Tag Archives: Itself

Justice Department Distances Itself From Giuliani

Justice Department Distances Itself From GiulianiThe Justice Department distanced itself Sunday from Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, declaring that department officials would not have met with Giuliani to discuss one of his clients had they known that federal prosecutors in New York were investigating two of his associates.Several weeks ago, Brian A. Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, and lawyers from the division's Fraud Section met with Giuliani to discuss a bribery case in which he and other attorneys were representing the defendants.That meeting took place before the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan publicly charged the two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with breaking campaign finance laws and trying to unlawfully influence politicians, including former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Parnas and Fruman were part of Giuliani's effort to push Ukraine for an inquiry into Democrats."When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani's associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known," said Peter Carr, a department spokesman.The Justice Department's public statement Sunday illustrates the unusual and broad set of roles that the president's personal lawyer has played in the scandal that has engulfed the White House and imperiled Trump's presidency.Even as Giuliani ran a shadow foreign policy campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president's political enemies — which is now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry against Trump — he and his business associates were under criminal investigation for unlawfully wielding political influence. And while all of this was happening, Giuliani still served as a lawyer to clients with cases to plead before the Justice Department.In distancing itself from Giuliani and trying to draw bright lines around how the Justice Department will and will not engage with him, the department has also undercut the perception that Giuliani can influence some of Washington's most important lawyers and decision-makers. That could make it harder for Giuliani to represent clients who are under Justice Department scrutiny in the future."This is an incredibly unusual statement from the Justice Department, which does not comment on ongoing investigations or even acknowledge them, and it's the kind of statement that would give clients pause about who is representing them," said Joyce Vance, a former federal prosecutor.Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment.While the Southern District of New York has been investigating Giuliani's associates — an inquiry that may be tied to a broader investigation of Giuliani himself — prosecutors there had not told Benczkowski of the Criminal Division of the case, as he does not oversee or supervise their work. The U.S. attorney's offices report to the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.Prosecutors in Manhattan informed Attorney General William Barr about the investigation of Parnas and Fruman soon after he was confirmed in February, according to a Justice Department official. They were required to do so under the department's rule that requires prosecutors to notify the attorney general of any cases that could generate national news media or congressional attention.When Giuliani and other lawyers requested the meeting with the Justice Department to discuss a foreign bribery case, Benczkowski and the lawyers in the Fraud Section had not been informed of the Manhattan case and agreed to meet.Last week, Giuliani told The New York Times that he was being unfairly attacked by reporters and lawmakers and that questions about his behavior would "destroy" his business."I can't publicly defend everything I do because I'm presumed guilty," Giuliani said in a text message. "If I did, my business and firm would be unable to have any clients."Foreign business leaders and politicians have long hired those with ties to the White House as consultants, paid back channels to the administration who could plead their cases and present their interests to U.S. decision-makers.Trump, however, was not connected to the usual array of Washington power brokers who had built lucrative businesses off their ties to U.S. leaders, and Giuliani was perceived as the rare figure who could provide a direct line to the president.Now that tie to the Justice Department seems to be gone, and Giuliani himself is a person of interest in at least two federal investigations.While The Times and other publications have reported that Giuliani is being investigated by prosecutors in Manhattan, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York have declined to confirm or deny an investigation into him. But any such inquiry would make it difficult for the department to work with him on any of his clients' cases."Giuliani can continue to represent clients before the department because people are innocent until proven guilty, but it's unclear whether a client would want to have a lawyer who is being scrutinized in so many investigations," Vance said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Venezuela 'ready' to defend itself after US invokes defence pact: foreign minister

Venezuela 'ready' to defend itself after US invokes defence pact: foreign ministerVenezuela is "ready" to defend itself, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Friday, after Washington invoked a regional defence pact that might justify such a move. "We are ready to protect ourselves, we are ready to react," Arreaza told a news conference after meeting in Geneva with UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet. On Wednesday, the US invoked a regional defence pact with 10 other countries and Venezuela's opposition in response to "bellicose" moves by President Nicolas Maduro's regime.



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1967 Chevy Chevelle Drives Itself And Crashes, Too

