Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday did not rule out an impeachment of President Donald Trump — but said it would depend on “overwhelming evidence of criminality.”

In an interview on ABC News’ "This Week," Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, qualified his remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle that if there’s no bombshell in the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller report, there’d be no impeachment.

"Not necessarily,” Schiff said Sunday.  “Because… [the Department of Justice]  can't indict the president. That's their policy. And therefore there could be overwhelming evidence on the obstruction issue [in the Mueller report]. And I don't know if that's the case, but if there were overwhelming evidence of criminality on the president's part, then the Congress would need to consider that remedy if indictment is foreclosed."

Schiff also pushed back at GOP claims saying declarations of vindication for Trump in the completed Mueller probe are wrong.

Trump’s allies have “been saying with each indictment that it's a vindication,” he said. “About six people close to the president have been indicted. That hardly looks like vindication to me.”

He also called it a “mistake” for Mueller to have not interviewed the president before ending the investigation.

“It was a mistake to rely on written responses by the president,” he said.That is generally more what the lawyer has to say than what the individual has to say. I can certainly understand why the lawyers like [Rudy] Giuliani were fighting this, because the president is someone who seems pathologically incapable of telling the truth for long periods of time.

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Source: NewsMax Politics

Without a mention of John McCain after breaking from the president's criticism of his late friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered loyalty and laughs in a light-hearted, GOP fundraiser speech Friday as President Donald Trump looked on, Politico reported.

"If Lindsey's speaking, I want to come down here for two reasons," President Trump said, per a video posted by a Politico reporter. "No. 1: He's a great speaker; and No. 2, I know if I'm here, he's not going to say anything bad about me."

The media was shut out of attending the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, a Palm Beach County Republican Party fundraiser, per the report. President Trump had not planned to attend, but he did announce Sen. Graham after having dinner with the first lady Melania and his son Barron, according to attendees.

"We found a lot in common: I like him and he likes him," a jovial Graham joked in a light-hearted speech, those in attendance told Politico.

Among the other one-liners from Graham, who spoke "off the cuff," according to Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop:

  • On hailing the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: "There will be a Trump hotel there in 10 years," he cracked.
  • Graham jokingly asked the crowd if they wanted to see former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on the Supreme Court. Gowdy was in attendance and "mingling with the president," according to Politico.
  • After the crowd started a "lock her up" chant about Hillary Clinton, Graham quipped: "Don't lock her up! We want her to run again."

"Pretty typical Lindsey," one attendee told Politico of the 30-minute speech, which President Trump arrived for and left when it was done.

The following from the Trump inner-circle and Florida GOP were in attendance, per the report.

  • Emcee ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
  • Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
  • Florida Lt. Gov Jeanette Núñez.
  • Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.
  • Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.
  • Republican National Committee co-chair Tommy Hicks, Jr.
  • Conservative activist James O'Keefe.

One topic that was not broached, as the Mueller report was delivered to the Justice Department, was the Russia investigation.

"Nobody mentioned anything, other than all of us saw our phones and knew the report dropped," an attendee told Politico.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

GOP Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is preparing to introduce a “Green Real Deal” resolution to contrast with Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, according to Politico.

Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her resolution on Feb. 7 and immediately faced criticism for its scope and potential cost, which reached toward tens of trillions of dollars. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Bungled Green new Deal’s Release. Her Staff Took Its Webpage Offline)

A draft of Gaetz’s resolution, obtained by Politico, recognizes risks to the U.S. from climate change, citing Department of Defense reports that identify certain military assets and bases as at risk to rising sea levels and increasing severe weather events, such as hurricanes.

“Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth,” the draft says.

Energy lobbyists have seemingly received copies of Gaetz’s resolution are beginning to line up behind it in support.

“Congressman Gaetz deserves to be applauded for taking the lead in crafting a bold resolution that identifies actionable climate solutions that will benefit America’s economy, environment, and national security,” Heather Reams, executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, said in a statement.

Gaetz’s resolution pushes market-driven innovation and competition from companies developing green energy technology. It does not set any emission reduction goals.

