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Congress

Sen. Franken claims comic’s privilege in groping saga: ‘Coming from the world of comedy…’

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Sen. Alan S. “Al” Franken (D.-Minn.) issued a new statement Thursday to supplement his previous short explanation about his take on the charge made earlier in the day by Leeann Tweeden that Franken constructed a sexually awkward comedy skit for her to perform with him during their 2006 Middle East USO tour and that Franken insisted on a private rehearsal, where he groped and kissed her.

After she shook off his sexually-tinged advances, Tweeden said Franken began ridiculing her for the rest of the tour–and at one point drew devil horns on a photo of her.

Also after the rehearsal incident, Franken posed for a photo of him groping her breasts as she slept.

I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.

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I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.

How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?

I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.

I wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster.

But that was then, this is now. I’m no longer afraid.

https://twitter.com/TimRunsHisMouth/status/931180721477124097

Tweeden told her story on the “McIntyre in the Morning” on Los Angeles radio station KABC 790-AM.

Here is Franken’s second statement posted shortly before 1 p.m. Washington time:

The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.

I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.

But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women.

For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me.

Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve told and written a lot of jokes that I once thought were funny but later came to realize were just plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the point at all. It’s the impact these jokes had on others that matters. And I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come to terms with that.

While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.

I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.

And the truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories. They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.

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

Disgraced FBI Agent Strozk Willing to Testify Before House Judiciary Committee

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A disgraced FBI agent who promised his colleagues that he “will stop” President Donald J. Trump from being elected is willing to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, according to a letter sent by his attorney Sunday.

According to the letter that was obtained by CNN,  Aitan Goelman, lawyer for FBI agent Peter Strzok, says that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s pursuit of a subpoena to compel Strzok to testify is “wholly unnecessary.”

Strzok “has been fully cooperative with the DOJ Office of Inspector General” and “intends to voluntarily appear and testify before [the House Judiciary] committee and any other Congressional committee that invites him.”

The recently released Inspector General’s report brought to light more anti-Trump text messages between Strzok and his lover, fellow agent Lisa Page. Both were terrified of a Trump presidency and apparently willing to try to stop it.

Big League Politics reported:

Rep. Mark Meadows said that this information was withheld from Congress — clearly by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and others.

This proves definitively what observers already know: James Comey’s FBI was weaponized against Trump in order to help Hillary Clinton win the election. Clinton was already the Democratic nominee when the following exchange occurred, courtesy of Thursday’s Inspector General report by Michael Horowitz. The conversation occurred on August 8, 2016:

“Lisa Page: [Trump is] not ever going to become President, right? Right?!

Strzok: No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

BLP Passage Ends.

Strzok also rigged the warrant of disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop to protect Hillary Clinton from the damaging information it contained.

“On October 29, 2016 Strzok broke FBI policy and emailed a sealed draft warrant for the Weiner emails to his personal email, ” former FBI Special Surveillance Group member Chuck Marler told Big League Politics. “Obviously he wanted to work on the draft out of view of the FBI and most likely allow someone else to view it for their input. What did he put in the warrant that was filed the following day”

Strzok appears willing to testify before the Committee without immunity and without invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

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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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