Pro-Life Activist Will Appeal Planned Parenthood Undercover Video Verdict

The pro-life activist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting operations is planning to appeal a jury’s verdict in favor of the abortion giant.

On Friday, a California jury ruled that Center for Medical Progress head David Daleiden must pay $2.2 million to Planned Parenthood after he published a series of undercover videos in which employees candidly discussed harvesting and selling body parts from aborted babies. Daleiden’s attorneys said they are already planning an appeal, saying the lawsuit threatens the First Amendment.

“This case puts the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech on trial. It tests the sacred tenet of freedom of the press,” Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society said in a press release. “Planned Parenthood decided that it was above the law. Planned Parenthood was wrong, and I am confident that we will win on appeal.”

The jury found that Daleiden, an undercover journalist, is required to pay the damages to compensate for Planned Parenthood’s security costs and because the undercover journalism caused substantial harm to the organization.

Daleiden has argued that his undercover techniques were no different than those employed by traditional journalism organizations, pointing to a 2000 ABC News report in which 20/20 reporters posed as organ buyers.

Pro-life groups criticized the verdict, as well as federal judge William Orrick’s handling of the trial. Daleiden’s attorneys had called on the Obama appointee to recuse himself from the case, citing his involvement with a charity that works directly with Planned Parenthood. Orrick instructed the jury before deliberations that Daleiden illegally trespassed during the course of his investigation, according to the Daily Wire.

“I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations. Because I determined that these defendants trespassed, the law assumes that Planned Parenthood has been harmed and is entitled to an award of nominal damages such as one dollar for each trespass,” Orrick told the jury.

Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress criticized the verdict as “a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country.”

Daleiden faces both civil and criminal litigation. He is charged with recording the Planned Parenthood employees under false pretenses. The criminal case, which was launched by then-California attorney general Kamala Harris, is ongoing.

Planned Parenthood praised the verdict and criticized Daleiden for waging a “malicious campaign” against the abortion provider.

“David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress intentionally waged a multi-year illegal effort to manufacture a malicious campaign against Planned Parenthood,” the organization said in a release. “The jury recognized today that those behind the campaign broke the law in order to advance their goals of banning safe, legal abortion in this country, and to prevent Planned Parenthood from serving the patients who depend on us.”

The National Abortion Federation also praised the decision in a statement. The group described the pro-life activists as extremists and called on elected officials to “treat them like the criminals that they are.”

Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, a pro-life group, praised the decision to appeal the verdict.

“David Daleiden and those who helped to expose Planned Parenthood’s gruesome baby body parts trafficking scheme should immediately appeal today’s guilty verdict, which surely belongs instead to the $1.5 billion dollar abortion corporation that kills over 900 preborn children every day,” she said in a statement.

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Cocaine-Carrying Texas Dem Turns Himself In

Texas Democratic state representative Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez turned himself in Thursday after a video surveillance camera captured him dropping a cocaine-filled bag at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

“I do not have anyone to blame but myself,” he said in a statement. “I accept this because it is true, and it will help me get better.”

Nevárez was arrested and released with bond set at $10,000, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Surveillance footage from Sept. 6 revealed that he had dropped “a white paper object” as he walked out of the airport. Two Texas Department of Transportation employees found the envelope, and a later investigation determined that it contained cocaine.

Nevárez, who announced earlier this month that he would not seek reelection, confirmed the news on Thursday.

“In a weird way I am grateful. Grief and addiction were consuming me, but oddly enough, I feel better now than I have in a long time, and I mean that,” Nevárez said, adding he would seek treatment for his addiction.

Nevárez could face up to 10 years in prison, Fox 7 Austin reports.

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Impeachment Hearings Are Boring. No One Cares. Get Over It.

The journos are at it again. They are paid to pretend that politics is fascinating and meaningful, that they are indispensable members of an indispensable institution without which democracy itself would cease to exist. Some of them actually believe it. Suggestions to the contrary typically result in collective tantrums and self-validating screeds on Twitter, the popular social networking platform.

In this particular instance, our nation’s journalists were set off by the (accurate) suggestion, included in the reporting of some of their fellow journalists, that the impeachment hearings taking place in Congress were “dull” and lacked “pizzazz.”

Because journalists personally enjoy writing and reading about themselves, and tweeting inside jokes to other journalists, “pizzazz”-gate produced a tidal wave of journo-centric content on the world wide web.

Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein, an employee of Democratic primary candidate Michael Bloomberg who is herself supposed to be reporting on the Democratic primary, posted a popular take on the “controversy” that summed up the aggrieved sentiment percolating through the cold hearts of political journos and other politics-obsessed members of “The Resistance.”

Jonathan Allen of NBC News, one of the offending journalists who dared to imply that most normal, well-adjusted Americans were unlikely to be as riveted by congressional hearings as the D.C. media establishment was, “clapped back” in the comments after being urged to “consider the consequences of reporting on how entertaining you find the presentation.”

“Consequences” being the operative word. Because everything the media does is assumed to be consequential, given its pivotal role in the democratic process—that of explaining to the impressionable, unwashed masses how to think (and why to care) about the inscrutable goings-on in our nation’s capital. The thought that most people just aren’t that impressed by the political media’s tedious, soul-crushing, circle-jerking shenanigans has never occurred to them.

Vox, for example, explained why everything depends on the media’s analysis of political events:

That sort of framing isn’t just a self-fulfilling analysis signaling to prospective news consumers that they can safely tune out the unexciting impeachment hearings. It’s also, as anyone who remembers lengthy cable news shots of Trump’s empty podium can attest, the exact sort of fixation on entertainment and optics over substance that played a key role in helping Trump win in 2016 in the first place. But if you hoped that major outlets learned something from that experience, the framing of the NBC and Reuters dispatches about the first public impeachment hearing was disappointing.

Maybe that’s right, and every word a “major outlet” publishes is a powerful “signal” to the American people about how to think and how to vote. Maybe the media’s actual influence is … less than they imagine it be. Who’s to say?

The American public’s trust in the media is certainly less than the media would like to admit. A recent Gallup survey found that just 13 percent of Americans trust the media “a great deal,” with 28 percent expressing “a fair amount” of trust. Here’s what Gallup found when they asked about the American public’s confidence in television news in particular:

Lack of confidence aside, we do know that about 14 million people watched the first day of impeachment hearings on television, or about 6 percent of the U.S. voting population. That’s significantly less than the 19 million viewers who tuned in to watch former FBI director James Comey testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May 2017.

The vast majority (10.6 million) of those who watched the impeachment hearings on television were over the age of 55. CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter surmised that younger viewers “were more likely to stream it and/or soak up the info like sponges,” whatever that means.

The most watched networks for coverage of the impeachment hearings were also the most partisan ones—Fox News and MSNBC. Maybe that’s because the people least inclined to find the hearings boring, which they objectively are, are the rabid partisans who aren’t going to change their votes and, for some reason, require a constant dose of masochistic validation for their enduring belief that Trump/Democrats is/are saving/destroying the country.

In case it is relevant, the Gallup survey found that, among independent voters, trust in the media has fallen from 53 percent in 1997 to just 36 percent in 2019. Who, exactly, are the readers being poorly served (allegedly) when reporters use words like “dull” and “pizzazz” to describe dull hearings that lack pizzazz? You know, apart from other journalists and the anti-Drumpf partisans.

The replies to Epstein’s rant about how two journalists published “unsophisticated” takes at this time of grave national importance are revealing, and often hilarious. Scroll through if you want to get a sense of the people who are outraged at the suggestion that their fellow Americans might not be so enthralled by the events taking place on Capitol Hill. For example:

This person whose bio includes the hashtags #StillWithHer and #Kamala2020:

This cat person who plans to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho:

This “radical feminist bitch”:

This “Proud #NeverTrump ‘human scum'” with an Evan McMullin-themed avatar:

This “progressive political junkie”:

And so on and so forth:

Maybe most other people have better things to do with their time. Good for them. The hearings are boring. Cable news is atrocious. Some people will read or watch the recaps later. Some might even have a fair amount of trust in our media institutions, even if they don’t deserve it.

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Serial Groper Al Franken Mingles With Wealthy Democratic Donors

Al Franken

Disgraced Democratic senator Al Franken was spotted on Wednesday mingling with top Democratic Party donors in Washington, D.C.—just two months after a ninth woman emerged to accuse the comedian turned lawmaker of sexual harassment and two years after Democratic donors took steps to prevent sexual harassment in their own ranks.

While Franken appears to have no formal role in the Democracy Alliance’s three-day program, which featured current lawmakers and professional activists, the Free Beacon spotted him glad-handing with members of the exclusive group over cocktails. The former Minnesota senator, who has been on a rehabilitation tour since his resignation early last year, is set to host a SiriusXM radio show and told the New Yorker in July that he regretted his decision to step down.

