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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Another Hunter Biden Laptop Taken Into CUSTODY During DEA Raid: Report

Daniel Chaitin, Jerry Dunleavy Updated Oct 31, 2020, 12:27 AM

Another laptop tied to Hunter Biden was reportedly obtained by the Drug Enforcement Administration earlier this year.

Sources told NBC News that the device belonging to the 50-year-old son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now a presidential candidate, was taken into custody by the DEA in February while executing a search warrant in the Massachusetts office of a psychiatrist who was accused of professional misconduct.

That former celebrity psychiatrist, Keith Ablow, saw his medical license suspended after he faced allegations of sexually exploiting patients and illegally diverting prescription drugs. Ablow has denied the allegations and has not been charged with any crime.

The report from NBC on Friday said Hunter Biden was not a target of the search or the investigation, and his lawyer got the laptop back. It remains unclear why the device was there in the first place.

A lawyer for Hunter Biden did not immediately return a request for comment. The Washington Examiner also reached out to the DEA for comment. Hunter Biden has struggled with substance abuse. He was discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2013 after testing positive for cocaine.

Another laptop and hard drive that purportedly belonged to Hunter Biden was given to a computer shop owner in Delaware to repair last year. The hardware was never retrieved, the owner said, and they were obtained by the FBI. A copy was also given to Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has shared the contents, which include emails, photos, and other data, with the media in recent weeks.

Joe Biden and his presidential campaign have denied claims that he was aware of any foreign business dealings by his son, as is suggested in the computer materials. But neither the former vice president nor his son Hunter has denied the authenticity of the computer materials.

Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski told Tucker Carlson of Fox News this week that it was “disgusting” that his claims about Hunter and Joe Biden's brother, James, pursuing a lucrative Chinese business deal using the Biden family name were being associated with claims of “Russian disinformation” by Democrats such as Joe Biden and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

Keith Ablow in 2009.
(AP Photo/CJ Gunther, Pool, File)

During the final presidential debate last week, Biden cited how 50 ex-intelligence officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, signed on to a letter related to the Hunter Biden laptop story, claiming that it “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation” while admitting that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan. They have said this is, has all the — four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage," Biden said after President Trump brought up the "laptop from hell."

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said earlier this month that he has not seen evidence showing the laptop and emails are connected to the Kremlin. “Let me be clear: The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that, and we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It is simply not true,” Ratcliffe said.

James Rosen, a reporter with Sinclair Broadcasting, also reported Thursday that a Justice Department official had confirmed with him that the FBI opened up a criminal investigation into “Hunter Biden and his associates” in 2019 that was focused on allegations of money-laundering and that the investigation was still open and active. In an interview with Sinclair, Bobulinski said that he had spoken with the FBI for five hours last Friday and called himself a “material witness” related to an inquiry into members of the Biden family.

The Justice Department did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment on that matter.

“The FBI’s standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” an FBI spokesman told the Washington Examiner on Friday. “As a general matter when contacted, the FBI reviews information from the public for consideration of any violations of applicable federal laws. Based on that review, the FBI determines whether investigative steps are warranted.”

The Daily Caller obtained a copy of Hunter Biden’s purported hard drive and reported on Thursday that Robert Graham, the founder of the cybersecurity firm Errata Security, said that at least one key email that had previously been published by the New York Post was “absolutely verified beyond a shadow of a doubt” after the outlet provided him with a copy of the email and its metadata for forensic analysis.

Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
(Visar Kryeziu/AP)

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email from Burisma board member Vadym Pozharskyi dated April 17, 2015, reads, but there were no additional details about what the "meet" might entail or if it had occurred.

Joe Biden's presidential campaign has denied that such a meeting took place based on "Biden’s official schedules from the time" but only as it was described in the New York Post. Politico later reported that former Biden senior advisers “said that while there was never an official meeting, it's technically conceivable that Pozharskyi would have approached Biden on the sidelines of some broader U.S.-Ukraine event."

Amos Hochstein, a longtime adviser to Joe Biden on Ukrainian affairs, insisted to TIME that the meeting "never" took place.

Bobulinski also recently verified the authenticity of a May 13, 2017, email from investor James Gilliar to himself, Hunter Biden's business associate Rob Walker, and James and Hunter Biden detailing a business deal between a Chinese company called CEFC and themselves, which included a reference to “the big guy” — who Bobulinski claims was Joe Biden.

                                                           Hunter Biden.
                                                         (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The texts are part of a trove of hundreds of documents from Bobulinski obtained by the Washington Examiner. The records show that James Biden planned outreach to a host of Democratic politicians and world leaders as the group pursued business deals with China in 2017 and that Hunter Biden aimed to avoid having to register as a foreign agent.

"Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family nor in any overseas business whatsoever," Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told the Washington Examiner last week. "He has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member, or any other person ever held stock for him."

But Bobulinski said Tuesday that it was "crystal clear" that Biden was aware of the Chinese business efforts of his brother and son when Bobulinski met with him in 2017.


DHS Chief Labels Twitter a 'THREAT' to U.S. Security Over CENSORSHIP

                In this July 21, 2020, file photo, Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf, speaks during a news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  Stephen Dinan

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf labeled Twitter a “threat” to America’s security on Friday, saying that the tech giant’s quick trigger finger in censoring government agencies could deny people information they need to be safe.

Mr. Wolf’s comments came after an embarrassing incident in which Twitter expunged a tweet about the border wall and locked the account of the head of Customs and Border Protection, saying it was “hateful” to claim that “walls work” to stop gang members and criminals from getting across.

Twitter caved after nearly 24 hours, restoring the tweet and access to the account.

“It is dangerous and damaging when any publisher arbitrarily and unfoundedly decides, as it did here, that the facts and policies of a particular presidential administration constitute ‘violence’ — in order to censor them,” Mr. Wolf wrote in a letter to Twitter’s CEO.

He continued: “And in the case of Twitter, this can cut off an essential mode of communication between U.S. government officials and the public. In doing so, Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues.”

Mr. Wolf said Twitter can’t say it was an accident He revealed that CBP’s first attempt to appeal Twitter’s decision was rebuffed. Only after the agency went public — with Mr. Wolf and acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan detailing the censorship while standing in front of the border wall in Texas on Thursday — that Twitter relented.

The company also bungled its communications with the press. It told The Washington Times at 2 p.m. Thursday that the censorship had been reversed, but the tweet wasn’t actually restored until later in the afternoon.

And the company said the decision was reversed “following an appeal by the account owner.”

In fact, Mr. Wolf said, that initial appeal was denied, and it was only after he and Mr. Morgan took their complaints to the public that the company reversed itself.

The decision to censor Mr. Morgan came just hours after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified to the Senate over his company’s policies, defending their rules as unbiased.


Friday, October 30, 2020

AMERICA Itself Is On The Ballot

In this election, Donald Trump faces the opposite of everything he stands for

               President Donald Trump points to the crowd after speaking at a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

 Charles Hurt

Never has an election come down to a clearer choice.

You have a strong, disruptive, sitting president who unabashedly loves America and seeks to tame Washington. He openly supports and defends the principles and ideals on which America is founded.

When President Trump took the oath of office, he vowed to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The guy was not kidding.

He is a man of America, trying to tame Washington.

In this election, Mr. Trump faces the very opposite of everything he stands for.

The Democrat nominee in this election is a man who is embarrassed by America. His campaign is an apology for all that America is and the very principles and ideals America was founded upon.

Joseph R. Biden is a man of Washington, trying to strangle America.

When riots break out in an American city after police shoot dead a man charging people with a knife, President Trump vows to put down the looting and mayhem.

Mr. Biden apologizes. For the police.

That is because Mr. Biden believes that America is “systemically racist.” That is no small charge. It is a treasonous claim that America is so deeply veined with racism that the racism cannot be rooted out unless America is torn asunder.

Democrat politicians today openly assert that America was founded on the racism of slavery — a hideously ignorant slander that obliterates every principle, ideal and argument of our founding.

Tell me how is it possible that a single one of these politicians takes the oath to “support and defend” a Constitution they openly believe must be wrenched apart? How do they claim to defend the Constitution from all enemies — foreign and domestic — if they themselves are the enemy of that very Constitution?

In the great pantheon of President Trump’s stunning successes, none are more important than his slavish fidelity to the Constitution in choosing judges for the federal bench, particularly the three justices he placed on the Supreme Court.

We just concluded the epic fight to replace the late activist Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the great constitutionalist Amy Coney Barrett.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee made the argument out loud during her confirmation hearings that Justice Barrett was not qualified to be on the Supreme Court because she believes the Constitution as written and amended actually means what it says. Her “originalist” views render her outdated, racist and bigoted — just like the flawed men who founded America.

This was — literally — their argument against Justice Barrett. And every other judge and justice President Trump has put forward.

Again, please tell me how these men and women on the Senate Judiciary Committee get away with such an intentional, sustained — systemic, even — attack on the very Constitution they swore to support and defend when they got elected?

“Treason” does not begin to describe what these people are guilty of. It is in fact a vast conspiracy to commit treason and shred the Constitution. And these people have taken hold of an entire major party in Washington today.

