Supreme Court Will Hear Challenges To Census Questions Regarding Citizenship

The Supreme Court of the United States decided on Friday it would discuss whether or not additional questions regarding citizenship should be added to the census in 2020. The case arguments will take place in April.

The case now belongs to the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals and has been fast-tracked to make a decision possible before the printing of census forms in June. The Washington Post and the National law Journal each received copies of the cert grant.

Jesse Furman, U.S. District Judge in Manhattan, found a month ago Wilber Ross, Secretary of Commerce, violated the Administrative Procedure Act when he added citizenship questions to the census format.

Furman asserted Ross disregarded statutes involving data collection and the necessity to provide Congress with notice of actions. Furman went on to say the Secretary acted in an arbitrary fashion intended to conceal the true intent of his actions. However, Furman ruled no violation of due process took place since it was not proven Ross intended to discriminate against minorities or individuals who were not citizens of the United States.

Ross explained the questions were being added to the census in order to provide the higher level of citizenship data requested by the Department of Justice. The data is needed, according to Ross and the Department, to support efforts to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Furman stated his belief that Ross solicited the request from the Department of Justice for reasons already possessed by the Secretary.

There have been two lawsuits filed in the case, reports Bloomberg. One was filed by 18 states and several county and city municipalities. The second lawsuit included several advocacy groups for immigrant causes as plaintiffs. The two lawsuits have been consolidated into one for the case.

The lawsuits argue the additional questions will cause immigrants to be more reluctant to participate in the census process. Plaintiffs believe this will reduce the number of immigrants counted on the census.

The House of Representatives has supported the plaintiffs and filed an Amicus Brief in a demonstration of this support. The House explains an inaccurate account will have a direct effect on the allocation of federal dollars to the states, as well as, House representation for states.

U.S. District Judge Voids Manafort’s Cooperation Deal With Mueller

In an interview with CBS News, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Richard Burr said his group of 2016 campaign investigators know something was going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians. But there’s no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Burr also said the investigation isn’t over.

Four members of Trump’s inner circle lied about their interactions with the Russians. Michael Cohen, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort thought lying about their involvement with Russian operatives was a fool-proof plan. They didn’t realize Special Counsel Robert Mueller is one of the best legal bloodhounds in the business. Mueller’s legal track record is impressive. And his current investigation proves Mueller won’t stop until he finds the truth. But the truth in Mueller’s Russian investigation isn’t that easy to find.

The Mueller team knows Russian interference is a small part of the Putin’s plan to get even with the United States for imposing sanctions and for putting him the same sleazy category as North Korea’s Kim Jon Un. Putin claims he plays by Russian rules when he threatens political challengers, and when people who disagree with him disappear. Fixing elections is standard procedure for Russian politicians, so in Putin’s mind, he’s following Russian political protocol.

The Putin interference plan seemed to merge with a plan Paul Manafort concocted during the 2016 campaign. Manafort is well-known in Washington thanks to his lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukraine. Manafort and Cohen both have a close relationship with a Ukraine group that supports Russia. Mr. Cohen used his Ukraine and Russian ties to help Trump build the largest building in Europe. And Cohen convinced his Ukraine friends that Trump wanted to build that building in Moscow. Cohen worked on the Trump Tower Moscow for several years. He stopped after the election, according to the Washington Post.

But Paul Manafort had another plan that could help Ukraine and Russia get what they wanted from the United States. Manafort wanted the U.S. to drop the sanctions against Russia and he allegedly talked to his Russian pal Konstantin Kilimnik about Trump lifting those sanctions, as well as brokering a pro-Russian peace deal for Ukraine when he won the election. Kilimnik went to school to be a Russian intelligence officer. He maintained his connection with Russian intelligence during the 2016 election. Manafort lied to Mueller about his interaction with Kilimnik in 2016 to cover up Trump’s alleged involvement in that scheme.

The Russian infiltration in American politics isn’t new news. But the scope and the depth of that infiltration is new news, according to the New York Times.

Former Manafort Associate Sam Patten May Be A Key Figure In Mueller’s Investigation

One thing is clear. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee and the investigators who work for Robert Mueller still have work to do. Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign is just the tip of the legal iceberg surrounding the Trump campaign, according to some recent reports. Russia and other foreign agents built a clandestine network in the United States. And that network conspired to infiltrate and allegedly control the government of the United States, according to recent comments by the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard M Burr.

