Victims' rights groups argue DeVos-backed plan downplays sexual assault at colleges

The Trump administration is finalizing its plan for schools to deal with sexual assault allegations, according to advocacy groups and college officials who have met privately with senior government officials.

The proposal, known as rules for Title IX -- the civil rights law that prohibits gender discrimination in a person's education -- is widely expected to limit the scope of inquiries by colleges and universities and make it easier for students accused of misconduct to push back.

Advocacy groups involved in the ongoing discussions said among the provisions they expect to see in the final draft is one that wouldn't require schools to investigate incidents that occur off campus, even if it involves students. Another provision would put schools on the hook to investigate allegations only if they're made to certain designated authorities, such as the school's Title IX coordinator. And the new rules would likely allow for more thorough cross-examinations, possibly requiring that the person making the allegation sit in the same room as the accused.

Cynthia P. Garrett, co-president of a group called "Families Advocating for Campus Equality," said she's been pushing for these changes because they give students accused of misconduct better opportunities to defend themselves.

"I don't want to make it difficult for people who claim to be victims to come forward. But it shouldn't be easy either," she told ABC News. "I think there should be a threshold for evidence or proof before you ruin someone's life."

Garrett, who also works with a similar advocacy group called SAVE, said she met with budget officials last week on the subject, a follow up to a meeting last year with DeVos. In 2017, DeVos convened several "listening sessions" with various stakeholders, including college Title IX officers and victims' rights groups, as well as FACE and SAVE.

Victims' rights advocates argue that DeVos is downplaying the problem of sexual violence on college campuses. They argue the new approach would unfairly tilt investigations in favor of the perpetrator and dramatically reduce the number of women willing to come forward.

"It limits the responsibilities of schools to respond to sexual assault ... and it doesn't take into consideration trauma" of the victim, said Shiwali Patel, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center, who up until this summer was working at the Education Department's civil rights office on this issue.

At stake are the billions of dollars a year the federal government gives to schools. To qualify, schools have to meet requirements under Title IX, the 1972 civil rights law that prohibits gender discrimination in any education program that receives federal funding. Under Title IX, sexual harassment and sexual assault is a form of unlawful discrimination.

That statistical void has paved the way for both sides to speak about sexual violence in deeply partisan terms.

Last year, DeVos announced plans to replace Obama-era guidance and blamed a "failed system" for the "hundreds upon hundreds of cases" filed with the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights.

"Instead of working with schools on behalf of students, the prior administration weaponized the Office for Civil Rights to work against schools and against students," she said.

Helping to lead the effort under DeVos has been Candice Jackson, who wrote a 2005 book detailing assault allegations against former President Bill Clinton. She later swung behind Trump's candidacy despite reports that he faced his own allegations of sexual assault.

Garrett insists her push for new rules isn't partisan. But she argues that Obama-era guidelines were ensnaring "Eagle Scouts" and "highly intelligent" kids, rather than "predators." She also blames what she describes as extreme feminist ideology on college campuses that encourages women to see themselves as victims when, she said, the case probably involves "two drunk kids having sex."

Women's rights advocates including Patel counter that this kind of rhetoric grossly distorts the realities of sexual assault on college campuses.

"The reality of it is that so few false accusations actually occur, and the number of survivors of sexual assault is really high," Patel said. "That's the issue we should be talking about."

Jennifer McCary, Title IX coordinator for Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, which recently hosted a conference on the subject, said she expects every administration to put its stamp on the issue.

But one point she'd like to see addressed is how the Education Department wants schools to respond if students come to them with off-campus allegations of assault -- if the final rules exclude off-campus sites, as expected.

And, she said, there can probably be alternative ways to ensure a person accused of sexual misconduct is given due process without requiring both people sit in a room for a cross-examination.

"We wouldn't want to turn our students away because it didn't happen in our jurisdiction," McCary said. Above all, she added, any regulation "should be supportive of all of our students."

