Posted tagged ‘Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’

Congress Seeks Wasserman Schultz Testimony in IT Scandal Investigation

July 28, 2017

Congress Seeks Wasserman Schultz Testimony in IT Scandal Investigation, Washington Free Beacon, July 28, 2017

(Please see also, Forget about Trump and the Russians. The real action is with the Awan brothers and Fusion GPS. — DM)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz / Getty Images.

Lawmakers expressed their concern that some of the information potentially stolen by these staffers could compromise congressional officials.

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Congressional leaders are interested in conducting their own independent investigation into a growing scandal surrounding IT staffers working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who are accused of stealing sensitive computer equipment from House lawmakers’ offices.

One of these IT staffers, Imran Awan, was arrested this week when trying to travel to Pakistan and charged with bank fraud after a months-long investigation that found he wired nearly $300,000 to that country. Several other staffers tied to Awan are the focus of an investigation into claims they stole sensitive equipment and illegally penetrated the House IT network.

Leading members of the House Judiciary Committee and Government Oversight Committee told the Washington Free Beacon that the appropriate congressional bodies should launch an investigation into the illicit IT activity, which could include asking for testimony from Wasserman Schultz on the situation.

Wasserman Schultz’s testimony is of particular interest as she has come under fire for keeping Awan on the House payroll even after information about his actions became public and not cooperating with the investigation.

Lawmakers expressed their concern that some of the information potentially stolen by these staffers could compromise congressional officials.

“In addition to the criminal case that is now underway, Congress needs to get answers regarding the scope of Imran Awan’s misconduct and the access he had to sensitive material in the United States House of Representatives, including why he remained on the House payroll for so long,” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the Government Oversight Committee and chair of its National Security Subcommittee told the Washington Free Beacon.

“The facts as we know them are very troubling and we need a full accounting of his time at both the DNC and the U.S. House,” DeSantis said. “Congressional hearings are in order.”

Asked if Wasserman Schultz could be asked to testify in such an investigation, DeSantis said it is possible.

“If [the Department of Justice] doesn’t think it will interfere with the criminal case then it’s a live possibility,” he said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas), a member of the House’s Judiciary Committee, expressed a similar desire when asked about the matter by the Free Beacon.

“Yes, we could ask for her [Wasserman Schultz] to testify and look for either the government reform or judiciary” committees to help an investigation, Gohmert said. “Both have jurisdiction over things in this whole catastrophe.”

Gohmert described the situation and “incredible” and troubling given these staffers’ access to privileged information on the internal House computing network.

“You don’t have to be all that great at hacking to hack into almost anyone’s email and calendar,” Gohmert said. He noted this information is not classified or privileged because it pertains to official Congressional business.

“Our enemies that would like to bring down the U.S. would love to have the calendars of every single member of Congress to see who’s vulnerable to what and how they can be manipulated. There’s a reason that you have to have a background check in order to work on our system,” Gohmert said.

It remains unclear what types of background check Awan and the other staffers were given, if any at all, according to Gohmert.

“We don’t know if someone assured our members who hired them they had had the background check,” Gohmert said.

The investigation into this matter has received little media attention, prompting calls of bias from Republican leaders.

“It’s very sad that the mainstream media is not talking about this at all,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said earlier this week. “It shows the bias.”

Forget about Trump and the Russians. The real action is with the Awan brothers and Fusion GPS.

July 28, 2017

Forget about Trump and the Russians. The real action is with the Awan brothers and Fusion GPS., The American SpectatorScott Mckay, July 28, 2017

From a press release that hit on Thursday…

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Judiciary Committee Republicans today sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate unaddressed matters, some connected to the 2016 election and others, including many actions taken by Obama Administration officials like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The letter follows yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee approval of H. Res. 446, as amended, to request documents pertaining to the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary Clinton.

In their letter, the Judiciary Committee members express concern that the directive given to Special Counsel Robert Mueller is narrow in scope and many concerns arising out of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath are not being investigated. The members call for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate grave concerns such as former Attorney General Lynch’s directive to former FBI Director Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the investigation into former Secretary Clinton; the FBI and Justice Department’s investigative decisions related to the Clinton email investigation, including the immunity deals given to potential co-conspirators; selected leaks of classified information that unmasked U.S. persons incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community; and the FBI’s reliance on “Fusion GPS” in its investigation of the Trump campaign, among many others issues.

