Congress

New Border wall in ‘smuggler’s gulch’ is working according to CBP agents

Justin De La Torre stated a steep, open canyon between San Diego and Tijuana has been used for decades by immigrants to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Mexico.

“It has an anti-climb feature, it’s made of steel, it also has a concrete base that prevents digging from underneath, and now we’re able to control this area with the new infrastructure.”

According to California Border Patrol agents, new infrastructure in an area known as “smuggler’s gulch” is making a difference.

President Trump moved to replace the fencing along the San Diego border earlier this year as his administration sped up moves to build taller, stronger border reinforcement.

“This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall,”

said the president.

“It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and as these agents will tell you, where walls go up, illegal crossings go way down.”

Numerous wall construction projects are underway across the Southwest border, including projects in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. — CBP (@CBP) August 25, 2019

Kasich touted a “red flag law,” which would allow people to alert authorities if they notice a social media post that might indicate that a person is unstable.

It would then be up to a judge to decide what to do, as far as limiting that person’s ability to possess a firearm.

“It is outrageous for the politicians to just sit back and hope this goes away,”

Kasich said, pushing the media to maintain the discussion as well. Keeping the pressure on both parties is Kasich’s suggestion for making sure Congress addresses gun violence with action.

“They can all be blamed for this,”

he added.

“We need leadership at all levels of both parties.”

While Democrats have accused President Trump of inspiring race-based attacks, and have blamed Republicans for failing to pass gun control legislation, Kasich said the Democrats themselves are by no means in the clear.

Kasich acknowledged that Congress is unable to prevent all gun violence, but insisted that

“small steps can be very helpful.”

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich took members of both parties to task on Sunday for failing to take action to prevent mass shootings such as the ones that hit his home state in the city of Dayton, as well as El Paso, Texas this weekend.

“Do you know how many Democrats run for the fences whenever this comes up? They don’t want to deal with this either,”

Kasich told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“You want to pass gun control legislation? People need to start marching,”

In the past, Democrats and media pundits have responded to shootings by calling for stricter gun laws, but Washington lawmakers have not passed legislation in recent years.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman whose district includes El Paso, said earlier on Sunday that he believes Trump is a white nationalist and likened the president’s language to that of Nazi Germany’s

“Third Reich.”

Ryan, a congressman from Ohio, was speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” just hours after a gunman in his home state left nine people dead and dozens more injured when he opened fire on the streets of downtown Dayton’s popular Oregon District. It was the second mass shooting in the country in less than 24 hours, following an attack by a gunman in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart that killed 20 people and left scores injured there.

“We’ve got to do something,” “I’m calling on the president and the Congress to come back in session…let’s do the work in Washington. Do the background check bill that we passed out of the House. We’ve got to ban these assault weapons.”

Ryan said.

“Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is,”

O’Rourke said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“He is an open avowed racist and encouraging more racism in this country.” “This is ridiculous,”

he said. “

Honestly for a guy to drive 10 hours to go kill Mexicans like what happened in El Paso is sickening and I think the environment around anti-immigration, the race issues that are so polarizing today that the president throws gasoline on has got to stop.

”Ryan lumped much of the blame for the shootings on President Trump and the “environment the president has created in the United States.”

“This cannot be open for debate and you, as well as I, have a responsibility to call that out to make sure the American people know what is being done in their name,”

O’Rourke added.

“He doesn’t even pretend to respect our differences or understand we are all created equal. He is saying some people are inherently defected.”

2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Tim Ryan on Sunday called on Congress to immediately head back to session to pass a background check bill for those seeking to buy firearms and called for a ban on the purchase of assault weapons. Ryan added:

“We’ve got to bring this country together, we’ve got to heal and it’s got to start at the top. The president needs to take a leadership role in this, he’s got to stop being so divisive, he’s got to stop tipping his hat to the white nationalists, and sometimes overtly to them, to where he’s talking to some crazy guy who’s going to drive 10 hours to shoot Mexicans.”

Ryan is one of a number of Democratic presidential hopefuls who have singled out Trump’s divisive rhetoric and tough stance on issues like immigration as part of the reason why these recent mass shootings have occurred.