 

October 11, 2018

Sources: ABC News

Related news

  •  The Note: Trump confronts trust deficit as 'Chuck and Nancy' visit

    The Note: Trump confronts trust deficit as 'Chuck and Nancy' visit

    sometimes do -- nicknames aside.) </p><p> The problem isn't that they don't agree on some things. (They definitely do -- and they used to even more.) </p><p> The problem is that they just don't trust each other. (They have reasons for that.) </p><p> "Chuck and Nancy" don't come to the White House with a clean slate, having been burned on guns and immigration. But Trump is likely to need Democrats to help fund the government. It's an early taste of life with a divided government. </p><p> Trump surely will surprise some people in 2019 by trying to cut deals with erstwhile enemies as circumstances dictate. </p><p> Yet Democrats remember the head fakes and outright reversals from the president on gun control, health care and immigration. The president needs Congress, including Democrats, at a moment when fewer on Capitol Hill see his word as a bond. </p><p> With nine legislative days remaining on the current congressional calendar, members have assembled a long wish list of items they hope to pass in this lame-duck session. </p><p> First, to avoid a partial shutdown over the holidays, Congress needs to fund the remaining government agencies for next year. A handful have been guaranteed appropriated funds already. </p><p> That conversation and, specifically, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and a border wall, will likely dominate the meeting between Democratic congressional leaders and the president at the White House Tuesday. </p><p> But a number of other bills that have been prioritized by various members too, including the farm bill, a resolution on Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen, criminal justice reform, relief money for wildfire victims, an extension of federal flood insurance and a bill to restrict how a special counsel could be fired. </p><p> Bloomberg has been inching toward a presidential run for months now. He also spent over $100 million during the midterms to boost a host of candidates running in key swing districts on which Democrats built their House majority. The lesson Bloomberg learned: Democrats want moderation. </p><p> Democrats back by Bloomberg, such as Kendra Horn, who flipped a seat in deep red Oklahoma, won by pitching themselves as pragmatists. Others who he supported, like Georgia's Lucy McBath, made a hot-button issue like gun control -- which resonates with the Democratic base -- a central issue of her campaign and emerged victorious. </p><p> Maybe pragmatism and a "middle-of-the-road" strategy works for Bloomberg in certain parts of the country, but the question is whether it would enable him to break through a field of candidates that will include many who promise generational change in a party that remains in the hands of the old guard. </p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  • Hillary Clinton,  Huma Abedin attend major donor's family wedding in India

    Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin attend major donor's family wedding in India

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>Hillary Clinton and her closest confidant Huma Abedin traveled to India this weekend to attend a lavish wedding hosted by the country&apos;s richest family that has generously donated to the Clinton Foundation.</p><p>The former Democratic presidential candidate and her aide are attending a nearly weeklong celebration of the marriage of Isha Ambani, the 27-year-old daughter of Mukesh Ambani, India&#x2019;s richest and the world&#x2019;s 19th richest man whose wealth valued around $43 billion.</p><p>The presence of Clinton and Abedin is unsurprising since the bride&apos;s father has been working with Clinton&#x2019;s foundation for years, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the controversial non-profit.</p><p>Clinton also reportedly dined with the Ambanis in March after her speech at a conference in Mumbai.</p><p>The attendees of the wedding &#x2013; including Arianna Huffington, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, and much of the Bollywood &#x2013; were flown in by private planes and brought by luxury sedans.</p><p>They were given access to an app that detailed the wedding&#x2019;s activities. On Sunday, Beyonc&#xE9; performed at the pre-wedding party. The artist posted a photo on Instagram of one of her outfits and a video giving a sneak peak of her performance.</p><p>The bride shared a picture of picture with Clinton, with Abedin seen in the background.</p><p>But Clinton isn&#x2019;t attending the main night on Wednesday, when the wedding ceremony will actually occur, and reportedly flew back home on Monday.</p><p>It remains unclear if Bill Clinton was also scheduled to attend the wedding. Both Clintons were seen together during the funeral of George H.W. Bush.</p><p>The Clintons recently kick-started their speaking tour, which is currently on pause and set to return in the coming months.</p><p>The tour so far hasn&#x2019;t been the resounding success once could have hoped for, with the former president and former secretary of state speaking in largely empty audiences, while the ticket prices are plummeting.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  • Social justice groups sue California over DNA database that stores profiles of those not convicted: report

    Social justice groups sue California over DNA database that stores profiles of those not convicted: report

