It seems that another top Democrat in Congress is accused of hushing-up a potential workplace scandal.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), set up a taxpayer-funded “severance package” in 2015 for one of his female staffers after she had threatened to sue him for fostering a “hostile workplace environment” due to his drinking habits, according to The Washington Times.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Congress’ Office of Compliance has been the focal point for outrage on Capitol Hill. Recent reports show that the office paid out millions of dollars in settlements for hundreds of cases – many of them involving allegations of sexual abuse – while required victims to sign a confidentiality agreement preventing them from discussing the matter.
Another case has emerged regarding a female staffer of Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), who managed to negotiate a deal to give $48,395 – equal to five additional months’ pay – to one of his female aides who left her job after three months.
“Rep. Raul M. Grijalva quietly arranged a “severance package” (taxpayer funded settlement) in 2015 for one of his top staffers who threatened a lawsuit claiming the Arizona Democrat was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment,” tweeted Nick Short, a media and international affairs analyst who summarized the situation aptly.
Melanie Sloan, an ethics lawyer in Washington who claims to have been victimized by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), said: “It seems like all of these House bodies are designed to help cover for members of Congress. A large part of the problem is that each member of Congress can treat their staff as their own fiefdom and also know that it will remain silent.”
When the female staffer hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit against the Arizona Democrat, Mr. Grijalva halted her salary as part of a strategy to force her to settle the matter. The congressman said that the pay was an agreement reached without lodging a complaint with the Office of Compliance.
“On the advice of House Employment Counsel, I provided a severance package to a former employee who resigned. The severance did not involve the Office of Compliance and at no time was any allegation of sexual harassment made, and no sexual harassment occurred,” Mr. Grijalva said in an email to The Washington Times.
“Under the terms of the agreement, had there been an allegation of sexual harassment, the employee would have been free to report it. Regrettably, for me to provide any further details on this matter would violate the agreement,” he said.
However, it seems that paying off this female staffer violates House rules that prohibit a Congress member from retaining “an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation such employee receives.”
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva is the latest Congressman accused of using taxpayer funds to silence his former staffer. Should members of Congress face consequences for using taxpayer funds to silence accusers?
Mr. Grijalva’s case comes amidst a sea of accusations and investigations concerning workplace harassment cases that have been covered up. Both Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), stand accused of sexually inappropriate behavior, with the former paying a staffer more than $27,000 to buy her silence after he fired her for refusing to yield to sexual advances.
As Congress continues to roil from these long-suppressed accusations, the American people are getting increasingly fed up with this disgusting behavior from US leaders.
President Donald Trump is always the talking point of the mainstream media, especially when they can use opportunities to portray him negatively. One of their most recent attacks on the President just backfired in their face.
Monday, during a White House event to honor Navajo code talkers, President Trump acknowledge they are “special” people who were here first. He then said, “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.” The media went wild. But one of the code talkers told Joshua Green that Trump’s comments didn’t offend him — as the media tried to portray.
The President was, of course, referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Warren pretended to be a native American for decades until she was finally exposed.
She claimed that family stories, and the fact that her great grandpa had “high cheekbones,” is how she knows she is Native American. Many would argue that pretending to be Native American for 20 years to reap the benefits of the label is actually racist –as opposed to the media’s definition of racism.
Warren and the media have accused President Trump of racism for his Pocahontas comments.
President Trump told the Navajo code talkers, “I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time, longer than you, they call her ‘Pocahontas.’”
The attacks on the President went all the way to the White House press briefing. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if she found the President’s comments offensive.
Huckabee Sanders responded by saying, “I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.”
The media was silent. The Left plays the moral high ground while refusing to acknowledge that Warren lied about her heritage and then used it to her advantage.
She allegedly checked the Native American box at Harvard, which “may” have played a part in getting her hired. Her decision may have prevented the hiring of someone who really is Native American. Warren was touted as a minority, and even listed as such in the Association of American Law Schools directory — though she maintains she never used her “heritage” to get ahead.
Are people reacting immaturely to this?
Reporter and writer Joshua Green met up with one of the code talkers named Thomas Begay. The opportunity to ask Begay about President Trump’s comments arose, and Green seized the opportunity. Begay noted that he was “puzzled” by the comment, but it didn’t offend him. Begay also said, “The Marines made us yell ‘Geronimo’ when we jumped out of planes, and that didn’t offend me either.”
