Fox News 2024-02-29 22:33:43


Biden tells Republicans it’s ‘time to act’ during visit to overhwelmed southern border

President Biden, in a visit to the southern border on Thursday, renewed his calls for Republicans to back a controversial, but bipartisan, Senate border agreement — as illegal immigration continues to be a major political headache for the administration and he seeks to shift blame to Republicans for the crisis.

“It’s real simple, it’s time to act, it is long past time to act,” Biden said. “It’s time for us to move on this, we can’t wait any longer.”

Biden spoke in Brownsville, Texas, after meeting with Border Patrol, law enforcement and local leaders.

The visit, which coincided with former President Donald Trump’s visit to the border in Eagle Pass, Texas, comes as illegal immigration has become a major 2024 election issue and remains a thorny issue for the administration.

The crisis, now into its third year, has smashed multiple records with more than 2.4 million encounters in FY 23 and over 300,000 in December alone — breaking the record for monthly encounters.

Biden and his administration have sought to shift the blame for the crisis onto the shoulders of Republicans. The administration says that it is working in a broken system that needs significantly more funding and comprehensive immigration reform. It introduced a bill on its first day in office that included a mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S., which was immediately rejected by Republicans.

Republicans in the House introduced and passed legislation of their own that would fund more Border Patrol agents, resume wall construction, restart the Remain-in-Mexico policy and severely limit the ability of migrants to claim asylum.

After the White House made a supplemental funding request, including $20 billion for border funding in late 2023, Senate negotiators hashed out a deal that included additional staffing at the border and in asylum offices, an increased $1.4 billion in funding to cities and NGOs receiving migrants, took action to tackle fentanyl smuggling and would limit asylum claims. It would also increase detention beds to 50,000 and provide additional immigration judges.

“Folks, the bipartisan border security bill is a win for the American people and a win for the people of Texas, and it’s fair for those who legitimately have a right to come here,” he said.

“The U.S. Senate need to reconsider this bill and those senators who oppose it need to set politics aside and pass it on the merits, not on whether it’s going to benefit one party or another party,” he said, also calling for Speaker Mike Johnson to put it on the floor in the House.

However, it has failed to gain enough support in the Senate, as conservative lawmakers have warned that a limiting mechanism that only comes into place after an average of 5,000 encounters a day would normalize already-high levels of illegal immigration.

Biden said, however, that it was “the toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen.”

Republicans in the House, who have recently impeached DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, say Biden doesn’t need additional congressional action to secure the border and can do so with the tools his administration already has.

Speaking to Fox News Digital ahead of the speech, GOP Whip Tom Emmer dismissed Biden’s trip as a photo op, and called it “another sign of Biden’s incompetence.”

“It’s just going to be another cleaned up photo op. It’s not going to be any actual confrontation of the crisis that this guy created. Time and time again, he proves Joe Biden proves that he cares more about minimizing the political implications of this issue than actually addressing it. So I don’t expect much is going to come out of it, except the American people are going to realize once again that Joe Biden doesn’t really mean business when it comes to the border. 

Emmer said that to solve the crisis, Biden needs to tackle the five issues that were in the House GOP bill: end catch and release, reform parole authority, finish the wall, reform asylum and restore Remain-in-Mexico.

He, like others in the House GOP caucus, was dismissive of the contents of the Senate bill Biden is promoting.

“You’re going to make it law now that he can let in up to 5000 a day before it becomes a shutdown situation? Outrageous. And the fact that anybody even reports it as an option, I think is less than responsible,” he said. “You’ve got to do something in the five areas that the House has already addressed, but the bare minimum is to restore Remain in Mexico.

This is a breaking news story; check back for updates.

Explosive messages between star witness in Fani Willis hearing and lawyer revealed

A crucial witness in the motion to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the Georgia election interference case was far more involved in the effort than previously known.

Terrence Bradley — former law partner and divorce attorney of prosecutor Nathan Wade — testified under oath Tuesday regarding what he knew about Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis and special prosector Nathan Wade’s personal relationship. Bradley took the stand after Judge Scott McAfee determined Bradley that couldn’t claim attorney-client privilege.

Text messages have now emerged that show Bradley cooperated extensively with Ashleigh Merchant, attorney for former President Donald Trump’s co-defendant Michael Roman in the Georgia case, in the effort to disqualify Willis.

KEY WITNESS IN FANI WILLIS CASE TESTIFIES HE MAY HAVE LIED IN TEXTS ABOUT FRIENDS’ AFFAIR

A cache of over 400 text messages between Bradley and Merchant obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows continuous back-and-forth exchanges about Willis’s relationship with Wade.