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>Two social justice groups in California sued the state&#x2019;s department of justice on Monday over its collection and storage of DNA profiles from those arrested but never convicted of a felony, a report said.</p><p>The report pointed out that those acquitted&#xA0;can apply to have their information removed, but these groups say many do not know such a procedure exists. The groups called the removal process difficult, the report said.</p><p>The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and comes about eight months after a state judge turned back an argument that these collections violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, the report said.</p><p>&quot;The state&apos;s failure to automatically expunge DNA samples and profiles from the hundreds of thousands of Californians who were not ultimately convicted of a crime is unconstitutional,&quot; Jamie Lee Williams, a lawyer for one of the groups suing, Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the paper.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  •  House Republicans lead vote to label Rohingya crisis 'genocide' amid Trump's silence

    House Republicans lead vote to label Rohingya crisis 'genocide' amid Trump's silence

    ution Tuesday to declare the violence against Myanmar's Rohingya a genocide, a move the Trump administration still has not made despite mounting evidence and a cavalcade of voices saying so. </p><p> The resolution also condemns the arrest of two Reuters journalists who helped uncover one of the Myanmar military's mass graves and calls for their immediate release. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested nearly a year ago on Dec. 12, 2017 and sentenced in September to seven years in prison for breaching a law on state secrets -- charges that have been roundly criticized and described as trumped up. </p><p> Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar has long oppressed the majority Muslim ethnic minority Rohingya and other ethnic minorities. Starting last August, it began what the United Nations called a systematic campaign to eradicate the Rohingya and drive them from their homes into neighboring Bangladesh. More than 700,000 refugees escaped to make the journey and joined hundreds of thousands who already lived in camps in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh. There are now close to 1 million there. </p><p> Genocide, on the other hand, is defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a 1948 treaty signed by the U.S. and other countries after the Holocaust. It defined genocide as killing, harming or seeking measures to prevent the births or transfer children of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with intent to destroy them entirely or in part -- although the treaty is unclear about what, if any, real legal responsibilities signatories like the U.S. have to act on it outside of their borders. </p><p> The last time the U.S. declared a genocide was in March 2016. The Obama administration declared the Islamic State's violence against Iraqi religious minorities a genocide, but determined it did not obligate them to take further action. </p><p> "It is time we call these atrocities against the Rohingya what they are: genocide," said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, in a statement in September. He even cited the State Department's own report, saying, "If this determination wasn't obvious before, the recent report ... should leave little doubt in anyone's mind. The perpetrators must be held accountable." </p><p> Chabot introduced the resolution being considered Tuesday with a bipartisan group of cosponsors, including the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce of California and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York. While the legislation has faced some stops and starts, including a delay last week because of former President George H.W. Bush's funeral, it finally got its vote at the request of leadership like Royce, a GOP House aide said. </p><p> The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday's vote. </p><p> "Every day the United States stalls and drags its feet to make a legal determination -- despite multiple opportunities -- makes the U.S. complicit in covering up what actually happened," Francisco Bencosme, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific advocacy manager, told ABC News. "It is clear, from what has been reported, that Trump's policy on Myanmar is paralyzed and failing to help alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya." </p><p> The U.S. has provided nearly $300 million in aid for Rohingya refugees. But Myanmar's government has blocked humanitarian access to the northern Rakhine state, where much of the violence took place, in part to prevent international investigators from collecting evidence and accessing Rohingya victims and villages. </p><p> Still, a genocide determination by the U.S. could galvanize international action to investigate Myanmar's atrocities. </p><p> "By passing this bill in the House, Congress is going on the record with the kind of moral clarity and leadership worthy of such an institution," said Bencosme. </p><p> While the House takes action, the Senate has yet to hold a similar vote on the Rohingya crisis. That's in part because of the close relationship between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Myanmar's top civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a longtime political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was eventually freed from house arrest and allowed to join the new civilian-military, power-sharing government. </p><p> Suu Kyi has dismissed criticism of the Rohingya crisis, in particular telling Pence last month that her government better understands their country than outsiders like the U.S. That's spurred a global outcry and public rebukes by the human rights groups that once lauded her as a democracy icon. </p><p> But McConnell has spurned that criticism, dismissing it as a "pile-in" that "hasn't done any good," in an interview with Reuters in October, "I just don't think joining that and further undercutting the best hope we have for genuine Burmese democracy in the future is good policy." </p><p> McConnell's intransigence has upset some House Republicans, who say amid the administration's silence, a similar resolution from the Senate would be welcomed.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  •  Schumer, Pelosi to meet with Trump to hash out border funding

