Home / News / Washington Free Beacon (page 3)

Washington Free Beacon

Missouri Dem: McCaskill Will Have to ‘Show Up,’ Work for Black Vote

A Democratic Missouri state representative said during a town hall on Saturday that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) could not take black voters for granted in her reelection bid this year. State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. (D.) warned McCaskill that her efforts to win over rural white voters shouldn't come at the expense of Missouri's black and minority communities, the St. Louis American, a newspaper primarily serving the African American community of the greater St. Louis area, reported. Franks, who came to prominence as a community activist in the wake of the Ferguson riots, was asked by a constituent what he was doing to mobilize and engage black voters to turn out for Democrats, like McCaskill, who are on the ballot in 2018. "We say that we want folks to engage and they have to exercise their right to vote and it’s their fault if they don’t vote. But in getting out the vote, they have to have something or someone to vote for. It’s not just enough to say to go vote for somebody or a particular proposition," Franks said. "Sometimes they feel like they don’t have a choice because neither candidate speaks to the needs of their community." The constituent, a middle-aged white woman, pressed Franks on the importance of the 2018 election cycle, especially in regards to ensuring McCaskill is reelected. "We have a potential tragedy in Missouri. We could lose a Senate seat … McCaskill could lose. She may not be speaking to folks, but we have an opportunity to lose an important seat in the Senate. How can we get folks out to vote for that, understanding that it’s touchy?" the constituent asked. "As a black man in a poor black community, how would you express to me the need to vote for Claire McCaskill?" Franks responded. The constituent couldn't respond adequately, admitting it was "a good question" before launching into a diatribe against Missouri's senior Sen. Roy Blunt (R.). The constituent claimed Missourians were getting "a lot less" from him than McCaskill. Franks pushed back on the assertion, praising Blunt's efforts to secure appropriation funding for a community program that provides low-income youth with educational and vocational opportunities. "One thing I can tell you about Roy Blunt is … He appropriates the federal funding that comes down that funds Youth Build," Franks said. "One place Senator Blunt has always fought for and made sure we had funding was Youth Build in St. Louis." Another woman in the audience called the appropriations "crumbs." Franks disagreed. "When I’m saving young black lives every day, we can’t consider that crumbs. That’s a whole loaf. What happens is, now we are talking about folks who, chances are, are having trouble voting for Claire. So her votes on the good stuff, those are crumbs. Her rhetoric, those are crumbs," Franks said. "But when we have tangible things that we are seeing each and every day that are saving young people’s lives, who had no hope, who come from a disenfranchised community, we can’t consider that crumbs." At the end of the forum, Franks reiterated the need for McCaskill to "show up" and make the case for why she deserves to be reelected. "She’s going to have to show up, and it’s not just about talking," Franks said. "You have made some folks upset and if there is a reason why you voted this way, then you need to effectively communicate that." The post Missouri Dem: McCaskill Will Have to ‘Show Up,’ Work for Black Vote appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Trump on 2018 Elections: Republicans Must Not Be ‘Complacent’

