Longtime Dem senator rails against big companies’ ‘greedflation,’ but donor records show another story

Longtime Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey has made "greedflation" and rising prices at stores a key election platform in 2024, but donor records reviewed by Fox News Digital show he’s benefited from the big stores he rails against on the campaign trail. 

"Bob Casey calls it greedflation, and he's fighting back," an ad published in March by the campaign says. 

"My plan gives the Federal Trade Commission the power to punish corporate price gouging. Let's roll back their huge tax breaks to put money where money it belongs, in your pocket," Casey says in the ad. 

Another ad, published in April, detailed that chicken, toilet paper and cereal prices have all increased, pinning blame on "big corporations."

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Fox News Digital reviewed Casey’s donor contributions and found that despite sounding the alarm that chicken prices have increased by 35%, the Casey campaign received $9,000 from a PAC representing the largest poultry producer in the U.S., Cargill Inc., since 2017, Federal Election Commission data shows

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"Toilet paper up 10% — profits increased $100 million," an April ad declares. The corporate PAC of the company Procter and Gamble, the company behind Charmin, has donated $15,500 to Casey’s campaign since 2017, according to FEC data.

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Casey has also benefited from massive cereal producer Kellogg’s despite slamming cereal companies for providing the "same packaging, smaller box, familiar logo, fewer servings amid the inflation woes under the Biden administration."

A review of FEC data shows PACs associated with Kellogg’s donated a combined $16,000 to Casey’s campaign since 2017. 

Kellogg's PAC, the Kellogg Company Better Government Committee, no longer exists after Kellogg's split into two companies last year. The PAC that WK Kellogg Co. manages has since donated $1,000 to Bob Casey for Senate. 

"CEOs sneak around, downsize favorite brands, charging more for less. Same packaging, smaller box, familiar logo, fewer servings," Casey said in the April ad. 

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Casey campaign, asking if he plans to return the donations in light of railing against the big companies and their CEOs. 

"Bob Casey is an independent fighter who will always stand up for working people against corporate greed and companies ripping off Pennsylvanians," Maddy McDaniels, spokesperson for Bob Casey for Senate, told Fox News Digital. 

The two ads did not cite the companies by name, but Casey has previously called out the corporations in various Senate reports published by his office.

"One of the sneakiest examples of shrinkflation is a change made to Dawn Ultra & Dawn Ultra Platinum dish soap. Proctor & Gamble [sic], the makers of Dawn, reduced the formerly 7-ounce dish soap to 6.5 ounces but left the bottle the same physical size with the same price. They simply filled the bottle with slightly less liquid and hoped families would not notice. The following year, P&G reported it did not see a need to offer sales or price cuts and celebrated returning '$3.8 billion of cash to shareowners via approximately $2.3 billion of dividend payments and $1.5 billion of common stock repurchases," Casey wrote in his shrinkflation report published in 2023. 

"Frosted Flakes: Kellogg raised prices on its products over 14 percent between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023," Casey's Greedflation from November detailed.  

Inflation has fallen considerably since its peak in 2022 at 9.1%, the highest rate since 1981, and now sits at more than 3%, which is still higher than the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2%. The economy and inflation under the Biden administration has since become a top voting issue heading into the 2024 election

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"Even as inflation has slowed, families are still paying higher prices, thanks to corporate greed, or greedflation. Under the guise of inflation, corporations are raising prices on American families and raking in record profits to boot. From July 2020 through July 2022, inflation rose by 14 percent while corporate profits rose by more than 74 percent — nearly five times the rate of inflation," Casey adds on his official Senate page. 

Casey has served in the Senate since 2007 and is anticipated to have one of the most closely watched races this year as he faces off against Republican challenger Dave McCormick. 

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"It’ll be a close, tough race," Casey told NBC earlier this year. "But, look, there’s a lot on the line every time. Every time I’ve run for public office in Pennsylvania, I’ve had to earn the vote and the trust of the people. And I got to do that again."

McCormick’s campaign released an ad this week detailing the Bronze star recipient’s time at West Point.  

"I went to West Point with Dave McCormick, and Dave stood out as a leader there in every way," former U.S. Army Captain Cliff Harris said in the video. "In the classroom. And as an athlete. Dave McCormick embodies the values of duty, honor and country that are instilled in us at West Point." 

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Various polls from the last month show Casey ahead of McCormick, though the Republican challenger has recently closed in on the Democrat as the election season further intensifies.

Dem senator’s claim downplaying border crisis resurfaces after staffer killed by illegal immigrant

Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., claimed that there were "no open borders," just two days before the migrant arrested in a deadly car accident that killed her adviser illegally entered into the U.S.

In a resurfaced video from March 10, 2021, a month when Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported over 170,000 migrant encounters at the border, Cortez Masto is seen telling MSNBC that there was "a lot of misinformation" surrounding the southern border crisis.

"There's no open border," the Democrat Senator claimed. "As someone who was attorney general for eight years, my state worked very closely on the border with Mexico. There are no open borders."

Just two days later, on March 12, 2021, an illegal immigrant by the name of Elmer Rueda-Linares reportedly entered at or near the Rio Grande City, Texas, Port of Entry without inspection by an immigration official, ICE confirmed to Fox News Digital. That same migrant would go on to be arrested in connection with the death of one of Cortez Masto's own senior advisers.