The outlines of this most crucial fight play out in every other area of American political life today.

President Trump wants to open America and let people breathe free, relying on the wisdom of citizens to be prudent during this global pandemic. Mr. Biden wants to shut the country down and force physical mandates on all Americans.

Mr. Trump wants to turn loose the American economy to lift all people out of these doldrums. Mr. Biden wants to throttle the free economy, starting with the oil and gas industry that has given America unrivaled independence from the very wars Mr. Biden spent decades dragging Americans into around the world.

Mr. Trump wants to bring home the troops that Mr. Biden sent overseas.

Even in their campaign styles, Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden could not strike more polar opposite demeanors.

Mr. Trump is a constant presence, blazingly open and always eager to share his every opinion. Sometimes to the detriment of his own campaign.

Mr. Biden, meanwhile, is literally hiding from voters, hoping to burn out the clock until Election Day. It appears that Mr. Biden is so mentally enfeebled that his campaign handlers hope Mr. Trump’s name alone — and the voter exhaustion that comes with it — will be enough to get Mr. Biden elected.

But it is not just Mr. Trump who is on the ballot this year. It is the Constitution and America as we know it.

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor of The Washington Times. 


Don Lemon Got 'RID OF' Trump-Supporting Friends: 'They Have to Hit Rock Bottom Like an ADDICT'

'If they're willing to live in Reality, then I welcome them with open arms,' the CNN host said

                                                                 (Screenshot via CNN)

 Jessica Chasmar

CNN host Don Lemon said Thursday he “had to get rid of” a lot of President Trump-supporting friends during the coronavirus pandemic, because he thinks they are “too far gone” in their delusions and “have to hit rock bottom like an addict” in order to accept reality.

“You know what the sad thing is?” Mr. Lemon asked fellow prime-time colleague Chris Cuomo during his nightly handoff. “And I’ll be honest with you, I have many people who I love in my life. Yes, I come from a red state. I’ve lived in several red states. There are a lot of friends that I had to get rid of because they are so nonsensical when it comes to this issue.

“Every single talking point that they hear on state TV and that they hear from this president, they repeat it, and they are blinded by it,” he continued.

“I had to get rid of them, because they are too far gone,” Mr. Lemon said. “I try and I try and I try. They’ll say something really stupid and then I’ll show them the science and I’ll give them the information, and they still repeat those talking points.”

“I had to get rid of a lot of people in my life because sometimes you just have to let them go,” he added. “I think that they have to hit rock bottom like an addict. Right? And they have to want to get help, they have to want to know the truth, they have to want to live in reality, they have to want to be responsible, not only for other people’s lives, but for their lives.


The LEFT is Flipping Out Over Brett Kavanaugh’s Common-Sense Opinion on Election Rules

                                                                 Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. AP

 Rich Lowry

For now, Vladimir Putin has been supplanted as the chief threat to the integrity of the presidential election by an American in a black robe — Brett Kavanaugh.

The Supreme Court justice’s concurrence in an Oct. 26 decision slapping down a district court’s extension of a Wisconsin election deadline has been universally condemned by the center-left as a damning preview of an attempt by the court to steal the election for President Trump.

Mark Joseph Stern wrote a piece for Slate titled, “Brett Kavanaugh Signals He’s Open to Stealing the Election for Trump.”

The New York Times reported that civil-rights and Democratic Party lawyers viewed the concurrence “as giving public support to President Trump’s arguments that any results counted after November 3 could be riddled with fraudulent votes.”

According to Vox, the Supreme Court’s decision shows that “American election law has entered a chaotic new world, one where even the most basic rules are seemingly up for grabs.”

This all speaks to the inflamed state of Kavanaugh’s critics days before a hotly contested election rather than to the merits of his concurrence, which is commonsensical and accords with a plain reading of the Constitution.

In the Wisconsin case, a federal district judge in late September tacked six days onto the state’s deadline for receiving absentee ballots. It was this court that overstepped its bounds and interfered in Wisconsin’s election, not Kavanaugh, who voted simply to restore the status quo ante.

Kavanaugh’s argument that “the rules of the road should be clear and settled” before the election would seem obvious. Does anyone think it’s better if they are confused and uncertain?

As Kavanaugh notes, a preference for rules established well ahead of time honors the so-called Purcell principle against late changes imposed by courts (the reference is to a 2006 case, Purcell v. Gonzalez).

More fundamentally, the Constitution entrusts state legislatures with writing election laws. Or, as Neil Gorsuch put it in his own concurrence, joined by Kavanaugh, “The Constitution provides that state legislatures — not federal judges, not state judges, not state governors, not other state officials — bear primary responsibility for setting election rules.”

