GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Czer, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Casino mogul, GOP donor Adelson getting treatment for cancer

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson has cancer and has not been at his company’s offices in Las Vegas since around Christmas Day.

    Adelson’s poor health was revealed earlier this week by one of his company’s attorneys during a court hearing in a years-old case brought by a Hong Kong businessman. The founder and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. did not participate in the casino operator’s conference call with analysts and investors following its earnings report in January.

    Attorney James Jimmerson told the court Monday that he learned last month “of the dire nature of Mr. Adelson’s condition, health.” The comment from the attorney came when discussing whether Adelson could sit for a deposition in the case and was first reported by The Nevada Independent.

    Las Vegas Sands Corp. on Thursday told The Associated Press that Adelson has cancer.

    “Mr. Adelson is still dealing with certain side effects from medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” company spokesman Ron Reese said in an emailed statement Thursday night. “These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours.”

    The effects haven’t prevented Adelson, 85, from fulfilling his duties as chairman and CEO, Reese said. The company expects he’ll return after he completes treatment.

    Adelson also suffers from peripheral neuropathy, a condition that affects the nervous system.

    The billionaire and his wife, Miriam, gave President Donald Trump’s campaign $30 million in 2016. They followed that by contributing $100 million to the Republican Party for the 2018 midterm elections.

    Adelson is Las Vegas Sands’ largest shareholder and regularly participates in the company’s earnings calls, but was absent when it reported results on Jan. 23. Sands President Robert Goldstein said at the time that Adelson was “a little bit under the weather.”

    “We met with him yesterday,” Goldstein said of Adelson during the January call. “He’s taking some medications making him a bit drowsy, so he decided this morning to take a rain check on this one.”

    Adelson was expected to testify in the case brought by Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen and his company, Round Square Co. He testified in 2013 and 2008 in the case’s two previous trials.

    Suen has been seeking compensation because he said he helped Sands secure business in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau. Sands has argued Suen didn’t help get crucial approval to build casinos in Macau and deserves nothing.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Non hodgkins lymphoma is terminal/a death sentence so he's done for
  3. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance
    Feb. 28, 2019

    WASHINGTON — President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.

    Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.

    The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.

    The disclosure of the memos contradicts statements made by the president, who told The New York Times in January in an Oval Office interview that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving his clearance.

    Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell, also said that at the time the clearance was granted last year that his client went through a standard process. Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and Mr. Kushner’s wife, said the same thing three weeks ago.

    Asked on Thursday about the memos contradicting the president’s account, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said, “We don’t comment on security clearances.”

    Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr. Lowell, said on Thursday: “In 2018, White House and security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner’s security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone. That was conveyed to the media at the time, and new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time.”

    The decision last year to grant Mr. Kushner a top-secret clearance upgraded him from earlier temporary and interim status. He never received a higher-level designation that would have given him access to need-to-know intelligence known as sensitive compartmented information.

    It is not known precisely what factors led to the problems with Mr. Kushner’s security clearance. Officials had raised questions about his own and his family’s real estate business’s ties to foreign governments and investors, and about initially unreported contacts he had with foreigners. The issue also generated criticism of Mr. Trump for having two family members serve in official capacities in the West Wing.

    Mr. Kushner has spent this week abroad working on a Middle East peace plan. Among his meetings was one with Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

    While the president has the legal authority to grant a clearance, in most cases, the White House’s personnel security office makes a determination about whether to grant one after the F.B.I. has conducted a background check. If there is a dispute in the personnel security office about how to move forward — a rare occurrence — the White House counsel makes the decision. In highly unusual cases, the president weighs in and grants one himself.

    In Mr. Kushner’s case, personnel division officials were divided about whether to grant him a top-secret clearance.

    In May 2018, the White House Counsel’s Office, which at the time was led by Mr. McGahn, recommended to Mr. Trump that Mr. Kushner not be given a clearance at that level. But the next day, Mr. Trump ordered Mr. Kelly to grant it to Mr. Kushner anyway, the people familiar with the events said.

    The question of Mr. Kushner’s access to intelligence was a flash point almost from the beginning of the administration. The initial background check into Mr. Kushner dragged on for more than a year, creating a distraction for the White House, which struggled to explain why one of the people closest to the president had yet to be given the proper approval to be trusted with the country’s most sensitive information.

    The full scope of intelligence officials’ concerns about Mr. Kushner is not known. But the clearance had been held up in part over questions from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. about his foreign and business contacts, including those related to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the events.

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Kushner was part of a group that met with a Russian lawyer who went to Trump Tower claiming to have political “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. And during the presidential transition, Mr. Kushner had a meeting with the Russian ambassador at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak, and the head of a Russian state-owned bank. When he applied for a security clearance, he did not reveal those meetings.

    He later made several amendments to that section of his application, known as an SF86. His aides at the time insisted he had omitted those meetings inadvertently.

    Mr. Kushner initially operated with a provisional clearance as his background check proceeded.

    In an entry to Mr. Kushner’s personnel file on Sept. 15, 2017, the head of the personnel security division, Carl Kline, wrote, “Per conversation with WH Counsel the clearance was changed to interim Top Secret until we can confirm that the DOJ or someone else actually granted a final clearance. This action is out of an abundance of caution because the background investigation has not been completed.”

    In a statement to The Times when Mr. Kushner received the clearance last year, Mr. Lowell said that “his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process.”

    During a review of security clearances in February 2018 that was prompted by the controversy surrounding Rob Porter, then the White House staff secretary, who had been accused of domestic abuse, Mr. Kushner’s clearance was downgraded from interim top secret to secret, limiting his access to classified information. At the time, Mr. Kelly wrote a five-page memo, revoking temporary clearances that had been in place since June 1, 2017.

