Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday accused his Democratic colleagues in the House of plotting a “coordinated effort to take down the president” and believes they are already working in concert behind the scenes to impeach Donald Trump.
“I don’t think the Democrats can help themselves,” he said on “America’s Newsroom.” “Remember, after all on the very first day of Congress they introduced articles of impeachment… I think they’ve been determined to get here and I think they’ve already started. They just haven’t formally stated that’s what they’re up to.”
Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News there’s little, if anything, the Republicans can do to appease Democrats and hold off an avalanche of inquiries targeting Trump.
“They’re ridiculous,” Jordan said, referencing requests by the Ways & Means Committee, the Oversight Committee and the Financial Services Committee demanding Trump’s tax, business and banking records.
“This is the Democrats,” he added. “So much focus on taking down the president and not any type of focus on doing what’s best for the country. I think this is where they are going to go so I don’t know what we can do to satisfy that. They are bound and determined to do things we’ve never seen before.”
A senior House Democrat told Fox News late Monday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “isn’t going to be able to hold off on impeachment much longer,” and that the speaker may have to change her position “within the next two weeks.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., while saying Pelosi is working to bring the party together, suggested Tuesday that politics are the main element preventing members from pressing ahead at this stage.
“Just as impeaching without cause could be construed, and is, politically motivated, choosing to not impeach when there is an abundance of cause could also be construed similarly,” she told reporters.
Source: Fox News Politics
Michael Knowles said Wednesday the number of high school students pretending to have disabilities in order to get more test-taking time has skyrocketed, arguing it’s created a “cultural problem” that’s hurting the students it was intended to protect.
“The issue is not students who do need extra time because they have learning disabilities, the issue is all of the other kids pretending to have disabilities to cheat the system,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
Knowles, host of The Daily Wire’s “The Michael Knowles Show,” added, “The broader cultural problem is that we have transformed from a society that rewards real accomplishment into a society that values victimhood.”
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the surging number of public high school students who are being granted special allowances during test-taking, such as extra time.
Students in affluent neighborhoods are more likely than students in other areas to get special allowances known as “504s,” according to a WSJ analysis of data from 9,000 public schools.
The 504 designation is for students who have learning or attention difficulties such as ADHD or anxiety and allows them to do their work at their own pace.
Sometimes, students are allowed to go into a separate room take a test and are afforded much more time than other students. However, some claim that students are claiming disabilities even though they don’t have any so they can take advantage of the system and unfairly boost their own scores.
The WSJ analysis also found that public schools in wealthier districts have an average of 4.2% of students with 504 designations while in poorer areas the percentage drops to 1.6%.
“There have always been ways to game the system,” Knowles said.
“We saw that with the last college scandal. We see that when people donate a building or make a rightly-timed donation around college admissions. The people who get hurt are the people who can’t afford it. The people who get hurt are at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum and in this case the people who are hurt are people who legitimately have learning disabilities. When there is a privilege opened up for certain people, it can get abused and in this case it’s being encouraged to be abused.”
Source: Fox News National
Rep. Devin Nunes accused the FBI of having “something to hide” when it comes to Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic who became a key figure in the investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Mifsud allegedly told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that Russia had damaging information about Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“He is the first person that we know of on earth that supposedly knows something about the Russians having Hillary’s emails,” Nunes, R-Calif., said on “Fox News @ Night.”
“He has since denied that but (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller in his report claimed that Mifsud – or insinuated that Mifsud – was some sort of Russian asset. We know that this is not the case. In fact, we know that he was in the U.S. Capitol… just steps away from an intelligence committee.”
Republicans have been pushing for the release of key documents pertaining to the origins of the FBI counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
Nunes, a ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that the has sent letters this month to the CIA, FBI, NSA and the State Department asking for documents tied to Mifsud. He said all of the agencies except one – the FBI – have cooperated with his request.
He then made the leap, “The FBI is not cooperating, per usual, which means they’ve got something to hide.”
“It is impossible that Mifsud is a Russian asset,” Nunes added. “He is a former diplomat with the Malta government. He lived in Italy. He worked and taught FBI, trained FBI officials, and worked with FBI officials.”
