Pro-Abortion Group Calls for Feinstein’s Ouster from Judiciary Committee after Amy Coney Barrett Hearings

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 15, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)One of the nation’s top abortion groups is calling for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) to be ousted from her position as the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member after she praised the confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, calling them “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” Advertisement The head of NARAL Pro-Choice America issued a scathing statement on Friday, a day after the last day of hearings on Barrett’s nomination concluded. “Americans — whose lives hang in the balance — deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is,” NARAL president Ilyse Hogue said in a statement. “The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people. As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership.” On Thursday, Feinstein thanked Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) for his “fairness” in leading the hearings. Advertisement “Mr. Chairman, I just want to thank you,” the California senator said. “This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in. And I want to thank you for your fairness and the opportunity of going back and forth. It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions, and even some ideas of perhaps some goo bipartisan legislation we can put together to make this great country even better, so thank you so much for your leadership.” Advertisement Feinstein and Graham shared a hug after Feinstein’s remarks and as Thursday’s hearing concluded. Feinstein has said she will vote against Barrett’s confirmation. During the four days of confirmation hearings, Democrats, including Feinstein, frequently quizzed Barrett about her stance on abortion rights and asked whether she thought Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide, was wrongly decided. “I completely understand why you are asking the question, but I cannot pre-commit or say yes, I am going in with some agenda, because I am not,” Barrett responded when Feinstein asked her whether she considered Roe wrongly decided. Advertisement NARAL fought Barrett’s nomination vehemently, arguing that her confirmation to the high court would threaten abortion rights and could also jeopardize the Affordable Care Act. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Kentucky Postal Worker Who Dumped More Than 100 Absentee Ballots Fired, May Face Federal Charges

An absentee ballot await preparations in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 4, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)A Kentucky postal worker who allegedly threw out more than 100 absentee ballots in a dumpster on Thursday has been fired by the U.S. Postal Service and may face federal prosecution. The Postal Service Office of Inspector General discovered 112 discarded absentee ballots intended for voters in ZIP code 40299, which is located in the Louisville metro area, as well as two political fliers that had also been discarded. Advertisement The unidentified individual responsible for throwing out the ballots in a dumpster near Jeffersontown has been fired and his case has been accepted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution, the USPS Office of the Inspector General said. “Federal privacy concerns preclude me from providing any more details about their employment,” special agent Scott Balfour commented. The ballots, which were all unopened and had not been filled out, had been sent out by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office on Oct. 3 and were delivered to voters on Thursday after they were recovered. Advertisement Some voters had called the clerk’s office and complained about not receiving their ballots. The office had been planning to mail out new ballots to the affected voters. “I will point out that the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly rare when put into that context,” Balfour stressed. Advertisement Earlier this month, a postal worker in New Jersey was arrested for allegedly discarding 99 ballots for the November election along with other mail. Several other states have had issues with sending out mail ballots, including New York, where some Brooklyn residents reported receiving their absentee ballot along with a “official absentee ballot envelope” with an incorrect name and address. Voting by mail has become a fraught issue leading up to the November election. Democrats have encouraged voters to submit their ballot by mail to protect themselves from potential exposure to the coronavirus at polling places. Meanwhile, President Trump has opposed the widespread use of mail-in ballots, saying it is a breeding ground for voter fraud and “puts the election at risk.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Michigan Court Overturns Two-Week Absentee-Ballot Extension