    That affected both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, who told friends and advisers that they believed that Mr. Kelly and Mr. McGahn were targeting them for petty reasons instead of legitimate concerns flagged by officials.

    Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump both complained to the president about the situation, current and former administration officials said. In Mr. Kushner’s case, Mr. Trump would often turn to other aides and say in frustration, “Why isn’t this getting done?” according to a former administration official. On at least one occasion, the president asked another senior official if the person could sort out the issue. That official said no, according to this account.

    Mr. Kelly did not believe it was appropriate to overrule the security clearance process and had brushed aside or avoided dealing with Mr. Kushner’s requests, a former administration official said. Mr. Kelly did not respond to a request for comment.

    House Democrats are in the early stages of an investigation into how several Trump administration officials obtained clearances, including Mr. Kushner.

    Mr. Trump’s precise language to Mr. Kelly about Mr. Kushner’s clearance in their direct conversation remains unclear. Two of the people familiar with Mr. Trump’s discussions with Mr. Kelly said that there might be different interpretations of what the president said. But Mr. Kelly believed it was an order, according to two people familiar with his thinking.

    And Mr. Trump was definitive in his statements to The Times in the January interview.

    “I was never involved with the security” clearances for Mr. Kushner, the president said. “I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually. But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff.”

    A recent report by NBC revealed that Mr. Kline had overruled two career security specialists who had rejected Mr. Kushner’s application based on the F.B.I.’s concerns. A senior administration official confirmed the details laid out in the NBC report.

    Mr. Kline was acting on the directive sent down by the president, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

    The day that Mr. Lowell described Mr. Kushner’s process as having gone through normal routes, aides to Mr. Kushner had asked White House officials to deliver a statement from Mr. Kelly supporting what Mr. Lowell had said. But Mr. Kelly refused to do so, according to a person with knowledge of the events.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Matt Gaetz overheard telling Trump about threatening Michael Cohen tweet: 'I was happy to do it for you'
    Feb 28, 2019,

    Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., was observed discussing his threatening tweet about Michael Cohen with President Trump Wednesday evening.

    According to Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff writer at the Atlantic, Gaetz spoke to the president, who was in Hanoi, Vietnam for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, over the phone.

    "I was happy to do it for you. You just keep killing it," Gaetz was overhead saying.

    A Gaetz spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment. The congressman told Dovere that he doesn't discuss his conversations with the president.

    Gaetz responded to Dovere's tweet about the phone conversation, calling it fake news.

    The night before Cohen's testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Gaetz asked Cohen on Twitter, "Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot..."

    Gaetz later deleted the tweet and apologized for comments many regarded as threatening to Cohen. Gaetz's apology came in response to a statement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that admonished Gaetz for his comments and suggested they be examined by the House Ethics Committee.

    During the hearing, which Gaetz attended although he is not a member of the oversight panel, it was reported that the congressman became the subject of a probe into his tweets about Cohen by the Florida state bar.

    In the evening Wednesday, Gaetz tweeted that he apologized to Cohen. "Regardless of disagreements, family members should be off-limits from attacks from representatives, senators & presidents, including myself. Let’s leave the Cohen family alone," he said.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Alan Dershowitz suggests curbing press access to hearing on Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse
    MARCH 01, 2019

    A court hearing on whether to unseal sensitive documents involving the alleged sex trafficking of underage girls by Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein — and the possible involvement of his influential friends — will play out in a New York City courtroom next week.

    But it may happen behind closed doors, with the news media and public barred — at least in part.

    An attorney for lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote a letter to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday, asking whether the media should be excluded from the proceeding because his oral arguments on behalf of his client could contain sensitive information that has been under seal.

    The appeals court had not responded to his concern as of Friday, but if the hearing is closed during his lawyer’s argument, it would represent the latest in a long history of successful efforts to keep details of Epstein’s sex crimes sealed.

    Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard, constitutional law expert and criminal defense attorney, represented Epstein, who in 2008 received what many consider an unusually light sentence for sexually abusing dozens of girls at his Palm Beach mansion. Two women — one of whom was underage — have said Epstein and his partner, British socialite and environmentalist Ghislaine Maxwell, directed them to have sex with Dershowitz, 80, and other wealthy, powerful men. Dershowitz and Maxwell have denied the claims.

    Oral arguments are scheduled Wednesday to hear an appeal by the Miami Herald and other parties seeking to unseal a 2015 court case involving Epstein and Maxwell. The Herald, as part of an ongoing investigation into Epstein’s case, hopes to shed more light on the scope of Epstein’s crimes, who was involved and whether there was any undue influence that tainted the criminal justice process.

    A legal brief supporting the Herald’s appeal was filed in December by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 32 other media companies, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Dow Jones, Fox News, Gannett, Politico, Reveal Center for Investigative Reporting and Tribune Publishing Co.

    The case — which was settled in 2017 — involved Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who sued Maxwell in federal court in the Southern District of New York in 2015. Giuffre had asserted that Maxwell and Epstein trafficked her and other underage girls, often at sex parties that Epstein hosted at his homes in New York, New Mexico, Palm Beach and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Maxwell called her a liar. Giuffre sued for defamation.

    As the case was litigated, the judge allowed a vast trove of documents, including testimony by witnesses, to be sealed. Dershowitz, having been publicly implicated in Epstein’s crimes by Giuffre, tried unsuccessfully to get the judge to unseal a select number of documents that he says will exonerate him. Blogger Michael Cernovich also filed a motion to release a portion of the sealed documents.

    The judge denied their motions in 2016, as the case was still ongoing, saying release of the documents could taint a potential jury pool.

