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Amid the fallout of Robert Mueller’s investigation, Congressman Mark Green, R-Tenn, has called the subsequent investigations by Democrats a “massive leveraging of the legislative branch against the executive branch” which, in his opinion, constitutes a “ridiculous abuse of power.”

In the days since a full, redacted version of the Mueller report was released last Thursday, continued discussions about the possibility of impeachment proceedings have been brought up amongst Democrats as they investigate various elements of the President’s life and attempt to determine whether he actually obstructed justice throughout Mueller’s probe.

“Nearly every single Democrat committee chairman is investigating some aspect of the president,” Rep. Green, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday afternoon.

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FORMER CLINTON ADVISER, FIERCE CRITIC OF SANDERS NOW PRAISES 2020 CAMPAIGN

“You look at ways and means. They are looking at his taxes. The finance services, they’re looking at Deutsche Bank. Oversight is looking at Mr. Klein. Judiciary is looking at McGahn. Intel is looking at collusion,” he continued.

“This is a ridiculous abuse of power. They’re leveraging the legislative branch against the executive branch,” he said.

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He continued by arguing that despite extensive investigations by leading Democrats, the party has little to show for it. In addition, President Trump wants to reach across party lines to discuss big issues like immigration, but Democrats aren’t interested, Green said.

“We can get this done, and they just want to keep investigating the president,” he said. “For them, it’s 2020 talking points and that’s it.”

Ultimately, Democrats will pay for that at the polls, Green argued.

Source: Fox News Politics

Elizabeth Warren openly sparred with Amazon in a series of pointed tweets on Tuesday, just hours after she admitted during a nationally televised town hall that she still shops at the e-commerce giant — even though she wants it broken up, along with a slew of other major tech companies.

Warren kicked off the spat on Monday by reiterating her argument that Amazon abuses its control over the Amazon Marketplace, which hosts third-party sellers, to improve its own retail operations and unfairly disadvantage the third-party sellers.

“Giant tech companies have too much power,” Warren wrote Monday night, embedding a clip of her remarks at the town hall. “My plan to #BreakUpBigTech prevents corporations like Amazon from knocking out the rest of the competition. You can be an umpire, or you can be a player — but you can’t be both.”

In response, the official Amazon News Twitter account wrote Tuesday afternoon that third-party sellers have been doing better than ever.

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“[S]ellers aren’t being ‘knocked out’ — they’re seeing record sales every year,” Amazon wrote, after denying that it uses third-party sellers’ data to boost its own products. “Also, Walmart is much larger; Amazon is less than 4% of U.S. retail.”

“Oh boy,” Warren shot back. “Here are the facts.”

The Massachusetts senator then cited “reports” that Amazon used third-party seller data to make its own products successful, and linked to Bloomberg News and Wall Street Journal articles on the topic.

Warren also alleged that Amazon sought to “deliberately misconstrue” its near-50 percent market share in online retail, by instead using brick-and-mortar numbers.

Asked at a CNN town hall on Monday to identify her last Amazon purchase, Warren said she bought a mailbox.

But even though she shops at Jeff Bezos’ mega-retailer, Warren told host Anderson Cooper that breaking up Amazon would lead to “a lot more competition where little businesses have a chance to get going.”

In addition to Amazon, Warren previously said she wanted to break up Google, Facebook, and Apple.

Speaking to The Verge at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference last month in Austin, Texas, Warren specifically demanded that Apple must be forced either to surrender control over the App Store or to stop selling its own apps within it.

“Apple, you’ve got to break it apart from their App Store. It’s got to be one or the other,” Warren said. “Either they run the platform or they play in the store. They don’t get to do both at the same time.”

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She elaborated: “If you run a platform where others come to sell, then you don’t get to sell your own items on the platform because you have two comparative advantages. One, you’ve sucked up information about every buyer and every seller before you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to to sell. And second, you have the capacity — because you run the platform — to prefer your product over anyone else’s product. It gives an enormous comparative advantage to the platform.”

Warren asserted that similar antitrust principles were “applied to railroad companies more than a hundred years ago,” and that “we need to now look at those tech platforms the same way.”