Senator Burr comments were a wake-up call for people who thought Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was the only group looking into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. According to Burr, his investigating team found evidence that Russian President Putin started a culvert war with the United States by allegedly infiltrating the U.S. government. But how Putin did that is a mystery that Burr isn’t willing to share with the public. Senator Burr said what his committee found goes deeper than the Trump Organizations contacts with Russian operatives. There is, according to Burr, a reason to worry about Russia’s quest to compromise U.S. power on the world stage.

What Burr and his committee find may never be public information. That fact came to the surface when GOP consultant, Sam Patten, pleaded guilty to being a foreign agent but he didn’t register as one. Patten’s attorneys and the U.S. district attorney in Washington D.C. were in court recently to file a status report on the Patten case. Patten pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the Mueller investigation because of his close association with Paul Manafort. The U.S. district attorney asked the court to keep his updated status report sealed. Mr. Mueller referred Patten case to the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. for prosecution.

Mr. Patten won’t receive a hefty sentence for not registering as a foreign agent. But the request to keep his filing status sealed gave the press a bone to feed on as Mueller continues to turn over Russian and Trump rocks to find what really happened during the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Patten has a connection with Russian oligarch, Konstantin Kilimnik who has some sort of relationship with Russian intelligence. Patten admitted he got tickets to Trump’s Inauguration Party, and he gave them to a Ukrainian oligarch who wanted Trump to lift the sanctions against Russia. Patten’s relationship with Manafort and his efforts to help a Ukrainian political group with ties to Russia seems to be one a major focus in the Mueller investigation.

Rudy Giuliani Goes Underground After Trump Bashes His Trump Tower Moscow Comments

Trump likes a good legal fight. He finds lawyers who want to jump into his chaotic world for one reason or another. Lawsuits and Donald Trump are comfortable bedfellows. Win or lose, Trump gets the attention he needs to help satisfy his insatiable ego. But most attorneys who brave the turbulent waters of Trump’s presidency know it’s not a long-term legal gig. Some legal experts say, Rudy Giuliani, Trump most recent personal lawyer, may be on the Trump chopping block soon.

Rudy and the Trumpster share New York History together. While Rudy tried to clean up New York City, Mr. Trump did his best to siphon millions of dollars from unsuspecting New Yorkers. New York federal prosecutors seem to think Trump and his three oldest children started a company that fleeced New Yorkers out of millions of dollars. Those New Yorkers thought the Trump phone idea would revolutionize how people use the telephone. But while Trump’s Skype-type phone system tried to gain enough traction to make people want to buy it, smartphones came along, and Trump’s phone became a dinosaur before Trump could market it.

Giuliani didn’t press the Trump organization when he was a prosecutor or the mayor of New York City. Instead, he got close to Trump. After all, Trump was a celebrity, and Rudy is a sucker for celebrities, according to his foes. Rudy and Trump stayed friends when Rudy went to Florida to practice law. Rudy developed an interesting law practice in the sunshine state. He helped foreign companies get around American laws, according to a Washington Post op-ed. So when Mr. Trump needed a lawyer who knew how things worked on the international legal stage, he called Rudy.

Mr. Giuliani is a master of the lawyer’s bait and switch. He’ll say one thing on Sunday morning news shows and then change what he said the next day. The press calls Rudy a master of disguise because they never know what Giuliani means when he tries to defend the president. But the press knew his comment about the president knowing negotiations for his Moscow Trump Tower project continued through the 2016 campaign would hit one of Trump’s exposed legal nerves.

The president gave Rudy a Trump-type slap down in private after Giuliani let the truth out of the bag. And Rudy’s been undercover since he got a piece of Trump’s bad side. But Rudy won’t stay hidden for long. More Mueller information will surface this week, and Rudy will be the guy that tries to discredit that information. But Giuliani may not stay around much longer. Rudy doesn’t like cold weather or that cold shoulder treatment he gets when he gets the call to sit in Trump’s White House hot seat.

