Congress Will Vote On Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

House will vote on concealed carry reciprocity bill

Pres. Trump’s complex relationship with guns

Washington (CNN)The House will vote Wednesday on a bill that would let gun owners with permits to carry concealed weapons travel to other states with their concealed firearms.

The bill is a top priority of the National Rifle Association, and since leaving committee it has been combined with an additional measure that is designed to update the federal background check system after holes were exposed by November’s mass shooting at a church in Texas.
The move to merge the two pieces of legislation makes it a difficult vote for Democrats.
Second Amendment advocates maintain that gun owners should not lose their right to bear arms as they travel across state lines, and current laws that vary in different states could mean that licensed owners might unintentionally violate the law. Under the proposed law, gun owners would be required to abide by the local and state regulations in place for concealed weapons.
The part of the legislation that aims to update background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, held bipartisan support when it was being considered by the House Judiciary Committee, after more than 20 people were killed at the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
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The gunman in that shooting was a former member of the Air Force, and had been imprisoned for domestic abuse. This information hadn’t been relayed by the Air Force to the NICS, which should have prevented him from buying the guns he used in the crime.

Former Conyers aide: ‘Most of us’ have seen him in his underwear

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Former Conyers aide: ‘Most of us’ have seen him in his underwear

  • Weiner defended Conyers’ “surly moments” with staffers

(CNN)A former top communications aide to Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan offered a defense of his former boss amid Tuesday growing allegations of sexual harassment, saying it wasn’t uncommon for staffers to accidentally see the congressman in his underwear.

One former employee, Melanie Sloan, came forward with allegations last week, including one instance where Conyers called her to his office when he was in his underwear.
“I was pretty taken aback to see my boss half-dressed,” she told The Washington Post. “I turned on my heel and I left.”
Bob Weiner, who served as Conyers’ communications director from 1994 to 2000, spoke to reporters and photographers assembled outside the Congressman’s office, disputing Sloan’s allegations.
“Something else that people need to know: his closet is in his office right here. He changes clothes in his office. Most of us have walked in on him accidentally without knocking and have seen him in his underwear. Big deal. That’s where his closet is, he changes his clothes there. So to say that somebody came to a meeting and that’s how it was, that’s an untrue statement. That is the kind of thing that needs to be explored before there’s any acceptance to that kind of an allegation,” Weiner said, later clarifying that all members of Congress have closets in their offices.
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Weiner also defended Conyers’ “surly moments” with staffers, saying that is commonplace among politicians. “That’s not sexist. That’s just being aggressive as the member of Congress or the Cabinet member or the VIP that you are. It has nothing to do with being anti-women. I got it too.”
The House Ethics Committee announced last week it has opened an investigation into allegations against Conyers after BuzzFeed reported that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after allegedly sexually harassing a staffer. Conyers denied wrongdoing in that case, but acknowledged that there had been a financial settlement to that complaint. Another former staffer, Deanna Maher, told CNN that Conyers made three sexual advances toward her when she worked for him in his district office in Detroit from 1997 to 2005. Through his lawyer, Conyers also denied wrongdoing in that case.
Conyers stepped down from his position as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday.
Weiner said he was going to recommend that Conyers hold a town hall in Detroit on how should men and women act in the workplace: “And let him say, I want to learn, I want to do better, and let him have that kind of a learning experience.”
Weiner, who also helped set up Conyers’ leadership PAC, said the mood in the congressman’s office is “very depressed” and current staffers are hoping he can complete his term amid growing pressure to resign.
“His staff is very depressed and think that people are trying to make the die cast against him, and everybody’s trying to work out statements of what to say that’s the right thing to say and it’s very complicated,” he said. “People are hoping that the die hasn’t been cast too far too soon already, and as I said, the staff is hoping very much that, at a minimum, that he gets the chance to complete his term as a member of Congress. That’s the objective right now of the staff.”