President Donald Trump said Friday that Republicans must not be "complacent" going into the 2018 midterm elections because if they are, then Democrats will perform well and subsequently repeal tax cuts and the Second Amendment. Trump emphasized the importance of Republican voters staying active and being enthusiastic about the upcoming elections in November while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. He spoke on CPAC's second day for over an hour and discussed multiple issues, including tax reform, the Second Amendment, and the 2018 elections. Trump argued that parties that win the presidency often lose the next midterm elections because they get complacent. "So people [Republicans] are sitting there and they're saying, ‘We just had that great victory. Let's not vote; let's go to a movie. The Republican Party, we're going to do great.' And they end up losing," Trump said. "You gotta keep up the enthusiasm. Now, what happens by the way, they lose, and then you have the presidential election coming up again and you clobber them because everybody gets off their ass and they get out and they work … and you end up winning the presidency again" Trump continued. "Right now we have a big race coming up in '18. You have to get out. You just have to get that enthusiasm. Keep it going." "The word really is complacent," Trump added. "People get complacent. It's a natural instinct. You just won and now you're happy and you're complacent. Don't be complacent, don't be complacent." Trump then warned the conservative audience that if Democrats perform well in the upcoming elections, they will repeal Republican tax cuts, appoint liberal judges, and take away their Second Amendment rights. Vice President Mike Pence warned the same audience a day earlier about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) possibly becoming speaker of the House again if Democrats win back the chamber in November. Pence singled out Pelosi because she recently referred to the GOP tax reform law as "armageddon" and "unpatriotic." She has repeatedly called benefits resulting from the tax reform legislation, which include dozens of companies giving employees $1,000 bonuses, "crumbs" and "so pathetic." "I want to say from my heart, any leader who says that $1,000 in the pockets of working families is ‘crumbs' is out of touch with the American people," Pence said. "It would be a disaster for our cause if Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the House again, but we're not going to let it happen." The post Trump on 2018 Elections: Republicans Must Not Be ‘Complacent’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Nicolle Wallace, Bret Stephens Call Second Amendment a ‘So-Called’ Right to Bear Arms

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace and New York Times columnist Bret Stephens called the Second Amendment a "so-called" right on Thursday. The comments about the Second Amendment by Wallace, former White House communications director to President George W. Bush, and Stephens, hired by the Times last year as a conservative Op-Ed columnist, were first picked up by Newsbusters. Stephens was participating in a gun control discussion with other guests on Wallace's show when the host first criticized Second Amendment supporters, saying they didn't care about the victims of the shooting in Parkland, Fla. "Bret, I think one of the other things that are different is the arguments on the other side [those against gun control] used to be civilized, and now they're repugnant," Wallace said. Stephens said gun advocates didn't offer any sign of compassion after the shooting despite many gun advocates also being criticized by gun control supporters for offering prayers. While offering prayers may be seen as a sign of compassion to many, many gun control supporters argued prayers and thoughts were inconsequential. He went on to refer to the Second Amendment a "so-called liberty" even though it's in the Bill of Rights. "Well, there doesn't seem to be even a moment of silence and compassion and thoughtfulness on the part of gun advocates for what has happened," Stephens said. "There's something kind of aggressively and inhumanly repetitive about this line that guns are essential to American liberties. Hard one to stomach when so many thousands of people are dying every year for this so-called liberty." Later, Wallace too called the Second Amendment a "so-called right." The post Nicolle Wallace, Bret Stephens Call Second Amendment a ‘So-Called’ Right to Bear Arms appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

The Media Blows It on Gun Coverage Again

Another mass shooting in the United States has prompted extensive coverage of guns, and mainstream media members have once again not troubled themselves to cover the issue with anything approaching objectivity. Amid the aftermath of last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people, press members devolved into full-on advocacy for gun control in their coverage. MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace agreed with New York Times columnist Bret Stephens' reference to the "so-called" right to bear arms in the Second Amendment. Stephens has written that the Second Amendment should be repealed. CNN's Don Lemon called the idea of having an "open mind" about arming teachers "stupid," and network commentator Van Jones said many people view the National Rifle Association as villainous as the Ku Klux Klan. MSNBC's Katy Tur spread a false characterization that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R.) was "too busy" to meet with students calling for gun-reform measures at his Tallahassee office. Later, Tur reported that Scott was at a funeral for one of the victims of the shooting, hence his absence. Ali Velshi tweeted out a similarly misleading claim about Scott that was shared more than 10,000 times. Velshi also said in a dramatic speech to the camera that he strongly suspects the NRA counts him as a member in its "secret records" to maintain a facade of broad membership. Tur asked at one point, "Kids or guns. What do you value more?" CNN's Chris Cuomo, speaking with pro-gun control guest and former Florida Rep. David Jolly (R.), blasted Republicans for being "afraid" to come on his program and defend gun rights. He also declared Jolly to be on "the right side" of the issue. MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) to "step up and be a human" in criticism of his support for gun rights, and she also thanked a Florida Democrat for introducing an assault weapon ban in the State House. "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski touted the Australian "buyback" gun-control program on their show, and MSNBC panelist Eddie Glaude said that gun culture is rooted in a "toxic masculinity" and a "myth" about the idea that Americans could protect themselves. CNN host Brooke Baldwin lit into a Florida Republican who voted down having a debate on the proposed assault weapons ban, yelling at him to stop using his talking points. ABC's "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts could not believe the words "gun control" had not yet been spoken by President Donald Trump. CNN also hosted a town hall for survivors, teachers, and families of the Parkland mass shooting to ask questions on Wednesday about gun reform, although the event had more of a feel of a gun-control rally than an honest discourse. Questioners asked why politicians were accepting "blood money" from the NRA, compared Rubio to a school shooter, and suggested NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch does not care about her children. CNN host Alisyn Camerota called the event "extraordinary." The post The Media Blows It on Gun Coverage Again appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Media, Democrats Slam DCCC for Attacking Dem Female Candidate in Texas

