Trump UNLOADS on DEM Sen. Warner for ‘EXTENSIVE CONTACT’ with ‘Russian oligarch’ — tied to ‘Crooked Hillary’

(National SentinelEt tu, Brutus? President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to lambast U.S. Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for clandestinely working through a Russian oligarch to set up a meeting with “Russian dossier” author Christopher Steele.

As reported by Fox News:

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.

“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.

Steele famously put together the anti-Trump dossier of unverified information that was used by FBI and Justice Department officials in October 2016 to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. Despite the efforts, Steele has not agreed to an interview with the committee.

As the conservation heated up on March 29, secrecy appeared to be very important to Warner after the lobbyist revealed that Steele was seeking to publish a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that invited him to address the intel panel, Fox News‘ Ed Henry reported.

“Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop — at least initially,” Henry wrote. “In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would ‘rather not have a paper trail’ of his messages.”

The messages were given to Fox News by a Republican source. They were marked “Confidential” but were not classified.

Henry further noted:

Waldman, who did not return calls seeking comments, runs the Endeavor Group in Washington.

Waldman is best known for signing a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of controversial Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska. Deripraska had his visa revoked by the State Department in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, that he has organized crime ties.

The revelations stirred President Trump to address Warner’s back-channel dealing on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/961802557646569475

“Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a ‘paper trail’ on a ‘private’ meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary,” said the president.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., defended Warner, claiming he disclosed this information to the committee months ago.

Henry noted during an interview with Fox News‘ Martha McCallum that Republican operatives tied to the committee released the texts to make the point that some Demorats who have been hammering Trump for a year about his campaign team’s alleged ties to Russian officials have themselves had back-channel dealings with Russians.

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Hannity: Release of SECOND memo detailing MORE Obama-era CORRUPTION should ‘SCARE’ ALL Americans

(National SentinelPoliticals as Unusual: In a Tuesday op-ed for Fox News, host Sean Hannity expounded upon new revelations of Obama-era corruption tied to the “Trump dossier” and spying on the Trump campaign that he began during his network program Monday evening.

Hannity talked about a memorandum penned by the chairman and senior Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, respectively — in which they made a criminal referral to the FBI, requesting the bureau launch an investigation into former British spy Christopher Steele.

In their letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray early last month, the two senators said they wanted to know if the former MI6 agent was dishonest during his interactions with federal authorities.

In his op-ed, Hannity noted that the two senators “have released a heavily redacted, yet very revealing copy of their criminal referral against ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dubious dossier we now know was parlayed into a FISA warrant by Trump-hating operatives at the Justice Department.

“Grassley and Graham tell us that, while working on a second dossier for Clinton opposition research firm Fusion GPS, Steele was being fed information directly from the Obama State Department and from Clinton allies as well as his usual, sketchy Russian sources,” Hannity said.

“That’s right, teams Clinton and Obama were working with a foreign spy to undermine then-candidate Donald Trump,” he added.

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“The Grassley-Graham memo goes on to say ‘it’s troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but [worse] that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele’s allegations. It raises huge additional concerns about his credibility,'” Hannity wrote.

“The incestuous ties between Fusion, Steele, the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department are alarming. Clinton hired Fusion, which hired Steele. Steele was working with the FBI at the same time. The wife of a top Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, was hired by Fusion to work with Steele.

“You should be scared. And disgusted,” said the Fox News host.

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review,” Grassley said in a statement in January.

Graham added that “after reviewing how Mr. Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier, I believe that a special counsel needs to review this matter.”

Steele was to appear in a London court to provide a long-requested deposition but, in the wake of the release of the House Intelligence Committee’s “FISA memo,” he did not show up.

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Memo to Deep Statist John McCain: YOU are ‘helping Putin’ with this bogus ‘Russia collusion’ probe YOU HELPED START

analysis
By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelAid and Abet: There is one thing we can deduce from Friday’s release of the infamous “FISA memo,” thanks to heroes and champions of government accountability and transparency in Congress and the White House: It’s now confirmed that the Obama administration was the most corrupt in the history of our country.