    After the case was settled, the Herald filed a more extensive motion, arguing that with the case now closed, all the documents should be made public. The motion, filed in April 2018, came as the Herald was working on an investigative series, Perversion of Justice, which detailed how Epstein and his lawyers manipulated federal prosecutors to obtain one of the most lenient sentences for a child sex offender in history.

    Dershowitz’s lawyer, Andrew G. Celli Jr., emphasized to the Herald that Dershowitz is not trying to ban the media from the proceeding; he is simply giving the court a heads up that his arguments could include information that has never been made public because it’s under seal.

    “What the letter says very clearly is we intend to make reference to the sealed material in open court, so we want to notify the judges that this is my intention to make my arguments,’’ Celli said. “We want the courtroom to be open so long as we can argue the substance of what we want to unseal.’’

    How a teen runaway became one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims
    Virginia Roberts was working at Mar-a-Lago when she was recruited to be a masseuse to Palm Beach hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein. She was lured into a life of depravity and sexual abuse.

    Barbara Petersen, executive director of the First Amendment Foundation, pointed out that since the judges are well aware that sealed documents are at the heart of the appeal, Dershowitz’s request comes across more as a “veiled threat.”

    “It’s like ‘if you don’t keep out the media, then we are going to reveal stuff and let the chips fall where they may,’ ’’ she said. “They don’t want it to come out and they don’t want to make a motion and ban the media, so they are hoping the judges do it for them.”

    Attorneys for Giuffre also want the case unsealed.

    “Ms. Giuffre is a victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking organization,’’ her attorney, Paul Cassell, said in a statement attached to the Herald’s appeal. “When she bravely came forward to explain what happened to her at the hands of Epstein and his powerful friends, Epstein’s ‘Madame’ and girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, told the world that Ms. Giuffre was a liar. Ms. Giuffre filed a defamation action.’’

    The case was settled in Giuffre’s favor, with Maxwell paying Giuffre millions.

    Maxwell wants the case to remain sealed and earlier tried to get the judge to destroy the sealed documents, but her motion was denied earlier this week.

    Epstein’s deal, brokered by then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court, and in exchange, Epstein and an untold number of others were given federal immunity. Epstein served just 13 months in the county jail, although much of his incarceration was served at his office in downtown West Palm Beach on “work release.”

    Last week, a federal judge ruled that Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, violated the law because he and other prosecutors deliberately kept the deal secret from Epstein’s victims, who are now in their late 20s and early 30s.

    Cernovich’s lawyer, Marc J. Randazza, said he has never seen a court seal nearly an entire court record like this.

    “I’ve seen partial seals, but I’ve never seen anything where it went quite that far. That in of itself is newsworthy,’’ he said. “What kind of power here is able to influence our court system in such a big way? Something is amiss and I’m glad that journalists are out there looking at it.”
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Pelosi, AOC Warn Moderate Democrats to Stop Voting With the GOP

    Earlier this week the Democrats now running the House of Representatives strutted their stuff with passage of a bill aiming at the ancient liberal target of the gun background check “loophole” for private sales. It was passed by a 240-190 margin on what was basically a party-line vote. But before that vote, Republicans offered an unexpected “motion to recommit” the bill to add language instructing law enforcement officials to notify ICE if an “illegal immigrant” attempted to buy a gun. Twenty-six Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of that motion, and embarrassed House leaders added the language as an amendment to keep the bill from dying then and there.

    Subsequently House Democrats met to discuss the incident (the second successful MTR maneuver by Republicans in the brief period since Nancy Pelosi took the gavel), amid some talk of amending the House rules either to eliminate MTRs or provide members with more time to consider them. But according to the Washington Post, recriminations broke out between members angry at the defections on the ICE vote, and defectors angry that Democrats from safer districts weren’t sufficiently sensitive to their political needs.

    In a closed-door session, a frustrated Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashed out at about two dozen moderates and pressured them to get on board. “We are either a team or we’re not, and we have to make that decision,” Pelosi said, according to two people present but not authorized to discuss the remarks publicly.

    Pelosi, according to the Post, focused much of her frustration on congressional veterans. But interestingly enough, the conflict was exemplified by an unhappy exchange between two House freshman from very different political environments:

    [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the unquestioned media superstar of the freshman class, upped the ante, admonishing the moderates and indicating she would help liberal activists unseat them in the 2020 election.

    Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said she told her colleagues that Democrats who side with Republicans “are putting themselves on a list.”

    … Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) — reacted sharply to Ocasio-Cortez’s comments and rose to urge her colleagues to respect the political reality of representing a swing district, according to multiple people present.

    Ocasio-Cortez, of course, unseated a top member of the House Democratic leadership in a primary; her district is not competitive in general elections. Torres Small won one of the closest general election contests in the country.

    But this wasn’t just a standard-brand left-versus-center ideological clash. AOC made a rather important counterpoint about the quandary the Republican amendment placed her and like-minded Democrats in, according to her spokesman Corbin Trent:

    “She said that when activists ask her why she had to vote for a gun safety bill that also further empowers an agency that forcibly injects kids with psychotropic drugs, they’re going to want a list of names and she’s going to give it to them,” Trent said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    The Post interpreted this reference to a “list” as a threat to support primary challenges to the moderates. Whether or not that’s what AOC intended, there’s no question some of her House colleagues fear that she’ll help do to them what she did to Joe Crowley in her own insurgent primary challenge last year. And it infuriates those in swing districts that they might have to fight a two-front war to win reelection.