    Schumer, Pelosi to meet with Trump to hash out border funding

    ver funding for a border wall. </p><p> Trump has repeated his demands for $5 billion toward building a wall at the southern border, threatening to shut down the government if Congress sends him an appropriations bill that does not include funding for border security. </p><p> "[A shutdown] could happen over border security. The wall is just a part of border security -- a very important part -- probably the most important part," Trump told reporters last month. "But could there be a shutdown? There certainly could, and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part. </p><p> If Trump won’t accept the $1.6 billion offer, Democrats will push for Trump to support a continuing resolution for Department of Homeland Security appropriations that maintains current levels of funding, or $1.3 billion, through the end of next September, a Democratic aide told ABC News. </p><p> Republicans think Trump isn’t planning on backing down from his demands. </p><p> “I haven’t heard it, no. I haven’t heard any indication of it, no,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters Monday afternoon. </p><p> Congress has already succeeded with the low-hanging fruit – sending Trump bipartisan legislation to fund five of 12 areas of appropriations. But there are still seven bills that have not advanced all the way through Congress and require consideration by Dec. 21, when current funding expires. </p><p> A shutdown would be the second of the year, following a three-day partial government shutdown last January over the status of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. </p><p> A shutdown this time around would only impact certain government agencies and departments, including the departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, State and Agriculture. </p><p> While essential government functions and employees would continue to work, a shutdown would impact tens of thousands of others, and slow down key government functions. </p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  •  Schumer, Pelosi to meet with Trump to hash out border funding

    Schumer, Pelosi to meet with Trump to hash out border funding

    ver funding for a border wall. </p><p> Trump has repeated his demands for $5 billion toward building a wall at the southern border, threatening to shut down the government if Congress sends him an appropriations bill that does not include funding for border security. </p><p> "[A shutdown] could happen over border security. The wall is just a part of border security -- a very important part -- probably the most important part," Trump told reporters last month. "But could there be a shutdown? There certainly could, and it will be about border security, of which the wall is a part. </p><p> If Trump won’t accept the $1.6 billion offer, Democrats will push for Trump to support a continuing resolution for Department of Homeland Security appropriations that maintains current levels of funding, or $1.3 billion, through the end of next September, a Democratic aide told ABC News. </p><p> Republicans think Trump isn’t planning on backing down from his demands. </p><p> “I haven’t heard it, no. I haven’t heard any indication of it, no,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters Monday afternoon. </p><p> Congress has already succeeded with the low-hanging fruit – sending Trump bipartisan legislation to fund five of 12 areas of appropriations. But there are still seven bills that have not advanced all the way through Congress and require consideration by Dec. 21, when current funding expires. </p><p> A shutdown would be the second of the year, following a three-day partial government shutdown last January over the status of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. </p><p> A shutdown this time around would only impact certain government agencies and departments, including the departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, State and Agriculture. </p><p> While essential government functions and employees would continue to work, a shutdown would impact tens of thousands of others, and slow down key government functions. </p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  •  House Republicans lead vote to label Rohingya crisis 'genocide' amid Trump's silence

    House Republicans lead vote to label Rohingya crisis 'genocide' amid Trump's silence

