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Trump Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director

The security clearance of a former Central Intelligence Agency director was revoked Wednesday by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said in a statement that John Brennan had been sowing “division and chaos” about his administration.

The clearances of other former officials also were under review, including those of former U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. 

“Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already their lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said to reporters Wednesday, reading out the statement in the president’s name.

Sarah Sanders Reads Trump Statement Revoking Clearances

Sanders, responding to reporters’ questions, denied that Brennan and others were being singled out because they were critics of Trump.

The president’s statement accused Brennan of “erratic conduct and behavior” that “has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.” It also accused Brennan of “a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.” 

Brennan has been extremely critical and outspoken about the president’s conduct. For example, he called Trump’s performance at a joint press conference last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland ​ “nothing short of treasonous.”

Brennan, on Twitter, termed Trump’s action Wednesday part of a broader effort “to suppress freedom of speech and punish critics,” adding that it “should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out.”

Brennan, who spent 25 years with the CIA, concluded: “My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.” 

“Two things, in my view, are true at the same time,” Carmen Medina, former CIA deputy director of intelligence,  told VOA. “It was unwise for Brennan to be so vitriolic in his comments — unwise but not illegal. And it is an abuse of power for Trump to revoke clearances, unless he can prove misuse of classified information, which I don’t think he can.”

Such former top officials, as a matter of courtesy, retain their government clearances so that they may be able to consult with current government officials or take outside positions for contracted entities that are involved with sensitive intelligence matters.

An official with knowledge of the process told VOA that senior intelligence officials “had no hand in this, no role in this.” 

Both the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency referred to the White House all questions from VOA about the matter.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, applauded the president’s action, saying he had urged the president to do so because Brennan’s “behavior in government and out of it demonstrate why he should not be allowed near classified information.”

“He participated in a shredding of constitutional rights, lied to Congress, and has been monetizing and making partisan political use of his clearance since his departure,” Paul said in a statement.

​Danger seen to free speech, security

But critics of the move to strip Brennan’s clearance called it a threat to free speech and even national security.

“It’s unprecedented. I don’t know of a case where this has ever been done in the past,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on CNN. 

Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who had been appointed to top intelligence posts by both Republican and Democratic presidents, called Trump’s action “an infringement of our right to speak and apparently the appropriateness of being critical of this president, in which one degree or another all of us have been.”

Clapper noted he’d had no access to intelligence information since he left government on the day Trump was inaugurated, succeeding Barack Obama.

The threat to pull his security clearance, Clapper added, would not silence him. “I don’t plan to stop speaking when I’m asked my views on this administration,” Clapper said on CNN.

Retired General Michael Hayden, who headed both the CIA and NSA during his career, said losing his clearance would “have a marginal impact” on the work he’s doing now. He also said fear of losing that clearance wouldn’t stop him from speaking his mind.

“With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write,” he said in an emailed statement.

Most of the names on the list that Sanders read “have been open or outspoken about the administration or have directly run afoul of it,” Clapper said.

The current administration has questioned the loyalties of such officials, viewing their comments as attacks against the president, especially those focusing on the intelligence findings that Russia intervened in the 2016 election won by Trump.

Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA officer now with Georgetown University in Washington, told VOA that arguments could be made for and against former senior officials retaining security clearances after they’ve left those positions.  But he added that the decision should not be made because of opinions they express.

Politicization of process

“Deciding on such a basis represents a corruption and politicization of an important national security process,” Pillar said. “The harm to U.S. national security comes from that corruption, much more so than from not being able to get advice in classified channels from John Brennan or any other former official. What’s to stop Trump from politicization of the clearance process for currently serving officials?”

A former CIA deputy director, John McLaughlin, speaking on MSNBC after Sanders read the names, said, “The message that goes out is: Be careful what you say” about Trump. 

McLaughlin said it was critical for intelligence professionals, especially those still in their jobs, to be able to deliver unpleasant news to a president, and he expressed hope that Trump’s action would not have a chilling effect on those who brief the president.

“This has zero to do with national security. This is an Official Enemies List. The offense: exercising 1st Amendment rights,” tweeted Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general of the Justice Department, which oversees federal law enforcement.

