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Comey Defends FBI Top Lawyer | ‘Anyone Can Be Attacked For Political Gain’

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(Via Daily Mail)

Former FBI Director James Comey issued a statement in defense of the FBI’s top lawyer James Baker who Republicans on Capitol Hill are trying to cast as a leaker.

‘Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,’ Comey remarked on his Twitter account Friday night. ‘James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better.’

Hill Republicans, who are attempting to sniff out political bias within the agency, have suggested that Baker – who is in the process of changing roles at the FBI – may have leaked information about the infamous dirty dossier to Mother Jones reporter David Corn.

Corn, who broke the story on the existence of the dossier, has stated that Baker was not his source.

President Trump, however, suggested something shady might be afoot in a Saturday afternoon tweet. ‘Wow, “FBI lawyer James Baker reassigned,” according to @FoxNews,’ the president wrote.

Politico put out a story Friday that quoted two unnamed Congressional GOP sources who told the publication that House Republicans are investigating contact between Baker and Corn in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

Corn broke the story on the dossier on October 31, 2016, eight days before the election.

On October 28, 2016, Comey had told lawmakers that the FBI had found additional emails pertinent to the Hillary Clinton email investigation – a statement that the Democrat would later say helped her lose.

Corn’s piece pointed out that then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, sent a ‘fiery’ letter to Comey and revealed the existence of the dossier.

‘In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,’ Reid wrote. ‘The public has the right to know this information,’ the Senate’s Democratic leader told Comey.

Corn then laid out what he knew.

The liberal journalist said his primary source was a ‘former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence,’ who told Mother Jones ‘in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump – and that the FBI requested more information from him.’

It’s since been reported that the dossier’s author was Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent.

Corn also cited a ‘senior U.S. government official not involved in the case’ who called the dossier’s source ‘credible’ and ‘with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive and important information to the U.S. government.’

In a statement to Politico Corn said, ‘I’m not going to discuss my sources. But in order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information, I will say that James Baker was not my source for this story.’

Baker, however, was receiving attention because of a Washington Post story that came out Thursday that said he’s being reassigned from his position atop the Office of General Counsel at the FBI.

Two of the Post’s sources said the move didn’t come because of the political controversies plaguing the FBI, but rather as part of the leadership transition at the hands of new FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was confirmed for the job in August.

The Post’s story also pointed to Baker’s involvement in a leak probe that involved news reports detailing surveillance techniques for a specific email provider.

A source told the paper that on that issue, Baker ‘was distressed about it but was confident he hadn’t leaked anything.’

That probe, the newspaper reported, had recently petered out.

Politico’s story, which came out a day later, had Republican sources revealing that Baker had been in contact with Corn in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, citing documents that had been provided to lawmakers recently by the Department of Justice.

However, the story also noted that the congressional sources told the publication that there was no conclusive evidence that Baker assisted Corn with his reporting.

‘But Republicans are pointing to the connection to cast suspicions about whether FBI officials had a hand in directing the details of the dossier to reporters, and the two sources said they expect it to be a focus on GOP investigators’ upcoming lines of inquiry,’ Politico wrote.

The contents of the dossier were also reportedly shopped around to reporters by Fusion GPS, the firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump.

The dossier had originated as opposition research on Trump, first funded by an unknown Republican primary opponent and then taken over by the Democrats and Clinton’s campaign.

Republican allies have questioned the FBI’s use of the dossier, which has never been verified in full, as a way to cast doubt on the handful of investigations into Russian meddling of the 2016 election and any Trump ties.

The president has also made great hay over government officials leaking information to the media.

Questions about Baker’s media ties began several days ago, Politico pointed out, when he appeared with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday as McCabe took part in a closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee, one of the panels investigating the Russia links.

GOP lawmakers in the meeting grilled McCabe on who at the FBI was allowed to talk to the media.

One Republican member then asked McCabe about a ‘hypothetical,’ outlining a meeting between the FBI’s general counsel and a Mother Jones reporter, Politico said.

In front of the panel, McCabe – who has also taken recent heat from the president over alleged political bias – said a meeting between such an FBI official and a reporter would be unauthorized, as Baker was seated in the room.