    These tensions create some serious problems for Nancy Pelosi, who must cater to every faction in her caucus. One option for her is simply to impose party discipline and insist moderates bite the bullet on cleverly designed Republican poison-pill amendments. As she and others pointed out in the caucus meeting, Republicans managed to vote down similar Democratic gambits routinely when they controlled the House, adopting a “just say no” party line on all procedural motions from the other side of the aisle.

    Alternatively, Pelosi may have to rethink how much value there really is for her caucus and party in “messaging” bills like the gun measure, which is about as likely to be considered in the Republican-controlled Senate as a bill to double Planned Parenthood’s funding. A symbolic gesture toward an important if presently unachievable goal like better gun regulation is a lot more effective if Democrats can agree in advance not to let themselves get distracted by Republican hijinks. The last thing they need is a public “struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party,” with media hounds eagerly feeding on every morsel of conflict.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Sheldon Adelson Treated For Cancer, In ‘Dire’ Health
    March 1, 2019

    Billionaire casino magnate and pro-Israel mega-donor Sheldon Adelson is being treated for cancer, Bloomberg reported.

    Adelson, 85, has been out of his office since late December due to side-effects from his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A lawyer representing one of Adelson’s casinos referred to his health as “dire” in court Monday.

    A company spokesman told Bloomberg that Adelson’s illness has not kept him from acting as the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., Adelson’s casino empire. However, Adelson missed a call to investors in January.

    Adelson is worth $39 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. He was the largest outside spender during the 2016 elections, and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish and Israeli causes.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Senate Intel Committee Now Investigating Trump’s Various Trips to Russia
    March 2nd, 2019

    The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence apparently has a new series of leads on President Donald Trump and his Russian contacts over the years.

    According to The Atlantic‘s Natasha Bertrand, Senate investigators are combing over at least three separate trips Trump took to Russia and the Soviet Union during each of the last three decades.

    House Democrats are buoyed by recent revelations from Michael Cohen‘s Wednesday testimony in front of that chamber’s oversight committee in regards to various Trump Organization business interests. During that dramatic, often tense, day-long question-and-answer session, Cohen appeared to have implicated Trump in various federal crimes–including possible wire fraud.

    Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) methodically obtained a series of leads for Democrats on the House panel.

    The president seemed to have been somewhat agitated by Cohen’s focus on his financial interests, tweeting on Friday about the looming and ongoing investigations into his real estate empire.

    At 8:19 on Friday morning, Trump responded:

    Oh’ I see! Now that the 2 year Russian Collusion case has fallen apart, there was no Collusion except bye Crooked Hillary and the Democrats, they say, “gee, I have an idea, let’s look at Trump’s finances and every deal he has ever done. Let’s follow discredited Michael Cohen…

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2019

    Upper chamber investigators are looking toward another continent entirely.

    “Meanwhile, the Senate has kept up a steady pace of questioning witnesses with knowledge of Trump’s trips to Russia to scope out real-estate deals,” Bertrand writes.

    The report elaborates a bit later on:

    The Senate Intelligence Committee recently interviewed architect Ted Liebman, who sketched a proposed Trump International Hotel for Trump to present to Moscow city officials during his 1996 trip, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Senate investigators have also been particularly interested in David Geovanis, an American businessman who reportedly helped organize the 1996 Russia trip and worked for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in the early 2000s.

    Liebman and Geovanis are fairly new names in the ever-unfolding Trump-Russia narrative.

    A 1996 article from The Moscow Times describes the Liebman relationship like this:

    The project architect, Theodore Liebman of the New York-based Liebman Melting Partnership, said the residential high-rise on the Ducat site will include a members’ club, a health club and “will house the finest residences in Moscow.” An ice-skating rink and an office building with shops and restaurants will front the tower, he added.

    The same article has this to say about Geovanis:

    David Geovanis, Liggett-Ducat’s director of real estate, said Trump is also pursuing plans to develop a hotel in Moscow.

    During his visit, Trump met with two of Moscow’s vice mayors, including Vladimir Resin, the vice mayor in charge of construction and “one of the key people in charge of attracting foreign invest to the Moscow real estate market,” Geovanis said. He added that the city was “very receptive” to the idea of Trump’s developments in Moscow.

    Whether these investigations actually lead anywhere is anyone’s guess.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    ‘This Is Only the Beginning’: Michael Avenatti Says Jacob Wohl May Soon Be in Federal Prison
    February 26th, 2019

    Jacob Wohl was permanently banned from Twitter on Tuesday afternoon not long after the publication of a USA Today article, “This 21-year-old tweeted lies about Robert Mueller and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, he’s eyeing the 2020 election,” which went into additional detail about a fraudulent plot to smear special counsel Robert Mueller with contrived sexual assault allegations.

    Twitter explained that Wohl’s “account was suspended for multiple violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically creating and operating fake accounts.” The dunking contests quickly began and eventually reached new heights. But perhaps one of the most eyebrow-raising Wohl owns came from attorney Michael Avenatti.

    Stormy Daniels‘ leading advocate and one-time potential presidential contender laid into the Wohl with a tweet suggesting Wohl will soon face incarceration.

    At 4:39 p.m., Avenatti tweeted:

    Jacob Wohl’s account being suspended now makes proactive sense because you are not generally allowed to use one in a federal prison.

    Far from just another humorous take down, however, Avenatti’s criticism may actually be quite salient and relevant. For one, Mueller’s team confirmed that it referred the false sexual assault allegation against Mueller to the FBI.

    Secondly, recall: Avenatti was arrested late last year on suspicion of domestic violence. That case eventually fell apart after authorities determined that Avenatti would not be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. Throughout the controversy, Avenatti had linked the whole ordeal to the work of Wohl’s “private intelligence” firm Surefire Intelligence.

