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FBI Searched Biden Home, Found More Classified Documents

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. The FBI searched President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and found six additional documents with classified markings and some of his notes, according to the president’s lawyer on Saturday.

According to Bob Bauer, the president’s lawyer, the search of the entire premises took nearly 13 hours. The FBI seized documents from Biden’s time in the Senate and vice presidency, while the notes were from his time as vice president. As the Justice Department reviews the records, the level of classification and whether they remained classified took time to be cleared.

The search happened after Biden’s lawyers found six classified documents from his time as vice president in the president’s home library, and almost three months after lawyers found a small number of classified records in his old offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.

It came a day after Biden said, “there’s no there there” on the document revelations, which have become a political headache for the president and complicated the Justice Department’s investigation into Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents and official records after he left office.

“We discovered a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters during a tour of storm damage in California. “We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department.”

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Biden Is Cooperating Fully With The Investigation

Biden stated that he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved as soon as possible.”

Jill Biden was not present when the president and first lady searched the residence. They were staying at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for the weekend.

It remains to be seen whether federal officials will conduct additional searches in other locations. Biden’s lawyers have already looked through his Rehoboth Beach home and said they didn’t find any official papers or secret records.

According to Bauer, the FBI requested that the White House not comment on the search before it took place and that Biden’s personal and White House attorneys be present. He said the FBI had “full access to the President’s home, including handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders dating back decades.”

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President Committed To Handling This With Responsibility

He said that the Justice Department “took possession of materials it thought were relevant to its investigation.” These included six items made up of classified documents and other materials, some from when the President was in the Senate and some from when he was Vice President.

Former Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur has been appointed as a special counsel to investigate any potential wrongdoing concerning the Biden documents by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“From the start, the President has been committed to handling this responsibly because he takes it seriously,” White House lawyer Richard Sauber said on Saturday. “The President’s lawyers and the White House Counsel’s Office will continue to work with the DOJ and the Special Counsel to ensure that this process proceeds as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The discovery of the Biden documents and the investigation into Trump, which is in the hands of special counsel Jack Smith, are vastly different. According to the Justice Department, when Trump left the White House in early 2021, he took hundreds of classified records with him and refused to return them to the government for months. Biden has cooperated with the DOJ investigation at every turn, though questions about his public transparency remain.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

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Trump Facing 37 Felony Charges, Indictment Unsealed

Washington — On Monday, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly reinstated Donald Trump on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, rejecting state attempts to bar the Republican former President over the Capitol brawl.

The judges concluded a day before the Super Tuesday primaries that states cannot use a post-Civil War constitutional provision to exclude presidential candidates from appearing on ballots. That authority rests with Congress, the court wrote in an unsigned ruling.

On his social media network, Trump said shortly after the ruling was announced, “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!”

The case constituted the court’s first direct ruling on a presidential election issue in a generation, dating back to Bush v. Gore in 2000. However, it is unlikely to be the last, as Trump is facing four distinct criminal charges and has another Supreme Court appearance scheduled for April.

The verdict puts a stop to efforts in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, and other states to remove Trump, the front-runner for his party’s nomination, from the ballot due to his plans to recoup his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, culminating in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold expressed dismay with the court’s judgment, noting that “Donald Trump is an eligible candidate in Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary.”

Trump’s case was the first before the Supreme Court to address a section of the 14th Amendment created after the Civil War to prohibit former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.

Donald Trump is facing four criminal indictments and a civil suit. You can keep track of all the cases here.

Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled, in a first-of-its-kind decision, that the provision, Section 3, may be applied against Trump, whom the court said incited the Capitol attack. No court had before applied Section 3 to a presidential candidate.

In their judgments on Monday, the judges avoided the politically charged question of insurrection.

The court ruled that states can disqualify applicants for state office. “But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the court stated in its ruling.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

While all nine justices agreed that Trump should be on the ballot, the three liberal members of the court and conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett disagreed that their colleagues went too far in determining what Congress must do to disqualify someone from federal office.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson agreed that upholding the Colorado decision could result in a “chaotic state-by-state patchwork,” but disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that a disqualification for insurrection can only occur when Congress enacts legislation. “Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section 3 can bar an oathbreaking insurrectionist from becoming President,” the three justices wrote in a unanimous judgment.

It is still being determined whether the verdict allows Congress to refuse to certify Trump’s or any other presidential candidate’s election if it believes they violated Section 3.

Derek Muller, a legal professor at the University of Notre Dame, said, “It appears no,” noting that the liberals objected to the majority opinion eliminating any other options for Congress to implement the rule. Rick Hasen, a legal professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, said that Congress’s boundaries could be clearer.

Hasen was among those who urged the court to resolve the issue so that Congress would not reject Trump under Section 3 when electoral votes are counted on January 6, 2025.

“We may well have a nasty, nasty post-election period in which Congress tries to disqualify Trump but the Supreme Court says Congress exceeded its powers,” he warned in an email.

Both sides had asked for quick action from the court, which heard arguments less than a month ago, on February 8. The justices were preparing to decide in Trump’s favour.