The draft pledges “to reduce and modernize regulations so that clean energy technologies can be deployed, and compete.”

In contrast to the Green New Deal, the draft Green Real Deal resolution takes a positive view on nuclear energy. Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution did not mention the energy sector, causing some controversy among pro-nuclear energy experts.

Gaetz’s legislation takes a wide-ranging approach to cutting emissions through investing in fossil fuel carbon capture technology, new and updated nuclear and hydropower placements, making the power grid more efficient and granting energy companies improved access to public lands.

The resolution pledges to “empower individuals, states, and the marketplace” to develop and disseminate new technology that will cut the United States’ carbon emissions.

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked the GOP Saturday — for calling a vote on the Green New Deal that she proposed.

Calling it a “bluff-vote” designed to help Republicans campaign, the freshman Democrat tweeted, “The GOP’s whole game of wasting votes in Congress to target others ‘on the record’, for leg they have no intent to pass, is a disgrace.”

Many were quick to respond, however, that it seemed odd for someone to propose legislation at all if she didn’t actually want people to vote on it.

And then a few noted that it was doubly odd that Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t want the specific legislation voted on — especially since she has referred to the climate fight as her generation’s “World War II” and has claimed that there’s 12 years left to live. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Sells Green New Deal To Democrats As WWII Scale Effort)

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Special counsel Robert Mueller handed his report off to Attorney General William Barr on Friday, just over four months after President Donald Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

When Sessions was fired, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to claim that the president’s underlying motive was to get to Mueller — possibly even to prematurely terminate the investigation.

And Pelosi was far from alone in her claim. (RELATED: Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez Join Forces To Threaten Dems Who Dare To Vote With GOP)

Some also argued that it was an intentional move to appoint Barr, who they also feared would put a stop to the investigation.

After all that, it appears that despite the warnings that came raining down, Mueller was allowed to complete his investigation on his own terms and in his own time.

Barr has suggested that preliminary conclusions could be announced publicly as early as the weekend.

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Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

  • Jess Ravich, a senior employee at major investment firm TCW Group, resigned from his position on TCW’s board after his “unprofessional communications” with a subordinate were uncovered. 
  • Ravich has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, including $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $50,000 to the Democratic National Committee. 
  • Democrats who received money from Ravich did not respond when asked if they would consider returning the money or donating it to women’s groups. 

Democrats declined to say Thursday if they would return contributions from a wealthy donor who recently resigned from the board of an asset management firm amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Jess Ravich, a former board member of Los Angeles-based TCW Group, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns and committees over the years.

A January 2018 lawsuit against Ravich and TCW alleges that Ravich repeatedly coerced his employee, Sara Tirschwell, into sex in exchange for support of her investment fund. Tirschwell says that when she complained about the behavior, TCW fired her in retaliation.

“[Ravich] repeatedly coerced [Tirschwell] into sex, implicitly threatening that if she rejected his advances, TCW would deprive her of resources and investor access that were essential to her successfully building out the Distressed Fund,” the suit claims.

Ravich resigned from his position on TCW’s board in October 2018 after the company learned of “unprofessional communications” he had with Tirschwell, but he remains a senior-level employee.

Since 1998, Ravich has contributed to the following Democratic campaigns and committees:

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR): $6300 (1998-2015)
  • Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA): $1000 (2012)
  • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $10,000 (2008)
  • Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE): $2000 (2006)
  • Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $25,000 (2000)
  • Democratic National Committee: $50,000 (2000)

The Daily Caller reached out to the offices for Sens. Wyden, Casey, and Carper, as well as the DSCC, DCCC, and DNC to inquire if they would return the donations from Ravich. None of them responded.