    That made sense, too. Immediately after Avenatti was arrested, Surefire Intelligence’s Twitter account seemed to take credit for Avenatti’s arrest by tweeting, “Surefire Intelligence strikes again.” (The tweet in question is no longer available because the entire account has since been suspended.)

    As Law&Crime’s Matt Naham noted at the time, “make no mistake, if Wohl was behind this as the Surefire Intelligence tweet suggested, he’s looking at possible jail time for filing a false report (if it is indeed false).”

    After it became clear that Avenatti would not be charged in the alleged domestic violence incident, Avenatti took aim at Wohl and TMZ, which first published those allegations related to Avenatti’s arrest in November 2018.

    “Jacob Wohl and [TMZ]–I am coming for you,” Avenatti tweeted. “In America, you are not permitted to fabricate stories and facts against someone because he is a huge threat to the person you want as president. The truth will be known and you will be held accountable.”

    Avenatti also predicted that Wohl would be facing criminal repercussions:

    Are those charges imminent? It’s a bit too soon to say. But Avenatti does believe they’re still on tap.

    “This is only the beginning and will shortly be the least of his problems,” Avenatti said in a statement to Law&Crime.
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    March 3, 2019

    WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler announced this morning the scope of the Committee's oversight agenda in the coming months.

    "The House Judiciary Committee is starting a massive investigation into whether Donald Trump and his family and associates committed crimes or engaged in unethical misconduct. We cannot avert our eyes to the evidence plainly before us that crimes and other misconduct may have been committed by Trump and those within his orbit.

    "Unlike the narrow scope of the Special Counsel's investigation--whether there is enough evidence to charge a person with a crime related to Russian interference--the Judiciary Committee's oversight mission is far more broad. We want to know if Executive Branch officials, including the President, committed any crimes or engaged in any unethical misconduct.

    "We will hold hearings, interview witnesses, analyze documents and build a record. Our investigation will either exonerate Trump and those around him, or it won't. We will then have a conversation with the American people on how to proceed after we conclude our investigation. I want to commend Chairman Jerry Nadler for his strong and steady leadership, and look forward to working with him on this critical investigation."
  11. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Ivanka Trump jokes at Gridiron dinner that being president's daughter is 'the hardest job in the world'

    Ivanka Trump prodded at the media, Democrats and herself during an appearance late Saturday at the Gridiron Club Dinner, an annual high-end gathering of government officials and elite media types.

    The Washington Post reported that the president's oldest daughter and senior adviser told the audience that she "didn't have time to write any jokes" because her father asked her to appear on his behalf the day of the event.

    "So I figured the funniest thing I could do is read you excerpts from the Green New Deal," she said, a reference to the progressive environmental proposal put forward by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats.

    "The press seems to think that it's ironic that I, born of great privilege, think that people want to work for what they are given," Trump said. "As if being Donald Trump's daughter isn't the hardest job in the world."

    Ivanka Trump and Ocasio-Cortez sparred on Twitter last week over the congresswoman's support for a universal job guarantee included in the Green New Deal.

    The president attended last year's Gridiron dinner, where he chided the press, Democrats and a few members of his own administration.

    Ivanka Trump said Saturday her father regretted missing out on this year's event, according to NPR.

    "The opportunity to poke fun at the media is not something that he passes up lightly," she said. "That said, in some days, you could say that to my father, every day is a Gridiron dinner."
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    U.S. House panel launches probe into possible obstruction by Trump
    3 March 2019

    WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) - The House Judiciary Committee will seek documents from more than 60 people and organizations as it begins investigations into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by President Donald Trump, the panel's chairman said on Sunday.

    Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told ABC's "This Week" the panel wanted to get documents from the Department of Justice, the president's son Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, among others.

    "We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, into corruption ... and into obstruction of justice," Nadler said. "It's our job to protect the rule of law."

    "It's very clear that the president obstructed justice," Nadler said. He said it was too soon to consider whether impeachment should be pursued, however.

    "Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen," he said.

    As evidence of obstruction, Nadler cited Trump's May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into Russia activities in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

    That investigation was subsequently taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is expected to deliver his findings to the U.S. attorney general within weeks.

    Nadler also cited what he called Trump's attempts to intimidate witnesses in the investigation.

    He said the committee on Monday would release the list of people and organizations it would request documents from.

    Trump has denied his campaign worked with Moscow. "I am an innocent man being persecuted by some very bad, conflicted & corrupt people in a Witch Hunt that is illegal & should never have been allowed to start," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.

    The White House and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment on Nadler's remarks.

    Trump told a group of conservative activists and politicians on Saturday that investigators want to look at his finances and business dealings because no evidence of collusion has been found. "All of a sudden they are trying to take you out with bullshit," he said.

    While the Mueller investigation is focused on specific crimes, Congress' probes will cast a wider net, Nadler said.

    Testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen last week directly implicated Trump in various crimes including campaign finance violations, Nadler said.

    Congressional investigators will also look at whether Trump used the White House for personal enrichment in violation of the Constitution's emoluments clause, he said.

    "All of these have to be investigated and laid out to the American people," said Nadler, whose committee would take the lead in any effort to impeach the president. "This investigation goes far beyond collusion."

    House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy attacked Nadler as having an impeachment agenda.

    "They're setting a whole new course because there's no collusion so they want to build something else," he told ABC.

    Several U.S. congressional committees are pursuing investigations focusing on Trump.

    The House Intelligence Committee's Democratic chairman, Adam Schiff, said his panel would look closely at negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, which Cohen said continued well into the 2016 presidential campaign.

