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Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Democrats on Sunday that any legal challenge to President Trump’s recent executive orders would delay financial assistance to millions of Americans as he defended the move to drop federal unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $400.

“We’ve cleared with the office of legal counsel all these actions,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.

The president’s order calls for up to $400 payments each week, one-third less than the $600 people had been receiving. How many people would receive the benefit and how long it might take to arrive were open questions.

The previous unemployment benefit, which expired on Aug. 1, was fully funded by Washington, but Trump is asking states to now cover 25 percent. He is seeking to set aside $44 billion in previously approved disaster aid to help states, but said it would be up to states to determine how much, if any of it, to fund, so the benefits could be smaller still.

When questioned why the administration lowered the federal unemployment benefits, Mnuchin said it was “a fair compromise” and that the White House had offered to continue paying the $600 a week while they negotiated with Democrats. “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace countered by saying the administration had offered to extend the $600 benefits by one week.

“Actually we extended it to two weeks,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin also argued that Trump’s proposed payroll tax suspension would not lead to reductions in Social Security payments – an issue raised by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and other Democrats.

“The president in no way wants to harm those trust funds, so they’d be reimbursed just as they always have in the past when we’ve done these types of things,” Mnuchin said.

Trump’s executive orders, which he signed Saturday from his country club in New Jersey, have been met with sharp resistance from Democrats, and even some Republicans, as unconstitutional and ultimately unhelpful to Americans struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The use of executive actions drew criticism from Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop,” said Sasse, a member of the Senate’s Judiciary and Finance panels. He added that Trump “does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Mnuchin warns Democrats against challenging Trump’s executive orders

‘I’ll cut right to the chase,’ Jordan said. ‘Big tech is out to get conservatives….That’s a fact.’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tore into the heads of some of the country’s largest tech companies on Wednesday – blasting the leaders of Google, Facebook and other tech giants as “out to get conservatives.”

Speaking during a remote House Judiciary subcommittee meeting on anti-trust law, Jordan rattled off a list on instances where major tech and social media companies either censored or removed posts from conservative lawmakers or thinkers before voicing his concerns about tech’s role in November’s upcoming election.

“I’ll cut right to the chase,” Jordan said. “Big tech is out to get conservatives….That’s a fact.”

Jordan focused much of his ire on Twittter – whose leader was not present at the hearing – after the company “shadow banned” his account in 2018. The company told Jordan that it was a glitch in its algorithm that caused him to be blocked.

“If I had a nickel for every time I heard it was just a glitch, I wouldn’t be as rich as our witnesses, but I’d be alright,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s comments, which came during opening statements, marked the beginning of the grilling that the four Big Tech CEOs — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple — took during the hearing from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

The four tech CEOs command corporations with gold-plated brands, millions or even billions of customers, and a combined value greater than the entire German economy. One of them, Bezos, is the world’s richest individual; Zuckerberg is the fourth-ranked billionaire.

Critics question whether the companies stifle competition and innovation, raise prices for consumers and pose a danger to society.

In its bipartisan investigation, the Judiciary subcommittee collected testimony from mid-level executives of the four firms, competitors and legal experts, and pored over more than a million internal documents from the companies. A key question: whether existing competition policies and century-old antitrust laws are adequate for overseeing the tech giants, or if new legislation and enforcement funding is needed.

Subcommittee chairman Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., has called the four companies monopolies, although he says breaking them up should be a last resort. While forced breakups may appear unlikely, the wide scrutiny of Big Tech points toward possible new restrictions on its power.

“Simply put, they have too much power,” Cicilline said in opening remarks Wednesday, as he laid out data pointing out the power of the four tech companies as essential cogs of commerce and communications.

He also said that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, “these giants stand to profit” and become even more powerful as millions shift more of their work and commerce online.

The companies face legal and political offensives on multiplying fronts, from Congress, the Trump administration, federal and state regulators and European watchdogs. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have been investigating the four companies’ practices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Jim Jordan tells Zuckerberg, Bezos, Cook and Pichai during hearing that ‘Big Tech’s out to get conservatives’

Trump touted the initiative as expanding school choice for Hispanics

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order establishing the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative – a move the administration says will improve access Latinos have to educational and economic opportunities.