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Trump Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director

The security clearance of a former Central Intelligence Agency director was revoked Wednesday by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said in a statement that John Brennan had been sowing “division and chaos” about his administration.

The clearances of other former officials also were under review, including those of former U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. 

“Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already their lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said to reporters Wednesday, reading out the statement in the president’s name.

Sarah Sanders Reads Trump Statement Revoking Clearances

Sanders, responding to reporters’ questions, denied that Brennan and others were being singled out because they were critics of Trump.

The president’s statement accused Brennan of “erratic conduct and behavior” that “has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.” It also accused Brennan of “a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.” 

Brennan has been extremely critical and outspoken about the president’s conduct. For example, he called Trump’s performance at a joint press conference last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland ​ “nothing short of treasonous.”

Brennan, on Twitter, termed Trump’s action Wednesday part of a broader effort “to suppress freedom of speech and punish critics,” adding that it “should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out.”

Brennan, who spent 25 years with the CIA, concluded: “My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.” 

“Two things, in my view, are true at the same time,” Carmen Medina, former CIA deputy director of intelligence,  told VOA. “It was unwise for Brennan to be so vitriolic in his comments — unwise but not illegal. And it is an abuse of power for Trump to revoke clearances, unless he can prove misuse of classified information, which I don’t think he can.”

Such former top officials, as a matter of courtesy, retain their government clearances so that they may be able to consult with current government officials or take outside positions for contracted entities that are involved with sensitive intelligence matters.

An official with knowledge of the process told VOA that senior intelligence officials “had no hand in this, no role in this.” 

Both the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency referred to the White House all questions from VOA about the matter.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, applauded the president’s action, saying he had urged the president to do so because Brennan’s “behavior in government and out of it demonstrate why he should not be allowed near classified information.”

“He participated in a shredding of constitutional rights, lied to Congress, and has been monetizing and making partisan political use of his clearance since his departure,” Paul said in a statement.

​Danger seen to free speech, security

But critics of the move to strip Brennan’s clearance called it a threat to free speech and even national security.

“It’s unprecedented. I don’t know of a case where this has ever been done in the past,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on CNN. 

Clapper, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who had been appointed to top intelligence posts by both Republican and Democratic presidents, called Trump’s action “an infringement of our right to speak and apparently the appropriateness of being critical of this president, in which one degree or another all of us have been.”

Clapper noted he’d had no access to intelligence information since he left government on the day Trump was inaugurated, succeeding Barack Obama.

The threat to pull his security clearance, Clapper added, would not silence him. “I don’t plan to stop speaking when I’m asked my views on this administration,” Clapper said on CNN.

Retired General Michael Hayden, who headed both the CIA and NSA during his career, said losing his clearance would “have a marginal impact” on the work he’s doing now. He also said fear of losing that clearance wouldn’t stop him from speaking his mind.

“With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write,” he said in an emailed statement.

Most of the names on the list that Sanders read “have been open or outspoken about the administration or have directly run afoul of it,” Clapper said.

The current administration has questioned the loyalties of such officials, viewing their comments as attacks against the president, especially those focusing on the intelligence findings that Russia intervened in the 2016 election won by Trump.

Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA officer now with Georgetown University in Washington, told VOA that arguments could be made for and against former senior officials retaining security clearances after they’ve left those positions.  But he added that the decision should not be made because of opinions they express.

Politicization of process

“Deciding on such a basis represents a corruption and politicization of an important national security process,” Pillar said. “The harm to U.S. national security comes from that corruption, much more so than from not being able to get advice in classified channels from John Brennan or any other former official. What’s to stop Trump from politicization of the clearance process for currently serving officials?”

A former CIA deputy director, John McLaughlin, speaking on MSNBC after Sanders read the names, said, “The message that goes out is: Be careful what you say” about Trump. 

McLaughlin said it was critical for intelligence professionals, especially those still in their jobs, to be able to deliver unpleasant news to a president, and he expressed hope that Trump’s action would not have a chilling effect on those who brief the president.

