Andrew Kreig

May 2018 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative May 2018 news and views

May 31

Trump Probes

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washington post logoWashington Post, Prosecutors speak to Comey as they mull charges against his former deputy, Matt Zapotosky, May 31, 2018. The move is an indication that the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office is seriously considering whether Andrew McCabe (shown above testifying to Congress) should be charged with a crime. He’s accused of lying to federal agents about whether he told his boss about a media disclosure.

Trump’s U.S. Department of Injustice?

washington post logoWashington Post, Inauguration Day rioting charges dropped against 7 defendants, Keith L. Alexander, May 31, 2018. A D.C. judge determined that the government intentionally misrepresented information and withheld evidence from the defense. Federal prosecutors Thursday dropped their cases against seven people charged with rioting during President Trump’s inauguration after a D.C. judge determined that the government intentionally misrepresented information and withheld evidence from the defense.

Justice Department log circularAssistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff had repeatedly told the court and defense attorneys that her office possessed a single video of a protest-planning meeting, secretly recorded by a conservative group that had infiltrated the meeting. But on Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office acknowledged in an email to defense attorneys that 69 such undercover videos or audio recordings existed. Prosecutors wrote that they had turned over evidence they deemed relevant to the cases.

During a hearing Thursday in D.C. Superior Court, Judge Robert E. Morin pressed prosecutors about the omission.

“It was intentional. Your office represented there was only one video,” Morin said. “The government has not offered any explanation as to why they did not inform the court of these additional videos.”

Legally, prosecutors must provide their evidence to the defense at the earliest possible time, even if that evidence weakens their case. Failure to do so can be considered misconduct and a violation of a 1963 rule based on the U.S.…

April 2018 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative April 2018 news and views

April 30

U.S. War Powers

washington post logotim kaine wWashington Post, Opinion: Congress must take away Trump’s unlimited authority to wage war, Tim Kaine, April 30, 2018 (print edition). U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia up for re-election in 2016, was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2016. President Trump believes he can launch missile strikes against Syria and broadly expand the global war on terrorism without seeking any congressional approval. If missile strikes against Syria can be carried out without authorization from Congress, there’s nothing to stop the administration from attacking Iran or North Korea, as some of the president’s advisers have publicly encouraged.

It is time for Congress to act. We should take back the unlimited authority the president believes he has. We should act in a bipartisan manner to define what military action the president can and can’t take against terrorist groups. And we should clarify that military action against a sovereign nation, except to defend the United States from imminent attack, requires separate congressional approval.

Associated Press​ via Washington Post, Report: Mueller gives list of questions to Trump’s lawyers, Staff report, April 30, 2018. The list from the special counsel includes almost four dozen questions that range from President Trump’s motivations for firing FBI Director James Comey a year ago to contacts Trump’s campaign had with Russians, according to a report published in the New York Times.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has given a list of almost four dozen questions to lawyers for President Donald Trump as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice, according to a report published in The New York Times.

The Times obtained a list of the questions, which range from Trump’s motivations for firing FBI Director James Comey a year ago to contacts Trump’s campaign had with Russians.…

March 2018 News Reports

 

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative March 2018 news and views

March 31

U.S. Propaganda Disguised As ‘News’

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Sinclair-owned “news” anchors parrotting the same propagand script word-for-word around the nation (Deadspin investigation)

Deadspin, How America’s Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump’s War On The Media, Timothy Burke, March 31, 2018 (1:28 mins. video here.) Timothy Burke is Deadspin’s Video Director.