Franken’s appearance among the left’s top donors suggests he is still warmly regarded by party leaders and activists who have themselves taken steps to condemn and prevent sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

A document obtained by the Free Beacon shows the Democracy Alliance’s board of directors moved on Nov. 15, 2017, to create new program participation guidelines urging participants not to “subject others to unwanted sexual advances, coercion or bullying of a sexual nature.”

Democracy Alliance ‘Program Participant Agreement’ on sexual assault by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd

Democracy Alliance president Gara LaMarche told the Free Beacon that many people attended to the event’s opening reception on Wednesday who were not invited to remainder of the conference, but did not respond to a request for comment about Franken specifically.

“We generally do not comment on who comes to the conference or doesn’t, but we held a big opening reception to which many organizational and political leaders were invited, and a number of folks came to that who are not otherwise invited or part of the conference program,” LaMarche said in an email. Franken did not respond to a request for comment.

His appearance in Washington comes just six weeks after after a ninth woman, who identified herself only as a former Democratic congressional staffer, came forward to accuse Franken of unwanted groping.

The woman, a former aide to Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), said that she was working the photo line at an event where Franken was the featured speaker. While she was taking a photograph with Franken, she told New York magazine, “he puts his hand on my ass. He’s telling the photographer, ‘Take another one. I think I blinked. Take another one.’ And I’m just frozen. It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red. I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable.”

Democracy Alliance’s guidelines have been printed for attendees at each of the group’s meetings since late 2017 and are included in the agenda for the ongoing conference, which is taking place at the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington ,D.C.

Image from Democracy Alliance’s Fall 2019 Investment Conference agenda / Free Beacon

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WaPo: Warren Hides Wealth Tax Costs in New Ad

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) will tax the wealthy at triple the rate she advertises, according to a Washington Post fact check.

Warren, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, claimed in a campaign ad released Wednesday that billionaires will only pay two cents per dollar under her wealth tax plan. However, Warren has also called for a 6 percent tax to help fund her Medicare for All plan.

The ad shows clips of billionaires criticizing Warren. The senator is then shown speaking at a campaign event as she describes the rationale behind her wealth tax. Warren says those who build a “great fortune” ought to “pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance.” In the clip, she does not mention that her plan now calls for 6 percent taxes on any individual net worth valued at more than $1 billion.

In the ad, Warren was likely discussing her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” plan that imposes a 2 percent tax on wealth earned above $50 million.

Over the past few months, the Massachusetts senator has faced pressure to explain how she would pay for her costly Medicare for All plan. She repeatedly dodged questions on whether middle-class taxes would go up. On Nov. 1, Warren announced the cost of government-controlled health care would be funded in part by a 6 percent wealth tax on billionaires.

“By asking billionaires to pitch in six cents on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion, we can raise an additional $1 trillion in revenue,” Warren’s campaign website says.

Warren campaign spokesperson Saloni Sharma defended the ad despite its inaccuracies.

“This video makes clear that billionaires need to pay a wealth tax,” Sharma said. “It also makes clear that a person with a gigantic fortune of over $50 million will pay 2 cents on every dollar of net worth to pay for the programs listed in the video: universal child care, universal pre-K, cancelling student loan debt, and universal free college. We’re more than happy to talk about how other components of the wealth tax will be used to lower health care costs for millions of Americans and help pay for Medicare for All.”

The Washington Post gave Warren’s ad three Pinocchios.

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Buttigieg Blasts Warren’s ‘Transparently Political’ Health Care Plan

South Bend, Ind., mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D.) ripped Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D., Mass.) new health care plan, saying she “still doesn’t trust the American people” to make decisions for themselves.

The statement, put out by communications adviser Lis Smith, described Warren’s plan as a “transparently political attempt to paper over a very serious policy problem,” criticizing Warren for wanting “to force 150 million people off their private insurance whether they like it or not.”

“No amount of Washington political games can save her plan from that fatal flaw: she still doesn’t trust the American people to make the right health care decisions for themselves,” the campaign concluded.

Warren’s plan would transition the American health care system to a “Medicare for All” system over the first three years of her term as president. It proposes using budget reconciliation to pass the massive overhaul. The reconciliation process effectively bypasses the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold to enact spending, tax, or debt-limit legislation.

The plan would let Americans opt in a Medicare-based public option before the end of the three-year period. After three years, every American would be integrated into the new Medicare for All program.