Members of the media and Democratic activists are castigating the campaign arm of House Democrats for publishing opposition research against a Democratic congressional candidate in Texas. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday published opposition research on its website against Laura Moser, calling her a "Washington insider" and criticizing her for speaking negatively about Texas, according to press reports. Moser, who created a text-messaging tool instrumental in channeling progressive anger into activism against President Donald Trump, is running to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. John Culberson in Texas' seventh district near Houston. "Democratic voters need to hear that Laura Moser is not going to change Washington," the DCCC website says. "She is a Washington insider, who begrudgingly moved to Houston to run for Congress. In fact, she wrote in the Washingtonian magazine, ‘I'd rather have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia' than live in Texas." "As of January 2018, she [Moser] claimed Washington, D.C. to be her primary residence in order to get a tax break," the DCCC continues. "And she has paid her husband's Washington, D.C. political consulting firm over $50,000 from campaign contributions; meaning 1 of every 6 dollars raised has gone to her husband's D.C. company." DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly blasted Moser in a statement. "Voters in Houston have organized for over a year to hold Rep. Culberson accountable and win this Clinton district," Kelly told the Texas Tribune. "Unfortunately, Laura Moser's outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate, and would rob voters of their opportunity to flip Texas' 7th in November." Democracy for America (DFA), the progressive activist group that endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for president during the 2016 Democratic primary, slammed the DCCC for attacking Moser, who they have supported since mid-2017. "The idea that some faceless hacks are calling themselves Democrats while sitting in a D.C. office throwing bombs at a pro-choice Democratic woman in support of a lawyer who built her career at a law firm for union-busters is precisely why Democrats lost over 1,000 elected offices over the last decade," said Annie Weinberg, DFA's electoral director. Journalists and Democratic activists were quick to blast the DCCC's strategy. The DCCC should apologize for this bullshit. https://t.co/dSySN4bo5J — Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) February 23, 2018 I'm not a disinterested observer here. I know Laura. I don't know the ins and outs of this primary race. I know party committees will often de facto back one candidate. But this strikes me as unbelievable bullshit on the @dccc‘s part. I've never seen anything like it. https://t.co/5mnTpceQtp — Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 23, 2018 Our statement in response to DCCC’s attacks against @lcmoser today. pic.twitter.com/ffxboQqt06 — Justice Democrats (@justicedems) February 23, 2018 Disappointed and dismayed to see anyone going after a genuine progressive and pro-choice committed leader like Laura. As a fellow Texan, I applaud @lcmoser and her family for striving to represent the people of our great state being harmed right now. https://t.co/OwDhaCjrIr — ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) February 23, 2018 The slime-buckets at the DCCC are on the warpath against progressive candidates everywhere in the country. You think I'm exaggerating? Look what they're doing to destroy Laura Moser in Houston's #TX07 right in the middle of early voting: https://t.co/Je6Pd6sb39 — Howie Klein (@downwithtyranny) February 23, 2018 The beloved DCCC making money for their cookie-cutter poor performing consultants to do two things: Encourage candidates with access to wealth to raise money for them. And, then…the dccc loses. Over and over and over. Whose party is this? #TimesUp https://t.co/PF1Uth6JD3 — Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) February 23, 2018 DCCC is comically biased against lefty Dems https://t.co/jDnX2hQJqk pic.twitter.com/SERP3DtQKu — ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) February 23, 2018 Abolish @dccc — Hector Sigala (@hgsigala) February 23, 2018 I don't even know what to say. It's not complicated @dccc. Let voters decide! Stop thinking you know better than people in the district!!! https://t.co/N57bNZ5lCv — Krystal Ball (@krystalball) February 23, 2018 Seriously, @DCCC? https://t.co/7I56VuWp9R — Jim Pugh (@dr_pugh) February 23, 2018 Risky move by the DCCC, this could easily backfire and end up strengthening her hold on some parts of the primary electorate. Their analysis may be correct, but this tactic is, well, what’s another word for risky? https://t.co/5RQIyyaaY6 — Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 23, 2018 Moser, a Houston journalist, is running against six other Democrats in the March 6 primary to unseat Culberson in November. The post Media, Democrats Slam DCCC for Attacking Dem Female Candidate in Texas appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Himes: There Should Not Be a ‘Ban on Every Semi-Automatic Rifle’

Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.) on Friday declared opposition to a hypothetical ban on all semi-automatic rifles after the idea was applauded at a CNN town hall earlier this week. "Do you think there should be a ban on every semi-automatic rifle sold in America? Yes or no?" CNN's Pamela Brown asked Himes. "No, I don't believe there should be a ban on every semi-automatic rifle sold in America," Himes said. The question of a sweeping ban on all semi-automatic rifles arose after CNN's Wednesday town hall held in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. mass shooting. During the town hall, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) argued that when you start looking at banning particular so-called assault weapons, it becomes clear you would have to ban every semi-automatic weapon. That hypothetical drew unintended applause from the audience. "That is a valid position to hold, but my colleagues do not support banning every semiautomatic rifle sold in America," Rubio said, gesturing to his Democratic colleagues. While Himes disagreed with the ban, he did criticize weapons with a high firing capacity. "What I care about and what's important and what really matters here: I just don't want weaponry with the ability to fire 30 rounds in 45 seconds," Himes said. "That's the kind of weapon that the police fear, as we saw down in Florida, and the kind of weapon that can wreak that kind havoc that we only want to see wreaked in war," Himes continued. On the same show the previous day, Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee (Mich.) also said he opposes a ban on all semi-automatic rifles, but he defended the applause, saying it "gives a sense of how frustrated people are." The post Himes: There Should Not Be a ‘Ban on Every Semi-Automatic Rifle’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Polis Sidesteps Question About Costs of 100% Renewable Plan

