TrumpWatch, Day 81: Gorsuch Sworn In as Supreme Court Justice

Judge Neil Gorsuch (L) is sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court by the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy (not pictured), as U.S. President Donald J. Trump (C) watches with Louise Gorsuch in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Gorsuch accession points to 5-4 conservative majority on Court

Developments on Day 81 of the Trump Administration:

Gorsuch Sworn In

Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, pointing to a conservative swing and giving the Trump Administration a much-needed political victory.

Gorsuch’s accession offers the prospect of a 5-4 conservative majority, which could affect ruling on issues such as abortion, gun control, the death penalty, Presidential powers, political spending, environmental regulation, and religious rights.

He joined the court after a 14-month vacancy following conservative Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Republicans in Congress blocked the efforts of the Obama Administration to fill the position. The gap was the longest in the court since the American Civil War.

Trump declared at the ceremony:

Together we are in a process of reviewing and renewing and also rebuilding our country. A new optimism is sweeping across our land and a new faith in America is filling our hearts and lifting our sights.

Trump thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led the effort to remove long-standing Senate rules allowing a filibuster of the confirmation of nominees.

Gorsuich said:

To the American people, I am humbled by the trust placed in me today. I will never forget that to whom much is given, much will be expected. And I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.

TOP PHOTO: Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court as Donald Trump looks on (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Trump to Spend More on Travel in 1 Year Than Obama Did in 8

Donald Trump is on pace to spend more on travel in his first year in office than Barack Obama did in his two terms.

Trump has spent 21 of his first 81 days as President in six trips to his private club in Florida, at an estimated cost of $21.6 million.

President Obama spent just under $97 million on travel in eight years.

Trump has also been criticized for hypocrisy over his frequent outings on the golf course. Trump repeatedly denounced Barack Obama for playing golf as well as going on vacation, claiming he was avoiding his Presidential duties.

Kremlin Denies Detained Intelligence Officers Involved with US Election Hacking

The Kremlin denies that Federal Security Service officers and an Internet security specialist, detained on suspicion of high treason, may be complicit in hacking during the 2016 US Presidential election.

“In any case, no matters of this sort can have any relation to such absurd insinuations or, as we have already said, we categorically deny any assertions about the possible complicity of the Russian side in any hacker attacks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said.

Russian investigators filed charges on Wednesday against Sergei Mikhailov, head of a division of the FSB’s Information Security Center, his deputy Dmitry Dokuchayev, and the manager of the Kaspersky Internet Security Laboratory, Ruslan Stoyanov.

Discussion of the hacking case intensified on Monday when police in Barcelona arrested Russian computer programmer Pyotr Levashov on a US warrant.

While Levashov is described in some accounts as a “global spam king”, others cite a connection to the 2016 election, including Spain’s El Confidencial, which cited “judicial sources”.

Levashov’s wife, Maria Levashova, told Russian State outlet RT that her husband’s arrest was related to a computer virus that was “allegedly created by my husband” and “associated with the Trump victory in the electi
A legal source told AFP that Levashov is suspected of participation in the hacking campaign.

Levashov is connected with one of the three detained officials, Ruslan Stoyanov. He is listed as Stoyanov’s deputy at a firm called Indrik.

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