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New bill would have exposed alleged conflicts in Biden, Trump presidencies

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From The Center Square

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Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have faced ongoing ethics questions in recent years, but a new bill seeks to bring any such problems to the surface much sooner.

A new bipartisan piece of legislation would require presidents and vice presidents to disclose gifts received, conflicts of interest, foreign financial dealings and more ethical gray areas within two years of taking office.

Biden has faced ongoing investigations into his family’s alleged financial dealings with entities in Ukraine, China and other nations that benefited family members by more than $20 million. House Oversight Chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., says the money was funneled through several bank accounts to hide its source and that some of the funds went to President Biden himself.

Some of the Biden family’s alleged dealings date back to his time as vice president.

Trump and his family have faced questions over the former president’s business deals in the U.S., his tax returns, and his family’s alleged interaction with Russians. Trump currently is in a trial over alleged “hush money” payments to Stormy Daniels.

“The American people deserve nothing less than full honesty and transparency from presidents and vice presidents,” U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., said in a statement. “By boosting transparency and requiring additional financial disclosures, Congress can shine a light on improper conduct in the Executive Branch – or be confident that none occurred. These reforms will help restore Americans’ trust in government and strengthen our democracy.”

The bill would also require the disclosure of tax returns, questionable loans taken out, as well as when family members accompany them for travel or receive gifts or loans.

“The Presidential Ethics Reform Act is landmark bipartisan legislation that delivers the transparency and accountability the American people deserve to ensure our public offices are not for sale,” U.S. Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement. “Influence peddling is a cottage industry in Washington and we’ve identified deficiencies in current law that have led to a culture of corruption.”

The Center Square Voter’s Voice poll released earlier this year found that only 22% of Americans would say Biden is innocent of the corruption claims against him. The rest thought he was guilty or were unsure.

As The Center Square previously reported, the poll reported that 21% of surveyed likely voters named “government corruption” as one of the top three most important issues for them. Corruption came in higher than some key issues such as national security or access to health care but lower than illegal immigration and economic issues such as inflation.

“By creating this bipartisan legislation to provide greater transparency to the financial interactions related to the office of the president and vice-president, we can ensure that moving forward American presidents, vice presidents, and their family members cannot profit from their proximity to power,” Comer said.

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More officials issue ‘imminent terrorist attack’ warnings

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Foreign nationals illegally enter the U.S. from Canada. 

From The Center Square

The greatest number of KSTs to ever be apprehended in U.S. history was in fiscal 2023 of 736; with the majority, 487, apprehended at the northern border, including an Iranian with terrorist ties, The Center Square first reported. In response, members of the U.S. House Northern Border Security Caucus called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to secure the northern border.

Another member of Congress has warned a terrorist attack is imminent. This latest warning comes after a former CIA director argued that similar warning signs exist today that did before the 9/11 terror attack occurred.

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday, “We are at the highest level of a possible terrorist threat” resulting from Biden administration policies.

He issued the warning after eight foreign nationals traveling from Tajikistan with ties to ISIS were arrested. The men were released into the country by U.S. Border Patrol agents after they were apprehended for illegally entering the U.S. through the southwest border.

Under current administration policy, instead of processing inadmissible illegal foreign nationals for deportation, they are released into the U.S. with “notice to appear” documents for a future immigration court date. The agents claimed they didn’t have information tying them to ISIS when they “vetted” and released them. However, “law enforcement subsequently became concerned with their presence in the U.S. and took action,” CBS News reported.

FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces and Department of Homeland Security agents arrested the eight alleged terrorists in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York. They are currently in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody pending removal proceedings.

Turner said, “what’s important about these reports” is that a terrorism threat is “no longer speculative, no longer hypothetical.”

He also referred to warnings issued by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who in April testified before Congress that Islamic terrorist threats and national security threats were coming through the border. In March, he testified that smuggling organizations with ties to ISIS were coming through the border and the FBI was investigating, The Center Square reported.

Turner said his committee members “have con-concurred on the intelligence that we’re seeing that as a result of the administration’s policies allowing people to cross the border unvetted. We have terrorists that are actively working inside the United States that are a threat to Americans.”

His warning came after an Inspector General report found that Department of Homeland Security agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol, are not vetting illegal foreign nationals due to a range of problems, The Center Square reported.

“This administration, by their own policy, are then allowing those individuals in instead of fully vetting them, fully understanding what the risk is the United States and for the fact that they’re letting them in, and … they’re entering the United States through the southern border illegally. And that’s what the threat is,” Turner said. “That’s what Director Wray is identifying, and is bringing forward. This administration’s policies are directly resulting in people who were in the United States illegally, who have ties to terrorist groups and organizations, and this is a threat.”

Former deputy director of the CIA Mike Morel also recently warned that a terrorist attack could occur in the next few months ahead of the election. In an op-ed published by Foreign Affairs, he drew parallels to warnings issued ahead of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to today, saying the “terrorism warnings lights are blinking red again.”

Terrorist threat warnings also continue after GOP House members have demanded answers about U.S. military base breaches by Jordanian and Chinese men after they illegally entered the country, The Center Square reported.

Republican Senators have also warned that because of President “Joe Biden’s open border policies, our country is really at an increased threat for a terrorist attack,” calling on him to close the border.

After claiming for years the border was secure and no border crisis existed, Biden just announced a new “border security” plan. Border experts pointed out it would codify policies he implemented that created the crisis and will allow another two million illegal entries, The Center Square reported.

Terrorist threat concerns continue to mount as CBP agents have apprehended a record number of known or suspected terrorists (KSTs), with the majority at the northern border, The Center Square first reported.

The greatest number of KSTs to ever be apprehended in U.S. history was in fiscal 2023 of 736; with the majority, 487, apprehended at the northern border, including an Iranian with terrorist ties, The Center Square first reported. In response, members of the U.S. House Northern Border Security Caucus called on DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to secure the northern border.

This fiscal year through May 15, the majority of KSTs, 173, have been apprehended at the northern border, according to CBP data.

Former acting director of ICE Tom Homan has been warning for some time of a likely terrorist attack because of Biden administration policies. He told The Center Square that Biden is the only president in U.S. history to “unsecure the border on purpose. … and has created the greatest national security crisis since 9/11.”

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More than 12 million illegal border crossers since fiscal 2021

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