Category: Legislative Branch

Trump’s Blanket Refusal to Comply | Executive Privilege Debated

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | May 20, 2019) –  Executive Privilege and Oversight were debated on Capitol Hill last week when the House Judiciary Committee held a Hearing on these issues following President Trump’s blanket refusal to comply with all House subpoenas, upending the vital U. S. system of checks & balances.

House Judiciary Members questioned a panel of experts who shared insights about the validity of Trump’s defiance of Constitutional norms. Trump has asserted that executive privilege allows for his refusal to comply. GOP loyalists on the Judiciary Committee repeatedly deflected throughout the hearing, making various unrelated statements such as that by Rep Ben Cline (R-VA), “this committee is driven by animosity toward the president,” there are more important issues that Congress should be focused on such as border security.

Four witnesses provided testimony and formed a panel to answer questions posed by Committee members:

  • KATE SHAW: Former lawyer in White House Counsel’s Office and current professor at Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law, NYC
  • JONATHAN TURLEY: George Washington University, Public Interest Law Professor
  • NEIL KINKOPF: Former Special Assistant, Justice Department, Clinton Administration, 1993-1997
  • PAUL ROSENZWEIG: Former Homeland Security Deputy Assistant, Secretary for Policy; Senior Fellow, National Security & Cybersecurity

During Representative Hakeem Jeffries’s (D-NY) five minutes, he stated that the House Judiciary Committee had plans to gather information relating to three specific subjects:

  1. Obstruction of Justice
  2. Abuse of Power
  3. Culture of Corruption

Representative Jeffries followed this clear-cut, direct statement, by asking Mr. Rozenzweig, “Do those three independent subjects provide a basis for which we should have a firm foundation to seek this grand jury material?”

Mr. Rozenzweig’s replied, “In my judgement, yes,” going on to explain that, “…this committee has not only a legitimate oversight interest, but one of the highest constitutional” obligations.

By the end of the Executive Privilege House Judiciary Hearing, it became clear that Trump has no legal basis to not comply with the House Oversight requests. That the Trump Administration appears to be intentionally blocking the next steps that were intended to be followed by the House after the release of the Mueller Report, and in so doing is keeping the American public from learning the facts. Mueller’s Report clearly outlines Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. By connecting all the dots in the Mueller Report, the implications is that Trump’s legitimacy is in question.

According to Vanity Fair, upon reading the Mueller Report, 426 former prosecutors found that Trump committed multiple felonies.

The House Judiciary Hearing on Executive Privilege successfully answered the question about whether the various House Committees have the law and the constitution on their side in moving forward with their oversight agenda. Indeed they do.

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Does Mueller Report Confirm Trump is Illegitimate?

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | April 30, 2019) –  There’s a very dark cloud hanging over the White House following the release of the Mueller Report. The extensive evidence outlined in Volume 1, the Russian Influence Campaign section of the reportis so dense, despite the large blacked out gaps, that halfway through it becomes clear that Trump is an illegitimate president.

Beginning in 2014, Russia became fixated on influencing our 2016 presidential election. Mueller has outlined the Russian plan of attack in a very systematic fashion, lining up all the dots of evidence very neatly, and in so doing proving that Russia was intent of installing a candidate who’d be open to accommodating Russia’s needs and wishes. They believed Trump was this man. Success. And now that we can see the boundless Russian efforts outlined, it doesn’t actually matter if Trump or his campaign colluded. Russia’s influence campaign worked. Period. And we’ve been suffering the consequences ever since.

The massive Russian Influence Campaign:

  • Russian “Active Measures” Social Media Campaign
    • Structure of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)
    • Funding & oversight from Concord & Prigozhin
    • The IRA targets US elections
      • The IRA Ramps Up U.S. Operations as Early as 2014
      • U.S. Operations Through IRA-Controlled Social Media Accounts
      • U.S. Operations through Facebook
      • U.S. Operations through Twitter
        • Individual Twitter Accounts
        • IRA Botnet Activities
      • U.S. Operations involving Political Rallies
      • Targeting and Recruitment of U.S. Persons
      • Interactions and Contacts with the Trump Campaign
      • Trump Campaign Promotion of IRA Political Materials
      • Contact with Trump Campaign Officials in Connection to rallies
  • Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations
    • GRU Hacking Directed at the Clinton Campaign
      • 5 sub headings
    • Dissemination of the Hacked Materials
      • 7 sub headings
    • Additional GRU Cyber Operations
      • 2 sub headings
    • Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials
      • 9 sub headings
  • Russian Government Links to and Contacts with the Trump Campaign
    • Campaign Period (September 2015 – November 8, 2016)
      • 51 sub headings (extremely disturbing)
    • Post-Election and Transition Period Contacts
      • 18 sub headings

With Trump now refusing to comply with House Investigations, in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, on the heels of Mueller’s big reveal, it appears we’re a government in crisis. The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees have a plan. They need the support of the American people. The key to understanding the depth and breadth of this crisis is reading the Mueller Report.