In October 2018, around the same time Ravich stepped down from the TCW board, Sen. Wyden spoke of the “enormous pain” inflicted on sexual assault and harassment survivors by the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“I believe Dr. Ford when she says she was assaulted in that room in 1982,” Wyden said of the uncorroborated allegation of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. “I believe Dr. Ford when she says her attackers locked the door, a hand was pressed over her mouth, and she feared she might die. I believe her when she says she remembers them laughing.” (RELATED: Senate Judiciary Finds ‘No Evidence’ To Support Blasey Ford Allegation)

Sen. Casey similarly said, “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.”

Democrats slammed Republicans in the aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, citing Ford’s allegation of sexual assault.

The DCCC bragged about the money they were able to raise off of the accusations against Kavanaugh, but members of the party have refused to answer questions about the money they’ve received from Ravich — even as TCW admits Ravich had “unprofessional communications” with his accuser and removed him from its board.

Ravich has also thrown a significant amount of cash to the Clinton Foundation; he is listed on the organization’s website as a donor in the $50,001 to $100,000 contribution range. Last March, the Clinton Foundation told the Caller that they would not return the donations and refused to say if the nonprofit condemned Ravich’s alleged misconduct. (EXCLUSIVE: Clinton Foundation Won’t Return Donations From Accused Sexual Harasser)

“Donations, these included, have been spent helping people by fighting childhood obesity and HIV/AIDS, combating climate change and empowering girls and women,” the Clinton Foundation said at the time.

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Source: The Daily Caller

A bill that would allow taxpayers to donate a part of their refunds to a nonprofit collecting money to build more border wall has successfully passed the Alabama Senate.

Alabama state senators voted 23-6 along party lines Thursday in favor of SB 22, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. The legislation would add We Build The Wall Inc. to a list of about 20 groups and programs on state income tax forms that residents can check off and donate with their tax refunds.

“I think it’s a way for Alabamians to say to the president and to the nation that we think strong border security is important. We want to promote that. We want Washington to build that wall,” GOP Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, the bill’s sponsor, stated according to The Associated Press.

“This bill is about sending a message to Washington that we support President Trump and his mission to secure our southern border,” Marsh said, who is mulling a 2020 U.S. Senate bid.

We Build The Wall — which began in December as a viral GoFundMe campaign by Air Force veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage — is a nonprofit group that is raising money for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border. The GoFundMe page is nearing $21,000,000 in donations.

However, the legislation may be more symbolic than anything else. Before funds from We Build The Wall can be used, Congress must vote to allow the money to be directed to the Department of Homeland Security. Given that the Democratic Party controls the House of Representatives, this is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.

The private contributions are rolling in as President Donald Trump continues to fight for more wall funding. Trump signed into law a resolution that gave him $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of barrier on the Texas border. He then declared a national emergency that has allowed him a total of $8 billion in funding, but numerous progressive groups are suing his emergency declaration in court.

People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People work on the U.S.-Mexic0 border wall on Feb. 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The president, in his latest budget proposal, is asking for an additional $8.6 billion in wall funding.

Back in Alabama, local Democrats derided SB 22, which will later be voted on by the state House.

“What about the Northern border? More people are crossing over the Northern border but you don’t want to pay them any attention,” Alabama state Sen. Bobby Singleton, a Democrat who called the measure a “feel good” bill, said according to AP. (RELATED: Overwhelmed ICE Facilities Forced To Release 100,000 Illegal Aliens In Past Three Months)

Singleton’s comments are technically correct. Over 960 people have illegally crossed the U.S.-Canada border in 2018, according to government data, representing a 91 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. However, that number remains a minuscule fraction of the apprehensions taking place on the U.S.-Mexico border, where border officials expect to find nearly 100,000 foreign nationals in the month of March alone.

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President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Friday that he'd "love" competing against either former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential race, but "we could dream" about a challenge from ex-Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

“I'd love to have Biden. I'd love to have Bernie, I'd love to have Beto," Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "When I watch Beto, I say 'we could dream' about that…I mean, Beto seems to be the one the press has chosen. The press seems to have chosen Beto."

He said he "wouldn't mind" running against O'Rourke, who became nationally known when he narrowly lost against incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last year for the Texas Senate seat.

