters.
Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Minority Leader, said Biden’s bill would “prioritise assistance to illegal immigrants and not our fellow citizens.” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the Senate GOP campaign arm of the National Republican Senate Committee, said the measure would affect “hard-working Americans and millions of immigrants who are working their way through the legal immigration process.”
Democrats say such accusations are false, but on what is a complicated topic, it is hard to write straightforward, sound-bite answers. Instead, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said in an interview, it needs having “an adult conversation” with voters.
“Yeah, it’s about people, but it’s about the economy,” said Spanberger, a moderate from a district where many immigrants are employed by farmers and technology companies. “We rely on immigration in central Virginia. And you may not like that, but we do.”
Who might preside over former President Trump’s trial in the senate?
Who might preside over former President Trump’s trial in the senate?
This is no longer just a topic for a law school test or a dinner-table trivia discussion, with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announcing today that the House would present its impeachment article on Jan. 25 and insisting that the process will move forward, “Make no mistake, a trial will be held.” It is a serious legal and constitutional matter which, in a matter of days, must be resolved.
The Constitution specifies as follows: “The chief justice shall preside when the president is tried.” But there is only one president of the United States, and Joseph Biden is his name now. The president is no longer Donald Trump. It would also be unethical, and in breach of the Constitution, to make the Supreme Court Chief Justice preside over a courtroom. This is valid regarding the impeachment of Trump when he was still president. The Constitution is explicit: the term ‘tried’ is used.
If Chief Justice John Roberts were to be invited by the Senate to chair Citizen Trump’s trial, Roberts would have to determine whether to accept the invitation. He will study the words of the Constitution, the history of the impeachment clause and any applicable precedents, I predict. He would then conclude that, in the trial of a former president, the Constitution gives him no proper role.
An significant reason why the Constitution granted the chief justice the position of presiding officer only in the case of a sitting president’s Senate trial is that it would constitute a conflict of interest to preside over such a trial for the president of the Senate, the vice president of the United States. The vice president would, after all, assume office if the president were to be replaced. So the Framers appointed a non-political judicial official as the presiding officer for such a trial who was not in the line of succession to the presidency.
This dispute, however, when a former president is on trial, does not occur, at least not explicitly. If Chief Justice Roberts were to decline that position, who, then, would preside over Trump’s trial?
Vice President Kamala Harris will preside over the usual course of events, as she has the constitutional position of Senate President. But the vice president, too, may have a conflict of interest in this case. It is definitely probable that, in 2024, she will run for president. President Biden would then be 82 years old, and he will probably not be seeking reelection. His vice president will be the most obvious Democratic nominee to replace him. For a future candidate to preside over a trial whose only real function is to keep a former president from running again in 2024, wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest?
In addition to real bias, conflicts of interest often include the perception of prejudice. Wouldn’t it seem to be a conflict of interest for Harris to make decisions about a leading potential candidate’s disqualification against her?
So, if not presided over by the chief justice and the vice president, who should, and how should, make that decision? There is no such procedure provided for by the Constitution. Presumably, a presiding officer would be chosen by the senators themselves or the majority leader would nominate one. Since Democrats dominate the Senate now, with every tie-breaking vote being cast by the vice president, that too would create an impression of conflict.
The main argument is that a Senate trial of a former or a possible future president was never considered by the Framers. They would have had an answer to the question of who presides, had they found such a bizarre situation. That they did not have additional evidence, beyond the words of the Constitution, that the Senate should not try a former president.
It would also constitute a bill of attainer to put a private citizen on trial in the Senate, which is specifically forbidden by the Constitution’s text. An attainer’s bill is any statutory trial of a single person that may lead to punishment (including future disqualification from running for federal office). Citizen Trump’s Senate trial will easily suit the description.
The now-weaponized cliché that “No one is above the law” is frequently heard. This is not only true of a president, but also of Congress. In impeachment and expulsion trials, the Constitution provides for a special oath to be taken by senators: “When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation.” The oath requires a pledge to comply with the Constitution’s limits. These restrictions include not bringing on trial private people. So the legislation and the Constitution should not be above the Senate itself.
In this case, Congress should do as it did when President Nixon was forced to step down and leave the presidency: it should not do anything. With regard to an impeached former president, that is its proper position.