Voter Rights Reversals Prompt Inquiry By Democratic House

On Friday, the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives began an inquiry into several Trump administration decisions. Among these decisions is the attempt to present questions on citizenship on the 2020 census, and the rollback of decisions made in multiple, key voter rights lawsuits.

Representative Jerrod Nadler heads the committee, and in his communication with U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, demanded that the Justice Department publicize all internal records relating to a few specific voting rights issues. Some would claim that these and other voter rights laws are rarely enforced, and Jerrod Nadler expressed this concern to the Attorney General as well.

The intention of his contact with U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is to uncover records relating to two reversals in Justice Department policy. The Justice Department was previously opposed to the policy enacted by Ohio state to purge voters from the rolls if they don’t vote often enough, and the Texas policy of requiring voter identification. It’s often stated that these laws discriminate against those who lack the resources to easily commute and obtain the necessary ID or vote as often as they would like to. For these reasons, they were opposed under the Obama administration. Under the new administration, however, the opposition has come to an end.

Additionally, the plan to add a citizenship question to the census is highly contentious. Recently, a federal judge ruled against the addition of such a question to the census, which is thus far the highest ruling on the issue. The inquiry seeks access to the communications that led the administration to decide to add such a question and to gain insight into the motives behind it.

While Representative Nadler’s letter poses that the public has many unanswered questions about the purportedly lackadaisical enforcement of voter protections, and requests a full response by the middle of February, the Justice Department has largely declined to comment.

The Supreme Court recently struck down provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, to which Democrats recently responded to with a new bill, the “For The People Act of 2019,”, aimed at reestablishing the provisions in question. States with a history of voter suppression and racial discrimination would be required to obtain federal approval to alter their laws surrounding voting, and it would make Voting Day a federal holiday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his opinion that the bill would create the opportunity for rampant voter fraud.

Read More: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/04/politics/trump-justice-department-race/

Jared Kushner’s Security Clearance Is Still An Issue And The Democrats Want To Put That Issue To Bed

Being Donald Trump’s son-in-law opened a lot of doors for power-hungry Jared Kushner. Jared comes from the same real estate development swamp Trump dominated in the New York City and New Jersey. Kushner’s family business took a nosedive when Jared orchestrated a deal to buy a Fifth Ave office building. Jared paid too much to own a property so close to Trump’s backyard. Rumors of a Kushner bankruptcy were in the wind before Trump became president.

Kushner exhausted all his banking lifelines before jumping into Trumponomics with both feet. Even the mobsters that did business with Kushner thought he was part of the developer’s walking-dead club. But then something happened after Kushner made a couple of trips to the Middle East to promote peace. A group of wealthy Middle East businessmen bought Kushner’s Fifth Ave building, and Jared escaped bankruptcy hell.

According to NBC News, Mr. Trump gave Jared full reign in the White House. When the Trump’s took over Washington, Jared and Ivanka Trump ruled the White House until Kushner’s security clearance became an issue. Two White House security specialists thought Jared was a little too shady to read top-secret material. The specialists thought Kushner would fold under foreign influence, and they were right. Jared and the Saudi prince became besties. The prince stroked Jared’s ego and picked his brain while he plotted to commit an unthinkable crime.

The FBI didn’t like what they found in Jared’s past, but Carl Kline a former Pentagon employee overruled the FBI. Kline gave Jared the clearance he needed to continue reading classified documents. Kushner and 30 other people in the Trump administration got security clearances that didn’t deserve them thanks to Carl Kline. Trump seemed to reward Kline on the down-low for his loyalty. Mr. Kline is now the director of the personnel security office in the president’s executive office.

But now that the Democrats control the House, Kushner’s security clearance is on the line again. The CIA never gave Kushner the clearance he needed to read “sensitive compartmented information.” The CIA saw things in Kushner’s background that made him a poor candidate for such high-security clearance. The CIA couldn’t believe Kushner got any kind of security clearance let alone clearance to read top-secret material.

The Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings told NBC News he wants to get to the bottom of the Kushner security clearance debacle. He wants to know if Trump pulled a few strings, and offered a few perks, in order to get the security clearance Kushner needed without passing the normal security clearance litmus test. Cummings wants to put an end to Trump’s nepotism before Kushner pulls off shadier international stunts.