If you’re sick and tired of the never-ending “Trump And The Russians” scandal, which for all its hype has produced scant little actual evidence of anything other than desultory cooperation on the part of the president’s camp with an investigation it quite reasonably believes is a kangaroo court, this letter from Goodlatte’s committee might just be what the doctor ordered.

Because as Washington scandals go, Trump And The Russians doesn’t even make it out of Double-A ball. What Goodlatte and the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee want is a special counsel to take us up to the Triple-A or major league scandal level, because there are opportunities for playing time available.

The unmasking issue still has a lot of undiscovered meat on its bones; we’ve already seen a little evidence of that. The Lynch-Comey-Phoenix Airport nexus deserves a lot more scrutiny than it’s received, as do those immunity grants. And the leaks without a doubt deserve a full investigation, and some smug SOB’s from the Deep State surely deserve lengthy prison terms.

But the Fusion GPS business — and the long-simmering and now-burgeoning Awan brothers scandal — are monsters hiding in D.C.’s closet. Here’s to both those scandals continuing to crackle and spark over the next several months, on the way to full explosions the legacy media can no longer contain.

Readers of this column already have an understanding of the Awan brothers scandal, as this space covered a substantial amount of the background of it back in February when things first started happening. Click here to see that background; we’ll give a very short summary of it now.

The central figure in this scandal is a Pakistani national named Imran Awan, who appears to be connected in some way to his country’s intelligence service. Awan is an IT professional who was hired in 2004 to handle computer equipment for Florida Democrat congressman Robert Wexler, and he then picked up a job as a shared staffer to work for Wexler’s colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Awan rode along with Wasserman Schultz as she ascended to the top of the Democratic Party structure, and soon not only was his boss the chair of the Democratic National Committee but Awan’s relationship with her led to his building a client list of some 80 Democrat House members who were using either Imran or other members of his family (a pair of brothers, one of their wives, his own wife) in a sizable little empire he’d built.

And in the meantime, the Awan family was engaging in a pattern of financial activities that looked a whole lot like a mafia operation — questionable real estate deals, bank fraud, kidnapping and extortion, a used-car dealership that might well have been a front for moving stolen cars to Pakistan for sale, and so on. Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport on Monday as he tried to flee the country while the FBI and Capitol Hill Police were closing in on a bank fraud indictment. In January he had wired some $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to two individuals in Pakistan; he was trying to board a flight to Lahore when he had the cuffs put on him.

But the real juice with the Awans isn’t the bank fraud or the possible stolen cars. The real scandal here is the stolen computers — and the stolen information. It’s alleged that the Awans illegally downloaded documents from their clients, some of whom were on the House Intelligence Committee and other sensitive committees, and even walked off with congressional computers. The FBI, in fact, seized a number of CPU’s and hard drives found at a house owned by Imran that he was renting to a military couple after the tenants had found the equipment partially destroyed in the garage and called the authorities. We don’t know what was on those hard drives.

There are even allegations the Awans were blackmailing their clients with information they’d found in their e-mails. Your imagination can likely conjure up all kinds of entertaining scenarios around that theme.

But the piece de resistance with the Awan brothers scandal is the revelation that Imran Awan, with his foreign intelligence connections, his criminal appearance and his persistent financial problems despite apparently not lacking in the ability to make a buck, had the password to Wasserman Schultz’ iPad from which she answered her e-mail… as DNC chair.

Forget about the Russians and their supposed hacking of the DNC e-mails. If you’re really curious about who got to that information and would have been in a position to shop it to the highest bidder, Imran Awan is the most likely culprit in the room.

Things are moving very quickly on this case, and it’s somewhat telling that Awan was released on bond after being caught trying to flee the country. He has a tracking bracelet on his ankle, but what makes more sense is that he may have turned states’ evidence in exchange for being let out of jail. Awan’s attorney is former Bill Clinton go-fer Chris Gowen, and the lawyer’s statement after he’d been arrested reads like a press release from a campaign operative rather than a criminal attorney; bizarrely so, one might say. It might be that Awan is rolling on Wasserman Schultz and the Clintons have decided to hang her out to dry in order to insulate themselves from whatever blowback the DNC e-mails might generate for them.

Or maybe that isn’t possible anymore. Former Washington police detective Rod Wheeler, who you’ve probably seen on Fox News from time to time and who most recently was in the news as having done some private snooping in the Seth Rich case, has intimated there is a connection between that case and that of the Awan brothers. We’re not going to try to connect those dots without more information, but one’s imagination might run riot with those.

