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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    Dershowitz: Supreme Court could overrule an unconstitutional impeachment

    President Trump has said that if the House were to impeach him despite his not having committed “high crimes and misdemeanors,” he might seek review of such an unconstitutional action in the Supreme Court. On April 24, he tweeted that if “the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only are there no 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors,' there are no Crimes by me at all.”

    Yesterday, when asked by a reporter if he thinks Congress will impeach him, the president responded, “I don’t see how. They can because they’re possibly allowed, although I can’t imagine the courts allowing it.”

    Commentators have accused Trump of not understanding the way impeachment works and have stated quite categorically that the courts have no constitutional role to play in what is solely a congressional and political process. Time magazine declared in a headline “That’s Not How It Works,” and Vox called the president’s argument “profoundly confused.”

    Scholars also echoed the derision. The influential legal blog Lawfare wrote confidently that “The Supreme Court Has No Role in Impeachment,” and my friend and colleague Larry Tribe, an eminent constitutional law scholar, called Trump’s argument simply “idiocy,” explaining that “the court is very good at slapping down attempts to drag things out by bringing it into a dispute where it has no jurisdiction.”

    Not so fast. Our nonlawyer president may be closer to the truth than his lawyer critics. In fact, the Lawfare blog noted that “Trump’s suggestion of resorting to the Supreme Court to appeal an impeachment did not come out of nowhere. ... Alan Dershowitz recently made an argument along the same lines, writing in an essay on ‘The Case Against Impeaching Trump’ that ‘[w]ere a president to announce that he refused to accept the actions of the Senate in voting for his removal … and that he would not leave office unless the Supreme Court affirmed his removal, the people might well agree with him.’”

    However, my argument did not come from nowhere, either.

    Two former, well-respected justices of the Supreme Court first suggested that the judiciary may indeed have a role in reining in Congress were it to exceed its constitutional authority. Justice Byron White, a John F. Kennedy appointee, put it this way: “Finally, as applied to the special case of the President, the majority argument merely points out that, were the Senate to convict the President without any kind of trial, a Constitutional crisis might well result. It hardly follows that the Court ought to refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. Nor does it follow that, in cases of presidential impeachment, the Justices ought to abandon their constitutional responsibility because the Senate has precipitated a crisis.”

    Justice David Souter, a George H. W. Bush appointee, echoed his predecessor: “If the Senate were to act in a manner seriously threatening the integrity of its results … judicial interference might well be appropriate.”

    It is not too much of a stretch from the kind of constitutional crises imagined by these learned justices to a crisis caused by a Congress that impeached a president without evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The president is not above the law, but neither is Congress, whose members take an oath to support, not subvert, the Constitution. And that Constitution does not authorize impeachment for anything short of high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Were Congress to try to impeach and remove a president without alleging and proving any such crime, and were the president to refuse to leave office on the ground that Congress had acted unconstitutionally, there would indeed be such a constitutional crisis. And Supreme Court precedent going back to Marbury v. Madison empowers the justices to resolve conflicts between the executive and legislative branches by applying the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

    Recall that when a president has been impeached by the House, the Supreme Court’s chief justice presides at his Senate trial and the senators take a special oath. This special oath requires each senator to swear or affirm that “in all things pertaining to the trial … [to] do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the law” (italics added).

    If the House were to impeach for a noncrime, the president’s lawyer could make a motion to the chief justice to dismiss the case, just as a lawyer for an ordinary defendant can make a motion to dismiss an indictment that did not charge a crime. The chief justice would be asked to enforce the senatorial oath by dismissing an impeachment that violated the words of the Constitution. There is no assurance that the chief justice would rule on such a motion, but it is certainly possible.

    No one should criticize President Trump for raising the possibility of Supreme Court review, especially following Bush v. Gore, the case that ended the 2000 election. Many of the same academics ridiculed the notion that the justices would enter the political thicket of vote-counting. But they did and, in the process, weakened the “political question” doctrine. The case for applying the explicit constitutional criteria governing impeachment is far more compelling than was the case for stopping the Florida recount.

    So no one should express partisan certainty regarding President Trump’s suggestion that the Supreme Court might well decide that impeaching a president without evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors is unconstitutional.
  2. Czer

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

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    China Strikes Defiant Stance on Trade Against Trump
    June 2, 2019

    BEIJING — China struck a defiant stance on Sunday in response to President Trump’s growing pressure on trade, blaming the United States for a breakdown in negotiations and saying it must withdraw its latest round of tariffs before a deal can be reached.

    In a white paper released Sunday morning, Chinese officials showed little indication that they would back down, sending a signal that confrontation is the government’s formal approach to its trade dispute with Washington. The white paper came less than two days after the Chinese government threatened to put American companies and individuals on a blacklist if they stopped supplying their Chinese partners, without citing specifics.

    “China will never give in on major issues of principle,” the white paper said. “China isn’t willing to fight a trade war, but it isn’t afraid to fight and will fight if necessary. That attitude has not changed.”

    The white paper was released at a hastily arranged news conference on Sunday morning featuring Wang Shouwen, the Chinese vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative.

    “When you give them an inch, the U.S. wants a yard,” Mr. Wang said, adding that the United States insisted on “unreasonably high demands” that crossed over into the area of “intervening with China’s sovereignty.”

    The Trump administration’s latest efforts to ramp up pressure on China “show very clearly who should take responsibility” for the current state of relations, he added.

    While the white paper did not list any specific new threats, it showed an “alarming” amount of defiance, said Diana Choyleva, chief economist at Enodo Economics.