Source: Fox News Politics

Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encourages House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and “his minions” to continue their pursuit of President Trump “as if he’s the most significant threat to our national security instead of our adversaries.”

Turner added that it is “certainly interrupting real congressional work that needs to be done.”

“The intelligence committee should be working on issues such as Russia and China, North Korea and Iran” instead of focusing on Trump, he said.

DEM LEADERS REJECT IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS IN URGENT CONFERENCE CALL

Turner made the statements on “America’s Newsroom” a day after House Democrats participated in a conference call with party leadership to discuss their next steps after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report.

While some have pushed for impeachment, Pelosi, D-Calif., already has stated her opposition to launching impeachment proceedings, saying in an interview last week it would  be “divisive” and “just not worth it.”

“The Constitution gives very limited authority for Congress to remove a president, impeachment. It requires crimes and high misdemeanors. The founding fathers could have drafted the Constitution to say that Congress could remove the president if they just didn’t like them. But that’s not the case. They cannot just put political party or their own political wishes above the electorate which viably elected the president of the United States,” Turner said.

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Fox News is told by two senior sources on the private conference call that Pelosi and her leadership team were clear there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment. Well-placed sources said it was a spirited 87-minute call involving more than 170 Democratic members, including Schiff.

“We have to save our democracy,” Pelosi said during the call, according to the sources. “This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy. If it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the Constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go.”

Pelosi asserted that more investigations were needed: “We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”

“In this instance, we see that Congress is now saying through Nancy Pelosi that they’re going to continue their investigations. Congress does have a limited authority in which to investigate the president. I think we’re probably going to see a lot of court interpretation as to where congressional authority ends and where it begins,” Turner said in response.

“You can’t just begin to investigate a president for the purposes of seeking reasons to remove him. In this instance, I think that people need to stop putting political party ahead of the interests of the American public.”

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Turner added, “Congress needs to get back to work to see how we can improve the lives of the American public, not just improve their political parties.”

Source: Fox News Politics

I begin this column at a distinct disadvantage.

I am, yes, a white male.

So for me to examine the question of whether the Democrats should avoid nominating someone of my ilk, I must search my soul, ignore my heritage, and check my white privilege at the door.

Look, I think diversity in politics (and elsewhere in society) is great. It’s healthy that such candidates as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker are running.

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But how do we move from that breakthrough to the notion that nominating anyone who’s not a minority or a woman is insufficiently woke?

How do we get to this headline on a New York Times news story: “Should a White Man Be the Face of the Democratic Party in 2020?”

‘Tis true that 44 of our 45 presidents have been in the white male category. Barack Obama broke that monopoly in 2008. Hillary Clinton thought she was going to break it on the gender side in 2016 and fell short. The Democrats haven’t nominated a white male for president since 2004.

But does that mean such politicians should start out with two strikes against them?

The debate is rooted in the fact that the four Bs who seem to be leading the Democratic field are all white men: Biden, Bernie, Beto and Buttigieg.

BETO O’ROURKE, NO LONGER THE SHINY NEW CANDIDATE, SAYS HE’S STILL ‘IN A GOOD PLACE’

Kamala may be in that pack as well, at least if early polls and fundraising are the yardsticks.

I’m hearing some female commentators complain that women never get the kind of swooning media coverage that Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke have been drawing.

I would argue that they are attracting media praise because they’re unconventional candidates with unorthodox styles (the top female and minority candidates are all, well, senators). Mayor Pete has the novelty of being a gay candidate. But both could easily fade, and two top Beto aides just quit a campaign whose media glow is dimming.

What’s more, says the Times, O’Rourke “has acknowledged that he benefits from white male privilege.” (Um, what’s he supposed to say to that?)

As for the others, Harris had the strongest launch. Booker is finding his message of love not quite resonating in an angry era. Klobuchar has drawn compliments from conservatives but has a low-key midwestern style. Gillibrand isn’t making much news.