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Kurt Englehart, senior advisor to Cortez Masto, was killed in a car collision south of Downtown Reno, Nevada, on April 6, 2024. Rueda-Linares, the illegal migrant driving the vehicle that collided with Englehart, was arrested and charged with failing to stop at the scene of the accident.

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CBP noted that encounters increased by 71 percent over February 2021 in March of that year, the same month Cortez Masto made the claim about the border.

Also that month, Fox News Digital reported that CBP agents had encountered a "large group" of illegal immigrants near Las Lomas, Texas, apprehending 134 illegal immigrants who had come to the southern border from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

When asked about the 2021 comment, a spokesperson for Cortez Masto stated that the Senator "has repeatedly pushed for additional border security funding under both the Trump and Biden administrations." Cortez Masto signed a letter in 2020 that demanded the reversal of Trump-era border policies, "condemning the Trump Administration for its harmful policies that have dismantled the United States’ asylum system."

"Senator Cortez Masto has repeatedly pushed for additional border security funding under both the Trump and Biden administrations and voted in February for the bipartisan border security package that Donald Trump and Senate Republicans refused to consider," Lauren Wodarski, spokesperson for Cortez Masto, told Fox News Digital in a statement. "To indicate otherwise is a distortion of her record."

In February 2021, Cortez Masto voted against an amendment that would prioritize "taking into custody aliens charged with a crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury."

Again in August 2021, Cortez Masto voted against establishing "a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to ensuring that the Department of Homeland Security, pursuant to Title 42, United States Code, conducts expulsions of illegal immigrants who may contribute to the spread of COVID-19, including any of the dangerous variants originating overseas, in order to protect the public health of the American People, save American lives, and assist in eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States." 

The Senator has since cosponsored pieces of legislation that seek to combat the ongoing fentanyl crisis. In 2024, Cortez Masto cosponsored the Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act "to improve border security, imposing new reporting requirements relating to border security, and enhancing criminal penalties for destroying or evading border controls," as well as signing onto the bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act with GOP Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

Most recently, the Democrat voted to dismiss the articles of impeachment filed against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border crisis.

Republicans in the House unveiled articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in January, claiming that the Biden administration secretary has "repeatedly violated laws enacted by Congress regarding immigration and border security."

"In large part because of his unlawful conduct, millions of aliens have illegally entered the United States on an annual basis with many unlawfully remaining in the United States," Republicans alleged. "Alejandro N. Mayorkas knowingly made false statements to Congress that the border is 'secure,' that the border is ‘no less secure than it was previously,’ that the border is 'closed,' and that DHS has ‘operational control’ of the border."

Cortez Masto called the impeachment inquiry a "waste of time." 

"There is no evidence that @SecMayorkas committed high crimes and misdemeanors, so I voted to end this waste of time," the Senator said in an April 17 post on X. "Republicans could have made real policy changes, but they decided to play games and killed the bipartisan border package in favor of this frivolous impeachment."

During the Senate's meeting Wednesday on the dismissal of impeachment articles against Mayrokas, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, appeared to mention the incident in which Cortez Masto's staffer was killed as an example of ramifications of the ongoing southern border crisis. 

"The consequences of our open border policy can touch all of us," Lee said. "One of our dear, respected colleagues having lost a beloved staff member in the last few days. Having lost that staff member as a consequence of the actions taken by an immigrant in this country, who was here unlawfully, who shouldn't have been here. That's a troubling thing."

Fox News' Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.

GOP senator eyes legislation to defund ‘propagandist’ NPR after suspension of whistleblower

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is planning to propose new legislative action that would threaten to cut National Public Radio's (NPR) federal funding if passed, prompted by the news that it suspended an editor who went viral for exposing the outlet's partisan uniformity in its newsroom.

The Tennessee Republican is weighing a variety of legislative options to take on federal funding that goes to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides funding to NPR in the form of grants. She is specifically looking to prevent NPR from benefiting from public funds, due to what her office characterized as left-wing bias. 

"The mainstream media has become obsessed with doing the Left’s bidding and taking down strong conservatives — and NPR has led the pack," Blackburn said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "It makes no sense that the American people are forced to fund a propagandist left-wing outlet that refuses to represent the voices of half the country. NPR should not receive our tax dollars’."

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Blackburn previously looked to sever the government's funding to NPR in 2011 when she was serving in the House of Representatives. At the time, the Republican-controlled House passed a measure that sought to cut $50 million from CPB.

"The time has come for us to claw back this money," Blackburn reportedly said at the time.

CPB is "fully funded by the federal government," per the nonprofit's website. The organization provides funding in the form of grants to both NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The grants to NPR are used for its international bureaus and distribution infrastructure that provides content to all public radio stations. 

NPR veteran editor Uri Berliner was recently suspended without pay from NPR following his public criticism of his employer. The suspension was made public on Tuesday but began last Friday, according to NPR media reporter David Folkenflik. The organization reportedly told Berliner on Thursday that his punishment was a final warning, and that if he violated NPR's policy on employees seeking approval to do work for other news outlet, he would be fired.