There’s no denying that, despite the fact that Democrats continue to do so and will continue to do so for as long as they draw a breath.

But they’re not the only enemies of government and political accountability. Not by a long shot. In fact, one of their best allies is in the U.S. Senate, and — technically speaking anyway — he’s not even a member of their party.

That would be Deep Statist Sen. John McCain, RINO-Arizona. Rather than cheer the release of the memo, which revealed serial abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by upper echelon officials in the FBI and Justice Department to prevent Donald J. Trump from becoming president, and to undermine him after he defeated Hillary Clinton in November 2016, he criticized it.

“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s,” McCain said in a statement. “Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

Why would he do that? Well, for one, McCain is a #nevertrumper; ever since the president insulted his Vietnam service, most of which was spent in a brutal North Vietnamese prison, the senior Arizona senator has had it in for Trump. (Granted, Trump shouldn’t have done that, but lest we forget, McCain had already begun savaging his presidential bid, so our president — always the counter-puncher — hit back.)

For another, let’s not forget that McCain gave his Deep State buddy former FBI director James Comey a copy of the bogus “Trump dossier” — the same one that was misrepresented as “intelligence” and used to secure an October 2016 surveillance warrant from the FISA court so the bureau could spy on the Trump campaign.

As reported by The National Sentinel:

…[A]s many suspected, the discredited and unverified “Trump dossier” was used not once but on three separate occasions to secure a FISA court surveillance warrant to allow the Obama administration to spy on Team Trump during his campaign.

As Fox News added, the FISA memo also “includes testimony from a high-ranking government official who says without the infamous Trump dossier, the FBI and DOJ would not have secured surveillance warrants to spy on at least one member of the Trump team.”

The memo further pointed out that in December 2017, then-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.” (Related: SHAMELESS: No Democrats or left-leaning publishers denounce shocking abuses of power detailed in FISA memo release)

Think about that. McCain helped to enable the whole thing. McCain helped enable illegal spying on an American citizen — former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page — by supplying the dossier to the FBI.

So Obama could spy on the presidential nominee of his own party.

“The ‘dossier’ compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application,” the memo states.

“Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research fir Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump?s ties to Russia,” it continued.

How likely is it that McCain — still butt-hurt over Trump’s insult — didn’t know the dossier was a political document, that it was just opposition research and not actual intelligence?

In his statement, McCain claimed that releasing the memo was “helping Putin” to ‘undermine our democracy.” Actually, senator, saddling our president with fake charges of “Russian collusion” have helped Putin “undermine our democracy.”

Which means Deep Statists like you are helping the enemy — not Trump.

A version of this report first appeared at Trump.news.

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MORE FISA abuse fallout? Sen. Ron Johnson DEMANDS texts, emails from 16 new DOJ and FBI employees, including James Comey and Andrew McCabe

(National SentinelWider Net: The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is seeking communications including texts and email from an additional 16 FBI and Justice Department officials as part of the committee’s broader probe into how the FBI handled its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Johnson’s request to DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is said to include all employee emails, memos, notes, texts, iPhone instant messages, and voicemails from officials between January 1, 2015, to the present.

Former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe are reportedly on Johnson’s list of 16 officials, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.

Also on the list: Outgoing FBI chief of staff James Rybicki, acting FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich and John Giacalone, the lead FBI agent on the probe into Clinton’s emails.

Johnson is also seeking text messages between anti-Trump FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that have been recovered after being considered missing.

Last week, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Johnson the messages had been retrieved, the Washington Examiner noted.

“According to material produced to the Committee, Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok make references to communicating with other FBI employees via text message, phone calls, and email,” Johnson wrote.

The deadline for Johnson’s request is Feb. 14.