During the Senate impeachment hearings, Alan Dershowitz, Professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, served on the legal team defending President Trump. He is the author of the new book “Cancel Culture: The Latest Attack on Free Speech and Due Process” and his Spotify and YouTube podcast “The Dershow” is now also available.
Senate Leaders Agree on Delay of Impeachment Trial, Allowing Biden Breathing Space
Until February 9, the proposal will delay the historic hearings, allowing former President Donald J. Trump time to prepare his defense and allow President Biden to fill his cabinet and start working on his agenda.
WASHINGTON-Senate leaders reached an agreement on Friday to postpone the impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump for two weeks, allowing President Biden time to appoint his cabinet and start pushing a legislative agenda before they start a dramatic process to try his predecessor.
The strategy means that the trial, which threatens to dredge up the ugly events of the final days of Mr. Trump in office and resurface deep tensions over his actions, will loom wide over the first days of Mr. Biden at the White House. But it will also allow the president to put in place key members of his team and drive a coronavirus help package forward that he has said is his top priority.
Democrats had started to fret that the rush to pursue Mr. Trump would subsume those steps.
“We all want to put behind us this terrible chapter in the history of our nation,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat and leader of the majority. “But only if there is honesty and responsibility can healing and reconciliation come. And that is what will be provided by this trial.
Mr. Trump, the first president to be impeached twice and the only one ever to face trial after leaving office, is accused to “incitement of insurrection.” Last week, after Mr. Trump whipped up a crowd of his supporters who stormed the Capitol in a violent rampage on Jan. 6, the House accepted the accusation with bipartisan support.
On Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that at 7 p.m. the House impeachment managers would pass the charge to the Senate across the Capitol. Monday, and Mr. Schumer announced that the next day, senators will be sworn in as jurors. But the chamber will then delay until the week of Feb. 8 under Mr. Schumer’s agreement with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, to allow the prosecution and defense time to draft and exchange written legal briefs.
The Senate will continue to do other business for the American people throughout that time, such as cabinet appointments and the Covid relief bill, which will provide relief for millions of Americans suffering from this pandemic,” said Mr. Schumer.”
The agreement did not dictate how a trial would proceed once oral arguments began on Feb. 9, but both sides suggested that they were attempting to compact it into a few days, helping senators to reach a decision by the end of the week.
The delay represented a compromise between the two Senate party leaders, who have failed to agree on how the evenly split chamber should work in the days after Mr. Biden’s inauguration. Nevertheless, on Friday, the larger discord continued, hamstrung by a disagreement over the filibuster, which allows a minority to obstruct legislation.
The agreement to delay the trial has political benefits for Mr. McConnell, who has stated that he is open to convicting Mr. Trump and has privately indicated that he thinks the former president has committed impeachable offenses. It allowed him to argue that the process was rational, allowing the former president enough time to make his case, and to buy more time to weigh how they might vote for Mr. McConnell and other Republicans.
“Senate Republicans strongly believe that we need a complete and fair process where a defense can be mounted by the former president and the Senate can consider the factual, legal and constitutional issues at stake properly,” Mr. McConnell said.
Democrats weighed conflicting interests, including the agenda of Mr. Biden, as well as a desire to rapidly dispatch his predecessor’s trial and compel Republican senators to go on record with respect to the actions of Mr. Trump while the memories of the riot were still fresh.
After Mr. Biden said on Friday that he was in favor of doing so, they agreed to the delay as a way to keep the Senate focused on confirming members of his administration and starting work on the next federal coronavirus help round. The president has sought to keep the content of the trial clear.
“In order to meet these crises, the more time we have to get up and run, the better,” Mr. Biden said at the White House.
As part of the compromise, Mr. Schumer announced that the Senate would vote to confirm Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary nominee of Mr. Biden, just before Monday night’s impeachment article was to arrive.
It is almost unlikely that, before the trial began, the Senate will enact Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief initiative, a difficult piece of legislation that is likely to face strong Republican resistance. But Democrats were aiming to clear up some of the procedural obstacles needed to do so.
