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Congress

Grassley demands someone at DOJ name a special prosecutor for Uranium One scandal

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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday called in a Tweet for someone in the Department of Justice to name a special prosecutor to look into the Uranium One scandal.

The Tweet follows up on Senator Grassley‘s own call Thursday to have the Justice Department to lift the non-disclosure agreement preventing a former FBI confidential informant from speaking to Congress about the handling of a criminal probe linked to a controversial deal that ceded ownership of U.S. uranium assets to the Russian government.

Trending: Judge Who Jailed Manafort Also Cleared Hillary Clinton In Benghazi Case

Despite an ongoing criminal investigation into officials working for subsidiaries of Rosatom, the Russian government entity seeking to acquire ownership of U.S. uranium, the Obama Administration approved the deal, he said.

The Justice Department has reportedly threatened to prosecute the informant if he discloses details of his involvement in the investigation,” he said.

“The Executive Branch does not have the authority to use non-disclosure agreements to avoid congressional scrutiny,” he said.

“If the FBI is allowed to contract itself out of congressional oversight, it would seriously undermine our constitutional system of checks and balances,” he said.

The Justice Department needs to work with the Committee to ensure that witnesses are free to speak without fear, intimidation or retaliation from law enforcement. Witnesses who want to talk to Congress should not be gagged and threatened with prosecution for talking. If that has happened, senior DOJ leadership needs to fix it and release the witness from the gag order,” Grassley said.

Grassley was responding to news reports that a U.S. businessman-turned-confidential informant documented bribes, extortion and money laundering by Russian entities that were attempting to secure U.S. government approval of a deal to acquire Uranium One. Uranium One at the time was said to have the rights to 20 percent of American uranium assets at the time.

The media reports said that the informant has information regarding payments made by Russian executives to a U.S. entity that supported the Clinton Foundation, controlled by President William J. Clinton.

Despite the informant’s detailed reports to the FBI and an ongoing criminal investigation, the Obama administration and the Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton approved the sale of controlling interest in Uranium One by the Russian company Rosatom.

Grassley has long had the reputation as the guardian of whistleblowers. In early 2011, insiders aware of the both President Barack Obama’s Fast and Furious Mexican gunrunning program and that one of the weapons from the Fast and Furious program killed Border Patrol agent Brian Terry reached out to Grassley first. Because Grassley was not a committee chairman, since the Senate was controlled by the Democrats, the senator reached out himself to Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.). That is why it was Issa and his committee that issued the subpoenas and conducted hearings on that scandal, not Grassley.

The Judiciary Committee chairman also requested that several federal agencies involved in approving the Uranium acquisition if they had any knowledge of the ongoing criminal investigation and all communications relating to donations made to the Clinton Foundation by interested parties in the transaction, including the Justice and State departments.

The chairman also demanded information about any non-disclosure agreements related to the Uranium One deal.

Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based political journalist and editor. Before joining Big League Politics, he was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also led Breitbart's political polling operation and wrote up the Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe's other positions include the One America News DC Bureau Chief, a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book The Unfriendly Skies examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.

 

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Congress

Oversized: Rosie O’Donnell Makes Potentially Illegal Campaign Donations

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According to a New York Post analysis of campaign filings, Rosie O’Donnell made illegally oversized donations to five federal Democrat candidates.

“Nothing nefarious,” the washed up comedian and Donald Trump critic said. “I was not choosing to over donate.”

But O’Donnell regularly broke the Federal Election Commission’s rules that limit donations to $2,700 per candidate per election campaign. The limit is applies separately to primaries, run-offs, and general elections, with each considered a new race.

“If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money,” she said. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”

But intent is not an element of the crime, and O’Donnell’s blind faith that politicians would simply return her money if she over-donated is either pathetically naive or a lie to cover for herself.

O’Donnell donated $4,700 to Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in his race against Judge Roy Moore. Jones won the race by

She also gave $3,700 to Rep. Conor Lamb, (D-PA), $2,950 to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), $4,200 to Lauren Underwood, a current Illinois congressional candidate, and $3,450 to Omar Vaid, an outsider congressional candidate from Staten Island, NY.

“My anxiety is quelled by donating to those opposing Trump [and] his agenda — especially at night — when most of these were placed,” she said.

Don’t worry plebeians, O’Donnell quells her anxiety by throwing bundles of cash at Democrats and breaking the law. Perhaps someone at the FEC can alert her that there’s medicine for that. And people still wonder why the political left is so out of touch with the average American.

According to campaign finance lawyer Jan Witold Baran, donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients. She said that campaigns generally are not penalized for isolated contributions over a limit.

Candidates who receive excess donations are allowed simply to roll the excess funds over to their next campaign.

In effect, the law is useless as it is seldom enforced. Leave it to the D.C. swamp.

“I also maxed out to Cynthia Nixon,” O’Donnell told the Post. “And I loathe Jeannine Pirro.”

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Congress

Justin Amash Put Paul Ryan In Power, Now He Claims Boehner Was Better

His vote put the gavel in Paul Ryan’s hand

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While speaking to Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) stated that former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was better than current House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Amash made this statement despite having voted for Paul Ryan’s Speaker-ship twice, both the initial vote, and for his re-election. The only Republican Congressman currently in office who has never voted for Ryan is Congressman Thomas Massie.

As a founder of the Freedom Caucus, Amash was influential in the deal that was cut with the most conservative wing of the GOP. It was widely reported that Amash’s decision to support Ryan is practically the only reason he was able to secure the gavel.

But the entire Freedom Caucus didn’t join in the deal. Amash could have chose not to vote for Ryan, but his vote ensured that Paul Ryan would be Boehner’s predecessor.

Not only did Justin Amash push Ryan to power, but gave Ryan a pass on a disastrous budget deal. Immediately before the vote for Speaker in the fall of 2015, Ryan had been the chief negotiator of the bill.

Amash has been critical of both Boehner and Ryan, getting into public spats with them both, but only voting for Ryan for Speaker.

But according to Amash, despite the fact that Boehner was more confrontational, he felt that it was preferable to being ignored, like he is under Speaker Ryan, stating:

“I would rather have the guy swearing at me and letting me have a vote than not considering me at all…Under [Ryan’s] speakership, we’ve had the fewest open amendments of any speakership. We’ve had zero….Everything has to be pre-approved by the Speaker…. Under Boehner, you could walk up…and offer an amendment as long as it was germane to the bill, you got to vote on it.”

While Amash’s statement may well be true, it is very hypocritical for him to continually vote for Speaker Ryan, likely to attempt to get on his good side, and then attack him for being worse than John Boehner was.

You can’t have it both ways, Justin.

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2018 Midterms

Indiana Senate Candidate Wears MAGA Hat in Campaign Ad

He’s not afraid to MAGA.

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Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Indiana, and current Congressmen Todd Rokita went into attack mode on his two primary opponents in a new ad. He pointed out the fact that his main opponent, Rep. Luke Messer, has a history of anti-Trump statements, and how his other opponent, Mike Braun, voted Democrat until 2012.

At the end of the ad, Rokita put on Donald Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat as he pledged to stand with both the President and Vice President to “drain the swamp.”

Rep. Luke Messer has been described as the “longtime nemesis” of Rep. Todd Rokita, and if that’s the case, Rokita has definitely come out on top so far.

While Rep. Messer was opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda, Rep. Rokita was standing with the President, from his Presidential campaign until now. Another ad put out by Rokita shows just a few of the anti-Trump attacks that have been propagated by Messer.

Indiana Republicans are very pro-Trump. These attacks on Messer are likely to make a big impact on his perception to voters.

 

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