In a recent television appearance, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal stirred controversy and faced intense criticism from fellow Democrats for her remarks seemingly downplaying reported sexual violence by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women.
The contentious comments come amid disturbing accounts of rape and brutal assaults following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on October 7, with prominent Democrats expressing outrage and demanding unequivocal condemnation.
According to reports from Fox News, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida called for a forceful denouncement of sexual violence and condemning any attempt to create moral equivalence between Hamas and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The accusations of rape and sexual assault have sparked concern about the well-being of Israelis still held hostage by Hamas.
During her appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Jayapal faced scrutiny for not outright condemning Hamas for the alleged acts, instead emphasizing the broader impact of war on women.
Furthermore, the comments drew swift criticism, with Representative Ritchie Torres of New York insisting on the need for unequivocal condemnation of sexual violence against Israeli women.
Despite Jayapal’s history of advocating against sexual violence, her recent remarks have led to a significant intra-party clash, with Democrats challenging the notion of finding a balance or moral equivalence in addressing such sensitive matters.
The controversy underscores the complexities that arise when lawmakers navigate geopolitical conflicts while upholding principles of justice and human rights. As tensions escalate within the party, the incident highlights the broader challenges of maintaining a unified front on contentious global issues.
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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