However, he slammed the El Paso Democrat for his comments that he would "absolutely" tear down a border wall in his hometown.

"So you have Beto, and Beto comes out and he says, ‘Let's take down the wall.’ If you ever took down the wall, this country would be overrun,” Trump said.

Trump said what he thinks about is competence.

"When I first ran, I was never a politician," said Trump. "I ran, I ran on a certain platform. I've done far more than I said I was going to do, when you look at the tax cuts, when you look at the regulation cuts more than any other president."

Sanders, I-Vt., has been running at the top of the pack of contenders for the Democratic nomination, along with Biden, who has not yet officially announced his candidacy.

Source: NewsMax Politics

There’s a reason the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is so beloved by elite Washington: He was elite Washington.

President Trump’s harmless remarks against McCain’s record are treated like poison. Every national news outlet, Democrat and effete Republican, swarms Trump in hopes of killing whatever foreign thing he’s injecting into the body.

Most people don’t care that Trump has some grudge against McCain, but anyone watching closely understands what’s happening. Washington, led by the national media, is using the memory of McCain to kneecap Trump. It’s why, every time CNN talks about it, the on-screen graphic makes sure to refer to McCain as a “war hero.”

Guess who else was a war hero? The late Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C. He dropped into France on D-Day to capture Nazis. But you’ll hear a lot less praise for the man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act for more than 20 hours on the Senate floor.

We have many war heroes, and God bless them all, but that’s not what this is about. McCain was Washington’s ideal Republican: He lost two campaigns for president, often bucked his own party, and, most crucially, opposed Trump as an enemy and not just an adversary, ensuring his bitterness would live on by making it known that the president wasn’t invited to his funeral.

Usually when you don’t want someone to attend an event, you don’t send them an invite. McCain sent someone to specifically tell Trump he wasn’t welcome. Who does that?

Trump’s feud with McCain wasn’t even personal until McCain himself made it that way. During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump hadn’t said a word about him until McCain rained contempt on all of Trump’s supporters.

“This performance with our friend out in Phoenix is very hurtful to me,” McCain told New Yorker magazine in July 2015, referring to a recent Trump rally. “Because what he did was he fired up the crazies.”

The crazies. That sounds familiar, almost identical to the “basket of deplorables.” The fact that McCain was eager to say this in the New Yorker tells you everything about who he hoped would see it. See, smart liberals? Don’t you love me now?

Only after that gem did Trump mock McCain’s war record, and even then, Trump backtracked.

Trump’s two complaints about McCain in recent days were that the senator tanked the GOP’s yearslong efforts to repeal Obamacare and that he lent credibility to the salacious Trump dossier by handing it over to the FBI.

On the first point, former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., offered up the worst defense of McCain possible. In an op-ed Thursday for the Washington Post, Lieberman said McCain’s down vote on repeal wasn’t about Trump, but merely a message about bipartisanship. Lieberman wrote that McCain “cast that vote not against repeal of Obamacare but against the partisanship that had taken over the Senate and made it into a feckless, gridlocked, divided place.”

That must feel very good for Washington and all of its spawn, but lawmakers aren’t elected so that they can signal their own virtue with confounding votes. They’re expected to fix problems. McCain was naturally lauded by all of Washington for his vote against repeal. It kept in place the very law that he and the rest of the GOP had attacked for nearly a decade.

On the second point, why wouldn’t Trump resent anyone who had any part in handling that slanderous dossier? British spy Christopher Steele delivered that file of opposition research — mostly funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign — to McCain, who had one of his senior aides turn it over to the FBI.

Nothing of consequence in the dossier has proven to be true, despite the trail of wreckage in its wake. Several of Trump’s associates have been charged or sentenced to prison with crimes related to bank fraud from years ago, tax evasion from years ago, and lying to the FBI and Congress, a weak process crime. But not a single charge has been tied to Russia and the campaign.

A reporter asked Trump this week about McCain, and Trump replied, “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

CNN: Why the obsession with war hero McCain? He’s dead!