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Grassley, Graham DEMAND info from Hillary, DNC, Donna Brazile, Podesta, RE: Fusion GPS

(National SentinelSeeking Answers: Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, its chairman and a senior member, have sent letters to a number of key Democratic figures demanding information about their dealings with the author of the “Trump dossier,” former British spy Christopher Steele.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the panel’s chair, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., want answers pertaining to the committee’s investigation into allegations the FBI relied on the unsubstantiated dossier in order to improperly obtain a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to spy on President Donald J. Trump’s campaign.

“As part of their ongoing oversight efforts to ensure that the FBI’s law enforcement activities are free of improper political influence, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) yesterday sent six letters seeking information and documents regarding Christopher Steele’s work on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America,” said a statement posted to Grassley’s Senate website.

“The letters seek information and documents relating to those political organizations’ knowledge of and involvement in Mr. Steele’s work and his reported interactions with the FBI while he was working on behalf of these political organizations,” the statement said.

Letters were sent to:

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The letters referenced an October 2017 Washington Post story which said that the dossier was paid for, in large part, by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

A letter from the law firm Perkins Coie acknowledged that, “[t]o assist in its representation ofthe DNC and Hillary for America, Perkins Coie engaged Fusion GPS in April of 2016” and that “the engagement concluded prior to the November 2016 Presidential election,” the letters said, referencing the story.

Earlier this month, the pair sent a criminal referral to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking that they investigate whether the former MI6 agent was dishonest during his interactions with federal authorities.

A report from earlier this month claimed to substantiate allegations that the FBI relied on the discredited dossier to obtain a FISA court warrant, which would be a gross misrepresentation and a possible criminal act.

“A large portion of the evidence presented in the salacious 35-page dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, has either been proven wrong or remains unsubstantiated. However, the FBI gained approval nevertheless to surveil members of Trump’s campaign and ‘it’s outrageous and clearly should be thoroughly investigated,’ said a senior law enforcement source, with knowledge of the process,” investigative reporter and Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter reported.

“(The dossier) certainly played a role in obtaining the warrant,” added another senior U.S. official, with knowledge of the dossier. “Congress needs to look at the FBI officials who were handling this case and see what, if anything, was verified in the dossier. I think an important question is whether the FBI paid anything to the source for the dossier.”

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Is there new evidence Comey LIED in sworn testimony to CONGRESS over scandalous TRUMP probe?

(National SentinelConflict: During sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 8, 2017, after he’d been fired by President Donald J. Trump, former FBI Director James Comey testified that he had only had two interactions with President Obama.

One, he said, was an hour-long conversation with Obama on policing, law enforcement and race. The other was a “brief” encounter to say goodbye on Obama’s way out the door, according to published testimony.

Via Politico:

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): And so in all your experience, this was the only president that you felt like in every meeting you needed to document because at some point, using your words, he might put out a non-truthful representation of that meeting.

COMEY: That’s right, senator. As I said, as FBI director I interacted with President Obama, I spoke only twice in three years, and didn’t document it. When I was Deputy Attorney General I had a one one-on-one with President Bush been I sent an email to my staff but I didn’t feel with president bush the need to document it in that I way. Again, because of the combination of those factors, just wasn’t present with either President Bush or President Obama.

…SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH (D-NM): Mr. Comey, prior to January 27th of this year, have you ever had a one-on-one meeting or a private dinner with a president of the United States?

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COMEY: No. Dinner, no. I had two one-on-ones with President Obama. One to talk about law enforcement issues, law enforcement and race, which was an important topic throughout for me and for the president. Then once very briefly for him to say goodbye.

But on Monday night during an interview with Fox News, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Rep. John Radcliffe, R-Texas, appeared with host Martha McCallum to discuss some of what they discovered after reviewing 50,000 text messages exchanged between anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Among those, Gowdy said, was a message exchange discussing Comey’s plans to “brief the president” about an ongoing investigation close to the November 2016 election.