Lewis said that he experiences a “large amount of open in your face racism” in Pennsylvania. He specifically mentioned one instance when he allegedly observed a white man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and dawning a swastika tattoo on his arm walking by his house while he was sitting outside with his children. “Needless to say I was shocked. In my 48 years on this Earth, that was the first time I’ve ever seen that,” Lewis said. The post has been shared more than 600 times and liked more than 1,600 times as of Friday morning. “Went to Walmart rocking my Make Racism Wrong Again gear! Lol! So many dirty looks. A couple of compliments. One thing I’ve learned about living in Western Pennsylvania. It is one of the most racist places I’ve ever lived,” Lewis wrote above a photo of himself smiling. Jamal Lewis, 48, posted a photo of himself wearing a matching “Make Racism Wrong Again” black hat and T-shirt in front of his home in Pittsburgh. The motto, which parallels President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” received a mixed reaction from shoppers at Lewis’ local Walmart, he said in a July 27 post. The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the civil rights group Nation Action Network, urged Republicans in Congress to public condemn Trump’s tweets. Several Democratic lawmakers traveled to Baltimore amid the controversy to see what living conditions were like in the Maryland city.

MARYLAND MAN ALLEGEDLY ATTACKED FOR WEARING MAGA HAT SAYS IT WON’T STOP HIM FROM PUTTING IT ON AGAINA

Pennsylvania man went viral for wearing “Make Racism Wrong Again” apparel to his local Walmart.

President Trump was accused of being a racist following a nasty feud with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Trump responded to Cummings’ recent criticism of conditions in detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border by accusing the black congressman’s predominately African-American district in Baltimore of being “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

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A Pennsylvania man went viral for wearing “Make Racism Wrong Again” apparel to his local Walmart.

Lewis said that he experiences a

“large amount of open in your face racism”

in Pennsylvania.

He specifically mentioned one instance when he allegedly observed a white man wearing a

“Make America Great Again”

hat and dawning a swastika tattoo on his arm walking by his house while he was sitting outside with his children.

“Needless to say I was shocked. In my 48 years on this Earth, that was the first time I’ve ever seen that,” Lewis said. The post has been shared more than 600 times and liked more than 1,600 times as of Friday morning. “Went to Walmart rocking my Make Racism Wrong Again gear! Lol! So many dirty looks. A couple of compliments. One thing I’ve learned about living in Western Pennsylvania. It is one of the most racist places I’ve ever lived,”

Lewis wrote above a photo of himself smiling. Jamal Lewis, 48, posted a photo of himself wearing a matching

“Make Racism Wrong Again”

black hat and T-shirt in front of his home in Pittsburgh. The motto, which parallels President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan

“Make America Great Again,”

received a mixed reaction from shoppers at Lewis’ local Walmart, he said in a July 27 post. The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the civil rights group Nation Action Network, urged Republicans in Congress to public condemn Trump’s tweets. Several Democratic lawmakers traveled to Baltimore amid the controversy to see what living conditions were like in the Maryland city. President Trump was accused of being a racist following a nasty feud with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Trump responded to Cummings’ recent criticism of conditions in detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border by accusing the black congressman’s predominately African-American district in Baltimore of being

 “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

Array

A federal judge on Thursday rejected four motions from former Trump associate Roger Stone contesting his indictment on obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and other charges, adding that Stone has “no one but himself to blame” for having to stand trial in November. Jackson concluded Stone was not targeted for political reasons, noting that 11 other individuals were indicted by Mueller’s request for making false statements to Congress. In order to prepare for trial, Jackson also ruled Thursday that Stone’s lawyers would be allowed the see the “bulk” of the redacted material in Mueller’s report, CBS News reported. That information was previously withheld as not to affect ongoing prosecution of the case, Jackson said. The redacted statements will not be made public.

In a 56-page ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote Stone had

“no one but himself to blame”

for his indictment, clearing the way for his trial to begin as scheduled Nov. 5. Stone filed four motions to have his indictment scrapped, arguing that he was unfairly singled out during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election due to his outspoken support for President Trump.

The judge also noted other Trump associates and family members who were not indicted after Mueller’s investigation despite their very public conservative views and open support for President Trump, Politico reported.

Stone was accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress under oath in an effort to mislead the House Intelligence Committee and the FBI about alleged dealings with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election, Politico reported.

“When he chose to take credit for the WikiLeaks release and to tantalize the public with hints that he had inside information about more to come, he chose to place himself directly in the vortex of the issues that became the focus of multiple law enforcement, counterintelligence, and congressional investigations,”

Jackson wrote.

Presidents aren’t required by law to release their tax returns. Nevertheless, between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has made a voluntary release of the tax returns they filed while in office. Ford released no complete returns, but released 10 years of summary data including gross income, taxable income, major deductions, and taxes paid.

This tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure ended in 2017, when President Trump declined to release any personal tax information. Trump has offered various reasons for keeping his returns private, but he has frequently insisted that he won’t make a release while his returns are being audited by the IRS.

2. Are all presidents’ tax returns audited by the IRS?

Since 1977 the Internal Revenue Manual has required that every tax return filed by a sitting president or vice president be subject to an audit. According to IRS officials at the time, the new policy was established “in the interest of sound administration” and in light of “everything that has happened in the past.”

While Trump may be unwilling to release presidential tax returns currently under audit, that’s a prudential decision, not a legal one. There’s no legal bar to releasing returns that are under examination. In fact, every president from Jimmy Carter through Barack Obama released tax returns that were “under audit,” since those returns — generally released publicly within hours of being filed with the IRS — were slated for automatic audit under the IRM.

3. Do presidents release tax returns covering every year they are in office?

Not exactly. Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. That means the first return filed and released by a new president has covered the year before his inauguration. Similarly, returns covering the last year of a president’s final term haven’t typically been released since they were filed after that president had left office.

Typically, presidents have released tax returns that they filed while actually holding office. President Bill Clinton is the exception to that rule, since his joint returns filed after his presidency were then released by Hillary Clinton when she made her 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination.

4. Why did presidents begin to make voluntary disclosures of tax returns in 1974?

The tradition of voluntary tax return disclosure began with a scandal. In 1973 journalists discovered information suggesting that President Richard Nixon had taken large, hard-to-defend deductions on his individual tax returns. After months of media speculation (based chiefly on documents that came to light in an unrelated court case), someone at the IRS leaked information from the president’s returns confirming that he had paid just $792.81 in federal income taxes for 1970 and $878.03 for 1971 — despite having an income of more than $200,000 each year.

To help quell the ensuing uproar — which occasioned Nixon’s oft-quoted insistence that “I am not a crook” — the president decided to make a public release of his tax returns for 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. That tax disclosure was the first made by a sitting U.S. president. (While running for president in 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower disclosed a few key elements of his tax history, but no complete returns.)

Ford, Nixon’s vice president, didn’t release complete tax returns after taking office in the wake of Nixon’s resignation. Ford released a nine-year summary of his tax data when running for president in 1975 and 1976. But starting with Carter, every president through Obama has made an annual disclosure of the tax return he filed during each year in which he held office.

5. Which presidential returns are available in the presidential tax returns archive? Do you have them all?

The archive includes returns disclosed by every president from Nixon through Obama, with the exception of Ford. (Since Ford released only summary tax data, the archive includes a summary.)
The archive doesn’t include any complete presidential tax returns filed by Trump, because he has opted not to release them. However, it includes Trump’s Form 1040 for 2005, which was leaked to the DCReport.org website and later published widely. In a statement, the White House confirmed the accuracy of key figures from this 2005 partial return.

The archive includes returns filed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Those returns weren’t released during either president’s lifetime, but were later made available by their respective presidential libraries.

6. Which vice presidential and candidate tax returns are available in the archive

The archive includes returns filed by Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. For Cheney, all but one of the returns (filed jointly with his wife) are incomplete, consisting of only a Form 1040. In 2001 the Cheneys released only a press statement summarizing their 2000 return. Returns filed by Pence were released while he was running in the 2016 election. Because Pence has released no returns since taking office, the last return available in the archive is for 2015. Like Trump, Cheney has cited ongoing audits as an explanation for his refusal to release later returns. Returns filed by Vice Presidents Walter Mondale, George H.W. Bush, and some by Al Gore aren’t in the archive. The returns, however, were publicly released by those officials while they held office. They are unavailable now, and we hope to add them to the archive eventually.

For primary candidates and major party nominees, we have returns (or return portions) covering the 2012, 2016, and 2020 election cycles.

7. How many tax returns do candidates typically release?

The number of returns released by presidential candidates varies widely, from a low of zero (Donald Trump) to a high of 33 (Jeb Bush). There is no “typical” or “standard” number of released returns, since disclosures have varied dramatically even within an election cycle.

Even the number of returns released by major party nominees has differed widely.

Tax Returns Disclosed by Major Party Nominees, 1976-2016
1976 1
Jimmy Carter
0 (summary data)
Gerald Ford
1980 5
Jimmy Carter
1
Ronald Reagan
1984 11
Walter Mondale
5
Ronald Reagan
1988 5
Michael Dukakis
14
George H.W. Bush
1992 12
Bill Clinton
18
George H.W. Bush
1996 19
Bill Clinton
30
Robert Dole
2000 8
Al Gore
9
George W. Bush
2004 20
John Kerry
13
George W. Bush
2008 7
Barack Obama
2
John McCain
2012 11
Barack Obama
2
Mitt Romney
2016 24
Hillary Clinton
0
Donald Trump
Sources: Contemporaneous media coverage; Julie Jennings, “Memorandum: Federal Tax Returns Disclosed by Selected Nominees for President and Vice President Since 1916,” Congressional Research Service (Jan. 30, 2019); Ryan Kelly, “Chart: Presidential Candidates’ Tax Returns,” Roll Call (Oct. 21, 2016).

Disclosures have also varied considerably in their completeness. While all major party presidential nominees through the 2012 election released complete (or nearly complete) returns, several candidates in 2016 chose to release only their Form 1040, omitting other required elements of their tax returns, including various schedules and forms.

8. What happened to the tradition of voluntary disclosure?

The voluntary tradition of tax return disclosure — by candidates, nominees, vice presidents, and presidents — was strong until 2016. President Trump’s decision to keep his tax returns private was the most serious challenge to this tradition, but it wasn’t the only one. The decision in 2016 by several candidates in both parties to release incomplete returns was a break with the usual practice of full disclosure. Moreover, while numerous candidates opted for a partial release in 2016, Cheney had already set a precedent for limiting annual disclosures to just a Form 1040.

9. Can Congress compel disclosure?

Whether Congress can compel disclosure of presidential (and vice presidential) tax returns remains to be seen. A law enacted in 1924 empowers key leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to request tax return information from Treasury, including individual returns filed by just about anyone. Such a request doesn’t necessarily involve public disclosure of the requested information, and indeed, the law requires lawmakers to treat that material confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

The Ways and Means Committee is seeking tax returns filed by Trump, as well as returns from several of his businesses and related audit and administrative materials developed by the IRS. To date, Treasury has declined to provide that information, and the standoff seems likely to find its way to a courtroom sometime soon.

The law requires lawmakers to treat tax return information confidentially. But the law also gives lawmakers a procedure for making that information public should either committee decide, after a formal vote, that disclosure is warranted.

In a related development, the House passed legislation in March that would require presidents, vice presidents, and major party nominees for both offices to publicly disclose 10 years of tax returns. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate.

10. Where else can people find presidential tax returns?

Tax Analysts maintains the largest database of publicly available tax returns released by American national politicians.

In theory, tax returns released by specific presidents and vice presidents should be available in the various presidential libraries scattered around the country. In practice, it can be difficult to retrieve those returns, because their sensitive nature often causes them to be flagged for special security screening. Getting that screening done can take considerable time, given staffing shortages at presidential libraries.

The story for candidate and nominee returns is even worse. Because those returns have typically been released by campaigns, not government agencies, official archiving practices don’t apply. Some released returns can still be found online through various news organizations, which occasionally host returns on their own websites.

For the most part, however, candidate returns tend to disappear from public view once the voting is done; technically public, they become effectively private.

“I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings. Immediately,” he said, adding: “The politics of this be dammed. When we look at history at what happened when the president started acting like an authoritarian. The question is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.” “I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell in the Senate and President Trump is saying he was acquitted by the Congress. I belief we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands.” But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was more cautious.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “It’s obvious the president committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.” Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has said her Justice Department, if elected president, would go forward with obstruction of justices charges against Trump, was the first to elaborate. “We all watched the testimony [former special counsel Robert Muelle], I read the report,” she said. “There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less.” Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey agreed. Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development also was in favor of punishment. “I was first of candidate to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said, adding: “I believe that the evidence is plain and clear. And if it goes that far, you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.” The progressive Democrats on the stage Wednesday night for the second round of debates among presidential candidates were all in favor of tossing President Donald Trump in jail.