Meanwhile, Republicans in both the House and the Senate are exceptionally curious about Fusion GPS, and with good reason. In case you’re not familiar with this outfit, it’s the “opposition research and strategic communications” firm co-founded by former Wall Street Journal reporters Peter Fritsch and Glenn Simpson which played a significant role in the 2016 election. It was Fusion GPS which commissioned the infamous and debunked “pee pee dossier,” written by former British spy Christopher Steele, sourced largely from Steele’s Russian contacts and containing a mountain of scurrilous and implausible allegations about Donald Trump’s misbehaviors. Fusion GPS was initially contracted by anti-Trump Republican donors, but after Trump got the GOP nomination it was Democrats paying the freight for their work product… and before it was over it looks like James Comey’s FBI, amazingly, was picking up the tab.

That last part is of special interest to Sen. Charles Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has made a priority out of Fusion GPS, and had called Simpson to testify. He did, but only in private, and only after threatening to take the Fifth. That’s his right, but what does an oppo researcher need the Fifth Amendment for?

But there’s more with Fusion GPS. On Wednesday Tucker Carlson had as a guest on his show one Thor Halvorssen, a Venezuelan native of Norwegian descent who runs a watchdog outfit called the Human Rights Foundation, and Halvorssen told a harrowing story of Fusion GPS attempting to destroy his life with a smear campaign because he’d blown the whistle on a crooked contract one of Fusion’s clients had with the Venezuelan government to build power plants. That story also got told in a letter Halvorssen sent to Grassley’s committee. And then there is Fusion’s other client, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the “Russian lawyer” whose meeting with Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Paul Manafort has been bandied about as some sort of smoking gun proving collusion with the Russians. It turns out that Veselnitskaya had hired Fusion to help her push to overturn the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions bill targeting crooked Russian oligarchs and human rights abusers. In none of these cases did Fusion bother to register under FARA, the Foreign Agent Registry Act, which would put them on the wrong side of the law.

Grassley’s committee, and Goodlatte’s committee, would like to know if this entire Russian business was a setup cooked-up by Fusion’s dirty-tricks shop with the collusion of a few actors in the Obama administration. It’s hard to blame them.

There’s a lot of debate about Trump’s “drain the swamp” mantra these days, but nobody is really denying the swamp exists. And nobody can — not with Fusion GPS and the Awan brothers skulking around in the muck.

Obama DHS Secretary: We Offered to Help The DNC Combat Russian Hacking, They Declined

June 21, 2017

Obama DHS Secretary: We Offered to Help The DNC Combat Russian Hacking, They Declined, TownhallKatie Pavlich, June 21, 2017

(Why didn’t the DNC want help from either the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security to deal with “Russian hacking?” The then current DHS secretary can’t explain why.

The words “Seth” and “Rich” come to mind. Of course, that’s just a silly conspiracy theory. Isn’t it? Please see also, Tom Fitton gives updates on Obama Spying Scandal, Unmasking Scandal, Rep. Adam Schiff, & Seth Rich. A video posted a few days later which provided substantial information about the death of Seth Rich is “no longer available.”– DM)

Testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson revealed assistance from his department was offered to the Democrat National Committee to combat Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election, but was rejected.

“I pressed my staff to know whether DHS was sufficiently proactive, and on the scene helping the DNC identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities. The answer, to the best of my recollection, was not reassuring. The FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS’s assistance at that time,” Johnson said.

Just before Election Day last year, Wikileaks published thousands of emails belonging to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC staffers, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and other high profile Democrats. The emails showed collusion between CNN’s Donna Brazil and Hillary Clinton ahead of a presidential debate and revealed Wasserman-Schultz did her best to rig the primary system against socialist candidate Bernie Sanders.

The DNC also reportedly refused to turn over servers to the FBI, whose agents investigated the email hacking. Intelligence agencies point to Russia as the original hacks of the documents.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier,” CNN reported last year.

During his testimony Johnson reiterated that although the Russian government did meddle in the 2016 presidential election with a number of online propaganda campaigns, the Kremlin didn’t change votes.

For months Democrats have claimed the Russians are the biggest threat to our Democracy since the founding of the country, yet didn’t seem concerned about the threat in the aftermath of hacks. It was only when President Trump won the White House that it became a major concern.

Pelosi Booed By Democratic Delegates at Convention Breakfast

July 25, 2016

Pelosi Booed By Democratic Delegates at Convention Breakfast, Washington Free Beacon , July 25, 2016

On the last day before Congress takes a five-week summer recess, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. pauses while meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 31, 2014, about Republicans pushing through legislation to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, after accusing him of deliberately exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Democrats have branded the effort a political charade and an effort by top Republicans to mollify conservatives who want Obama to be impeached. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said that she has never seen “anything like this” before.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) both were booed at a breakfast for Florida party delegates on Monday.