“This has zero to do with national security. This is an Official Enemies List. The offense: exercising 1st Amendment rights,” tweeted Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general of the Justice Department, which oversees federal law enforcement.

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Ilhan Omar Closer to Becoming First African Refugee in Congress

Minnesota state lawmaker, 35-year-old Ilhan Omar, is closer to making history as the first refugee from the African continent, and the second Muslim American woman, elected to the U.S. Congress. She is seeking to replace Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American in the body, who currently represents the liberal Minneapolis district that favors Democrats. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports those supporting Omar ultimately hope she influences the debate over U.S. immigration and foreign policy.

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Ilhan Omar Closer to Becoming First African Refugee in Congress

Minnesota state lawmaker, 35-year-old Ilhan Omar, is closer to making history as the first refugee from the African continent, and the second Muslim American woman, elected to the U.S. Congress. She is seeking to replace Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American in the body, who currently represents the liberal Minneapolis district that favors Democrats. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports those supporting Omar ultimately hope she influences the debate over U.S. immigration and foreign policy.

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Ilhan Omar Closer to Becoming First African Refugee in Congress

The foundation of Democrat Ilhan Omar’s historic primary election win to represent Minnesota’s 5th District in the U.S. Congress was built on a simple campaign message.

 

“I am a millennial with student debt,” the 35-year-old state lawmaker told an audience in a crowded auditorium at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs during a pre-election forum with two of her competitors, both of them older.

 

“And a renter,” she added, someone who isn’t ready, or can’t yet afford, to purchase a home.

 

It was a simple yet effective message by Omar, conveying that — despite her origins in Somalia and the hijab upon her head — she was just like the many younger, progressive and liberal voters she needed to court in the Congressional district she seeks to represent.

 

It was ultimately a winning message, both now… and two years ago when she first made history in her election (which her campaign says saw increased voter turnout by 37 percent) to the Minnesota state House of Representatives.

“Before Ilhan, I think a lot of us didn’t know what type of government we had, but now that she was elected, a lot of us started paying attention,” says 25-year-old Somali American Khalid Mohamed. “She represented us at the state level and we saw how productive she was.”

 

Mohamed is just one of the tens of thousands of Somali Americans who voted on this primary election day for Ilhan Omar, who is one step closer to making history as the first elected refugee from the African continent — and the second Muslim American woman — to join the body. She follows in the footsteps of Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American in Congress, who currently represents this Minneapolis Congressional District, but stepped down to pursue the state’s Attorney General’s office — an election which he too also won the same night as Omar.

 

“Around America it might seem odd that one of the whitest states in the country would be sending its second Muslim to Congress,” says University of Minnesota Professor Larry Jacobs. “But not so in Minnesota,” a state that is home to the largest number of Somali refugees in the United States. But Jacobs says their votes are only part of Ilhan’s success story.

 

“That is not enough to prevail in a district in which Somalis really numerically are not a large number and in this race were split with another Somali candidate,” Jacobs told VOA. “What Omar has been able to do for the second time now in a few years is build a broad coalition that includes progressives who agree with her Bernie Sanders light agenda and people who believe the Democratic Party needs to become more diverse and welcome in new voices.”

 

New voices that have new — and old — challenges to face.

 

“Right now I am well equipped to organize against an administration that is using the politics of fear to further their divisive and destructive policies at a time when our nation is at a dangerous crossroads,” Omar explained to the crowd during the candidate forum. She is the Democrat’s Assistant Minority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and has spoken out against family separations at the U.S. border. She is also a critic of the Trump administration’s so-called “Muslim Ban.”

 

Khalid Mohamed agrees with Omar’s policy positions, and hopes her personal experience coming from a Kenyan refugee camp will shape the ongoing debate in Congress over U.S. immigration policy.

 

“As a refugee,” says Mohamed, “she had experienced the struggles of being a refugee, and the vetting process, and something Donald Trump has not understood quite well.”

 

“In my last race I talked about what that win would mean for that eight year old girl in that refugee camp,” Ilhan Omar emotionally explained to the jubilant crowd gathered for her primary election night victory party, acknowledging her improbable journey from Kenyan refugee camp to the doorstep of the U.S. Capitol. “And today, I still think about her. I think about the hope and optimism, of all those 8 year olds out of the country. And around the world.”