Everything the mainstream media has been pushing is faux anger, as they create an outrage on behalf of others. Instead of having the journalistic integrity to ask the code talkers directly if they were offended by the comments, they simply pushed the narrative about offensive comments. Now that the truth is out there, this myth of “offending the code talkers” can be put to rest.
Two Democrats have been accused of swindling investors out of their money.
According to Politico, Chinese investors contend that two Democrats swindled them out of their money as part of an immigration scam. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), and Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, are being sued for the more than $17 million.
The lawsuit was filed by 32 Chinese citizens who claim Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Rodham defrauded them out of $560,000 each and for advancing falsehoods that have put these 32 individuals in hot water with the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Rodham are strong advocates for the manufacturing of electric cars in the US and are tied to many different ventures geared toward this goal. They supposedly convinced these 32 Chinese citizens to invest their money in a company called Greentech.
A program exists in the United States called EB-5, which permits green card applicants to be streamlined through the residency process if their investments create a certain number of US jobs. The two Democrats assured the Chinese nationals that their investment of $560,000 a piece would create more than enough jobs with Greentech that would permit them residency.
Instead, the Department of Homeland Security determined that the investments didn’t generate enough jobs and none of the 32 citizens would qualify for green cards through the program. Now, these individuals are facing deportation and Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Rodham seemed to have profited from their false promises.
Arguing that Greentech is a politically connected company, given Mr. Rodham’s involvement, the lawsuit filed by the Chinese citizens states: “Defendants milked these connections in marketing materials. Defendants exploited those relationships to assure investors of both the success of the company and their ability to obtain U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) approval of the visa applications.”
Crystal Carson, a spokeswoman for Mr. McAuliffe, rejected the allegations and claimed it was nothing more than a political stunt by those on the Right: “We strongly reject this baseless suit which has no merit whatsoever. The claims, which regurgitate old political attacks regarding a company that Governor McAuliffe left five years ago, were brought by a lawyer with conservative ties. We are confident it will be dismissed.”
Mr. McAuliffe used the formation of Greentech as leverage to kickstart his run for Governor of Virginia. Almost immediately after the factory opened for production in 2012, it ran into significant problems. Delayed production and a peak hiring of 143 employees — significantly fewer than the 350 that were promised by advocates like Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Rodham — caused the company to fail.
Also suspicious was that shortly after launching the company, Mr. McAuliffe stepped down as chairman and sold all of his shares. Two years later, he was sworn in as Governor of Virginia while Greentech was still struggling. It closed down January of this year.
A lawsuit contends that two prominent Democrats scammed 32 Chinese nationals out of a significant amount of money. Are these Democrats guilty?
In addition to this latest scandal, Mr. McAuliffe stated that he was under investigation by the FBI last year for various business dealings with foreign nationals. Whether Greentech was a part of that investigation is unknown. It is also unknown whether the investigations into his dealings are still ongoing.
The fate of these 32 Chinse citizens is unknown, but given the failure of their investments through Greentech, it’s likely that they will be deported. It remains to be seen whether they will see justice for the misrepresentation by Mr. Rodham and Mr. McAuliffe that cost them more than $17 million.
Tensions with North Korea have ramped up since President Trump made it clear he would not accept their nuclear activities or threats against the United States. Months have gone by with plenty of threats from North Korea, but no missile activity — until this week.
In a television broadcast, North Korea’s state media announced that the country had successfully launched their most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into Japanese waters. As CNN reported, the missile has the capability to hit anywhere on US mainland.
The launch was directly ordered by Kim Jong-un, ending the nation’s two-month missile testing hiatus. The missile was reportedly topped with a “super-large heavy warhead” and deemed the “Hwasong-15” missile.
The Hwasong-15 achieved the highest altitude of any North Korean missile, and was described as the country’s “most powerful ICBM.” The missile achieved a height of 4,000-4,500 kilometers and traveled a distance of 950 kilometers. It spent 53 minutes in the air before landing 210 kilometers west of Aomori Prefecture in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
It was followed by a threat to the United States. “Before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States,” the North Korean official said.