The disgruntled delegates started interrupting and booing individuals who were slotted to speak at the event the day the Democratic National Convention is set to start.

“Members of the delegation repeatedly disrupted the lineup of speakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, with protestations against Clinton and cheers for her erstwhile primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders,” Roll Call reported.

Pelosi tried to send a message of unity to the audience despite the boos, which continued as other speakers came to the podium.

“But whenever a speaker talked about uniting to elect Clinton in November, the crowd balked. They booed Rep. Michael M. Honda. And chanted, “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!” during Rep. Barbara Lee’s address,” Roll Call noted.

The crowd appeared to be reacting to the scandal following the DNC email hack, which revealed active favoritism for Hillary Clinton during the primary and caused Schultz to step down before the end of her tenure. Pelosi pointed out that she had never approved of superdelegates to appease the protestors, but to no avail, according to Roll Call.

But the crowd wasn’t having it. When a “Bernie” sign was thrust in Pelosi’s face on stage, she remained calm, saying, “I don’t consider it a discourtesy even if it is intended as one.”

The minority leader said she’d always opposed superdelegates and praised Sanders for staying in the race through the California primary in June because he helped boost turnout that resulted in more down-ballot Democrats finishing in the state’s top-two primary system.

Schultz was the first person in a leadership position to be booed off stage during her address. She tried to ignore the heckles by yelling her speech at the delegates.

Some Democrats have called the DNC email scandal as a form of unity. Sen. McCaskill (D., Mo.) said Monday that when Wasserman Schultz steps down, the party will be unified.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said that she has never seen “anything like this” before.

DNC Leaks Show Hillary Clinton’s Rigged Game

July 25, 2016

DNC Leaks Show Hillary Clinton’s Rigged Game, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 25, 2016

trifecta

Sergeant Schultz is a patsy. Another disposable Clintonite in a long line of them from Susan McDougal, who spent 18 months in jail for covering for the Clintons before getting a presidential pardon from Bill, to Sandy Berger, who ducked in to stuff some classified documents about Bill’s terror policies into his socks and got 100 hours of community service for building his own “sock server” full of classified documents. If Hillary wins, then Debbie will become Chief of Staff Schultz, Defense Secretary Schultz or, since we already know she’s willing to do anything for Hillary, Attorney General Schultz.

Forcing Debbie Wasserman Schultz out accomplishes nothing. The Clintons have built their careers on being able to buy the temporary allegiances of political hacks like her with other people’s money. Until they lose access to that money, the system will continue to be rigged for Hillary by Debbie and Sandy and Maggie and Cheryl and anyone else looking forward to a lifetime sinecure from Clintonworld.

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Trump accused Hillary Clinton of being the beneficiary of a rigged system. Then the DNC leaks proved it by showing just how aggressively the Democratic National Committee was working to push Hillary and suppress any of her rivals to the crown. Not only was the process rigged with the superdelegates, but the DNC functioned like an arm of the Clinton campaign.

The Sanders campaign demanded someone’s head. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ frizzy scalp was delivered to Bernie’s door. But Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose last original idea was trying to score a block of Hamilton tickets from an RNC official, certainly didn’t do any of this on her own.

Hillary Clinton lost her last bid for the White House inside her own party. And she wasn’t about to allow that to happen twice. So the Clintons just took over the DNC. They bought it and it sold out to them.

Sergeant Schultz is a patsy. Another disposable Clintonite in a long line of them from Susan McDougal, who spent 18 months in jail for covering for the Clintons before getting a presidential pardon from Bill, to Sandy Berger, who ducked in to stuff some classified documents about Bill’s terror policies into his socks and got 100 hours of community service for building his own “sock server” full of classified documents. If Hillary wins, then Debbie will become Chief of Staff Schultz, Defense Secretary Schultz or, since we already know she’s willing to do anything for Hillary, Attorney General Schultz.

Top DNC officials targeted Bernie Sanders, raising questions about his religion, testing anti-Bernie narratives, slamming him and cheerleading their candidate. They vetted media pieces about Hillary, suppressed material featuring Bernie Sanders and spied on the Sanders campaign from the inside.

The Democratic National Committee functioned like an arm of the Clinton campaign. The primaries were a fiction whose only purpose and only possible outcome was the coronation of Queen Hillary.