A poll worker labels a wrapped pallet of absentee ballots for shipment at the Wake County Board of Elections on the first day that the state started mailing them out in Raleigh, N.C., September 4, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)A Michigan court ruled Friday that absentee ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted, overturning a lower court’s two-week extension that was hailed by Democrats in the key swing state. The state’s appeals court said that absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, ruling against a lower court’s decision to allow votes to be counted up to 14 days after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 2. Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature brought the appeal after the ballot deadline was extended. Advertisement “To be sure, the pandemic has caused considerable change in our lives, but election officials have taken considerable steps to alleviate the potential effects by making no-reason absent voting easier for the 2020 election,” the three appellate judges wrote in a unanimous decision. Democrats had pushed to ease restrictions on absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, while Republicans argued that the recent Post Office delays combined with the expected increase in mail-in ballots this year are not reason enough to extend voting deadlines. “Although those factors may complicate plaintiffs’ voting process, they do not automatically amount to a loss of the right to vote absentee,” the judges stated. Advertisement The court’s decision also reinstated some restrictions on third-party ballot collection, limiting who voters can designate to deliver their ballot to election officials. Advertisement The ruling is similar to decisions by higher courts in Indiana and Wisconsin overturning ballot extensions. President Trump won Michigan narrowly in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes. Republicans in the state celebrated the court’s decision on Friday, calling it “a great day for the rule of law.” “It’s important that the rules aren’t changed during an election to advantage one party over another,” said Laura Cox, chairman of the Michigan Republican party. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Oregon Republican Lawmakers React to Arrest of Dem House Speaker’s Aide in Portland Riots

A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)Republicans in the Oregon legislature are accusing Democrats of sanctioning “lawlessness” after the arrest of a top aide to the Democratic Oregon House speaker this month during protests that devolved into riots in downtown Portland. Kristina Narayan, who serves as legislative director for Oregon House Speaker Representative Tina Kotek, was arrested late at night on Saturday, September 5 and charged with interfering with a police officer after Portland Police declared a riot. Advertisement “Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” a Portland police department spokesperson said. Narayan, 29, has worked for Kotek since September, 2016 and has served as the House speaker’s legislative director since May, 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. Republican state lawmakers in Oregon criticized their colleagues across the aisle for declining to denounce the ongoing nightly violence wracking Portland, and accused Democratic lawmakers of protecting their staffers and supporters who participate in the riots. Advertisement “The Democrat supermajority in Oregon have had instances where their publicly-employed staff have been involved in the violent riots and looting in downtown Portland,” said GOP state Senator Dennis Linthicum, who represents the southeast city of Klamath Falls. “Knowing this, it becomes obvious why Democrats in Oregon and across the nation have not stood up for law enforcement and condemned the lawlessness in the streets because within these Democrat-controlled cities — they would be alienating their own staff members who are participating in the riots,” Linthicum said. Advertisement Republican Oregon Senator Alan Olsen agreed, adding that Democratic lawmakers in the state “despise” the very police protecting them. “Oregon Democrats are the party of lawlessness because instead of denouncing the violence, they largely have remained silent. The top Democrat leaders are protected by the police but despise and have absolute animosity towards them,” said Olsen, who represents Canby, a city just south of Portland. “It’s obvious that Oregon Democrats are protecting their own extremist staffers and supporters over innocent Oregonians who are the collateral damage of over 100 days of violence,” Olsen added. Advertisement Narayan’s arrest came a week after pro-Trump demonstrator Aaron Danielson was fatally shot in the chest during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of pro-Trump demonstrators who drove through the streets of downtown Portland. Two days later, Portland Police declared a riot after about 200 demonstrators marched to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence to demand that he resign as violent demonstrations continue to rock the city. Kotek’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Trump Administration to Conduct National Security Review of TikTok Sale to Oracle