Colorado gubernatorial candidate and current U.S. representative Jared Polis sidestepped the question of cost for his goal of making the state's energy production 100 percent based on renewable forms like wind and solar by 2040. In an interview with NewsRadio KOA in Denver, Polis said he believed 100 percent renewable energy production would eventually "bring down rates," but did not elaborate further. When asked about the feasibility of getting to 100 percent renewables by 2040, Polis said, "This is the way the world is headed, this is the way Colorado is headed," and then pointed listeners to the plan on his campaign website. "Many cities and counties are stepping up and having even more aggressive goals," Polis added. "So Pueblo, where I launched my campaign for governor, has adopted a goal of 2035 for 100 percent renewable energy." "The first county in Colorado, Summit County, just committed to 100 percent renewable by 2030, so this is happening, we just need state leadership." He also touted anticipated job creation for the transition and maintenance. Polis on his website said those jobs "can never be outsourced." No part of the response by Polis on-air or on his website mentions a dollar figure for infrastructure investment or what reaching the goal could cost citizens before potential savings are realized. His website states, "Projections show that reaching our renewable energy goals in Colorado will create over 49,000 construction jobs and over 21,000 operations jobs while saving consumers 10 percent on energy costs," and cites a website called thesolutionsproject.com. That website sourced their data and analysis back to Stanford University. However, the Stanford University data from Mark Jacobson has recently come under fire from a group of scientists who published a paper with the National Academy of Science. They refuted his findings, saying the "analysis involves errors, inappropriate methods, and implausible assumptions." A request for comment from the Polis campaign about the new paper was not returned. The Independence Institute in Denver commissioned a study of the costs to the state for a 100 percent renewable portfolio. (Disclosure: The author of this article was previously employed by the Independence Institute.) That study did two analyses side by side. In the first, carbon-based energy producers would be able to purchase credits from renewable producers in other states. The cost estimates in the paper ranged from a low of $500 million to a high end of just under $4 billion. In the second case, energy producers had to scrap all carbon-based sources and supplant them with renewables. The research estimated all costs for that transition, including adding battery capacity and retiring coal and gas plants, at just under $45 billion. Myron Ebell, the director of the Center for Energy and Environment with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said campaign promises like these depend on the goals being set in the distant future. "For the people who promote this nonsense, it's lucky for them that the deadlines are far into the future," Ebell said. "If there was a target to get to ‘X' percent by 2022, or 2025, then they would have to start making a lot of these hard decisions that would cost a lot of money right now." Ebell agreed that in the intervening years, technological advances in solar capacity, battery storage, and other areas will lower prices, but said there are still too many unknown variables and other hard costs that remain unavoidable. He also noted that some carbon-based generation will need to remain to provide energy in down times for the renewables, and says that kind of electricity will become more expensive as it becomes more rare. The cost analysis from the Independence Institute set off a minor twitter war with Polis and the think tank's president, with Polis arguing he was not advocating a strict mandate, and argued that the think tank’s analysis didn’t mirror his approach. "The way we plan to get our state to 100 percent renewable by 2040 … is a bottom-up approach using market mechanisms, like encouraging distributed wind and solar projects, removing regulatory barriers to siting wind projects on state lands and lots of other things I could go into in detail," Polis told ColoradoPolitics.com, a project of the Colorado Springs Gazette. Polis's renewables goal is an extension of previous battles engaged in by the congressman. Polis sponsored two ballot measures in 2014 that would have curtailed oil and gas extraction, especially operations that used hydraulic fracturing. Gov. John Hickenlooper, on the ballot for reelection that year, brokered a compromise in which both Polis and industry concerns agreed to withdraw their proposed ballot measures, and also created an oil and gas task force assigned to make recommendations to the state's general assembly. The push for those ballot questions came one year after the congressman had sued an energy company over a fracking operation located near a rural getaway home he owned close to Greeley, a town that's benefitted greatly from the energy boom resulting from the fracking technology. One of Polis's closest competitors in the governor's race, State Sen. Mike Johnston, is running on a similar goal of 100 percent renewable production by 2040, and told the Denver Post his plan favored a series of "benchmarks" as opposed to a legislative mandate. "This whole thing is big talk, and if the big talk ever turned into action, it would be incredibly expensive for producers," Ebell said. Polis, generally thought to be one of the 10 wealthiest members of Congress, is also presumed to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, in part because of his willingness to use his personal fortune to underwrite his campaign. According to the Colorado Secretary of State's campaign finance database, Polis donated over $1.3 million to his campaign in 2017. The post Polis Sidesteps Question About Costs of 100% Renewable Plan appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Immigrant Teen Says She Didn’t Want Abortion Lawyers Claim She Wanted

