W.Va. governor tells unhappy Va. voters to join his state

From left: Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University, and Jim Justice, Governor of West Virginia, answer questions at a press conference at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Martinsburg, W.Va. (Ron Agnir/The Journal via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:20 PM PT — Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The governor of West Virginia is encouraging residents who are unhappy with Virginia’s “new liberal government” to join his state. On Tuesday, Republican Governor Jim Justice held a press conference to remind Virginians of a decades old resolution that would allow them to secede into West Virginia.

“If there’s people, businesses or counties that are discontent, we want the world to know just how welcoming West Virginia is,” stated Justice.

The suggestion came after Virginia’s Democrat led state House passed restrictive gun control measures and vowed to loosen restrictions on abortion laws.

The move prompted backlash across the state. Earlier this month, thousands of protesters gathered at the capitol building in an attempt to protect their Second Amendment rights.

From left: Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University, and Jim Justice, Governor of West Virginia, answer questions at a press conference at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Martinsburg, W.Va. (Ron Agnir/The Journal via AP)

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. harshly criticized the Democrat majority in Richmond.

“What’s happening in Virginia right now is a tragedy in the making. Democratic leaders in Richmond, through their elitism and radicalism, have left a nearly unrecognizable state in their wake. They’re using their power to strip away the God-given rights held by every person in the state, despite their protections under the U.S. Constitution.”

– Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University

Both Falwell and Justice have acknowledged that the invitation is a long shot. The resolution will allegedly require petitions and a referendum before it can be sent to Virginia’s General Assembly. Democrat Governor Ralph Northam would then have to sign off on counties leaving his state.

However, the difficult process hasn’t stopped West Virginia lawmakers from introducing formal resolutions, which will invite parts of Virginia to secede.

Original Article

Yang tells fellow 2020 Dems to ‘stop being obsessed over impeachment’

closeSeven Democratic presidential candidates set for final debate of 2019Video

Seven Democratic presidential candidates set for final debate of 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden ready to take center stage at Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles; Peter Doocy reports.

Businessman Andrew Yang told his fellow Democratic presidential primary hopefuls on the debate stage Thursday night that they should stop “being obsessed” with the impeachment of President Trump.

Just a day after the House voted to impeach the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Yang was critical of the focus that his competitors in the Democratic field have placed on impeachment and the looming Senate trial.

"We need to stop being obsessed over impeachment," Yang said during the opening moments of the debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “Make no mistake, he’ll be there at the ballot box for us to defeat.”


Yang, who has been a surprising dark horse candidate in the 2020 presidential primary race, said that candidates have focused too much on the allegations that Trump was elected with the help of Russia and not enough on the discontent of voters across the country who feel abandoned by Washington lawmakers.

He said that instead of focusing on impeachment, Democrats need to “start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place.”

Senate poised to hold only its third impeachment trialVideo

Yang’s attempt to draw the national focus away from impeachment was not echoed by other candidates, who slammed Trump for blocking a number of his staffers from participating in the House investigation that led to his impeachment.

“This is a global Watergate,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said in reference to the scandal that eventually drove President Richard Nixon from the White House. “As we face this trial in the Senate — if the president claims he is so innocent — then why doesn’t he have all his president’s men testify?”

Klobuchar added: “If the president thinks he should not be impeached, he should not be scared to put forth his own witnesses.”


Klobuchar is one of three senators on stage during Thursday’s debate — along with Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who will have a vote in the Senate trial. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michael Bennett of Colorado are two Democratic presidential candidates who will also have a chance to vote in the Senate trial, but they did not meet the Democratic National Committee’s qualification standards for the debate.

Articles of impeachment will sit in House until 2020 as lawmakers leave Washington for holiday recessVideo

As it stands, the Senate proceedings are expected to begin early in January, leaving candidates a week or two to hit the trail in earnest before the Iowa caucuses, scheduled for the first Monday in February.

While the candidates are in D.C., their staffs are looking for creative ways to keep up enthusiasm for their campaigns in the states — including surrogate events, tele-town halls and even campaign events held via Skype.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Adam Schiff tells CNN he took Trump’s Guatemala remarks as ‘veiled threat’ against him

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 19Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 19

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 19 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Wednesday that he interpreted a remark by President Trump a day earlier as a “veiled threat” against him.

Trump had said Tuesday, during a news conference with Guatemala's president, that he believed it was unfair that Schiff couldn't be prosecuted over his conduct during the impeachment inquiry, adding that Guatemala has a "tougher" judicial system.

“When you have a guy like shifty Schiff go out and make up a statement I made – He said this is what I said but I never said it, he totally made it up," Trump said. "In Guatemala, they handle things much … tougher than that and because of immunity … he can’t be prosecuted.”


Schiff told CNN's Dana Bash he took the comments very seriously.

“This is a president, after all, who has said of people who blow the whistle on him that they’re traitors and spies and should be treated as traitors and spies used to be – We used to execute traitors and spies," Schiff said. “This is not a president above threatening anyone who gets in his way."

He said Trump’s undertone was a reference to Guatemala’s “violent history.”

“He is not going to intimidate me," Schiff added.


Schiff said he isn’t the first or last person who will be threatened by the president, but stressed it’s the kind of behavior “Americans should not accept in the Oval Office.”

The House voted to impeach the president Wednesday.