Trump Advisor Jared Kushner Used The Son-In-Law Card To Trash Ex-Jersey Governor Chris Christie During The 2016 Campaign

Before Chris Christie became governor of New Jersey, he was a popular Republican politician. But after enduring several scandals while he held that position trashed his popularity rating. The people couldn’t wait for Christie to leave the state, but his pal Donald Trump took him in and showered him with promises. Christie became head of Trump’s transition team. Some news reports said Christie would be the next attorney general when Trump took office.

During the 2016 campaign, Christie and Trump were besties until Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and Middle East advisor threw Christie out with the Monday trash. According to excerpts from Christie new book “Let Me Finish,” Jared hates Christie for prosecuting his father, Charles Kushner in 2005. Charles Kushner spent a year in the slammer for tax evasion and witness tampering, and his son never got over it. Jared blamed Christie. Kushner still harbors a grudge, and it is still as strong as it was 14 years ago.

Steve Bannon pulled Christie off the transition team in 2016. Bannon told Christie Kushner was the man responsible for kicking him to the political curb. In 2016, Kushner told members of the Trump team Christie acted inappropriately and unethical without stating any facts to back up those claims, according to Christie’s book. Even though Christie, a former presidential candidate, backed Trump before most conservative Republicans did, he never got a chance to be part of Trump’s cabinet.

The ex-governor unloaded on the Trump administration in his book due to drop on January 29th. Chris claims Trump surrounded himself with a group of undesirable cabinet members. Christie thinks those people are a bunch of rogues who try to undermine the president’s agenda. Mr. Christie claims Trump’s revolving door of misfits, weaklings, grifters, and felons who got their jobs without the proper vetting or proper experience. Christie claims Trump trusts people he shouldn’t trust, and some of those people are close to him.

Mr. Christie is an avid Trump supporter. He often acts as a surrogate for Trump on the Sunday morning talk shows. Chris claims Trump’s presidency can’t be as effective as Trump wants it to be because a small group of his allies try to sidetrack the president’s efforts to get things done. Christie claims he did everything he could to get Trump elected.

Christie still stands up for Trump even though Jared Kushner never misses an opportunity to keep Chris Christie under political wraps. But Christie’s book pulls those wrappers off, according to the unpopular ex-governor.

Read the full report: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/01/jared-kushner-chris-christie-book

A surge in Immigrant court case cancellations due to the government shutdown

The partial government shutdown has had a massive effect on the operations of various state departments, and the judiciary has not been spared. It is reported that almost 43,000 cases involving immigrants have been canceled because of the shutdown, and the number could go higher.

These cancellations have raised a lot of concerns from analysts who say that there is an already backlogged system and therefore, freezing it further could lead to a crisis. Researchers that have been tracking immigration data discovered these huge cancellations and brought it to the limelight thus sparking a lot of public discussions about the implications of the situation.

More cases to be canceled

Apart from the cases that have been withdrawn, the researchers say that there will be 20,000 more cases canceled every week for the remainder of the period that the government will be shut down. According to the report, if the shutdown continues until the end of January, more than 100,000 individuals will be affected when their cases are postponed.

Already, the cases that were scheduled for hearing between, 24th of December and 11th of January have been postponed. The CNBC report goes further to suggest that the individuals that have been impacted by the cancellations have been waiting for up to four years to have their day in court.

Rescheduled hearing of the cases

The researchers also analyzed the likely effect of the situation and found out that the individuals whose cases have been canceled will now have to wait for more than three years for the cases to be rescheduled. Considering the time that they have already spent waiting, there is no doubt that this will be a traumatizing experience for them unless something out of the ordinary happens.

According to the White House, Congress has received a request from the White House to allocate funds to 75 new immigration judges. This, they say, will clear the backlog that has been growing steadily over the last five years.

Observers say that even if the new judges were hired after approval by Congress, the backlog is still too massive. The approval is still a matter of doubt because there is a stalemate over the immigration policy in the country. The cases going on during the shutdown are few, and therefore, those that are not heard are added to the current case backlog every week. The cases being added to this category are too many, yet there already were more than 800,000 cases on the backlog by the end of November 2018.