Earlier this month, CNN’s Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.” The script, which parrots Donald Trump’s oft-declarations of developments negative to his presidency as “fake news,” brought upheaval to newsrooms already dismayed with Sinclair’s consistent interference to bring right-wing propaganda to local television broadcasts.

boris ephsteyn You might remember Sinclair from its having been featured on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight last year, or from its requiring in 2004 of affiliates to air anti-John Kerry propaganda, or perhaps because it’s your own local affiliate running inflammatory “Terrorism Alerts” or required editorials from former Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn (shown at right), he of the famed Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that failed to mention Jewish people. (Sinclair also owns Ring of Honor wrestling, Tennis magazine, and the Tennis Channel.)

abc news logocbs news logoThe net result of the company’s current mandate is dozens upon dozens of local news anchors looking like hostages in proof-of-life videos, trying their hardest to spit out words attacking the industry they’d chosen as a life vocation. [They appear on stations with network affiliations such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, thus hiding from viewers the centralized control of news management.]

fcc logofox news logo Smallnbc news logoNot that any of it matters to Sinclair, which, with the help of a friendly federal government, is about to swallow up another 40 television stations — increasing its reach and its lead over competitors like Hearst and Scripps.…

February 2018 News Reports

 

 

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative February 2018 news and views

Feb. 28

White House Bombshells

hope hicks strategic communications directorNew York Daily News, Longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks announces resignation as White House communications director, Staff report, Feb. 28, 2018. White House Communications Director Hope Hicks said Wednesday that she was planning to resign, a new report says. The 29-year-old Hicks (pictured) made the sudden announcement a day after she testified before a House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Hicks refused to answer questions about her time in the White House or during the transition, but she did admit to telling white lies on behalf of the President.

“There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks said. “I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.” Hope Hicks admits to telling white lies for President Trump

A former model with no experience in politics, Hicks was considered one of Trump’s most trusted and loyal aides. She was expected to leave her post in the next few weeks. It was not clear what she would do next. Hope Hicks (pictured) was considered one of Trump’s most trusted and loyal aides.
Hope Hicks was considered one of Trump’s most trusted and loyal aides.

hope hicks tux japan 2017 CustomHicks (shown at a formal dinner in Japan last year) was the seventh person named as the White House communications director. She shunned the spotlight and largely remained out of view, but her last few weeks were among the most tumultuous of her time at the White House.

Hicks came under fire earlier in the month after it was revealed that she helped coordinate the administration’s fierce pushback against reports that staff secretary Rob Porter abused his two ex-wives.…

January 2018 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative January 2018 news and views

Jan. 31

FBI Leadership vs. White House On Memo

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Washington Post, FBI challenges accuracy of GOP’s surveillance memo, Devlin Barrett, Karoun Demirjian and Elise Viebeck​, Jan. 31, 2018.  The bureau spoke out against a memo criticizing the use of surveillance authorities, challenging the classified document’s accuracy as the White House and congressional Republicans are expected to soon make its contents public.

The FBI pushed back sharply Wednesday against a GOP memo criticizing the bureau’s use of secret surveillance orders — escalating a remarkable public standoff between the White House and the nation’s top law enforcement agency.

“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about the material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI said in a statement.

rod rosenstein cspan It is highly unusual for the White House and the FBI to be publicly at odds over a matter of national security, and it was unclear what impact the disagreement might have on the standing of FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein (shown at left), two Trump appointees who went to the White House on Monday to urge that the memo not be released.

Ethics Violation At HUD By Secretary Carson?

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ben carsonWashington Post, HUD lawyers warned Ben Carson risked running afoul of ethics rules by enlisting son, Juliet Eilperin and Jack Gillum, Jan. 31, 2018. The head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (shown at right) allowed his son to help organize a “listening tour” in Baltimore despite warnings from department lawyers, according to internal documents and people familiar with the matter.

djt sotu screen jan 30 2018President Trump speaks at his first State of the Union address on Jan. 30, 2018. He is flanked by Vice President Mike Pence (left) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (Screenshot)

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New York Times, ‘This Is Our New American Moment,’ Trump Tries to Move Past Tumult in State of the Union Speech, Julie Hirshfeld Davis and Michael D.…

December 2017 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative December 2017 news and views

 Washington Botanical Gardens

 Happy New Year!

The Justice Integrity Project thanks our readers for your interest and inputs.

