Trudeau Corruption, Ilhan Omar Controversy, & More From Virginia

The North & South American News Roundup 12/02/2019

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Calls for public officials to resign dominated the news this week in Congress, Virginia, and Canada. In addition, Ocasio-Cortez continued to make a fool of herself, and yet another Democrat announced a run for the presidency. This is the last week in review.

Trudeau Corruption Allegations

Trudeau faces serious allegations of corruption in relation to inappropriate behavior regarding the former Justice Minister and her prosecution of Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin. Allegedly, the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to request prosecutors make a deal with the company. When she refused, she was removed from the cabinet. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trudeau said “The allegations reported in the story are false. At no time did I or my office direct the current or previous attorney general to make any particular decision in this matter.” Pressure is coming from the Conservatives to get statements from Wilson-Raybould, and to launch a full investigation into the matters. If serious wrongdoing is uncovered, there could be arrests within the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ilhan Omar In Hot Water

Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) got herself into some hot water with statements she made about Israel and their influence on the U.S. Congress. She has claimed that members of Congress are being paid by pro-Israel lobbying groups to support the Middle Eastern ethnostate. When Batya Ungar-Sargon asked on Twitter who she thinks is doing the paying, Omar proudly replied “AIPAC!” AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Omar was criticized by Chelsea Clinton, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who compared her to Steve King (R-IA) saying “I think you’ve seen from my own actions that I take action about it.” King was removed from his committee assignment following a quote on white supremacy to the New York Times, and various lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, have asked for the same to be done to Omar. Omar apologized yesterday, but seemingly doubled-down on her AIPAC claim, saying “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the N.R.A. or the fossil fuel industry.” It would be up to Pelosi to remove her from her committee assignments, and to floor a censure vote if a measure comes across.

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Lt. Governor

The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia faces serious sexual assault allegations from 2000 and 2004. The allegations are vividly detailed, but face the usual problems of a cold case allegation. He nearly faced impeachment proceedings from his own party, which is the minority party in the House of Delegates, but the draft was shelved for now. The Lt. Gov., Justin Fairfax (D-VA), has called for an independent investigation, and even asked the FBI to get involved, to his credit. The main supporter of the impeachment movement, fellow Democrat Patrick Hope, said the purpose of the proceedings was to find the truth, and he would support any measure that did that. Virginia is also home to Governor Ralph Northam, who just about everyone has asked to resign over a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page, and Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted to wearing blackface in college to dress like a rapper.

Even More Presidential Candidates

Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Senator from Minnesota, joined an increasingly crowded field for the Democrats’ nomination for the Presidency. Klobuchar is known on Capitol Hill as a pragmatist and deal-maker, sharply distinguishing her from the progressives currently running for President like Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. If Joe Biden doesn’t run, Klobuchar may be the only serious moderate running, and that should increase her chances. However, she only polled at 3% among likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers in an Emerson Poll earlier this month. She would have to take a large chunk of Biden’s 29% to threaten the nomination. Klobuchar is the senior Senator in Minnesota, serving since 2007. At 58, she is one of the youngest Democrats running, behind Harris (54) and Booker (49).

You can read more from Andrew Bartholomew on Think Liberty here.


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