    “It’s not necessarily an escalation as such, but a confirmation that China is now digging its heels in and preparing for a drawn-out conflict,” Ms. Choyleva said. “There won’t be any papering over the cracks as any potential trade deal would have been.”

    China uses white papers to detail and formalize its response to often contentious issues, indicating that the government holds a singular and unified view on the matter.

    The paper was released less than a month after Mr. Trump raised tariffs on Chinese-made products and threatened to impose still more after accusing China of backing away from its earlier commitments. It also follows the announcement three weeks ago that the Trump administration would restrict Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that the United States considers a security threat, from access to essential American-made technology like chips and software.

    Mr. Wang called the Huawei move a “severe setback” for negotiations between the two countries, saying it had “unduly escalated trade frictions.”

    Beyond its own retaliatory tariffs, China has made no specific threats about how it might respond. Still, through official appearances and commentaries in the state-run news media, Beijing has suggested that it could target American companies that source key components in their supply chain from China, like the minerals known as the rare earths that are used to power batteries and smartphones.

    Stressing the point, Mr. Wang told reporters on Sunday that while China “has the biggest reserves of rare-earth metals, and we would like to meet the justified demands,” it would be “unacceptable” for other countries to use the minerals to contain China’s development.

    In apparent retaliation for the ban on selling American technology to Huawei, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Friday that it was putting together a list of foreign companies, individuals and organizations that it considered “unreliable,” without providing any details of which companies or entities the list would include or what the punishment would be.

    The announcement sent many American companies scrambling to determine whether they might be considered for the list and what the ramifications would be.

    Some American companies are already feeling official pressure. Over the weekend, the Chinese state news media reported that the government was investigating FedEx over what the reports said were “wrongful delivery of packages.” The issue is a sensitive one because American intelligence officials have hacked Huawei equipment in the past, leading to concerns among Chinese officials that Chinese-made equipment could be intercepted.

    The report by Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, added that this had “severely harmed clients’ legitimate rights and interests and violated China’s delivery industry regulations,” using the same language as the Ministry of Commerce in its announcement of the list.

    Last week, FedEx acknowledged that some packages with paperwork sent by Huawei had been “misrouted in error.”

    “FedEx will fully cooperate with any regulatory investigation into how we serve our customers,” the company said on Saturday.

    Retaliating against American companies is a risky strategy for China. Many American companies are already reconsidering their dependence on Chinese manufacturing. Aggressive moves could only hasten that process, depriving China of a source of investment and jobs.

    “While it’s unlikely that foreign firms will start pulling out of China en masse, they are definitely rethinking the deployment of future capital and investments,” said Jude Blanchette, an expert on Chinese policymaking at Crumpton Group in Virginia, which advises companies on investments. “It would make no sense for a large American firm to break ground on a new facility in China right now, given that there’s so much political and regulatory uncertainty swirling around.”

    Mr. Wang said that China’s threat to make its own list had suffered from “some over interpretations” and that China would continue to protect the rights of foreign and Chinese companies equally. Still, he said, China has little choice but to respond to the rising pressure from Mr. Trump.

    “if the U.S. wants to use extreme pressuring and all kinds of ways to escalate trade frictions to force China to capitulate, this is impossible,” Mr. Wang said on Sunday.
  3. Czer

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

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  4. Czer

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

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

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    "I love Bernie, but I'm not Bernie Sanders," Biden said during remarks at the Brookings Institute in the nation's capital. "I don't think 500 billionaires are the reason we're in trouble. The folks at the top aren't bad guys. But this gap is yawning, and it's having the effect of pulling us apart. You see the politics of it." - Joe Biden
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    Red TZT Neckbeard

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  7. Czer

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

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    Mueller report: House to hold Attorney General Barr contempt vote next week
    Mr Barr has refused to provide the House with fully un-redacted Mueller report and its underlying evidence

    The House will vote next week on holding attorney general William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena related to the Mueller report, according to multiple reports.

    The vote has been scheduled for June 11, and comes after Mr Barr refused to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller's fully un-redacted report into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and any underlying evidence. The report also analysed potential obstruction of justice by Donald Trump.

    The decision to go forward with a vote on obstruction in the House Judiciary Committee comes as Democrats seek to force the Justice Department to hand over those documents, which Democrats say will help with congressional oversight efforts.

    Earlier in the day before reports about the coming contempt charges, it was announced that Democrats would proceed with public hearings into potential obstruction outlined in the Mueller report that has so far been released.

    Mr Barr and the Justice Department have largely released the contents of the main Mueller report, but have refused to allow Congress access to the significant amount of underlying evidence that the special counsel's office gathered during its nearly two years in action.

    But, while Mr Barr has refused, the decision to move ahead with contempt charges signal a willingness by Democrats to force a conclusion to the matter through the courts. If the House approves of contempt charges, it will make Mr Barr just the second sitting attorney general to be held in contempt, following after former attorney general Eric Holder was held in contempt in 2012.

    Democrats in the House have opened multiple investigations into the Trump administration related to the Russia probe conducted over nearly two years by Mr Mueller and his team.

    In the months following Mr Mueller's release of his report to Mr Barr at the Justice Department, a growing chorus of Democratic politicians have been calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump over details in the report that show he repeatedly attempted to get the investigation into his campaign and Russian interference.
  8. Czer

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

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    Mueller investigation: House announces public hearings on Trump's 'overt acts of obstruction'
    Democrats say first witness will be a former White House counsel, John Dean, who served during Nixon administration

    Democrats in the US House of Representatives have announced a series of Mueller report hearings that will first examine what they are calling Donald Trump's "most overt acts of obstruction".