    "That was a deal that stood to make him more money than any other deal in his life and it was a deal where he was pursuing help from the Kremlin, from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin himself, at a time when Putin was seeking relief from sanctions," Schiff told CBS' "Face the Nation."

    "That is the most compromising circumstance that I can imagine."
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    House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments
    The freshman Democrat is clashing with senior lawmakers who view her remarks as anti-Semitic.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks.

    Pelosi and other senior Democrats are drafting a resolution to address the controversy, which ballooned over the weekend following a public clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers.

    The resolution, which is still being finalized, comes after a backlash from top Democrats who accused Omar of anti-Semitism for referring to pro-Israel advocates’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”

    Omar’s remarks are just the latest in a series of comments she's made that many of her Democratic colleagues say are blatantly anti-Semitic and must be retracted.

    Democratic leaders are still debating whether to mention Omar by name in the resolution, according to multiple sources. Staffers for Pelosi and top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), began drafting the text of the resolution over the weekend as the confrontation between Omar and her colleagues unfolded on Twitter.

    Two of the House’s most senior Democrats — Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey — called Omar out in public statements, demanding she apologize.

    Lowey condemned Omar’s use of “offensive, painful stereotypes,” leading to a fight on Twitter as Omar dug in on her comments and was cheered by some on the left.

    “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman!” Omar wrote, later adding, “I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.” Omar declined to be interviewed for this story.

    Staffers for several Jewish lawmakers, including Engel and Lowey, soon began working with Democratic leaders on the resolution. Aides for House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) along with Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and fellow Minnesota freshman Rep. Dean Phillips are also involved, according to multiple sources.

    A resolution on the floor, regardless of whether it specifically mentions Omar, would be a rare public reprimand from House leaders, particularly against a member of their own party, and speaks to the seriousness with which Democratic leaders view the ongoing controversy.
    Just three weeks earlier, Pelosi and her top lieutenants issued a rare public rebuke of Omar’s previous remarks, which suggested pro-Israel groups were using their financial heft to shape U.S.-Middle East policy.

    The announcement of floor action Monday came after mounting backlash from outside groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which wrote a letter to Pelosi calling for a House resolution to reject what the organization called Omar’s “latest slur.”

    “We urge you and your colleagues to send the unambiguous message that the United States Congress is no place for hate,” the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, wrote in a letter. Democratic staffers had already started working on the resolution before the group's letter, according to one senior Democratic aide.

    Nearly a dozen pro-Israel groups also urged Pelosi to oust Omar from her coveted spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Engel, the chairman of that committee, called out Omar for a “vile anti-Semitic slur” over the weekend, but did not call for her to be removed from the committee.

    Out of the two dozen other Democrats on the Foreign Affairs committee, nearly all did not respond or declined a request to comment on Monday. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), who sits on the committee, wrote on Twitter that Omar should apologize for “hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

    “Questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable,” Vargas wrote.

    No congressional Democrats have publicly called for Omar to lose her seat on the Foreign Affairs panel, though GOP leaders have begun to pounce as Pelosi and her leadership team prepare yet another rebuke of Omar’s language.

    “Resolutions are all well and good, but Speaker Pelosi is clearly afraid to stand up to Rep. Omar if she continues to reward her with a plum spot on the Foreign Affairs Committee,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote on Twitter Monday.

    Omar has received support from prominent progressive figures, including fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — the first Palestinian-American congresswoman, who has also strongly argued that U.S. policy toward Israel should be overhauled. Another popular progressive, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), has also come to Omar's defense.

    In response to Lowey’s criticism, Tlaib defended Omar and said she had been “targeted just like many civil rights icons before us who spoke out about oppressive policies.”

    Omar this year became the first Somali-American and, along with Tlaib, the first Muslim woman to serve in Congress.

    In recent days, Omar has also been targeted by anti-Muslim attacks. On Friday, an Islamophobic poster displayed at an event sponsored by the West Virginia GOP appeared to link her to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    The poster included a photo of the World Trade Center buildings on fire and a photo of Omar below it.

    Omar and her allies have called out her Democratic colleagues for largely failing to come to her defense even as she faced growing criticism for her comments about Israel. Lowey did condemn the “gross islamophobic stereotypes” in her tweet on Sunday, as did top Democrats like Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.

    Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, however, have not responded.

    Omar and Tlaib have relished making public their opposition to Israeli policies — from settlements in Palestinian territories to the lobbying influence of AIPAC — in a way that has struck a nerve with Jewish lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

    Omar’s positions have directly challenged a decades-old plank of U.S. foreign policy: unfaltering U.S. support for Israel.

    “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks,” Omar wrote on Twitter in response to Lowey.

    Omar’s previous comments scrutinizing the political influence of AIPAC last month — when she tweeted the phrase, "It's all about the Benjamins baby" — drew sharp scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

    Omar apologized for that statement, though House Republicans still pushed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, without specifically naming Omar. The measure was overwhelmingly approved on the floor, including winning Omar’s vote.
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    AIPAC Uses Political Storm Over Ilhan Omar Tweets to Raise Donations
    Pro-Israel lobby urges donors in email to give money as answer to congresswoman's tweets that U.S. support for Israel is 'all about the Benjamins'
    Feb 13, 2019

    WASHINGTON – The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is using a tweet by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was criticized as being anti-Semitic for fundraising purposes.
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    Republicans and Democrats Say Their Criticism of Ilhan Omar Is About Anti-Semitism. They’re Gaslighting You.
    March 5 2019

    SO LET ME get this straight: The president of the United States has called neo-Nazis “very fine people”; retweeted neo-Nazis; told an audience of Jewish-Americans that Israel is “your country”; and indulged in viciously anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. While running for office, he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton inside a Star of David, next to a pile of cash; told an audience of Jewish donors, “You want to control your politicians, that’s fine”; and put out a campaign ad that attacked three rich and powerful Jewish figures. While a private citizen, he insisted only “short guys that wear yarmulkes” should count his money and kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table.

