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Shak Hill Calls On Barbara Comstock To Release The Names of Congressional Harassers

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Virginia 10th Congressional District candidate Shak Hill, who is challenging Barbara Comstock, is calling on the embattled congresswoman to release the names of harassers from her time on the Committee on House Administration, a secretive slush fund for lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct.

Shak Hill, Air Force combat veteran, writes from Centreville, Virginia:

“Barbara Comstock sits on the very committee that approves these slush fund payouts and is in the particular position to know the exact details of each of these payouts. Yet, Comstock pretends to be for transparency as it relates to the groundbreaking revelations of Congressional sexual misconduct. Barbara Comstock, despite her faux outrage, has been a member of the Committee on House Administration ever since she has been a member of Congress. From her time on the committee, that committee has authorized the payment of 36 different settlements to victims or alleged victims of Congressional sexual misconduct for a total sum of $2 million in taxpayer dollars.

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I find the very notion of this practice to be reprehensible, a disgrace to our way of life, and something that is an embarrassment not only to Barbara Comstock but to the U.S. Congress.

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The fact that Barbara is now touting a bill to prevent this practice in the future is not only a joke, it is completely disingenuous. She has known about this practice for years and helped protect the sexual predators – not the victims. Now that this “hush money” has become known to the American people, she has decided to pretend she cares.

I call on Barbara Comstock to immediately release the names of every person who has received the benefit and protection from this committee. She knows the names and is lying when she says she doesn’t. Hush money does not get allocated without her committee’s approval.

Barbara Comstock was put on this Committee on House Administration to protect congressional leadership and to cover up the dirty laundry of the United States Congress, not the victims. If a truly principled conservative was on that committee, they would have exposed this years ago.

I also demand Barbara Comstock to answer the following in the spirit of transparency and the rule of law:

-What was her role in the 36 different settlements and $2 million in taxpayer money that have gone through her committee since she has been a member?
-Why has she called for Roy Moore to get out of the race yet has stayed silent on John Conyers continued presence in Congress?
-Was John Conyers one of the predator cases that went through Barbara’s committee?
-Who else received settlements and why isn’t Barbara calling for them to step down from the United States Congress?
-If she really cares about the victims, why didn’t she expose this previously, instead of being part of the cover-up?

Barbara must answer these questions and explain her involvement in these highly questionable situations.”

The Swamp

What Happens If John Roberts Decides Not to Preside Over Trump’s Post-Presidency Impeachment Trial?

Trying to make sense of a messy situation.

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Several Republicans and Democrats familiar with the negotiations over Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial have said that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts does not want to preside.

A Politico report that broke the news reads as follows: “We’re hearing that Roberts, who for years has sought to keep the courts apolitical, was not happy he became a top target of the left during Trump’s first impeachment trial. ‘He wants no further part of this,’ one of our Hill sources says. A spokesperson for the chief justice declined to comment.”

As if it weren’t unprecedented enough for a president to have been impeached twice, Democratic lawmakers are hell-bent on holding an impeachment trial for a man who is no longer president. And it sounds like they’re going to get their wish: Senate leaders agreed Friday that the trial would begin Tuesday, February 9. It does not appear that Roberts’ decision is a factor either way.

This clown show needs some unpacking. First off, Roberts has very good reason to reject presiding over Trump’s impeachment trial. The Constitution states that the chief justice will preside when the president is tried. Not the ex-president, the current president. That alone should be sufficient.

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Despite this, there may not be anything that expressly forbids Congress from impeaching and convicting former officials. Some legal experts have pointed out that “nothing in the text of the Constitution bars Congress from impeaching, convicting, and disqualifying former officials from holding future office.”

In light of all this, the radio silence of the Founders on this matter allows both sides to justify their support or opposition. Those in opposition say that because there’s nothing in the Constitution about trying a former president, there are no grounds to hold the trial. Those in support say that because there’s nothing in the Constitution about trying a former president, there is no legal reason to oppose the trial.

Furthermore, law professor Frank Bowman, speaking to the Washington Examiner, argued that if a trial is going to be held, it might be prudent for Roberts to preside.

“The vice president does have a personal interest in the outcome, insofar as conviction would eliminate Trump as a future political rival, either to President Biden or to Harris herself,” Bowman said. “I think the constitutionally safer call is that he should preside. That way, there can never be a later objection on the ground that the tribunal was not properly constituted.”

If Chief Justice Roberts decides to extricate himself from this mess, Democrats are said to be discussing the possibility of having Vice President Kamala Harris, who is also the president of the Senate, preside. Also being floated is president pro tempore and longest-serving senator Patrick Leahy.

Harris has a conflict of interest if she were to preside, however. And indeed that is why the Founders wanted the chief justice of a (theoretically) non-political entity of government to do so. Harris is not only of the opposite party and was on the ticket that defeated the Trump/Pence ticket, she might very well have aspirations for the presidency if Biden decides not to seek reelection. Trump himself may have his eye on the presidency once again as well, meaning that Harris would be presiding over the impeachment trial of a potential political opponent.

So if the legality of convicting an ex-president is gray, then it becomes a question of prudence. And prudence dictates that the impeachment trial should not proceed. The side that’s calling for “unity” is engaging in something fundamentally disunifying. Any attempt to convict a former president with no clear legal grounds is most definitely not a recipe for “unity” and “healing.” Our senators should just move on and worry about governing. Enough with the political shams and shenanigans.

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