Explicit Barton image raises possibility of ‘revenge porn’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Explicit Barton image raises possibility of ‘revenge porn’

Nude photo goes viral, congressman apologizes

(CNN)After a sexually explicit photo of Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton surfaced this week on an anonymous Twitter account, the congressman — one of the most senior members of the House of Representatives — is raising the possibility that he’s the victim of “revenge porn,” a criminal act in Texas.

The anonymous tweet, circulated this week on social media, included a nude image of the congressman — which he does not deny is legitimate.
Sarah Dodd of Dodd Communications, who is helping Barton respond to the image, confirmed that the image is of him and on Wednesday the Congressman apologized for not using “better judgment” while separated from his wife and in consensual relationships with women.
“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton said in a statement first reported by The Texas Tribune. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
But Dodd told CNN that Barton did not release the image himself and does not know who did.
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“It’s really a violation of his privacy,” she said.
Wednesday evening, an unnamed woman came forward to The Washington Post, telling the newspaper that Barton sent her lewd photos, videos and messages when they had two sexual encounters over the course of five years.
In a 2015 phone call, Barton allegedly confronted the woman over her communications with other women, including her decision to share explicit materials he had sent, the Post reported.
The woman shared that secretly recorded phone call with the paper and, according to the Post, in that call, he warned her against using the explicit images he had sent her, in a way that would negatively affect his career — vowing that he would go to the Capitol Hill police over her actions.
The woman told the Post she took that phone call as a threat, and she never had any intention to use the materials to retaliate against Barton.
Barton, in a statement released through a spokesman, says it was to stop her from publicly releasing the images as “revenge porn.” Revenge porn — when sexually explicit images are posted online without consent — was outlawed in Texas in 2015.
“The Dallas Morning News has identified a potential crime against me and the transcript referenced in the Washington Post may be evidence,” he said. “This woman admitted that we had a consensual relationship. When I ended that relationship, she threatened to publicly share my private photographs and intimate correspondence in retaliation. As the transcript reflects, I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation. Today, the Capitol Police reached out to me and offered to launch an investigation and I have accepted. Because of the pending investigation, we will have no further comment.”
CNN has not independently confirmed the woman’s account, nor independently viewed the videos or message.
“I was in it for the politics connection,” the woman said of their relationship, in The Washington Post.
“I was kind of unwittingly drawn into it with him because of just the amazement of having a connection to a congressman,” she said, according to the Post.
Barton, the longest-serving member of the Texas House delegation, had announced plans to seek re-election to Congress earlier this month. Dodd said that Barton “is not resigning.”
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said that the Wisconsin Republican had spoken to Barton, adding, “We will keep those conversations between the two of them.”
She declined to elaborate on the specifics of their exchange.
Dodd said that Barton is using her firm to handle this matter rather than his congressional office because “it’s the holiday weekend” and there have been “a lot of calls” about the image and he needed the “extra help.”
Dodd would not comment as to whether Barton expects other images to surface.

Republican Texas Congressman of 32 Yrs Sends His Naked Pictures On Twitter

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Texas Rep. apologizes for not having ‘better judgment’ after anonymous tweet of graphic image

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Barton announced plans to seek re-election to Congress earlier this month
  • He is the longest serving member of Congress from Texas

Washington (CNN)Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton on Wednesday apologized for not using “better judgment” while separated from his wife and in consensual relationships with women.

The statement comes in response to an anonymous tweet that included a nude image of Barton. Sarah Dodd of Dodd Communications, who is helping Barton respond to the image, confirmed that the image is of him.
“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Barton said in a statement first reported by The Texas Tribune. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
Dodd told CNN that Barton did not release the image himself and does not know who did.
“It’s really a violation of his privacy,” she said.
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Barton, the longest serving member of the Texas House delegation, had announced plans to seek re-election to Congress earlier this month. Dodd said that Barton “is not resigning.”
AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, said that the Wisconsin Republican had spoken to Barton, adding, “We will keep those conversations between the two of them.”
Dodd said that Barton is using her firm to handle this matter rather than his congressional office because “it’s the holiday weekend” and there have been “a lot of calls” about the image and he needed the “extra help.”
Dodd would not comment as to whether Barton expects other images to surface