And Warren has by far offered the most detailed policy prescriptions — she called yesterday for free public college tuition and forgiveness of much student debt — but hasn’t generated much excitement and is lagging in fundraising. Is that because she’s a woman? Warren has gotten positive press since her days as a consumer advocate.

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To jump-start a stalled campaign, she called for Donald Trump’s impeachment over the weekend, knowing full well it’s not going to happen. But it separated her from the pack and got her some attention, which is how it works. Gender was not a factor.

The Times piece says that “Democrats have seen the strong diversity in their field … become somewhat overshadowed by white male candidates.”

And after noting that non-white-male candidates helped the Dems win the House, the paper asks: “What’s the bigger gamble: to nominate a white man and risk disappointing some of the party’s base, or nominate a minority candidate or a woman who might struggle to carry predominantly white swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that both Barack Obama and President Trump won?”

Biden (who’s getting in this week) and Sanders have other advantages besides their whiteness, says the Times: They’re well-known, have run before and can raise big bucks.

“But as older white men, they are out of step with ascendant forces in the party today.”

I get it. They’re not exactly fresh faces. But some Democrats, at least, still like them.

Ever since women got the vote, they haven’t been taken all that seriously as presidential candidates, at least until Hillary’s first campaign.

And for most of our history since the Civil War, the idea of a black president was deemed unthinkable — at least until Obama beat Hillary 11 years ago. That was the legacy of discrimination. And it hasn’t entirely vanished.

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But — and I’ll say this carefully — isn’t it also a discriminatory impulse to say perhaps a white male candidate should be denied the nomination on the grounds of race and sex? Doesn’t that go against what we’ve always heard about wanting a color-blind and gender-neutral society?

Hey, nobody needs to feel sorry for these guys. Demographics change and they have to adapt or perish.

Yet in the end, this is a bunch of media chatter. One of the candidates — black or white, male or female — will connect with enough voters and mount a compelling enough campaign to become the standard-bearer. And I suspect Democratic voters will care most about beating the white male in the White House.

Source: Fox News Politics

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday defended his stance for granting voting rights to criminals in prison, including the Boston Marathon bomber and convicted sexual assaulters.

During a CNN town hall on Monday night, Harvard student Anne Carlstein asked if his position would support “enfranchising people” like Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who she noted is a “convicted terrorist and murderer,” as well as those “convicted of sexual assault,” whose votes could have a “direct impact on women’s rights.”

Sanders first responded by saying he wanted a “vibrant democracy” with “higher voter turnout” and blasted “cowardly Republican governors” who he said were “trying to suppress the vote.”

The Vermont senator then argued that the Constitution says “everybody can vote” and that “some people in jail can vote.”

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“If somebody commits a serious crime- sexual assault, murder, they’re gonna be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime,” Sanders elaborated.

“But, I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not gonna let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not gonna let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”

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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo pressed the Democrats’ frontrunner, asking him if he was “sure about that” since he effectively was “writing an opposition ad.” Sanders dismissed such concerns, saying he’d written “many 30-second opposition ads” throughout his life.

“This is what I believe. Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older who is an American citizen has the right to vote?” Sanders continued. “This is a democracy. We’ve got to expand that democracy and I believe that every single person does have the right to vote.”

Source: Fox News Politics

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., saw a couple of viral moments during a televised town hall on Monday night.

The first: what critics and analysts have called her “please clap” moment. Klobuchar was boasting that in each of her elections she won every congressional district in her state, including that of former Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican.

After the audience didn’t react to her victories, Klobuchar gave them permission to be excited.

“It’s when you guys are supposed to cheer, okay?” Klobuchar grinned, which prompted applause and some laughter.

Many on social media have drawn comparisons to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who famously told a town hall crowd to “please clap” on the campaign trail during the 2016 election.

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Later on, the Minnesota Democrat had an awkward encounter with CNN anchor and town hall moderator Chris Cuomo.

While discussing how to address climate change with rural voters, Klobuchar stressed how important it was and told Cuomo that she wanted to “finish” her thought before he interrupted.

She then, however, felt a little creeped out by Cuomo’s presence.