    He has never apologized for any of this. Nor has he been censured by Congress.

    Since coming to office, he has hired, among others, Sebastian Gorka — who made the Nazi-linked Hungarian group Vitézi Rend “proud” when he wore its medal to an inauguration ball — and Steve Bannon, who didn’t want his daughters attending a particular school in Los Angeles because of “the number of Jews.”

    Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

    In the Senate, Ted Cruz has denounced “New York values” while on the campaign trail, and Sen. Chuck Grassley has suggested that Jewish philanthropist George Soros paid the protesters who confronted then-Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator with their stories of sexual assault last October.

    Neither of them has apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

    In the House, Republican members have referred to themselves as “David Duke without the baggage,” accused Soros of turning on his “fellow Jews” and taking “the property that they owned,” claimed that Soros funded the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, sat on panels with white nationalists, invited a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union, and tweeted that three Jewish billionaires — Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer — were trying to “buy” the midterms. On Sunday, Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted that Steyer — whose name he spelled as “$teyer” and whose father is Jewish — was trying to influence Rep. Jerry Nadler (who is Jewish) to investigate Donald Trump.

    None of these Republicans have ever apologized. Nor have they been censured by Congress.

    Trump and the Republicans’ favorite cable channels, Fox News and Fox Business Network, have run segments in which guests have referred to the State Department as “Soros-occupied” and accused Soros of working with the Nazis, while top-rated Fox host Sean Hannity used to regularly interview a neo-Nazi on his radio show. Their favorite news website, Breitbart, has referred to columnist Bill Kristol as a “renegade Jew” and to columnist Anne Applebaum as a “Polish, Jewish, American elitist.” Their favorite talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has spoken of a “Jewish lobby” and was accused of “borderline” anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League for his comments about Jewish bankers.

    Last October, a far-right conspiracy theorist — who, like the president and other prominent Republicans, blamed globalists” like Soros for allowing immigrant “invaders” to come into the United States — shot and killed 11 Jewish worshippers in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. To quote Adam Serwer of The Atlantic: “The apparent spark for the worst anti-Semitic massacre in American history was a racist hoax inflamed by a U.S. president seeking to help his party win a midterm election.”

    On Wednesday, however, the House Democratic leadership will try and formally censure Rep. Ilhan Omar — a black Somali-American Muslim woman who came to the United States as a refugee, and who, in recent days, has been compared to the 9/11 terrorists by Republicans in West Virginia and described as “filth” by an adviser to the president — for saying that she wanted “to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Her fellow congressional Democrats have said little or nothing about the aforementioned and shameful Republican record of anti-Semitism, but many have joined the pile-on against Omar. One of them — Rep. Juan Vargas — went out of his way to insist, rather revealingly, that “questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.”

    So my simple point is this: Whether or not you agree with Omar’s remarks, whether or not you were personally offended, anyone who tells you that these nonstop, bipartisan political attacks on her are about fighting anti-Semitism is gaslighting you.
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    Ilhan Omar and the Jeremy Corbyn Playbook

    The attacks on Ilhan Omar for antisemitism are reminiscent of those levied against Jeremy Corbyn. The charges aren't just nonsense — they're being used to stifle criticism of Israel.

    It’s a given now that if New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez so much as breathes, the response will be so histrionic as to border on the incomprehensible. Predictably, upon tweeting that she had spoken with UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the telephone, a deluge of outrage descended on her for daring to converse with her closest ideological counterpart in the United Kingdom. That Ocasio-Cortez had engaged in conversation with the leader of the second-biggest political party in the UK was reprehensible, the line went, because Corbyn had faced accusations of antisemitism.

    The furor around the Corbyn-AOC chat bears resemblances to the furor around Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar’s comments about AIPAC: a throwaway comment by the young legislator was cast as virulently antisemitic, and discussion of the issue has been all but shut down.

    The discussion around antisemitism in the Labour Party has been complex and fraught, and remains ongoing. Jennie Formby, the party general secretary, released a report on the current state of investigations around allegations of antisemitism this month. Several issues were clear: as no one denies, antisemitism is a legitimate issue in the Labour Party, as it is in the UK as a whole, and the party has now committed to dealing with allegations of antisemitism leveled against individual members.

    At the same time, many of those reported for abuse are neither members of the Labour Party nor anything more than online troll accounts. While a real problem exists, many people desperate for attention have leapt onto an online bandwagon and brazenly regurgitated antisemitic bile in the hope of provoking a reaction. Often this works, and the comments are perversely attributed to the Labour leadership, usually by prominent accounts with no links to Labour, intent on disparaging the party.

    Needless to say, there exists no parallel for the Conservative Party. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has repeatedly called for investigations into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party and been roundly ignored. On mainstream political programs in the UK, I have been on panels in which other commentators have been allowed to say that Islamophobia is justified, unchallenged by the hosts. Muslims have endlessly begged the Tory party leadership to investigate the depth of Islamophobia in the party with absolutely no response.

    Meanwhile, Labour has been criticized for launching investigations into reported antisemitism. No one in Labour argues the issue is new; it’s only now that it is being taken seriously. That is true of all such issues within the party: many people have told me they reported issues around sexual harassment, bullying, and racism to the previous Labour leadership and were told investigating such matters would jeopardize party unity. The current leadership has not swept such matters under the rug, and are criticized far more for not silencing alleged victims.