    The hearings will also look into findings by special counsel Robert Mueller's team that Russia actively sought to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and are set to begin with the question of obstruction on 10 June.

    Jerry Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, announced the hearings in a statement accusing the White House of attempting to "stonewall" Congressional oversight, and pledging to move forward with the investigation whether the president cooperates or not.

    "Given the threat posed by the president's alleged misconduct, our first hearing will focus on President Trump's most overt acts of obstruction," Mr Nadler's statement reads. "In the coming weeks, other hearings will focus on other important aspects of the Mueller report."

    Mr Nadler also said that Mr Mueller, who submitted his report to the Justice Department in March, "has now left Congress to pick up where he left off."

    Among those expected to testify in the public hearings will be former White House counsel John Dean, legal experts, and former US attorneys.

    The announcement comes as Democrats and the White House have sparred over who can deliver testimony to the House, and just days after Mr Mueller delivered public remarks for the first time since his probe had ended. He said then that he has no interest in testifying before Congress publicly, and that his report can stand on its own.

    Mr Nadler has not indicated if he would use his committee's power to subpoena Mr Mueller, even as members of his own party have called for such measures.

    Attorney general William Barr has said that he determined from the report submitted to him that there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Trump with obstruction.

    A growing number of Democrats have nonetheless begun calling for Mr Trump's impeachment, citing what they see as evidence in the Mueller report that the president did in fact obstruct justice. Mr Mueller said during his recent statement that they had not found evidence to clear Mr Trump of obstruction, and cited a Justice Department policy that prohibited his office and the Justice Department from indicting a sitting president.
  9. Czer

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

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    House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question
    The Oversight Committee wants key documents by Thursday.

    The subpoenas demand that William Barr and Wilbur Ross turn over emails, memos and any communications with the White House, the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

    House Democrats are moving to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena seeking information about efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

    “Unfortunately, your actions are part of a pattern,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform, wrote to Barr and Ross in separate letters Monday. “The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”

    Cummings said he would consider postponing the contempt votes, which have not yet been scheduled, if Barr and Ross turned over the requested documents by Thursday.

    The committee first authorized the subpoena in April as part of its probe into the origins of the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the next census. Democrats have argued the move would result in an under-count of people who live in areas with high immigrant populations in a bid to boost Republicans’ political prospects.

    Last week, it was revealed that the citizenship question was added at the urging of Thomas Hofeller, a now-deceased GOP gerrymandering guru who argued that adding such a question to the census could benefit Republicans electorally by triggering the redrawing of certain congressional districts. The Trump administration had said that adding a citizenship question would allow it to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

    Cummings said the new evidence showed that the true reason for the citizenship question was “to gerrymander congressional districts in overtly racist, partisan, and unconstitutional ways.”

    The subpoenas demand that Barr and Ross turn over emails, memos and any communications with the White House, the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump’s campaign, among other entities.

    Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore appeared before the committee behind closed doors earlier this year, but he refused to answer lawmakers’ specific questions about the citizenship question, prompting Cummings to issue the subpoena. Gore later skipped a deposition before the committee after the Justice Department blocked him from attending.

    “The tactics of this cover-up are now clear,” Cummings added. “The administration has been challenging Congress’ core authority to conduct oversight under the Constitution, questioning the legislative bases for congressional inquiries, objecting to committee rules and precedents that have been in place for decades under both Republican and Democratic leadership, and making baseless legal arguments to avoid producing documents and testimony.”

    Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, noted that the Supreme Court was already hearing arguments over the 2020 census, and he said Cummings’ move was “a reckless and transparent attempt” to interfere with that litigation.

    “Chairman Cummings' interest in the census is entirely about scoring political points, not conducting meaningful oversight,” Jordan said.

    A Commerce Department spokesman said 14,000 pages of documents had already been turned over to the committee, calling the contempt vote against Ross premature and politically motivated.

    “To any objective observer, it is abundantly clear that the committee’s intent is not to find facts, but to desperately and improperly influence the Supreme Court with mere insinuations and conspiracy theories,” the spokesperson said.

    Barr has already been held in contempt by the House Judiciary Committee for refusing to turn over special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and all of the underlying evidence. The full House is expected to vote on that contempt citation this month.

    Representatives for Barr did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
  10. Czer

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

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    Top Democrat says 'every name' might be included in contempt package next week: 'This is a huge cover-up'
    Jun 4, 2019

    "I hear some people say, 'Well, you guys ought to have the courage to stand up.' What we ought to have the courage to do is pursue in a constitutional way holding accountable any and every person to the responsibilities and acting legally," Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters at the Capitol. "What you’ve seen the speaker and I try to do and, and other leaders as well, is trying to do this in a very orderly, considered, thoughtful fashion, to ascertain the facts and take whatever action those facts dictate."

    As the list of current or former administration officials who have defied Congress continues to grow, with the White House telling former Trump aide Hope Hicks not to comply with a subpoena, Hoyer said that anyone who has not cooperated or has been blocked by Trump from complying with congressional requests “might be” added to a civil contempt package that the lower chamber will vote to pass next week.

    "This is the way to enforce the subpoena and to compel witnesses to testify that we have a constitutional responsibility, not just authority, but a constitutional responsibility to get information on the operations of the people's government, that the American people should have,” Hoyer said. “And if the administration and the president take the position, ‘We're not going to cooperate,’ that's untenable and unacceptable and we're going to move forward to try to enforce that and this is the first but important step."

    Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, also said special counsel Robert Mueller “ought to testify” and Congress should subpoena him so that lawmakers can quiz him on his 448 page report.