Trump Presidency Is In A Constant State Of Emergency

Donald Trump inherited a fortune from Fred Trump. Trump’s dad was a successful slumlord in New York City. Fred had all the right connections so his son Donald and his family got the best life could offer. Don went to an Ivy League University, and he schmoozed with the likes of mob attorney Roy Cohn. And when Fred passed, Trump inherited his fortune.

Mr. Trump likes to say he’s a self-made man. He said he started with nothing and built an incredible real estate empire by himself. Trump wrote a book about his “art of the deal.” But Trump left out the fact that he ran several businesses in the ground while he told the world he was the king of deal-making. Donald Trump, the businessman, bankrupted four of his casinos, and he managed to put Trump Airlines out of business.

But according to Don Sr., everything he touches turns to gold. He throws false accusations around to deflect the business carnage he creates. He runs the government the same way he runs his businesses. Mr. Trump believes his voter base wants his kind of knee-jerk, ill-informed leadership. He thinks his voter base wants a stubborn, dictator-type leader who has the last word in all government transactions.

Trump’s presidency is not the kind of presidency that cares about people. The government shutdown proves Trump doesn’t give a damn if people go hungry and lost their homes as long as he gets his way, according to a Yahoo financial article. Trump hired a group of Republican henchmen to do his presidential dirty work, according to several Washington Post Op-eds because Trump relates to the bad guys.

Political analysts say Mr. Trump White House management record shows a man who doesn’t listen. He wants to run the government his way. Based on Trump’s management history, his way means running the government into the ground, according to several news reports.

Trump’s chaotic management style is on full display. The world is able to see how the government of the United States really works under Trump. Some Democrats say the southern border issue isn’t a reason to put a state of emergency in effect. Those Democrats say Trump’s leadership is the real state of emergency facing the nation.

The world now knows Trump has no regard for consequences. His former chief of staff, John Kelly told the press Trump likes to come up with ideas that break laws. That’s how Trump rolls, according to the New Yorkers who watched Trump act like a Mafia don in the real estate development business.

Fred Trump didn’t know his son would become president, but he did know Donald would break the rules and claim victory even if he lost. That kind of mentality is in the Trump genes.

Expert wants jailed Islamism extremists separated from other inmates

Ian Acheson, an expert that led the reviews of Islamist extremists by the UK government wants jailed extremists separate from other inmates. He said that the jails had become a breeding ground for radical behavior and therefore, the detained Islamists should not be allowed to mingle with other inmates who have committed different crimes. In his view, the number of lower-tariff extremists is increasing, and they are finding their way to jail, a situation that is likely to encourage bad behavior among other inmates. This is the second time that he has called for the separation.

Controversial recommendation

While acknowledging that his proposal was a controversial one, Ian said that it is informed by the fact that statistics show that about 40% of those convicted for terrorism received four years or less sentence. He said that the since the prisons are overcrowded and understaffed, the misery that these convicts go through makes them enter the penal system as severely disorder people. It is difficult for them to receive correctional care for their behavior while living under the kinds of conditions that they find in prison. Since they easily find safety in their religion and ideology, it becomes difficult for officers in prison to provide treatment for their behavior.

A threat to future generations

Ian also observed that since they are free to mingle with other inmates, there is a possibility of them interfering with their thinking and therefore, they can easily radicalize the next generation. If this is allowed to go on, the world will find itself in a situation that will be too difficult to manage. It is because of this reason that he wants lawmakers to move fast and avert the situation before t escalates. In his report, he says that the best way to deal with0020treemists who wish to harm other people is by engaging them and not shunning them altogether.

A report recently released by the ministry of justice showed that there are around 700 prisoners who are a significant threat because of their extremist alignment. These inmates are either Islamists or far-right ideology believers. Further information also shows that the number of people who are convicted of terrorism increases every year, and that is the reason Ian believes it can lead to more problems if not checked. He wants policymakers to stop being complacent because even though the numbers seem small, it should not be forgotten that there are about 83000 inmates and therefore, the terror convicts can easily use their links within the prison to advance their ideologies.

Can your genes be used against you?