Mr. McConnell had initially suggested another week, until Feb. 15, to postpone the impeachment hearing. He cited the need for the legal team of Mr. Trump, just hired on Thursday, to plan to deliver a full defense. The deal was called “a win for due process and fairness,” by Doug Andres, Mr. McConnell’s spokesman.
Now settled in his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., Mr. Trump had struggled to field a legal team willing to represent him, ultimately deciding on South Carolina’s Butch Bowers.
Although Mr. Trump was defended by the White House counsel, private attorneys and leading constitutional experts at his first trial, for now, Mr. Bowers seems to be performing the job more or less alone and must familiarize himself with the case quickly. He has no high-profile experience in Washington, but in his home state he has defended many Republican governors, including Mark Sanford, when he faced potential impeachment in 2009.
The House managers said their case would be relatively straightforward in preparation for a potentially speedy trial, especially compared with Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial. That process turned into a long and complicated campaign of presidential pressure on Ukraine, which took place largely out of public view.
In an interview, Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, one of the executives, said, “So much of what led to this incitement of violence was done in public, both in the behavior of the president, the words and the tweets, and it played out in real time for the American people on television.”
Mr. McConnell reprised the role he played in the first trial of Mr. Trump, representing the defense’s interests. But he made it clear this time, he’s not gunning for an acquittal.
This week, the Republican leader said the former president had “provoked” the crowd that invaded the Capitol. And while Mr. McConnell has not yet said how he will vote in the impeachment trial, he has privately suggested that he sees the procedure as a possible way to rid his former standard-bearer of the Republican Party.
Yet Mr. McConnell was moving cautiously, with those in his party already lining up against conviction and the right wing of the party shouting for his resignation.
It will take 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to have Mr. Trump convicted. If they did, they could then continue to disqualify him on a simple majority vote from holding any potential office.
Several Republicans were already pointing to the pace of the procedure to argue for letting Mr. Trump go, arguing that the move of the House to impeach had been too hurried, which came exactly a week after the rampage of Jan. 6.
“It’s a serious issue, but it’s not a serious effort to comply with the Constitution’s due process requirements when it comes to impeachment,” said Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.
Just as eager as Mr. McConnell, Senate Democrats were to ensure that the trial was viewed as fair, particularly among Republicans who they believe could conceivably agree to convict Mr. Trump. They listened carefully when Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the most virulent opponents of the former president who praised the impeachment of the House, said she considered the suggestion of Mr. McConnell’s delay to be ’eminently appropriate.’
Some Republicans argued that prosecuting a former president at all was illegal for the Senate because the Constitution only expressly provided for impeachments of present officeholders. Many legal experts disagree with that position, and the Senate itself did so when it felt that it had the right to judge a former war secretary in the 1870s.
“In anticipating their objection, Mr. Schumer said that the argument had been “absolutely repudiated, debunked by left, right and middle constitutional experts, and defied simple common sense.
Harris brings Biden’s campaign energy, dollars and more
Kamala Harris shot a sharp criticism of President Donald Trump ‘s flaws during her first two days as Joe Biden’s running mate. She’s been championing Biden’s race character and more. And her unprecedented candidacy’s anticipation has earned a record 36 million dollars, including donations from 150,000 new donors.
The campaign trusts it is only the start.
With under a quarter of a year prior to the political decision, Harris is quickly grasping her new job. Law-based agents and Harris partners accept she’ll stimulate what has been a moderately calm battle that has frequently wanted to keep the consideration on the disturbance of Trump’s White House. She’s as of now putting forth an incredible defence for Trump’s destruction, permitting Biden to concentrate more on his own strategy solutions and less on direct assaults.
“We generally search for proxies and validators that help close the arrangement and can address voters who required another motivation to state, ‘Indeed, I’m going to help Joe Biden,'” said Donna Brazile, a previous Democratic National Committee seat who additionally ran Al Gore’s 2000 crusade. “She fills in the hole.”
Harris was known during the Democratic presidential essential for wearing Converse tennis shoes and hitting the dance floor with staff and supporters in unscripted minutes. Biden partners anticipate that she should convey energy among certain Democrats who restrict Trump yet aren’t yet stimulated to cast a ballot by an up-and-comer they feel might be withdrawn from their interests.