Wiser candidates knew that and stayed away. Those who did show up were really applying to be her second banana, a spot that none of them managed to pick up despite their refusal to hit her hard on any of her glaringly ultraviolet vulnerabilities. Only Bernie Sanders proved to be as deluded in his ambitions as he was in his politics. Only he thought that he could actually win a rigged race against Hillary.

The DNC taught him better. Eventually. It took lawsuits, voter fraud and every dirty trick in the book.

In pursuit of her ambitions, Hillary has been willing to dismantle the superdelegate system for the future, pulling out the chair from future establishment candidates, just so she can get hers. This move, like so many others, demonstrated that there is no Democratic Party. Just the Hillary Party.

The game hasn’t just been rigged. It’s been fixed from the top down.

But that’s the way it always was for Hillary.

Hillary Clinton has never competed in an honest election. And she has never won an election in which an actual capable opponent showed up. Despite the best efforts of the DNC, she struggled against a senile socialist with no math skills who repeated the same few lines no matter what the topic was.

Imagine if she had gone up against Cory Booker or Joe Biden. Hillary would have lost and badly.

That is why Hillary commands an army of minions like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Clintonworld is a vast enterprise that encompasses non-profit groups and more traditional political organizations which exist solely to smooth her path to the White House. The Clintons are their own country with their own complicated internal government, intelligence agencies, phantom air force, huge budgets and ties to foreign nations.

After Benghazi, it was Clintonites like Cheryl Mills who jumped into action to cover up the truth. Mills had also showed up to purge State Department files after Benghazi, not to mention after numerous other Clinton scandals. After Vince Foster’s suicide, Maggie Williams, Hillary’s chief of staff, removed her documents from his office. Williams went on to manage Hillary’s failed presidential campaign and these days she has a gig at the Clinton Foundation.

That is the secret of how the Clintons can attract so many people to lie, cheat and steal for them. It’s not personal loyalty. Unlike her husband, Hillary Clinton has no charisma. Instead it’s careerism.

The Clintons haven’t just been funneling money for themselves. They built a vast network that would make crime pay. Even if Debbie Wasserman Schultz has to drop out of politics, she’ll have a cushy spot waiting for her in some obscure crevice of the Clinton Foundation funded by arms dealers, Persian Gulf sheikhs and even worse fellows who make them look like princes. Bernie had nothing like it to offer.

Forcing Debbie Wasserman Schultz out accomplishes nothing. The Clintons have built their careers on being able to buy the temporary allegiances of political hacks like her with other people’s money. Until they lose access to that money, the system will continue to be rigged for Hillary by Debbie and Sandy and Maggie and Cheryl and anyone else looking forward to a lifetime sinecure from Clintonworld.

It’s that dirty and that simple.

The Clintons are the source of the corruption. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ only crime was getting caught. But Clintonworld takes care of its own. Just ask Susan McDougal or Sandy Berger.

The Clintons have become a political dynasty, a royal family crossed with organized crime, a network of secretive institutions trading promises for power and money for loyalty. The corruption of the DNC is neither surprising nor remarkable. Not when the Clintons have corrupted everything else they ever touched from their state to their party to their country.

It’s not just that the Clintons are corrupt. Politics breeds corruption. It’s that their ambition and sense of entitlement have no limitations. There is nothing that they will not do to win. And they think big.

If they can’t win an election, they rig it. If their party doesn’t like them, they take over the party.

But for all the grandiose plans, the Clintons are petty. The DNC leaks show us that Clinton power is built on putting a lot of corrupt dirty little people into places where they can serve their ambitions. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a ridiculous character, is exactly the type of political hack that the Clintons love. Egotistical, incompetent, vain, absurd, amoral and willing to do anything and everything to get ahead. The typical Clintonite is convinced that their talents are overlooked and resentful of everyone else.

The Clintons have a peculiar talent for finding these sorts of people and seeding them throughout government. And this tidal wave of political hacks, thousands of Schultz’, follows in their wake wherever they go. And the damage they do continues on even long after the Clintons have moved on.

This army of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ will accompany the Clintons into the halls of government if they win. They will do anything for them in the hopes of a lucrative government job and then a consultancy gig if the Clintons win.

But if the Clintons lose, if the promise of their political dynasty ends, then they will lose everything.

