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Joe Biden: Supreme Court nominee vote under ‘current circumstances’ should not happen

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on Sunday pleaded with rank-and-file GOP senators to help put the brakes on confirming a new Supreme Court justice, arguing that voters deserve a chance to give him the power to nominate a successor to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mr. Biden said President Trump and Senate Majority…

Joe Biden: Supreme Court nominee vote under ‘current circumstances’ should not happen

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden on Sunday pleaded with rank-and-file GOP senators to help put the brakes on confirming a new Supreme Court justice, arguing that voters deserve a chance to give him the power to nominate a successor to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mr. Biden said President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can do what they want, but that he was appealing to moderate senators to follow their conscience.

“Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Sen. McConnell have created,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia. “Don’t go there.”

Mr. Biden has said he plans, if elected president, to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

He is not releasing a list of his potential nominees, as Mr. Trump has done, saying on Sunday that doing so could open up the candidates to political pressure or personal attacks.

“It’s a game to them — a play to gin up emotions and anger,” he said of Mr. Trump’s list.

The death of Justice Ginsburg on Friday has instantly reshaped the contours of a presidential race that Mr. Biden has been leading in most public polling and has set up an election-year battle royale on Capitol Hill to fill the vacancy.

Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell vowed to move quickly, while at least two Republican senators — Susan M. Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — say the Senate should not confirm a new justice before the Nov. 3 election, which could result in a new president as well as reshape the balance of power in the Senate.

Currently, Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate and Vice President Mike Pence would break any ties.

Mr. Biden said Senate Republicans can’t simply change course after blocking President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, when the GOP cited the looming presidential election as a reason to press pause.

He said Mr. McConnell created a new rule then: “Absolutely no hearing, no vote for a nominee in an election year — period, no caveats.”

Mr. McConnell has said that last time he was abiding by Mr. Biden’s comments in 1992 but that the situation is different now because the White House and Senate are controlled by both parties.

The Kentucky Republican invoked Mr. Biden in a letter to colleagues explaining his approach in 2016 compared to now.

“We followed the Biden Rule in 2016, which provided that the Senate will not fill Supreme Court vacancies that arise in presidential years when the presidency and the Senate majority are held by opposing parties,” he said.

Then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Biden had warned in June 1992 against election-year action on a hypothetical Supreme Court nomination by President George H.W. Bush.

Mr. Biden said Sunday that the so-called “Biden Rule” was “based on the fiction that I somehow believe[d] there should be no nomination in an election year.”

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “The only rule I’ve ever followed related to the Supreme Court nomination is the Constitution’s obligation for senators to provide their advice and their consent to a president’s judicial nominee.”

In 2016, shortly after Mr. Obama nominated Judge Garland, Mr. Biden tried to qualify his previous remarks. He said in a speech to Georgetown University law students that talk of a “Biden Rule” was “ridiculous.”

“I said, and I quote, ‘if the president consults and cooperates with the Senate, or moderates his selections … then his nominees may enjoy my support, as did Justice [Anthony] Kennedy and Justice [David] Souter,’” he said.

Mr. Biden also claimed he made clear that he would move forward with the nomination process even shortly before an election “if the nominee were chosen with the advice, and not merely the consent, of the Senate.”

Mr. Biden said in 2016 that voting no on a nominee is always an option.

“But saying nothing, seeing nothing, reading nothing, hearing nothing, and deciding in advance simply to turn your back — before the president even names a nominee — is not an option the Constitution leaves open,” he said.

He also said the American people deserved a “fully staffed” Supreme Court of nine justices.

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Hunter Biden Burisma payments detailed in Treasury Department reports

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden flatly denied at Tuesday night’s debate that his lawyer son took huge sums of money from corrupt oligarchs and Chinese communists during his vice presidency, but Treasury Department reports show that Hunter Biden did receive the money. President Trump chose to make an issue of Hunter Biden’s cash haul…

Hunter Biden Burisma payments detailed in Treasury Department reports

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden flatly denied at Tuesday night’s debate that his lawyer son took huge sums of money from corrupt oligarchs and Chinese communists during his vice presidency, but Treasury Department reports show that Hunter Biden did receive the money.

President Trump chose to make an issue of Hunter Biden’s cash haul from Russia, Ukraine and China with the implication that unsavory figures were trying to buy Vice President Biden and the Obama administration.

“When somebody gets 3½ million dollars from the mayor of Moscow,” Mr. Trump said.

“That’s is not true. That report is totally false,” Mr. Biden said.

A Senate Republican report by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee says Mr. Trump is right, though it was not Moscow’s mayor, but his wife, whom the U.S. suspects of corruption in attaining billionaire status.

Hunter Biden received a single wire transfer of $3.5 million from Elena Baturina. The Senate report said she became a billionaire through illegal construction contracts awarded by her husband, since deceased.

This is based on Treasury Department reports received by committee Chairman Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican.

The Senate narrative is not specific, but the types of transaction records match the description of confidential suspicious activity reports that the Treasury issues when it suspects illegal activity.

The Senate report says, “On Feb. 14, 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (Rosemont Seneca Thornton) bank account for a ‘Consultancy Agreement.’ Rosemont Seneca Thornton is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden that was incorporated on May 28, 2013 in Wilmington, Del.”

Russia invaded Crimea in Ukraine the month Ms. Baturina sent the money.

“Why did he get it?” Mr. Trump asked.

“That report was written for political reasons,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Trump asserted, “Once you became vice president, he made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places.”

Mr. Biden responded, “That is not true.”

According to the senators’ Treasury records, it is true.

