Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., speaks at a campaign event in Tacoma, Wash., Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
OAN Newsroom UPDATED 7:15 PM PT — Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Democrat presidential front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has admitted he has no plans to release his complete medical records.
During a town hall on Tuesday, the senator claimed he did not think his campaign would need to release any additional records. He argued he’s already released enough to squash worries about his health.
“I think we have released a detailed report,” said Sanders. “I’m comfortable with what we have done.”
The 78-year-old suffered a heart attack back in October. Following the incident, Sanders vowed to be more transparent about his health.
However, his campaign seemed to walk back on that promise months later after many questioned the candidate’s health.
FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and businessman Tom Steyer sit together at the beginning of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
Sanders campaign spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray called questions over the senator’s fitness for office “unfair,” claiming they are a cloaked effort to smear his bid for the White House.
“It’s really telling, given that none of the same concern is being demonstrated for Michael Bloomberg, who is the same age as Bernie Sanders,” she said.
Gray was recently criticized for her defense of Sanders after she erroneously claimed opponent Michael Bloomberg had suffered “multiple heart attacks in the past.” She has since walked back that comment, but took heat a day earlier for also claiming that Bloomberg had been accused of more than five dozen instances of sexual assault.
House Democrats move to draft articles of impeachment; reaction and analysis from Fox News contributors Richard Fowler and Rachel Campos-Duffy.
The GOP chairmen of the Senate committees that would be involved in an impeachment trial are seeking records and interviews related to allegations that a Democratic National Committee consultant solicited derogatory information about the Trump campaign from Ukrainian embassy officials ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
In a news release Friday, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said they are looking to obtain records and transcribed staff interviews with two individuals reportedly involved in an effort by Ukrainian embassy officials to “undermine” the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.
“To believe that the mainstream media will investigate all things Russia or Ukraine is to hope against hope,” Graham said in a statement Friday. “The hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails was done by the Russians and no one else. Whether there’s a connection between Democratic operatives and Ukrainian officials during the 2016 election has yet to be determined.”
He added: “It will only be found by looking. We intend to look.”
The requests from Grassley, Graham and Johnson come as House Democrats are entering what may be the final phase of their impeachment inquiry ahead of introducing articles of impeachment for a vote. Should the House approve impeachment articles and trigger a trial in the Senate, Republicans plan to turn the tables on Democrats, by looking more closely at issues that House Democrats glossed over during their hearings.
Friday’s requests are a continuation of an inquiry that Grassley launched in 2017 when he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Grassley, at the time, was questioning the actions of then-DNC consultant Alexandra Chalupa, which he said seemed to show that she was “simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S. voting population but U.S. government officials.”
Chalupa has denied the accusations: “For the record: I have never worked for a foreign government. I have never been to Ukraine. I was not an opposition researcher. In 2008, I knew Manafort worked for Putin’s interests in Ukraine. I reported my concerns about him to the NSC in 2014 & sounded the alarm bells in 2016,” Chalupa tweeted last month.
In addition to the interview and records requests, Johnson, Grassley and Graham are requesting “staff-led transcribed interviews” with Chalupa, and Andrii Telizhenko, a political officer within the Ukrainian embassy at the time. Telizhenko reportedly was ordered to assist in an off-the-books investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, which included then-Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort’s prior business dealings in the region.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Friday blasted the latest GOP efforts, saying it "undermines our democracy."
“Putin and his intelligence services disinformation campaign team in Moscow couldn't have cooked up a more useful tool for spreading conjured and baseless conspiracy theories than the one Chairmen Graham, Grassley and Johnson announced today," Schumer said in a statement.
Last month, Johnson and Grassley also requested information from the National Archives and Records Administration regarding meetings that took place in 2016 involving Obama administration officials, Ukrainian government representatives, and Democratic National Committee officials. They also requested Justice Department records related to the FBI’s interactions with Chalupa.
The Republicans emphasized Friday that their interest in Ukraine does not mean they deny Russia's meddling in 2016.
“The senators’ inquiries are unrelated to an uncorroborated theory that Ukraine was also behind the hack of the DNC servers,” the statement from the senators said. “U.S. intelligence officials and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found that Russia was responsible for the DNC hack.”
The three senators have also recently requested information related to potential conflicts of interest and political influence by Ukraine, including the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, which employed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on the board. At the time, the elder Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine relations and policy for the Obama administration.
And Graham, last month, alone, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting the release of any documents related to contacts between Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and to a meeting between son Hunter Biden’s business partner and former Secretary of State John Kerry.
This pertains to questions surrounding the elder Biden’s role in pressing for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been investigating the founder of Burisma. Biden denies any wrongdoing, but Republicans have pressed for details throughout the impeachment process, in a bid to show that even though President Trump’s pressure campaign on Kiev triggered the impeachment inquiry, his concern was legitimate.
At the center of the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Kiev. That call prompted the whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general, and in turn, the impeachment inquiry in the House. Trump challenged the accuracy of the complaint, though the transcript released by the White House did support the core allegations that he pressed for politically related investigations.