Trump had been removed from the ballots in Colorado, Maine, and Illinois, but all three verdicts were on hold until a Supreme Court decision.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

The lawsuit is the court’s most direct participation in a presidential election since Bush v. Gore, which effectively gave the 2000 election to Republican George W. Bush. And it’s just one of several cases involving Trump that could affect his chances of reelection, including a late April hearing on whether he can be criminally prosecuted on election interference charges, including his role in the January 6 Capitol attack. Trump has claimed ultimate protection from prosecution. The timing of the high court’s intervention has sparked speculation that Trump will be tried before the November election.

The hearings in February marked the first time the high court heard a case utilizing Section 3. The two-sentence rule, intended to prevent some Confederates from gaining office again, states that those who breach oaths to support the Constitution are forbidden from holding different posts, including congressional seats or acting as presidential electors. However, it makes no specific reference to the presidency.

Both conservative and liberal judges questioned the case against Trump. Their primary worry was whether Congress should intervene before states could invoke the 14th Amendment. There were also disputes over whether the provision covers the President.

The lawyers for Republican and independent voters who sued to remove Trump’s name from the Colorado ballot argued that there is ample evidence that the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection, which was incited by Trump, who had urged a crowd of his supporters at a rally outside the White House to “fight like hell.” They claimed it would be ludicrous to apply Section 3 to everything except the presidency or that Trump is somehow exempt. They contended that the provision does not require any enabling legislation.

Following the verdict, the President of the liberal-leaning organization that represented the voters cited the court’s silence on whether Trump incited the revolt. “They had the opportunity to exonerate Donald Trump, but they did not do so,” said Noah Bookbinder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

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Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

Trump’s lawyers made various points on why the Amendment cannot be used to take him off the ballot. They claimed the January 6 disturbance was not an insurrection and that, even if it was, Trump did not go to the Capitol or join the rioters. They further stated that the Amendment’s text excludes the presidency and presidential contenders. They asserted that even if all of those reasons failed, Congress must approve legislation to resurrect Section 3.

The case was resolved by a court that included three Justices Trump chose as President. They have considered other Trump-related issues in recent years, rejecting his spurious accusations of fraud in the 2020 election and refusing to protect tax information from Congress and New York prosecutors.

The 5-4 judgment in Bush v. Gore, issued more than 23 years ago, was the last time the court became so involved in presidential politics. Only Justice Clarence Thomas remains on the bench from that time. Thomas has rebuffed requests from several Democratic senators to withdraw from the Trump lawsuit since his wife, Ginni, supported Trump’s effort to reverse the 2020 election results and attended the rally preceding Trump supporters’ assault of the Capitol.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Zelensky Warns ‘Millions Will Be Killed’ Without US Aid To Kyiv, As Ukrainian Troop Deaths Reach At Least 31,000

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Zelensky: “Millions” of people may die in Ukraine’s war with Russia if US senators do not support President Joe Biden’s $60 billion aid request for Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN on Sunday.

When CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked about US Senator J.D. Vance’s remark that the war’s outcome would not alter if Ukraine received the money, Zelensky said he was not convinced Vance “understands what is going on here.”

“Coming to the front line to see what’s happening, speaking with people, and then going to civilians to understand what will happen to them without this support is the key to understanding it.” He will understand that millions will be slain. “It is a fact,” Zelensky stated.

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Zelensky Warns ‘Millions Will Be Killed’ Without US Aid To Kyiv, As Ukrainian Troop Deaths Reach At Least 31,000

“Of course he doesn’t understand, God bless you don’t have the war on your territory,” he said.

Zelensky’s warning came only hours after the Ukrainian commander admitted to troop casualties for the first time at a conference in Kyiv, claiming that approximately 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the fight thus far.

Zelensky addressed the gathering and refuted Russian allegations of far more Ukrainian casualties. He also stated that “tens of thousands” of civilians have been killed in Ukrainian territories captured by Russian soldiers.

“It’s a huge loss for us. This war claimed the lives of 31,000 Ukrainians, including soldiers. Not 300,000. “Not 150,000, whatever (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is lying about,” Zelensky stated. “Every loss is a huge loss to us.”

CNN cannot independently verify the figures, which come on the same weekend that Ukraine marks two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

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Zelensky Warns ‘Millions Will Be Killed’ Without US Aid To Kyiv, As Ukrainian Troop Deaths Reach At Least 31,000

Throughout the crisis, Kyiv has been reticent to acknowledge how many soldiers have died. Former Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated in June 2022 that he estimated tens of thousands of Ukrainians had been slain since February of the same year.

Two months later, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, then-head of Ukraine’s armed forces, announced that 9,000 troops had been slain.

According to US sources, over 70,000 soldiers have been dead, with roughly twice that many injured.

Meanwhile, Russia has lost a staggering 87% of its active-duty ground forces before the invasion, according to a source familiar with a declassified US intelligence estimate delivered to Congress in December.

Zelensky’s remarks come as his country suffers setbacks on the battlefield and struggles to gain additional aid from Western partners. In the United States, isolationist Republicans have blocked a foreign aid package in the House of Representatives.