“I won’t hand Mitch McConnell a veto over my health care agenda,” the plan reads. “Instead, I’ll give every American over the age of 50 the choice to enter an improved Medicare program, and I’ll give every person in America the choice to get coverage through a true Medicare for All option.”

The “choice” language is similar to Buttigieg’s proposed “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan, which would also allow individuals to opt in to a public health insurance program.

Warren and Buttigieg have clashed in recent weeks over the issue of health care. Buttigieg criticized Warren’s funding plan for her Medicare for All proposal, calling the math behind the plan “controversial.”

A recent Iowa poll showed the South Bend mayor moving into first place in the state over former vice president Joe Biden, Warren, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), respectively. However, both Biden and Warren were within the poll’s margin of error.

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Taylor Swift Attacks Heroic ‘March For Our Lives’ Organizer

Country music singer Taylor Swift took to Twitter Thursday to attack music producer Scooter Braun, the visionary genius behind both Justin Bieber and the March For Our Lives protest.

Braun paid more than $300 million in June to acquire Swift’s former recording label, Big Machine Label Group, as well as the rights to Swift’s catalog. Now Swift alleges that Braun and former Big Machine executive Scott Borchetta are blocking her from performing her early songs at the upcoming American Music Awards as it would count as a “re-recording” of those songs, something she cannot legally do until next year.

“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished,” tweeted Swift, star of the upcoming Cats movie. “This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans.”

Swift told fans she was “asking for your help” to “let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.” But as Swift did not provide contact information for either men, Borchetta and Braun were promptly doxxed on social media by her rabid supporters.

The attack on Braun comes despite the fact that he and actor George Clooney were the silent “force” behind the March For Our Lives gun control rally in Washington, D.C., in 2018. TMZ reported that the person running the t-shirt sales and fundraising efforts for the march worked directly for Braun.

Braun’s tweets from the time also indicated that he supported and marched alongside the Parkland students who served as the public face of the campaign.

Swift’s blindside of Braun comes after the formerly apolitical star attacked Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and endorsed her Kavanaugh-supporting male Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen in the 2018 Tennessee Senate race. Bredesen lost the election, despite Swift’s widely covered get-out-the-vote efforts on his behalf.

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Abrams: ‘The Electoral College Is Racist’

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams called the Electoral College “racist” during remarks Friday at the National Press Club.

“The Electoral College is racist and classist,” Abrams said. “We have to remember the Electoral College was not designed because people were worried about Idaho not having enough votes. We didn’t know about Idaho. What we did know was that in the south, the populations in the south had equal or roughly equal populations to the north. However, because black people were not considered human or citizens, they wanted their bodies to count for the purposes of the population count but not their humanity.”

The Electoral College was born out of that compromise, Abrams said. She added states in the north didn’t want immigrants or those who were poorly educated to have a say in who picked the president either.

“It’s racism and classism,” she said. “Both of those things should be flung to the far reaches of history and the Electoral College needs to go.”

Abrams is one of a growing number of prominent Democrats who have called for the Electoral College’s abolition following President Donald Trump’s victory in spite of a popular-vote loss to Hillary Clinton. Trump’s win marked only the fifth time the presidential victor did not win a plurality of the popular vote.

Clinton called for the end of the Electoral College in 2017, saying it was time to “respect the will of the people.” Presidential candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg (D.) have also called for it to be eliminated. Such a maneuver would require the heavy lift of a constitutional amendment, making such a change unlikely any time soon, if ever.

Abrams has become a Democratic star since her narrow loss in the Georgia governor’s race in 2018. She never conceded defeat, claiming Republicans and her opponent Brian Kemp engaged in systematic voter suppression. She has turned down calls to run for Senate or for president, instead focusing on her voting rights initiative.

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Atlantic Council Gives Saudi Agent Prime Perch to Peddle Influence in Washington

Amir Handjani

A registered foreign agent for Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund recently authored a piece for Foreign Policy magazine lavishing praise on the Gulf monarchy without disclosing his financial relationship to the government.

A May piece by Amir Handjani, then a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, bears the headline, “Saudi Arabia Has Big Plans in India.” The piece touts the Saudi regime’s investments on the Indian subcontinent, arguing that they fit “nicely in a growing Asian portfolio” and are symbolic of a larger Saudi attempt to balance its longstanding relationship with Pakistan with greater engagement in India.