Over the past several years, consumer DNA testing companies like Ancestry and 23andMe have grown in popularity as people have been eager to discover what parts of the world make up who they are individually and create a personalized family tree out of it. But, with privacy being a high priority in societies, it’s led to some weariness and speculation around the globe about the use of this information within law enforcement.

It’s worth mentioning that all of these DNA companies were not built the same. For now, it seems the most popular companies (we’ll stick with Ancestry, 23andMe and Family Tree DNA) will be a tough nut to crack for law enforcement to obtain information that compromises the freedom and privacy of their consumers. But it is possible.

For those concerned about their privacy when testing their DNA, Ancestry says “Contents of communications and any data relating to the DNA of an Ancestry user will be released only pursuant to a valid search warrant from a government agency with proper jurisdiction.” Ancestry also expressed the user will be made aware of this request of their information, unless prohibited not to do so. 23andMe and Family Tree DNA have also expressed the same assurance.

The easiest access law enforcement has to citizens’ DNA data is through a free website, GEDmatch. The way GEDmatch works is, after someone receives their results from well-known companies (Ancestry, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA), he or she can upload their data to GEDmatch to “match” with other relatives who have done the same. This structure allows it to be considered public information because of the free and “at-will” aspects. GEDmatch gained significant attention when law enforcement used its data to solve a cold case that led to the arrest of the Golden State Killer, a suspect who committed at least 13 murders, over 50 rapes and 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986.

These genealogical connections can be made even through related cousins, which is precisely how this serial killer was found, and it doesn’t take long. Although, this can definitely lead to solved cases that would appease many citizens, it opens the door for exposure in other areas some may not consider.

According to an interview of a genealogy detective on CNN, law enforcement will continue to use GEDmatch as a reliable source for DNA evidence as it continues to grow.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2019/01/05/is-your-dna-test-being-used-by-law-enforcement.cnn

Marijuana Remains Illegal In Indiana

Lawmakers in Indiana has been pushing for the legislation of recreational and medical marijuana. More states are legalizing marijuana. However, Gov. Eric Holcomb, remains opposed to marijuana legalizing. Marijuana has been legalized in Michigan. Medical marijuana has been legalized in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

Gov. Eric Holcomb stated that he does not want to legalize marijuana because the federal government says that it is illegal. The federal government currently classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. This means that it is not accepted for medical use and has a high chance for abuse.

Gov. Holcomb stated that marijuana use is a crime, and he is not willing to look at it any other way. However, he did sign a bill that legalized the sale and use of CBD oil. CBD oil comes from marijuana, but it only has a small amount of THC. Gov. Holcomb stated that marijuana is a gateway drug that could cause people to use more dangerous drugs.

He acknowledged that there may be medical benefits that can be reaped from using marijuana. However, he believes that more research needs to be done in order to study the health effects of it. Karen Tallian is a Democratic senator who supports marijuana legalization. She stated that marijuana legalization is at an all-time high. She believes that all states need to follow suit.

Jim Lucas is a Republican senator who supports marijuana legalization. He stated that people who support marijuana legalization often face opposition. He also pointed out the hypocrisy in marijuana being illegal. He stated that he does not understand how people can be against marijuana legalization and find nothing wrong with someone going to the store and buying liquor.

Gov. Holcomb stated that he is not worried about the state is losing by keeping marijuana illegal. He said that the state is in a good financial position.

Trump’s Lawyers May Use The Executive Privilege Card If Mueller’s Investigation Finds Obstruction Issues

Following the Mueller investigation is like watching a modern-day version of Columbo tracking down a cagy criminal who has a plethora of tricks up his sleeves. Mueller and his team of super-sleuths are methodically building a case that could send Donald Trump to Nixonville, the political graveyard where shame and banishment rule.

But anyone who underestimates the power of the president should take another look at history, according to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s main legal attack dog. Rudy told the press the president is above the law.

Giuliani wants Mueller to show his cards. He wants Mueller to finish his report and turn it over to the attorney general. If Mueller finds Trump co-operated with the Russians, and he obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey, Rudy has a plan. The plan is to use the executive privilege card.

Rudy believes anything Trump’s aides say to Mueller during his investigation that wind up in the hands of Congress would violate Trump’s executive privilege. Trump’s former lawyer, Ty Cobb brought that defense up early in the investigation.