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Zelensky Warns ‘Millions Will Be Killed’ Without US Aid To Kyiv, As Ukrainian Troop Deaths Reach At Least 31,000

The Ukrainian leader stated that his country is waiting for Congress to act.

“They understand we need their help,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky also mentioned the prospect of attending a peace summit in Switzerland in the spring but cautioned that Russia might not be involved. He claimed that Putin “does not want to end this war.”\

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Alexei Navalny: Hundreds Chant Defiance As They Bid Farewell To Navalny

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Thousands of Russians ignored fear and turned out to say goodbye to opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

On February 16, President Vladimir Putin’s most vociferous critic died in jail.

Authorities had warned that any protest would be illegal. However, a large number of police officers stood by as the crowd yelled Navalny’s name or expressed their opposition to the Russian president.

Mr Putin’s supporters, relatives, and many international leaders have all blamed him for his death.

Russian authorities refute any such allegations, claiming Navalny died of natural causes. He was spending a lengthy sentence in an Arctic jail colony on fabricated charges.

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Alexei Navalny: Hundreds Chant Defiance As They Bid Farewell To Navalny

Russian authorities refute any such allegations, claiming Navalny died of natural causes. He was spending a lengthy sentence in an Arctic jail colony on fabricated charges.

It was believed that authorities would crack down on Friday’s funeral.

Indeed, on Friday morning, a large police presence was seen in Maryino, the Moscow neighbourhood where the funeral was placed and where Navalny had resided with his family for many years.

Despite the grey winter’s day and temperatures hovering slightly around freezing, Navalny’s team estimated that the queue of people stretched for well over 1km (0.6 miles).

However, none of the police officers, many of whom were wearing full riot gear, intervened when expressions of support for Navalny became overtly political.

Thousands screamed “No to War,” “Russia Without Putin,” and “Russia Will Be Free,” sentiments that have previously cost numerous Russians in jail.

The memorial service started shortly after 14:00 Moscow time (11:00 GMT) at the Church of the Icon of Our Lady Quench My Sorrows.

It came after much confusion and protests from Navalny’s team that the authorities were making arrangements difficult, including locating a hearse.

However, hundreds began to come hours before the proceedings began. Foreign dignitaries, including ambassadors from the United States, Germany, and France, later joined them.

The ceremony inside the church was brief; a photograph on social media depicted an open casket, which is usual in Russia, with mourners paying their respects. Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, and father, Anatoly, were spotted sitting together.

People threw flowers and carnations onto the hearse as the church bell tolled and Navalny’s casket was hauled outside, shouting, “We won’t forget you!”

Following the service, several people approached Lyudmila and hugged her, saying, “Thank you for your son” and “forgive us”.

Navalny’s widow, Yulia; his daughters Daria, 23; Zakhar, 15; and his brother, Oleg, are all believed to reside overseas and were absent.

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Hundreds Chant Defiance As They Bid Farewell To Navalny

Yulia has lately stated that she will continue Navalny’s political activities, which may make it dangerous for her to return to Russia, where Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has been branded an extremist organization.

While the burial occurred, she posted a heartfelt tribute on social media, praising Navalny for “26 years of absolute happiness”.

“I don’t know how to live without you, but I will try to do it so you – up there – can be happy and proud of me,” she said.

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation team took the initiative to provide live feeds of the burial proceedings without independent Russian media.

The YouTube channel from which Navalny frequently addressed his fans streamed footage from his funeral. More than a quarter of a million people tuned in all day.

The burial was finally held in Borisovskoye Cemetery around 16:00.

Navalny’s coffin was lowered into the ground to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s My Way and an orchestral version of the Terminator 2 theme song. “Navalny thought The Terminator 2 was the best film in the whole world,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on social media.

People continued to queue outside the cemetery as dusk fell, where a sign read: “Putin killed him but didn’t break him.”

“Now is not the time to be a coward. “Those people in our government are cowards because they are afraid of us,” one mourner told BBC Newshour. “We’re just humans with flowers and cemeteries. “That is all.”

By Friday evening, 45 people had reportedly been arrested throughout Russia for attending Navalny mourning rallies.

Overall, the brutal, broad crackdown that many had feared did not occur. In comparison, the authorities’ response to people leaving flowers at improvised memorials following Navalny’s death resulted in hundreds of arrests.

Police may seek out some people who attended today’s proceedings in the coming days. Earlier this week, it was claimed that surveillance cameras had been put around the cemetery.

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Hundreds Chant Defiance As They Bid Farewell To Navalny

Before the funeral, First Department, a group of lawyers and human rights defenders, warned that detentions after the ceremony “could not be ruled out” and advised mourners to “stay under the radar of security forces – do not use public transport or apply for paperwork in the days after the funeral.”

Online initiatives, such as a website where people can light a “virtual candle” for Navalny, have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Today was the greatest opposition gathering in Russia since Navalny’s imprisonment in January 2021.
Many mourners may have felt it was their final opportunity to join with thousands of like-minded people.

Navalny organised protests and marches for nearly a decade that drew tens of thousands of people in Moscow and elsewhere.

With him gone, it’s still being determined who else could get the level of public support he did.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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