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“I feel you creeping over my shoulder,” Klobuchar told the CNN anchor. She jokingly clarified, “not in a Trumpian manner.”

Klobuchar was referring to the second presidential debate in 2016. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later accused then-candidate Donald Trump of being a “creep” for approaching behind her on the debate stage and claimed her “skin crawled” in her memoir, “What Happened.”

Source: Fox News Politics

As a handful of top Democrats have called for the impeachment of President Trump, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt noted Monday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report may not sway the American people as the president’s opponents might expect.

“And, the question here is, would the American people countenance an impeachment. And, the answer is probably no, because there’s nothing that anyone who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 could have read in the Mueller report, scuzzy as much of it was, unsettling as much of it was, that wasn’t already baked into their consideration of Donald Trump,” Stirewalt said on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

Stirewalt was discussing the most important question to ask for those considering impeachment of President Trump, saying pursuing that route was a “nonstarter.”

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“He didn’t exactly run as Pope Francis in 2016, right, people knew a lot of this kind of stuff about his character before he ran, that’s why I think it is a nonstarter,” Stirewalt told Bret Baier.

House Democrats backed off the idea of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against Trump in a conference call Monday evening, amid a growing rift among the party’s rank-and-file members, presidential contenders and committee chairs on the issue.

Two senior sources told Fox News that on the conference call, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told her fellow Democrats that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.

Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York also noted that the timing of impeachment would make the political climate “crazy.”

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“One last thing that the leadership is aware of, the timing of this will be crazy. If the Democrats start now, it will take a while to rev up the impeachment machine, and when they get going, we will be smack in the middle of a presidential election campaign where the impeachee is running for reelection,” York said Monday.

“Doing this in the middle of a campaign would put the whole process on steroids. It’s crazy enough to begin with. The leadership is very worried about just the unpredictable aspect of that.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier, Mike Emanuel and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

As a handful of top Democrats have called for the impeachment of President Trump, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt noted Monday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report may not sway the American people as the president’s opponents might expect.

“And, the question here is, would the American people countenance an impeachment. And, the answer is probably no, because there’s nothing that anyone who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 could have read in the Mueller report, scuzzy as much of it was, unsettling as much of it was, that wasn’t already baked into their consideration of Donald Trump,” Stirewalt said on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

Stirewalt was discussing the most important question to ask for those considering impeachment of President Trump, saying pursuing that route was a “nonstarter.”

TOP DEM DISMISSES POSSIBILITY OF COLLUSION FATIGUE: ‘THE RUSSIANS AREN’T GETTING TIRED’

“He didn’t exactly run as Pope Francis in 2016, right, people knew a lot of this kind of stuff about his character before he ran, that’s why I think it is a nonstarter,” Stirewalt told Bret Baier.

House Democrats backed off the idea of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against Trump in a conference call Monday evening, amid a growing rift among the party’s rank-and-file members, presidential contenders and committee chairs on the issue.

Two senior sources told Fox News that on the conference call, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told her fellow Democrats that while she personally favored going forward with impeachment proceedings, she was not pushing for other members to join her.

Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York also noted that the timing of impeachment would make the political climate “crazy.”

TRUMP RAILS AGAINST ‘BULLS—‘ IN MUELLER REPORT

“One last thing that the leadership is aware of, the timing of this will be crazy. If the Democrats start now, it will take a while to rev up the impeachment machine, and when they get going, we will be smack in the middle of a presidential election campaign where the impeachee is running for reelection,” York said Monday.

“Doing this in the middle of a campaign would put the whole process on steroids. It’s crazy enough to begin with. The leadership is very worried about just the unpredictable aspect of that.”

Fox News’ Bret Baier, Mike Emanuel and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Monday Democrats can’t just get President Trump’s financial records “because they want to torment him” and “Congress will have to state for what purpose they want this.”

Napolitano made the comments on “America’s Newsroom” hours after Trump’s lawyers sued to block a subpoena issued by members of Congress that sought the president’s financial records.