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Time to Pass Legislation Limiting Acting Secretaries

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | April 29, 2019) –  President Trump’s strategy of utilizing acting secretaries instead of permanent secretaries is in direct conflict with the US Constitution and has reeked havoc on the soundness of our United States federal government. Our national security has been undermined, our checks & balances have been disrupted, our divisive President is now almost completely unfiltered, and our overall well-being has been severely compromised.

The following is a list of the US Cabinet positions:

  • Vice President  – Mike Pence
  • Secretary of State – Mike Pompeo
  • Secretary of the Treasury – Steven Mnuchin
  • Secretary of Defense – Patrick M. Shanahan (ACTING, effective January 1, 2019)
  • United States Attorney General– William Barr
  • Secretary of the Interior – David Bernhardt 
  • Secretary of Agriculture – Sonny Perdue
  • Secretary of Commerce – Wilbur Ross
  • Secretary of Labor – Alex Acosta
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services – Alex Azar
  • Secretary of Housing and Human Development – Ben Carson
  • Secretary of Transportation – Elaine Chao
  • Secretary of Energy – Rick Perry 
  • Secretary of Education – Betsy DeVos
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Robert Wilkie
  • Secretary of Homeland SecurityKevin McAleenan (ACTING, effective April 11, 2019) 
  • White House Chief of Staff – Mick Mulvaney, (ACTING, effective January 2, 2019)
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget – Mick Mulvaney
  • Director of National Intelligence – Dan Coates
  • Director of CIA – Gina Haspel
  • Administrator of the EPA – Andrew Wheeler
  • US Trade Representative – Robert Lighthizer
  • US Mission to the United NationsJonathan Cohen (ACTING, effective January 1, 2019)rs – Kevin Hassett
  • Head of SBAChris Pilkerton  (ACTING, effective April 13, 2019)

There’s been much debate about why Trump is allowing so many gaping holes in our country’s leadership. It’s very difficult to comprehend. We have a staggering population of more than 328 million. A massive landmass. And a myriad of intense challenges to overcome. Leaving vitally important positions unfilled is irresponsible and begs the question, is Trump unfit for office? Several of these Cabinet posts are the most critical in our country. It’s time to bring this matter to conclusion by passing legislation that limits the acting status to 90 days, as well as allowing no more than two acting cabinet members at the same time, or something to this effect.

It appears Trump’s strategy of maintaining acting secretaries rather than nominate premanent secretaries is for several strategic purposes:

  • Acting Secretaries don’t challenge Trump’s decision making, which Trump feels gives him more flexibility (and power, making him that much more authoritative)
  • They’re more likely to follow orders, even if Trump’s orders are against the law
  • They don’t demand bringing in their own team to assist
  • Trump doesn’t have to worry as much about the 25th Amendment
  • Several of the acting secretaries haven’t been confirmed by congress, but are still making critical decisions that impact the American public

CALL TO ACTION. Tell Congress that it’s imperative they pass legislation to minimize the use of acting secretaries.

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Silent GOP Senators Are the Force That Enables Trump’s Obstruction of Justice

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | April 25, 2019) –  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s silence is deafening. It appears that McConnell didn’t even read the Mueller Report. Or Lindsey Graham for that matter. The GOP game-altering “silence is complicity” perspective in 2018, led to the blue tsunami sweep on November 6, 2018. The Senate overhaul will be next.

