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  1. By Chuck Ross - The Justice Department is alleging that the former Obama White House general counsel made ‘false and misleading’ statements regarding consulting work done for Ukraine. Greg Craig was lead partner for the law firm Skadden Arps on its Ukraine work, which was done in partnership with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Skadden Arps agreed Thursday to settle with the Justice Department by registering as a foreign agent of Ukraine and paying a $4.6 million fine. Craig’s fate remains uncertain. The former general counsel for President Obama made “false and misleading statements” to the Justice Department regarding work he did for the Ukrainian government that has come under scrutiny in the special counsel’s probe. Greg Craig’s alleged false statements were revealed in a settlement announced Thursday by the Justice Department. The agency announced it was settling with Craig’s former firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on behalf of Ukraine beginning in 2012. Skadden Arps agreed to register retroactively with the Justice Department as a foreign agent of Ukraine and to pay a $4.6 million fine, the same amount that the firm was paid for its consulting work. Craig, who left Skadden Arps in April 2018, is not identified by name in the Justice Department announcement, but he has previously been identified as the lead Skadden Arps partner who worked on its Ukraine account. Other clues from the Justice Department settlement point to Craig as the lead partner referenced in case. As part of the settlement, Skadden Arps acknowledged that it acted on behalf of the Ukrainian government “by contributing to a public relations campaign directed at select members of the U.S. news media in 2012.” Craig and others at Skadden Arps helped promote a report that raised questions about Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister who was seen as a foe to Viktor Yanukovych, who served as prime minister through 2014. The Justice Department says that it contacted Skadden Arps in 2012 and 2013 about registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) after the law firm released a report that defended Tymoshenko’s imprisonment. But the firm ended up not registering under FARA based on false assurances provided by Skadden Arps’ partner. “A partner then at Skadden made false and misleading statements to the FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] Unit, which led it to conclude in 2013 that the firm was not obligated to register under FARA,” the Justice Department said. “The facts, when uncovered, showed that Skadden was indeed required to register in 2012, and, under the Agreement, it will do so retroactively.” The Skadden Arps media outreach centered mostly on a report about Tymoshenko that was finalized in December 2012. According to the Justice Department, the Skadden Arps lead partner, seemingly Craig, contacted a major national newspaper on Dec. 12, 2012, to provide a preview of the report as well as a quotation. The news outlet appears to be The New York Times, which quoted Craig in an article laying out Skadden Arps’ report regarding Tymoshenko. The Skadden Arps report determined that some of Tymoshenko’s legal rights were violated during her trial in Ukraine. But it ultimately sided against Tymoshenko and with Yanukovych’s administration. Craig, who contacted the newspaper, is quoted in the article, saying that “We leave to others the question of whether this prosecution was politically motivated.” “Our assignment was to look at the evidence in the record and determine whether the trial was fair.” According to the Justice Department, the Skadden Arps partner provided misleading statements about the dissemination of the Tymoshenko report and the interactions with the media. “In both written and oral responses to the FARA Unit between February 6, 2013, and October 11, 2013, Skadden, in reliance on the lead partner, made false and misleading statements including, among other things, that Skadden provided a copy of the Report only in response to requests from the media and spoke to the media to correct misinformation about the report that the media was already reporting,” the Justice Department said. The agency also asserted that the Skadden Arps’ partner’s “pre-release outreach” to the journalist “was consistent with Ukraine’s media strategy for the Report.” That strategy involved “leaking the Report prior to its official release so as to ‘effectively set the agenda for subsequent coverage,’” according to the DOJ. It is unclear whether Craig faces any legal jeopardy in the case or whether he concurs with the Skadden Arps settlement. The government’s agreement with Skadden Arps explicitly states that the settlement does not protect “current or former partners” from criminal liability. CNN reported on Sept. 15, 2018, that the Justice Department was weighing charges against Craig, who left the Obama White House on Jan. 3, 2010. An attorney for Craig responded, “no comment” to an inquiry by TheDCNF. The settlement closes one chapter of the ongoing saga over the Ukraine lobbying effort. Two other lobbying firms, the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, are also reportedly the subject of an investigation into the Ukraine work. Manafort has pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation to working as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukraine. He was convicted on Aug. 21, 2018, for money laundering and fraud related to money he made on the Ukrainian consulting gig. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Top Obama White House Lawyer Made False Statements To DOJ About Manafort-Related Work is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  2. By Jason Hopkins - In her first major policy speech since taking the reins of a powerful House committee, California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters announced that she will be targeting acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. “The time for accountability for his actions is about to begin,” Waters said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank. Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, Waters has taken the gavel of the House Financial Services Committee. A longtime critic of the Trump administration, Waters vowed to hold hearings involving other White House officials, and also plans to target the banking industry. The California Democrat has taken issue with Mulvaney’s tenure as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency he led from November 2017 to December 2018. Waters suggested he tried to dismantle the CFPB by rolling back fair housing safeguards and protections for consumers. “It is a new day in Congress and for the Financial Services Committee,” she said, adding that her committee will push legislation that seeks to undo the rollbacks. Waters is just one of a number of new Democratic committee leaders who plan to vehemently target the Trump administration for the next two years. House Democrats are expected to hold several dozen investigations, with Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff announcing that every committee will focus on investigating the White House. Like other newly-empowered Democratic chairmen, Waters will enjoy subpoena power, but will not be able to unilaterally reform legislation while the GOP still controls the Senate and the White House. There is no love lost between Waters and President Donald Trump. The California Democrat has established herself as one of the president’s harshest critics and a fervent purveyor of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. While speaking at an event hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in 2017, she “guaranteed” that the president was “in collusion with the Russians to undermine our democracy.” Trump has responded in kind with attacks against the lawmaker’s intelligence. He called Waters “a very low IQ individual” while headlining at campaign rally in March 2018 and has made similar statements on Twitter. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Maxine Waters Finds Her First Target As House Financial Services Committee Chair is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  3. By Chuck Ross - Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s testimony about his meetings with FBI officials regarding dossier author Christopher Steele severely undercuts claims made last year by California Rep. Adam Schiff and his fellow Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. Ohr told lawmakers on Aug. 28 that he briefed top FBI officials Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page in early August 2016, just days after he met with Steele, a former British spy who was investigating Donald Trump. Ohr testified that he told McCabe and Page about his interactions with Steele, who was working at the time for Fusion GPS, a Democrat-funded opposition research firm. The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Republicans have focused on the Ohrs’ link to the dossier and Steele. In a memo dated Feb. 2, 2018, House Intelligence Republicans, led by then-Chairman Devin Nunes, asserted that the FBI filed to disclose in their FISA applications that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS. They also noted in the so-called Nunes memo that the FISA applications do not reveal Steele’s anti-Trump bias. Ohr claimed that Steele told him during a meeting on Sept. 23, 2016 that he was “desperate” that Trump not win election. Ohr testified that he had shared details of his contacts with Steele with the FBI prior to the election. In addition to the meeting in early August 2016, Ohr met in late September 2016 or early the next month with Page, FBI counterintelligence deputy chief Peter Strzok, and Justice Department officials Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissmann. Ahmad and Weissmann are currently working on the special counsel’s investigation. The FBI obtained its first FISA against Page weeks after that meeting, on Oct. 21, 2016. Ohr’s testimony conflicts with House Intelligence Democrats’ claim in a memo released on Feb. 24, 2018 that served as a rebuttal to the Nunes memo. That document sought to defend the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier and its applications for the first FISA warrant. Democrats asserted that Ohr did not meet with the FBI until after the 2016 election and thus had no opportunity to tell the FBI that his wife worked for Fusion GPS. He was also unable to relay that Steele had communicated anti-Trump bias to him. “[Republicans] mischaracterize Bruce Ohr’s role, overstates the significance of his interactions with Steele, and misleads about the timeframe of Ohr’s communication with the FBI,” the so-called Schiff memo reads. Democrats claimed that only in “late November 2016” did Ohr inform the FBI “his prior professional relationship with Steele and information that Steele shared with him.” “This occurred weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application,” reads the memo, which included the emphasis on “after.” “The Majority’s reference to Bruce Ohr is misleading,” Democrats asserted. The revelations in Ohr’s testimony create a bit of a dilemma for Schiff, who is now chairman of the House Intelligence panel. In a Feb. 6, 2018 interview with The Atlantic, Schiff remarked on “how flawed the Nunes memo is.