Category Archives: Government

Can the President Be Indicted?

It may surprise most people…. but The NY Times thinks the answer is ‘NO’.

At least NOT while IN office….

Mueller, the special counsel leading the Trump /Russian probe is actually forbidden to charge the President under Justice Dept rules….Few legal scholars argue against this view…

The Constitution does not answer every question. It includes detailed instructions, for instance, about how Congress may remove a president who has committed serious offenses. But it does not say whether the president may be criminally prosecuted in the meantime.

The Supreme Court has never answered that question, either. It heard arguments on the issue in 1974 in a case in which it ordered President Richard M. Nixon to turn over tape recordings, but it did not resolve it.

Reports that President Trump asked James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to shut down an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, prompted accusations that the president may have obstructed justice. Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director who has been appointed special counsel to look into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, will presumably investigate the matter.

But would the Constitution allow Mr. Mueller to indict Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of criminal conduct?

 The prevailing view among most legal experts is no. They say the president is immune from prosecution so long as he is in office.

“The framers implicitly immunized a sitting president from ordinary criminal prosecution,” said Akhil Reed Amar, a law professor at Yale.

Note the word “implicitly.” Professor Amar acknowledged that the text of the Constitution did not directly answer the question. “It has to be,” he said, “a structural inference about the uniqueness of the president himself.”

More…

Note…

From Trump’s repeated questioning of former FBI Director Comey?

Donald Trump is STILL worried about the answer to the above question…

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautions on Obamacare re-write…

The House version of things is NOT gonna be …..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is tempering expectations that the Senate will pass an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system, promising his colleagues a vote but not success.

McConnell in his public comments and private conversations about the ObamaCare repeal and replace bill is painting a more sober picture than Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who in March guaranteed passage through the House.

McConnell is stopping well short of any grand pronouncement.

He says he will bring a bill to the floor for a vote, but is not making any promises whether he will get at least 50 members of the 52-member Senate GOP conference to back it.

“Mitch has been very clear in our conference, and that is there will be a bill and we will be voting on it,” said Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

But that’s as far as the GOP leader has been willing to go.

“He hasn’t gone beyond explaining that,” said Heller, who recently met with the special working group that is negotiating the healthcare bill.

McConnell warned in an interview with Reuters that passing healthcare reform will be tougher than tax reform, another of President Trump’s top priorities.

Expectations for repealing major parts of ObamaCare soared after the House passed its bill earlier this month but McConnell cautions the votes in the Senate aren’t there yet….

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As Americans learn how policies affect their personal economies, they will activate

When residents of the Humble Independent School District in Texas realized their board was not acting in their interest and that it would affect their kids for years to come, they activated.

Why would any politician come up with a budget and policies that hurt the citizenry at large? They must know it is career suicide, right? But Republicans and the power structure that rule them are quite adept at what they do.

This week Donald Trump released a draconian budget proposal that would slash the social safety net, increase welfare for the defense industrial complex, and transfer the wealth of the masses to the wealthy through tax cuts. The budget is a Paul Ryanesque/Ayn Randian dream.

Robert Reich’s piece titled “Trump’s Cruel and Deviant Budget” said the budget displayed deviancy in three respects: it imposes huge burdens on people already hurting; it sets a new low bar for congressional and public debate over social insurance in America and the government’s role; and it eviscerates the notion that an important aspect of patriotism involves sacrificing for the common good.

The goal of many in power is to make sure that you feel powerless. When people feel powerless or inconsequential, they will often stay home or take fallacies at face value. That is why many vote against their interest or don’t vote at all. But every single American can make a choice to change our political condition and be engaged.

We are all different and have different abilities. Whether you are shy, like to be with people or not, are computer savvy or not, you can be a part of out political solution.

I have conversations with hundreds of individuals a week over social media, email, and phone calls. I interact with thousands via activism networks like DailyKos, the Politics Done Right radio show on Pacifica’s KPFT 90.1 FM Houston network, Facebook Live feeds, Coffee Party USAIndivisible Houston, and others.

I hear two distinct messages. The first comes from those that are politically active, are fighting the good fight, and at the same time are upset at those who vote against their interests or don’t vote at all. The second comes from those who feel depressed or unworthy, who state they don’t believe they can make a difference.

It is important that those fighting the good fight get over their disgust for non-voters, or those voting against their interests. The fighters must encourage the others through education framed in their realities, in a non-threatening and empathetic manner.

