THE BATTLE FOR SCOTUS: Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee by end of week

WASHINGTON (The Hill) — President Trump plans to announce his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court on Friday or Saturday, he said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning.

“I think it’ll be on Friday or Saturday,” Trump said when asked when he would announce his decision, adding that he wanted to “pay respect” to Ginsburg, who died Friday due to complications from pancreatic cancer, by waiting until after her funeral services.

Trump also said that he had narrowed his list down to five potential nominees. Trump has already committed to choosing a woman to replace Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Jones Rushing are among the individuals Trump is weighing as potential nominees. Barrett and Lagoa are said to be top contenders for the role.

Trump on Monday did not specifically name the individuals whom he is considering to replace Ginsburg, but he described them all as “highly qualified” and “very smart.” At one point, he also appeared to reference Rushing, saying that one of the potential nominees is 38 years old — Rushing’s age.

“It could be any one of them — they’ll all be great,” Trump told the Fox News hosts.

Trump also said during the phone interview that he would prefer a nomination vote be taken before Election Day on Nov. 3, saying that there would be “plenty of time” for his choice to move through the process.

“I think it should go very quickly. We have a lot of time,” Trump said. “Especially if the people we’re talking about, most of them are young and they’ve gone through the process pretty recently.”

Details surrounding services for Ginsburg solidified later Monday. A Supreme Court spokesperson said that the late justice will lie in repose on Wednesday and Thursday at the top of the court’s steps, following a private ceremony inside the corridor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also announced that Ginsburg will lie in state at the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall on Friday.

A funeral service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery is expected sometime later in the week.

Should Trump follow through in announcing his nominee on Friday or Saturday, the news would come just days before the first presidential debate between the incumbent president and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Barrett, 48, is a former clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump nominated her to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in 2017. Lagoa, a 52-year-old Cuban American judge and Florida native, was nominated by Trump to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit at the end of 2019. Both women were confirmed in bipartisan votes by the Senate.

Rushing was nominated by Trump to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in 2018 and was confirmed in a party-line vote the following year.

The Supreme Court confirmed Ginsburg’s death Friday evening, a development that immediately injected uncertainty into the presidential election, which is less than two months away, and ignited debate about whether and how swiftly Republicans should move to fill the empty seat on the high court.

Most Republicans have thus far united behind Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in saying that Trump’s nominee should get a vote on the Senate floor. However, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have said that they oppose moving forward with a vote before Election Day.

McConnell refused to hold a vote for then-President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to replace Scalia in 2016 because it was during an election year. McConnell argues that the circumstances in 2020 are different, because the same party controls the White House and Senate.


The Hill‘s Morgan Chalfant contributed to the contents of this report.

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY: New York Times poll shows majority opposes impeachment in 6 key swing states

NEW YORK — A majority of voters in 6 key battleground states oppose impeaching President Donald Trump and removing him from office according to a recent New York Times report.

In a poll conducted by the publication, just forty-three percent of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin support impeachment and removal of the president. Fifty-seven percent oppose.

According to the poll, those who oppose and support impeachment fall straight down party lines with 92% of Republicans opposing impeachment and removal and 84% of Democrats supporting it.

President Trump praised the poll Tuesday morning in a tweet in which he quoted Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends” who had earlier discussed the survey’s findings on air.

“”I thought a very revealing poll was done by The New York Times. By about a 10 point margin, those in battleground states polled are against impeaching the President, and if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t take note of that, maybe she is a third rate politician.’ @kilmeade @foxandfriends” the president wrote.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 13-20 in the battleground states, surveyed 1,934 registered voters. The margin of error was stated as plus or minus 2.8%.

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TICK TOCK: Trump vows ‘harsh measures’ if Dems won’t act on border

WASHINGTON — A fed up President Donald Trump on Tuesday came out swinging against Democrats who continue to turn a blind eye to immigration loopholes.

“Democrats in Congress must vote to close the terrible loopholes at the Southern Border. If not, harsh measures will have to be taken!” the president tweeted.

The president’s comments were in response to congressional Democrats who continue to push back on his demands for emergency funds earmarked toward preventing illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. through the Mexican border.

“So you create chaos, and then ask for more money?” Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, told Politico, referring to the president’s request for emergency funding.

In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway blasted Dems for their refusal to cooperate in helping to secure the nation’s border.

“They have to stop pretending they want to reform the immigration laws,” Conway said. “If they’re serious about immigration reform they should come to the table and fix something.”

Thus far, Democrats are still refusing to cooperate.

“Not that we’re trying to validate or not validate [Trump’s claims], there are a lot of people there at the border,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, (D)-Texas, told Politico. “I don’t call it a security crisis, I call it a humanitarian crisis. So, the question is how do we get to address that?”

Trump’s efforts to secure the nation’s border has been an ongoing battle throughout his administration. The fight against illegal immigration was a center point of his 2016 election campaign. The issue is expected to remain the focus of his 2020 bid for reelection.