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"I love NPR and feel it's a national trust," Berliner said in an interview with Folkenflik. "We have great journalists here. If they shed their opinions and did the great journalism they're capable of, this would be a much more interesting and fulfilling organization for our listeners."

The senior NPR business editor said he made several attempts to relay his concerns before choosing to publish an essay in the Free Press, but they weren't heard by the organization's leadership.

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In Berliner's scathing review of his employer's ideological homogeneity, he revealed that there were "87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions" at the Washington, D.C., headquarters "and zero Republicans. None."

He said that such a lack of viewpoint diversity seeped into the outlet's coverage, criticizing NPR's approach to a variety of prominent stories over the years, including allegations that former President Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, the laptop belonging to President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and the theory that COVID-19 was triggered by a lab leak in China.

A spokesperson for Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, said that he is also trying to advance legislation in the House to defund NPR that he has introduced on multiple occasions, including the current Congress.

Jackson is actively seeking more co-sponsors for his bill and is pushing House leadership to consider it in the wake of recent events.

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., similarly told Fox News Digital in a statement, "I think Congress should exercise oversight of NPR, especially in light of the recent whistleblower’s allegations and subsequent suspension."

"Taxpayers fund NPR, and it should be a source that provides a truly neutral and balanced perspective," he said. "That can only be achieved through a politically diverse staff, otherwise, it is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the Democrat party."

"Sen. Cassidy was clear that Congress should end public funding for NPR," a spokesperson for Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said in a statement. "Our office is exploring options to do so." 

NPR did not provide comment in time for publication.

GOP hope for Mayorkas impeachment trial dims as Senate Dems look for quick dismissal

As the Senate waits for the House to deliver its articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, multiple Democrats expressed their expectation to Fox News Digital that they will be dismissed quickly, and a full trial will not play out. 

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., told Fox News Digital he "of course" thinks his fellow Democratic colleagues will move to table the articles when they are officially delivered to the Senate and lawmakers are sworn in to be jurors. 

"It's entirely political," he said. "They've never shown any evidence of any kind of impeachable offense and then impeached him in the House anyway. It's ridiculous."

During the House Republicans' retreat this week, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., revealed, "We've not sent it over yet. And the very simple answer for that, and the reason for it, is because we're in the middle of funding the government in the appropriations process."

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He noted that there is a small window in which the Senate will be required to process the articles, and "we didn't want to interrupt the Senate and their floor time and their deliberation on appropriations, because we've risked shutting the government down."

According to Johnson, they will be delivered in "due course."

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In a narrow second attempt at impeaching Mayorkas last month, the House was successful. By a vote of 214-213, two articles of impeachment were approved against the DHS secretary. One accused him of having "refused to comply with Federal immigration laws" and the other of having violated "public trust."

Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.; Ken Buck, R-Colo.; and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., voted against the impeachment. 

The first attempt to pass the articles was brought down by four Republican defections, one of which was a procedural move by Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, which allowed the resolution to be brought back to the floor. 

"I expect it will be dismissed" by the Democratic caucus, Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., told Fox News Digital.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., similarly shared that he is hoping for a "quick dismissal."

Also urging the Senate to get past the impeachment articles, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said, "Let's turn the page and move on and deal with the problems and challenges that we face," calling the impeachment both "nonsense" and "shameful behavior."

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Democrats are in the majority in the Senate and will ultimately decide how the body moves forward once the articles are delivered. And since it would only require a simple majority to table the impeachment, the upper chamber may opt to do so. 

Their Republican counterparts signaled an expectation that Democrats will move to table the articles. 

"I assume the Democrats will try and table it," said Republican Whip John Thune, R-S.D., who added his conference will do "everything we can to get them to conduct a trial."

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Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she has heard "rumors" that Democrats were interested in tabling it. "I don't expect a full trial to happen at this point," she said. "But I think it should."

For many Democratic senators, it just isn't on their radar. The Senate is notably working on several issues, including federal nominations; aid to Ukraine and Israel; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reform; Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization; and appropriations, with a March 22 deadline coming up for the last slate of funding bills. 

"I haven't given virtually any thought to the political charade around Secretary Mayorkas, so that's just not been high on my radar screen," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who explained that "serious issues" surrounding China and Ukraine are taking precedence. 

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"Who gives a s---?" said Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa. He added that the Mayorkas impeachment would not be the last of the "dumb s---" that House Republicans have done. 

However, Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., emphasized the importance of their status as jurors in the matter of the DHS secretary's impeachment. 

"As an impartial juror on all of the above, I've always been the same with any type of impeachment that I'm not going to predetermine or have any bias towards what's going to happen," said Cortez Masto. 

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Cardin echoed, "I've always taken the position as a juror, I shouldn't talk about that publicly." The senator noted, however, that he has "pretty strong views," adding that reporters could probably guess them. 

DHS did not provide comment on the Senate's procedure for the articles of impeachment to Fox News Digital. 

Following the House's vote last month, DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said in a statement, "House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border." 

"Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country," she continued. 

Despite several Senate Republicans criticizing the House's attempt to impeach Mayorkas, many Republicans have changed their tune and expressed their interest in the Senate holding a full trial.