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The confused Conservatives….Red State…

The soul searching continues as they watch Donald Trump do ‘his’ thing….

Is Conservatism’s New Philosophy Just Straight Up Chaos?

Of course, you look at the sources for the New York Times, and they disagree with the sources for the Washington Post. Different factions leak different things for different results, after all.

In the world around us, liberals attack conservatives and conservatives attack liberals. (Liberals are also attacking neo-Nazis, but shed few tears). #TheResistance is simultaneously growing in strength and dropping in numbers.

Once respected, authoritative voices in the conservative movement get reduced to the very type of water carrying they once shredded liberal commentators for being. Liberal commentators get reduced to being the very type of conspiracy theorists they once shredded conservative commentators for being.

The nation, just like the White House, is in a state of absolute chaos. Morals get abandoned for just a little bit more power, more clicks, more ratings, and more support. Ironically, in an era where very few people will claim that Donald Trump represents them, it is evident now that he is perhaps the perfect representation of the country.

What happened to conservatism that its most vocal leaders, its most influential voices, its authorities are all now supportive of the type of chaos that Donald Trump represents?…

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Trump’s idea of a budget would hurt those who voted for him…

Trump’s budget, which won’t make it thru Congress does strike at the very people in Middle America that went to the polls to vote for him…

‘Biting the hand that feeds ya, eh?’

I wonder why these people , like Republicans in Congress STILL support him?

Trump has only ONE constituent, Donald J. Trump….

Local and state politicians are already ramping up lobbying efforts to preserve popular programs, including $3 billion in community development block grants, and Congress is sure to protect many of them.

If federal dollars are lost, it’s not apparent that states and municipalities could pick up the slack. Only 28 states are on track this year to meet revenue forecasts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sluggish commodity prices are hurting budgets in the Midwest, sales tax revenue has disappointed, and levies paid by fossil-fuel companies are falling as energy prices drop.

Rural America in particular — where Trump got more than 60 percent of the vote — is struggling with high unemployment, slow economic growth and tepid home price appreciation. Three in four rural counties still haven’t fully recovered from the recession, according to the National Association of Counties.

Some had manufacturing or mining economies upended by economic shifts. Their tax base has been eroded and their workers don’t have the skills that modern employers want.

“People bought into Trump, particularly in these hardest-hit areas, on the idea that he’s going to create jobs,” said Chris Estes, president of the National Housing Conference. “This is not a budget for them.”…

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Note…

As in the 2017 stop gap budget?

Look for Congress to go its own way from Trump again on the final 2018 budget…

As usual?

It’s NOT what Trump says….It’s what actually happens…

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Mattis warns about getting into it with North Korea…

As this Dog has pointed out?

It’s one thing for Trump to talk shit about engaging North Korea in a  hands on fight…

But the guys who would be responsible for the fight don’t want ANYTHING to do with it…And want to TALK the issue out….

Image result for mattis

Even the man leading the United States military worries about what war with North Korea would look like.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in his first TV interview on the job that a conflict with North Korea would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetime.”

“The bottom line is it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means,” Mattis told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

The lifelong military man said Kim Jong Un’s paranoid empire stands as “a direct threat to the United States” — not to mention South Korea, China and Russia.

An honest look at our options with North Korea

“The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea,” he said.

“We are working with the international community to deal with this issue.”…

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image…time.com

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Memorial Day….

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.First enacted by formerly enslaved African-Americans  to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War – it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day ends it.

Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

From Wiki…..

More Here….

(Photo source …whitehouse.gov)

Originally posted May 30, 2011…

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Trump and Co work to undo almost everything Obama had touched….

While we and the media look at the big picture of Trump NOT being able to get what he wants from Congress?

He has been steadily rolling out executive orders….

Most of those as Department heads to come up studies on what to change from Obama’s people…

But the President thru the executive part of government CAN change and effect a LOT of things and the way things work…

Most people do NOT know that President Obama also bemoaned the TONS of rules and regulation and tried to cut down on some...

But Trump’s efforts will be magnified….

The chaos of Donald Trump’s first four months as president has overshadowed a series of actions that could reshape American life for decades — efforts to rewrite or wipe out regulations affecting everything from student loans and restaurant menus to internet privacy, workplace injuries and climate change.