Twenty-one months of GOP silence now has Trump by the throat. It’s the very reason why Mueller’s obstruction investigation uncovered so much evidence. The very reason why Mueller can’t exonerate Trump. If McConnell and the GOP Senators had followed-through with their sworn oath to the Constitution, Trump wouldn’t be able to obstruct. It’s become a Catch-22. Mitch McConnell and GOP Senators are enablers of Trump’s obstruction of justice, allowing him free reign to obstruct. Are GOP leaders now part of Trump’s criminal enterprise, or has their long game always been Trump’s demise? McConnell’s silence will eventually lead to Trump’s destruction, as well as his own. The ultimate goal in 2020 is to flip the Senate and the White House. McConnell’s pro-Putin, anti-American Constitution obstructionism will finally become the nail in his coffin.

McConnell has only made one official statement since the release of the Mueller report and it is completely unapologetic of any of Trump’s ludicrous attempts to subvert the United States legal system.

“I’m grateful for the Attorney General’s diligent work to release as much of the Special Counsel’d report as possible to Congress and to the American people. The nation is fortunate to have an experienced leader like Bill Barr in place to ensure maximum possible transparency while carefully protecting classified material and legally restricted grand jury information. Like all of my colleagues, I look forward to carefully reviewing the report.” ~Mitch McConnell, April 18, 2019

Lindsey Graham, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is in a state of denial. The statements in his tweet read like lies, except that he does clarify that they’re IMO (“To me”). But is it appropriate for the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to spin the Mueller Report in this way, or does he feel justified in doing so because he’s simply following Barr’s lead? Isn’t Graham obligated to adhere to professional standards in this leadership position?

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Sad. The gagged Senate GOP has become the springboard that will lead to Trump’s “day with destiny” (Neal Katyal) much sooner than otherwise.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.2Pillars&Gold-mini

Sexual Assault of Children on Our Border

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | February 27, 2019) –  The House Family Separation Hearings this week were suffocating in the realization of how massive the family separation crisis is, how many thousands of innocent children have been emotionally, and many sexually, assaulted by staff, and the horrible prognosis this creates for their future.

How can these staggering statistics be the harsh reality that so many young children have to endure? “Follow your dreams.” … “America, the beacon of hope.” The reality is that much more perilous to cope with when idealistic youth are fleeing traumatic events, are on the run far from home, away from their families, with the only thing enabling them to persevere through the treacherous journey is the bright beacon on their horizon, endlessly pushing them forward through each and every stumbling block. But when they arrive, there’s no Lady Liberty greeting them along the Southern Border. No open arms. Just abuse .

“I’m deeply concerned with the high number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in the custody of the office of Refugees and Resettlement.” …  “One sexual assault per week.” ~Rep Ted Deutch 

 

“The Forced Child Separation Policy will forever be a dark time in our nation’s history. It undermines our moral standing in the world, that generations of Americans have worked so hard, and in some cases given their lives, to build.” ~Rep Ted Deutch

The facts that won’t won’t change unless we demand accountability and consequences:

  • systemic sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied children
  • 154 allegations of sexual assault reported to DOJ
  • 1 sexual assault per week
  • there’s a huge problem with adults abusing children
  • Rep Ted Deutch is pointing out that DHS was fully aware that this was an alarming issue, that there was documented history, yet DHS still placed thousands of unaccompanied children in this dangerous environment
  • “the details of these sexual abuse allegations are shocking”

Tell Congress… we must move forward in demanding this threat to children be eliminated.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Mitch McConnell’s Days Are Numbered

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | February 26, 2019) –  Mitch McConnell has been indicted by the American majority, global leaders, and citizens of the world. Denunciations of this notorious coward are erupting with every news story, resulting in strong protests of disgust toward his blatant lack of morality that now rings from every single corner in every major city in America. Despite McConnell’s pivotal leadership role in the most powerful legislative body on earth, McConnell is loathed, despised and scorned.

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Mitch McConnell is a self-serving fraud. There are many who believe McConnell’s a criminal and may eventually be indicted by the Southern District of New York, along with Trump and his children, when SDNY takes down this organized crime syndicate. What’s incredibly fascinating about the public’s deep mistrust and animosity toward McConnell, is that corruption appears to have a tangible residue, much like filth, that sticks to those he comes in contact with, and blinds them, while the good hearts flee with a horrible foreboding.

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What is it about Jim Mattis that commands overwhelming respect and admiration from all people in all demographics, the entire stretch of population spanning the globe? Mattis’ strong character is like a magnet, drawing people toward him rather than repelling them. Mattis embodies the deep virtues that our nation was founded on. Honor. Sacrifice. Commitment. Perseverance. Grit. All things noble. All things good. Mattis’ presence on the news screen, his noble commitment to our American ideals, quietly inspires us to be our best selves. True greatness isn’t about words, it’s about actions. A real leader doesn’t need to say anything, he or she simply shows the way by example.