Fox News Digital's Liz Elkind contributed to this report.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the House trying to impeach Mayorkas next week

House Republicans are aiming to tee up debate and a floor vote next week to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

As of this Friday, the House Rules Committee has not officially put impeachment on its schedule for Monday. But Fox is told that that could happen over the weekend if Republicans are satisfied with the whip count on impeachment. At this stage, the Rules Committee is only slated to prep a health care bill for the floor at its meeting Monday. The two impeachment articles must go to the Rules Committee before heading to the floor.

If the Rules Committee prepares the articles of impeachment on Monday, the full House could debate and vote on impeaching Mayorkas as early as Tuesday. If the Rules Committee meeting slips to Tuesday, then floor action on Mayorkas will likely shift to Wednesday. 

And even if the Rules Committee convenes on Mayorkas, the House won’t necessarily need to bring those articles of impeachment to the floor right away if the GOP brass is concerned about the vote count. 

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The decision to go to the floor is about the math. 

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., resigns Friday to run an arts organization in western New York. When the House returns on Monday, it will have 431 members — 219 Republicans and 212 Democrats. That’s a seven seat majority. And the retirement of Higgins helps the GOP make the math work in their impeachment quest. With a delta of seven seats between the majority and minority, Republicans can now lose three votes on their side and pass something without assistance from Democrats. The margin was two votes prior to Higgins stepping down. 

But it’s more complicated than that. 

It is doubtful that House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., will be back next week after receiving cancer treatments. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., should return after being injured in a car accident. But there are always a handful of members out on any given day for health and other reasons. So if Republicans go to the floor to impeach Mayorkas, they need to make sure everyone who is a yea on impeachment is present. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., is a no right now. Johnson told Fox Business Friday morning that he would work on Buck this weekend. 

So, if things go the way the GOP leadership wants, the House could vote on Tuesday or Wednesday to impeach Mayorkas. If the leadership doesn’t put impeachment on the floor, the math won’t work. 

Keep in mind that the Republican hand could either get better or worse if for some reason the House doesn’t vote next week on impeachment. 

There is a special election in New York on February 13 to replace former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who was expelled. Former Rep. Tom Suozzi, R-N.Y., is running against GOP nominee Mazi Melesa Pilip. If Suozzi wins, the GOP majority shrinks again. But a Pilip victory serves as a Republican reinforcement. 

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If and when the House votes, it considers two articles of impeachment. One accuses Mayorkas of disregarding the law. The other charges Mayorkas of lying to Congress, saying the border was secure. 

The House will likely vote on each article separately. Mayorkas would be impeached if the House adopts either article. Moreover, the House does not always approve both articles of impeachment in such an inquest. In 1997, the House only adopted two of the four articles of impeachment leveled against former President Clinton. 

Think of impeachment as an indictment. It’s then up to the Senate to act as a "court" and judge whether the accused is guilty of the charges in a trial. 

The impeachment of cabinet officials is rare. The House has now impeached multiple Presidents and federal judges. But only one cabinet member, Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. 

If the House approves impeachment articles, it must next take a separate vote to appoint "impeachment managers." It then dispatches the article or articles of impeachment to the Senate. 

"Impeachment managers" are House members who serve as prosecutors. They present the findings of the House before the Senate. Senators sit as jurors. 

Fox is told that the House wants to get the impeachment articles to the Senate quickly after the vote. The Senate is trying to consider a major border security bill next week. So there could be a bit of a parliamentary traffic jam as the Senate potentially grapples with both the border bill and maybe the start a Senate trial. But it’s also possible a trial could wait until the week of Feb. 11. 

T,his scenario produces a rather shocking split screen. The Senate is dealing with a border security bill as it entertains an impeachment trial against the Homeland Security Secretary. 

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There is a bit of a ceremony to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate from the House and for the Senate to receive the articles. In this case, Acting Clerk of the House Kevin McCumber and House Sergeant at Arms William McFarland escort the articles of impeachment and House managers across the Capitol Dome to the Senate. The Senate gathers, usually with all senators sitting at their desks. Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson then receives the House entourage at the Senate door and reads the following proclamation to the Senate. 

"All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas." 

The articles are then presented to the Senate and the managers are introduced. That is all which usually happens on the first day of a Senate trial – although Fox was told the Senate might try to squeeze everything 

Under Senate impeachment trial rule III, the body is supposed to wait until the next day to swear-in senators as jurors. But Fox is told that could happen on day one in this instance. 

According to Senate rules, the "trial" must begin the day after the Senate receives the articles at 1 p.m. Trials are supposed to run Monday through Saturday. There were Saturday sessions in both impeachment trials of former President Trump in 2020 and 2021. 

It is unlikely that U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over a possible Mayorkas trial. Senate impeachment rule IV requires the Chief Justice to preside over cases involving the President or Vice President. In this case, it’s likely that Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray, D-Wash., will preside over a Mayorkas tribunal.

Now we get to perhaps the most interesting question of all: How much of a trial is there? 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., ducked questions from yours truly last fall about what a potential impeachment trial for President Biden or Mayorkas would look like. 