Trump and his agencies have already wielded executive actions and Republican control of Congress to postpone, weaken or outright killdozens of regulations created by Barack Obama’s administration, often using delays in the courtroom to buy time to make those changes. Their targets have included protections for streams from coal-mining pollution and a directive on the rights of transgender students.

Other Obama-era regulations are in the crosshairs for possible elimination or downsizing, such as limits on greenhouse gases from power plants and rules meant to prevent concentrated ownership of media companies.

Rolling back the regs

The administration’s efforts to unwind regulations span the U.S. economy. The president’s aides say the goal is “systemic” change.

Agriculture
Education
Energy and environment
Financial services
Food
Government-wide
Health
Immigration
Transportation
Workers
Manufacturing
Taxes
Guns
Housing
Privacy
Internet
Media
Phones
Education

Loan forgiveness

The administration said it intends to take future “regulatory actions” on an Obama-era rule that made it easier for borrowers defrauded by colleges to have their student loans forgiven.

Agency

Education Department

Status

On the chopping block

 

Gainful employment +
Loan collection fees +
Loan servicing standards +
School accountability +
Teacher preparation +
Transgender students +
Loan forgiveness –
Online education +

But Trump is going after even bigger targets, setting bureaucratic wheels in motion that could eventually ax or revise hundreds of regulations as agencies reorient themselves toward unwinding red tape and granting speedier approvals to projects. Just one of those efforts — an upcoming plan by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for reducing burdens on manufacturers — yielded 171 suggestions from business groups and others who submitted comments. Another executive order, requiring agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one they create, “will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump said in January.

If successful, these efforts could represent the most far-reaching rollback of federal regulations since Ronald Reagan’s presidency,….

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Note….

A LOT of the Trump Admin ‘wants’ won’t make the cut because Congress or even the courts will stop them…But a good amount of them WILL come to be….

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Trump and Republican’s talk about Federal employee’s ‘give-backs’….

They have been looking to take back parts of Federal civil service employee’s pay and benefits for a while ….

I hope there wasn’t too many of them that voted FOR Trump and his fellow Republicans…Cause this might not be the ‘pay-back’ they expected…

With President Trump targeting federal employees’ retirement programs and House Republicans taking aim at their compensation generally, Uncle Sam’s goal of being a model employer looks shaky.

The administration’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, scheduled for release Tuesday, includes a series of cuts to retirement programs, as The Washington Post reported last week. Then, amid a torrent of reports denoting Trump as unfit, unprepared and unbecoming, Republicans took time for a hearing to promote the notion that feds are overpaid.

Together, the White House and congressional actions are a clear indication of Republican intent to extract savings at the expense of the workforce.

At Thursday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the government operations subcommittee, complained “taxpayers are stuck paying for overly generous compensation” that “rewards tenure rather than performance.”

Meadows, chairman of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, always makes a point of praising “an incredibly dedicated federal workforce” and visiting their workplaces. That he is not a fed-basher demonstrates how pervasive his position is among Republicans who control Congress. With Republican Trump running the White House, Democrats are outnumbered in their attempt to protect workers from further incursions into their pocketbooks….

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German leader Merkel thinks Europe should…’take our fate into our own hands ‘…

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, see’s America and the English as friends, but not rock solid ones that they seemed to be less than a year ago…

Both PM May of England and Trump have failed to fall in line with European positions on Climate and Defense…..

(The Russians have be having a toast?)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe’s most influential leader, has apparently concluded that the United States of President Trump is not the reliable partner her country and continent have automatically depended on in the past.

Clearly disappointed with European leaders’ inability to persuade Mr. Trump to publicly endorse NATO’s doctrine of collective defense — or to agree to common positions on Russia, climate change or global trade — Mrs. Merkel said on Sunday that traditional alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, and that Europe should pay more attention to its own interests “and really take our fate into our own hands.”

Her strong comments were a further indication that Mr. Trump’s trip did not go down well with influential European leaders and that it seems, at least from the Continent’s perspective, to have increased trans-Atlantic strains rather than diminish them.

Ms. Merkel did not mention Mr. Trump by name, and she also spoke of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, a move seen as weakening trans-Atlantic ties and leaving the Continent more exposed…..

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Congressional probes take a backseat to Mueller/FBI criminal investigation…

You HAD to know THIS would be the case…

No lawyer in his right mind is gonna let a Trump associate go before Congress and say things the Mueller FBI people could later use in a grand jury….