    “[Mueller] may want a subpoena for all I know,” Hoyer said. “The Judiciary Committee, I know is talking to Mr. Mueller, and hopefully they'll reach an agreement, but he may want a subpoena in which case I think we ought to issue a subpoena. If he won’t testify, I think we ought to issue a subpoena anyway, personally.”

    Nevertheless, Hoyer said Democrats will act “within the context of our Constitution,” but indicated it is premature to declare whether Mueller’s testimony is a deciding factor in impeachment.

    "I don't know that because I don't know what he'll testify to. But it is certainly one aspect of our decision making process," he said. "We're all talking about this, just as you're all talking about it. I think every member of Congress is prepared to do what he or she thinks is the right thing to do, period. Nobody's afraid of this president."

    So far, Hoyer has named Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn to be included in the contempt package. After the White House instructed former White House communications director Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson, the former chief-of-staff to McGahn, from complying with a Democratic subpoena for documents Tuesday, and while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continues to thwart Democratic efforts to obtain copies of Trump’s personal and business tax returns, Hoyer explained that House Democrats’ oversight of the administration is an exhibition of the caucus fulfilling the legislative branch’s constitutional responsibility “to be the check on the executive.”

    "I see every name, who has either refused to respond to a congressional subpoena or request for documents, or who has been instructed by the president not to respond is subject to be on that list," Hoyer warned.

    Hoyer, whose powers as majority leader include scheduling all business on the floor of the House of Representatives, said lawmakers will vote on the package next Tuesday, June 11.

    "This is civil contempt, and what this is, is an application to the courts to enforce the subpoenas that have been issued, in particular to Barr and McGahn," Hoyer said. "But it may include others. We're not there yet. I don't want to predict that there'll be others. But there are other committees, as you all know, who have asked witnesses to testify, which has not happened."

    While the showdown could take months of legal wrangling to play out in the judiciary, Hoyer urged the courts “to accelerate their consideration” of the challenge.

    "The fact is that if the Congress cannot get responses from the executive departments, as to their actions, and get to review documentation, or in this case, the documents or emails … then the Congress cannot meet its constitutional responsibility," Hoyer lamented.

    "That's why I say this is a huge cover up, because the president has not said, ‘you're not entitled to this information.’ He said it’s political. Well, that's not his judgment to make. It may or may not be political. There’s hardly anything you can [do] in Washington, and you can't say has some political aspect to it. But it is our constitutional responsibility, and we have the authority to pursue that and enforce it. And we will."
  11. Czer

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

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    U.S. shared nuclear power info with Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi killed
    JUNE 4, 2019

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration granted two authorizations to U.S. companies to share sensitive nuclear power information with Saudi Arabia shortly after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, a U.S. senator who saw the approvals said on Tuesday.

    The timing of the approvals is likely to heap pressure on the administration of President Donald Trump from lawmakers who have become increasingly critical of U.S. support for Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

    Khashoggi, a native of Saudi Arabia, left in 2017 to became a resident of the United States where he published columns in the Washington Post critical of the kingdom’s leadership.

    Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, where Khashoggi lived, called the timing of the approvals “shocking” and said it adds to a “disturbing pattern of behavior” of the administration’s policy on Saudi Arabia. The Department of Energy granted the first part 810 authorization on Oct. 18, 16 days after Khashoggi was killed. The second occurred on Feb. 18.

    U.S. authorities have concluded that responsibility for Khashoggi’s death went to the highest levels of the Saudi government. Riyadh has denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved.

    The authorizations were among seven granted to U.S. companies by Trump’s administration since 2017, as Washington and Riyadh negotiate a potential wider agreement to help Saudi Arabia develop its first two nuclear power reactors.

    The Energy Department has kept information in the approvals to Saudi Arabia confidential, citing protection of business interests.

    The department confirmed the two authorizations were issued after the killing of Khashoggi, but did not respond to a question about why the names of the companies have not been released. In the past, 810 approvals have been made available for the public to view at department headquarters.

    An 810 authorization “simply provides U.S. companies the ability to compete in the international civil nuclear market,” the official said.

    Lawmakers have been anxious to be kept abreast of talks on nuclear power development between the administration and Riyadh to make sure any deal contains strict nuclear nonproliferation standards.

    Saudi Arabia and Washington had begun talks about nuclear power development before Trump’s presidency. But progress has been slow as the kingdom opposes measures that would prevent it from enriching uranium and reprocessing plutonium, two potential pathways to making fissile material for nuclear weapons.

    Last year the crown prince said the kingdom did not want to acquire a nuclear bomb, but if its arch-rival Iran did, “we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

    Kaine, who had urged the administration to release the authorizations, said the approvals were “one of the many steps the administration is taking that is fueling a dangerous escalation of tension in the region.”

    Late last month, Trump declared a national emergency because of tensions with Iran and swept aside objections from Congress to complete the sale of more than $8 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

    Riyadh plans to issue a multibillion-dollar tender in 2020 to build its first two nuclear power reactors, sources said in April. Originally expected last year, the tender has been delayed several times.

    The United States, South Korea, Russia, China and France are competing for the business. Reactor builder Westinghouse, which has been hit by a downfall in the U.S. nuclear power industry, would likely sell components to Saudi Arabia in any deal involving U.S. technology. Westinghouse is now owned by Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
  12. Czer

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

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    Paul Manafort to Be Sent to Rikers, Where He Will Be Held in Isolation
    June 4, 2019

    Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, is expected to be transferred within the next few weeks to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, where he will most likely be held in isolation while facing state fraud charges, people with knowledge of the matter said.