The complaint named Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Peter Kenny, the chief investigative counsel of the House committee, as its plaintiffs.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

Earlier this month, Cummings, D-Md., said the committee would subpoena the accounting firm Mazars USA LLC for Trump’s financial information. Cummings is seeking annual statements, periodic financial reports and independent auditors reports from Mazars, as well as records of communications with Trump.

TRUMP SUES TO BLOCK DEMOCRATS’ SUBPOENA FOR FINANCIAL INFORMATION

“The question is if the subpoena goes from the House of Representatives to a third party to his accountants can the president jump in the middle of that and seek to quash the subpoena? The answer is yes,” said Napolitano.

He added, “The complaint actually asks the court to second- guess Congress’s motivation and courts are reluctant to do that because the courts and the Congress are equal branches of government. They don’t get in the business of second-guessing the motivation of either. However, Congress has to have a legitimate legislative purpose for wanting the president’s tax returns and financial records. They can’t just get them because he’s the president and because his predecessors have exposed this type of material about themselves and they can’t just get them because they want to torment him. They have to have a legitimate purpose.”

“So Congress will have to answer this complaint, establish a purpose, it doesn’t have to be a purpose directly out of the Constitution, it could be something tangentially related to what Congress does that’ll probably suffice. But, if they can’t show that purpose, then they’re going to lose. Then the subpoena will be quashed,” Napolitano said.

In the suit on Monday, Trump’s lawyers ask the court to declare the subpoena “invalid and unenforceable.” It also asks for a “permanent injunction quashing Chairman Cummings’ subpoena.”

HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN WILL SUBPOENA TRUMP’S ACCOUNTANT

Trump’s suit also asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting Mazars from producing the requested information.

“Congress will have to state for what purpose they want this,” said Napolitano adding, “Once they state something even related to a congressional purpose, the court, I think, will allow this to go through.”

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The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, a 2014 appointee of then-President Barack Obama.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, John Roberts and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

As the legal battle over President Trump’s tax returns rages on, Rep. David Cicilline, D- R.I., Monday argued that Congress should be able to gather all the information possible to conduct oversight, including accessing Trump’s financial information.

President Trump made a major move Monday by suing in an attempt to halt a subpoena, issued by the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee, that would compel his accounting firm, Mazars, to reveal his tax returns for the last 10 years.

In the lawsuit, President Trump’s lawyer argued that Congress should only be able to view the financial information if there is a legislative purpose. During an appearance on “Outnumbered,” Rep. Cicilline, who is also the co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, said that he believes Congress has a right to collect the evidence it sees fit to fulfill its responsibility to conduct oversight.

“I understand that there are some people who think that Congress should not do oversight, and it’s kind of rich when the president tries to make himself a victim, as the most powerful man on the planet,” Cicilline told host Melissa Francis.

“We are doing our work addressing the economic issues that face the American people, but at the same time, we have to do oversight. I know that that is uncomfortable, but Congress has a responsibility, whatever party, the legislative branch has a responsibility. I know that there are some Trump supporters that think any oversight is unfair, but we have a long tradition of doing oversight, it is part of the responsibility,” he added.

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Cicilline went on to discuss the Democrats’ new talk of trying to impeach President Trump amid the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation. The Democratic representative said he has read the report in its entirety, and that “there was real evidence of the president attempting to interfere with the investigation.”

“I think that report is disturbing,” Cicilline continued. “It is very damning about the president’s conduct. He encouraged people to lie, he encouraged people to not be forthright about events, he himself lied, he attempted to fire the special counsel, he attempted to get Don McGahn to lie about his effort to fire him.

“There is ample evidence of obstruction of justice. It is very clear that the only reason that the president was not charged is that the special counsel concluded that the [Department of Justice] precluded it,” he said.

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President Trump maintains that there was no obstruction or collusion on his part, something with which House Democrats vehemently disagree.

Ultimately, Cicilline said, Democrats have more work to do before any further conclusions can be made on the discussion of impeachment.

“There is a process, we will have a series of hearings, which we will take this very seriously, and I think Democrats will continue to be very judicious about it,” he said.

Source: Fox News Politics


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