Rep. Schiff refuses to say if Intel Committee would subpoena Bolton over claims of Ukraine pressure

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead Democratic manager, leaves the Senate chamber during a break as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stretches into the night, in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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UPDATED 10:13 AM PT — Monday, February 3, 2020

House Intelligence Committee chairman and lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff has continued to stir speculation of John Bolton’s possible testimony in Congress.

In an interview Sunday, he refused to say if his committee would subpoena the former national security adviser to testify on his book after the impeachment trial ends. The California Democrat also suggested the truth of the alleged pressure on Ukraine would eventually come out.

The Senate voted to block additional witnesses in the trial last week, which has further paved the way to the president’s acquittal. Nonetheless, Rep. Schiff said getting Bolton to testify may turn into a lengthy process.

“If we continue with litigation, as we are doing at this moment with Don McGahn, and we subpoenaed him nine months ago and we’re still nowhere near a final resolution, it would probably be one to two years before we would have had a decision on John Bolton,” he explained.

Rep. Schiff also accused Senate Republicans of denying a fair impeachment trial and vowed to continue attacks on President Trump.

FILE – In this May 1, 2019 file photo, National security adviser John Bolton talks to reporters outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

RELATED: Rep. Meadows says impeachment acquittal timing uncertain

Original Article

House Ethics Committee warns against posting ‘deepfakes’

(Reuters File Photo)

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UPDATED 11:46 AM PT — Thursday, January 30, 2020

The 2020 election cycle is in full swing and Congress is issuing a warning about doctored videos. In a recent memo, the House Ethics Committee stated that posting deep fakes or other audio-visual distortions intended to mislead the public may be in violation of the code of official conduct. The Committee added, politicians could face “repercussions for tweets and Facebook posts which are misleading

‘Deepfakes’ are synthetic media in which can depict people saying and doing things that never happened. Researchers have said the deceiving technology is equivalent to stealing someone’s identity.

“The most important thing is actually that people know that this is possible, right? If they wouldn’t know, then they could easily be fooled. If they know that there are ways to actually create better manipulations that are extremely believable, then we will have some way of protection, right?”

— Hao Li, Associate Professor of Computer Science – University of Southern California

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) previously drew criticism when he tweeted an image of former President Obama with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which is an encounter that never happened.

Last year, a manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing to be drunk went viral across social media platforms. Pelosi accused Facebook of acting as an “accomplice for misleading the American people.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Shortly thereafter, the social media giant announced it would ban ‘deepfake’ videos and would continue to fight online manipulation.

“I think deepfakes are clearly one of the emerging threats that we need to get in front of and develop policy around to address, I think that this is a very important area,” stated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “The ‘deepfake’ challenge to figure out how to identify these things will certainly help inform the policy and this is one of the areas that are important moving forward.”

The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved bipartisan legislation, which would allow the Department of Homeland Security to study videos and the technology behind them.

With the November election approaching and months of campaigning ahead, lawmakers on both sides the aisle are united in the effort to stop ‘deepfakes.’

RELATED: U.S. lawmakers say Facebook steps to tackle ‘deepfake’ videos not adequate

Original Article

Va. House Public Safety Committee advances several gun control bills despite protests

Gun-rights supporters pack the hill on Capitol Square as speakers talk in Richmond, Va., Monday Jan. 20, 2020. Gun-rights activists and other groups are descending on Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.(Rob Ostermaier/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

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UPDATED 6:53 AM PT — Monday, January 27, 2020

A Virginia House committee has advanced several bills cracking down on gun control. This week, the House Public Safety Committee passed six measures that would add more restrictions for owners of firearms. This comes just days after thousands attended a gun rally in the state’s capital.

The legislation includes a ‘red flag law’ allowing authorities to take guns away from people who they consider to be dangerous to themselves or others. It also includes universal background checks, localities banning firearms in public, more severe penalties on unsecured guns around children and limiting firearm purchases to once a month.

Republicans are backing two of the bills stating lost or stolen firearms must be reported within 24 hours and residents under a protective order will not be allowed to possess a gun. Meanwhile, lawful firearm owners believe the bills are an infringement on their rights.