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, suggested it was Republicans who should be ashamed for leaking information about Baker to the media, as Politico’s sources had done.

‘While we do not comment on the substance of nonpublic investigatory interviews, congressional Republicans again appear to be leaking information in an effort to discredit the FBI and Justice Department in the hopes of undermining the Mueller investigation,’ Schiff said.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken over the FBI’s investigation into Russia and Trump.

‘Disdainful of the damage they are doing to our system of checks and balances, they would drag down another public servant in order to protect the president at any cost,’ said Schiff.

Besides his Capitol Hill testimony in June, Comey – who was fired by President Trump in May – has largely stayed away from FBI-related matters, using his social media presence to share timely quotes and inspirational phrases.

But on Friday night, he used his Twitter account to back a former colleague.

‘He is what we should all want our public servants to be,’ Comey said of Baker.

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Military

Lucas Gage Returns to X After Exposing Palestine Atrocities & Ban Over Alleged Harassment

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In today’s digital age, social media platforms serve as vital tools for raising awareness and advocating for causes. However, they also present challenges such as harassment and censorship. Recently, actor and activist Lucas Gage faced these challenges head-on when his X account was suspended for several months following harassment from certain groups unhappy with his efforts to expose war atrocities in Palestine. Now, after a prolonged absence, Gage has returned to X, ready to resume his important work of shedding light on crucial issues.

Lucas Gage, known for his roles in various television shows and films, has also been vocal about social justice issues, particularly regarding the Palestinian cause. His advocacy drew the ire of individuals and groups who disagreed with his stance. Gage utilized his platform on X to spotlight the human rights violations and war atrocities occurring in Palestine, which led to backlash from some pro-Israeli factions.

The backlash against Gage escalated into harassment, predominantly from individuals identifying themselves as Zionists. He faced a barrage of abusive messages, threats, and attempts to undermine his activism. Despite his efforts to report and block the harassers, the situation persisted, taking a toll on Gage’s mental well-being and sense of safety.

In a controversial decision, X suspended Gage’s account, citing violations of its community guidelines. Many criticized X for what they perceived as a failure to address harassment effectively, especially given the circumstances surrounding Gage’s case. The ban sparked debates about freedom of expression, censorship, and the responsibilities of social media platforms in safeguarding users from harassment and abuse.

After a hiatus spanning several months, Lucas Gage has made his comeback to X. His return has been met with an outpouring of support from fellow activists, fans, and individuals concerned about censorship and human rights. Gage expressed gratitude for the overwhelming solidarity he received during his absence and reiterated his dedication to advocating for justice and raising awareness about the plight of the Palestinian people.

The incident involving Lucas Gage underscores the significance of advocacy and the hurdles activists encounter, especially when addressing contentious issues. It also highlights the complexities of navigating social media platforms where differing viewpoints often clash, sometimes resulting in hostility and censorship.

As Gage resumes his activism on X, it is imperative to continue discussions about online harassment, censorship, and the necessity for improved mechanisms to shield users from abuse. Social media companies must reevaluate their policies and enforcement strategies to ensure that platforms remain spaces for constructive dialogue and activism, rather than avenues for harassment and stifling dissenting voices.

Lucas Gage’s return to X serves as a testament to the resilience of individuals committed to social justice causes despite facing obstacles and adversity. His experience sheds light on broader issues surrounding online harassment and censorship, prompting important conversations about the role of social media platforms in shaping public discourse. As Gage continues his advocacy, his story serves as inspiration for others to speak out against injustice and strive for positive change.

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Culture

Rabbi Shmuley Having ‘Nervous Breakdown’ says Alex Jones

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In the whirlwind of social media controversies, few can match the intensity and unpredictability of Alex Jones. Known for his provocative statements and unyielding conspiracy theories, Jones recently took to Twitter to express his disdain for Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Purim costume choice.

In a scathing tweet, Jones condemned Rabbi Shmuley’s attire and behavior, accusing him of having a “nervous breakdown.” The rabbi had donned a costume portraying what he termed a “Candace Owens Jew,” accompanied by a bizarre ensemble featuring references to money and a provocative assertion about Jewish identity.