Schumer again sidestepped a question this week when asked if he would "hold" a trial. "Let’s wait and see what the House does," replied Schumer. 

But regardless, the Senate cannot immediately bypass a trial. If the House impeaches, the Senate is compelled to at least receive the impeachment articles, the House managers and swear-in the senators. 

At that point, the Senate can decide to hold a full trial, or potentially, move to dismiss or actually have straight, up or down votes on convicting or exonerating Mayorkas. 

In the 1998 impeachment trial of former President Clinton, late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., made a motion to dismiss the charges. 

In 2010, the Senate was on the verge of launching an impeachment trial of former federal judge Samuel Kent, but he resigned after the House impeached him and before the Senate began the trial. The House notified the Senate it did not want to continue with the trial. So the Senate eventually conducted a vote to discharge itself of responsibilities regarding Kent. 

The Senate could so something similar this time. 

But here’s the rub: There will eventually be either a vote to convict or exonerate Mayorkas or dismiss the charges. Senate Republicans will watch very closely if Senate Democrats engineer any vote to short-circuit the trial. The GOP will take note of how multiple vulnerable Democrats facing competitive re-election bids in battleground districts vote.

If they vote to end the trial or clear Mayorkas, Republicans will likely enroll that into their campaigns against those Democratic senators. Keep in mind that Fox polling data revealed that border security was the number-one issue facing voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. Republicans will examine the trial-related votes of Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Jon Tester, D-Mont., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz. – if she runs.

But first, we have to see if the House has the votes to impeach. Everything hinges on that.

Hunter Biden business partner’s dad boasted about CCP leaders praising his book: ‘You touched my heart’

FIRST ON FOX: An unearthed interview involving the father of Hunter Biden's longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, shows him boasting about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) praising his business book and amplifying it across China, according to a video reviewed by Fox News Digital.

As part of House Republicans' impeachment inquiry against President Biden, Eric Schwerin will appear Tuesday before the House Oversight Committee for a deposition. The committee obtained bank records indicating Schwerin "had access to bank accounts" that could be relevant to their probe.

Schwerin’s testimony comes after Fox News Digital first reported that as vice president, Biden used email aliases and private email addresses to communicate with Hunter Biden and his business associates hundreds of times, including with Schwerin. The communications came between 2010 and 2019, with most email traffic taking place while Biden served as vice president.

Schwerin, who visited the Obama White House and then-Vice President Biden's residence at least 36 times between 2009 and 2016, was considered Hunter's point person for their Chinese business deals and dubbed the "money guy." 

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However, another member of the Schwerin family could face questions about China ties after an unearthed interview details how the elder Schwerin, David Schwerin, separately touted having one of his books resonate with CCP leaders in the early 2000s. This visit led to him gaining intimate access over the next couple of decades and taking several trips to speak in China and conduct workshops for weeks at a time.

In an interview uploaded to YouTube in October 2020, the elder Schwerin discussed how an unnamed person in California read his book "Conscious Capitalism" and introduced him to CCP leaders. Schwerin said the interaction initially occurred "a year or two" after his book on business and "ancient wisdom" was published in 1998.

"He wanted to take it to China," Scherwin said during the interview. "At first, I was a little skeptical - I didn't know him. And as it turns out, he was able to do that - get it translated and published. I was invited shortly thereafter to come to China to speak about the ideas in the book. While the book can be looked at on different levels, one level was certainly socially responsible business, which is now corporate social responsibility or ESG."

Fox News Digital reviewed Schwerin's online presence and confirmed that the unnamed person's identity that Schwerin mentions was Dr. Zhihe Wang, according to one of his websites. The website says their "relationship began in 1998 when Zhihe was studying for his Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University. He came across my first book, Conscious Capitalism: Principles for Prosperity in the Claremont library and contacted me offering to translate it and have it published in China."

‘MONEY GUY’: THIS HUNTER BIDEN BUSINESS PARTNER COULD BLOW THE LID OFF BIDEN FAMILY'S BUSINESS DEALINGS

According to Wang's bio, he was previously a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, whose leadership is stacked with multiple top CCP members. Schwerin continues, saying he would "become very friendly with [Wang], his wife and 18 year-old son and have helped Zhihe establish a business to use his contacts to arrange specialized trips to China for people interested in more than the standard touring." Wang touts on his now-defunct website that he organized dozens of American lectures in China and "established 17 research institutes affiliated with 15 Chinese universities [a]cross China."

"I went over there not knowing what to expect - a little bit nervous, to be honest with you - and I had the opportunity to speak to what I call Communist Party school, which is a school for senior-level Communist Party leaders to come back to get training," Schwerin said during the 2020 interview. "I spoke to them about what was inside my book. I had no idea what kind of reception I'd get. Believe it or not, they liked it. I really didn't know what to expect."

"They put my book in their bookstore, wrote about it in their newsletter, and before I knew it, a picture of the cover of my book - which had my face on it - was on the largest - or longest - bus line in China. From that point on, the Communist Party liked the idea enough to start encouraging their businesses to implement it," he said. "And when the Communist Party gets behind something, it has some influence. So, it took a number of years, but over a number of years this became widespread, this concept."