“And I saw an interesting text that Director Comey was going to update the President of the United States about an investigation,” Gowdy said.

“I don’t know if it was an Hillary Clinton investigation because that had been reopened in the fall of 2016 or whether it was the Trump investigation. I just find it interesting that the head of the FBI was gonna update the President of the United States who at that point would have been President Obama,” he said.

Nowhere in the published transcript of Comey’s testimony does he mention briefing Obama about an ongoing investigation.

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UNBELIEVABLE! Feinstein ADMITS to leaking Glenn Simpson’s testimony at request of FUSION GPS

(National SentinelPuppet: Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on Friday that her controversial decision to release the full transcript of testimony from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson came at the request of the opposition research firm.

Feinstein released Simpson’s August 2017 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in full earlier this week. Simpson testified as part of the committee’s investigation into alleged Russian election interference in 2016 and “collusion” with the Trump campaign.

As reported by The Daily Caller, the California Democrat said lawyers for the firm asked her to release it.

“We were written to by the lawyers of the company asking that it be released, and the reason, of course, is because it has been used by rumor and innuendo and falsity so much that the time came for people to see exactly what was said,” Feinstein said.

Earlier, Feinstein said she felt “pressured” to release the transcript, but later denied that. She has also said her judgement was impaired by a “bad cold.”

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, expressed disappointment in Feinstein for releasing the transcript.

He also said he believed that the release will prevent other witnesses from voluntarily testifying in the committee’s probe, and that it will help others prepare their answers beforehand — which critics say was Feinstein’s intent.

“The concern I have is you want other people to voluntarily comply, it’ll make them nervous,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday in response to Feinstein’s actions. “And the other thing — they’re giving everybody we want to talk to, they know what the questions are going to be.”

President Donald J. Trump has also criticized Feinstein’s decision to release the transcript, hinting that it may even have been illegal.

“The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!” he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951106475254059008

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Trump CALLS OUT Feinstein over possible ‘ILLEGAL’ release of Fusion GPS transcript

(National SentinelScandalous: On Thursday President Donald J. Trump criticized Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for “possibly illegally” releasing the transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Earlier in the week Feinstein claimed that she was pressured to release the transcript, but then backtracked, suggesting that a “bad cold” affected her judgement.

In August, congressional investigators interviewed Simpson about his firm’s role in the creation of the so-called “Trump dossier.” The firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the dossier, in which he used Russian sources.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, financed a major portion of the dossier.

Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee pushed back against Feinstein’s release of the transcripts, which they had sought to block.

“It’s totally confounding that Senator Feinstein would unilaterally release a transcript of a witness interview in the middle of an ongoing investigation. Her decision was made without consulting Chairman [Chuck] Grassley [R-Iowa],” reported Fox News’ Chad Pergram.

“The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said in a statement at the time the transcript release. “The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”

Her actions were heavily criticized by Trump.

“Democrat Dianne Feinstein should never have released secret committee testimony to the public without authorization. Very disrespectful to committee members and possibly illegal. She blamed her poor decision on the fact she had a cold – a first!” he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951650274032209920

He added: “The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951106475254059008

According to the transcripts, Simpson said he was “stunned” when he learned about a meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr., in Trump Tower in June 2017. He also said he learned about the meeting in news reports.

However, Simpson met with Veselnitskaya the morning of the Trump Tower meeting, and also afterward.

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COLD STEELE: GOP senators want CRIMINAL probe of bogus ‘Trump dossier’ author

(National SentinelNumbered Days: Two Republican senators are requesting the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation into the author of the discredited “Trump dossier,” former British spy Christopher Steele.

As reported by The Hill, Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking that they investigate if the former MI6 agent was dishonest during his interactions with federal authorities.

Steele was hired by Democratic opposition research firm Fusion GPS to author the dossier, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Some Republicans also believe the dossier, which contains salacious and unsubstantiated claims about Donald J. Trump and his campaign team, was used to get authorization from the FISA court to put the campaign under surveillance in 2016.