    ution Tuesday to declare the violence against Myanmar's Rohingya a genocide, a move the Trump administration still has not made despite mounting evidence and a cavalcade of voices saying so. </p><p> The resolution also condemns the arrest of two Reuters journalists who helped uncover one of the Myanmar military's mass graves and calls for their immediate release. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested nearly a year ago on Dec. 12, 2017 and sentenced in September to seven years in prison for breaching a law on state secrets -- charges that have been roundly criticized and described as trumped up. </p><p> Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar has long oppressed the majority Muslim ethnic minority Rohingya and other ethnic minorities. Starting last August, it began what the United Nations called a systematic campaign to eradicate the Rohingya and drive them from their homes into neighboring Bangladesh. More than 700,000 refugees escaped to make the journey and joined hundreds of thousands who already lived in camps in Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh. There are now close to 1 million there. </p><p> Genocide, on the other hand, is defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a 1948 treaty signed by the U.S. and other countries after the Holocaust. It defined genocide as killing, harming or seeking measures to prevent the births or transfer children of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with intent to destroy them entirely or in part -- although the treaty is unclear about what, if any, real legal responsibilities signatories like the U.S. have to act on it outside of their borders. </p><p> The last time the U.S. declared a genocide was in March 2016. The Obama administration declared the Islamic State's violence against Iraqi religious minorities a genocide, but determined it did not obligate them to take further action. </p><p> "It is time we call these atrocities against the Rohingya what they are: genocide," said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, in a statement in September. He even cited the State Department's own report, saying, "If this determination wasn't obvious before, the recent report ... should leave little doubt in anyone's mind. The perpetrators must be held accountable." </p><p> Chabot introduced the resolution being considered Tuesday with a bipartisan group of cosponsors, including the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce of California and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York. While the legislation has faced some stops and starts, including a delay last week because of former President George H.W. Bush's funeral, it finally got its vote at the request of leadership like Royce, a GOP House aide said. </p><p> The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday's vote. </p><p> "Every day the United States stalls and drags its feet to make a legal determination -- despite multiple opportunities -- makes the U.S. complicit in covering up what actually happened," Francisco Bencosme, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific advocacy manager, told ABC News. "It is clear, from what has been reported, that Trump's policy on Myanmar is paralyzed and failing to help alleviate the suffering of the Rohingya." </p><p> The U.S. has provided nearly $300 million in aid for Rohingya refugees. But Myanmar's government has blocked humanitarian access to the northern Rakhine state, where much of the violence took place, in part to prevent international investigators from collecting evidence and accessing Rohingya victims and villages. </p><p> Still, a genocide determination by the U.S. could galvanize international action to investigate Myanmar's atrocities. </p><p> "By passing this bill in the House, Congress is going on the record with the kind of moral clarity and leadership worthy of such an institution," said Bencosme. </p><p> While the House takes action, the Senate has yet to hold a similar vote on the Rohingya crisis. That's in part because of the close relationship between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Myanmar's top civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a longtime political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was eventually freed from house arrest and allowed to join the new civilian-military, power-sharing government. </p><p> Suu Kyi has dismissed criticism of the Rohingya crisis, in particular telling Pence last month that her government better understands their country than outsiders like the U.S. That's spurred a global outcry and public rebukes by the human rights groups that once lauded her as a democracy icon. </p><p> But McConnell has spurned that criticism, dismissing it as a "pile-in" that "hasn't done any good," in an interview with Reuters in October, "I just don't think joining that and further undercutting the best hope we have for genuine Burmese democracy in the future is good policy." </p><p> McConnell's intransigence has upset some House Republicans, who say amid the administration's silence, a similar resolution from the Senate would be welcomed.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  • Why Trump critics are now switching from impeachment to indictment

