Connect with us

WASHINGTON — Testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller may be delayed one week as two sides negotiate a longer Capitol Hill appearance, sources said Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday about his two-year investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. The testimony may now take place one week later, on the 24th.

The situation is still fluid and nothing has been finalize as talks continue.

A number of lawmakers, especially Republicans, have complained about the time limits that would be imposed for questions in each hearing. The restrictions suggested that some members of the Judiciary Committee would not have the opportunity to ask a question.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., downplayed the concern Thursday at her weekly news conference.

“We’re very pleased that the special counsel — the former special counsel will be coming. But I have confidence in our Committee Chairs, Mr. Nadler in terms of the Judiciary Committee and Adam Schiff in terms of the Intelligence Committee. They’ll handle it very well. I wish we had more time, but I’m glad we have the time that we have.”



Source link

Politics

Republicans trash Hunter Biden at Judiciary Committee meeting on impeachment

Published

on

Republicans dragged Hunter Biden’s name through the mud Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee meeting on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., recounted Biden’s admitted past drug abuse — which quickly backfired when Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., hinted at the Florida lawmaker’s own past substance abuse problems.

During the committee meeting, Gaetz introduced an amendment to strike a reference of former Vice President Joe Biden from the articles of impeachment and put in Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of that company.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Gaetz then read aloud from an extensive profile of Hunter Biden in The New Yorker, which detailed Biden’s past drug abuse and an incident in which he crashed a rental car and an official from the company found “a crack pipe in the car and, on one of the consoles, a line of white-powder residue.”

Hunter Biden speaks on stage at the World Food Program USA’s Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington.Teresa Kroeger / Getty Images file

“I don’t want to make light of anyone’s substance abuse issues … but it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car,” Gaetz said.

Johnson, D-Ga., shot back and hinted at Gaetz’s 2008 arrest on charges of driving under the influence.

“The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what members have had problems with substance abuse, been busted for DUI — I don’t know. But if I did, I wouldn’t raise it against anyone.”

The charges against Gaetz were later dropped, according to PolitiFact.

Other Republicans on the committee also went after Hunter Biden by questioning if he had the experience to work at Burisma and claiming his political connections got him the job.

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, alleged Hunter Biden got a “sweetheart deal” working at Burisma, while Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, claimed that Democrats were trying to sweep his conflicts “under the rug.”

“And nearly every single witness who testified at the Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry agreed that Hunter Biden’s Burisma deal created at the very least the appearance of a conflict of interest,” Chabot said. “Yet, the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee and Chairman (Adam) Schiff and Democrats in this committee are determined to sweep all this under the rug, ignore it, not let us call witnesses on it and instead rush to impeach this president.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Diane Abbott sparks confusion as she wears mismatched shoes on election day

Published

on

DIANE Abbott was photographed wearing odd shoes in posed-for pictures with Labour supporters as Britons took to the polls.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Senate confirms new Trump ambassador to Russia

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The United States has a new ambassador to Russia after the Senate voted Thursday to confirm the No. 2 official at the State Department to the post.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan was confirmed by a 70-22 vote. An unusually large number of Democrats supported the nomination in the current impeachment-charged partisan political atmosphere on Capitol Hill. Senate votes on President Donald Trump’s nominees are often much closer and typically fall on strict party lines.

Sullivan will replace Jon Huntsman at the helm of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Huntsman stepped down from the post in August and is now running for governor of Utah, a job he held a decade ago.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Sullivan’s confirmation comes at a tense time in U.S.-Russia relations that have been damaged by Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and marred by bitter disagreements over Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela. The two countries have also engaged in tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions over the past three years.

Sullivan had been the lead U.S. official in talks with Russia on counter-terrorism and strategic security and testified in his confirmation hearing that Russian efforts to undermine democracies must be combated. He said then that he would be “relentless” in confronting Russia over election interference, hostile moves against neighbors such as Georgia and Ukraine, human rights abuses and violations of arms control agreements.

Despite that stance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on a trip to Washington this week that Sullivan would be welcome in Moscow. “We know him as a very highly professional diplomat; we’ll be happy to cooperate with him,” Lavrov told reporters at a joint news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

But Sullivan, who held senior positions in the Justice, Defense and Commerce departments in both Bush administrations, is perhaps more widely known from the Ukraine-related impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Sullivan was the official who delivered the news to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch that Trump had lost confidence in her and that she was being recalled early from the post. Sullivan told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late October that he was given no other explanation for Yovanovitch’s removal and told her that he did not believe she had done anything to warrant her recall.

Asked why he did not oppose Yovanovitch’s ouster or speak out publicly on her behalf at the time, Sullivan said ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president and can be removed with or without cause. He noted that his uncle, a former U.S. ambassador to Iran, had been recalled early from Tehran by the Carter administration for what the family believed to be unfair political reasons.

“When the president loses confidence in the ambassador, right or wrong, the ambassador goes,” Sullivan said, adding that he and Pompeo had tried to push back on Giuliani’s campaign.

Sullivan said he reviewed a package of negative information about Yovanovitch that was given to the department by “someone at the White House” after he and Pompeo inquired about complaints against her from Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and others. But Sullivan said he concluded the information contained nothing that would warrant action against her.

Many of the Democrats who voted against Sullivan’s ambassadorial nomination, including the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, had earlier expressed concerns about his judgement and handling of the Yovanovitch dismissal.

The Senate is expected soon to vote on the nomination of Steven Biegun to replace Sullivan as Pompeo’s top deputy. Biegun, a former Ford Motor Co. executive, is currently the special envoy for North Korea and has been the lead negotiator with North in now-stalled denuclearization talks. Trump nominated Biegun to the post on Oct. 31, a day after Sullivan’s confirmation hearing.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending