Katie Pavlich - Man Who Set Up Hillary's Private Server Pleads the Fifth More Than 125 Times
Posted: 6/23/2016 10:00:00 AM EST

Yesterday former Clinton IT employee Brian Pagliano, who set up Hillary Clinton's private, unsecured server inside her home in Chappaqua, New York, was deposed by Senior Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca. As we now know, Clinton stored at least 2000 pieces of classified information on that server. 

During the deposition, Pagliano didn't answer a single question and invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 125 times. Judicial Watch has been doing it's own investigation of server and has filed a number of lawsuits surrounding the issue. 

"We were prepared he would be invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege however not to quite to every single question that we asked," Cotca told Fox News Thursday. "He either invoked the Fifth Amendment or his attorney instructed him not to answer because the questions he deemed out of scope. We obviously disagree with that. I don't believe all of the questions dealt with or gave rise to fear of prosecution however that is what happened. Either the privilege was invoked or he refused to answer questions based on what his attorney advised."  

Cotca continued by saying Judicial Watch is looking for the truth about the server, specifically why it was set up in the first place. Further, they are looking into how the State Department played a role in allowing Clinton to maintain the server after seeing emails sent back and forth to officials regarding government business. 

Naturally, the RNC is all over Pagliano's non-compliance. 

“The fact Hillary Clinton’s former IT staffer pleaded the Fifth an astounding 125 times is another reminder of how much she has to hide and how serious the FBI’s criminal investigation really is. It’s important to remember that this wasn’t just any staffer; this was a longtime aide who obtained an unusual political appointment and was paid on the side for the sole purpose of maintaining Clinton’s illicit off-the-books server," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released in a statement. “This unprecedented arrangement was an obvious attempt to skirt government transparency laws in order to conceal her shady dealings as Secretary of State, and it ultimately led to the exposure of classified information on more than 2,000 occasions and put our national security at risk. Clinton’s extraordinarily reckless conduct and dishonest attempts to avoid accountability do not fit the profile of someone worthy of the highest office in the land. Clinton’s actions in this case alone are disqualifying and her aide’s stonewalling today is just a prelude to the kind of White House she would run.”

Judicial Watch will be questioning top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy next week. According to attorneys, neither are expected to plead the Fifth.

Justin Holcomb  - July 4th Fireworks and Concerts Canceled for US Forces in Japan, Citing "Respect for Okinawans"
Posted: 6/23/2016 10:00:00 AM EST

Fireworks and concerts on the Fourth of July have been canceled for American forces in Japan this year after a government contractor was accused of the rape and death of an Okinawan woman.

Over 20,000 Americans consisting of the 10th Army combined with three U.S. Marine divisions were killed in the Battle of Okinawa, which proved to be the bloodiest of the Pacific War. 

"No U.S. installations in Japan will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks displays or concerts" to demonstrate respect for Okinawan residents said U.S. command on Thursday.

After the suspect's arrest in May, the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy imposed strict restrictions on their personnel, including prohibitions on alcohol consumption and off-base activities.

"Crime and accidents have been repeated for years because of U.S. military bases occupying vast areas (of the island)," Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said at an annual ceremony Thursday marking the end of the Battle of Okinawa.  More than half of the 200,000 Japanese who were killed in the battle were Okinawans.

Cortney O'Brien - Captain America Is 'Proud' of Democrats' Gun Control Sit-in
Posted: 6/23/2016 9:35:00 AM EST

We're in hour 21 of the Democrats' gun control sit-in in the House of Representatives, led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). They are refusing to leave until the House takes up a vote on the no-fly terrorism watch list and expanded background checks.

Chris Evans, a.k.a. Captain America, tweeted that he was a fan of their efforts.

Twitter users couldn't help pointing out the hypocrisy.

Some even gave him some facts to prove he is way off base.

If Evans read up on the no-fly list, he'd know that it's severely flawed. As Katie reminded us last year, the list could easily contain your name, as almost half of the names aren't even connected to terrorism. Journalist Stephen Hayes was even added to the list simply because he took a trip overseas with his wife.

How sad that on film the iconic Marvel superhero Captain America defends our freedoms, both by force and by rhetoric, yet in reality he is no better than a Washington liberal.

As Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said Wednesday night during a bold exchange with the protesting Democrats, where is the sit-in to combat radical terrorism?

Leah Barkoukis - Awkward: Dem Rep Says He's a 'Small Business Guy, a CPA' But New Report Reveals He's Neither
Posted: 6/23/2016 9:30:00 AM EST

Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, who’s running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat in Florida, may have a problem on his hands this campaign season: he’s been caught in a lie.

The Florida congressman is running as a small businessman who’s had a career as a Certified Public Accountant. The only problem, however, is that both claims are completely false.

From CBS Miami:

A CBS4 News investigation into Murphy’s history as both a CPA and a self-described small business owner, however, shows Murphy has in some cases exaggerated his experience and in other instances made claims that were misleading or outright false.

For instance, he has never worked a day in his life as a Certified Public Accountant.

And he was never a small business owner.

Apparently unaware of the report when he appeared on MSNBC Wednesday evening, Murphy again touted these experiences.

“I look forward to introducing myself making sure everyone knows I’m a small business guy. I’m a CPA. I want to solve problems. I like showing up to work, showing up to committee compared to Marco Rubio who hates the job and using this as a platform to run for a higher office,” he told host Steve Kornacki.

Since Democrats apparently don’t mind liars, it remains to be seen whether his false claims will actually end up hurting him in his bid for the Senate seat. 

Justin Holcomb  - Obama Releases Osama's Bodyguard from GITMO
Posted: 6/23/2016 9:00:00 AM EST

Abdel Malik Ahmed Abdel Wahab al-Rahabi, bodyguard, 9/11 planner, and possible relative of Osama bin Laden, has been released from Guantanamo Bay and sent to Montenegro, according to the Department of Defense.

Reports are that al-Rahabi had been held at Guantanamo since shortly after it opened and was one of the so-called "Day One" detainees. 

The U.S. government was grateful to Montenegro for accepting the former prisoner.  "Montenegro now joins other U.S. friends and allies in Europe in accepting multiple detainees for resettlement, bringing us closer to our shared goal of closing the facility," said a State Department official.

The transfer was "consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures," the DOD said in a statement.

Barack Obama has been pressing to close Guantanamo ever since he took office. Of the nearly 800 people who have been held there, all but 79 remain, with 29 expected to be released in the coming weeks.  

Matt Vespa - Would The Media Be All Over Trump’s Would-Be Assassin If Hillary Were The Target?
Posted: 6/23/2016 8:45:00 AM EST

As Cortney reported, a 19-year-old British man identified as Michael Steven Sandford told authorities that he wanted to kill presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump last weekend. Sandford was at a Las Vegas rally for the billionaire magnate and inched forward, telling security that he wanted an autograph from Trump. When he saw an opportunity to grab a police officer’s firearm, he did, but was quickly subdued by other members of law enforcement (via NBC News):

Sandford faces one count of attempting to commit an act of physical violence on restricted grounds.

He approached a Las Vegas police officer during a rally at the Treasure Island Casino pretending to ask for an autograph, the complaint says.

Asked about Sandford's detention, the U.K. Foreign Office said it was assisting after the arrest of a British national in Las Vegas. The suspect has a United Kingdom driver's license, according to the complaint.

After noticing the gun was in an unlocked position, Sandford grabbed the officer's holster and the gun's handle with both hands, the complaint says.

[…]

Sandford told a special agent that he had been in the U.S. for more than a year and lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, before traveling to Southern California on June 16 "to kill Trump," the complaint says, adding: "Sandford had seen in the news a few days prior that Trump was coming to Las Vegas to speak."

The day after he arrived, the complaint says, Sandford traveled to a gun range in Las Vegas where, in an effort to learn how to shoot, he fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock, the complaint says.

The man tried to assassinate Trump— sure there were some stories from various outlets who reported on this man’s despicable actions, but let’s not shy away from the fact that if this was done to Clinton, we would be obsessed with it, along with extra gusto from the media and anti-gun Left to highlight why we need more gun control. In fact, it would be the greatest shot in the arm that movement needs since most of their advocacy ends in failure. 

Matt Vespa - Of Course, Code Pink Would Do This Outside Of The NRA Headquarters
Posted: 6/23/2016 8:10:00 AM EST

Democratic members of Congress are executing a sit-in on the House floor, pressuring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to vote on some form of gun control bill that has zero chance of becoming law. Yet, they know that—they just want to keep this issue in the limelight. For far left organizations, like Code Pink, why not stage a die-in in front of the National Rifle Association’s headquarters?

One of the oldest and most effective organizations that protect Americans' civil rights and the Bill of Rights finds itself once again under attack. The culprit of the Orlando massacre, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to ISIS during the shooting, so the punches thrown at the NRA is, as always in these circumstances, misdirected hostility. It’s annoying, but the pro-Second Amendment side in this fight will endure and win. We’ve been here before.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Dianne Feinstein offered two pro-gun control amendments that had zero chance of passing in the Senate on Monday. They centered on expanding background checks and barring those on terror watch lists from buying firearms. Mateen bought his guns legally, as he had no prior criminal history and he already had a firearms license for his job as a security guard at a local Florida courthouse. Sen. Feinstein's amendment might seem like common sense, until you read that due process of law is nonexistent concerning these various terror watch lists maintained by the FBI. The failed gun control push did give Democrats another opportunity to bash the NRA, which was probably the goal from the beginning. Murphy held a 15-hour filibuster over a spending bill to fund the Department of Justice in order to pressure the Republican Senate leadership to hold a vote on these measures. 

Leah Barkoukis - As Dems Continue Sit-in, Republicans Start Recess Early
Posted: 6/23/2016 7:38:00 AM EST

If you didn’t follow Matt’s coverage of the House Democrats’ sit in to force a vote on gun control legislation, you may want to read this first.

The House ended up adjourning in the early hours of Thursday morning after GOP lawmakers voted to pass an emergency funding package to fight Zika.

House GOP leaders opted to send lawmakers home a day early for a holiday recess as Democrats threatened to stretch a widely publicized sit-in over gun control into a days-long demonstration.

The House adjourned for the Independence Day recess shortly after Republicans voted to pass an emergency funding package to combat the Zika virus after 3 a.m. Thursday. The House will have a pro forma session at 9 a.m. Friday but won’t return for legislative votes until Tuesday, July 5 and will then adjourn again 10 days later until after Labor Day.

Ryan’s spokeswoman said passing the Zika legislation was the only must-do item on the agenda before recess.

“Despite the publicity stunt on the floor, House Republicans were intent on not allowing these tactics to stop us from completing this important business,” AshLee Strong said in a statement. “With that tangible accomplishment, we will be moving on to the previously scheduled district work period.”

 

Even after their sit-in, Democrats shouldn’t expect that a vote will be held on gun legislation, Strong added.

“Democrats can continue to talk, but the reality is that they have no end-game strategy,” Strong said. “The House is focused on eliminating terrorists, not constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. And no stunts on the floor will change that.”

Nevertheless, some House Democrats have remained on the floor, turning the sit-in into a slumber party, as Matt reported.

Democrats continued their sit-in after the House adjourned at 3:14 a.m., but the crowd began to thin considerably given the late hour.

 

Still, more than two dozen Democrats remained on the floor, including several who wrapped themselves in blankets.

 

Members of the House Democratic whip team will meet later Thursday morning to discuss the next steps.

"Just because they have left doesn't mean that we are taking no for an answer,” Pelosi said. 

Justin Holcomb  - Watch: Gohmert Launches Fiery, Late Night Exchange with House Democrats
Posted: 6/23/2016 7:15:00 AM EST

Tensions were high late Wednesday night on the House floor when lawmakers commenced to shouting at each other over a sit-in aimed at forcing votes on gun control measures. 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) shouted at Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and other Democrats, yelling, "Radical Islam killed these people," pointing to a poster with photos of those killed in Orlando.

The Democrats immediately started chanting, "No bill, no break." 

Apparently, Gohmert got into a heated exchange with Rep.Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and lawmakers had to separate the two. 
 

Matt Vespa - As House Republicans Move To End Sit-In Over Gun Control, Democrats Reportedly Chow Down On Some Chick-fil-A
Posted: 6/22/2016 9:25:00 PM EST

UPDATE: Via CNN, the House Democrats staging a sit-in on the House floor aren't going anywhere until a vote on gun control is held.

The tension exploded onto the floor just after 10 p.m. ET when Republican Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled the chamber into order to hold a procedural vote on an unrelated matter. An extraordinary scene unfolded as throngs of Democrats -- some holding signs with the names of victims of gun violence -- remained in the House well chanting "no bill, no break" and "shame shame shame." They also sang the protest anthem "We Shall Overcome."

Such displays would normally be prohibited but Ryan, sensitive to the attention being paid to the sit-in, declined to enforce the traditional order in the House.

[...]

Numerous Democrats, asked repeatedly when they planned to leave, said they would stay in place until they got a vote on gun control. In a roundtable with reporters Wednesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated that point, saying Democrats would continue the sit-in "until we have a bill."

UPDATE II: Rep. Louie Rohnert (R-TX) confronted the sit-in Democrats, saying radical islam was responsible for the attack in Orlando.

***

As Cortney reported earlier today, House Democrats staged a sit-in to force a vote on gun control legislation, specifically the “no fly, no buy” bill that would bar people on terror watch lists from buying guns. They sat on the House floor for most of the day, reading the names of the victims of gun violence. In an ironic dinner choice, catered Chick-fil-A was spotted being wheeled into the Capitol Building for the hungry Democrats.

Some progressive heavyweights in the Senate joined their House colleagues in support for gun control. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were spotted on the House floor. Rep. John Larson was the first to ask the House Parliamentarian what would happen if a dozen of his colleagues just took the floor (via Politico):

Connecticut Rep. John Larson skipped the rare session with his party’s presidential hopeful for a face-to-face with the House parliamentarian. Larson had an obscure question about House rules: What would happen if he and a bunch of his colleagues took to the House floor to stage a sit-in protest, effectively shutting down the House?

Larson was told that it was an “unprecedented instance that was hard to know what the response would be.” It was assumed the raucous Democratic protest would force Republicans to adjourn the House, which is exactly what happened.

[…]

If Republicans stuck together, Democrats would never be able to move their favored proposals, including blocking gun purchases by anyone on the federal “no fly” list, and expanded background checks for gun sales.

So Larson and Lewis and a handful of their colleagues decided to copy a GOP tactic from when Republicans were in the minority in 2008: Get dozens of members to go on the floor and refuse to leave. Demand action or say they won’t let the House adjourn in mid-July. Block the House from any business until Republicans give in.

Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican leaders could either yield and allow a vote — extremely unlikely — or House Democrats would bring new attention to the issue. It was the GOP tactic on steroids, this time in the era of widespread social media. And the passion of Democrats on guns far exceeded that of Republicans eight years ago, when the GOP was demanding more offshore oil drilling.

[…]

Hill Democrats had been itching for a political fight on guns since the Orlando shootings. In the Senate, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) last week had staged a successful filibuster that caught national attention and eventually led to a series of floor votes. Those measures failed, but there will be another vote on a proposal by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Katie took apart the Collins’ legislation, which is again another gross exercise in government overreach peppered with due process of law concerns.

Second, this isn’t going to be successful. Democrats want to bring attention to the issue, as if the likely terrorist attack in Orlando hasn’t already done that. Last point, the more they bring attention to gun control, the more Americans buy firearms across the country. So, keep it up. With more sit-ins like this, we may become even better armed than ever before.

Politico added that House Republicans are moving to end the siege (via The Hill):

House Republicans will attempt to wrest control of the House from Democrats staging a sit-in over gun control with a vote to override President Obama's fiduciary rule.

“It will be loud and probably be noisy,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), part of Speaker Paul Ryan’s group of advisers, told reporters after House Republicans held a special meeting about how they should respond to the day-long Democratic sit-in.

“You might want to get in the gallery and watch the show,” Dent added.

Dozens of Democratic House and Senate lawmakers have been occupying the House floor since late Wednesday morning, calling on Ryan and other GOP leaders hold a vote on legislation to prevent terrorists from purchasing guns in the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

But GOP lawmakers and aides said no gun-related measures would be voted on Wednesday night. Instead, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) will call for a vote to overturn the Labor Department’s new rule requiring financial advisers to act in the best interest of their clients.

Then on Thursday, Republicans will push for a vote on a package that includes spending for military construction and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, as well as funding to combat the Zika virus.

It looks like the fireworks are about to begin. House Republicans cut the C-SPAN video feed, but the public affairs networks simply turned to Facebook live and Periscope to continue broadcasting the event. 

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