The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed shows a "quid pro quo" arrangement. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Trump challenged House Democrats this week to impeach him "fast" so that he can have a "fair trial" in the Senate. He also threatened to seek testimony from the Bidens, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi, D-Calif., then dramatically called for the House to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment.
"The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power," Pelosi said.
But despite his threats, the president does not, alone, have the power to call witnesses to testify in those proceedings. In the Senate trial, three separate parties have input to how it will play out: Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House.
A senior Senate Republican aide told Fox News last month that once they receive articles of impeachment, they will begin working on two resolutions — one that governs the timeline of the trial, and the other that sets up witnesses for closed-door depositions, as well as which witnesses will be required to testify on the stand.
The aide suggested that Republican senators – like Graham, Johnson, and Grassley – could be attempting to help “shape” the witness list and the trial in their recent attempts to obtain documents and information from the administration and companies related to Hunter Biden.
Gregg Jarrett, AshLee Strong and Kevin Walling debate on 'Fox & Friends' as the House Judiciary Committee begins the next phase of the Trump impeachment inquiry.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee claimed in their impeachment inquiry report this week that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani over the summer had contact with a phone number for the White House budget office where military aid to Ukraine was temporarily being withheld. However, Trump administration officials are disputing that finding, saying the phone number presented as evidence for the claim is not linked to that office.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., released the panel’s findings from the months-long impeachment inquiry into Trump on Tuesday before transmitting the report to the House Judiciary Committee for the next phase of the process.
In that report, Democrats provided call logs that appeared to show that on August 8, Giuliani “texted several times with a number associated with the White House.”
The report notes that the committee was unable to identify the specific White House official associated with the phone number, but said that, later, a number associated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) called Giuliani for a phone discussion that lasted almost 13 minutes.
The report also states that Giuliani called “the OMB number” “several more times” that evening, but did not connect for more than “a few seconds.”
But “the OMB number,” according to the Wall Street Journal was not directly associated with the Office of Management and Budget, and Giuliani, instead, could have been having a call with another part of the White House. The New York Times also reported that “the OMB number” was actually a general White House switchboard number, which makes it difficult to determine who Giuliani was speaking with at the White House.
“No one from OMB has talked to Giuliani,” a White House spokesperson told RealClearPolitics this week, noting that the calls were not coming from their office.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Meanwhile, an aide on the House Intelligence Committee told The Wall Street Journal that they characterized the phone number as being “associated with OMB” based on “public directories.”
The section of the report referencing the Giuliani calls, however, is being used as evidence of his direct involvement and regular contact with the White House during the critical period over the summer when nearly $400 million in military assistance was being withheld from Ukraine—an arrangement Democrats have cited as a “quid pro quo.”
At the center of the impeachment inquiry, which began in September, is Trump’s July 25 phone call when he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. That call prompted a whistleblower complaint to the intelligence community inspector general, and in turn, the impeachment inquiry in the House. Trump challenged the accuracy of the complaint, though the transcript released by the White House did support the core allegations that he pressed for politically related investigations.
The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats and witnesses have claimed shows a "quid pro quo" arrangement, and argue that military aid and an Oval Office meeting with Zelensky was being withheld until the public announcement of an investigation into the Bidens and issues related to the 2016 presidential election. Trump denies any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday morning that Democrats will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, claiming the president’s conduct left Democrats with “no choice but to act.”
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 5 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to void a subpoena from the House of Representatives that seeks the president’s financial records from his accounting firm.
The justices already have shielded the documents from being turned over while they consider whether to hear Trump’s case and his separate appeal of a court order that requires the same accounting firm, Mazars USA, to give his tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney. The court could say as early as mid-December whether it will hear and decide the cases by the end of June.
Yet another case involving House subpoenas for Trump’s records from New York banks also is headed for the Supreme Court, and the justices are likely to prevent the handover of any documents for the time being.
The son of 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden breaks his silence before his father takes the debate stage in Ohio; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'
Hunter Biden filed a protective order this week in an effort to seal his financial records from being released publicly — amid his fears that the information would be used “maliciously” by the media and cause him public “embarrassment,” according to a report.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son filed the motion in Arkansas on Wednesday as part of an ongoing child support suit, according to the Daily Mail. His attorneys claim the details would be used by the media, considering his high public profile, to cause him "undue prejudice, annoyance, embarrassment, and/or oppression."
'The likelihood that [Biden's] private records will be used in an inappropriate or malicious manner for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with these proceedings is exceedingly high and should not be tolerated by the court,' the filing reads.
'Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the parties involved in this matter, it is in the interest of justice and necessary for a Protective Order to be in place,' Biden's attorney says.
An earlier court filing in the case alleged that DNA tests confirm with “scientific certainty” that Hunter is the biological father of a child whose mother he denied having sex with.
A paternity suit filed by Lunden Alexis Roberts was first filed on May 28 when she alleged that she and Hunter Biden “were in a relationship” and that “Baby Doe” was born in August 2018 “as a result of that relationship,” according to reports by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
In a sworn statement, Biden goes on to say that he has incurred “significant debts” in part due to his 2017 divorce from Kathleen Biden, that he is unemployed and has had no monthly income since May 2019.