Original Article

Trump tells Pelosi in blistering letter that Dems have ‘cheapened the importance’ of impeachment

closeRep. Jim Banks: 'Shame on Speaker Pelosi' for politicizing impeachment and USMCAVideo

Rep. Jim Banks: 'Shame on Speaker Pelosi' for politicizing impeachment and USMCA

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) shares his reaction to the House Judiciary Committee issuing two articles of impeachment against President Trump for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. He also weighs in on the GOP's biggest takeaways from the impeachment inquiry.

President Trump, in a blistering letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lambasted the Democrats' impeachment inquiry, writing, "you have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!"

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Original Article

Nunes tells Schiff he needs ‘rehabilitation’ after IG report: ‘Admit you have a problem’

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 15Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 15

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 15 are here. Check out what's clicking on FoxNews.com

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., that he is "in need of rehabilitation" after a Justice Department Inspector General report on the FBI's Russia investigation and its use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) contradicted Schiff's past assertions.

In a 2018 memo, Schiff dismissed Nunes' concerns about the FBI's use of a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG report confirmed that the FBI's warrant applications included 17 "significant errors and omissions," including a doctored email and reliance on unverified information from former British spy Christopher Steele.


"After publishing false conclusions of such enormity on a topic directly within this committee's oversight responsibilities, it is clear you are in need of rehabilitation, and I hope this letter will serve as the first step in that vital process," Nunes said in a Sunday letter.

Schiff's memo downplayed Steele's role and denied FBI wrongdoing, saying, "FBI and DOJ officials did not 'abuse' the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign." Schiff also claimed at the time that the DOJ "made only narrow use of information from Steele's sources" for the Page warrant.

Nunes listed these statements and others, such as how the FBI conducted a "rigorous process" when vetting Steele's information, noting that "[t]he IG report exposed all these declarations as false."

IG Michael Horowitz's report indicated that Steele's information was not properly vetted, yet was key in convincing attorneys to give the go-ahead to the FISA warrant application, which was previously deemed a "close call."


Nunes recognized Schiff's acknowledgment of the "issues and errors" described in Horowitz's report, but said that his opposition to concerns raised by Attorney General Bill Barr and Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham — who is conducting a broader probe of the Russia investigation's origins — "makes it clear your rehabilitation will be a long, arduous process."

Nunes cited Schiff's failure to use his committee to conduct proper oversight while using it "as a launching pad to impeach the president for issues that have no intelligence component at all." He accused him of "hijacking" the committee, claiming, "As part of your rehabilitation, it's crucial that you admit you have a problem."


Schiff's office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment about the letter, but in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Schiff acknowledged the FBI's issues as described in Horowitz's report, and claimed he "would have called out the FBI" had he known of them.

The GOP ranking member called on the Democratic chairman to call Horowitz before their committee "at the nearest opportunity." Horowitz has already appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and is scheduled for another hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article

Sen. Kennedy tells Horowitz: ‘I thought I had dropped acid’ while reading FISA report

closeSen. John Kennedy says he 'thought I had dropped acid' while reading DOJ IG reportVideo

Sen. John Kennedy says he 'thought I had dropped acid' while reading DOJ IG report

Sen. John Kennedy says he 'thought I had dropped acid' while reading DOJ IG report

Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy, R-La., said Wednesday that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on FISA abuse during the 2016 Trump presidential campaign made him want to vomit.

While questioning Horowitz, Kennedy said the inspector general did a good job in compiling his report and that its findings are not a reflection on him.

"I'm about 70 percent of the way through but I'm going to finish it, and it is tedious… It's supposed to be tedious," he said.

"After about 15 percent of the way through, it made me want to heave," Kennedy added. "After about 25 percent of the way through I thought I had dropped acid — it is surreal, I just couldn't believe it."


Sen. Ted Cruz on surveillance of Trump campaign: This wasn't Jason Bourne, this was ' Beavis and Butt-head'Video

Horowitz replied that the contents of the report also continue to "surprise" him.

Kennedy later referred to the FBI's investigation into alleged connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia — dubbed "Crossfire Hurricane" — as "Misfire Hurricane" and asked whether some of the upper-level officials that have remained at the FBI since the campaign are still working on FISA surveillance applications.

Horowitz said the bureau itself may be a better source for those answers.

The Louisiana Republican also asked about Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who formerly led the Organized Crime-Drug Enforcement Task Force, and had been demoted after his connection to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump dossier, came to light.


"It's easier to divorce your spouse around here than get fired," Kennedy remarked.

The senator also got the inspector general to state on the record that the report "does not vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership." However, he clarified that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page was not involved in the "FISA chain" of officials, but took part in other "discussions."

Earlier in his line of questioning, Kennedy remarked that Horowitz must have "strong kidneys" to withstand several hours straight in the witness chair.

The tone of the inspector general's testimony overall ran counter to much of the coverage surrounding the report's release that focused on the finding that investigators found no evidence of political bias and were indeed justified in launching the 2016 probe.

Horowitz reaffirmed that finding, touted by congressional Democrats eager to defend the probe, at Wednesday's hearing. But his testimony as a whole amounted to a tough assessment of the bureau's actions — and clarified that his two-year review on the Russia probe's origins and use of FISA warrants to surveil a Trump campaign aide did not close the book on the bias question either.

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Original Article