    Mr. Manafort was convicted last year on federal bank fraud, tax and conspiracy charges in two related cases and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence in Pennsylvania. The Manhattan district attorney obtained an indictment of Mr. Manafort on state mortgage fraud charges in an effort to ensure he would still face prison if Mr. Trump pardoned him for his federal crimes.

    Mr. Manafort, 70, will most likely be arraigned on the new charges in State Supreme Court in Manhattan later this month and held at Rikers, although his lawyers could seek to have him held at a federal jail in New York, the people with knowledge said.

    High-profile inmates are generally held in protective custody on Rikers Island, a network of nine jails with a total of 7,500 inmates, including pretrial detainees and convicts serving sentences of a year or less. Inmates in protective custody are isolated from the general population under heavy guard.

    Rikers Island has been plagued by violence and mismanagement over the years, prompting efforts to close the jail complex.

    A law-enforcement official familiar with the correction department’s practices, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security measures, said Mr. Manafort would most likely be housed in a former prison hospital on the island. That is where most high-profile detainees are held, including police officers, those accused of killing police officers, politicians and celebrities.

    A lawyer for Mr. Manafort, Kevin Downing, did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the city’s correction department, which runs the jails on Rikers Island, declined to comment, saying only that Mr. Manafort was not currently in the agency’s custody. A spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office also declined to comment.

    The move to one of the most notorious urban jails in the country would mark a notable fall for Mr. Manafort, who once moved in elite circles and commanded lucrative fees for political consulting work in Ukraine.

    He once wore ultra luxury clothes, including a $33,000 blue lizard jacket, an $18,000 suede coat and $12,000 suits, but will likely will trade in his federal prison garb for a drab khaki shirt and trousers at Rikers.

    It is unclear precisely how long Mr. Manafort would be held at Rikers, although he is expected to await his trial in New York.

    A law enforcement official familiar with the jail’s practices said he would probably be held in one of the oldest buildings in the island, known as the North Infirmary Command, which was built in the early 1930s, or in one of the complex’s newest structures, a set of fiberglass tent-like structures known as “Sprungs.”

    Cell blocks in the infirmary command have eight cells and a day room with a television on each tier, the official said. The inmates are not locked in their cells during the day.

    In March, a Manhattan grand jury handed up an indictment charging Mr. Manafort with 16 state felonies, including residential mortgage fraud, and accusing him of a yearlong scheme in which he allegedly falsified business records to obtain millions of dollars in loans. The new case was brought by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

    The president has broad power to issue pardons for federal crimes, but has no such authority in state cases.

    While Mr. Trump has not said he intends to pardon his former campaign chairman, he has often spoken of his power to pardon and has defended Mr. Manafort on a number of occasions, calling him a “brave man.”

    The federal charges on which Mr. Manafort was convicted were brought by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice has been repeatedly labeled “a witch hunt” by Mr. Trump and his supporters.

    Federal prison officials have agreed to honor a writ for Mr. Manafort from the Manhattan district attorney’s office under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act, a federal law that governs transfers of prisoners sentenced in unrelated trials between two states, and transfers between federal and state custody.

    Mr. Manafort is serving his federal sentence in Pennsylvania at F.C.I. Loretto, a low-security prison with 913 inmates and an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp with 93, according to the United States Bureau of Prisons’ website. It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Manafort is in the prison or the camp.
  13. Czer

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

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    “He has lived an otherwise blameless life,” said Judge T. S. Ellis
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    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Chairman Nadler Rejects DOJ Demand that House Cancel Contempt Vote Before Resuming Negotiations
    Jun 4, 2019

    The Chairman Urges DOJ to Respond to Earlier Offers, Resume Negotiations without Conditions

    Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent the followingresponse to Attorney General William Barr regarding the Department of Justice demanding that the U.S. House of Representatives cancel a contempt vote against Attorney General Barr for his failure to comply with a subpoena for the full, unredacted Mueller report and underlying materials. On May 24th, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Barr and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone expressing an eagerness to engage in accommodation discussions. Earlier today, the Department of Justice wrote to Chairman Nadler with a demand for the contempt vote to be cancelled before resuming any accommodation discussions with the Committee.

    Full text of today's letter can be found here and below:

    June 4, 2019

    The Honorable William P. Barr
    Attorney General
    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20530

    Dear Attorney General Barr:

    I write to reply to the Department of Justice’s letter of earlier today responding to the Judiciary Committee’s accommodation efforts, including the Committee’s May 24, 2019 and May 10, 2019 letters (enclosed). We urge you to return to the accommodation process without conditions. We are ready to begin negotiating immediately.

    As you know, accommodation by both sides, Congress and the Executive, is required irrespective of the stage of proceedings. Indeed, accommodation has been urged by the courts well after the House has voted on contempt and litigation has begun, e.g. Comm. on Oversight & Gov’t Reform v. Holder, 979 F.Supp.2d 1, 26 (D.D.C. 2013), and even after a ruling on appeal, e.g. U.S. v. AT&T, 551 F.2d 384, 394 (D.C.Cir. 1976). There is simply no justification for your unilateral refusal to participate in the accommodation process yet again.

    I also take exception to your characterization of how our prior accommodation efforts ended. Contrary to the account in your letter, the Committee has always remained open to continuing negotiations. We had an offer on the table late on the evening of May 7 when the Department suddenly declared an end to the accommodation process. My staff was still in their offices after the close of business hours awaiting a counteroffer when the Department broke off negotiations with a letter demanding that the contempt vote—scheduled to begin the next day— be cancelled if we wished to proceed with the accommodations process.