The suit comes amid increased scrutiny on Hunter over his links to a Ukrainian energy company where he once sat on the board.
An apparent effort by White House officials and President Trump to get Ukraine to launch investigations into Hunter’s link to the company — and Biden Sr.’s push in 2016 to get a prosecutor fired who had investigated the company — is the current focus of an impeachment inquiry in the House.
The high court prepares to hear a set of lawsuits challenging the president's effort to end the Obama-era program. Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano offers insight.
Nearly 80,000 immigrants approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields those who came to the country illegally as minors from deportation, have an arrest record — including arrests for violent or sexual offenses.
The data released Saturday by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shows only arrests or apprehensions for a criminal offense or an immigration-related civil offense and does not take into account whether there was a conviction, acquittal, dismissal or a lessening of charges.
The report finds that of the nearly 889,000 applicants for the DACA program, 110,000 had arrest records. Of the more than 765,000 approved for DACA, 79,398 had arrest records. Of that number, 67,861 were arrested before their most recent DACA approval, while 15,903 were arrested after their most recent approval.
The offenses incurred by DACA requestors who were arrested before their most recent approval include battery (3,421), assault (3,308), burglary, breaking and entering (1,471), rape (62), murder (15) and theft or larceny (7,926). The largest population arrested were suspected of driving-related offenses excluding DUIs (23,305) and immigration-related offenses (12,968.)
The report comes as the Obama-era program’s constitutionality is under examination at the Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case began this week.
“As DACA continues to be the subject of both public discourse and ongoing litigation, USCIS remains committed to ensuring transparency and that the American people are informed about those receiving DACA,” USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.
“This agency is obligated to continue accepting DACA requests from illegal aliens as a direct result of the previous administration’s decision to circumvent the laws as passed by Congress. We hope this data provides a better sense of the reality of those granted the privilege of a temporary deferral of removal action and work authorization under DACA,” he said.
The Trump administration announced its plan to phase out the program in 2017, only for the federal courts to rule that it could not apply retroactively and that DACA should be restarted in full. The White House fought back against those decisions, saying the president has broad authority over immigration enforcement policy.
Trump on Tuesday ripped into the program, saying that some in DACA are “far from ‘angels’” but also promising to make a deal to let recipients of the program stay.
“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels,’” Trump tweeted. “Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”
Supporters of DACA have noted that the program comes with restrictions on who can be eligible with a criminal record. According to the USCIS website, those eligible can request DACA only if they “have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Supporters will also note that the level of arrests for DACA recipients is lower than the estimated 30 percent of U.S. adults who have an arrest record.
The Trump administration announced last week that it will place a $275 fee on DACA recipients, as part of an across the board increase in fees for immigration applications.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 9 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
Then-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the White House in early February 2017 that the bureau was not considering then-national security adviser Michael Flynn for a potential Logan Act prosecution over conversations with the Russian ambassador before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, government records reviewed by Fox News indicate.
McCabe was referring to the rarely prosecuted 200-year-old statute that bars American citizens from engaging with a foreign government without authorization from the current U.S. government.
The records also indicate that Flynn reported, on two separate occasions, in the days leading up to his White House firing that FBI agents had told him the bureau investigation was over or being closed out.
Both incidents raise questions over the underlying offense that formed the basis for the initial FBI and DOJ investigation into Flynn.
The retired general was later fired by the White House for misleading the vice president about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, during the transition before Trump was sworn in.
Flynn was never charged with improperly communicating with Kislyak, but in December 2017 pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
On Tuesday, Flynn and his legal team are back in court after alleging that special counsel prosecutors withheld evidence. Fox News has reached out to McCabe’s legal team for comment.
Earlier this year, Flynn fired the legal team that negotiated his guilty plea.
In an Aug. 30 court filing, Flynn’s new lawyer, Sidney Powell, wrote, "The prosecutors in this case have repeatedly failed to produce Brady evidence despite…the clarity of this Court's Order… their ethical and constitutional obligations…specific requests for documents the prosecutors know are exculpatory, and… those requests being made multiple times."
Brady evidence refers to all exculpatory evidence prosecutors are obligated to turn over, as established in the Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland.
Powell has alleged that members of the special counsel team prosecuting the case under the direction of prosecutor Andrew Weissmann "affirmatively suppressed evidence (hiding Brady material) that destroyed the credibility of their primary witness, impugned their entire case against M. Flynn, while at the same time at the same time putting excruciating pressure on him to enter his guilty plea and manipulating or controlling the press to their advance to extort that plea."
The filing also highlights contact, reported by Fox News, between Weissmann and other senior Justice Department officials in the fall of 2016 before the presidential election, and nearly a year before Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel.
Powell, Flynn’s attorney, highlighted to the court that Justice Department official Bruce Ohr was a back channel to the FBI and shared the anti-Trump dossier with Justice Department officials who later joined the special counsel team.
Ohr gave a closed-door transcribed interview last August sharing details of his 2016 meetings with British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier later used to secure a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide. The interview was part of the Republican-led House Oversight and Judiciary Committee probes.