It’s not that state rules must always stay fixed. The approach defended by Kavanaugh provides plenty of leeway for states, through their legislatures, to change how they are handling their elections.

Is that so hard? In her dissent sharply taking issue with Kavanaugh, Justice Elena Kagan makes policy arguments for why an extension of Wisconsin’s deadline is preferable. Fine, but the right way for her to bring laxer election rules to Wisconsin is to run for its legislature.

Kavanaugh has been mocked for saying that late-arriving ballots could “potentially flip the results of an election.” There’s no “result” to flip until all the ballots have been counted, right? But Kavanaugh clearly meant “results” in a loose sense; he’s referring to the change from one candidate leading on election night to an another candidate pulling ahead.

Kavanaugh sees the wisdom of states — in order to avoid a drawn-out count that fuels suspicions about the process — wanting “to be able to definitely announce the results of the election on election night.” Critics jumped on him for this, too. The Times asserted that this view “misconstrues the voting process, where official results often are not fully tabulated for days or even weeks after an election.”

Actually, Kavanaugh misconstrued nothing. In the next sentence, he referred to states, after all the votes are counted, beginning “the process of canvassing and certifying the election results.”

The reaction to Kavanaugh’s concurrence serves to underline its basic soundness. Now that we are days away from an election, each party strongly believes that it knows what rules favor it, making for highly charged, last-minute court fights that should have been taken up in democratically elected legislatures months ago.

Kavanaugh is being set up as the boogeyman of any nasty postelection court battles that he’d prefer didn’t happen at all.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Election Really About FURIOUS Liberal Dems Changing Constitutional Norms

Altering the Electoral College, packing the Senate and the Supreme Court on table

                     Election a choice and constitutional norms illustration by The Washington Times

 Victor Davis Hanson

In traditional presidential campaigns, the two major parties offer contrasting ideas and policies. The Democratic and Republican candidates barnstorm the nation to make their cases.

Not this year.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden is more or less a virtual candidate, mostly communicating from home via Zoom. He offers few detailed alternatives to the first four years of the Trump administration.

Instead, Mr. Biden is running on the idea that Donald Trump caused the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession, and that he’s responsible for violence in the streets.

But Mr. Biden rarely offers contrasting visions of what he would have done differently than the Trump administration — or, for that matter, major European countries that are now in worse economic shape and fighting another coronavirus spike.

Even in the final days of the race, Mr. Biden is making far fewer campaign appearances than President Trump. The challenger is outsourcing to the media his defense against allegations that the Biden family has peddled influence to foreign interests for millions of dollars that were routed into family coffers.

An inert Mr. Biden is playing the role of good ol’ Joe from Scranton, while his supporters hope not to just to change presidency, but to alter the very rules of how America has been governed for decades and even centuries.

Not long ago, the left favored the Electoral College. California, New York and Illinois gave Democrats more than 100 automatic Electoral College votes.

The left bragged that their “Blue Wall” lock on solidly Democratic, union-heavy Midwestern states had ensured Barack Obama two presidential terms — and in 2016 would guarantee Hillary Clinton the presidency as well.

But in 2016, the Blue wall crumbled — perhaps permanently.

Now, furious progressives plan to end the constitutionally mandated Electoral College by hook or crook. They feel it is no longer serves their election purposes.

Ditto the traditional structure of the Supreme Court. For nearly 60 years, a left-leaning Supreme Court revolutionized American cultural and political life with progressive decisions. The majority on the court advanced liberal agendas that often found little support in referenda, state legislatures and Congress.

Even Republican-appointed judges often flipped from conservative to liberal in the progressive culture of Washington. Once strict constructionist justices such as Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, Lewis F. Powell Jr., David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart and Earl Warren all became activists, delighting the left. Almost no Democratic-appointed justices turned traditional and conservative.

The Supreme Court includes two of Barack Obama’s liberal nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. The left assumed that after 2016, Hillary Clinton as president would appoint three or four more activist justices over her almost guaranteed eight-year tenure.

But then the unthinkable happened with the stunning 2016 election of Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump now has appointed three traditionalist (and relatively young) justices to lifetime spots on the Supreme Court. Ironically, he was empowered to do so after Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the Senate rules in 2013, reducing the threshold for approval of executive and judicial nominees from 60 votes to 51 votes.

Mr. Reid wrongly took for granted that Democrats would control the Senate for the next decade as part of an Obama-Clinton 16-year continuum. Mr. Reid wished to ensure that the Republican Senate minority would have no ability to obstruct the appointment of progressive nominees until at least 2024.