Harris’ “capacity to associate” is a piece of what California Rep. Barbara Lee, who filled in as one of her crusade seats, accepts will assist her with conveying the battle message to voters who might be generally blocked out.
“She wants to move, she wants to cook. She’s an individual who does ordinary things that everyone does. They can identify with her,” Lee said.
In any case, Harris, the principal Black lady chose for a national ticket, has confronted her own analysis from youthful voters and progressives previously, in particular over her record on police unfortunate behaviour as a lead prosecutor and later California’s lawyer general. Pundits state she restricted key criminal equity change measures, including police body cameras statewide and didn’t address various unfair feelings on her watch.
Be that as it may, during her time in Congress she’s grasped more prominent changes to law authorization, especially as of late in the across the nation figuring over prejudice started by the police killing of George Floyd. She has been a main Democratic voice on the issue.
A few progressives despite everything point to Biden’s past help for the 1994 Crime Bill as motivation to question his promise to criminal equity change. What’s more, Harris herself was a pundit of Biden’s record on race, outstandingly assaulting him during an essential discussion for beforehand restricting governmentally commanded transporting. In any case, Harris flagged Wednesday that she’ll offer a solid guard of Biden’s record on race.
During her first appearance with the previous VP, she said Biden “has his spot in the continuous story of America’s walk towards balance and equity” as the main individual “who’s served close by the primary Black president and has picked the principal Black lady as his running mate.”
Biden battle authorities consider her to be a solid courier against Trump, highlighting both her lively analysis of the president during her essential crusade, when her promise to “arraign the case” against Trump won her help, just as her sharp remarks Wednesday. She said Trump “thinks more about himself than the individuals who chose him” and blamed him for “making each challenge we face considerably more hard to tackle.”
Brian Brokaw, who ran Harris’ battle for lawyer general in 2010, said her doubting of Trump authorities during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings alludes to the body of evidence she’ll make against him on the battlefield and during the bad habit presidential discussion with Mike Pence.
“Nobody ought to overlook that she had cut her teeth in the court,” he said. “Anyone who has been forced to bear the Kamala Harris questioning regardless of whether it’s an observer on the stand or Jeff Sessions or Bill Barr realizes that in case you’re in her line of sight, it’s an awkward spot to be.”
Biden’s partners accept a fundamental Harris advantage is shown by the Republicans’ battle to choose a line of assault against her. In the brief timeframe since she was declared, Trump has called her beginning and end from “uncommonly awful” to “a madwoman,” from “fake” to “radical left.” On Thursday he said he had “heard” bits of gossip that she is ineligible to pursue national position since her folks are foreigners. She was conceived in Oakland, and there is no uncertainty she is qualified.
Harris is as of now conveying for the battle in an unmistakable manner: With a record-breaking gathering, pledges pull.
While gathering pledges is customarily one of the running mate’s first concerns, various benefactors said her quality would be especially useful for Democrats in light of her associations in California and past. Through her almost two decades in California governmental issues, Harris fabricated a system of profound took benefactors in Hollywood and the state’s lawful circles.
Andrew Byrnes, a California giver who upheld Harris at that point moved to Biden in the presidential essential, said he got around 50 messages from givers needing to get included after Biden chose her.
Michel Kraut, a Los Angeles attorney and significant Harris patron, said he’s as of now had givers getting some information about assembling occasions in the territory.
“It permits Kamala’s across the country gathering pledges machine to get revived,” said Kraut, who has just been fund-raising for Biden.
“There’s this new vitality, that the individual we needed to be president and now is on the presidential ticket has made. It’s, “I’ll fund-raise,’ at the same time, ‘I’ll be committed.'”
Joe Biden Sees the Potential in Kamala Harris
Only a few days after Joe Biden ‘s search for his runner this spring, his closest friends and advisors began debating how he looked for someone to emulate his remarkably close relationship with Barack Obama. The perspective changed at the start of the pandemic and, following George Floyd ‘s assassination, demonstrations put a new set of concerns to the forefront of the national and presidential consciousness. He came under pressure to select and quickly chose a Black woman but also to return to the political path to do anything to get the Democrats back to mind. Nevertheless, his biggest priority – that he could meet someone with whom he could work smoothly and whose dream suited his – remained unchanged, according to a number of Democrats who met with him personally during the summer. Yet it wasn’t that she was Opponent’s Opponent, like his friends, when he revealed Tuesday that he had selected Kamala Harris. When Harris picked meant a certain dream not only for his administration but for what follows.