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Mitch McConnell won’t have a hero’s goodbye. He’ll leave in the dead of night, shrouded in disguise. We’ll likely learn of McConnell’s arrest one blistering summer day as we’re headed to a climate change rally, or a superfund site to protest the undermining of our wondrous natural resources, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Mitch McConnell will spend the final chapter of his life a very lonely man, with nothing to look forward to. No noble legacy. No hero statue honoring his patriotism. His after-life will be eternity in the deep dark abyss, with all the other evil souls he tried to emulate while holding his gavel.

McConnell began his Senate career January 3, 1985. In these 34 years, he’s been the single strongest force behind global warming, blocking every single initiative introduced to protect our cherished national treasures. Mitch McConnell, the U.S. Senator who will go down in American history as the arch obstructionist, the most politicized politician we’ve ever had the misfortune of being steamrolled by, straight from the bluegrass state of Kentucky whose astute motto has been ringing true for 2,500 years: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

DitchMitch

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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HR8 |Background Check House Vote Feb 27, 2019

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | February 25, 2019) –  Following HR8’s approval by the Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2019, the Committee has moved one step further in bringing HR8 to the House floor for a full vote this week, barring any unforeseen political conflicts. However, Capitol Hill promises to be a turbulent landscape in the upcoming days, with Representatives being pulled in many important directions. Thus, timing the HR8 vote is critical. We need all the sponsors and supporters to be present for the vote, which will hopefully take place on Thursday, February 28, 2019, the 25 year anniversary of The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the original background check bill) which went into effect on February 28, 1994. Interestingly, the initial background check legislation was first introduced in Congress by NY Representative Chuck Schumer in 1991.

The next few days on the Hill appear extremely busy:

  • TUESDAY Feb 26House vote to nullify Trump’s national emergency
    • House Rules Committee Hearing on Migrant Family Separation Policy
    • House Financial Services Committee Hearing with Credit Bureau CEO’s testifying
  • WEDNESDAY Feb 27 – Oversight Committee public hearing with Michael Cohen on Wednesday February 27, which may be the most significant event of the year if the Mueller report isn’t shared with the public
    • Full House Vote on HR8 Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019

HR8 now has 232 bipartisan co-sponsors. The significant bipartisan support for the bill stems from 97% of the American public believing strongly that background checks should be required for every single gun sale. Background checks protect the public from those who seek gun ownership with ill intent. HR8 advocates simultaneously believe in the Second Amendment, and do support the right to bear arms, yet understand that common sense gun legislation makes sense. The success of our democracy stems from the fact that it’s stabilized by the rule of law. Borders and boundaries are essential. Evil exists in the world. The first three words of the Second Amendment clearly state: “A well regulated…”

HR8 | Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 Explained: On January 8, 2019 Representative Mike Thompson of California’s 5th District introduced HR8. This simple, common sense gun bill is very basic : To require a background check for every firearm sale. The current background check bill has several significant loopholes that have proven deadly. Guns sold at gun shows, and guns sold among family and friends, currently do not require background checks.

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The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act requires that before a firearm is purchased through a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer, a background check must be performed. There are a list of nine prohibitions that would prevent approval. The operative words in the Brady Bill are “federally licensed.” Since the majority of sellers at gun shows, and on the streets, as well as family and friends, aren’t federally licensed, a loophole was soon exploited by those falling under the following nine prohibitions:

  1. fugitive from justice
  2. convicted in any court for a crime punishable by more than one year in prison
  3. dishonorably discharged from military
  4. illegal alien
  5. user or addicted to a controlled substance
  6. renounced citizenship
  7. has a restraining order against them
  8. domestic violence, convicted in any court of misdemeanor crime
  9. in a mental institution or adjudicated as mentally defective

HR8 eliminates these existing loopholes, making it far more difficult for those who plot to harm the American public to succeed. The Second Amendment was intended for self-protection, not public annihilation.

CALL to ACTION: Contact your Congressional Representative TODAY to let them know: Yes to HR8.

  • https://www.house.gov/representatives | Search by name or state, must click the correct box. If not sure of Representative’s name, use the search box on top right of page
  • Text CHECKS to 644-33

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