The Mueller report states that Mifsud traveled to Moscow in April 2016. He then met Papadopoulos in London. It was allegedly at this meeting that Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had “dirt” on Clinton. Papadopolous repeated this claim to an Australian diplomat who in turn told the U.S. government, which prompted the investigation into Trump’s campaign.
Papadopulos told investigators that Mifsud talked to him about Russia having thousands of Clintons emails. Mifsud denied the claims. In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Nunes, though, believes that the FBI is covering up what it knows about Mifsud and used flimsy information to go after the Trump campaign.
Nunes also weighed in on provocative comments made by former Rep. Trey Gowdy. The ex-South Carolina lawmaker and current Fox News contributor said unreleased transcripts from secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos could be “game-changing” if the public were ever allowed to see them.
Gowdy did not go into detail but Nunes believes he was talking about “exculpatory evidence on Papadopoulos.”
“That really does need to get out,” Nunes said. “It is one of many things that need to get out.”
Nunes also said he sent eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice concerning alleged misconduct from “Watergate wannabes” during the Trump-Russia investigation, including the leaks of the “highly classified material” and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Lori Lightfoot made history Monday when she was sworn in as Chicago’s first openly gay mayor.
“For years they said, ‘Chicago ain’t ready for reform.’ Well, get ready, because reform is here,” Lightfoot said to cheers at a packed Wintrust Arena.
Lightfoot was joined on stage by U.S. Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley as well as outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, introduced her wife and 11-year-old daughter. She seemed to choke up when telling her 90-year-old mother, “You and dad told me I could be anything I wanted. My gratitude to you knows no limits.”
During her half-hour speech, Lightfoot pledged to keep the city safe and vowed to have “strong schools for every child, regardless of neighborhood or ZIP code.”
She continued, “A city where people want to grow old and not flee. A city of sanctuary against fear, where no one must hide in the shadows. A city that is affordable for families and seniors and where every job pays a living wage.”
Lightfoot, who is the city’s 56th mayor, is inheriting a very divided Chicago. Her predecessor left behind a legacy of record homicide-levels, soaring crime rates and a deep racial divide that continues to polarize the Windy City.
Lightfoot, who won nearly 75 percent of the vote, has already started to make waves. In her first official act as Chicago’s mayor, she signed an executive order aimed at curbing the power aldermen have in city departments.
“This is the start, not the (end) of a series of good government ethics reforms we’ll be bringing to the city,” Lightfoot said at the signing.
Source: Fox News Politics
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on billionaire Robert F. Smith’s offer to pay off the student loan debt of the entire graduating class at Morehouse College, saying that while she applauded the gesture, college students shouldn’t be forced to rely on the generosity of others.
“It’s important to note that people shouldn’t be in a situation where they depend on a stranger’s enormous act of charity for this kind of liberation to begin with (aka college should be affordable), but it is an incredible act of community investment in this system as it is,” she tweeted Sunday.
Smith, a billionaire investor who founded Vista Equity Partners, made the surprise announcement during the historically black college’s 135th commencement service.
“We’re going to put a little fuel in your bus,” Smith told the graduates. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.”
The extraordinary move comes as calls grow about the mounting burden of student loan debt across the country.
“Every Morehouse Class of 2019 student is getting their student debt load paid off by their commencement speaker,” the freshman lawmaker said. “This could be the start of what’s known in Econ as a ‘natural experiment.’ Follow these students & compare their life choices w their peers over the next 10-15 years.”
Source: Fox News Politics
A Tennessee death row inmate who had terminal cancer and pleaded with the state to let him die naturally took his last breath Friday – three months ahead of his scheduled execution.
Charles Walton Wright died at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. He had been sentenced to death in 1985 for the double homicide of Gerald Mitchell and Douglas Alexander. Authorities said the shooting stemmed from a drug dispute.
Wright’s lawyer, Kelley Henry, and other supporters including former U.S. Rep. Bob Clement, D-Tenn., had argued the 64-year-old prisoner had shown remorse for his crime, deserved mercy and should be allowed to die outside of prison.
“His health is deteriorating,” Clement wrote in a letter to former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. “I’d like to see Charles be released and spend the last part of his life with his family and friends.”
That did not happen.
Wright’s death came hours after the execution of his friend, 68-year-old Donnie Edward Johnson. Johnson helped care for Wright when Wright was first diagnosed, Henry said.