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review,” Grassley said in a statement.

Graham added that “after reviewing how Mr. Steele conducted himself in distributing information contained in the dossier and how many stop signs the DOJ ignored in its use of the dossier, I believe that a special counsel needs to review this matter.”

Graham is an attorney by trade, having spent decades as an Air Force lawyer and officer.

The letter is the first criminal referral from any of the congressional investigations into Russia’s election interference.

In their request, the senators passed along a memo tied to “certain communications between Christopher Steele and multiple U.S. news outlets.”

The memorandum was not released publicly, The Hill reported, because it is classified.

Grassley’s office, in announcing their request, said it is standard for the committee to notify the Justice Department when it “comes across what appears to be credible evidence of a criminal violation that warrants further investigation by appropriate authorities based on information from any source, public or non-public.”  

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PATHETIC: Even after deadly train crash in Washington, Chuck Schumer HOLDS UP Trump’s Railroad Admin pick (Video)

(National SentinelHold-up: Democrats in the Senate have been using the arcane confirmation process to hold up a number of President Donald J. Trump’s nominations for federal posts, including his pick to head up the Federal Railroad Administration, Ronald Batory.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is blocking Batory’s confirmation over his demand that Trump and Republicans agree to spend billions of federal dollars for a major tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.

Schumer’s action comes despite a major Amtrak derailment in Washington state earlier this month in which three people were killed.

In 2015, an Amtrak derailment near Philadelphia in 2015 killed seven and injured several hundred people.

Batory is an experienced and respected former railroad executive, having spent four decades in the industry.

He was unanimously approved by members of the Senate Commerce Committee in early August, however, Schumer has been blocking the process of bringing Batory to the full Senate for confirmation vote.

The latest action by Schumer came late Thursday afternoon, when he objected to a motion by Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) for unanimous consent to have a vote on Batory’s nomination, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

There was some speculation that Schumer would drop his objections following the derailment in Washington state, but the senior New York senator has continued his obstruction.

Thune told reporters he was s”deeply frustrated” that a “non-controversial, highly qualified nominee has been languishing in the Senate for over four months due to objections by a handful of Democrats over a parochial issue entirely unrelated to the qualifications.”

He also took to the floor of the Senate to denounce the New York Democrat.

“[Schumer] said that the Department of Transportation is not pushing federal PTC hard enough,” Thune said. “Well, if you truly believe that DOT needs to do more, why is he, along with a few of his colleagues, standing in the way of Mr. Batory’s nomination?”

“When finally confirmed [Batory] will play a significant role in successful Positive Train Control implementation,” he said.

“The time for playing political games with this agency should be over,” Thune said just before Schumer blocked the nomination.

“I’m beyond words to explain why we are objecting to someone who is unanimously approved out of the committee to run an incredibly important safety agency,” Thune said after the objection. “I hope this is the last time.”

The Trump administration was equally dismissive of Schumer.

“Sadly, just days after a deadly derailment Sen. Schumer has yet again chosen to prioritize politics over safety,” one unnamed staffer told the Free Beacon.

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MERRY Christmas! Senate passes Trump Tax Bill

(National Sentinel): Tax Reform: The Senate passed President Donald J. Trump’s tax plan on a 51-48 vote in a midnight showdown that saw every Democrat vote against it, making the measure the most significant reform in three decades.

Earlier Tuesday, the House passed the measure on a 227-203 vote, in which 12 Republicans joined all Democrats to oppose the bill.

The House will have to re-vote on the measure, however, after Democrats complained about two minor provisions. That vote is expected today.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was not present to vote on the measure after having returned to his home state for rehab following chemotherapy for his brain cancer.

The $1.5 trillion tax cut will apply to nearly all income levels, analysts said, slashing top rates for businesses especially, while providing them with new breaks as well. The bill also reorganizes tax rates for individuals.