Instead, Mr. Reid ensured that Mr. Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate could appoint conservative judges at will under the new rules.

If elected president, Joe Biden would likely “pack” the Supreme Court with additional slots. That enlargement would ensure new activist left-wing justices.

In other words, the 151-year tradition of a Supreme Court with nine justices would end.

The left also wants to pack the Senate — and change the rules. Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., would become new states. Their admission would end the tradition of 50-state America and would likely mean another four Democratic senators.

Biden presidency and Democratic-controlled Senate would also quickly kill off what is left of the filibuster. Democrats wish to ensure that a surviving Republican minority could not impede progressive agendas in the same manner that the Democratic minority has stopped Republican legislation in recent years.

In sum, the 2020 election is not just about Joe Biden sitting on a perceived lead and trying to run out the clock against barnstorming incumbent President Trump.

It is really a choice between changing rules when they are deemed inconvenient and respecting constitutional norms and long-held traditions that have served America well for many years.


US Economic Growth SHATTERS Record at 33.1%

President Trump has made restoring a once-vibrant economy from its coronavirus downturn a centerpiece of his re-election bid

 Megan Henney

The U.S. economy grew at a record-shattering pace in the third quarter as businesses reopened from the coronavirus shutdown, but the nation remains in a deep hole from the COVID-induced recession.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, surged by 33.1% on an annualized basis in the three-month period from July through September, the Commerce Department said in its first reading of the data Thursday. The previous post-World War II record was a 16.7% increase in 1950.

Refinitiv economists expected the report to show the economy had expanded by 31%.

But the headline figure obscures the full picture: The economy contracted at an annual revised rate of 31.4% in the previous quarter, the sharpest decline in modern American history. Looking at the quarterly data, the nation's GDP grew 7.4% from the second to the third quarter, compared with a 9% decline between the first and second quarters.

The economy remains 3.5% smaller than at the end of 2019.


"The economy in the third quarter will still be far below what it was pre-COVID, so far below that the depth of the recession even after that record growth will still be as a deep as a very deep recession, like the 2008 recession," Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist, told FOX Business before the latest data.

The Commerce Department calculates the GDP on a quarter-over-quarter basis as if that level of growth were sustained for a full year; in times of huge swings up or down, it can exaggerate both the decline in growth and the subsequent rebound.

Because the third quarter is measured against the second quarter -- a historically low baseline -- any bounceback at all would appear huge. The U.S. economy came to a near standstill earlier this year to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 9 million Americans and killed over 227,000, the most in the world.

"Even though this quarter’s GDP came in relatively strong, we have to keep in mind that this grade comes on a big curve – this is really a benchmark against the drastic hole we started to climb out of in [the second quarter]," said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group.


Still, the Trump administration took a victory lap on the GDP figure, touting it as "absolute validation of President Trump's policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country."

"The President built the world’s best economy once and he’s rapidly doing it again, proving that cutting taxes and reducing regulations and red tape clear the way for American ingenuity and our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive," Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump 2020 campaign, said in a statement.

The economy's coronavirus-induced swoon, illustrated in the previous quarter's decline in GDP, undercut once-vibrant growth that had been a key plank of the president's re-election bid. On the campaign trail against Democratic challenger Joe Biden, Trump has told voters that the economy has already begun to bounce back from the decline but only he can completely restore it.

The third-quarter growth reported Thursday was spurred by a resurgence in consumer spending, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of the nation's GDP, as states eased shutdown measures over the summer and employers rehired workers. Personal consumption increased by 40.7%, a record, last quarter. Business investment and housing also posted strong gains.

But economists worry that growth is starting to plateau in the final three months of the year amid a spike in new COVID cases and the lack of another round of government relief. (In Europe, surging infection rates led to a fresh round of restrictions).


For months, Congress has struggled to reach an agreement on another round of emergency relief for families and businesses — negotiations first collapsed in early August, prompting Trump to sign four executive measures intended to provide relief to families still reeling from the virus-induced crisis, including temporarily extending supplemental jobless aid at $300 a week.

But that aid is beginning to expire, and lifelines that propped up the economy in the early weeks of the pandemic — like the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program, a one-time $1,200 stimulus check and sweetened unemployment benefits — lapsed months ago.

On top of that, millions of laid-off workers could lose their jobless benefits altogether by the end of the year, with the enhanced unemployment benefits that Congress approved in March set to expire on Dec. 31.

"We’re in dire need of additional fiscal stimulus to help build a bridge for people to get through this recession and combat accelerating financial distress," Rick said.