Sen. Elizabeth Warren Issues Call for Resistance, Organizing

“Keep in mind that right behind Trump is another republican who does not share our values,” said Warren. “You get to fight because it’s the fight that matters.”

By Eoin Higgins; Berkshireeagle.com:

PITTSFIELD — “The point is that we must persist.”

That was the message from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in a town hall in Pittsfield on Saturday.

Just over 800 Berkshire residents turned out for the 10:30 a.m. event at the Robert Boland Theatre in Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitzky Arts Center. A crowd of about 600 made it into the theater; the remaining 200 filled an overflow room and lined up outside.

“Sen. Warren spoke to the people who couldn’t get in,” said Everett Handford, Warren’s regional director for western Massachusetts.

Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer introduced Warren with a call to action for the Berkshires.

Invoking the Four Freedoms first articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Annual Message to Congress in 1941 and then immortalized by Norman Rockwell in a series of paintings by that name, Tyer said now, more than ever, Americans must embrace the freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

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Schumer Uses Arcane Rule to Scuttle Meeting on ‘Unmasking’ by Obama Officials

By Jon Harris; OpsLens:

The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to take a hard look at the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials by the Obama White House at a closed-door hearing Wednesday, but that has now been put on hold.

The national security briefing for Senate Judiciary Committee members was dismantled Wednesday after Chuck Schumer, a top Democrat, invoked a procedural rule to delay the closed-door meeting.

Tuesday, lawmakers on the committee said they intended to use the briefing to get more information on the process by which intelligence agencies identified Americans whose communications were picked up as part of the monitoring of foreigners outside the United States, although those Americans were not the target. Committee members had expected to use the briefing to inquire about the Obama White House’s involvement in the “unmasking” of members of the Trump campaign and transition officials.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley slammed Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Twitter for using a rare procedure to block a classified briefing. After the hearing had been scrapped, Mr. Grassley said,

“The Judiciary Committee was set to hear from senior intelligence officials about highly sensitive intelligence gathering authorities that will soon require action from Congress. It’s disturbing and reckless for the Minority Leader to block the briefing. We’ve seen too many recent reminders of how unsafe the world is today. This is no time to play politics with our national security.”

The delay occurred after Minority Leader Chuck E. Schumer invoked the two-hour rule against holding committee meetings beyond the first two hours of the Senate’s day. It was unclear when the briefing will be rescheduled.

What is at Stake

Former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice and other top officials from the Obama White House have come under suspicion that they inappropriately asked to “unmask” American citizens caught up in US intelligence intercepts of foreign figures under surveillance in the Russia probe. They were apparently trying to find out whether Mr. Trump and his top aides were the Americans masked in the raw intel to which they had access.

In March, Ms. Rice admitted to requesting the unmasking of some Americans redacted in raw intelligence reports but argued that the requests were part of her job and were not politically motivated.

In recent weeks, the Russia-Trump collusion probe has been shedding more light on the Democrats involved in the issue. That combined with the lack of any hard evidence of involvement on the Trump side has caused problems for the Democrat party line. What is even more troubling for the Democrats on the committee is that the focus is starting to turn to the Democrats themselves.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a key Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, had informed Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the FBI national security branch, that he wants answers about the leaks surrounding President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. His intention was to use the closed-door hearing to push for those answers.

The irony is not lost that the meeting was blocked on the Obama administration’s steps to “unmask” members of the Trump campaign and transition teams by the Democrat leader after the briefing was asked for by Democrats. Schumer’s actions are nothing more than pure partisanship.

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