In a speech in the White House Rose Garden before signing the order, Trump touted the initiative as expanding school choice for Hispanics and one that would improve access to charter schools for students.

The initiative is also meant to create more career pathways for Hispanic students as well as boast investment in economically distressed communities, including Opportunity Zones, and offer more economic opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses.

“School choice is an incredible issue in many ways,” Trump said. “Most people agree with us, the smart ones agree with us.”

The president also continued to criticize states that have kept their schools closed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is pressuring state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, threatening to withhold federal funds from those that keep their learning remote.

“We must open our schools. Stop this nonsense,” Trump said. “A policy of never-ending lockdowns month after month would do more harm than good.”

Trump has pointed to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which was represented at the event and repeatedly has urged officials to let students be physically present at school.

The AAP has publicly advised, “all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”

Meanwhile, the president also tweeted Wednesday morning: “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS.

“The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families,” Trump tweeted. “May cut off funding if not open!”

The president has repeatedly claimed that Democrats, like former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee in the presidential election, want to keep schools closed for “political reasons.”

When asked whether Biden supported sending students back to school in the fall, a Biden campaign official told Fox News: “Of course he does. That’s why he’s been making these proposals and pressing Trump to act.”

The official added: “But we need to ensure we can do it safely, in line with the recommendations of public health experts, and Trump keeps failing us on that score.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that it is offering “different reference documents” for local governments and school districts to review as they begin to determine whether they can safely reopen schools this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CDC Director Robert Redfield made a clarification after Trump on Wednesday said he disagreed with the CDC’s back-to-school guidance, calling it “impractical.” Later Wednesday, at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said the CDC would be “issuing new guidance next week” to schools.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Trump signs executive order to expand school choice for Hispanic students

President Trump on Wednesday came out strongly against the idea of renaming U.S. military bases that are named after Confederate generals — an issue that has come to the forefront amid the nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday afternoon, Trump called the bases named after Confederate soldiers “Hallowed Grounds” that helped train soldiers to win two world wars. He said his administration “will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also began her briefing with the press Wednesday by reading the president’s statement on the topic.

“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” Trump tweeted. “Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”

The president’s insistence that the names of the military bases remain unchanged comes just two days after U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he is open to the idea.

A senior Army official told Fox News on Monday that McCarthy did not plan to change the names unilaterally, but instead will seek bipartisan support to do so. U.S. Army installations named after Confederate generals include Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

“We must recognize history is important, but we must come together and have some sort of open discussion about race,” the official said, adding: “This week highlighted the need to start understanding those feelings, and the Army secretary is open to considering changing the names of these bases named for Confederate generals.”

At least 10 Army installations are named after Confederate military commanders, including Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Previous calls to rename them have been dismissed on the grounds that doing so would go against tradition.

McCarthy’s approval of changing the names of the bases marks an about-face for the Army. The branch had indicated earlier this year it was opposed to the idea after the Marine Corps announced this past April it was banning Confederate flags from its installations.

In a message delivered to the Army last week, McCarthy wrote that his views on the matter had evolved amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd.

“Over the past week, the country has suffered an explosion of frustration over the racial divisions that still plague us as Americans. And because your Army is a reflection of American society, those divisions live in the Army, as well,” McCarthy wrote in a joint statement with Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston.

“We feel the frustration and anger,” they added. “We need to work harder to earn the trust of mothers and fathers who hesitate to hand their sons and daughters into our care.”

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Trump says his administration ‘will not even consider’ renaming military bases named for Confederates

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed the protesters who gathered inside the state’s Capitol building on Thursday to demand she rescind her stay-at-home orders, saying they represented the “worst racism and awful parts” of U.S. history.

“There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles,” Whitmer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Some of the outrageousnesses of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

The Michigan governor, however, added that those people represented a small portion of the demonstrators at the state capital and that, for the most part, the protest was peaceful.

“When you think about the fact that this is a state of almost 10 million people, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing,” she added, “the behavior you’ve seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan.”

Holding American flags and handmade signs – and with some carrying firearms — the demonstrators in Lansing first congregated shoulder-to-shoulder on Thursday outside before demanding to be let inside the building as lawmakers were poised to debate an extension of an emergency and disaster declaration. Some chanted “Let us in,” The Detroit News reported.