What obsession? Trump was asked a question, and he gave an answer. If he hadn’t, we’d be hearing complaints that he doesn’t answer enough questions. If there’s a grace period during which you can say nothing about the policy record of dead elected officials, please let me know what it is because a certain Democratic congresswoman just called Ronald Reagan a racist.

Washington isn’t offended that Trump is “attacking” McCain. It’s offended that he’s sandbagging Washington.

  • In congressional testimony in 2018, former FBI general counsel James Baker said that the bureau was aware that the founder of Fusion GPS was shopping the infamous dossier around Washington, D.C., prior to the 2016 election.
  • Baker also said that his friend, the liberal reporter David Corn, was “anxious” to provide him with the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
  • Baker’s testimony reveals new details about the full court press to put the unverified dossier onto the FBI’s radar.

James Baker, the former general counsel for the FBI, told Congress last October that the bureau was aware that the founder of Fusion GPS was spreading the Steele dossier “to a lot of different” people in government and the media in an effort to “elevate” the document’s profile.

Baker also told lawmakers in his Oct. 3, 2018 testimony that his longtime friend, the liberal reporter David Corn, was “anxious” to provide him with the dossier.

Baker’s testimony, which was first detailed by The Wall Street Journal and has been confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation, sheds new light on what the FBI knew about efforts before the election to spread the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Republicans have criticized the FBI for failing to disclose those efforts in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who is a major target of the Steele report. Some GOP lawmakers have asserted that the FBI should have been leery of Steele and Fusion’s opposition research of Trump. (RELATED: FBI’s Former Top Lawyer Acknowledged ‘Unusual Steps’ In Early Days Of Russia Probe)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Page has vehemently denied Steele’s allegations that he served as the Trump team’s backchannel to the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign.

As has been previously reported, Simpson served as a PR man of sorts for the dossier, setting up meetings with reporters from numerous news outlets in an effort to get Steele’s reporting into the media bloodstream.

Both Steele and Simpson were also in contact with U.S. government officials, including the Justice Department’s Bruce Ohr and the State Department’s Jonathan Winer. Steele shared some of his findings with both officials, as well as his FBI handler, Michael Gaeta.

In his testimony, Baker said that the FBI was aware of Simpson’s full court press on the Steele report.

“My understanding at the time was that Simpson was going around Washington giving this out to a lot of different people and trying to elevate its profile,” said Baker.

He also said that the FBI was aware of “various copies of the dossier floating around Washington.”

Baker also addressed his interactions with Corn, the reporter at Mother Jones who published a report on Oct. 31, 2016 that quoted Steele.

“I know that David was anxious to get this into the hands of FBI. And being the person at the FBI that he knew the best, he wanted to give it to me,” Baker testified.

The FBI severed ties with Steele after Corn’s report on the grounds that the former spy improperly revealed that he was a confidential source for the bureau.

Corn’s contact with Baker has been previously reported. The journalist has said that nothing improper occurred and that he shared the dossier with Baker after the election in hopes of authenticating the document.

“I tried the FBI again after the election. On my own accord, I shared a copy of the dossier with the FBI in order to see if the bureau would authenticate the documents and now comment on them. Once again, it would not,” Corn told The Hill in July 2018.

Corn also said it was “inaccurate” to describe him as a source for the FBI.

“I was merely doing what a journalist does: trying to get more information on a story I was pursuing.”

The effort to spread the dossier far and wide appears to have picked up steam after Trump’s election win.

David Kramer, an associate of late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, said in a deposition in December 2017 that he provided the dossier to a dozen journalists, including one at BuzzFeed News, which published the report on Jan. 10, 2017. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Had Contact With A Dozen Reporters Regarding Dossier)

Steele asked him to meet with BuzzFeed reporter Ken Bensinger and CNN’s Carl Bernstein, according to Kramer.

Kramer also met with Corn in early December 2016. He said that Corn was inquiring about a meeting that McCain planned to have with then-FBI Director James Comey. Kramer said that he was unsure how Corn found out about the meeting.

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