In a separate podcast interview from August 2020, Schwerin shared a similar account about the reception of his book and said that a CCP member said, "You touched my heart," referring to his presentation about his "Conscious Capitalism"book. 

Schwerin said he has since visited China nine times to talk with CCP leaders and Chinese citizens, including holding several workshops there. On one of Schwerin's websites, he has a testimonial from Yao Xian Guo, who is listed as an Executive Dean of the "Economics School of Zhejiang University." However, he does not mention that Xianguo has won multiple "Outstanding Communist Party Member" awards.

"Thank you very much for your visit … Your lecture brought us new idea and new thinking style... Social responsibility is an important issue for enterprises in China, especially in the transformation period," Xianguo's testimonial said.

It is unclear whether the elder Schwerin was involved with the foreign business dealings of Hunter and Schwerin's son, but emails show that the younger Schwerin would share political articles with his dad and Hunter, sometimes including other business associates.

A spokesperson for the Democrat minority of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability told Fox News Digital in September that the younger Schwerin, the former president of Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca Advisors, served as then-Vice President Biden’s "bookkeeper" from 2009 until 2017.  

A person familiar with Schwerin's role in handling then-Vice President Biden's finances previously told Fox News Digital that Schwerin worked on Biden's personal budget and helped coordinate with his tax preparers.

The individual also pointed to the frequency of Schwerin's communications with Biden and his top aides and said it was "inevitable" Rosemont Seneca business came up in conversations.

Fox News Digital reached out to David Schwerin for comment, but did not receive a response.

House Dem tells mother of fentanyl victim she lacks ‘background to understand’ border chief’s impeachment

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., told a mother who lost her daughter to fentanyl that she was being "used" by Republicans during a House Homeland Security hearing on Thursday.

Goldman's remarks to Josephine Dunn, whose 26-year-old daughter Ashley lost her life to fentanyl-laced pills, came during the committee's hearing titled "Voices for the Victims: The Heartbreaking Reality of the Mayorkas Border Crisis."

Dunn had been invited by Republicans to take part in the hearing and share the story of how she lost her daughter to fentanyl as Congress continues on with the impeachment proceedings against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Expressing his "sincere condolences" to Dunn for the loss of her daughter, Goldman said that he wanted to "apologize in some ways" to Dunn because she was "being used as a fact witness for an impeachment investigation."

BORDER PATROL SEIZED ENOUGH FENTANYL TO KILL ENTIRE US POPULATION THIS FISCAL YEAR

"Obviously, given what your experience has been, you don't have the background to understand what a high crime and misdemeanor is and how it relates to this," he added in his remarks to Dunn.

Goldman's remarks drew the ire of Dunn, who told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Friday that the lawmaker is "unaware about what my understanding, about what my education, what my experience is in any of those areas when it comes to misdemeanors or high crimes."

"I have my opinions, and for him to assume that I want to just put more money into a system that has had plenty of money placed into it and is still broken is incorrect. Please don’t think for me. I have a brain, I can think and speak for myself," she told the outlet.

During the hearing, Dunn grew visibly frustrated with Goldman as he attempted to question her.

"You would agree, would you not, that it would help to stop the fentanyl trade and fentanyl trafficking from coming into this country if we had more law enforcement officers at the border and more resources and technology to stop the fentanyl from coming in?" he asked Dunn. "Do you agree with that?"

Dunn rejected Goldman's premise, saying "Border Patrol is now being used to make sandwiches and to screen people and let them into our country. So I disagree with you."

Moments later, Dunn added: "I would like the border patrol to be able to do the job that they were hired to do. Every border patrol officer that I have spoken to has told me that their hands are tied by this administration and Mr. Mayorkas. I’ve been to the border, sir, have you?"

Goldman responded that he was the one asking the questions at the hearing.

TEEN DRUG OVERDOSES HIT RECORD HIGH, DRIVEN PRIMARILY BY FENTANYL POISONING, SAYS NEW REPORT

Further highlighting the moment in a post to Facebook, Dunn wrote, "Pardon me sir, but you know nothing of my experience, my background or my understanding. Also, in all of my research, you have yet to travel once to the Southern Border of the United States. Is that why you avoided my question?"

"Are you unable to return to your constituency and explain your lack of understanding of the border, lack of experience at the border or was it something else? I would think you could have heard what I actually said. Not what you wanted me to say," she added.

Last September, Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens announced that agents had seized over 2,700 lbs. of fentanyl as part of the more than 69,000 lbs of narcotics seized between ports of entry. The seizures also included 40,000 lbs. of marijuana, 13,000 lbs. of methamphetamine and 11,000 lbs. of cocaine. 

That amount of fentanyl, which does not include the amount seized at ports of entry, is more than enough lethal doses to kill the entire population of the United States. While significantly more is caught at ports of entry – with over 22,000 lbs caught at the ports of entry at the southern border this fiscal year – the stat highlights the danger of fentanyl moving between the ports and potentially past overwhelmed agents in the field.

Opioids were involved in more than 100,000 overdose deaths in 2022. Fentanyl is the most prominent opioid, which is produced primarily in Mexico, using Chinese precursors, and then trafficked across the southern border. The drug is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and is often cut with other drugs, meaning that the user doesn’t know that they are ingesting fentanyl.