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NAPOLITANO: Proceed with caution when it comes to believing Cohen

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen’s upcoming testimony before key House committees shouldn’t be believed unless he’s able to substantiate his claims, Judge Andrew Napolitano said Tuesday.

“This dynamite piece that The Wall Street Journal says he is going to testify that President Trump committed crimes while in office,” Fox News’ judicial analyst told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday Morning. “The source wouldn’t say exactly what these alleged crimes are, but no prosecutor would put Michael Cohen on the stand and assert that he is credible without a mountain of corroborating evidence to support him.”

That evidence will likely not appear, said Napolitano, citing the fact that Cohen will not be under oath

This is not a legal hearing,” said Napolitano. “This is not a courtroom where you put a witness on the stand and corroborate them. This is a political gathering. They don’t care about corroboration.”

Cohen, who is expected to make some of Trump’s private financial statements public and worked for Trump for more than 10 years, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday and on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.

Cohen’s planned testimony comes more than 13 months after The Wall Street Journal reported that he paid $130,000 in “hush money” to former adult-film star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence after an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump prior to his presidency.

Cohen claims he made the payment to Daniels under the direct orders of then-presidential candidate Trump.

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‘APOLOGIZE OR ELSE’: Attorney for MAGA teens gives critics 48 hours to take back ‘false statements’ or face legal action

COVINGTON, KY — An attorney representing some Northern Kentucky students at the center of last week’s controversy at the Lincoln Memorial says anyone who has posted derogatory comments about the students involved have 48 hours to retract their statements or face legal action.

The students, young men who attend an all boy’s Catholic school, quickly came under fire on social media last Friday after an edited video suggested they had confronted and harassed Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

The boys, many of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, were targeted for harassment and received multiple threats of violence online.

“Everybody now is on 48-hour notice so by Friday, everybody needs to retract and correct any false statements they have issued about these kids,” attorney Robert Barnes, who is representing the boys, their families and the school, Covington Catholic, for free told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”

The ultimatum includes “any major member of the media,” Barnes said. “That includes anybody with a substantial social media platform. If you have said anything false about these kids, they are willing to extend to you a 48-hour time period of grace, consistent with their Christian faith, for you through confessions to get redemption and retract and correct and apologize.”

Barnes went on to say that anyone who has posted “false statements” about the boys or the school could face lawsuits for libel as most of the boys are minors and in that instance, malice does not need to be proven.

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REPORT: Trump team prepping for showdown with Mueller

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for a long-awaited showdown with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to published reports.

Mueller, who has been carrying out an ongoing investigation into whether or not Trump or any member of his campaign team colluded with Russia to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, has requested the president agree to a one on one interview to answer his questions regarding his investigation.

Thus far, the sit-down has not yet occurred, however Mueller has announced his intent to release a report on his findings.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, says his legal team is preparing a counter attack to rebut any accusations that Mueller may make against his client and, again, defended Trump against allegations of wrongdoing.

“I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime,” Giuliani said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “Collusion is not a crime.”

Shortly thereafter during an interview with CNN, Giuliani said those who hacked the DNC, not Trump, are the only parties responsible for committing any wrongdoing.

“The hacking is the crime,” Giuliani told the network. “The president didn’t hack.”

Responding to a comment on Twitter, Giuliani agreed with a commenter who claimed the media was “twisting” both his and the president’s words in an effort to build a case for impeachment.

“Excellent observation,” Giuliani replied. “You can investigate an innocent person forever and forever and find nothing. When do we say enough is enough. No collusion, no obstruction. President Trump did nothing wrong.”

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HUMBLE HERO: Gulf War vet saves Wyoming cop from attacker on side of highway; “I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time,” he says

Green River, Wyo. (Fox News) — A trucker who saw combat in Iraq as a Marine is being praised for stopping on a Wyoming highway and pulling a man off a trooper before the man could grab the trooper’s gun.

The trooper was fortunate Darren Phillips, who drives an 18-wheeler for a Utah fuel company, happened by last Thursday on I-80 near Green River. As he got closer, Phillips could see the trooper and the man wrestling on the ground.

“I put my brakes on, and I jump out,” Phillips told KSL-TV. “And by this time, the trooper is on his back and the guy is on top of him. The trooper saw me running over, and as soon as I got up to him, he says, ‘He’s going for my gun.’ ”

Phillips said he used a chokehold to pull the man off the trooper.

“I did two tours in Iraq and I never had to put a chokehold on anyone,” he told the station. “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

During an appearance on Fox & Friends Monday, Phillips said the man tried to get up as he applied the chokehold.

“I just told him you better stop struggling, I’m going to put you out,” he said.

He said that later the man complimented him on the chokehold as he was being taken to jail.

“That was pretty amusing, I thought,” he said.

Phillips, of Taylorsville, Utah, was a Marine for 12 years and a member of the Utah Army National Guard for 14 years.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said on Facebook that suspect Dustin Roberts, 36, of McKinleyville, Calif., tried to disarm the trooper after being stopped for a speeding violation.

Troopers found 74 pounds of marijuana and some cocaine in his vehicle, officials said.