1967 Chevy Chevelle Drives Itself And Crashes, TooNo, it wasn’t on Autopilot. For a moment, some people on Interstate 5 in Everett, Washington might have thought a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle was driving itself. The “ghost car” rolled off a trailer it was being hauled on, cut across several lanes of traffic, then caused an accident before it finally came to rest. The incident happened on August 18, with the person who was hauling the car picking up a citation for failure to secure a load, which includes a fine of up to $ 228.  After cutting across three lanes of damage, the Chevelle struck a car in the HOV lane. That car was outfitted with a dash cam, capturing the whole crazy incident for everyone to see. It’s actually one of those scenarios where without video footage it’s too much to believe.After hitting the other vehicle and the concrete barrier, the Chevy rolled back into the middle of the road. Thankfully other drivers were by then aware of the danger, stopping before any more carnage was done to the muscle car.Washington State Patrol said nobody was injured in the collision, which is quite fortunate. The Chevelle, on the other hand, has visible damage to at least the front end, driver’s front fender, hood, driver’s rear fender, trunk lid, and both wheels on the driver’s side. All that isn’t exactly going to buff out. Compared to the cost of the citation, the repair bill will be plenty large.As you can see in the video, the matte black classic muscle car obviously wasn’t secured properly on its trailer. The vehicle also wasn’t left it gear or with the parking brake engaged, otherwise it wouldn’t have gone far at all. Admittedly, the situation could have been far worse.With how much clean Chevrolet Chevelles sell for these days, one would think the owner hauling this classic American muscle car would have double-checked it was secure before hauling it on the trailer, especially on the interstate.Photo and video credit: Tooper H. Axtman on Twitter Read More * 1929 Ford Coupe Has A True Steel Body * Own A Piece Of Indy Car History With This Ford F-150 PPG Pace Truck



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Lebanon says will defend itself by 'any means' after drone attack

Lebanon says will defend itself by 'any means' after drone attackLebanon on Tuesday stressed its right to defend the country “by any means” after a Israeli drone attack hit the Beirut stronghold of the Hezbollah movement. Lebanon’s Higher Defence Council, a government body in charge of defence policy, met to discuss Sunday’s attack on southern Beirut. It came after President Michel Aoun, a former army chief, denounced the attack as a “declaration of war” and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah vowed retaliation.



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Rep. Doug Collins: The Mueller report speaks for itself

Rep. Doug Collins: The Mueller report speaks for itselfGeorgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins says he has a long list of questions that all come back to the timing and integrity of the Mueller report.



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Bear breaks into home, locks itself in laundry room, then goes to sleep in wardrobe before being drugged and removed by police

Bear breaks into home, locks itself in laundry room, then goes to sleep in wardrobe before being drugged and removed by policeSometimes, when life in the wild all gets a bit much, a clean cupboard in a warm home is a much more inviting place for a nap.A black bear broke into a family house, locked itself into a laundry room and then went to sleep on the wardrobe shelf, defying all efforts to lure it out.Police were unable at first to reach the furry intruder because it had managed to bolt the door from the inside as it ripped apart the homeowners’ belongings.When officers knocked on the window to wake the bear, it just yawned, they said.Eventually, they managed to unlock the door to allow wildlife experts to tranquillise the animal to get it out and return it to the wild.The homeowners, in Butler Creek in the US state of Montana, were alarmed to find the animal had barricaded itself in during the night.The Missoula County sheriff’s office posted on social media: “Wow!!! What a day!”They explained: “When deputies arrived, they discovered this black bear had opened the door to the mudroom of this residence and somehow managed to deadbolt the door from inside.“After being unable to leave, the bear began ripping the room apart but then decided he was tired and climbed up into the closet for a nap.“When deputies knocked on the window, the bear was not the least bit impressed. He slowly stretched, yawned and, unamused, looked toward the door.“Eventually, deputies were able to unlock the door in hopes he would hop down and leave. However, their attempts were only met with more big bear yawns.”Officers added: “The homeowners were glad he was removed in good health, but won’t soon forget when this intruder came looking for the bear necessities.”Residents were warned to lock up their homes as the bear had reportedly tried at least two other doors.



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U.S. backs India's right to defend itself after Kashmir attack

U.S. backs India's right to defend itself after Kashmir attackTensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have risen again after India, incensed by the killing of 44 paramilitary police in the deadliest attack in Kashmir in decades, demanded that Pakistan act against the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group behind the bombing. On Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said customs duties on all imports from Pakistan would be raised to 200 percent. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Friday night, promising to help bring those behind the attack to justice, the Indian foreign ministry said in a readout of the phone call.



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Congress Preparing Itself For New Influx of Mothers

Congress Preparing Itself For New Influx of MothersThe election of 2018, in addition to putting the Democrats in power in the House of Representatives, has put a large group of new lawmakers in power in Washington. Among that delegation is more than 100 women, including the first two Muslim women in Congress, while Nancy Pelosi, who was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, is expected to return to that office. Among the women taking seats in Congress in 2019 are several – more than ever before, in fact- who are the mothers of young children.



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James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’

James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that former CIA Director John Brennan’s rhetoric has become “an issue in and of itself.”



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In Turkish election, democracy itself is at stake

In Turkish election, democracy itself is at stakeIt’s a week before an election, and the firebrand candidate takes the podium to speak to a small, private crowd of loyal supporters. Turkey is holding snap elections on June 24, and in the run-up, Erdoğan’s stump speeches have grown more and more Trumpian. Like the American president, Erdoğan fashions himself as populist representative of the common man facing down an array of corrupt elites.



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