In November, the Tennessee Supreme Court set execution dates for six men to be put to death between May 16, 2019 ad April 9, 2020.
The wave of executions comes after the controversial executions of Billy Ray Irick and Edmund Zagorski. Irick and 32 other death row inmates sued the state, arguing Tennessee’s protocol for lethal injections would subject them to so much pain that it would violate the U.S. Constitution.
Zagorski opted to die in the electric chair rather than be injected with a cocktail of drugs designed to make his heart stop. Specifically, the men and the lawsuit questioned the use of midazolam, the first of three drugs the state uses during executions.
Source: Fox News National
Cybersecurity experts say Baltimore is playing with fire as a deadline to pay thousands of dollars in ransom to hackers holding several of the city’s servers hostage has come and gone.
It has been two weeks since a cyberattack crippled Baltimore’s computer network. The internet thieves wanted 13 bitcoins – about $100,000 – at the beginning, but the sum has risen $10,000 per day since. The deadline for the payment – Friday – has come and gone. The city isn’t saying whether it paid but several servers were still inoperable Monday.
“What’s frustrating with Baltimore is that it’s been quite a long time since the infection,” Daniel Tobok, CEO of Cytelligence, told Fox News. “If they aren’t fully operational by now, why are they still playing with this?”
Tobok, whose company has helped 500 municipalities hit by ransomware attacks, says while he doesn’t necessarily advocate paying off cyber crooks, he believes that in some instances “you don’t have a choice, you have to make a business decision.”
He also warns that if Baltimore keeps stalling, the outcome could be devastating.
“Baltimore is playing with time,” he said. “They are going to come to a point where they have two choices – A. The (ransom demands) are going to skyrocket or B. The hackers will shut down the account they have been using and move out.”
If that happens, any communication or hope of restoring data could be out the window, Tobok said.
Baltimore resident Rupert Choudhry says he’s “holding his breath” and worries this could be the calm before an even bigger cyberstorm.
“We are all in a wait-and-see mode,” Choudhry told Fox News.
The FBI’s cyber squad and experts from Microsoft have been working around the clock trying to help Maryland’s largest city. The mayor’s office told Fox News on Monday that there has not been an increase in the severity of the attack, but did not provide details beyond that.
On Friday, Mayor Jack Young said he was unable to provide “an exact timeline on when all systems will be restored.”
“Like any large enterprise, we have thousands of systems and applications,” he said in a statement forwarded to Fox. “Our focus is getting critical services back online, and doing so in a manner that ensures we keep security as one of our top priorities throughout this process.”
He added that the city could see “partial services beginning to restore within a matter of weeks” while some of the more “intricate systems may take months in the recovery process.”
The attack itself already has had a devastating domino effect in Charm City. Residents have not been able to pay their bills online, finance department employees can only accept checks or money orders and no property transactions have been conducted since the attack. Most major title insurance companies have even prohibited their agents from issuing policies for properties in Baltimore, according to the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.
Citing the ongoing criminal investigation, the city’s information technology boss Frank Johnson and other city leaders said their hands were tied and could not provide specifics about the attack or realistically forecast when the city would be up and running.
They do have several “work arounds” in place that allow some departments to slowly get back to business. Johnson called the situation “incredibly fluid.”
“Anybody’s that’s in this business will tell you that as you learn more, those plans change by the minute,” he said.
Unfortunately, this isn’t Baltimore’s first run-in with cyberattacks.
There have been two major breaches to the city’s computer systems under Johnson’s watch.
The latest batch of problems come just over a year after another ransomware attack slammed Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system, prompting a 17-hour shutdown of automated emergency dispatching. The March 2018 attack required operating the critical 911 service in manual mode.
Johnson is one of the city’s highest paid employees, earning $250,000 a year. That’s more than the mayor, the city’s top prosecutor and the health commissioner are paid.
This latest attack came about a week after the firing of a city employee who, the inspector general said, had downloaded thousands of sexually explicit images onto his work computer.
While all municipalities are menaced by malware, cybersecurity experts say organizations that fall victim to such attacks often haven’t done a thorough job of patching systems regularly.
Asher DeMetz, lead security consultant for technology company Sungard Availability Services, told The Associated Press that the number of days Baltimore’s servers have been down is unusually long.