“It’s not a surprise, I mean we saw these bills coming,” said Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. They’re an attack on gun owners, law-abiding gun owners.”

Gun-rights supporters gather for the rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday morning Jan. 20, 2020. Gun-rights activists and other groups are descending on Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. (Rob Ostermaier/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

However, those in favor of the measures believe they are necessary to ensure public safety.

“I started this work 13 years ago when my daughter was shot and injured at Virginia Tech, and knew then the laws were porous,” explained Lori Haas, Director of the Virginia Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “The time is long passed due to pass these laws and I’m glad they’re finally moving in the General Assembly.”

The bills will head to a House vote before reaching the Senate.

RELATED: Virginians call for Gov. Northam’s removal, thousands protest new gun control measures

Original Article

Horowitz testifies before Senate committee after FISA court rebukes FBI

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Horowitz: Report 'doesn't vindicate anyone'

Horowitz faces questions on IG report; Anna Kooiman has the details.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday, in the aftermath of his report examining the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe and problems with the process used to obtain a warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Horowitz previously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Wednesday’s hearing comes a day after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) rebuked the FBI in a rare public order that referenced his report. Horowitz had revealed that there were 17 inaccuracies and omissions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications for Page, which included a doctored email and the failure to include exculpatory information about Page that may have impacted the FISC’s decision to grant the warrants.


“The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the [Office of Inspector General] report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above," Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in her four-page order. "The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable."

Horowitz’s report also described how the FBI relied on information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele as part of opposition research for Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Steele’s information helped lead officials to approve seeking a FISA warrant for Page, even though the information had not been vetted as required by FBI policy.


The report said that while there were clear problems with the FBI’s FISA process, Horowitz did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that the Russia probe itself was launched due to political bias, although he noted that the threshold to start the probe was low. Additionally, when asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the inspector general made it clear that the question of possible bias “gets murkier” when discussing the FISA process.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who led the bureau at the time, insisted he was unaware of any impropriety at the time, but told “Fox News Sunday” he “was wrong” when he defended the FBI’s FISA process in the past. Still, he defended his former subordinates by claiming that no one committed any intentional misconduct, despite Horowitz calling for accountability and making referrals for further investigation. At the same time, Comey admitted that there was “real sloppiness,” and that as director, he was ultimately responsible.

Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Original Article

Dem-led committee prepares impeachment resolution for House floor

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House Rules Committee holds a mark-up hearing for impeachment resolution

The Democratic-led House Rules Committee on Tuesday began a marathon session to prepare the ground rules for what is almost certain to be a furious showdown vote on the House floor to adopt articles of impeachment against President Trump.

The panel’s meeting will give an initial picture of what the House debate on Wednesday will look like, and what the timetable could be. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., told Fox News that "we're settling in for a long meeting" on impeachment.


The committee writes the procedures and other guidelines for debate, including how much time is given to issues and what amendments will be in order. Yet, despite the often dry material that is up for debate, the panel’s meeting could also be a feisty one as partisan lines have been firmly drawn in the impeachment fight.

At the core is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats allege that Trump’s push for investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden’s conduct in the country was part of an attempted quid pro quo in exchange for a White House meeting and the unlocking of military aid.

"The president withheld congressionally approved military aid to a country under siege to extract a personal political favor. He did not do this as a matter of U.S. policy, he did this for his own benefit. That is wrong and if that is not impeachable conduct, then I don’t know what is," Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said Tuesday.

Trump has denied the quid-pro-quo allegations and claimed that Democrats are engaging in a “witch hunt” against him. Republicans in the House have made similar claims, accusing House Democrats of running a “kangaroo court” as they dominate proceedings and push the House toward impeachment.

“This is not the result of a fair process and certainly not a bipartisan one. Sadly the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry has been flawed and partisan from day one so I guess it should come as no surprise that Democrats’ preordained outcome is also flawed and partisan,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said at Tuesday's session.