As the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, @KamalaHarris grew up believing in the promise of America because she saw it firsthand.
Together, Kamala and I are going to fight every single day in the White House to make sure that promise is fulfilled for all Americans.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 12, 2020
It took him some time to get there. The self-imposed deadline for selecting Biden was skipped many days earlier this month. Wrestling with its decisions, each of the contenders’ gloomy news reports turned into a chaotic storm. His advisors and associates leaned on each other and on him to support and pressure their favourite candidates. Many argued that he would use the pick to shore his left political flank; others argued that appealing to the suburban core was more necessary. By the outset of the Democratic convention this month, his moment was gone. Yet his poll lead over Trump stayed wide enough to see room for a decision not driven by short-term politics.
Though either he or his assistants are not going to say it publicly, the soon-to-be 78-year-old Biden had obviously a chance to affect the Democratic Party ‘s future through his pick. None expect him to be re-elected, which means that his choice may be the most important VP choice of decades. He knew that and he felt the weight. Not only is Harris the first Black woman to take part on a major party ticket, but she may be the first female to run for president on 2024 at the age of 55. It will be commonly viewed as a node to the future – more so than its possible inclusion of any of the candidates older than Harris or of someone who did not serve in state offices. (Some around Biden still chaste over Obama ‘s decision in 2008. Biden was viewed as too old for a presidential candidate … in 2016.)
This was often missed during her own presidential run was the ideal alignment or competing with Biden’s political style and philosophy of Harris. It was easy to miss if you focused on her argument with him. (In addition, some of his aides still find it hard to get around 14 months later — just recently Biden was caught up in a warning that was “DO NO HOLD GRUDGES”). Yet Harris and Biden are both coalition makers willing to look for the Democratic Party core. By choosing her, Biden supported the long-term viability of this political brand over established activist-style, even as the left side gains strength.
And while Harris wasn’t known for the electrification of large crowds on the road, she also succeeded at working small rooms and talking to senators one by one – a sign of the way Biden views his political abilities.
“I remember how the kids felt so much in Detroit, how important they felt, as did our members of her town-hall,” Randi Weingarten, the influential chairman of the American Teachers’ Federation, who called “Electrifying” Harris’ choices, spoke extensively to Biden’s VP selection committee, and forecast to me last December – when Harris’s presidential campaign had won.
Of course, there were also shorter-term concerns: If elected, the pair will almost definitely have to monitor one of the biggest health and financial recoveries in history, and four years in the Senate gave Harris a hand on Susan Rice, the national security advisor to Obama’s administration, who was widely considered to come second.
“The blend of hope about what this country wants to thrive and succeed, not just on a granular basis but also in terms of energy and the capacity to communicate with people who have been through it,” said Ilyse Hogue, the influential president of the pro-choice advocacy organization NARAL. Harris, once attorney general and the district attorney for San Francisco before she had been elected Senator, “understands deeply how the government works and how political mechanisms are functioning for the benefit of the people, not the powerful,” said Weingarten.
Yet Biden, of course, called the effort itself. The Biden squad were still manoeuvring to prevent a repeat: on Tuesday nights, before Biden told Harris she had become his bird, the campaign revealed that the vice-president ‘s teams would consist of a group of Obama / Biden veterans and not of the candidate’s own workers. Yet Biden also saw in her a campaign-proven choice to help not just improve the much-needed turnout amongst Black voters, but also to inspire the well-educated suburban women who eventually backed him in the primary or who are only learning from Trump right now.
On Tuesday, Obama’s political strategist David Axelrod wrote that his work found that Harris was one of Day 1’s most competent at serving—an argument which he also made at her own interviews, and to which Biden was particularly attracted. Harris, too, has ties with many of the party’s biggest contributors and anticipates her potential to bring Mike Pence down in conversation — a confrontation that will actually be much more critical than normal considering the lack of daily elections this fall.
Nonetheless, as one seasoned Democrat close the Biden team told me, referring to Biden’s large vote gap and Trump’s deep unpopularity and national treatment, “this election is about Trump. This alternative did not matter in short-term politics one way or another.