Congress is political….

Mueller is looking to charge people with crimes….

Image result for Mueller

Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, the No. 2 Democrat on the House panel, said it is important for lawmakers to continue their investigations, noting that Congress has a “slightly different” mission than the FBI. He said the FBI’s job is to investigate whether crimes were committed, not informing the public about the larger issues at hand.

But Herman, the lawyer who has represented lawmakers under ethics investigations, said there are “a lot of potential avenues for problems.”

He said that as a defense lawyer, he would be “very cautious” about allowing clients to submit to multiple interviews where there’s the potential they could contradict themselves. He said he could envision a scenario in which witnesses who’ve already spoken to congressional investigators refuse to also talk to the FBI, instead directing federal investigators to their previous testimonies.

“Obviously the things that Mueller wants to know about could be completely different from the things that the Intelligence Committee wants to know about,” Herman said. “So that’s a significant problem both for the investigators and for the witnesses.

“If I want someone doing a thorough investigation,” he added, “I want the experienced FBI agents and prosecutors that are going to be on Bob Mueller’s team.”…

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image..newyorker.com

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Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn’t think his party will recapture the House next year…

There HAS been a media narrative going on for the last month or so that Democrats WOULD regain a majority in next years House elections….

But in the last few Special elections for House seat the Democrats have gone 0-3…

While the margins of the Republicans wins have dwindled ?

They still have won…

Emanual thinks that Democrats have a MUCH harder climb to make to regain against  loses they have had , far and wide, since 2010, after Obama became President…

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who in 2006 helped Democrats capture their first House majority in 12 years, on Sunday cast doubt on the party’s chances of reclaiming the chamber again next year.

“It took us a long time to get this low. It ain’t going to happen in 2018,” the former White House chief of staff during President Barack Obama’s first term said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Take a chill pill, man. This is ― you got to be in this for the long haul,” he said.

Along with Republican Donald Trump’s surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton last November, Democrats suffered significant losses across the political board during Obama’s eight years in office.

Republicans took back the House in 2010 ― just two years after Obama’s first election ― and have held it easily since then. The GOP, after also losing a Senate majority in 2006, won it back in 2014 and held it last November. Between 2008 and 2016, meanwhile, Democrats lost close to 1,000 seats in state legislatures.

“You’re not going to solve” the party’s decline in 2018, said Emanuel, who is up for re-election in 2019. “The Republicans didn’t do what they did with just one election cycle. You have to have a long horizon, obviously, and work towards that, electing people at the local level, state houses, into Congress.”

Turning around “years of eroding Democratic support” in local races won’t happen “entirely in just one cycle,” Emanuel warned….

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Lawyers be damn…Trump goes back to twitter…

His rants on twitter have been used by Judges to turn back his efforts  at policy changes…

His lawyers have told him to stop hurting his own causes…

He could give a shit?

This morning he went back to lamenting the media  NOT having his back and seeing things the way people dependent on him have…

President Trump returned home Saturday night to a country wondering how he would address a crisis of bad news that has only grown more dire during his nine-day tour abroad.

As the FBI continues an investigation of Trump’s top associates and as he reportedly considers a White House staff shake-up, the president’s attorneys have urged him to lay off his habit of aggressive and impulsive tweeting — lest it make matters even worse for him.

So what did Trump do upon returning to his embattled White House? He went on a Twitter rant, of course.

It started about 8 a.m. Sunday, with a somewhat delayed celebration of Greg Gianforte’s victory in Montana’s special congressional election — despite facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a reporter who had asked him about the GOP’s health-care bill.

Eight minutes later, Trump informed the world that his first trip abroad as commander in chief had been “a great success.”

Others’ critiques of the president’s trip have been more complicated.

He was “both charming and boorish,” The Washington Post wrote — deferential to the king of Saudi Arabia but appearing to shove a Balkan prime minister out of the way to get a better spot for a NATO photo op.

But with Trump’s assessment of his trip dispensed within 16 words, he turned his attention to a subject it has often landed on before.

Fake news — a mantra of Trump’s campaign and presidency….

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State Dept. lifts limit on refugee admissions….But?

The Trump Admin appear’s to be seeking different methods to impact immigrants and refugees from entering the country…

Despite repeated efforts by President Trump to curtail refugee resettlements, the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.