The House Judiciary Committee last week voted to send two articles of impeachment to the House floor, alleging obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. Articles related to other Democratic allegations, such as bribery, were notably absent. In the vote itself, it is likely to go down mostly along partisan lines. There are no signs that any Republican will vote for impeachment, although it is possible that several moderate Democrats in pro-Trump districts could oppose the historic step.

"The House Rules Committee is about to meet on impeachment. But why bother? Two-thirds of the Democrats on the committee voted to impeach the President BEFORE the Ukraine call even happened," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif., tweeted. "For Dems, this is about pure politics. Not facts."


Impeachment polling trending in Trump's favor: Juan WilliamsVideo

The House is composed of 431 members, meaning Democrats would need 216 yeas to impeach Trump. There currently are 233 Democrats, so they could lose only 17 of their own and still impeach the president — or 18 if the lone independent backs impeachment. The articles still appear to have enough votes to pass, which would send them to the Senate for a trial. There, where Republicans dominate, Trump is almost certain to be acquitted.

Having the Rules Committee take the lead is a different approach from the Clinton impeachment in 1998 and 1999, where the articles came up on the House floor via a procedure known as “privilege.” The House secured a unanimous consent agreement to continue the articles over a two-day period.


But while the debate could be feisty and angry in the Rules Committee, the Democrats have the upper-hand in terms of power. The Rules Committee is sometimes called “The Speaker’s Committee” because the speaker runs it, even though they are not a member of the committee.

The committee will present a rule for the floor debate, which will then be debated by the House first thing Wednesday morning. Once adopted, then the debate on the articles themselves will begin.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Original Article

Judiciary Committee’s minority blasts articles of impeachment report, ‘anemic case’

closeRep. Adam Schiff defends Democrats' impeachment case against President TrumpVideo

Rep. Adam Schiff defends Democrats' impeachment case against President Trump

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

The House Judiciary Committee's minority blasted the committee's rush to impeach President Trump and wrote that history will not look kindly on how exculpatory evidence was ignored to meet a "self-imposed December deadline," according to the full articles of impeachment report released early Monday.

The minority, which is comprised of Republicans, blasted the Democrat-led majority for not making the case for impeachment and simply employing "holdover" arguments from other investigations to make their case. Despite the divide, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the committee, wrote for the majority that Trump is a threat to the Constitution and should be removed from office.


The committee released a 658-page report on the impeachment resolution that lays out the case against Trump. Democrats have raised two articles of impeachable offenses, including abuse of power by soliciting Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election and then obstructing Congress during its investigation.


The minority wrote that both articles are supported by assumptions and hearsay. The minority, headed by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the committee, wrote that the majority decided to “pursue impeachment first and build a case second.”

The majority ignored exculpatory evidence but proclaimed the "facts are uncontested,” the minority wrote.

"The facts are contested, and, in many areas, the majority's claims are directly contradicted by the evidence," the minority wrote. They continued that "not one of the criminal accusations leveled at the president over the past year—including bribery, extortion, collusion/conspiracy with foreign enemies, or obstruction of justice—has found a place in the articles. Some of these arguments are just holdovers from an earlier disingenuous attempt by the majority to weaponized the Russia collusion investigation for political gain."

The majority's actions were "unprecedented, unjustifiable, and will only dilute the significance of the dire recourse that is impeachment," they wrote.

The minority also claimed procedural missteps by the majority by not allowing a "minority day of hearings," despite several requests to Nadler. They called the denial “blatant” and “intentional.” They claim Nadler also refused a request to subpoena witnesses. They wrote that there was a complete absence of “fact witnesses” and the case rested with the testimony from four academics and another with a panel of Congressional staffers.

The majority claimed that they were transparent. The majority wrote that the minority wanted to hear testimony from the whistleblower, but the majority stressed the importance of protecting the person’s identity. The minority's request to hear from Hunter Biden—the son of Joe Biden—was "well outside the scope of the inquiry," the majority wrote.

At the heart of the first charge, is Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats have relied on a whistleblower’s complaint that claimed that there was at least an implied quid pro quo during the phone conversation. Trump was also accused of using agents "within and outside" the U.S. government to compel Kiev to investigate the Bidens and their business dealings in the country. The claim is that Trump withheld $391 million in essential military funds to pressure Kiev on the investigations.