Trump celebrated the bill’s passage in a tweet, writing, “The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare)Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote. If approved, there will be a News Conference at The White House at approximately 1:00 P.M.”

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/943362605258813441

As NBC News reported:

The GOP bill lowers individual tax rates, including the top bracket to 37 percent from 39.6, while doubling the standard deduction and replacing personal exemptions with a $2,000 partly refundable child tax credit. It eliminates various deductions while limiting others on state and local taxes and mortgage interest. It also exempts larger inheritances from the estate tax, doubling the thresholds to $11 million for individuals and $22 million for married couples.

Also, there are major healthcare implications. The measure abolishes Obamacare’s individual mandate, meaning Americans will no longer be penalized for not buying health insurance.

Another provision pertaining to 529 savings accounts, which are now used for college tuition, was changed to help finance home schooling.

“After eight straight years of slow growth and underperformance, America is ready to take off,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said following the vote.

The bill will “put the American economy in a better position,” House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, because “workers benefit, wages go up.”

The markets seem to agree. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been setting new record highs for months in anticipation the tax measure would pass and cut rates for businesses and corporations.

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Dem hypocrites NOW tell creepy Al Franken to REMAIN in Senate

(National SentinelTypical Hypocrisy: Democrats in the Senate have reversed their earlier calls for Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota to resign his seat following a series of sexual misconduct allegations.

Initially, several Democratic senators, especially female senators, called on Franken to step down after the allegations surfaced, including a photograph of him appearing to group a Los Angeles sports radio personality.

The Minnesota Democrat took to the Senate floor earlier this month to announce his resignation, saying only that it would be “in the coming weeks.”

Now, apparently, chamber Democrats have changed their mind and are pushing Franken to stay.

“At least four senators are urging Al Franken to reconsider resigning, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and said they now feel remorse over what they feel was a rush to judgment,” Politico reported.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., never called on Franken to resign, and now he’s even more adamant he remain.

“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in an interview for Politico’s Off Message podcast to post on Tuesday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who issued a statement calling for Franken’s resignation, has since told him privately that he regrets doing so, Politico reported, citing two people familiar with the conversation.

“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” said a third senator who has also called for the resignation, and has since expressed regret directly to Franken. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”

Manchin blasted Democrats who called on Franken to resign and then went to the Senate chamber to hear him say he was doing so.

“The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being — and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick,” Manchin added.

Franken’s office said the senator still plans to step down, probably sometime in January.

Tina Smith, Minnesota’s Democratic lieutenant governor, was named last week as his appointed successor.

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NEW Comey edits: Hillary’s private emails containing classified info likely HACKED by ‘hostile forces’

(National SentinelClinton/Comey Scandal: Newly released documents by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Thursday indicate that fired FBI Director James Comey made more edits to his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton over her email scandal than previously known, and in ways that appeared to significantly downplay the seriousness of her alleged crimes.

According to the documents, one of the more shocking changes that Comey made included comments that her private email server, through which classified information passed, was very likely hacked by “hostile forces,” Fox News reported.

Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to the FBI on Thursday that shows there were multiple edits to Comey’s July 5, 2016, statement, which was heavily scrutinized at the time.

In an early draft, the former FBI director noted that it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to Clinton’s private email account at the time she was secretary of state.

Later, that claim was changed to say the scenario was only “possible.”

An additional edit featured language that was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her aides and colleagues as “extremely careless” rather than “grossly negligent,” which is a key legal distinction.

In writing about his concerns Thursday in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Johnson said that the original draft “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified information.”

He noted further, “The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence – a legal threshold for mishandling classified material – and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence.”

In addition, the final edits indicated that references to specific violations of statutes regarding “gross negligence” in the handling of classified information and “misdemeanor handling” were removed as well.

Also, the final statement also removed a reference to the “sheer volume” of classified information discussed on email.

“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson said there were “repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information.”

“In summary, the edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions,” he concluded.