Bradley offered input on individuals to subpoena for testimony on Willis and Wade’s relationship. He also derided Willis as “arrogant,” encouraging Merchant in her motion to disqualify the district attorney from the Trump case.

“I am nervous,” Merchant wrote in a text message on Jan. 8 — just a day after filling the motion. “This is huge.”

Bradley responded, “You are huge. You will be fine. You are one of the best lawyers I know. Go be great.”

JUDGE SAYS NATHAN WADE’S DIVORCE LAWYER MUST TESTIFY ON RELATIONSHIP WITH FULTON CO. DA FANI WILLIS

Merchant gave Bradley a copy of her motion before filing, asking for guidance to make sure everything was accurate. 

“Anything else? Anything that isn’t accurate?” Merchant texted Bradley.

“Looks good,” Bradley replied.

One piece of information put forth in the text messages ended up falling apart this week when Bradley testified under oath.

“Do you think it started before she hired him?” Merchant asked via text on Jan. 5, three days prior to filing the motion.

“Absolutely,” Bradley replied.

But in court Tuesday, Bradley claimed he was “speculating” in those text message exchanges. 

FANI WILLIS, NATHAN WADE REFERRED TO GEORGIA STATE BAR FOR MISCONDUCT BY WATCHDOG GROUP

Bradely said he couldn’t recall key details or specific information over two dozen times in the roughly two-hour testimony in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday. He also claimed he had only ever discussed Wade’s relationship with Willis once with Wade.

Lawyers for Trump and his co-defendants who are accusing Willis of having had an “improper” affair with Wade will try to connect evidence that Willis and Wade lied about when their relationship began and should therefore be disqualified from the case. 

During their romantic relationship, which ended last summer, Wade and Willis vacationed in wine country in California, the Caribbean and other destinations. 

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Roman, a GOP political operative and co-defendant in the Trump case, first alleged that Willis had a conflict of interest in the case because she benefited financially from hiring her lover. Four co-defendants have made similar accusations. 

The crux of the defense’s case is whether it can prove with a money trail that Willis has a conflict of interest in the case against Trump and should be disqualified. 

Fox News Digital’s Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report.

Chilling details of Heath Ledger’s death at 28 emerge, was found in bed next to script

New details surrounding Heath Ledger’s death have emerged as Hollywood director Stephen Gaghan revealed the phone call he received after the fact.

Ledger’s body was discovered by a housekeeper on Jan. 22, 2008. The “10 Things I Hate About You” star’s death was ruled accidental and attributed to a mixture of prescription drugs – OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Unisom and Restoril.

At the time of Ledger’s death, Gaghan had been working with the 28-year-old on an adaption of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.”

HEATH LEDGER REMEMBERED BY HEATHER GRAHAM AS ACTRESS SHARES RARE PHOTOS OF THE TWO: ‘SUCH A SPECIAL PERSON’

Gaghan recalled the phone call he received from Ledger’s father after he arrived at the scene.

“They were there with the body and our script was in bed with him, and your book was on the bedside table,” he said on Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” podcast series “Development Hell.” “I think my number was on the script, like written. These guys, as you can imagine, they are in shock and they dialed that number and I don’t know why.”

“I’m in an airport with my wife [Minnie Mortimer] just going from one place to another, and I literally just collapse, never happened to me before or since,” the director added. “My feet went out from under me. I just literally sat down because I was like, ‘What?’ The emotion, what they were going through, I should not have been a party to in any way really, and yet as a human or as somebody who just cares, I just was there and I was listening and my wife was looking at me. I remember her face and I was just like, I was speechless. I just listened and listened and listened. It was just really, really sad. And it’s still sad. For me, I just had to put a pin in it.”

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Gladwell’s podcast series revisits projects that were never made – including the “Blink” adaptation. With Leonardo DiCaprio attached to the project, the film originally landed with a studio in 2005. However, it never got off the ground.

“We pick a studio, we huddle with our agents, we pick a winner, checks are cashed,” Gladwell said. “Some brilliant producer is assigned to our case, and off we go. Only it never happens. A year passes, then two years, then three years. And this is why we’re doing ‘Development Hell,’ an entire series devoted to scripts that never happen. This is always the most devastating part of the story, the plot twists that happen off the page.”

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Eventually, “Blink” landed with Universal Studios and Gaghan spent some more time developing the script. After re-working DiCaprio’s character, the director realized he had written the part for Ledger.