    Why Trump critics are now switching from impeachment to indictment

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>'MediaBuzz' host Howard Kurtz weighs in on whether or not the frequent critical media coverage of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will help or hurt her career.</p><p>Two decades ago, liberals argued that Bill Clinton should not be impeached for his tawdry affair with Monica Lewinsky because, well, his lies were just about sex.</p><p>Today, some liberals are arguing that Donald Trump should be impeached because of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal because, well, it&apos;s not the sex, it&apos;s the hush money.</p><p>For well over a year, Trump&apos;s critics have been banking on Robert Mueller to come up with evidence of Russian collusion, and there have been only disconnected fragments. So now &#x2014;never mind! &#x2014; it&apos;s about women and money.</p><p>The old argument from the left: Trump has committed crimes and should be impeached!</p><p>The new argument from the left: Trump has committed crimes and should be indicted!</p><p>I&apos;m in no way excusing what went on with the two women from his past. But here&apos;s some perspective.</p><p>To be sure, Mueller&apos;s sentencing memos last week provided some leads on the Russia matter. Michael Cohen, for instance, admitted lying to Congress about the time period that the president&apos;s company was pursuing a real estate deal in Moscow, and the memo says Cohen discussed his testimony with people in the White House.</p><p>But in the blink of an eye, the media focus seems to be switching to the Stormy narrative &#x2014; the case being pursued not by Mueller but by the U.S. attorney&apos;s office in Manhattan.</p><p>Here&apos;s a key difference between Trump and Clinton. The 42nd president had his dalliance with Lewinsky while he was in office, in the White House itself, with a subordinate who was a lowly intern. Trump&apos;s alleged affairs with a porn star and a Playboy model took place 12 years ago when he was a celebrity businessman.</p><p>That&apos;s why most people don&apos;t care about what Trump did as a private citizen, and I get it. I got a lot of flak when I started reporting on the Stormy case &#x2014; first broken by the Wall Street Journal days before the election &#x2014; and always stressed that it was the financial paper trail that might come back to haunt the president.</p><p>And that&apos;s why the Southern District&apos;s probe of Cohen &#x2014; who was reimbursed for making the $130,000 payment to Daniels and brokered the National Enquirer&apos;s $150,000 payment to McDougal &#x2014; is troublesome for Cohen&apos;s former boss.</p><p>Yes, it&apos;s a campaign finance violation, and yes, those are usually punished by fines or even a slap of the wrist.</p><p>But the argument that prosecutors could make is that it was an attempt to subvert the election.</p><p>&quot;The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws.&quot;</p><p>McCarthy&apos;s argument is that when Cohen pleaded guilty in August, &quot;prosecutors induced him to make an extraordinary statement in open court: the payments to the women were made &apos;in coordination with and at the direction of&apos; the candidate for federal office &#x2013; Donald Trump.</p><p>&quot;Prosecutors would not have done this if the president was not on their radar screen. Indeed, if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all. Those charges had a negligible impact on the jail time Cohen faces, which is driven by the more serious offenses of tax and financial institution fraud, involving millions of dollars.&quot;</p><p>There is, of course, the not-insignificant matter of the Justice Department practice that a sitting president can&apos;t be indicted. That&apos;s why Democrats like Adam Schiff are now saying Trump could face jail time after he leaves office (if he&apos;s not reelected). And MSNBC&apos;s Joe Scarborough says the Supreme Court will have to decide whether the president can be indicted for a crime &quot;which helped him get elected.&quot;</p><p>Trump &#x2014; proving that no one proofreads his tweets &#x2014; said: &quot;Democrats can&apos;t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia.&quot; So now, he says, &quot;the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama&apos;s - but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer&apos;s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!&quot;</p><p>All Michael Cohen&apos;s fault, according to the president.</p><p>I don&apos;t minimize the importance of the payments to Daniels and McDougal to suppress their stories before the election. If a Democrat had done that, the right would be up in arms.</p><p>But I still think it&apos;s a stretch that it leads to indictment or impeachment, especially if the much-ballyhooed Russian collusion probe comes up dry.</p><p>And the reason is that the underlying offense (if there is one) was to keep embarrassing sexual disclosures from coming out. The point was to win an election, of course &#x2014; and the president&apos;s pal at the Enquirer&apos;s parent company rolled over for him &#x2014; but also spare Trump pain in his marriage.</p><p>My assumption is that much of the public won&apos;t see that as sufficient grounds to overturn an election or imprison a president &#x2014; just as they didn&apos;t when Bill Clinton repeatedly lied about a similar subject.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  •  Some Trump allies starting to worry about investigations