The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone while on the U.S. flag, November 8, 2019. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the Trump administration will conduct a national security review of the sale of TikTok to Oracle, which won the bidding war for the video-sharing app’s U.S. operations. ByteDance, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, has accepted an offer from Oracle, a tech firm based in California, to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations. The announcement comes just one day ahead of the deadline that President Trump set for ByteDance to unload TikTok’s U.S. operations or risk being blacklisted in America. The Chinese company rejected a joint buying offer from Microsoft and Walmart. Advertisement Mnuchin told CNBC that the deal will undergo a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. as well as a “national security review under the president’s executive order.” “We did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner, with Oracle making many representations for national security issues,” Mnuchin said, adding that, “there’s also a commitment to create TikTok Global as a U.S.-headquartered company with 20,000 new jobs.” “We will be reviewing that at the CFIUS committee this week, and then, we will be making a recommendation to the president and reviewing it with him,” the treasury secretary said. Advertisement In early August, Trump issued an executive order requiring ByteDance to find an American buyer for TikTok by September 15, and if they fail to secure a purchaser, Trump said he would shut down the app in the U.S. effective September 20. Advertisement “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance,” which is based in Beijing, “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump wrote in his executive order. Several Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Demers, the assistant attorney general of the National Security Division, have warned about national security threats posed by TikTok, saying the Chinese government could be collecting the data of Americans. “A critical factor for us driving national security is making sure the technology on Americans’ phones is safe and making sure it is not corrupt,” Mnuchin said. “We have a lot of confidence in both Microsoft and Oracle. They’ve chosen Oracle. We’ll be reviewing it with their technical teams and our technical teams to see if they can make the representations we need.” Microsoft released a statement on Sunday saying that “ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft,” and adding, “we are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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Grassley Demands Explanation from DOJ on Mueller Team’s Wiped Phones, Questions Whether It Was ‘Widespread Intentional Effort’

Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks in Washington, D.C., September 4, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)Senator Chuck Grassley on Friday demanded more details from the Justice Department on the cell phones used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that were wiped before the DOJ inspector general could review them for records. “It appears that Special Counsel Mueller’s team may have deleted federal records that could be key to better understanding their decision-making process as they pursued their investigation and wrote their report. Indeed, many officials apparently deleted the records after the DOJ Inspector General began his inquiry into how the Department mishandled Crossfire Hurricane,” Grassley wrote in a letter dated Friday to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Advertisement “Moreover, based on this new information, the number of times and the stated reasons for the deletions calls into question whether or not it was a widespread intentional effort,” the Iowa Republican wrote. At least 27 cell phones belonging to members of Mueller’s team were wiped clean of data before the DOJ inspector general could comb them for records, the DOJ said in records released Thursday. Including mobile phones that were “reassigned,” members of the Special Counsel’s office wiped a total of 31 phones. Several of the phones were wiped “accidentally,” some after the wrong password was entered too many times. Andrew Weismann, a top prosecutor on Mueller’s team, “accidentally wiped” his mobile phone more than once, causing the data to be lost, the DOJ said. A phone belong to assistant special counsel James Quarles “wiped itself without intervention from him,” the DOJ’s records state. Advertisement Advertisement The cell phone of FBI lawyer Lisa Page was misplaced by the special counsel’s office. While it was eventually obtained by the DOJ inspector general, by that point the phone had been restored to its factory settings, wiping it of all data. The phone of FBI agent Peter Strzok was also obtained by the inspector general’s office, which found “no substantive texts, notes or reminders” on it. Phones issued to at least three other Mueller prosecutors, Kyle Freeny, Rush Atkinson, and senior prosecutor Greg Andres were also wiped of data. Grassley, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, demanded that the DOJ provide the committee with records relating to the cell phones, including any recovered text messages and the explanations that members of Mueller’s team gave for why their phone data was deleted. Grassley also asked whether the DOJ is investigating potential violations of federal record keeping laws by members of the Special Counsel’s Office as well as whether the department attempted to forensically recover any deleted records. Mueller submitted his final report to Attorney General William Barr on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in March of last year. The report concluded that the Trump campaign did not conspire with Russians to influence the election, but said investigators could not reach a conclusion on whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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‘He’s Failed to Protect Us’: Biden Attacks Trump’s COVID Response in Speech Accepting Dem Nomination

Biden vowed that if he is elected president he will issue a national mandate for all residents to wear a face mask to protect against the coronavirus.

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NYC Teachers’ Union Threatens Strike Unless ‘Every Single Person’ Who Enters a School Receives COVID Test

The president of the powerful United Federation of Teachers union said the union is prepared to strike if schools open before meeting its demands.

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‘Coercion Mode’: MP Claims China’s Ban on Australian Beef is Retaliation for Coronavirus Transparency Demand

“It’s a bastard act,’’ MP George Christensen said. “It’s just wrong. China has just gone into full, bullying, threatening, coercion mode. That’s what I think."

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