Biden ‘s plan had little short-term. Following numerous rounds of interviews with each of his prospects and associates, he spent weeks considering the details given to him by his selection committee and his final findings the weekend and diving into his pasts with 160-item questionnaires. And he learned of colleagues from all over the country who also has their own favourites — many of the Californians and leading contributors, but even prominent party leaders like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schuman, support Harris.
Biden’s other voice, Obama’s, was also welcoming. The former president has long been open to his admiration for Harris, and some of his top former assistants made Biden allies no secret of their affection for her to whom Obama once gave the post of general attorney. This is one reason why Biden decided to return to Harris during the summer, a senior democrat close to Obama says. “In any talk about another girl, the question was always: her or Kamala? Why she’d be better than Kamala? “In his own speech on the evening of Tuesday, Obama said that Biden” walked this decision, “choosing” his own judgement and character.
The choice was also not quite as clear as it seemed back to Biden’s supporters, given the fact that many high-ranking party officials I have talked to over the past few weeks have still referred to her as “Vice-President Harris.” Until the last hours, some of the other candidates also begged their friends and political colleagues to vote positively on their behalf, according to Democrats who understood the discussions, as they talked with team members of Biden. But Biden’s four representatives who knew Harris was a finalist always felt that he would make a different decision — may be Rice and Karen Bass, the president of the Congressional Black Caucus — as they gave him their final materials last week. When the Associated Press reported the news on Friday that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had gone to the Delaware to visit Biden, some in Biden’s nearest inner circles muttered loudly so that they would have gotten even closer than they expected to Biden’s top pick.
Harris was not a choice of consensus. For months the Biden camp rumbled that Jill Biden was especially angry at Harris after shocking everybody by publicly criticizing Biden’s record on race and taking part last year on the stage of debate. Others maintained that concern has overblown and Biden constantly reminded allies behind the scenes that Harris is close to Beau, his 2015 friend. But, for a few senior officials who had Biden’s attention on and off during the process, the recollection of that night was perfect. By the conclusion of the process, complaints from former senator Chris Dodd – a personal associate of Biden and a member of his selection committee – to Harris were known enough to make him realize he had to set up his defence behind the scenes. And while Harris has been at the front lines of the Democrats’ call to overhaul the police in recent months, over the years, her experience as a federal prosecutor has put her into conflict with several criminal justice reform critics, including
The U.S Intelligence says Republicans are coordinating with Russia to reelect Trump
Two weeks ago, U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina released a very ambiguous alert about different types of international intervention in the upcoming election. He followed up with a more clear and incriminating one on Friday, arguing that Russia is trying to reelect Donald Trump. Perhaps more significant is what this message unmistakably implies: Trump and his Congressional Republican allies are deliberately coordinating with Russia’s campaign.
Trump clearly appears to rage at the idea that Russia wants him to succeed, let alone accept the assistance. So Evanina’s overview delicately surrounds Trump and Moscow with superficially contrasting content. The study highlights three countries to manipulate the election: Russia, China, and Iran. The study states that Trump wants to lose, while Russia needs him to win.
It seems to encourage Republicans to assert foreign intervention on both sides. And as far as it goes, it’s real.
Yet there ends the similarities. What does China do to beat Trump? His government has become “increasingly critical of the current administration’s response to COVID-19, closure of China’s Houston Consulate, and actions on other issues.” And Iran ‘s efforts “possibly concentrate on online impact, such as spreading misinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. Data.’
In other words, Iran and China are attacking Trump in public remarks, probably involving some rude tweets.
Russia’s attempts to support Trump involve everything. However, the statement states, “Pro-Russian Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is circulating corruption claims — including by ads leaked phone calls — to discredit the candidacy of former Vice President Biden and Democratic Party.”
Derkach and his Russian allies hate Biden, who led the administration to reform Ukraine, rein in its oligarchs, and diminish Russian power. They tried to depict Biden’s reform efforts as a cynical scheme to enrich Hunter ‘s family.