    Now the brinksmanship you exhibited on May 7 is on display once again. As with the prior Committee vote, I cannot help but wonder what role the imminent floor vote played in you finally responding on June 4 to letters that have been pending for weeks.

    At any rate, we are ready to proceed without conditions—as shown by the initiative we took with our detailed May 24 offer. I should add that, contrary to your argument that the Committee’s continuing accommodation efforts somehow suggest that our prior requests were overbroad, our offer to compromise was intended to respond to your prior objections by seeking a middle ground. We urge the Department to do the same.

    We cannot agree that the House’s sense of urgency here is “premature and unnecessary.” It has been over 100 days since we first initiated the accommodations process on February 22, 2019. The pace with which we are proceeding is consistent with the exceptional urgency of this matter: an attack on our elections that was welcomed by our President and benefitted his campaign, followed by acts of obstruction by the President designed to interfere with the investigation of that attack. All of this misconduct was documented by the Special Counsel in the documents we now seek.

    We urge you not to make the mistake of breaking off accommodations again. We are here and ready to negotiate as early as tomorrow morning.


    Jerrold Nadler
    House Committee on the Judiciary

    cc: Doug Collins
    Ranking Member

    Pat Cipollone
    Counsel to the President
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    White House directs former Trump aide Hope Hicks to not comply with Democrats' subpoena
    Jun 4, 2019

    The White House has directed two former senior West Wing officials not to cooperate with House Judiciary Committee subpoenas for documents in the panel's investigation into potential obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, according to a letter the White House counsel sent to the committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on Tuesday.

    The committee issued subpoenas for documents and testimony from White House communications director Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson Talley, the former chief-of-staff to Don McGahn, Trump's first White House counsel, last month. The committee also requested documents related to the Trump campaign and transition from Hicks, who served at Trump's side through his White House run.

    In the letter, White House counsel Pat Cipillone said the documents subpoenaed were related to subjects of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. He wrote the "documents include White House records that remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege. Because Ms. Talley and Ms. Hicks do not have the legal right to disclose the White House records to third parties, I would ask that the Committee direct any request for such records to the White House, the appropriate legal custodian."

    In his response criticizing the White House's position, Nadler noted that Hicks turned over some materials related to the Trump campaign, and thanked her for cooperating.

    "Federal law makes clear that the documents we requested -- documents that left the White House months ago -- are no longer covered by executive privilege, if they ever were," he said in a statement. "The President has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request."

    In a letter to the panel, Robert Trout, a lawyer representing Hicks, detailed some of the campaign-related materials provided to the committee, noting that Hicks had previously turned over similar records on March 22.

    Documents related to her time in the White House and presidential transition were not turned over, Trout said, arguing that the decision to release those originating with the White House and transition "is not hers to make."

    "Because we have not been authorized to disclose Ms. Hicks's documents from the transition period and from the time that she served in the White House, we respectfully decline to provide those documents to the Committee," Trout said.

    The dispute is the latest standoff between House Democrats and a White House resisting cooperation with Democratic investigations.

    The situation mirrors a standoff between the committee and McGahn last month, when Trump directed McGahn not to testify before Congress under subpoena, denying Democrats a witness at the heart of several episodes of obstruction detailed in Mueller's report.

    The fight with the Trump White House highlights the challenge facing Democrats as they work to follow up on special counsel Robert Mueller's report and highlight his conclusions.

    For months, House Democrats have hoped Robert Mueller and any number of former White House officials would testify publicly on Capitol Hill to bring attention to the special counsel's findings, serving as a "new John Dean" to capture the attention of the American people as President Richard Nixon's former lawyer did during the Watergate scandal.

    Instead, they're planning a series of hearings on the Mueller report -- without Mueller -- but with John Dean.

    On Monday, the committee said it would hold a hearing titled "Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes," next Monday, featuring Dean and other legal experts and former U.S. attorneys.

    "These hearings will allow us to examine the findings laid out in Mueller’s report so that we can work to protect the rule of law and protect future elections through consideration of legislative and other remedies," Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.

    At the same time, House Democrats are facing another potential standoff with former Trump White House officials over subpoenas for documents and testimony.

    "We have a number of different witnesses that we are still fighting with the White House about getting, and they are still obstructing justice," Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a member of the committee, told ABC News. "In the meantime, we have an incredible knowledge base of former prosecutors, people who have lived through impeachment."

    Faced with resistance from the administration across their investigations -- from following up on the Mueller report to probes of the president's finances, tax returns and family-separation policy -- and denied access to any potential star witnesses against the president, Democrats have increasingly taken a tougher stance against the White House.

    The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing with an empty chair and quickly advanced a motion to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress. And House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Monday that the House will vote next week to hold McGahn and Attorney General William Barr, who did not comply with a committee subpoena for the full Mueller report and underlying materials, in contempt of Congress, paving the way for Democrats to seek compliance with their subpoenas in civil court.

    The House Oversight Committee also could vote to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress next week, if the Justice and Commerce Departments ignore a subpoena for records related to an investigation into the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

    "That's why we're relying on subpoenas, because we sadly concluded that there are no heroic figures in this administration who are willing to put country ahead of service to the president," Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, told ABC News.

    Republicans have criticized Democrats' efforts to follow up on Mueller's findings and have been quick to charge the majority with wanting to impeach Trump and damage him politically ahead of the 2020 election.

    In the wake of the Mueller report's release, and the special counsel's surprise public statement last week highlighting his key findings, at least 56 House Democrats -- roughly 1 in 4 caucus members -- have called for the chamber to open an impeachment inquiry, according to an ABC News analysis.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her deputies have largely resisted calls for impeachment, sensitive to the potential risks of launching the effort without Republican buy-in. They instead have called for Democrats to focus on the investigations, advance their policy agenda and work to resolve ongoing disputes with the administration in court.

