WASHINGTON– Hunter Biden’s legal team is scheduled to meet next week with the U.S. attorney overseeing the investigation into the president’s son, according to reports.
The meeting was granted after Mr. Biden’s lawyers reached out for an update on the Justice Department probe that is believed to be focused on tax evasion and making false statements when purchasing of a gun.
At least one official from Justice Department headquarters is expected to attend the meeting with the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, David Weiss, according to CNN which cited multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation for several years but has not been charged. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The meeting is scheduled to occur amid increased pressure on President Biden and his son after an anonymous IRS whistleblower came forward this week with a letter to lawmakers alleging that the Biden administration is improperly handling the investigation into the president’s son and giving him preferential treatment.
WASHINGTON— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s tour of Asia will include a visit to Taiwan, senior Taiwanese government and US officials confirmed on Monday.
The planned visit comes despite fresh warnings by the Chinese government that Pelosi’s stop will be seen as an act of aggression on the part of the United States.
“We would like to tell the US once again that China is standing by, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by. China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a foreign ministry briefing Monday.
“As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.
National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Monday that the Biden administration will take all necessary precautions to ensure Pelosi’s safety.
“We want to make sure that when she travels overseas, she can do so safely and securely and we’re going to make sure of that. There is no reason for the Chinese rhetoric. There is no reason for any actions to be taken. It is not uncommon for congressional leaders to travel to Taiwan,” Kirby told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day.”
“We shouldn’t be as a country – we shouldn’t be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we’re going to do whatever we can to support her.”
Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against “playing with fire” over Taiwan in a call with Joe Biden last Thursday, highlighting Beijing’s concerns about the possible visit.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Biden in their fifth call as leaders. “It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this.”
Xi warned the Biden administration should abide by the “one-China principle” and stressed that China firmly opposes Taiwanese independence and outside interference.
“Is it your understanding that no command decision was ever made to breach the classroom?” host Kate Bolduan asked.
“That is my understanding,” Gutierrez answered. “What I have been told from law enforcement is that [the US Border Patrol] finally took it upon themselves and said, ‘We’re going in.’
“There’s a lot going on and I understand, and they’re still unpacking a lot of these things,” Gutierrez added, according to a rebroadcast of the interview by Mediaite. “These families deserve all the answers.”
Police said 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were shot dead after the 18-year-old stormed the school and opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle.
“To blame one cop on the scene with the six other cops that work for him isn’t good enough,” he said. “I don’t know Mr. Arredondo. Certainly, there was an error there.
“But I think at every point along the way you have superior forces coming in that should’ve said, ‘Let’s go in now,’ just like the CBP cop at one point said, ‘I’m done with this. I’m going in,’” Gutierrez said.
“And so, at what point do people not use some common sense here, listen to 911 calls that are coming in, understand that kids are still alive inside and know that they have to go in there, do their jobs under the active shooter protocol,” he said. “Just ’cause one person makes a mistake doesn’t mean that others have to compound on that.”
The senator’s comments come as the first two funerals for the young victims of the mass shooting are being held in Uvalde.
WEST PALM BEACH (Gateway Pundit) — President Trump is preparing to restart MAGA rallies as early as next month.
Trump will also announce if he is running for president again after the 2022 midterm elections.
“Recently, Trump has initiated discussions about resuming the signature MAGA rallies that fortified his nascent political movement in 2016 and continued throughout his presidency. While he has vowed to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski and is said to be interested in hosting campaign events for some of the candidates he’s already endorsed, aides said the logistics are still being worked out but that he could resume rallies as early as May.” – CNN reported.
“It will definitely be different in terms of the setup, but we got really good at planning these events in 2020, so we will probably use a lot of those same vendors again,” said the person close to Trump’s post-White House operation.
Donald Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity last Monday evening that he is very seriously considering a 2024 presidential bid.
“Are you running again in 2024? Hannity asked Trump during an exclusive, sit-down interview.
“I am looking at it very seriously, beyond seriously,” Trump said as he bashed Joe Biden and the Democrat party.
NEW YORK — CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended by New Yorker after exposing himself on Zoom call, according to a report Monday by Vice.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin said in a statement Monday. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
The incident in question occurred on a Zoom video conference call last week between members of the New Yorker and WNYC radio, a nonprofit public radio station in New York.
A New Yorker spokesperson has confirmed that Toobin, who has been with the publication for more than 25 years, “has been suspended while we investigate the matter.”
Toobin has worked as a CNN legal analyst since 2002. The network said in a Monday statement that he asked for time off to deal with a “personal matter.”
“Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted,” the network said in a statement.
Calls to Mr. Toobin for comment were not immediately returned.
WASHINGTON– Former President Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday attacked President Donald Trump over his administration’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a major crisis,” Panetta told Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, noting infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci’s recent warning that America may soon hit 100,000 new cases a day.
“But the president, rather than bringing together some kind of national strategy to confront this crisis, simply resorts to tweeting about vandalism and other things to kind of divert attention from the crisis that’s there.”
“We have a president that is not willing to stand up and do what is necessary in order to lead this country during time of major crisis,” said Panetta. “I have never experienced a president who has avoided that responsibility.”
Panetta then went on to echo presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s slam at Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying “It seems like our wartime president has surrendered and waved the white flag, and left the battlefield.”
According to a report published by Johns Hopkins University, the Coronavirus has infected more than 2.6m Americans and killed 128,000.
When questioned Wednesday about the president’s recent efforts to combat the virus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, said: “The president is not focused on talking; he’s focused on action. And this administration has taken historic action with regard to the coronavirus.