CNN: Complete Chaos as Schultz Escorted Out of Florida Speech by Security, Ignored Media Questions

July 25, 2016

CNN: Complete Chaos as Schultz Escorted Out of Florida Speech by Security, Ignored Media Questions, Washinton Free Beacon via YouTube, July 25, 2016

Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Leader After Convention

July 24, 2016

Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Leader After Convention, PJ MediaBridget Johnson, July 24, 2016

(How unified will the Democrat unity festival be? Clinton has made Wasserman-Schultz “honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and [she] will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.” — DM)

fire debA supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holds up a sign calling for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to be fired on, July 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) pulled out as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee the day before the party’s convention gets underway in Philadelphia — but her resignation isn’t effective immediately.

Wasserman Schultz appeared in public Saturday with presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton at the candidate’s first rally with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in Miami.

“Friends, we made history when we nominated President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden eight years ago.  Now we’re ready for Hillary! And we’re ready to make history once more when she accepts our party’s nomination to become the 45th president of the United States!” Wasserman Schultz told the crowd.

“And starting today, she’s got a new ally in her corner, a new fighter on her team. He’s a man that I have had the privilege of fighting alongside both at our Democratic headquarters and under the Capitol dome… From now until Election Day, we have to keep saying it loud and proud: I’m with her.”

At the same time, Wikileaks was flooding the internet with DNC correspondence showing the party trying to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from getting the nomination and mocking the senator’s campaign.

Sanders speaks at the convention Monday. His spokesman Michael Briggs said the senator plans to “make it clear that Hillary Clinton is by far superior to Donald Trump on every major issue from economics and health care to education and the environment.”

Wasserman Schultz’s resignation won’t be effective until the end of the week.

“As party chair, this week I will open and close the convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans,” she said in a statement. “We have planned a great and unified convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”

She had reportedly been under intense pressure from leading Dems to step down.

Clinton issued a statement thanking “longtime friend” Wasserman Schultz for “her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years.”

“I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership,” Clinton said. “There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie — which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.”

“I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid — because as president, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people.”

Wasserman Schultz was co-chairwoman of Clinton’s 2008 White House run.

President Obama issued a statement stressing that “for the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back.”

“This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful,” Obama said. “Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country.”

The president added that her “fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth.”

“And no one works harder for her constituents in Congress than Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” he said. “Michelle and I are grateful for her efforts, we know she will continue to serve our country as a member of Congress from Florida and she will always be our dear friend.”

A Sanders backer, professor Tim Canova, is challenging Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s Aug. 30 Democratic primary. Canova was initially denied access to the voter database by the state party.

Sanders has endorsed Canova.

Democrats in Disarray as Convention Begins

July 24, 2016

Democrats in Disarray as Convention Begins, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, July 24, 2016

The Democratic convention begins tomorrow in Philadelphia, with the party’s leaders scrambling to fend off a series of negative stories and present a unified front.

The Wikileaks dump of 20,000 DNC emails has exacerbated divisions within the party. The emails show the DNC’s leadership plotting against Bernie Sanders, exactly as he alleged throughout the campaign. Sanders will have a lot of delegates inside the convention hall, and an unknown number of demonstrators outside. Will he go along with the unity theme? Will his supporters? We will see.

In order to placate the Sanders forces, the Democrats have announced that party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s speaking slot has been canceled. Wasserman-Schultz was the chief anti-Sanders schemer, so canceling her speech may not be enough: this morning, Sanders demanded that she resign as party chairwoman. My guess is that the Democrats will throw her all the way under the bus in a desperate attempt to look unified.

Meanwhile, another controversy has arisen over the convention speeches scheduled to be given by Lezley McSpadden and Gwen Carr, the mothers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner respectively. The Democrats evidently chose to come down firmly on the side of the anti-police movement. But their plan elicited a furious response from John McNesby, President of Philadelphia’s police union:

Phil cops

I like that last line: “Mrs. Clinton you should be ashamed of yourself if that is possible.” The DNC, scrambling once again, now says they will add a couple of policemen to the list of speakers. That’s big of them.

With the exception of Ted Cruz’s performance, the Republican convention came off without a hitch, was not disrupted by protests either inside the hall or in the streets, and presented a positive image of the party. Journalists had to struggle to find negativity, sinking so low as to make a major story out of the fact that Melania Trump’s speechwriter copied a couple of sentence fragments from a speech by Michelle Obama. The horror! It will be interesting to see whether the wheels come off for the Democrats over the next four days, and how the press covers it if they do.

It will also be interesting to see what television ratings the Democrats can muster, compared with the Republican convention. Around 35 million watched Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, a number that reportedly fell below expectations. But how many will tune in to see another speech by tired, old retread Hillary Clinton? That, too, will be something to watch for.