Earlier reports noted that FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok changed the portion of the statement dealing with “extremely careless” to “grossly negligent.”

“This effort, seen in light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an ‘insurance policy’ against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation by President Trump,” Johnson said.

Forward Observer

The senator has said that Comey emailed a draft of the statement to senior FBI officials in May 2016 that cleared Clinton of any criminality, two months before he made his public statement exonerating her.

The May date is also well before FBI agents interviewed Clinton herself, which occurred just days before Comey’s statement.

“I’ve been trying to imagine what it would look like if I decided to do an FBI only press event to close out our work and hand the matter to the DOJ,” Comey wrote at the top of the draft. “To help shape out discussions of whether that, or something different, makes sense, I have spent some time crafting what I would say, which follows. In my imagination, I don’t see me taking any questions. Here is what it might look like.”

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Doug Jones, a Democrat, WINS Alabama Senate Race; GOP majority hangs by a THREAD

(National Sentinel‘Limit to Crazy’: Democrats have pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in modern times as Democrat Doug Jones defeated embattled GOP candidate Judge Roy Moore in the hotly contested Alabama Senate race.

The freak win for Dems in Deep Red ‘Bama led Internet guru Matt Drudge to declare, “Luther Strange would have won in a landslide… Just too much crazy in nerve racking times. There IS a limit!” in a tweet.

https://twitter.com/DRUDGE/status/940788234451333125

Strange currently holds the seat that was up for grabs. He was appointed to it by Alabama’s governor to replace Jeff Sessions, who gave up the seat to become President Donald J. Trump’s attorney general.

Moore defeated Strange in the primary earlier this year.

It wasn’t the first time Drudge had expressed his displeasure with Moore. Earlier, he labeled him “Judge Whore” on his popular news aggregation site.

Moore was accused of sexual misconduct last month by multiple women, including one woman who said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was in his 30s.

Moore regularly denied the allegations, but nevertheless faced calls from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republican senators to drop out of the race.

The GOP’s loss of the seat trims its majority to 51-49 in a highly partisan Senate. Tie votes would still go to Republicans as the deciding ballot on key legislation would be decided by Vice President Mike Pence as president of the chamber.

Moore’s loss will be presented by Democrats as a blow to Trump, who threw his support behind the embattled candidate earlier this month, urging voters not to put a Democrat into the seat who would oppose his agenda.

The New York Times reported the razor-thin win: Jones received 49.9 percent of the vote, compared to Moore’s 48.4 percent, a 1.5 percent gap.

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Tax bill FAIL: Some high earners would top 100%

(National SentinelTax Deform: Under the Senate’s version of tax reform, some high earners could pay in excess of 100 percent after a certain level of earnings, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Senate conferees are working to amend the provision, but if they don’t succeed, that means some high earners will pay $100 or more in income taxes for every $100 in earnings after a certain level.

On the broader level, House and Senate negotiators are attempting to reconcile their versions of the reform bill, as they look for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious provisions.

Formally, the House and Senate conference committee meets on Wednesday in an attempt to hammer out compromises.

The possible marginal tax rate of 100 percent comes from combining tax policies aimed at benefitting businesses and families while denying those benefits to the highest earners. Some critics see that as punishing the rich, which is what they say the current tax code does.

As income rises and the tax breaks phase out, it will mean each dollar of income after a certain level will be taxed at regular rates, along with a hidden marginal rate on top of that, the paper said.

“That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance,” the WSJ reported.

As incomes move much higher, they will exit those phaseout ranges and marginal tax rates would go down again.

WSJ noted further:

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said David Gamage, a tax law professor at Indiana University and a former Treasury Department official. He added that business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do.

“The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures,” he told the WSJ.

Other tax experts also sounded an alarm about the final bill’s hefty tax increase for certain earners.

Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee, said the two analyses raise a valid concern.”

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she continued. “The goal of Congress’ tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

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