An unnamed illegal-immigrant teenage mother claimed that she did not want to terminate her pregnancy, nor did she want the representation of two pro-abortion lawyers, a recent court filing shows. The mother, who has been styled "Jane Doe" in court filings, claimed that her state-appointed guardians "made" her sign a form requesting their representation, Fox News reported. The two guardians, Rochelle and Myles Garza, have represented other illegal immigrants who have sought abortions. In two handwritten and signed statements, Doe attested that she no longer wants an abortion, and that the Garzas should no longer represent her interests. "At this time I have changed my decision to have an abortion," she said in a written statement included in the court filing. "The people I saw yesterday were lawyers that made me sign, I … do not need their help because I do not want to have an abortion," Doe further added. Judge Rolando Olvera granted the government's request to replace the Garzas as Doe's designated guardian. As an unaccompanied minor, Doe was previously in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy group, suggested that the Garzas may have taken advantage of Doe as part of a broader political agenda. "Abortion advocates are taking shameless advantage of teenage girls in the vulnerable position of being in a foreign country, far from home and from loved ones, to push a harmful agenda of making the U.S. a sanctuary nation for abortion," said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Now one teen has pushed back, bravely choosing life and rejecting being manipulated as a political pawn. HHS should continue taking a strong stand for the best interest of both the young mothers and unborn children in their care and protect them from such pressure. Pro-abortion lawyers cannot be trusted to do so," Dannenfelser said. While Doe's case ended without an abortion, it is not the only suit seeking abortions for teenage illegal immigrants. In October, an illegally present teenager was permitted by a court to obtain an abortion following a suit brought against the Trump administration, which had previously forbidden federally funded shelters from taking any action to facilitate an unaccompanied minor ending her pregnancy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions objected in that case, noting that the abortion had proceeded before the Department of Justice was able to file a new brief in the case. "I think it's a serious problem, it should not have happened and we're disturbed about it, I've got to tell you," Sessions said at the time. The post Immigrant Teen Says She Didn’t Want Abortion Lawyers Claim She Wanted appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

CNN Worries Trump Calling Parkland Shooter ‘Sicko’ May Be ‘Harmful’

A CNN article published Thursday worried that President Donald Trump comment's calling the gunman who perpetrated the Parkland, Florida, school shooting a "sicko" may have been "harmful," citing a group of professors who argued the remarks were offensive. Trump called Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter, a "savage sicko" on Twitter, following reports that the gunman had been diagnosed with several psychiatric problems. ….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A "gun free" school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 But "having a mental health diagnosis does not mean he would become violent, many experts say," CNN reported. "And although Trump has said he wants to focus on mental health to stop school shootings, calling Cruz a ‘sicko' doesn't help, those experts claim." King's College London professor Diana Rose told CNN that Trump's comments were "insulting" and "mean-minded," and called his focus on mental health irrational. "You cannot solve the problem by locking people up," she said. "It is just nonsense, and it destroys lives and is a deep form of social control, rather than provide people the support they need." "How helpful is calling a black person the n-word? Not only is it disrespectful, it fans racism," CNN quoted Illinois Institute of Technology professor of psychology Pat Corrigan as saying. "This is not about being politically correct," said Ron Honberg of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "It's about wanting to do everything we can to encourage people to get health treatment that works." Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the Parkland shooting. The post CNN Worries Trump Calling Parkland Shooter ‘Sicko’ May Be ‘Harmful’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »

Rick Gates Expected to Plead Guilty in Russia Probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rick Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign, was expected to plead guilty as soon as Friday in a federal investigation into Russia‘s role in the election, the New York Times reported, a sign that he will likely cooperate in the probe. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether Trump‘s campaign colluded with Moscow's alleged meddling, indicted Gates and Trump‘s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in October on counts that include conspiracy to launder money and failing to disclose lobbying work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. Mueller filed new criminal charges against Gates and Manafort on Thursday, stepping up pressure in a legal battle that started last year. A plea by Gates could add to pressure on his former business partner Manafort, who maintains his innocence and is preparing for trial, also to seek a plea deal. Such deals involve promises to cooperate with an investigation in exchange for more lenient sentences. ABC News also reported that Gates was expected to plead guilty, without giving a date. The Times and ABC sourced their reports to unidentified people familiar with Gates' plea agreement. Gates, a longtime protege of Manafort, was actively involved in a campaign to boost the image and fortunes of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Kremlin former president of Ukraine. That work brought in $17 million for Manafort's lobbying firm between 2012 and 2014, payments that were not disclosed until last year after Mueller's probe into their business was well underway. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Frances Kerry) The post Rick Gates Expected to Plead Guilty in Russia Probe appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Read More »