Both Trump and Zelensky deny there was ever any implied or explicit quid pro quo.

The newly released report also claims that Trump directed key players in the inquiry from participating.

Trump "interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘‘sole Power of Impeachment’’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives,” the report said.

The report listed John “Mick” Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, and Robert B. Blair, a senior adviser to Mulvaney, as officials who have denied subpoenas.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Sunday proposed in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that Mulvaney be subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment trial. McConnell told Fox News last week that the chances of Trump being removed from office are zero.



Republicans say Democrats are impeaching the president because they can’t beat him in 2020. Democrats warn Americans can’t wait for the next election because they worry what Trump will try next.

The House is expected to vote on the articles next week, in the days before Christmas. That would send the impeachment effort to the Senate for a 2020 trial.

The majority claimed that the impeachment inquiry was performed in a fair manner and pointed out that the purpose of the inquiry was to determine if Trump “may have committed an impeachable offense.” Trump was offered the opportunity to participate, but he declined, the majority wrote. The president has refused to participate in the proceedings.

At about the time the impeachment report was being released, Trump was on Twitter touting his record and slamming the allegations. He wrote that despite the impeachment and "obstruction," he had one of the most successful presidencies in history.

The Associated Press and Bradford Betz contributed to this report

Original Article

Nadler calls for Trump’s removal in committee’s 658-page report on articles of impeachment

closeHouse poised for final impeachment voteVideo

House poised for final impeachment vote

Rep. Mike Johnson on House preparing historic floor vote on Trump impeachment.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote that President Trump is a threat to the Consitution and should be removed from office, according to the committee's 658-page report on the articles of impeachment resolution against Trump that was submitted early Monday.

The majority wrote that President Trump abused his office by soliciting the interference of Ukraine in the 2020 election and then obstructed the impeachment inquiry into his conduct.

The report was released at 12:30 a.m. ET., and included a dissent from the committee's minority that called the case for impeachment "not only weak but dangerously lowers the bar for future impeachments."

Trump is accused, in the first article, of abusing his presidential power by asking Ukraine to investigate his 2020 rival Joe Biden while holding military aid as leverage, and, in the second, of obstructing Congress by blocking the House’s efforts to probe his actions.


The president insists he did nothing wrong and blasts the Democrats’ effort daily as a sham and harmful to America.

Nadler wrote that Trump should be removed and "disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

The committee's vote was strictly along party lines, and the floor vote is expected to be similar, with a few exceptions. No Republicans have so far signaled that they will support the articles of impeachment, but a small handful of Democrats who represent GOP-leaning districts have said they may join Republicans in voting against them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Original Article

Judiciary Committee approves articles of impeachment against Trump, as GOP slams ‘kangaroo court’

closeThe House Judiciary Committee begins process of voting on articles of impeachmentVideo

The House Judiciary Committee begins process of voting on articles of impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Trump – capping a contentious three-day session that Republicans panned as a “kangaroo court.”

The committee adopted both articles, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on a party-line vote of 23-17. A final vote in the full House is expected next week, which could tee up a Senate trial in the new year just before presidential primaries are set to get underway.


But the committee vote was preceded by fireworks on Thursday night, when Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., infuriated Republicans by wrapping up the hearing just before midnight and postponing the votes until the morning.

"It is now very late at night," Nadler said. "I want the members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days, and to search their consciences before we cast their final votes.”

That led to Republicans decrying what they called a “bush-league stunt” by Nadler to make sure the vote would be carried on daytime television.

"Mr. Chairman, there was no consulting with the ranking member on your schedule for tomorrow — you just blew up schedules for everyone?" Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said. "You chose not to consult the ranking member on a scheduling issue of this magnitude? This is the kangaroo court we're talking about.”


Impeachment vote postponement a 'bush league stunt': Doug CollinsVideo

Republicans have repeatedly and loudly objected to the impeachment inquiry, which focuses on President Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he pressed Zelensky to “look into” supposed Ukraine interference in the 2016 election and the conduct of former Vice President Joe Biden (a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate) in the country.