“I’d gotten to be very, very close with him instantly,” Gaghan recalled. “I just had a real connection with him that was kind of unusual and really special to me. I got really excited and I started seeing him as the main character. Once I started seeing that I couldn’t unsee it, and obviously it was very delicate in a way. Leo’s totally cool. I mean, obviously, he has a thousand choices, but in my mind it was a big deal.”

Gaghan abandoned the revived project after Ledger’s death.

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Josh Brolin absolutely trashes box office bomb he starred in: I ‘won’t ever stop’

Josh Brolin won’t mince words over his 2010 box office bomb.

In a new interview with GQ, the actor chose to once again be critical of his Western superhero flick, “Jonah Hex.” 

“I won’t ever stop s—-ing on [it]” he said. “Because it was a s—-y f—ing movie.”

JOSH BROLIN SHARES NUDE PHOTO WHILE ‘PREPPING FOR A SCENE’ OF ‘OUTER RANGE’ SEASON TWO

Brolin starred as the titular role, a disfigured Confederate soldier who becomes a bounty hunter. A DC Entertainment film with an ensemble cast including Megan Fox and Michael Fassbender, it ultimately flopped in theaters and was poorly received by critics.

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In the past, Brolin has eviscerated the project, attributing its failure in part to the director, Jimmy Hayward, who Brolin thought was too inexperienced. Last year, the actor told Variety that the movie “was not successful creatively or monetarily.”

“I mean, everybody knows how I feel about ‘Jonah Hex.’ But the biggest thing with ‘Jonah Hex’ is rushing into hiring somebody. I remember Jeff Robinov, who I’m still close with, who was running Warner Bros. at the time, and he was like, look, you’ve got to get a director in the next two weeks, otherwise we’ve got to can this thing. And then you meet somebody who has a lot of knowledge, Jimmy Hayward, and I remember it didn’t feel right,” he said.

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“I loved that he was excited, but he just didn’t have the experience, and he didn’t treat it like I would imagine somebody would want to treat it — to run back to their house at the end of their every day and watch tonal inspirations and [Martin] Scorsese movies or this or that. He would be out partying instead,” he said of Hayward.

According to Brolin, Hayward recently apologized for the role he played in the movie’s disintegration when the men reconnected. Brolin says Hayward has been battling a particular form of bone cancer, which has resulted in him having facial reconstructive surgeries.

“It reminded me [that] you can’t just keep s—-ing on somebody,” Brolin admitted. “I don’t know what the f—‘s going on in his life. I mean, total facial reconstruction, the whole thing,” he told GQ.

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Conversely, Brolin is also willing to speak about his more successful projects, including his upcoming movie, “Dune: Part Two.”

The movie, which bows Friday, wasn’t a difficult project for Brolin, 56, to work on. “Well, obviously, it’s a great director, but there are no egos. When you work with great people, there’s very little ego,” he said of the positive experience.

The film features an all-star cast, including Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Rebecca Ferguson, Christopher Walken, Javier Bardem and Stephen McKinley.

White House slammed after debuting new term for illegal immigrants flooding into US

Ahead of President Biden’s visit to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, the White House debuted a new term for illegal immigrants arriving in the country, calling them “newcomers.” 

Biden will travel to Brownsville, Texas, in an effort to reassure voters who have soured on his handling of the border crisis. Republicans have lambasted the Biden administration for weak enforcement of immigration laws, and a recent poll showed that just 26% of Americans approved of the president’s job on immigration. 

The language the White House used to describe the crisis may not alleviate voters’ concerns. In a fact sheet distributed by the White House press office to advocate for the bipartisan border agreement Biden has endorsed, officials pointed out that the bill includes $1.4 billion “for cities and states who are providing critical services to newcomers.” 

BIDEN’S BORDER VISIT LANDS ON ONE OF THE LEAST TRAFFICKED TOWNS, WHILE TRUMP IS HEADED INTO THE THICK OF IT

The reference to illegal immigrants as “newcomers” — which suggests equal status to migrants who come to the U.S. legally — provoked a swift condemnation from House Republicans.

“The Biden White House is now referring to illegal immigrants as ‘newcomers.’ Joe Biden is not serious about stopping the illegal immigration into the United States. This is a catastrophe by design,” the House GOP conference posted on X. 

White House officials have shot back at their GOP critics several times in recent weeks, asserting that if Republican lawmakers were serious about securing the border, they would support the bipartisan legislation President Biden has endorsed.