While opioid deaths have risen sharply in recent years, the Biden administration has pointed to data suggesting that overdose numbers are slowing and has tied that flattening to its drug strategy, which involves going after smugglers, increasing technology at ports of entry and providing additional funding for treatment and prevention within the U.S.

But the administration has faced criticism from Republicans over its handling of the fentanyl crisis, particularly at the southern border, which they say has exacerbated the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. Some Republicans, including those on the 2024 trail, have called for military action in Mexico to take out drug labs run by the cartels.

Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

Hollywood producer who introduced Hunter Biden to art dealer raised at least $25K for Joe Biden’s campaign

The Hollywood producer who introduced Hunter Biden to his art dealer, George Bergès, previously helped President Biden raise over $25,000 for his campaign, a Fox News Digital review of a cached version of his campaign website found.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer identified California-based producer Lanette Phillips as the individual who had linked the first son up with Bergès following his closed-door interview this month before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

According to Bergès' interview transcript, which was reviewed by Fox News Digital, the art dealer said he met Phillips a "couple of years ago" at a French restaurant near his New York City gallery and knew she was involved "to some degree" with Democratic politics but did not know the entire scope.

Phillips, whose website states she has produced music videos for musicians such as Elton John, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez, told Variety in 2019 that she has known President Biden for some time.

ART DEALER REVEALS HUNTER BIDEN KNEW 'SUGAR BROTHER' WAS TOP BUYER, MAKING WH ETHICS PLEDGE A 'SHAM': COMER

"I've known Biden for many years and I believe in his policies," Phillips said. "We need to bring our parties together and work together, and he's proven to be able to do that very successfully."

In fact, Phillips helped Biden round up at least $25,000 in donations from individuals for his 2020 campaign, according to a cached version of his campaign website showing its "volunteer fundraisers." The money presumably came from a November 2019 fundraiser she hosted at her Los Angeles home alongside actress Alyssa Milano, which Variety detailed in its article. In addition to fundraising for Biden, Phillips has also donated $5,000 to the Democratic National Committee and thousands in support of John Kerry's failed presidential campaign.

Phillips, meanwhile, has also communicated with Hunter Biden since at least 2010, according to emails from his abandoned laptop. Her earliest email was sending condolences to Hunter in 2010 after his grandmother passed away.

In October 2015, a couple of days before Biden announced he was not running for president, Phillips wrote to Hunter saying she is "keeping her fingers crossed your father will announce" a run for president, adding that if he did, she has a team of "really exciting and dedicated people who are eagerly awaiting to jump in and give 100% support!"

She wrote to him again in January 2018, wishing him a Happy New Year and asked if he would be in attendance for his father's book tour stop in Los Angeles at the time. It does not appear that he responded, so she emailed him again a few days later and noted his book tour was "sold out" and wanted to know if Hunter would be "able to sort us out for passes." It is unclear whether she was able to attend the Los Angeles book tour event.

HUNTER BIDEN GALLERIST TELLS LAWMAKERS HE NEVER SPOKE TO WHITE HOUSE ABOUT PAINTINGS: SOURCES

Bergès' testimony seemingly contradicts earlier statements from Phillips. The New York Times reported in February 2020 that Phillips had initially worked with Hunter Biden to find him an art dealer. She, however, told the publication that Hunter Biden did not sign with anyone under her guidance, that she was no longer advising him and he was still looking for a gallery.

Phillips and Biden's campaign did not respond to Fox News Digital's requests for comment.

Hunter Biden's artwork has reportedly brought in at least $1.3 million, and one of the buyers was Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a real estate investor from Los Angeles who is a prominent Democrat donor whom President Biden appointed to a prestigious commission. Phillips also introduced her to Bergès, according to his testimony.

President Biden appointed Hirsh Naftali to the Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad in July 2022 – eight months after the first son's first art opening. It is not clear, however, whether her purchase came before or after the appointment. 

Naftali donated over $200,000 to the Biden Victory Fund during the 2020 election cycle and over $30,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2023. She also maxed out to the Biden campaign with two $3,300 donations last April.

Bergès also testified that Hunter Biden knew the identities of approximately 70% of his art buyers, contradicting earlier narratives from the White House. 

The most lucrative was from Kevin Morris, the Hollywood lawyer dubbed Hunter Biden's "sugar brother" due to his financial support, help writing a book and lending a private jet to the president's son. He purchased $875,000 worth of artwork in a January 2023 deal.

Bergès testified that Morris only paid 40% commission on the $875,000 purchase and that the lawyer worked with Hunter to figure out the financial implications. He admitted to never having done an art deal like that before.

Hilarious Jayapal gaffe proves Dems find saying ‘insurrection’ to be hard

A Democrat serving in the House of Representatives was at the center of an apparent blunder Wednesday when she claimed former President Donald Trump "incited an erection."

The comment from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., came during the House Judiciary Committee's consideration of a resolution that, if passed, would set up a full House vote on whether to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena as part of the House impeachment inquiry against President Biden.

"I think we're all outraged about many things, but if we're gonna talk about outrageous things that have happened or things that have never happened, let's talk about the fact that President Trump incited an erection."

