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WATCH: Jerry Nadler refused to admit the Democrats plan to pack the Supreme Court

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Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, avoided answering Rep. Jim Jordan‘s, R-OH, question on whether Democrats were planning to expand the Supreme Court during a Wednesday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

Jordan, while citing an report from The Intercept, said to Nadler, “It’s been reported that the Democrats will be introducing legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 members to 13 members and that you (Nadler) and two of our members on this committee will be sponsoring that legislation, is that accurate?”

Nadler refused to answer Jordan’s question and Jordan was told that it wasn’t an appropriate time to be asking that question.

“That is not the subject of the markup,” Nadler said.

“A report that the chairman is going to be sponsoring legislation is not something to be talked about on the House Judiciary Committee?” Jordan fired back. “If you don’t think it’s important about Democrats trying to expand the size of the Supreme Court… I think that’s a pretty important issue.”

Following the hearing, it was reported that congressional democrats are planning to unveil legislation to expand the court on Thursday.

The bill will be led by Nadler and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, according to NBC News. It will be co-sponsored by Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Mondaire Jones of New York.

“Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows. To restore power to the people, we must #ExpandTheCourt. That’s why I’m introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 with @RepJerryNadler, @RepHankJohnson, and @SenMarkey to add four seats to SCOTUS,” Jones tweeted.

GOP leaders slammed the Democrats’ court-packing plans.

“Packing the court goes against everything we believe as Americans. But make no mistake: this is about power and control. Democrats want to dismantle our institutions, including the courts, to enact their socialist agenda,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted.

“Packing the court is an act of arrogant lawlessness. Those behind this effort spit in the face of judicial independence,” Sen. Mike Lee tweeted.

“On court packing: ” … it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question … the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court,” Lee continued.

“Do you know who spoke those words?” Lee asked.

“Joe Biden.”

Congress has the power to change the number of Supreme Court justices, although it has remained at nine since 1869.

Democrats are expected to announce the bill outside the Supreme Court building on Thursday.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence

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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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