Executive privilege is Trump’s ace in the hole. It’s the reason Trump feels confident calling the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt.” Congress would violate executive privilege if they impeach Trump. So in order to get to the bottom of the real meaning of executive privilege a legal battle will be the next Trump reality show. That legal battle could captivate the world for months. Any kind of legal battle will give Trump enough time to sow more MAGA seeds in order to win the 2020 election, according to a Washington Post article.

Mr. Trump knows his acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, and his pick to replace Jeff Sessions permanently, Bill Barr have his back. The president knows Whitaker can decide not to send Mueller’s report to Congress because it violates executive privilege, according to a Daily Beast article. Rudy Giuliani thinks the president has the power to use the executive privilege card, and that means only the executive branch can read Mueller’s report.

Trump and Giuliani are ready for a court battle. Trump knows part of the Justice Department’s duty is to protect executive privilege. Trump may be nervous, but he’s not scared to fight in court.

But the executive privilege card isn’t a Star Wars-type protection system even though Trump and Giuliani think it is. Congress or a grand jury can waive that privilege. Congress can get the Mueller report through a subpoena. Several legal experts think that may happen when Mueller gives his complete report to Matt Whitaker.

Government Shutdown May Not End Any Time Soon

The government shutdown may potentially go on for a long time. Congress is currently on break for the holidays. They will receive a 24-hour notice when it is time for them to vote. They are supposed to meet on Thursday, but only a few people are expected to be around for the meeting.

President Trump stated that he was willing to do whatever it took to get border security. The government shutdown started on Saturday December 22,2018. It is estimated that 420,000 workers in the United States are working without pay. Over 380,000 workers have been furloughed.

Mark Meadows is a Republican representative from North Carolina. He is also a Trump ally. He stated that President Trump is firm on his stance and wants to secure the border. He also stated that if anyone thinks that the President will yield, then they are mistaken.

Last week, the Senate approved funding that would keep the government open until February. The $1.3 billion in funding is going to provide border security, but it will not pay for the wall. However, the Senate did not have enough votes to keep the government open.

Kevin Hassett is the chairman of the White House’s Council for Economic Advisors. He stated that the government shutdown will not affect 2019 economic growth. He also stated that even if the government is shut down for a few weeks, it will not have any major effects on the economic outlook. They are expecting the economy to be even stronger in 2019.

It is estimated that 52,000 IRS workers have been furloughed due to the government shutdown. Everyone who works at NASA has been furloughed. Eighty percent of the people who work at national parks have been forced to stay home due to the shutdown. Additionally, many of the national parks have been closed.

Will Donald Trump Legalize Cannabis?

Cannabis advocacy has gained quite a bit of traction recently, as more and more major corporations are backing the nation’s favorite cash-crop. Over the past month alone, some of the biggest cigarette manufacturing and beer producing companies, like Marlboro and Budweiser, have finally invested in cannabis, leading some supporters to believe that federal legalization is just around the corner. In fact, many seem to think that President Donald Trump will fully legalize it during the next year, maybe even before Christmas.

In addition to gaining the support of huge and relevant corporations, Congress signed a bill legalizing the growth and nationwide production of industrial hemp. In over eight decades, hemp is now legal to grow on a large scale. The fact that President Donald Trump personally signed off on the bill is enough to make some believe that marijuana prohibition is almost over.

The belief isn’t that outlandish either. Since Democrats reclaimed control of the house during the United States mid-term elections, by a landslide some might add, cannabis is expected to receive much more attention over the on-coming year. Many representatives who blocked propositions involving cannabis have either resigned or been voted out.
Furthermore, lawmakers have already been pushing for legalized cannabis amendments, believing that if the house is controlled by Democrats, the days of prohibition of numbered.

Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence supporting expectations for federal cannabis legalization lies in Donald Trump’s approval ratings and the impact he’s had during his term as President. Many people have been left feeling isolated and abandoned by the Trump administration, forcing many on both sides of the political spectrum to suspect Donald Trump of potentially using the federal legalization of cannabis as a primary platform for reelection in 2020. Whether this happens or not, only time will tell, but advocates and smokers are undoubtedly rejoicing that the fear of jail will no longer loom overhead.