Dec. 31

djt christmas eve 2017 on phone no credit

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New York Times, For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency, Peter Baker, Dec. 31, 2017. In ways that were once unimaginable, President Trump has discarded the conventions and norms established by his predecessors. The office has become a blunt instrument to advance personal, policy and political goals. Will that change the institution permanently?

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Washington Post, In first year, Trump starts delivering on vow to shrink government, Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Tran,  Dec. 31, 2017.By the end of September, all but three Cabinet departments had fewer permanent staff than when President Trump took office — with most shedding hundreds of employees, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

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New York Times, Democrats in High-Tax States Try to Cushion New Law’s Jolt, Ben Casselman, Dec. 31, 2017. Officials are considering legal challenges, other sources of revenue and ways to, in effect, restore deductions that the overhaul scaled back. Governments, as a rule, have not sought to exploit tax loopholes. But state leaders said Congress, in singling out certain states, had broken an implicit compact with them.

Supreme Court Report On Federal Courts

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john roberts oWashington Post, Chief justice announces courts will examine sexual harassment protections, saying federal judiciary ‘is not immune,’ Robert Barnes,  The initiative will ensure there are proper procedures in place to protect law clerks and other court employees from sexual harassment, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (shown at right) announced in his 2017 State of the Judiciary Report.

alex kozinski informal wThe statement, in Roberts’s 2017 State of the Judiciary Report, follows the retirement last month of Judge Alex Kozinski (shown at left), of the U.S.…

November 2017 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative November 2017 news and views

Nov. 30

GOPers Ramming Through Tax Cut For Trump, Big Donors

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New York Times, The Senate Is Rushing to Pass Its Tax Bill Because It Stinks, Editorial Board, Nov. 30, 2017. As more senators show signs of sacrificing their principles and embracing the Republican tax bill for minor and nebulous concessions, it bears looking more closely at the process that produced this terrible legislation and some of its lesser-known provisions.

irs logoThe Senate tax bill, a 515-page mammoth, was introduced just last week, and the chamber could vote on it as soon as Thursday. This is not how lawmakers are supposed to pass enormous pieces of legislation. It took several years to put together the last serious tax bill, passed in 1986.

Congress and the Reagan administration worked across party lines, produced numerous drafts, held many hearings and struck countless compromises. This time it’s not about true reform but about speed and bowling over the opposition in hopes of claiming a partisan victory.

bob corkerThe country ought to be dismayed by the way senators like Bob Corker (left), Susan Collins and Ron Johnson appear to be backing away from their principled objections based on half-measures promised by President Trump and the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, that will not address its big flaws.

This rush to the Senate floor has been orchestrated by Mr. McConnell, following the same playbook he used in the failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The longer people have to study the details, the less likely the bill is to pass. People should know by now about the big stuff: the giant permanent corporate tax-rate cut, the small and temporary tax cuts for the middle class, the repeal of the A.C.A.’s individual mandate and the $1.4 trillion added to the federal deficit over 10 years.…

October 2017 News Reports

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative October 2017 news and views

Oct. 31 Retrospective: Halloween In Kennedy Oval Office

President John F. Kennedy with children on Halloween

President John F. Kennedy with children on Halloween

Oct. 31

Terror Act Hits New York Cit, Kills Eight

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Washington Post, Manhattan vehicle attack kills at least 8, injures 12 in ‘act of terror,’ Mark Berman and Devlin Barrett, Oct. 31, 2017. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the attack on a cyclist path in Lower Manhattan was “an act of terror.” The driver jumped out of a Home Depot rental truck with what appeared to be a weapon before he was taken into custody.

Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation, identified the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant, who had been living in Tampa, Fla.