“The city of Baltimore should have been prepared with a recovery strategy and been able to recover within much much less time. That time would be dictated by a risk assessment guiding how long they can afford to be down,” DeMetz said. “They shoud have been ready, especially after the previous attack, to recover from ransomware.”
In the last month alone, a list of known cyberattacks includes Stuart City, Fla., City of Greenville, New York state, Imperial County, Cleveland Airport, Genesee County, Fisher County in Texas and the Sugar City School District.
Source: Fox News National
House Oversight Committee member Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Monday he believes the declassification of key documents tied to the Russia probe is “right around the corner” and says he agrees with former committee chair Trey Gowdy that the FBI withheld potential “game-changing” evidence.
“(Gowdy) has seen documents that actually I have not seen,” Meadows told “Fox & Friends.”
“But we have come to the same conclusion and that is, indeed, (former Trump campaign associate) George Papadopoulos was actually taped and recorded” and that there are transcripts of the interviews that could shed light on the Russia probe and its origins.
Gowdy said Sunday on Fox News that the FBI withheld evidence from the FISA court during the Russia probe. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court oversees requests for surveillance warrants against alleged foreign spies inside the United States.
Gowdy, a Fox News contributor, believes there are unreleased transcripts of recorded conversations between FBI informants and Papadopoulos and has pressed for the release of the transcripts.
“Where are the transcripts, if any exist, between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?” he asked.
Gowdy was specifically talking about the the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s campaign and the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of it, which has drawn criticism by some Republicans as well as the White House.
Meadows said he has spoken with Papadopoulos and said that when Trump declassifies records, “the American people will be astonished to see not only was it going on and the president was right, he was actually taped and recorded but other than that, he was not colluding with the Russians and they knew this very early on. So that could be the game changer that (Gowdy) was referring to.”
Meadows also said he’s spoken to Trump about making the records public.
“I think the delay is over,” Meadows said. “I think the president is serious. I’ve spoken to him recently and I think declassification is right around the corner and hopefully the American people will be able to judge for themselves.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Backlash is growing after an heiress to a German cookie empire shrugged off the hardship suffered by dozens of people forced to work in her family’s business under Nazi rule.
Verena Bahlsen, daughter of the owner of the Hanover-based Bahlsen company, told a German newspaper that her family’s company “did nothing wrong” during World War II, when it employed 200 forced laborers – most of them women from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
“This was before my time and we paid the forced laborers exactly as much as German workers and we treated them well,” Bahlsen told Bild.
Bahlsen is one of four children of company owner Werner Bahlsen.
Her comments prompted some social media users to call for a boycott of the company’s famous biscuits.
German politicians also lashed out at the 25-year-old.
“If you inherit such a large estate you also inherit responsibility and should not come across as aloof,” Lars Klingbeil, secretary general of the center-left Social Democrats, told Bild.
The Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre in Berlin pointed to Bahlsen’s comments as an example of the lack of knowledge about the plight of forced laborers.
“Not only is there a great knowledge gap for family members of the #Bahlsen family. The topic Nazi forced labor is often still a blind spot in the collective memory,” the center wrote on Twitter.
In a statement, Bahlsen, which also makes the Leibniz butter cookies brand and has annual sales exceeding $560 million, said it was aware of the moral responsibility that comes with being one of dozens of German companies that used forced labor during the Nazi dictatorship, Reuters reported.
Source: Fox News World
An overzealous Angela Merkel fan jumped out of her van at Dortmund Airport Monday to take a picture of the German chancellor but forgot to put on the parking brake, leading to a low-speed collision after the vehicle rolled into the nose of the jet.
The driver, an employee at the airport, got excited when she saw the “Federal Republic of Germany” signage on the jet. Merkel was forced to return to Berlin by helicopter while technicians inspected the plane for damages.
There have been a number of incidents involving the German government’s fleet of aircraft, leading to a shortage, the BBC reported.
Last November, Merkel missed the opening of the G20 summit in Argentina after technical issues forced her government to make an unscheduled – but safe – landing shortly after leaving Berlin. The emergency landing delayed her arrival at the meeting with world leaders by more than 12 hours.
In October, the country’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz was forced to fly commercial after rodents gnawed through electrical cables on his plane before an International Monetary Fund meeting.
Source: Fox News World