Author: Google News

Fired US attorney was investigating Trump cabinet member, report says – The Boston Globe

Comments Print Kathy Willens/Associated Press/File 2015 Former US attorney Preet Bharara spoke at a news conference in in 2015. A former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York was leading an investigation into the US secretary of Health and Human Services when he was fired last week by the Trump administration, according to a new report from the investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica. Preet Bharara, who said he was asked to resign but refused, and was then fired, was in the middle of a probe into stock trades made by Tom Price, according to the report. Price, a Georgia Republican and Trump appointee, was scrutinized for investments he made as a congressman when he came before the Senate last month. Democrats charged that Price had displayed poor judgment when he traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares of pharmaceutical and medical companies while serving in Congress and crafting health policy, potentially to his own financial gain. Price said his trades were legal and transparent. Get Ground Game in your inbox: Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell. The Trump administration asked Bharara and 45 other US attorneys to resign last week, despite having said after his election victory in November that he wanted Bharara to remain, according to Bharara. Bharara suggested on Twitter that his firing was politically motivated. Read ProPublica’s full report...

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Fired US Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price – Huffington Post

  By Robert Faturechi ProPublica, March 17, 2017, 2:13 p.m. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry. Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades. The investigation of Price’s trades by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, was underway at the time of Bharara’s dismissal, said the person. Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked to resign after Trump took office. It is standard for new presidents to replace those officials with...

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Former Texas congressman accused of funneling $350G from nonprofit toward political campaign, blames ‘deep state’ – New York Daily News

A former Texas congressman is accused of funneling a whopping $350,000 intended for trauma victims, into his failed U.S. Senate bid instead, according to FBI agents. Republican politician Steve Stockman redirected funds from a wealthy donor that were meant to go to renovation and operation of the Freedom House for the “Life Without Limits” nonprofit in Washington D.C., authorities said. The donor was not identified. He blamed his arrest, which came as he traveled through the Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday, on the so-called “deep state” — a shadowy cohort of government and military officials in cahoots to undermine President Trump. He faces charges of conspiracy to make conduit contributions and false statements. “This is part of the, I call it the ‘deep state,’ that’s continuing the progress,” Stockman told reporters on Friday while leaving Houston federal court. GUEST WHO: The 6 most unexpected State of the Union guests He was taken into custody while trying to board a flight bound for the United Arab Emirates to help Sunni Muslims, the Houston Chronicle reported. Federal investigators tracked Stockman’s hefty check to a deposit made at a bank branch in Webster, Tex., in January 2013. About a week later, the check was deposited into an account created by Stockman to do business as the Nevada-based nonprofit, authorities said. The money never went toward Life Without Limits, which would have been...

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Neil Gorsuch Made Up A Legal Standard That Weakens Promises To Kids With Disabilities – Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― At the Supreme Court podium in January, lawyer Neal Katyal was hit with a series of questions that he wasn’t really ready for. The justices wanted to know who came up with the legal standard “merely more than de minimis” ― a phrase that could undercut the law for students with disabilities across the country. If upheld, the standard would reduce the educational benefits those children are promised under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. “What’s the origin of this phrase, ‘More than de minimis’? Who thought this up?” asked Justice Samuel Alito. The law generally defines “de minimis” as being so small as to be legally insignificant. “Who invented it?” asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that it isn’t found in the Supreme Court’s leading precedent on states’ responsibilities under the IDEA. While Ginsburg was setting up her question, Justice Elena Kagan jumped in to emphasize the word “merely” — as if to underscore that the standard Katyal was defending is indeed a stingy one. The accomplished appellate attorney, who is representing a Colorado school district in the dispute, didn’t have a good answer, saying only that the standard was developed over time by the lower courts. But he would have nailed the response if he’d simply said, “Neil Gorsuch.” Judge Gorsuch, who is now President Donald Trump’s eminently qualified Supreme Court nominee, broke new ground when he used “merely more...

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Sean Hannity Suggests Travel Ban Judge Did ‘Weed’ And ‘Blow’ With Barack Obama – Huffington Post

  Sean Hannity implied that the federal judge in Hawaii who put a hold on President Donald Trump’s travel ban may have shared marijuana and “a little blow” with former President Barack Obama. Further, he suggested U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson should recuse himself because of it. “This judge who issued the travel ban ruling is an Obama law school classmate,” Hannity said on his radio show Thursday. “Maybe he should have recused himself from the case. Just a maybe? Were they best friends in Hawaii? Were they part of the Choom Gang, smoking pot and hanging out and doing a little bit of weed and maybe even a little blow?” Media Matters, which posted audio of the comments, notes that right-wing media have been pushing a conspiracy theory that Obama was involved in stopping Trump’s travel ban. Obama admitted to smoking marijuana in his youth in his book Dreams of My Father. The “Choom Gang” is a reference to a nickname Obama and some of his pot-smoking friends in Hawaii called themselves, according to David Maraniss’ biography, Barack Obama: The Story. There is no indication that Watson was part of it, not did Hannity indicate why that would be cause for recusal since Obama is not a party to the lawsuit over the travel ban. Watson was nominated to the U.S. District Court in 2012 by Obama. The two both...

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Trump’s Budget Plan: Winners and Losers – Columbus Telegram

  President Donald Trump annouced his federal budget proposal on Thursday. The plan includes big increases in defense spending, and cuts to the EPA and Department of Education. (March 16) The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. AP’s commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe:...

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Can Big Bird survive Trump? – Politico

Big Bird, one of the most famous Muppets on Sesame Street, could see his original roost on PBS face cuts due to the budget proposed by President Donald Trump. | Getty President Donald Trump overcame more than a dozen Republican opponents, Hillary Clinton, an array of scandals and daunting electoral math to land in the Oval Office. But now, he may have finally met an opponent he cannot slay: Big Bird. The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a budget proposal that would entirely eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the publicly funded radio and television entity that includes NPR, PBS and about 1,500 affiliated stations. The move would save about $485 million — about 0.0137 percent of total federal spending. “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no,” Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday morning. “We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” (“Actually coal miners pay little in federal taxes,” Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler pointed out on Twitter.) The CPB, established...

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Defense Secretary James Mattis Breaks With Other Cabinet Members On Climate Change – Huffington Post

  In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if. “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,” Mattis said in written answers to questions posed after the public hearing by Democratic members of the committee. “It is appropriate for the Combatant Commands to incorporate drivers of instability that impact the security environment in their areas into their planning.” Mattis has long espoused the position that the armed forces, for a host of reasons, need to cut dependence on fossil fuels and explore renewable energy where it makes sense. He had also, as commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2010, signed off on the Joint Operating Environment, which lists climate change as one of the security threats the military expected to confront over the next 25 years. But Mattis’ written statements to the Senate committee are the first direct signal of his determination to recognize climate change as a member of the Trump administration charged with leading the country’s armed forces. These remarks and others...

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