    Some Trump allies starting to worry about investigations

    to his will, mocks the investigations into his conduct as candidate and president as a "witch hunt" and insists he will survive the threats.</p><p> But a shift began to unfold over the weekend after prosecutors in New York for the first time linked Trump to a federal crime of illegal hush payments. That left some of his associates fearful that his customary bravado is unwarranted. For some Republicans, the implication that the president may have directed a campaign finance violation, which would be a felony, could foreshadow a true turning point in the Republican relationship with him when special counsel Robert Mueller releases his report on the Russia investigation.</p><p> "I'm sure there's going to be a lot more that's going to come out from the Southern District (of New York) and from, at some point, from the Mueller investigation as well," Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber's incoming No. 2 Republican, said Monday. "What they're implying there, obviously, is something I assume at some point the president will have an opportunity to respond to."</p><p> Thune continued, "Campaign finance violations are something that ... they are serious matters, but obviously it depends a little bit on how it gets treated."</p><p> As the legal drama plays out, political challenges that could threaten Trump's re-election are piling up.</p><p> Also, Democrats will soon take control of the House of Representatives, wielding subpoena power and potentially exploring impeachment proceedings. Meanwhile, financial markets have been jittery, in part because of Trump's trade wars and concerns that higher borrowing costs could ultimately trigger a recession.</p><p> Facing pressure from Mueller and an impending onslaught of Democratic investigations, Trump could hew even further to the right, catering exclusively to the base of voters he is concerned about losing, according to a Republican close to the White House who has consulted on the early re-election efforts. That instinct would echo the president's double-down, scorched-earth response to the crises that hit his 2016 campaign, including the "Access Hollywood" tape about forcing himself on women, and could make it harder to woo the independent voters or disaffected Democrats he may well need.</p><p> Could Trump face a primary election challenge from within his own party? He doesn't seem concerned.</p><p> The president is eager to unleash his re-election machinery and begin to collect pledges of loyalty from across the GOP to quell any hint of an insurrection, according to a campaign official and a Republican familiar with the inner workings of the campaign but not authorized to speak publicly.</p><p> Flake, who has tangled repeatedly with Trump, isn't making any personal commitment, but his feelings about a challenger are clear.</p><p> "Somebody needs to run" against Trump, he said Monday. "I hope somebody does."</p><p> While some Democrats eying the White House are expected to announce campaigns in the first few weeks of 2019, a Republican challenger could move more slowly, according to two GOP operatives who have been involved in hypothetical discussions about taking on Trump. Waiting until early spring, for example, could give Republicans time to assess whether Trump will be weakened by Mueller's investigation or a downturn in the economy.</p><p> One leading House Republican said the situation surrounding Trump remains volatile and has urged colleagues to wait for the Mueller report, which some believe could emerge early next year. That Republican, who demanded anonymity to assess the situation candidly, has urged fellow GOP lawmakers to not defend the indefensible but to also not believe every charge. The lawmaker expressed hope that the special counsel's findings come out sooner rather than later so there will be more time before the 2020 elections.</p><p> For all the private and not-so-private party worries, many close to Trump predict he not only will survive the Russia investigation but will be re-elected in two years. They point to his remarkable ability to shake off scandal, the sway he continues to hold over his base of GOP voters, the fear his Twitter account has instilled among many Republican elected officials and what they believe is the lack of top-shelf talent among Democrats who could face him in 2020.</p><p> Echoing the president, they contend the special counsel has come up empty-handed in his efforts to prove Russian collusion and is ready to settle for a campaign finance charge they believe is minor and will be ignored or not understood by most voters.</p><p> The president has said the lesson of the 2018 midterms is that Republican candidates abandon him at their own peril. And the Republicans who remain in Congress after that election aren't likely to back away from him.</p><p> "Remember that the Republicans who are left have won in fairly solid Republican, Trump districts," said moderate Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who is retiring. "So he is very popular with the base. I would not think that they would want to distance themselves or have any fear of associating with him."</p><p> Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.</p><p> Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Fram at http://twitter.com/@asfram </p>

    1 December 11, 2018
  • Eric Garcetti's speech cut short after being heckled by protesters at USC: report

    Eric Garcetti's speech cut short after being heckled by protesters at USC: report

    ritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes. </p><p>Garcetti was scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at an event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but after about a minute into the speech, protesters railed against his handling of homelessness and Los Angeles Police Department&apos;s use of force, the report said.</p><p>The Los Angeles Community Action Network and the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America organized the demonstration, the paper reported.</p><p>Steve Diaz, an organizer with Los Angeles Community Action Network, told The Times that&#xA0;his group wants housing for the homeless to be built faster, and for the city to stop the police sweeps of homeless camps.</p><p>One demonstrator stood&#xA0;up and accused the city of trashing the belongings of the homeless during tent sweeps, the paper reported. Another protester shouted that Los Angeles is a city &quot;where real estate interests displace entire communities of color,&quot; according to The Times.</p><p>Some USC students showed support for Garcetti, clapping for him when he tried to respond to the demonstrators,&#xA0;the report said. They also gave him a standing ovation as he exited the stage.</p><p>The mayor reportedly left the stage after nearly 20 minutes, as an event organizer thanked him.</p><p>Alex Comisar, spokesman for Garcetti, told the paper that&#xA0;the event was &#x201C;unfortunate&#x201D; that a &#x201C;very small group of people denied the audience an opportunity to hear [Garcetti&#x2019;s] remarks &#x2014; but he respects the 1st Amendment rights of all people who want to make their voices heard on issues that they care deeply about.&#x201D;</p><p>The event&apos;s audience had about 350 people at USC&apos;s Bovard Auditorium, the report said.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>

    1 December 11, 2018

Comments

Earn free bitcoin