    The House Judiciary Committee continues to hold out hope that Mueller could be compelled to testify on Capitol Hill, and discussions with his representatives have continued, even though he made clear last week that he doesn't wish to do so.

    They are also brainstorming other ways to reanimate Mueller's conclusions for the broader public and build support for their investigative efforts. Already, they have scheduled public readings of the entire 448-page report on Capitol Hill. Some members have suggested a national campaign with advocacy groups to educate the public about obstruction of justice and impeachment.
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    DOJ To Nadler: We’ll Reopen Mueller Report Talks If You Undo Barr Contempt Vote
    June 4, 2019

    The Department of Justice is willing to take up House Judiciary Committee’s offer to reopen negotiations around Congress seeing the full special counsel report — but with one major condition.

    In a letter to the committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Tuesday, the Department said it would only do so if his committee reverses its vote recommending that Attorney General Bill Barr be held in contempt.

    Barr is slated to face a contempt vote on the House floor next week.

    The committee subpoenaed an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, as well as its underlying materials, in April and, when Barr didn’t comply, held a committee contempt vote for Barr in early May.

    Nadler, nonetheless, took another stab at getting the Justice Department back to the negotiating table with offers to limit the group of lawmakers with access to the materials and to limit what underlying materials they see. The Department in its letter Tuesday welcomed the narrowing of demands, but said it would only resume the negotiations if the committee “takes reasonable steps to restore the status quo ante mooting its May 8 vote and removing any threat of an imminent vote by the House of Representatives to hold the Attorney General in contempt.”

    The letter pointed to the agreement the Justice Department came to with the Intelligence Committee, after Chairman Adam Schiff subpoenaed the report’s intelligence-related materials, to let the Department produce the requested materials on a rolling timeline.
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    In N.H., Joe Biden says GOP isn’t the enemy
    June 4, 2019

    CONCORD, N.H. — Former vice president Joe Biden hit back Tuesday against two of his chief rivals on the left, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, for recent criticism they’ve leveled at him for saying he would try to work with congressional Republicans if he wins the White House.

    Warren and Sanders lobbed thinly veiled critiques at Biden’s moderate pitch during the state convention in California this past weekend. “Some say that if we just calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses. But our country is in a crisis. The time for small ideas is over,” Warren said in her speech, which was widely interpreted as a jab at Biden.

    Biden referred to Warren, of Massachusetts, and Sanders, of Vermont, as “your next door neighbors who are running, both south and west,” who say “I’m being naïve.”

    “Well guess what, Republicans aren’t my enemy. They’re my opposition. And if we treat everyone like an enemy, how in God’s name are we going to get anything done in America?”

    With a solid lead in the polls in New Hampshire and around the country, the 76-year-old Biden is pitching voters that his experience, feel for working people, and more-moderate bent can deliver the White House, and the nation, from President Trump.

    He added a new plank to that case Tuesday, unveiling a $1.7 trillion plan to tackle climate change. Climate change, Biden said, “is a genuine existential threat to the environment,” but he said his plan would also protect national security and create millions of new jobs for the struggling middle class. “Someone has to make these things,” he said.

    Under his plan, Biden said, the US economy would transition to 100 percent clean energy and net zero emissions by 2050 — a date that some on the left say is not soon enough to forestall the worst effects of climate change.

    “This is not beyond our capacity,” Biden said.

    He struck a slightly defensive note as he discussed the proposal, noting that he’d been criticized for not having a plan, but “I got involved in this thing way back in 1986,” introducing a proposal that, he said, Politifact later decreed “the beginning of a game changer.”

    On Wednesday, Biden is scheduled to visit Boston, where he’ll meet with Mayor Martin J. Walsh about the city’s climate initiative.

    While in New Hampshire, Biden also said that if Trump doesn’t start cooperating with congressional investigations soon, House Democrats will have no option but to start an impeachment inquiry, even though he fears it would be “a giant distraction.”

    “My job is to impeach him a different way: beat him,” Biden told a crowd of several hundred jammed into a local IBEW hall.

    Biden worked to demonstrate his populist authenticity, at times funny, at others sentimental as he stressed the dignity of work.

    “We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth,” he said. Biden said he could pay for his plans to bolster the middle class by closing “trillions of dollars in loopholes” in the tax code.

    Biden has a long track record of verbal stumbles and other gaffes, and his daylong swing through New Hampshire was no exception. Critics pounced on several passages of Biden’s climate change plan that used identical language as documents previously published by climate advocacy groups. The Biden campaign later said it was an error that citations for the copied passages were left out of the 22-page document.

    Biden also drew criticism for joking about the accusations women have leveled at him about inappropriate touching, during an event earlier in the day in Berlin, N.H. A woman at the event whispered in his ear, and Biden announced, “I want the press to know, she pulled me close.”
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    Barr and Ross Must Produce Census Documents by Tomorrow to Avoid Contempt
    Jun 5, 2019

    Washington, DC (June 5, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced that the Committee plans to move forward next week with a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress if they do not produce unredacted copies of key documents required by bipartisan subpoenas issued more than two months ago relating to the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The documents are due by close of business on Thursday.

    In addition, late last night, the Commerce Department—under threat of subpoena—finally relented to demands to schedule transcribed interviews for three current and former Department officials who were involved with adding the citizenship question, avoiding a public vote on the subpoenas this morning. These requests had been outstanding for months.