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CNN has been forced to admit the unthinkable about former Special Counsel Robert Mueller after his congressional testimony last week was nothing short of a total a disaster.

The left-leaning media outlet published a piece on Monday detailing how Mueller’s hearing being a dud could severely harm several of the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

In fact, Mueller’s testimony was such a disaster for Democrats that CNN has admitted that impeachment is all over.

“Expectations were high among Democrats that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday would be the spark they needed to persuade a skeptical American public that President Donald Trump had obstructed justice — and, perhaps, that impeachment was the right recourse for the President’s actions surrounding the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It didn’t turn out that way,” reports CNN.

CNN went even further in explaining how much of a disappointment this is for Democrats.

“Mueller struggled mightily on the appearances front. He seemingly struggled to hear the questions asked of him. He struggled to find citations within his own report being using by members of Congress. He was halting in his responses and occasionally looked befuddled,” CNN added.

The CNN piece added: “While he seemed to rise to the task somewhat as the day went on, the perception of him as nothing short of the perfect prosecutor took a hit.”

It speaks volumes that Mueller’s testimony was so bad for Democrats that even CNN is admitting that impeachment is over.

Mueller’s testimony was nothing short of a total disaster for Democrats.

The ex-special counsel also made a few bombshell admissions that further proved President Donald Trump did not collude or obstruct justice.

During one exchange, Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins caught Mueller contradicting his own report.

Collins exposed Mueller for saying one thing in public, but another in his own Russia report.

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh also called out Mueller for telling a lie about Attorney General William Barr.

Mueller told Barr three times that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) precedent, which states that a sitting president cannot be indicted, had no impact on his decision to indict Trump.

But when he testified on Wednesday, Mueller tried his best not to admit that.

It seemed as if Mueller was afraid to admit that he never found evidence to indict Trump, but Limbaugh called him out.

And now CNN is admitting that impeachment is over and 2020 Democrats will have a hard time trying to explain the Russia hoax to voters.

Newt Gingrich said Thursday that the public feud between freshman congresswomen and Nancy Pelosi is a result of “bitter differences” between the two and that the House Speaker needs to realize she’s “the grandmother” in the conflict.

Tensions have reached a boiling point between Pelosi and newcomer Democrats in the House such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The New York congresswoman has made clear that she believes Pelosi is “singling out” progressive women of color like herself,  Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., after Pelosi reportedly told Democrats to approach her personally about issues instead of airing out disagreements on Twitter.

During a Thursday morning appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” the former Speaker of the House said that Ocasio-Cortez’s argument is a “classic comment by the hard left.”

“Everything becomes either an attack on women, but since Pelosi is a woman, it has to be women of color,” Gingrich said. “The key thing here is very simple. We have now seen a group of genuine radicals who are way outside any reasonable position, and their public spokesperson is AOC.

“They have a deep bitter difference with Nancy Pelosi, who is an old-time liberal, representing an establishment, which these people, several of these people beat Democratic incumbents, so they come in as the opponents of the very things that Nancy Pelosi stands for,” he continued.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the conflict, slamming “sexist” Republicans who have dubbed their disagreement a “catfight.”

AOC ACCUSES CONGRESS OF USING WOMEN, MINORITIES AS ‘BARGAINING CHIPS’ WHO HAVE BEEN ‘AUCTIONED OFF’ FOR DECADES

OCASIO-CORTEZ: PELOSI GIVING ME BUSY WORK, MIGHT BE TRYING TO KEEP ME OUT OF THE WAY

“The reason [Republicans] find it so novel &exciting is bc the GOP haven’t elected enough women themselves to see that it can, in fact, be a normal occurrence in a functioning democracy [sic],” she wrote.

Gingrich added that he respects Pelosi and acknowledged that she is in a “hard place” balancing her own viewpoints with those of an increasingly progressive House. He also argued that the Speaker should recognize the part that a generational gap plays in the disagreement.

“Nancy Pelosi has to recognize — and I recognize my own age — that she is the grandmother,” he said. “She is yelling at these young members, and they are here thinking you are two generations older than me. Why am I supposed to listen to you?” he continued.

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Those resisting Pelosi are still a relatively small number in the wider context of House members, but Gingrich said that the Speaker will have a “much bigger problem” if that number begins to grow.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to the reporting of this story.

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