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John Durham to testify on Capitol Hill after scathing report


We gather the news that is the most important to you. As the most reliable and balanced news service on the internet, Unite America First offers the following information published by The Hill:

Trump-era special counsel John Durham is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this week, just over one month after he released a scathing report on the investigation into former President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

Durham — who was appointed to investigate how the FBI launched a probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign and possible contacts with Russia — is set to appear before the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. The Intelligence Committee hearing will take place behind closed doors.

The report, which was the culmination of a roughly four-year investigation, found that authorities did not have sufficient evidence to open the case.

Also this week, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) is eyeing another vote on her resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) after Democrats and 20 Republicans successfully blocked the measure last week. The congresswoman, however, made changes to the resolution to alleviate concerns among her GOP colleagues that have already flipped some “no” votes.

And in the House, lawmakers will vote on a resolution condemning the housing of migrants in schools, and could make an attempt to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution to overturn his student loan relief plan. On the Senate side, the chamber could vote on the Chile Tax Treaty.


John Durham to testify on Capitol Hill

John Durham is scheduled to be on Capitol Hill this week to testify before two House panels after he released his highly anticipated report into the “Crossfire Hurricane” probe, which looked into potential contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

He is set to testify behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, then again in a public hearing with the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Durham’s report — the product of a roughly four-year investigation — issued a scathing assessment of the FBI’s process and how it started, then proceeded with, the investigation.

Republicans were quick to point to the report as evidence that federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies are weaponized against political enemies, especially Trump. The alleged weaponization of law enforcement has been a common theme throughout the House GOP majority, especially after Trump was indicted both on the state and federal levels.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) on Sunday said lawmakers are going to ask Durham for recommendations on changes the panel can pursue.

Turner noted that even though the Durham report did not recommend any “wholesale changes in the guidelines and policies that the Department and the FBI now have in place to ensure proper conduct and accountability in how counterintelligence activities are carried out,” the former special counsel has agreed to provide his thoughts on adjustments that he thinks should be made.

“He did, however — and I have spoken to him directly — agree that he would give us his insight as to what changes he thinks need to be made, and that’s the work that our … committee is doing,” Turner said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We’re pulling him into our committee to say, OK, now that we have seen that there were abuses, that this was wrong, and that there are problems with [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] itself, what are the recommendations that you think we should pursue? Here are some of the things we’re looking at. What do you think of these?” he added.

Florida Republican eyes Schiff censure resolution round two

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) is eyeing another vote this week on her resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) after making revisions to the measure that allayed concerns of some Republicans who joined Democrats in blocking the resolution last week.

The resolution calls for censuring and condemning Schiff “for conduct that misleads the American people in a way that is not befitting an elected Member of the House of Representatives.” Luna introduced the measure in May but brought it to the floor as a privileged resolution last week, forcing the House to take action on it.

Twenty Republicans, however, joined Democrats in voting for a motion to table the measure, which was enough for the motion to pass and for the censure resolution to be blocked.

Luna, however, is aiming for the House to vote on the resolution again this week after making changes to the resolution that fueled some GOP opposition.

Ahead of last week’s vote, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) — one of the GOP “no” votes — voiced concerns with a nonbinding “whereas” clause in the bill that said if the Ethics Committee finds that Schiff “lied, made misrepresentations, and abused sensitive information,” then he should be fined $16 million. He argued that it violated the 8th and 27th amendments.

Luna’s spokesperson, however, told Axios that her office has “removed the fine to address the concerns of those that voted no,” adding that they have “gotten excellent feedback so far and look forward to next week.”

The change appears to have relieved some GOP concerns.

“Thank you for fixing your bill for next week,” Massie wrote on Twitter early Thursday.

“I respect the Constitution and the oath we take to it. These revisions address my concerns and I will vote to hold Rep. Schiff accountable,” Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.), another earlier “no” vote, said in a tweet Thursday night.

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House votes: Resolution condemning housing migrants in schools, potential vote on student loans veto override

The House this week is set to vote on a resolution “condemning the use of elementary and secondary school facilities” to provide shelter to migrants.

The measure points to a situation in New York City last month when the city started converting some public school gyms into facilities that could house migrants, which sparked backlash from parents. Soon after, migrants were moved out of a number of gyms, particularly ones in Brooklyn. The city, however, has said that the gyms could be used again as housing facilities if needed for temporary overflow, according to The New York Times.

The move from the city came after the expiration of Title 42, a Trump-era border policy that allowed border officials to turn away asylum seekers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution set for consideration in the House this week argues that using schools as housing centers for migrants “compromises schools’ duty to educate enrolled children and keep them safe” and “poses a significant safety risk to school children and compromises schools’ ability to secure their own campus.”

Additionally, in a nonbinding “whereas” clause, the resolution says schools that are used to house migrants “should be ineligible to receive Federal financial assistance.”

The House this week may also vote to override President Biden’s veto of a resolution that seeks to overturn his student debt relief plan to give up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness to borrowers.

The House approved the resolution in May, followed by the Senate in June, but Biden issued a veto shortly after. At least two-thirds of the House would have to support the veto override for it to pass, which is unlikely to occur — only 218 lawmakers supported the resolution last month, with 203 in opposition.

Just two House Democrats — Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.) — joined Republicans in voting to overturn Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan.

Senate could vote on Chile Tax Treaty

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) filed cloture on a tax treaty between the U.S. and Chile last week, teeing up a vote on the treaty this week.

The treaty, referred to as the Chile Tax Treaty, would reduce double taxation and withholding rates, according to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

The Senate panel approved the treaty in a 20-1 vote earlier this month and will need at least two-thirds support from the chamber when it comes to the floor for a vote; The Senate does not ratify treaties, but instead gives its advice and consent through resolutions of ratification. Ratification is ultimately up to the president.

The advice and consent resolution under consideration in the Senate is supportive of the treaty.

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“I believe this treaty is vital to strengthening U.S. competitiveness and growing U.S. foreign direct investment in Chile, a strong democratic partner,” Menendez said in a statement after the Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty.

It is unlikely that the Senate will vote on Julie Su’s nomination to be Labor secretary this week, as Democratic leadership and the White House work to shore up support for her confirmation. They have been unable to win over the support from moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), leaving Su’s nomination in limbo.


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