“We have an excess amount of PPE, surge – a huge amount of ventilators in the stockpile. Things that could never be done, we were told, have been done under this administration. Testing more than 600,000 a day. This president has done a historic job with regard to coronavirus.”
WASHINGTON — Rudy Giuliani came out swinging Wednesday against former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new tell all book.
During an appearance on Fox News, Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, called Bolton a “backstabber” and said he’s not quite sure “what happened” to him.
“I don’t care if he says what he saw or he doesn’t,” Giuliani said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” of Bolton’s new book, “The Room Where It Happened.”
“If they want to publish what he says about me, I’m sure that’s not classified,” said Giuliani. “I’m happy to have him do it and I’m happy to respond to it because he’s a backstabber.”
Addressing Bolton’s claims that Giuliani and Trump “mishandled” foreign affairs, Giuliani said Bolton never came to him to address his concerns.
“He never came to me and gave me those concerns,” Giuliani said. “If he was concerned about that, if the man were a man rather than a backstabber, he would’ve talked to me…He’s selling out to sell a book. I don’t know what happened to him.”
The Trump administration has filed suit to block Bolton’s book, which is scheduled for release on June 23, on claims that it contains classified information.
In its filing, the Justice Department argues that Bolton “regularly came into possession of some of the most sensitive classified information that exists in the U.S. government,” as part of his day to day duties. Officials said Bolton’s manuscript, which contains over 500 pages, was “rife with classified information, which he proposed to release to the world” and contained “significant quantities of classified information that it asked Defendant to remove.”
“The United States is not seeking to censor any legitimate aspect of Defendant’s manuscript; it merely seeks an order requiring Defendant to complete the prepublication review process and to take all steps necessary to ensure that only a manuscript that has been officially authorized through that process — and is thus free of classified information — is disseminated publicly,” the suit argues.
In a statement Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union called the lawsuit “doomed to fail.”
Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s speech, technology and privacy project, said the Supreme Court rejected a half-century ago the Nixon administration’s efforts to block the release of the Pentagon Papers, and said it has been since established that prior restraints on publication are unconstitutional.
“As usual, the government’s threats have nothing to do with safeguarding national security, and everything to do with avoiding scandal and embarrassment,” Wizner said.
Calls for statement to John Bolton’s spokesperson was met with “no comment.”
WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump on Tuesday hit back at House Democrats that are leading an impeachment inquiry they hope will remove him from office.
“So someday, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” Trump tweeted. “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!”
The president’s comments were quick to draw criticism from those on the left who deemed his use of the term “lynching” as “racist.”
“I really believe this man is prone to inflammatory statements and that is one word no president ought to apply to himself,” Rep. James Clyburn, (D)-S.C., told CNN’s “New Day.”
“I’ve studied presidential history quite a bit and I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything quite like this,” Clyburn said. “I am not just a politician up here. I’m a Southern politician, I’m a product of the South. I know the history of that word, that is a word that we ought to be very, very careful about using.”
“By comparing his current situation to lynching, Trump is engaging in both the weaponizing of race and his sense of victimhood,” Clyburn continued. “He is purposely dredging up some of the darkest images of our country to vent his anger and rally his supporters to his cause.
It is, in a word, gross.”
Calls for response from the White House were not immediately returned.
WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller must testify before Congress on the details relating to his investigation of President Donald Trump, Sen. Richard Blumenthal declared Monday.
“I think he has to understand that part of his job as special counsel is to appear before congressional committees,” Blumenthal told CNN’s “New Day”.
“I hope he will do it voluntarily. If not, a subpoena may be necessary,” Blumenthal continued. “Robert Mueller wrote the book and it is a powerful 450-page description, obstruction and a threat by the Russians. Most Americans won’t read the book, they have to see the movie and Robert Mueller is the movie.”
“The key is accountability and Bob Mueller is the absolutely critical witness to holding the president accountable for his lawbreaking,” he added.
The senator also commented on House Democrat’s plans to call those mentioned in the Mueller report who have not worked in the White House and therefore cannot claim executive privilege to testify.
“They have no claim of executive privilege,” Blumenthal said. “But I’d argue that those individuals who worked in the White House previously like [former White House Counsel Don] McGahn and some of the others also lack a viable claim of executive privilege and it will be rejected by the courts.”
NEW YORK — Michael Cohen, who once served as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is walking back claims he made as part of his plea bargain according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal.
Cohen, who pled guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations regarding hush-money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, now claims he did not commit tax evasion and that a criminal charge related to a home-equity line of credit was “a lie.”
“There is no tax evasion,” the Journal claims Cohen said during a secretly recorded phone call with former television star Tom Arnold, a vocal critic of the president. “And the Heloc? I have an 18% loan-to-value on my home. How could there be a Heloc issue? How? Right? . . . It’s a lie.”
During the call, Cohen, who is preparing to face a three-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against the president, said he felt like a man “all alone.”
“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything,'” Cohen said.
“My family’s happiness, and my law license. I lost my business . . . my insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about.”
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, told CNN in response to the report that nothing Cohen said to Arnold during the course of the phone conversation “contradicts Mr. Cohen’s previous defense attorney, Guy Petrillo, in his sentencing memorandum to the presiding federal US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III back in December.”
“I would also add the important words used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others, in describing Michael Cohen’s cooperation and testimony as ‘credible’ addressing the ‘core’ issues involved in his investigation,” Davis said.
According to the Journal report, Cohen told Arnold that he agreed to the plea deal in order to protect his wife.
“I love this woman,” Cohen said. “I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap, and I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”
Cohen is scheduled to begin his prison sentence on May 6.