Roberts was charged with drug possession and interfering with a peace officer and booked into the county jail. His bond was set at $125,000.

“I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time,” Phillips told the KSL. “Anything I can do for those guys who put their life on the line every day for us, I’ll do any time.”

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‘WE MIGHT KILL YOU BACK’: Tough-talking Georgia sheriff’s warning to criminals goes viral

HARRIS COUNTY, GA — A sign warning criminals that they may meet their own demise if they cross the line in one Georgia county has went viral.

Sheriff Mike Jolley first gained national attention in 2015 after putting up a sign at the entry point to Harris County which read: “WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you…LEAVE!”

But this latest sign, which Jolly paid for out of his own pocket, takes it one step further.

“Our citizens have concealed weapons,” the welcome sign reads. “If you kill someone, we might kill you back. ”

“We have ONE jail and 356 cemeteries,” the warning continues. “Enjoy your stay!”

Sherriff Jolly says that while most of the response he’s received has been positive, he welcomes the challenge from those who don’t agree with his politically incorrect stance.

“I spent 20 years in the army to give everyone the right to disagree with me or anyone else,” Jolley told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends”. “Hopefully, if they disagree, they can voice that opinion. But if it offends them, truly offends them, maybe they’re in the wrong country.”

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NY POST: Mueller “Gonna be in a world of hurt” once explosive FISA Memo goes public

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FBI, Department of Justice and special counsel Robert Mueller will all be in a “world of hurt” once a four-page memo detailing FISA abuses that took place under the Obama administration are revealed, says The New York Post’s Paul Sperry.

“I’m told Steele & Simpson + the FBI & DOJ/NSD + even FISC are all gonna be in a world of hurt when this 4-pp memo + underlying docs hit the fan,” Sperry tweeted on Thursday. (https://twitter.com/paulsperry_/status/956737620758974465?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fsperry-fbi-doj-mueller-gonna-world-hurt-explosive-fisa-memo-goes-public%2F).

“Steele & Simpson are caught in a sh*tstorm of lies, which further tainted the FBI’s FISA warrant to spy on Team Trump,” Sperry continued. “And as a result, the memo is going to create a BIG credibility problem for Mueller, since his team debriefed Steele and tapped into Simpson’s “research” on Manafort and Deutsche Bank. Buckle your seatbelts, sports fans …”.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton concurred with Sperry’s comments, adding that Mueller likely knows his clock is ticking.

“My guess is Mueller is racing to “interview” @RealDonaldTrump before his own investigation further implodes with revelations of illegal anti-Trump actions/bias from the “Memo” and text messages. #ReleaseTheMemo”, Fitton tweeted (https://twitter.com/TomFitton/status/956548403831418880).

Fox News legal contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano also said during an apperance on Fox & Friends that, for the good of the American people, the content of the memo should be revealed on the House floor.

“[They] sat on it while the rest of Congress debated and expanded FISA. The rest of Congress should have known what the House Intelligence Committee knows,” said Napolitano (http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/01/25/fisa-surveillance-memo-judge-napolitano-says-contents-must-be-released).

Further, added Napolitano, should the committee vote against releasing it, a member should defy the vote and disclose the memo’s contents on the House floor in order to make it a matter of public record.

“The speech and debate clause of the Constitution protects members of Congress from the legal consequences of what they say on the floor,” said the judge.

The comments come after a New York Times report was published claiming that Trump demanded Mueller’s firing just weeks after the special counsel was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The president denied those allegations as he arrived Friday at the site of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories,” he told reporters.

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ICE DIRECTOR: ‘Illegal immigration at 45 year low thanks to Trump’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The number of illegal immigrants crossing the border into the United States is at a 45 year low, says acting ICE director Thomas Homan, and a large portion of the credit goes to President Donald Trump.

“Under this president, we had a 45-year low in illegal immigration on the border this year,” Homan said on Fox News’ Thursday morning edition of”Fox and Friends” (http://video.foxnews.com/v/5707741523001/?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips).

“That’s not a coincidence,” said Horman, who’s served as director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement since Trump was sworn into office last January. “(Trump) is successful. He has allowed us to do our job.”

Turning his comments toward DACA, the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program implemented by former president Barack Obama, Homan said the president must pick his battles carefully.

“I hear a lot of talk about a clean DACA bill. Let’s just pass DACA and not worry about all this other stuff like the wall and border security,” Homan said on Fox. “We need to fix the underlying causes of illegal immigration.”

The causes, said Homan, include entire family units sneaking across the southern US border and a lax criminal justice system that allows offenders caught crossing the border illegally to skip court and defy orders to appear.

“If we don’t address the causes of illegal immigration, if we don’t give the men and women on the ground the tools to close these loopholes … to enforce immigration law in the interior of the United States, you’re going to have DACA again in 10 years,” Homan warned. “The families coming across now, that’s your next DACA.

“Let’s not just reward illegal behavior and end it there,” Homan added. “Let’s make some changes to fix this problem.”

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