“For Purim I’ve dressed up as a Candace Owens Jew,” Rabbi Shmuley wrote, adding a string of controversial remarks about Jewish stereotypes and dual loyalties. The costume, seemingly intended as a satirical commentary, sparked outrage and criticism from many quarters.

Jones, never one to shy away from confrontation, seized the opportunity to denounce Rabbi Shmuley’s actions. “You go around starting fights with people and then flip out when they respond,” Jones tweeted. He urged the rabbi to seek help for the sake of his family, implying that Rabbi Shmuley’s behavior was symptomatic of a deeper issue.

The exchange between Jones and Rabbi Shmuley highlights the complexities of social media and the power of provocative speech. Both figures are no strangers to controversy, with Jones notorious for his conspiracy-laden rants and Rabbi Shmuley often courting controversy with his outspoken views on various issues.

Purim, a Jewish holiday known for its revelry and merrymaking, is traditionally marked by costume parties and playful satire. However, Rabbi Shmuley’s choice of attire crossed a line for many, tapping into sensitive issues of anti-Semitism and racial stereotypes.

By dressing as a caricatured version of a “Candace Owens Jew,” Rabbi Shmuley waded into dangerous territory, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and reinforcing negative perceptions of Jewish people. His attempt at satire fell flat for many, instead sparking condemnation and outrage.

In response, Alex Jones delivered a blistering rebuke, calling out Rabbi Shmuley’s behavior and urging him to seek help. While Jones himself is no stranger to controversy, his criticism of Rabbi Shmuley’s costume choice underscores the seriousness of the issue at hand.

In an era where social media amplifies voices and magnifies controversies, individuals must exercise caution and responsibility in their online interactions. What may seem like harmless satire to some can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and fuel division.

As the dust settles on this latest social media skirmish, it serves as a reminder of the power of words and the importance of thoughtful discourse. In a world already fraught with tensions and divisions, it is incumbent upon all of us to strive for understanding and empathy, even in the midst of disagreement.

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Border

AG Ken Paxton: “SB 4, is Now In Effect”

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In the heart of Texas, amidst the sweltering heat and the vast expanse of rugged terrain, a battle was being waged—a battle not fought with guns and swords, but with words and legal maneuvers. It was a clash between the Lone Star State and the might of the federal government, with the fate of immigration law hanging in the balance.

Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, stood at the forefront of this struggle. With unwavering determination and a deep sense of duty, he had taken up the mantle to defend Texas and its sovereignty against what he saw as overreach from the Biden Administration.

Just a few minutes ago, he had sent a tweet echoing across the digital landscape, announcing a monumental victory: “🚨🚨 HUGE WIN: Texas has defeated the Biden Administration’s and ACLU’s emergency motions at the Supreme Court. Our immigration law, SB 4, is now in effect.”

The news reverberated through the state like a thunderclap, igniting a spark of hope in the hearts of many Texans who had felt their voices drowned out by the clamor of national politics.

Among those who felt the weight of this victory was Maria Sanchez, a young immigrant who had come to Texas in search of a better life. For years, she had lived in the shadows, fearing the consequences of being discovered by authorities. But now, with SB 4 in effect, she felt a glimmer of hope that perhaps she could finally step out into the light without fear.

On the other side of the divide stood federal agents, tasked with enforcing the laws of the land as decreed by the Biden Administration. They watched with frustration as their efforts were thwarted by legal challenges and political maneuvering.

But for Ken Paxton, this victory was not just about winning in court—it was about standing up for what he believed was right. It was about defending the values and principles that he held dear, even in the face of adversity.

“As always, it’s my honor to defend Texas and its sovereignty, and to lead us to victory in court,” he declared, his words resounding with conviction.

The battle may have been won for now, but the war was far from over. In the days and weeks to come, the struggle between state and federal authority would continue to unfold, shaping the destiny of not just Texas, but the entire nation.

But for now, amidst the heat of the Lone Star State, a moment of triumph had been achieved—a testament to the resilience and determination of those who dared to stand up and fight for what they believed in.

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