 

Many in Minnesota’s Somali Muslim American community are refugees like her, and Omar’s election represents an opportunity to change public perceptions — and misperceptions — about their circumstances, and their faith.

 

“Often our community are deemed as not very supportive of in terms of gender, especially towards females or women,” says 25-year-old voter Khalid Mohamed. “It would show the world and everyone in the state of Minnesota, that we often uplift and encourage Somali women, Muslim women, to run for offices… to be part of the democracy that we have here in America… to participate and also to vote. It will showcase that often the media portrays us that we oppress our women as a Muslim community – we always tell them what to do and they don’t have a freedom – but that would totally tell a different narrative today.”

 

Mohamed also believes that Omar’s election sends a message of hope to not just a larger religious community, but an entire continent.

 

“For her to be the first African born congresswomen, I think it’s a big deal on the continent,” he said. “It sends a message to everyone from Africa… that you might be a refugee, you might have come here as an immigrant, but you have rights, and you can be whoever you want as long as you put the work in.”

Work that begins for Omar after a November general election that she is also likely to win, as the district she seeks to represent heavily favors Democratic candidates.

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Ilhan Omar Closer to Becoming First African Refugee in Congress

The foundation of Democrat Ilhan Omar’s historic primary election win to represent Minnesota’s 5th District in the U.S. Congress was built on a simple campaign message.

 

“I am a millennial with student debt,” the 35-year-old state lawmaker told an audience in a crowded auditorium at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs during a pre-election forum with two of her competitors, both of them older.

 

“And a renter,” she added, someone who isn’t ready, or can’t yet afford, to purchase a home.

 

It was a simple yet effective message by Omar, conveying that — despite her origins in Somalia and the hijab upon her head — she was just like the many younger, progressive and liberal voters she needed to court in the Congressional district she seeks to represent.

 

It was ultimately a winning message, both now… and two years ago when she first made history in her election (which her campaign says saw increased voter turnout by 37 percent) to the Minnesota state House of Representatives.

“Before Ilhan, I think a lot of us didn’t know what type of government we had, but now that she was elected, a lot of us started paying attention,” says 25-year-old Somali American Khalid Mohamed. “She represented us at the state level and we saw how productive she was.”

 

Mohamed is just one of the tens of thousands of Somali Americans who voted on this primary election day for Ilhan Omar, who is one step closer to making history as the first elected refugee from the African continent — and the second Muslim American woman — to join the body. She follows in the footsteps of Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American in Congress, who currently represents this Minneapolis Congressional District, but stepped down to pursue the state’s Attorney General’s office — an election which he too also won the same night as Omar.

 

“Around America it might seem odd that one of the whitest states in the country would be sending its second Muslim to Congress,” says University of Minnesota Professor Larry Jacobs. “But not so in Minnesota,” a state that is home to the largest number of Somali refugees in the United States. But Jacobs says their votes are only part of Ilhan’s success story.

 

“That is not enough to prevail in a district in which Somalis really numerically are not a large number and in this race were split with another Somali candidate,” Jacobs told VOA. “What Omar has been able to do for the second time now in a few years is build a broad coalition that includes progressives who agree with her Bernie Sanders light agenda and people who believe the Democratic Party needs to become more diverse and welcome in new voices.”

 

New voices that have new — and old — challenges to face.

 

“Right now I am well equipped to organize against an administration that is using the politics of fear to further their divisive and destructive policies at a time when our nation is at a dangerous crossroads,” Omar explained to the crowd during the candidate forum. She is the Democrat’s Assistant Minority leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and has spoken out against family separations at the U.S. border. She is also a critic of the Trump administration’s so-called “Muslim Ban.”

 

Khalid Mohamed agrees with Omar’s policy positions, and hopes her personal experience coming from a Kenyan refugee camp will shape the ongoing debate in Congress over U.S. immigration policy.

 

“As a refugee,” says Mohamed, “she had experienced the struggles of being a refugee, and the vetting process, and something Donald Trump has not understood quite well.”