In April 2014, President Obama made Mr. Biden the point man in Ukraine, after the Russian invasion, to persuade leaders to rid the country of rampant corruption.

The next month, Hunter Biden showed up on the board of directors of the energy company Burisma Holdings, which the State Department considers corrupt, as it does its oligarch owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, already had secured a spot.

Over the years, Burisma paid the two more than $4 million. Treasury records show that 48 wire transfers from May 2014 to February 2016 totaled $3.4 million. The money went to Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a shell company run by Mr. Archer in partnership with a Chinese investment fund.

In 2014 and 2015, Burisma sent $700,000 directly to Hunter Biden. After Mr. Archer was arrested on fraud charges, Burisma sent Hunter Biden another $752,000.

On China, Vice President Biden promoted closer ties to the communist regime on many fronts. He traveled to China in 2013 on Air Force Two and took along Hunter, who met with Chinese businessmen.

“China ate your lunch, Joe,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday night. “And no wonder your son goes in and he takes out billions of dollars. He takes out billions of dollars to manage. He makes millions of dollars.”

Mr. Biden said, “None of that is true.”

The Bidens have adamantly denied reports that Hunter Biden’s investment firm received a $1 billion infusion.

But the Senate report documents extensive ties between Hunter Biden and various Chinese entities that produced millions of dollars in wire transfers.

In one example, China’s CEFC Infrastructure Investment wired $5 million to HudsonWest LLC, a New York company jointly owned by Hunter Biden and Chinese interests. HudsonWest then sent $4.7 million to Hunter Biden’s law firm. The next year, another $1 million was delivered.

Hunter Biden sent 20 wire transfers totaling $1.3 million to Vice President Biden’s brother James for consulting services. Treasury flagged the transfers as potentially criminal, the Senate report said.

When the bank contacted James Biden’s wife, Sara, to learn details, she refused to cooperate, the Senate report said.

“Hunter Biden has extensive connections to Chinese businesses and Chinese foreign nationals that are linked to the Communist government,” the Senate report said. “Those contacts bore financial fruit when his father was vice president and after he left office.”

The Senate report also said Hunter Biden sent money to Ukrainian and Russian women. The Treasury reports said the transactions are linked to “what appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”

Mr. Johnson, the Senate homeland security panel chairman, wrote in a FoxNews.com column Tuesday that liberal news media have ignored his report showing disturbing ties between the Biden family and corrupt people.

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Joe Biden: Trump ‘looks down on us’

Joseph R. Biden leaned into his recent populist messaging Wednesday as he kicked off a train tour of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, saying President Trump looks down on Americans who might be struggling. “I think it’s more than ignoring us,” Mr. Biden said in Cleveland. “I look at things from [a] Scranton perspective —…

Joe Biden: Trump ‘looks down on us’

Joseph R. Biden leaned into his recent populist messaging Wednesday as he kicked off a train tour of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, saying President Trump looks down on Americans who might be struggling.

“I think it’s more than ignoring us,” Mr. Biden said in Cleveland. “I look at things from [a] Scranton perspective — he looks at it from Park Avenue. I think he basically looks down on us.”

Mr. Biden spoke the day after his first debate with Mr. Trump that was dominated by name-calling and interruptions.

“The question is does he see you where you are and where you want to be? Does he care? Has he tried to walk in your shoes to understand what’s going on in your life?” Mr. Biden said. “Or does he just ignore you and all the folks all over America who are in a similar situation?”

Mr. Trump said Wednesday that Mr. Biden flopped the previous night and that the former vice president’s performance probably cost him support from the far left.

“Second Amendment is DEAD if Biden gets in! Is that what you want from a leader? He will destroy our Country! VOTE NOW USA,” the president said on Twitter.

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Joe Biden blasts Green New Deal after defending it

The Green New Deal was back on the front burner Tuesday after Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said that he doesn’t support the ambitious climate plan, immediately both before and after defending it. During the presidential debate, Mr. Biden said, “The Green New Deal is not my plan.” But a moment later, he said:…

Joe Biden blasts Green New Deal after defending it

The Green New Deal was back on the front burner Tuesday after Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said that he doesn’t support the ambitious climate plan, immediately both before and after defending it.

During the presidential debate, Mr. Biden said, “The Green New Deal is not my plan.”

But a moment later, he said: “The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. You’re not going to build plants that in fact are great polluting plants.”

Moderator Chris Wallace interrupted, saying, “You support the Green New Deal?”

Mr. Biden replied: “No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.”

President Trump jumped in with, “Oh, you don’t? Well, that’s a big statement,” predicting that Mr. Biden had just lost “the radical left.”

Mr. Biden explained, “I support the Biden plan that I put forward, which is different than what [Mr. Trump] calls the radical Green New Deal.”

The exchange deflated environmentalists on social media who champion the Green New Deal, although Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat who sponsored the House resolution, insisted that, “This isn’t news.”

“Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden’s Climate Unity Task Force — so we could set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary crisis at our feet,” tweeted Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. “Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real.”

In 60 seconds Joe Biden said he doesn’t support the Green New Deal… then he DID support the Green New Deal.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) September 30, 2020

This isn’t news, Kellyanne.Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden’s Climate Unity Task Force – so we could set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary crisis at our feet.Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real. https://t.co/Bj8SMD9Syf
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 30, 2020

Mr. Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, is a cosponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate, the companion to the measure introduced by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in the House.

The Biden campaign website says, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” although Mr. Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan is less ambitious than Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan.

Mr. Biden’s plan calls for limiting but not abolishing hydraulic fracturing; replacing fossil fuels on the electrical grid by 2035, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 30, 2020

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