Attorney General William Barr, now 69, has a long history of making political donations. But what changed in late 2018 and early 2019, according to a report by Ephrat Livni and David Yanofsky for Quartz, is how many he made — and in the months before his confirmation as U.S. attorney general, there was a sharp increase in Barr’s donations to Senate Republicans.
For their report, Livni and Yanofsky took a close look at the attorney general’s history of political donations. And they describe the donations Barr made from 1993 to mid-2018 as “occasional at best.” But the amount of money Barr donated politically, according to the Quartz reporters, sharply increased “in the lead-up to his Senate confirmation hearings for attorney general earlier this year.”
Altogether, Livni and Yanofsky report, Barr donated $51,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in the five months leading up to his confirmation as U.S. attorney general by the Senate. Before 2018, the journalists note, Barr donated a total of $85,400 to the NRSC.
Livni and Yanofsky, examining Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, found that between October 2018 and February 2019, Barr’s donations to the NRSC were “ramped up” and “substantially different” from his NRSC donations prior to that.
President Donald Trump fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the 2018 midterms, temporarily appointing Matthew Whitaker to the position before nominating Barr — who was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Valentine’s Day 2019. That wasn’t the first time Barr enjoyed a Senate confirmation: previously, he served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.
Those late 2018/early 2019 donations, Livni and Yanofsky point out, do not violate FEC rules. Nonetheless, Adav Noti (senior director of the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C. and former associate general counsel for the FEC) told Quartz that Barr’s NRSC contributions should “raise eyebrows.”
“The fact that any one person can give such large amounts to a political party creates a perception problem,” Noti told Quartz. “Someone giving such large amounts to a senatorial committee before their confirmation certainly raises appearance questions.”
As many as 20 corrections officers have been subpoenaed by grand jury investigating Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide
According to sources interviewed by CNN, as many as 20 correctional officers are being called to testify before the grand jury investigating how Jeffrey Epstein was able to kill himself.
It was reported late Wednesday that there were eight officers who knew to watch Epstein while he was housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein had left "suicide watch" after an alleged suicide attempt, and he was supposed to remain under the watchful eye of officers. However, the officers are overworked and the prison understaffed, requiring officers to work several overtime shifts, the officer's union explained.
Vegan parents who severely malnourished 10-month-old daughter to the point of bone loss will avoid jail time
An Australian couple will avoid jail time and instead serve 300 hours of community service after they pled guilty to failing to provide the necessities of life for their 19-month-old daughter, Australian outlet 7News reported this Thursday.
The mother (33) and father (35), who have not been publicly identified for legal reasons, fed their daughter a strict vegan diet that caused the child to become severely malnourished. The child was in such ill health that she weighed just over 10 pounds when authorities discovered her. Additionally, doctors found that due to her strict diet, her bones had not developed properly since she was born and she had yet to grow teeth.
‘All over the map’: CNN details the bizarre surge of Trump’s flip-flops
Following two mass shootings in one weekend, President Donald Trump promised to strengthen background checks for gun purchases. But just the next week--reportedly after speaking with NRA head Wayne LaPierre--dropped his resolve and said there were already sufficient background checks on the books.
That's not the only recent policy flip-flop by the President.
On CNN Thursday, White House reporter Sarah Westwood chronicled all the policies on which the president has reversed course. First, the president abruptly cancelled plans to cut foreign aid.
"President Trump, the White House, they were facing a wave of opposition from Congressional appropriators in both parties and from the State Department who thought that this move could do harm to national security," Westwood said.