President Trump told reporters at the White House, “We will take care of it.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke from the Roosevelt Room in the White House, where he said the missile traveled “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken” and displays North Korea’s capability to strike “everywhere in the world basically.” Mr. Mattis added, “The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”
The missile traveled in an arc but had it traveled on a standard trajectory, it could have achieved a distance of 13,000 kilometers — 8,100 miles. Scientists concur that the missile could reach anywhere in the continental United States.
Adam Mount, of the Federation of American Scientists, stated: “Today’s test proves that Pyongyang still feels able to test at will.” He added that US actions have not deterred North Korean missile tests, and warned that the Trump administration “has to get serious about deterring an atmospheric nuclear test.”
An official White House press release this morning noted that President Trump made a call to Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding North Korea’s missile launch. The statement read: “President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime. President Trump emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
North Korea can now hit anywhere in the US with an ICBM. Do you think we will go to war?
Another press release noted another call between President Trump and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in. “Both leaders underscored the grave threat that North Korea’s latest provocation poses not only to the United States and the Republic of Korea, but to the entire world. President Trump and President Moon reaffirmed their strong condemnation of North Korea’s reckless campaign to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, noting that these weapons only serve to undermine North Korea’s security and deepen its diplomatic and economic isolation.”
Hopefully, US relations with China and South Korea can put some pressure on North Korea. North Korea’s missile launch, coupled with repeated threats against the US, show that they have no intention of a peaceful relationship with the US. Tensions can only build for so long before it escalates into something dangerous.
South Korea has issued an urgent warning regarding North Korea and its potential threat to the United States.
According to The Hill, South Korean officials believe North Korea’s nuclear program is advancing faster than they predicted it would. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon gave this urgent warning: “North Korea has been developing its nuclear weapons at a faster-than-expected pace. We cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea could announce its completion of a clear force within one year.”
North Korea’s aggressive nuclearized intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program has been causing concern for the US and allies in the region. In August and September, North Korea fired ballistic missiles over Japan’s territory as part of tests to determine strike capabilities and flight paths.
Mr. Cho stated that such actions were concerning and the world has remained tense about the possibility of a nuclear attack from the rogue nation. “It is a fact that we have witnessed some noteworthy movements in North Korea. But it remains to be seen whether Pyongyang would make further provocations,” Mr. Cho said.
During his Asia tour, President Trump issued a stern warning against North Korea and any thoughts of a missile attack. “Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries but for all civilized nations when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty,” President Trump said.
Perhaps the one comfort for the US and other distant nations was that North Korea’s missile program had not advanced far enough to put their nations within strike range, with predictions that it would take some time to do so.
But, according to Fox News, that day may have already come. North Korea fired one of their missiles this week, demonstrating the possibility that their capacity to strike at the US is now a reality.
The missile, which the Pentagon believes to be an ICBM, flew an estimated 2,800 miles into space before coming back down to crash into the Sea of Japan. The missile launch is said to be part of North Korea’s effort to work on “re-entry” technology that would give them the capability of launching a missile with a nuclear warhead into orbit and surviving re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. If achieved, it would give them the ability to strike anywhere on the planet.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), told reporters that the threat posed by North Korea is growing and the US is not responding appropriately. “With each launch, [North Korean officials] are advancing their capability and they are making it clear that they can hold the entire US at risk. They are steadily moving on and we’re not responding in kind,” the Congressman said.
He continued, saying he believes Kim Jong-un intends to deliver on his threats to the US and other nations: “It is incredibly serious partly because [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong Un is very serious about what he says and what he says is that he wants to hold the entire United States at risk with his missiles, with nuclear weapons, and we have seen him actually deliver on what he says he wants to do.”
It appears North Korea has achieved an ICBM capable of striking anywhere in the world. Could North Korea pull this off?
This latest launch shows that North Korea is indeed progressing with their nuclear ambitions in spite of UN sanctions and threats from neighboring countries, and is doing so more rapidly than originally predicted. If they do manage to create an ICBM capable of surviving re-entry, it would pose a massive threat to every country on the planet.
Soon the diplomatic route might no longer be an option once North Korea has ICBMs with nuclear warheads capable of reaching their intended targets.