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Bruce Ohr Testimony Undercuts Adam Schiff’s Defense Of FBI | is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  4. By Hanna Bogorowski - State Department employees are being called back into work amid the government shutdown and were told Thursday that they will be paid, unlike hundreds of thousands of federal workers currently working without pay. “Recognizing the increasing hardship to employees caused by the ongoing lapse in appropriations, the Department is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries,” Bill Todd, the department’s deputy undersecretary for management, told staffers in an “urgent” message. “[A]ll State Department direct-hire employees and State Department locally employed staff are expected to report to work on their first work day in Pay Period 2,” the statement continues, which for most employees is Jan. 22. Employees will be paid for work conducted beginning on or after Jan. 20, when some overseas employees are expected to head back to work, but employees will not be paid “until FY 2019 appropriations are enacted” for work they’ve done so far under the shutdown. Todd added that it is “imperative” the department carry out its mission with “fully staffed embassies, consulates, and domestic offices.” The decision was announced Thursday by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, according to The Washington Post, at a lunch conference with more than 180 ambassadors. One official told WaPo that Sullivan received two rounds of applause. Officials at the department reportedly were able to pull enough money from various accounts to pay half a month of payroll. Should the shutdown continue past that, officials will have to review. Todd warned in his message that employees should be prepared to work on strict budget constraints “with regard to new spending for contracts, travel, and other needs.” Thursday marks the 27th day of the shutdown. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] State Department Calls Employees Back To Work, Says It’s Making Funds Available To Pay Them | is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article
  5. Crystal DiGregorio is sharing a message of grace and forgiveness by telling her story of how she went from a porn star to a Christian counselor. View the full article
  6. U.S.—The economic toll of the government shutdown is growing by the day, and experts now believe the cost of having the government partially closed down is nearly as bad as the economic toll of a functioning government interfering in our economy, businesses, and private decisions in the first place. The post Report: Economic Toll Of Government Shutdown Almost As Bad As Economic Toll Of Having A Bloated Federal Government In The First Place appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  7. YouTube has apologized to pro-life group Live Action after the platform removed an investigative video on Planned Parenthood. View the full article
  8. U.S.—News media outlets around the country were reportedly astonished to discover a Christian school at which second lady Karen Pence is teaching holds their students and staff to Christian beliefs. The post Media Astonished To Learn Christian School Teaches Christian Beliefs appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  9. Michael Cohen, former lawyer to President Trump, allegedly hired an IT firm owned by Liberty University’s Chief Information Officer John Gauger to tip online polls ahead of the 2016 election in President Trump’s favor, the Wall Street Journal reports. View the full article
  10. BRENTSVILLE, AR—Sources within Horizon Community Church confirmed Thursday that the congregation's children's ministry handbook has been replaced by a well-worn copy of Lord of the Flies. The post Children's Ministry Handbook Just Well-Worn Copy Of 'Lord Of The Flies' appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  11. Hard-line Hindus on Jan. 9 tore down a church building in southern India because it was built on the west side of a village, which they said violated Hindu principles of placement and positioning, sources said. View the full article
  12. WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the first time ever, a sitting president has delivered the State of the Union via Twitter, the address being composed of nothing more than a single tweet that read "EVERYTHING GOING TERRIFIC!" The post Trump Delivers Brief State Of The Union Via Twitter: 'Everything Going Terrific!' appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  13. DICKSON, OK—A local homeschooled child has graduated a full 5 months before being born, sources confirmed. The post Homeschooled Kid Graduates High School 5 Months Before Birth appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  14. U.S.—As society becomes increasingly dominated by nerds, hipsters, and computer programmers, people have fixated on what they think is our biggest problem: masculinity. The post Least Masculine Society In Human History Decides Masculinity Is A Growing Threat appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article
  15. Actor and Television Host Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney announced on Friday that they are having a third child. View the full article
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