 

“In my last race I talked about what that win would mean for that eight year old girl in that refugee camp,” Ilhan Omar emotionally explained to the jubilant crowd gathered for her primary election night victory party, acknowledging her improbable journey from Kenyan refugee camp to the doorstep of the U.S. Capitol. “And today, I still think about her. I think about the hope and optimism, of all those 8 year olds out of the country. And around the world.”

 

Many in Minnesota’s Somali Muslim American community are refugees like her, and Omar’s election represents an opportunity to change public perceptions — and misperceptions — about their circumstances, and their faith.

 

“Often our community are deemed as not very supportive of in terms of gender, especially towards females or women,” says 25-year-old voter Khalid Mohamed. “It would show the world and everyone in the state of Minnesota, that we often uplift and encourage Somali women, Muslim women, to run for offices… to be part of the democracy that we have here in America… to participate and also to vote. It will showcase that often the media portrays us that we oppress our women as a Muslim community – we always tell them what to do and they don’t have a freedom – but that would totally tell a different narrative today.”

 

Mohamed also believes that Omar’s election sends a message of hope to not just a larger religious community, but an entire continent.

 

“For her to be the first African born congresswomen, I think it’s a big deal on the continent,” he said. “It sends a message to everyone from Africa… that you might be a refugee, you might have come here as an immigrant, but you have rights, and you can be whoever you want as long as you put the work in.”

Work that begins for Omar after a November general election that she is also likely to win, as the district she seeks to represent heavily favors Democratic candidates.

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Key Midwestern US States Pick Candidates for November Election

The races for U.S. political offices became further defined Tuesday with the latest round of primary elections setting up congressional battles in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In Wisconsin, Republicans chose state lawmaker Leah Vukmir to go up against Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is trying to earn a second term in office.

Vukmir has the support of President Donald Trump, who just ahead of Tuesday’s primaries also voiced approval for Governor Scott Walker in his re-election campaign. Democrat Tony Evers won the Democratic primary to face Walker in November.

Republican voters chose Bryan Steil, a former aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan, as their candidate to replace Ryan when he retires at the end of the current term. Steil will face Democratic candidate Randy Bryce to represent the congressional district in a suburb of Milwaukee.

Democrats seem to be particularly energized in Wisconsin, where Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win in 32 years, although by one percentage point, in the 2016 elections.

In the November election, all 435 House of Representatives seats, 35 of 100 Senate seats, and 36 of 50 governors’ offices will be up for election. Democrats must win 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate to gain control of those chambers.

In Minnesota, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has been critical of Trump, saw his campaign to reclaim his old job end Tuesday as the one-time favorite in the race lost the Republican primary to county commissioner Jeff Johnson. Democrats chose Congressman Tim Walz as their candidate for governor.

Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota’s attorney general on Tuesday after his campaign was rocked by recent allegations of domestic violence.

Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress, and in the race to fill the seat he is vacating Democrats picked state representative Ilhan Omar, the nation’s first Somali-American legislator as their candidate. She will go up against Republican Jennifer Zielinski for a seat Democrats have held since 1960.

Senator Tina Smith won the Democratic primary to seek her first full term after taking office to replace fellow Democrat Al Franked who resigned in December amid multiple allegations of unwanted sexual touching. Smith will face Republican state senator Karin Housley.

Primary contests were also held in the heavily Democratic northeastern states of Vermont and Connecticut.

Democrats selected Christine Hallquist as their nominee for governor in Vermont as he tries to become the nation’s first transgender governor. She will face Republican incumbent Phil Scott, who has strong support in his re-election bid.

And Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran for president in 2016, won the Democratic primary for his seat, but is expected to turn down that nomination and continue as an independent.

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Key Midwestern US States Pick Candidates for November Election

The races for U.S. political offices became further defined Tuesday with the latest round of primary elections setting up congressional battles in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In Wisconsin, Republicans chose state lawmaker Leah Vukmir to go up against Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is trying to earn a second term in office.