Left unsaid was that Handjani was a registered foreign agent for the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, which is wholly owned by the Saudi monarchy, according to forms filed with the Department of Justice. KARV Communications, which employed Handjani as a senior adviser, has a contract with the fund that covers public relations advice and outreach to U.S. media.

Contacted by the Washington Free Beacon, Foreign Policy editor in chief Jonathan Tepperman said the publication has a “conflict-of-interest policy” and was aware that Handjani had a relationship with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. “We should have disclosed this connection,” he said. They have since amended the story with an update indicating that “Foreign Policy should have disclosed to readers that the author was consulting for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, work that required him to register as a foreign agent. We regret our oversight.”

“We require disclosure of all potential conflicts, and if we deem the conflict to be material, then we either disclose it or decide not to run the piece,” Tepperman said.

Handjani did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

A 2014 New York Times exposé revealed how foreign governments often deploy financial support for American think tanks and media to influence American opinion, leading many such organizations to institute additional transparency requirements. The Handjani article suggests that loopholes persist for those willing to skirt the law.

The Foreign Agent Registration Act requires those working on behalf of foreign principals to register with the Justice Department and to disclose their work on behalf of their foreign clients—whom they’ve contacted, any gifts they’ve received, and how they’re being compensated.

Handjani registered as a foreign agent of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in February, and while disclosures from his firm, KARV Communications, noted “emails and phone calls with Foreign Policy magazine” between April 23 and April 25, 2019, neither disclosed Handjani’s authorship of an op-ed. Nor did KARV Communications file the op-ed with the Justice Department in supplemental filings.

“The law requires that public articles reveal the foreign agent status of the author if written in the course of that representation,” said Trevor Potter, founder and president of the Campaign Legal Center and an attorney with Caplin & Drysdale. “The whole point of FARA is to ensure that American readers know that the information they are receiving was paid for by a foreign entity with its own agenda.”

The forms Handjani and his firm filed with the Department of Justice did disclose that the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, in addition to delivering monthly payments of as much as to $228,000, also sent a foosball table for the KARV offices.

Handjani’s Foreign Policy piece focuses on Saudi Aramco’s energy investments. Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, recently announced plans to go public and claims that much of the profits will flow to the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

An October report from the Free Beacon revealed that Handjani has also worked as an adviser to Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, “the ruler” of Ras al Khaimah, one of the United Arab Emirates. Emails read in open court in the U.K. in August of 2019 showed Qasimi’s top advisers consulting with Handjani and others about how to target their foes. The emails surfaced during a lawsuit between an Iranian-American businessman and Ras al Khaimah’s sovereign wealth fund, which is itself represented by Handjani’s firm.

Through an attorney, Handjani demanded that the Free Beacon publicly apologize for the piece, noting that he is “a board member of the prestigious Atlantic Council where he has also served as resident fellow and a non-resident fellow.”

Handjani, who is no longer a fellow—resident or nonresident—at the Atlantic Council but remains a member of the influential think tank’s board of directors, is a frequent contributor to media outlets from Al-Monitor to the Lawfare blog and POLITICO Magazine and has appeared on several panels alongside Atlantic Council scholars.

A spokesman for the Atlantic Council told the Washington Free Beacon, “We encourage staff, fellows, and board members to use their affiliation in the media. When individuals publish comments on issues where they have an outside interest, or where they are taking a personal stance, we ask they disclose that or not use their Atlantic Council affiliation.”

His views on Saudi Arabia seem to have evolved. In a 2017 piece in Al-Monitor, written before Handjani registered as a foreign agent for the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, he took a markedly different tone toward the regime, arguing that its policies in the broader Middle East had been “miserable failures”—and specifically chastising the government for “confronting Iran.”

Handjani is a prolific donor to the Atlantic Council, where his personal foundation has given $200,000 to the organization’s Future of Iran Initiative since 2016 and where he himself donated between $100,000 and $250,000 last year, according to public filings. He also serves as president of PG International Commodity Trading, which conducts sanctions-exempt trade with Iran on behalf of Cargill International, according to public documents.

Handjani did not disclose his financial relationship with the Future of Iran Initiative when he coauthored a piece with its director, Barbara Slavin, in POLITICO Magazine in September of 2017.

“You see a lot of business people being able to use their think tank affiliation to obscure the fact that they might have a business interest in the policies they’re advocating, which is why we’d like to see much more transparency,” said Mandy Smithberger, director of the Military Reform Program at the Project on Government Oversight.