    If we are to root out antisemitism properly, several lines need to be drawn: between careless remarks that might be misread; remarks that carry antisemitic undertones without full knowledge; and straightforwardly antisemitic remarks. I have regularly seen people condemned for antisemitic behavior online and am confident that many left spaces are able to self-police. But while building political movements, we also have to accept that many people have become engaged politically via social media, and that can sometimes mean regurgitating phrases with dubious meanings. Educating people rather than condemning and excluding them yields far more value for everyone involved. That is true in general, but also specifically in stopping those with a predisposition to conspiracy from moving in that direction.

    Ironically, the response to Omar’s comments has reinforced the perception that criticism of Israel can be quashed instantly. Any mention of AIPAC can be dismissed as antisemitic, despite the fact that AIPAC, as a lobby, exists to influence the political system, including through the use of money. Some will back down, but Omar did nothing wrong. Likewise, Ocasio-Cortez is quite right to seek links with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
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    Attorney: Alleged victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and her lawyer committed perjury
    March 6, 2019

    NEW YORK – Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz is escalating his attacks on the credibility of a woman who alleges he had sex with her when she was an underage girl trafficked for sexual abuse by millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein.

    Dershowitz, a former Epstein defense lawyer, on Wednesday accused Virginia Roberts Giuffre and her lawyer, former federal judge Paul Cassell, of committing perjury by making false claims against him in a lawsuit that could unseal evidence about Epstein's actions.

    The longtime Harvard Law School professor and frequent Fox News contributor leveled the allegations after a hearing in which a three-judge federal appeals court panel heard opposing arguments about the unsealing issue. The judges' questions appeared to signal they could order at least some of the material to be made public.

    "I challenge her to come before the press and say she had sex with me," said Dershowitz, repeating his Twitter allegation that Giuffre made the claim for money while writing a memoir and was hurting the #MeToo movement with the alleged lying.

    "I will be able to prove conclusively that she committed perjury, added Dershowitz. "She made up a story out of whole cloth."

    He similarly attacked Cassell, who during Wednesday's hearing told the appeals panel that Epstein and a friend named Ghislaine Maxwell, sexually "trafficked (Giuffre) to Epstein's friends, including Dershowitz."

    Cassell contended that sealed evidence in the case at the center of the appeals court arguments would corroborate Giuffre's allegation against Dershowitz.

    Ty Gee, an attorney for Maxwell, denied the allegation during the hearing.

    Firing back during an impromptu news conference outside the lower Manhattan courtroom, Dershowitz said: "Judge Cassell is a liar. He lied to the court today. He abused his position as an officer of the court."

    His attack on Cassell came after settling a Florida lawsuit in which the former judge and another lawyer accused Dershowitz of defaming them by failing to do a thorough investigation of Giuffre's allegations.

    The legal allegations and counterclaims stem from the case against Epstein, a 66-year-old financier who has had friendships with Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Britain's Prince Andrew.

    Epstein was accused in 2008 of luring more than 30 underage girls for sex acts at his Palm Beach, Florida, mansion and other locations in the United States and overseas. He allegedly enlisted girls to lure more victims.

    Under a plea deal when Dershowitz represented him, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida state court to two prostitution charges. He served a 13-month Florida jail sentence.

    However, Epstein was granted work release that enabled him to serve much of his sentence at his Palm Beach office. The plea deal ended a federal investigation against him.

    Nonetheless, Epstein was required to register as a sex offender.

    The Miami Herald reported last year that Epstein's alleged violations went well beyond the crimes to which he pleaded guilty. The newspaper identified 80 women who said Epstein sexually abused or molested them between 2001 and 2006 when they were under age 18.

    Epstein was not present Wednesday for the legal arguments that could trigger the unsealing of witness interviews, legal rulings and other court records about Epstein's activities.

    Attorneys for Giuffre, Dershowitz, conservative blogger Michael Cernovich and for media organizations, including USA TODAY's parent company, supported unsealing the records. They contended the material should be made public so the victims and the general public can examine the legal handling of the evidence against Epstein.

    Gee, the attorney representing Maxwell, argued that much of the material should remain under seal. He said the records personal information about consensual adult sex that was properly kept secret.

    The case was settled out of court in 2017. Pretrial depositions of witnesses and many other documents in the case were sealed by the court.

    Sanford Bohrer, an attorney representing the Miami Herald, argued that the appeals court should order a document by document review of the sealed records in a process that would determine which should be kept secret, released in full, or released with redactions.

    Citing the historic U.S. procedure that most court records are considered to be open, Bohrer said he had participated in many such reviews. "It goes pretty fast," he told the judges.

    Although the appeals judges did not issue an immediate ruling, their questioning of the lawyers generally focused on the mechanism of an unsealing process.

    "This is not complicated. It does not require a complicated opinion. You can go item by item" and decide records to be unsealed," said Judge José Cabranes. "Each document stands on its own."

    The arguments came days after a separate court decision in which U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled that U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta broke the law when he supervised a federal sex-crime investigation of Epstein.

    Acosta was U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida at the time. Marra ruled that the law required Acosta and the federal prosecutors he oversaw to notify Epstein's victims that the federal investigation of the financier would conclude when he pleaded guilty to the state charges.

    The notification, required under the U.S. Crime Victim Rights Act, would have enabled the victims to challenge and potentially stop the plea deal approved by Acosta, Marra ruled.

    The Justice Department has said the decisions by Acosta and the prosecutors he supervised "were approved by departmental leadership and followed departmental procedures."

    Marra gave attorneys on both sides in the case 15 days to confer, and then advise him about views on a potential remedy for the legal violation.