The result could be a near doubling of refugees entering the country, from about 830 people a week in the first three weeks of this month to well over 1,500 people per week by next month, according to refugee advocates. Tens of thousands of refugees are waiting to come to the United States.

The State Department’s decision was conveyed in an email on Thursday to the private agencies in countries around the world that help refugees manage the nearly two-year application process needed to enter the United States.

In her email, Jennifer L. Smith, a department official, wrote that the refugee groups could begin bringing people to the United States “unconstrained by the weekly quotas that were in place.”

Although it came the same day as an appeals court ruling that rejected government efforts to limit travel to the United States fromsix predominantly Muslim nations, the move by the State Department had nothing to do with the court ruling.

But many of the advocates said they were worried that any reprieve would be temporary.

“The president’s proposed budget cuts for 2018 would mean we would have a much smaller program next year no matter what happens with his executive orders,” said Erol Kekic, executive director of the immigration and refugee program at Church World Service.

Perhaps even more worrisome, refugee advocates said they had seen a slowdown in security screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, whose checks are required for refugees to enter the United States.

Still, even Republicans in Congress have said that few of Mr. Trump’s proposed budget cuts to foreign aid and the State Department’s budget would be adopted into law….

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Donald Trump is flying home…It hasn’t gotten any better…

…drip...Drip…DRIP….

President Trump headed home on Saturday to confront a growing political and legal threat, as his top aides tried to contain the fallout from reports that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a focus of investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the president’s campaign and transition teams.

As Mr. Trump ended a nine-day overseas trip that aides considered the most successful stretch of his presidency, he was returning to a crisis that had only grown in his absence. The White House canceled a presidential trip to Iowa in the coming days and was putting together a damage-control plan to expand the president’s legal team, reorganize his communications staff and wall off a scandal that has jeopardized his agenda and now threatens to engulf his family.

Mr. Trump’s private legal team, led by his New York lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, was preparing to meet in Washington to face fresh questions about contacts between Mr. Kushner and representatives of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The president may meet with Mr. Kasowitz as early as Sunday, and aides have recruited a series of prominent Washington lawyers with experience in political investigations for Mr. Trump to interview in hopes that they might join the legal team.

Mr. Kushner, who organized the president’s Middle East stops at the start of the foreign trip, chose to return to Washington with several days yet to go and has been unusually subdued since then. But he has no plans to step down from his role as senior adviser or to reduce his duties, according to people close to him.

Still, there are signs that he is tiring of the nonstop combat and the damage to his reputation. He has told friends that he and his wife have made no long-term commitment to remain by Mr. Trump’s side, saying they would review every six months whether to return to private life in New York.

Mr. Kushner’s troubles are only one facet of the crisis….

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Note…

The question cold become HOW LONG can Donald Trump and the Republican’s carry his Russian connection actions on their backs?

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Jared Kushner becomes a focus point….

The President’s son-in-law becomes part of the look at the Russian’s connection by the Trump campaign….

Image result for jared kushner

Former acting CIA director John McLaughlan on Friday responded to reports that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications line between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, saying if such reports are true, it would be considered espionage.

“I don’t want to overstate this because obviously there is a lot we don’t know — we don’t know the exact content of the conversation. We don’t know the objective that was a part of the conversation — those things we don’t know,” McLaughlan said on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” Friday.

“But I can’t keep out of my mind the thought that, if an American intelligence officer had done anything like this, we’d consider it espionage.”

The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser inquired about using Russian diplomatic facilities for the communications, apparently to shield the talks, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Washington Post.

Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner floated the idea during a meeting at Trump Tower on Dec. 1 or 2, according to the Post, which cited intercepts of Russian communications reviewed by U.S. officials….

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While the FBI is investigating Kushner’s contacts with Russia, he is not currently a target of that investigation, the current law enforcement official said.

The new information about the two calls as well as other details uncovered by Reuters shed light on when and why Kushner first attracted FBI attention and show that his contacts with Russian envoy Sergei Kislyak were more extensive than the White House has acknowledged.

NBC News reported on Thursday that Kushner was under scrutiny by the FBI, in the first sign that the investigation, which began last July, has reached the president’s inner circle. …

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Note…

This whole story HAS exposed American capabilities to ‘listen’ to Russian communications in the nations capital and New York…

image…foxnews.com

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