The New York Times piece revealed how foreign governments have used think tanks to shape American policy by funding programs at organizations from the Atlantic Council to the Brookings Institution to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Scholars there said they had at times found their views muzzled when those views were at odds with the donors to their organizations.

The Atlantic Council moved to disclose its donors when President Barack Obama tapped its former board chairman, Chuck Hagel, to be his secretary of defense in 2013. Other institutions have in recent years also begun to disclose their corporate donors, who are offered special access to think tank scholars and events.

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Pelosi Takes Break From Impeachment to Address Top Dem Donors

Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) slipped away from the impeachment hearings on Friday to deliver a closed-door briefing to the nation’s most powerful network of liberal donors and activists, according to an agenda obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Pelosi appeared Friday afternoon at the annual fall meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive coalition of more than 100 millionaire and billionaire donors, currently huddled at D.C.’s posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel to plot its upcoming agenda leading up to the 2020 elections. The sessions, which are closed to the press and open only to members of the Alliance, began Wednesday and will run until Saturday.

The documents obtained by the Free Beacon show that Pelosi was slated to discuss “what lies ahead” for Democrats and answer any questions that the deep-pocketed donors and activists may have.

“The most powerful and accomplished woman in American political history, now in the most critical position in Washington as we fight to save our democracy, returns to the DA to share her thinking about what lies ahead and answer Partner questions,” the group’s agenda reads.

Full Democracy Alliance Age… by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd

Democracy Alliance president Gara LaMarche declined to say whether Pelosi would discuss impeachment efforts during her Friday appearance but said before the session that the group’s partners were “eager to hear her thoughts on matters before Congress.”

“She’s one of a number of political leaders coming to speak with the DA Partners, as she has done a number of times over the years,” LaMarche said in an email. “Our Partners admire her leadership and are eager to hear her thoughts on matters before Congress.”

Pelosi has been linked to the group as far back as 2013 and most recently appeared at the donor club’s 2017 fall investment conference in California alongside liberal billionaire George Soros, a cofounder and partner of the Democracy Alliance, where the group mapped out its upcoming resistance against President Donald Trump and Republicans.

Pelosi’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also made himself available during this week’s conference, attending a Wednesday night partners-only forum, according to the agenda.

The elite donor club receiving inside information from powerful Democratic members of Congress is nothing new. Last November, top House Intelligence Committee Democrat Adam Schiff (Calif.) delivered a closed-door briefing to the Democracy Alliance, and earlier this year House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler (N.Y.) attended the group’s spring investment conference to speak on impeachment investigations into President Donald Trump.

Pelosi is not the only prominent Democrat appearing at the Alliance’s fall gathering.

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rep. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Washington governor Jay Inslee, and failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams were also on hand. Former president Barack Obama will also deliver a “fireside chat” Friday evening.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) were not included in the agenda but were spotted mingling with progressive leaders and Alliance members at the Mandarin Oriental Wednesday night.

“We generally do not comment on who comes to the conference or doesn’t, but we held a big opening reception to which many organizational and political leaders were invited, and a number of folks came to that who are not otherwise invited or part of the conference program,” LaMarche said.

Liberal outlet Vox has referred to the Democracy Alliance as “the closest thing that exists to a ‘left-wing conspiracy’ in the U.S.” The donor group has poured $1.83 billion into progressive infrastructure since its inception in 2005 and mapped out an additional $275 million in hopes of flipping state legislatures across the country and defeating Trump in 2020.

LaMarche, in a letter to conference attendees, called the 2020 election “the most important election of our lifetimes.”

“We need to address the critical challenges of our time and ward off the dystopian future of a second Trump term,” LaMarche wrote. “This really is the most important election of our lifetimes.”

The group is undertaking sessions at its current gathering that include “deep dive” breakouts on its investment strategy in the “key states” of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The Alliance also touched on structural goals, including the use of ballot measures, “layered voter contact,” and the expansion of its recent tactics in Virginia—described as the group’s “campaign laboratory”—to other states.

The agenda also speaks of Alliance members who have undertaken a 2020 campaign and have met with presidential candidates and organized virtual forums focused on education.

Members are each obligated to spend at least $200,000 annually on approved groups. In confidential documents on the group’s 2020 goals handed out to its members earlier this year, the group said its state victory fund previously drove $195 million into 15 states and recruited 343 new national and state donors to their initiative to “build and sustain an independent ecosystem of state-based political power.”

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