President Trump’s most effective path forward, not only to prevail in the impeachment proceedings but to end this ordeal and create a strong position from which to govern, is to follow the Clinton model rather than the Nixon path.
Wait, isn't she against that...
U.S. training for more than 800 Saudi Arabian military students could be restarted "in the coming days," the Pentagon said Thursday, nearly six weeks after a shooting by one Saudi trainee killed three sailors at a Florida base. The Pentagon had stopped all flight and field training for the approximately 850 Saudi students amid fears that others may have known about or been involved in the shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Jonathan Hoffman, chief spokesman for the Defense Department, said officials probably will have an announcement soon about the training resumption.
A woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them “gold and silver” to murder the victim’s ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison.The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway. Former Arkansas State Senator’s Shooting Death Investigated as ‘Homicide’Authorities at the time said O’Donnell was caught on video removing Collins-Smith’s home surveillance cameras on May 28, 2019—the last day the politician was seen alive—but have not elaborated on the details of the murder due to a gag order. O’Donnell, 49, faces the death penalty on the original murder charges and is being held without bond in Jackson County. “These newest charges further cement in our minds that the police have arrested the right person. Rebecca O’Donnell’s threats are being treated very seriously but have not deterred our faith in what we are committed to: justice for Linda,” the family of Collins-Smith said in a Wednesday statement to The Daily Beast. “Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and well wishes.”According to several jailhouse informants, O’Donnell allegedly tried to hire two fellow inmates to stage a murder-suicide at the home of the lawmaker’s ex, former state Judge Phil Smith, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday. During a Nov. 7 interview, one of the inmates told an Arkansas State Police special agent that O’Donnell wanted her to “shoot or hang Mr. Smith” and include a “suicide note” that the 49-year-old had handwritten, the affidavit states. The same inmate was then told to pack a bag to make it seem like his new wife “was in the process of leaving him,” the affidavit states.Prosecutors allege O’Donnell told other inmates that “Phil Smith needed to be killed” so that “charges would be dropped off her.” In exchange for the hits, the inmates were told they could take a bag of “gold and silver” from Smith’s home—which investigators said had been appraised to be worth between $20,000 and $30,000 during his divorce.O’Donnell, in addition to working on Collins-Smith’s campaign, had served as a witness in the couple’s acrimonious divorce, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.They Were Hired to Murder a Man’s Ex-Wife, But Accidentally Killed Her Sister: SheriffThe former campaign staffer also allegedly tried to enlist the inmates to go to Randolph County Jail to blow up her 2005 Honda Civic so she could “destroy any evidence” that could be used in her murder trial because “police had planted stuff in her truck,” the affidavit states. On top of that, she allegedly asked two inmates to kill a judge and prosecutor connected to her murder case.The prosecutor, Henry Boyce, was taken off the case in December without citing a reason. “My family’s faith in Becky is unwavering. We cannot imagine the evidence will actually substantiate these allegations. The allegations defy believability. I won’t even comment on the informant’s extensive criminal history but instead will wait to see if the state produces credible evidence at trial,” Tim Loggains, O’Donnell’s fiancé, said a statement. One inmate told police that while she never considered killing Smith, she was worried “a more gullible” inmate might. The three other inmates who reported O’Donnell also stated they refused the murder requests.Maryland Millionaire Daniel Beckwitt Found Guilty of Murder in 2017 Death of Man Who Helped Dig Bunker TunnelsO’Donnell’s defense attorney, Lee Short, denied the allegations in a statement to ABC News, casting doubt on the inmates’ credibility, insisting they had an incentive to offer information for a reduced punishment. Short did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.“It’s not surprising at all—inmates do it all the time,” Short said. “In high-profile cases, especially homicides, people tend to seek opportunities to improve their situations by giving statements against people.”Collins-Smith was first elected to the state senate in 2014 but lost her re-election bid in 2018. Prior to her time in the Senate, the lawmaker served in the statehouse of representatives from 2011 to 2013. While she was elected as a Democrat, Collins-Smith switched parties just months after taking office, citing a change in “ideals.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A farmer in the Philippines said his chances of salvaging produce from his 1-hectare (2.5-acre) farm were small and, in any case, there was no one to sell them to with tourists avoiding the Tagaytay area on the archipelago's biggest island Luzon, 32 km (20 miles) from the Taal volcano.
Texas schools officials say they’ve taken “corrective action” after a ninth grade teacher included a question about a rape victim in a homework assignment receivedApproximately 90 students received an assignment that asked the following: “Suzy was assaulted in an alley and is a victim of rape. The police collected a sample of sperm that was left at the crime scene and now have three suspects in custody. Which of the suspects raped Suzy?”
On Wednesday, Virginia governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of an annual second-amendment demonstration expected to draw thousands next Monday, and announced a ban on all weapons in the state capitol building, citing “credible intelligence” of “groups with malicious plans.”> We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration planned for Monday, January 20. This includes extremist rhetoric similar to what has been seen before major incidents, such as Charlottesville in 2017.> > -- Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 15, 2020Northam implied the rally, hosted by Virginia Citizens Defense League ahead of the passage of a number of gun-control bills by the Democratic-led legislature, was motivating “violent rhetoric” that mirrored the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the FBI arrested three members of a neo-Nazi group called The Base, who had discussed attending the Richmond rally."No one wants another incident like the one we saw in Charlottesville," Northam said. "We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here."Northam said that while “I believe” the organizers of the rally, Virginia Citizens Defense League, when they state the protests will be peaceful, “they have unleashed something much larger, something they may not be able to control.”“Intelligence shows a threat of armed militia groups storming our capitol," Northam stated. “. . . I call on them to discourage people from other states from coming to Virginia with violent intent. Hate, intimidation, and violence have no place here."Northam supports a number of gun control measures, including universal background checks, a “red-flag-law” to allow for the gun-seizure, and setting a once-per-month limit on gun purchases. His efforts have sparked a grassroots movement in Virginia to resist the initiatives. A number of municipalities have already declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
Experts say the Iranian government's U-turn on its military reflects that it is struggling to control the narrative around the downing of the plane.
During an address on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The House's hour is over. The Senate's time is at hand."
For the Trump administration, appointing board members may be an effective and little-noticed means of weakening a federal apparatus it fundamentally distrusts. His board appointments, many of which may outlast his presidency, could serve an internal Republican resistance to a future Democratic administration.