Vukmir has the support of President Donald Trump, who just ahead of Tuesday’s primaries also voiced approval for Governor Scott Walker in his re-election campaign. Democrat Tony Evers won the Democratic primary to face Walker in November.

Republican voters chose Bryan Steil, a former aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan, as their candidate to replace Ryan when he retires at the end of the current term. Steil will face Democratic candidate Randy Bryce to represent the congressional district in a suburb of Milwaukee.

Democrats seem to be particularly energized in Wisconsin, where Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win in 32 years, although by one percentage point, in the 2016 elections.

In the November election, all 435 House of Representatives seats, 35 of 100 Senate seats, and 36 of 50 governors’ offices will be up for election. Democrats must win 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate to gain control of those chambers.

In Minnesota, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has been critical of Trump, saw his campaign to reclaim his old job end Tuesday as the one-time favorite in the race lost the Republican primary to county commissioner Jeff Johnson. Democrats chose Congressman Tim Walz as their candidate for governor.

Rep. Keith Ellison won the Democratic nomination for Minnesota’s attorney general on Tuesday after his campaign was rocked by recent allegations of domestic violence.

Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress, and in the race to fill the seat he is vacating Democrats picked state representative Ilhan Omar, the nation’s first Somali-American legislator as their candidate. She will go up against Republican Jennifer Zielinski for a seat Democrats have held since 1960.

Senator Tina Smith won the Democratic primary to seek her first full term after taking office to replace fellow Democrat Al Franked who resigned in December amid multiple allegations of unwanted sexual touching. Smith will face Republican state senator Karin Housley.

Primary contests were also held in the heavily Democratic northeastern states of Vermont and Connecticut.

Democrats selected Christine Hallquist as their nominee for governor in Vermont as he tries to become the nation’s first transgender governor. She will face Republican incumbent Phil Scott, who has strong support in his re-election bid.

And Sen. Bernie Sanders, who ran for president in 2016, won the Democratic primary for his seat, but is expected to turn down that nomination and continue as an independent.

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Democratic West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Resigns Hours After Impeachment

A Democratic Supreme Court justice in the U.S. state of West Virginia said hours after she was impeached Tuesday that she was retiring, triggering a special election for her replacement and denying the Republican governor a chance to name her successor.

The citizens of West Virginia now “will be afforded their constitutional right to elect my successor in November,” Justice Robin Davis said as she announced her departure at the state capital.

Davis announced her resignation after being impeached for committing wrongful acts, including spending $500,000 on office renovations.

The House of Delegates voted Monday to impeach all four remaining justices over spending issues. They will be brought to trial in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, as is the House.

Davis said their impeachment was a travesty of justice and a brazen attempt by one branch of government to seize control over another.

Justice Menis Ketchum retired earlier this year. Any of the three remaining justices who are considering resigning must do so by the Tuesday deadline in order for their replacements to be decided in a November special election. Gov. Jim Justice will appoint replacements who will serve until the election.

All four justices were impeached for failing to control expenses and for not maintaining policies over matters involving state vehicles, working lunches and the use of office computers at home.

 

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Democratic West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Resigns Hours After Impeachment

A Democratic Supreme Court justice in the U.S. state of West Virginia said hours after she was impeached Tuesday that she was retiring, triggering a special election for her replacement and denying the Republican governor a chance to name her successor.

The citizens of West Virginia now “will be afforded their constitutional right to elect my successor in November,” Justice Robin Davis said as she announced her departure at the state capital.

Davis announced her resignation after being impeached for committing wrongful acts, including spending $500,000 on office renovations.

The House of Delegates voted Monday to impeach all four remaining justices over spending issues. They will be brought to trial in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, as is the House.

Davis said their impeachment was a travesty of justice and a brazen attempt by one branch of government to seize control over another.

Justice Menis Ketchum retired earlier this year. Any of the three remaining justices who are considering resigning must do so by the Tuesday deadline in order for their replacements to be decided in a November special election. Gov. Jim Justice will appoint replacements who will serve until the election.

All four justices were impeached for failing to control expenses and for not maintaining policies over matters involving state vehicles, working lunches and the use of office computers at home.

 

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