Democrats have alleged that the conversation was part of a quid pro quo in which Ukraine would conduct politically related investigations into Trump’s political rivals in exchange for then-withheld military aid and a White House meeting. Trump has strongly denied those claims and decried the probe as a “witch hunt.”

The articles of impeachment being considered accuse Trump of “obstruction of Congress” and “abuse of power.”


They are likely to pass in the House, although questions have been raised about moderate Democrats in districts that voted for Trump in 2016 — many of whom have not said whether they will vote for impeachment.

Should the articles pass the full House, the debate will shift to the Senate for an impeachment trial — where the Republican-controlled chamber would be expected to easily acquit the president.

Fox News' Gregg Re and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Original Article

House Judiciary Committee holds hearing on impeachment evidence: Live updates

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Fox News Go

The House Judiciary Committee is holding an impeachment hearing Monday where committee lawyers are presenting evidence in the case, as Democrats begin to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump at the direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The committee is expected to receive the “presentations of evidence” from Judiciary Committee Majority Counsel Barry Berke and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman. Stephen Castor will serve as counsel for Republicans on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election. The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Original Article

House Judiciary Committee releases report outlining grounds for impeachment ahead of hearing

closeRep. Nadler under fire for hypocritical stance on Trump impeachmentVideo

Rep. Nadler under fire for hypocritical stance on Trump impeachment

Reaction and analysis from Republican congressmen Andy Biggs, Lee Zeldin and Steve Scalise on 'The Ingraham Angle.'

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Saturday released a report outlining the constitutional grounds for impeachment, the latest sign of the committee gearing up for impeaching President Trump ahead of a key hearing on Monday.

“The Framers' worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment. President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain. The Constitution details only one remedy for this misconduct: impeachment,” Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

“The safety and security of our nation, our democracy, and future generations hang in the balance if we do not address this misconduct. In America, no one is above the law, not even the President,” he said.


The report goes into detail about the history behind the impeachment clause in the Constitution. A report was first produced during the Nixon impeachment inquiry and updated during the Clinton impeachment inquiry in the 1990s. Democrats say that those reports no longer reflect “the best available learning” on impeachment and so have been updated.

The updated report appears to be an attempt to challenge what Democrats say are “inaccurate” narratives about the process.

According to the committee: “Since the House began its impeachment inquiry, a number of inaccurate claims have circulated about how impeachment works under the Constitution. To assist the Committee in its deliberations, we address six issues of potential relevance: (1) the law that governs House procedures for impeachment; (2) the law that governs the evaluation of evidence, including where the President orders defiance of House subpoenas; (3) whether the President can be impeached for abuse of his executive powers; (4) whether the President’s claims regarding his motives must be accepted at face value; (5) whether the President is immune from impeachment if he attempts an impeachable offense but is caught before he completes it; and (6) whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election.”


The committee was meeting over the weekend in preparation for Monday's hearing. Democrats say Trump sought a political investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in exchange for military aid that was being withheld and a White House meeting. Trump has denied the charges and has accused Democrats of engaging in a politically motivated witch hunt against him.

Trump touts economic success amid impeachment pushVideo

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced this week that she had requested the Judiciary Committee to proceed with articles of impeachment against the president. Those articles are likely to encompass two major themes: abuse of office and obstruction.

The new report hints at those charges when it outlines how a president who "perverts his role as chief diplomat to serve private rather than public ends" has met the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors laid out in the Constitution. That is true "especially" if he invited rather than opposed foreign interference, the report says.

It comes as part of dueling narratives from Democrats and Republicans as they try to sway public opinion to their side of the debate.


Republicans have indicated they intend to change the focus of the hearings should the House impeach and send articles to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial. Trump on Thursday urged Democrats in the House to impeach him “fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and so that our country can get back to business.”

He indicated that Republicans would seek testimony from top Democrats including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, former Biden and his son Hunter, as well as Speaker Pelosi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article