    “Our Committee has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the Census, and we will not relinquish this responsibility because of a coordinated effort to obstruct our investigation by the Trump Administration,” Cummings said. “We have been extremely patient in waiting for these documents, which were subpoenaed more than two months ago on a bipartisan basis. If they are not produced by tomorrow, we will be forced to move forward with holding Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross in contempt of Congress. These documents are critical to our oversight efforts, and we plan to use them in our interviews of top Administration officials in the coming weeks.”

    On Monday, the Committee sent letters notifying Barr and Ross that it would vote to hold them in contempt of Congress if they do not produce key documents required by the Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas issued on April 2, 2019. Some of these high-priority documents include:

    • A secret memo from Commerce to Justice. John Gore, who drafted DOJ’s letter to Commerce in 2017 requesting the citizenship question, told Committee staff that a Commerce Department lawyer, James Uthmeier, provided him with a memo on the citizenship question before DOJ issued its official request letter. That memo, which was hand-delivered along with a personal note, may shed light on how the Administration orchestrated DOJ’s pretextual request letter. The Committee is scheduled to interview Uthmeier next week.
    • Drafts of DOJ’s letter requesting the citizenship question. DOJ’s letter to Commerce asserted that the citizenship question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, but this was a pretext. Recent reporting also suggests that a Republican gerrymandering expert may have influenced the letter. Drafts of the letter could shed light on the sources used to draft it and other rationales considered.
    • Unredacted emails from Ross and his staff. Ross testified that he added the citizenship question “solely” at the request of DOJ to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, but emails show that he began pushing to add for the citizenship question as soon as he took office in 2017 and engineered the request from DOJ. Unfortunately, many of these emails are heavily redacted.
    In addition to demanding these documents, Cummings circulated a subpoena resolution yesterday that would have compelled testimony from three current and former Department of Commerce officials who have refused for months to come in for voluntary interviews: former Senior Advisor and Counsel to the Secretary James Uthmeier, General Counsel Peter Davidson, and Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Earl Comstock.

    The Committee first requested transcribed interviews with these three officials on March 20, 2019, but the Department refused to make them available. On May 7, 2019, the Committee sent request letters directly to the witnesses, but the Department still did not comply.

    Late last night, Commerce officials finally agreed to schedule voluntary interviews with all three current and former officials, and the Committee postponed its subpoena vote accordingly.
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    Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question

    House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Friday indicated that he would formally move forward with contempt votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after they missed a Thursday deadline to hand over documents related to his committee's investigation on the census citizenship question.

    “We gave Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross every opportunity to produce the documents the Committee needs for our investigation, but rather than cooperate, they have decided that they would rather be held in contempt of Congress," Cummings said in a statement.

    "They produced none of the documents we asked for, they made no counter-offers regarding these documents, and they seem determined to continue the Trump administration’s cover-up."

    A spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that Cummings will schedule the contempt votes for the administration officials.

    The Democratic-led panel is now expected to vote next week to hold the two officials in contempt — the same week that the House will vote to hold Barr in contempt for failing to provide special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report and underlying evidence to lawmakers.

    Cummings had initially threatened on Monday to hold the contempt votes after the two officials failed to comply with congressional subpoenas issued by his committee for documents pertaining to officials' efforts to add the question to the 2020 census. But he gave them an out to avoid the vote, allowing them a Thursday deadline to provide certain documents in the case.

    However, neither agency handed over the requested documents.

    Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter to Cummings on Thursday that the “committee's action is premature,” and that Justice Department officials “are disappointed by the committee's mischaracterization of the Department's continued and ongoing efforts to accommodate the committee's oversight interests.”

    “The Department remains willing to continue working with the Committee to find a resolution that would balance Congress's ‘legitimate need for information that will help it legislate’ and the Department's ‘legitimate, constitutionally recognized need to keep certain information confidential,' " Boyd wrote.

    And a Commerce Department spokesperson alleged that the House panel's efforts were an attempt to derail the Supreme Court's deliberations on whether to allow the citizenship question to appear on the census.

    "Holding the secretary in contempt is an empty stunt, and it shows that the committee is simply interested in playing politics," the spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

    Cummings on Friday cast aspersions on the agencies' responses, labeling them "case studies in double-speak."

    "They claim that fighting witness interviews for months under threat of subpoena is evidence of a ‘good faith accommodations process,’ they suggest that Secretary Ross’ refusal to meet demonstrates that the Department ‘is eager to continue its cooperation with the Committee,’ and they argue that withholding every single one of the key unredacted documents we subpoenaed somehow proves that ‘there is no information to hide,' " the chairman said.

    Last year's announcement that the administration would add a citizenship question to the 2020 census was met with outcry from Democrats. Census data is used to determine federal funding and draw congressional districts, and some fear that asking about citizenship will lead to an inaccurate population count.

    Three federal judges blocked the question from being added to the census. But the Supreme Court's conservative majority is anticipated to rule this month in favor of the question.

    Another layer of scrutiny was added to the question last week, when the American Civil Liberties Union dropped bombshell allegations in a court filing over the role of a late GOP redistricting strategist in developing the question.

    The evidence, uncovered in a separate lawsuit in North Carolina, claims that Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller, who died last year, conducted a 2015 study showing that asking about citizenship on the census would help Republicans and non-Hispanic whites in redistricting, while hurting Democrats and Hispanic communities.

    The Department of Justice has refuted the claims. And a federal judge in New York on Wednesday declined to rule quickly on the evidence, putting off a final decision on whether Trump officials should be penalized on the matter until at least August.

    Cummings has cited the new evidence as reason to push forward with his congressional probe.