Quickly realizing what she had said, Jayapal began laughing and said, "Maybe that, too."

JAYAPAL TELLS FELLOW DEMS NOT TO 'OUT-REPUBLICAN THE REPUBLICANS' ON IMMIGRATION AMID FUNDING TALKS

"You can talk about that too, I guess," Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., chimed in.

"Maybe we should talk about that, too," Jayapal responded.

Correcting herself and moving on from the awkward situation, Jayapal said, "The president incited an insurrection."

Jayapal is not the first Democrat to use the word "erection" instead of "insurrection" when talking about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and President Trump's actions on that day.

In January 2021, while pushing for an impeachment trial of Trump on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., claimed the former president was responsible for an "erection."

"Make no mistake, there will be a trial and when that trial ends, senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the erection – insurrection – against the United States," Schumer said at the time.

HUNTER BIDEN MAKES SHOCKING APPEARANCE AT HIS OWN CONTEMPT HEARING

Jayapal's colleague, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has also been guilty of using the word "erection" to describe the events from more than three years ago.

Schiff's slip-up came during a November 2021 appearance on "The View," where he responded to pressure from one host who asked him whether he regretted talking up the discredited Steele dossier.

"But let’s not use that as a smokescreen to somehow shield Donald Trump’s culpability for inviting Russia to help him in the election, which they did, for trying to coerce Ukraine into helping him in the next election, which he did, into inciting an erection…"

Catching himself immediately, Schiff corrected himself and used the word "insurrection" before continuing his comments.

Schiff also slipped up and used the word during a January 2021 appearance on CNN, where he claimed then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., incited an "erection."

Biden’s handling of Defense Sec Austin’s mysterious absence faces backlash from former ambassador: ‘Alarming’

A former ambassador slammed President Biden's handling of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's mystery ailment and hospitalization, saying it's "alarming" that Biden did not notice he was "out of action" sooner.

The Pentagon alerted the media last Friday that Austin was hospitalized on Jan. 1 and remains under the care of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Officials stated that he underwent an elective medical procedure last month and was hospitalized in the following days. On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced Austin was treated for prostate cancer.

Biden, along with the National Security Council and leaders at the Pentagon, including Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, were not informed for several days that Austin had been admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit for treatment on New Year's Day.

Now, James Gilmore, who served as ambassador to the U.S. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe during the Trump administration, said it's worrisome that Biden is "so detached" from his Defense Department that he did not notice his absence.

DEFENSE SECRETARY AUSTIN HAS NO PLANS TO RESIGN, PENTAGON SAYS

"From my experience as ambassador, I know that our allies need to know that the United States is competent and organized to provide leadership in a time of global conflict," Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia with a background in military intelligence stemming from his military service during the Vietnam War, told Fox News Digital. "The world, allies and adversaries, watches the U.S. and its leadership every day for signs of strength or weakness."

"It is alarming that President Biden is so detached from his Defense Department, that he didn't even know the Secretary was out of action, and that the Defense leadership didn't feel the need to tell him," Gilmore said. "Biden is only an 'autopilot President', who daily shows he is not in control in this time of great danger to our country."

A Biden administration official responded to the critique by saying, "I'm not familiar with him" in a quote to Fox News Digital.

"But if he had nothing to say when Donald Trump outright lied to the American public about his covid case at the height of the pandemic, then I can’t hear him now," the official continued.

The ordeal has led to Trump saying Austin "should be fired immediately" and other Republicans demanding he step down from his post.

"He has been missing for one week, and nobody, including his boss, Crooked Joe Biden, had a clue as to where he was or might be," Trump said in a previous Truth Social post.

Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks told Axios over the weekend that Austin "has been a disaster since Day One and should be replaced by someone who will focus on making the military ready to fight and win wars instead of advancing woke political causes of the Biden admin."

Rep. Matt Rosendale's, R-Mont., office told Fox News Digital on Monday that the lawmakers was introducing articles of impeachment against Austin because he believes Austin "violated his oath of office" on multiple occasions, citing the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the migrant crisis at the border, and last year’s incident with a Chinese spy craft floating above the continental U.S.

"Sec. Austin knowingly put the American people in danger and compromised our national security when he allowed a spy balloon from a foreign adversary to fly over Malmstrom Air Force Base – home to ICBMs – and allowed the Chinese Communist Party to gather intel on American citizens," the Montana Republican said.

DEFENSE SECRETARY AUSTIN RESUMES DUTIES, WAS IN INTENSIVE CARE UNIT FOR DAYS AS PUBLIC KEPT IN THE DARK

Others, such as Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, said Austin isn't "capable" of leading the Defense Department.

"And he just proved it again by keeping it a secret when he was very sick and in the ICU," Greene posted on X. 

The secret hospitalization has caused headaches for the White House, who told Fox News Digital on Monday morning that Biden has no plans to replace Austin and "continues to have full trust and confidence in the Secretary."

Though still hospitalized, Austin has resumed his duties and is now recovering.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the White House ordered cabinet officials to "evaluate their current policies for delegating authority when a secretary is incapacitated and to forward those procedures to the White House for review."