Derkach collaborated directly with Trump ‘s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. That’s not a secret. Here’s the two meetings in Kiev in December:
Earlier this summer, Giuliani told the Washington Post that Derkach “doesn’t seem pro-Russian to me.” Whether that ruse surprises anybody, U.S. intelligence has now formally identified Derkach as an agency of Russian political intervention.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Committee Senate Republicans hold hearings in an effort to substantiate this charge — or, more likely, to insinuate it. They provided no evidence to support their claims. Throughout his time as vice-president, the Russians gave Republicans leaked recordings of Biden’s hidden communications with Ukrainians, and pro-Trump media outlets hyped up content, but nothing they have is inconsistent with the narrative that traditional news organizations find. Biden sought to cleanse Ukraine.
Senate Republicans tried to be cageous about their behavior. After pro-Russian Ukrainians claimed they had passed information on to Republican officials, a Johnson staffer told NBC News in July that it was “fake” the committee obtained any “opposite” or opposition study, without explicitly referring to whether it contained any content from international sources.
The Washington Post reported that Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson obtained Ukrainian classified documents. And former Giuliani partner Lev Parnas admitted to bringing Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and probably the most energetic supporter of Trump on all things Russia, in contact with one of the Ukrainians leaking U.S. papers.
Everything they ‘re up to is hardly a mystery. Johnson says he’ll post his Biden report in September. It doesn’t matter if the information Russia gives him substantiates his claims, or whether it’s genuine. The obvious strategy is to splash some headlines onto campaign heat news screens that seem to tie Biden to some kind of wrongdoing.
Actually, Biden’s not at all a scandal. It’s a Republican collusion row with Russian propaganda scheme.
What makes Evanina’s statement on Friday so significant is that it makes clear that the passing of information, real or otherwise, from various Ukrainian figures to various Trump allies is part of a Russian-directed scheme to help Trump win. Republicans might tell Russia that Russian-controlled media are free to say what they want, but Republicans won’t launder their propaganda. Instead, they ‘re doing everything to manipulate it.
Update: The issue of why Evanina followed his first, ambiguous comment with a second, more precise response. The New York Times Magazine reported a lengthy, damaging article on Trump’s intelligence politization on Saturday morning. Draper ‘s coverage forced release Friday night, clearly acknowledging Russia’s strong intention to help Trump win.
Draper’s story also helps contextualize the essentially decorative mentions of China and Iran. Intelligence officials are terrified of enraging Trump by confirming that Russia wants him to win, even though the conclusion is obvious. If you want to understand why officials added references to China and Iran to create the illusion of balance — even though those two countries don’t seem to be taking any steps to help Biden, and Biden certainly isn’t cooperating with them — Draper’s narrative explains the intense pressure they’re facing.
Lok Sabha Passes Triple Talaq Bill While The Opposition Stages Walkout
NEW DELHI: The bill for criminalizing instant ‘Triple Talaq’ was passed on Thursday, December 27, 2018, by the Lok Sabha. While passing it, the central government also rejected the contention that it was intended to target any specific community.
But surprisingly, the opposition, which was previously favouring the bill to be passed, staged a walkout which involved Congress, AIADMK, and RJD. The opposition made a walkout as the government rejected its demand to refer the bill to a joint select committee.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2018 had been passed by the Lower House. 245 were in favour while 11 opposed the legislation.
The passed bill will now go to the Rajya Sabha for the final approval. It will supersede the previous bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The now passed bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 17, to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offense, and also to replace an ordinance issued previously in September.
After the bill was passed, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there should be no politics on the bill, and also that it wasn’t targeting any particular community.
He urged the lawmakers of various parties to speak in one voice to support the legislation. “Don’t weigh the bill on the scales of politics. The bill is about humanity and justice.”
He also regretted that obstructions were being created by the opposition parties, because of the ‘vote bank politics’.
Under the proposed law (after the bill will be approved in Rajya Sabha), giving instant triple talaq will be termed as illegal and void. And it will directly mean a jail term of three years for the husband.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said that the bill has made the offense compoundable, implying that the case can be withdrawn if the man and his estranged wife reach a compromise and that only the wife and her close relatives can file an FIR, thus ruling out the law’s misuse.
He also mentioned that as many as 477 cases of triple talaq have been reported since January 2017, and also highlighted a case where a man gave talaq to his wife on Whatsapp.
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