State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, a Democrat, tweeted a photo of what she described as armed demonstrators yelling above her. She said some of her colleagues were wearing “bullet proof vests” inside the House chamber.

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg,” she posted.

Thursday’s rally came as some people living in Michigan have continued to demand Whitmer roll back her stay-at-home order in an effort to reopen the state’s economy and allow residents to resume daily activities.

Last week, she extended the mandate through May 15, but loosened some restrictions beginning Friday. Residents will be allowed to travel between residences, but it will be “strongly discouraged.”

Whitmer said she would not be intimidated by political pressure to ease up her state’s stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The fact of the matter is we are in the global pandemic. This is not something we negotiate ourselves out of and is a political matter; this is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of almost 70,000 Americans,” she said.

“Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan,” Whitmer added.

President Trump has come out in support of the protesters, calling them “very good people” in a tweet on Friday.

“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” Trump added.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Michigan’s Whitmer says armed protesters displayed ‘worst racism and awful parts’ of US history

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., argued Sunday the travel ban President Trump has boasted as a major move in stemming the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. was actually not as effective as the White House says.

“Actually tens of thousands of people were allowed in from China, it wasn’t as it was described as this great moment,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “So if you’re going to shut the door because you have an evaluation because of an epidemic, then shut the door.”

The travel ban, which exempted Americans and some other authorized travelers, did not totally cut off people entering the U.S. from China and Europe. A New York Times investigation earlier this month found that nearly 40,000 people arrived in the U.S. on direct flights from China in the two months after Trump imposed the restrictions.

Pelosi has been a harsh critic of trump’s ban and has heaped the blame on Trump’s slow response to addressing the coronavirus.

“As the president fiddles, people are dying,” Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an earlier interview. “The president, his denial at the beginning, was deadly,”

When questioned on Sunday whether she now supported the travel ban, Pelosi deflected the question, saying: “let’s go into the future.”

“What the American people want is a plan to go forward,” she said.

Like other world leaders, Trump has restricted travel from much of the globe, including China and large swaths of Europe. The borders with Mexico and Canada have been closed to all but “essential” travel.

With consulates closed, almost all visa processing by the State Department has been suspended for weeks. And Trump has used the virus to effectively end asylum at U.S. borders, turning away migrants, including children, by invoking a rarely used 1944 law aimed at preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

In recent days, officials bolstered by their successful efforts to restrict travel at the country’s borders had been discussing how they might seize the opportunity to enact additional immigration restrictions.

Trump’s team, however, denied last week that he was using the virus to make good on a longstanding campaign promise during an election year.

“This is common sense the American people can very well understand: When Americans need jobs, Americans must come first,” said White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Pelosi says Trump’s travel ban was not effective in preventing people or coronavirus from entering US

The Democratic Socialists of America made it pretty clear on Sunday what they thought about Joe Biden being the Democrat’s presumptive nominee.

“We are not endorsing [Joe Biden],” the organization tweeted Sunday.

The DSA, an ultra-progressive group boasting roughly 56,000 members, previously endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid, but the group is now without a candidate after the senator suspended his White House bid last week after facing a near-impossible path to obtaining more delegates than Biden.

The organization’s statement on Twitter quickly drew criticism on social media from prominent Biden supporters and establishment Democrats.

“Your endorsement would have hurt Biden,” Jon Cooper, the former head of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted. “Now that you’ve shown your true colors by effectively equating Biden with Trump (a REAL fascist), you can go back to being totally irrelevant.”

The DSA’s progressive politics have sat far on the left; even the group’s endorsement of Sanders last year was the subject of intense internal debate.

“Sanders 2016 revived the progressive left and turned DSA into the largest socialist organization in America in seventy years,” former Sanders campaign worker Dan La Botz wrote on the DSA’s website in opposition to a Sanders endorsement. “Flooded with young people angry at the Democratic Party, DSA became a radical, activist organization projecting the need for a total socialist transformation of America.”

“Sanders 2020 will not have the same effect,” La Botz continued. “Bernie will not appear to be much different than other progressive Democrats and his campaign threatens to lead DSA deep into the Democratic Party.”