Saipov moved to the United States from Uzbekistan about five or six years ago, said Dilnoza Abdusamatova, 24, who said that Saipov stayed with her family in Cincinnati for his first two weeks in the country because their fathers were friends

2016 Campaign Facebook Danger Revised Up to 126 Million Impressions

ny times logofacebook logoNew York Times, Russian Influence Reached 126 Million Through Facebook, Mike Isaac and Daisuke and Wakabayashi, Oct. 31, 2017 (print edition).  Facebook and Google, ahead of congressional hearings, disclosed details about “insidious” Russian efforts to sow discord in the U.S. The new information reveals the scope of the agents’ use of their platforms.

ny times logoNew York Times, What Can Be Done to Fix Facebook? We Asked 9 Experts, Farhad Manjoo and Kevin Roose, Oct. 31, 2017 (print edition).  Technologists, academics, politicians and journalists suggested ways to improve Facebook — as a product, a company or both.

More On Special Prosecutor’s Probe

Donald Trump and George Papadopoulos campaign meeting2016 Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, third from the left, sits during a meeting that includes then-Sen.

September 2017 News Reports

 

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Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our September blend of mainstream and alternative news and views

Sept. 30

NBC News, Puerto Rico Crisis: San Juan Mayor Pleads for Federal Aid, Phil Helsel and Saphora Smith, Sept 30, 2017. The mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city earned a rebuke from President Donald Trump on Saturday after pleading for more federal assistance in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said Friday at a news conference. She highlighted donations from companies and others, including 200,000 pounds of food donated by Goya, as a contrast to federal help.

“This is what we got last night: four pallets of water, three pallets of meals and 12 pallets of infant food — which I gave them to the people of Comerio, where people are drinking off a creek,” she said. “So I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell.”

Donald Trump playing golf

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Washington Post, Ratcheting up tensions amid crisis, Trump attacks San Juan mayor, David Nakamura and John Wagner, Sept. 30, 2017. From his golf resort in New Jersey, the president (shown in a collage of file photos) criticized Carmen Yulín Cruz for what he called “poor leadership” after she pleaded for additional help in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Democrats, community leaders and major celebrities lambasted Trump for casting blame and appearing insensitive to the suffering of U.S. citizens.

Huffington Post, Retired Lieutenant General: While Trump Golfs, San Juan’s Mayor Is ‘Living On A Cot,’ Sebastian Murdock, Sept. 30, 2017. “And the president has shown again, you don’t give a damn about poor people.” 

puerto rico flag

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Washington Post, Their island homes wiped away in hurricanes, Caribbean residents wonder: Should we go back?

August 2017 News Reports

 

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  Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative August 2017 news and views

Aug. 31

Trump Now Taking Steps To Ruin ‘Obamacare’

HuffPost,Trump Ramps Up Obamacare Sabotage With Huge Cuts To Enrollment Programs, Jeffrey Young, Aug. 31, 2017. Advertising and promotional budget for HealthCare.gov has been slashed by 90 percent and programs to help people sign up also face a nearly 40 percent cut. President Donald Trump’s administration has taken more steps to undermine the Obamacare marketplaces it’s responsible for managing. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday that it’s making drastic cuts in spending on advertising for the 2018 open enrollment period on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges, as well as significant cutbacks in funding for local organizations that help consumers navigate the buying process.

Weakening the two most important tools the federal government has to promote enrollment on the state-based exchanges ― 39 of which are run wholly or mainly by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ― is the latest signal that the Trump administration isn’t committed to serving exchange customers and bolstering the marketplaces during the first open enrollment it will oversee from start to finish.President Donald Trump’s administration has taken more steps to undermine the Obamacare marketplaces it’s responsible for managing.

Trump himself repeatedly has said he wants to let or make the health insurance exchanges collapse, and his administration has taken a number of actions to destabilize them. That’s above and beyond his advocacy for the Affordable Care Act’s repeal.

More Hurricane News, Analysis

ny times logoNew York Times, Did Unbridled Growth Contribute to Houston Flooding? Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset, Aug. 31, 2017 (print edition). Harvey is raising questions about whether there are, in fact, limits to the Houston model of perpetual growth.…

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