The DSA put its membership at over 56,000 as of March. Its officials have said the group’s long-term mission has been to run candidates as socialists, and not under the Democrats’ party banner.

Ella Mahony of the DSA’s national political committee said the group has had a unique spotlight to further its anti-capitalist agenda and convert more Americans to socialism.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Llorente contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Democratic Socialists of America won’t endorse Biden’s White House bid

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., vowed in a new campaign policy paper that if she is elected president in November, she will fill out at least half of her Cabinet with “women and nonbinary people.”

Warren, who is currently sitting in third in most national polls behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrote Tuesday in a lengthy post on Medium that she will build “a Cabinet and senior leadership team that reflects the full diversity of America, including having at least 50 [percent] of Cabinet positions filled by women and nonbinary people.”

Warren’s pledge is part of a series of reforms she laid out in order to “rebuild the government swiftly, and make fundamental changes” after President Trump leaves office.

“Donald Trump will leave behind a government that has been infected by corruption and incompetence, and his vindictive actions as president suggest that he is likely to do everything he can to undermine the next president,” Warren wrote.

She added: “We cannot assume that everything will be fine once Donald Trump leaves office.”

The post by Warren, who has been criticized for playing identity politics, echoes a statement she made during December’s Democratic presidential primary debate in Los Angeles where she said that if she was elected president, she would “go to the Rose Garden once a year to read the names of transgender women, of people of color, who have been killed in the past year.”

Warren, who is one of the four Democratic candidates in the U.S. Senate required to attend Trump’s impeachment trial, has also been dealing with a public spat with her fellow progressive, Sanders, after she disclosed the contents of a 2018 private conversation with Sanders in which he allegedly said a woman could not defeat Trump.

Warren refused to shake Sanders’ hand after last week’s presidential debate, and microphones captured a fiery confrontation during which Warren accused Sanders of calling her a liar.

Warren refused to address the explosive feud as she campaigned in recent days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: Warren promises at least half of her Cabinet will be ‘women and nonbinary people’ if elected president

In a rare public order Tuesday, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FISC] strongly criticized the FBI over its surveillance-application process, giving the bureau until Jan. 10 to come up with solutions, in the wake of findings from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.

The order, from the court’s presiding judge Rosemary M. Collyer, came just a week after the release of Horowitz’s withering report about the wiretapping of Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to President Trump.

“The FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above,” Collyer wrote in her four-page order. “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”

“As [FBI Director Christopher Wray] has stated, the inspector general’s report describes conduct by certain FBI employees that is unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution,” the bureau responded in a statement Tuesday night. “The director has ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the report’s recommendations, including some improvements beyond those recommended by the IG.”

Horowitz said he did not find significant evidence that FBI agents were involved in a political conspiracy to undermine Trump’s candidacy in 2016. However, the report did find numerous errors and inaccuracies used by FBI agents to obtain permission to monitor Page’s phone calls and emails.

While Collyer’s order did not specify exactly what reforms the FBI needed to implement to its policies for obtaining permission to wiretap people under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the order did say that the FISA court will weigh in on whether the reforms are deemed sufficient.

“The [FISA court] expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the court,” Collyer wrote. “Without it, the [FISA court] cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis.”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has dealt with some of the most sensitive matters of national security: terror threats and espionage. Its work, for the most part, cannot be examined by the American public, by order of Congress and the president. Its work has been mostly secret, its structure largely one-sided.

“The most unusual thing is that there is a body of law that the court has created, but as a practitioner that is part of that law, we have between zero and some very limited knowledge of what that law is,” Michael Sussmann, a former Justice Department prosecutor and current private attorney in the consumer and computer-privacy field, told Fox News. “But, it’s the fact that there is a secret law and a secret body of law that makes it the most vexing.”

Tuesday’s order from the court came amid a Republican-led push to reform FISA.

Reps. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, last week introduced the FISA Improvements Act in a bid to “stop these abuses” and effectively amend FISA by adding requirements on the FBI, the DOJ and on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which would also give Congress “critical new insight to perform oversight of the FISA powers.”

“The deceptive actions of a few high-ranking officials within the FBI and the Department of Justice have eroded public trust in our federal institutions,” Stewart stated. “They flattened internal guardrails, deceived the FISA court, and irreparably damaged the reputation of an innocent American” – a reference to Page.

The GOP bill would mandate that amicus curiae – an impartial court advisor – be assigned to all cases where a U.S. person is involved. It also would ensure that the DOJ disclose “any usage of unverified information in the application,” and include a provision in which any FISA extensions are heard or denied by the same judge which “ensures that the government is not able to obfuscate details of an expiring order’s newly gathered evidence to support renewal.”

The House voted earlier this year against a bipartisan amendment to FISA, proposed by Michigan Rep. Justin Amash — then a Republican — and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., which would have halted the 2020 funding for FISA’s Section 702, which was authorized in 2008 as a means to monitor communications by foreign nationals outside the U.S. Amash later left the Republican Party to become an independent.

Collyer’s order was met with praise by some Republican lawmakers, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

“Very pleased to see the FISA court condemn the FISA warrant application and process against Carter Page,” Graham said in a statement. “As Inspector General Horowitz’s report describes in great detail, the FISA process falsified evidence and withheld exculpatory evidence to obtain a warrant against Mr. Page on numerous occasions.”

Horowitz’s report was hardly the first time the court has come under scrutiny. In 2013, self-confessed National Security Agency [NSA] leaker Edward Snowden revealed a secret FISC order approving government collection of mass amounts of so-called metadata from telecom giant Verizon and leading Internet companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

The revelations triggered debate about national security and privacy interests, and about the secretive legal process that set government surveillance in motion. Approvals would come from a rotating panel of federal judges at the FISC, deciding whether to grant certain types of government requests — wiretapping, data analysis and other monitoring for “foreign intelligence purposes” of suspected terrorists and spies operating in the United States.

The Snowden revelations confirmed the scope of the NSA’s efforts had greatly expanded — along with the court’s original mission. No longer were FISC judges approving individual surveillance requests. Now, in essence, they were reinterpreting the Constitution, expanding the limits of privacy and due process, critics said.

“The laws have been secretly interpreted in a way that now allows the government to monitor the communications of all of us– a dragnet of surveillance,” said David Sobel, a senior counsel at the Electronic Freedom Foundation. “Based on the statistics we have, the court appears to be a rubber stamp but part of the problem is because this process is secret, and because the public can’t see what the court is doing or read the opinions, it is hard to assess the extent the court is asking tough questions and holding the govt.’s feet to the fire.”

Fox News’ Jason Donner, Jake Gibson and Hollie McKay contributed to this report.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly, Bill Mears

Source: Fox News: FISA court slams FBI over surveillance applications, in rare public order

The top lawyer for Judiciary and Intelligence Committee Republicans testified Monday that there was a “legitimate basis” for President Trump to ask Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine.

During impeachment inquiry testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee, minority counsel Steve Castor tried to turn the tables on the Democrat-led investigation into whether President Trump tried to pressure his Ukrainian colleague into investigating a political rival by withholding aid and a White House meeting by arguing that there were real concerns about the former vice president’s son’s involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings.

“Hunter Biden was reportedly receiving $50,000 to $83,000 a month for compensation for his role on the Burisma board,” Castor said of the former vice president’s son.

Castor questioned why a person who doesn’t have a history with Ukraine and doesn’t speak either Ukrainian or Russian would have a senior role on the company’s board.

“At the time that Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, his father, former Vice President Biden, was the Obama Administration’s point person for Ukraine.”

Castor speculated that the only reason Hunter Biden was on the Burisma board was because his father was the vice president at the time, and leading the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine.

“Hunter Biden was not qualified to serve on the board,” Castro said. “There is a legitimate basis for President Trump to have a concern about Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board.”

The impeachment inquiry into Trump began when a whistleblower reported that the president had pushed Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine—specifically, why Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who at the time was investigating Burisma Holdings.

Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates in Ukraine and by a number of high-level U.S. foreign service members, there has been no evidence the former vice president or his son broke the law.

Author: Andrew O’Reilly

Source: Fox News: GOP lawyer turns impeachment tables by scorching Bidens at hearing

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