7.2M ENTERED US UNDER BIDEN ADMIN, AN AMOUNT GREATER THAN POPULATIONS OF 36 STATES

The border bill negotiated in the Senate would increase Border Patrol staff and tighten asylum rules, expand law enforcement’s authority to tackle fentanyl smuggling and increase funding to cities and states receiving asylum seekers.

Republicans argued the bill would normalize high levels of illegal immigration and do little to stop the flow of people and drugs over the border.

“We have done the work to make sure we’re dealing with a broken immigration system. The Republicans have gotten in the way. They have gotten in the way,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday on CNN.

WHITE HOUSE CALLS FOR SANCTUARY CITIES TO COOPERATE WITH ICE AMID FUROR OVER ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CRIMES

“And so look, this is a serious matter, that‘s why the president is going to the border. The president was at the border a year ago in El Paso, visiting the border back in January 2023. He put a comprehensive, a comprehensive immigration policy on day one,” she added.

Biden’s choice of Brownsville for his border visit is an area that has seen comparatively small numbers of migrant crossings in Texas.

CBP data shows that Brownsville has seen just 46 migrant encounters over the past five days, compared to 2,106 in Eagle Pass. The former averaged 17 migrant encounters per day in February, while the latter averaged 462.

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Brownsville is part of the CBP’s Rio Grande Valley sector, which has seen 87,426 migrant encounters so far in FY 2024. The Del Rio sector that encompasses Eagle Pass has seen 182,077 encounters, but even that is far below the busiest sector, which lies around Tucson, Arizona, and has seen 297,380 encounters.

Former President Donald Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner, will visit Eagle Pass on Thursday in a competing visit, one of the most heavily trafficked areas in Texas and ground zero for Gov. Greg Abbott’s fight with the Biden administration over enforcing immigration law. 

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom and Hanna Panreck contributed to this report. 

Study finds hair loss and prostate medications could have unexpected benefits

A drug that has long been used to treat two common men’s health conditions could have some unexpected benefits.

Finasteride — more commonly known as Propecia or Proscar — has treated male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate in millions of men.

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have also linked the “miracle drug” to cholesterol-lowering effects and reduced heart disease risk.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION MEDS LIKE VIAGRA LINKED TO REDUCED ALZHEIMER’S RISK, STUDY SUGGESTS

The findings, published in the Journal of Lipid Research, showed lower cholesterol levels among men who took the drug — on average, 30 points less than men who were not on the medication.

The data was initially collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2009 and 2016. 

Then, in a study of mice, use of the drug for 12 weeks — along with a high-fat, high-cholesterol “Western” diet — was linked to reduced cholesterol, slower buildup of plaque in the arteries, and reduced liver inflammation, among other benefits. 

PROSTATE CANCER MYTHS AND COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS AMID HIGH-PROFILE PROSTATE CONDITIONS

“The most surprising finding was the human data,” lead study author Jaume Amengual, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois, told Fox News Digital. 

“When we observed the association with finasteride and plasma lipids, we decided to do our mouse study.”

Drug’s benefits and side effects

As a hair loss treatment, finasteride works by blocking a protein found in hair follicles — and as an enlarged prostate treatment, the drug blocks the prostate gland that activates testosterone.

Atherosclerosis, which occurs when cholesterol plaques build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, is most prevalent among men.

Some experts have linked the male hormone testosterone to the heart condition.

The potential hormonal effect prompted the researchers to explore whether the medication could also reduce heart disease risk, Amengual said.

NEW HAIR LOSS TREATMENTS MAY BE ON THE WAY AFTER MAJOR DISCOVERY, RESEARCHERS SAY

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, was not involved in the study but commented on the implications of finasteride.

“It stops testosterone from turning into dihydrotestosterone and thereby stops hair loss and also shrinks the prostate by 25%,” he said.

Side effects can include depression, anxiety and impotence, the doctor added.

Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurologist and longevity expert who was also not involved in the study, offered his insights on the uses and risks associated with the drug.

“Finasteride in normal dosages – 1 to 5 mg daily, depending upon the indication – has intolerable side effects in many,” he said.

“Finasteride in normal dosages has intolerable side effects in many.”

The drug works by lowering levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in order to have the desired effect on the prostate gland and hair follicles, he said, “but it can also strip a man of his energy, virility, libido and motivation.”

Study limitations and next steps

The study did have some limitations, the researchers noted.

Out of nearly 4,800 total participants, only 155 were finasteride users, all of whom were men over 50. The survey also did not determine the duration or amount of the doses.

“We also did not examine the effects of finasteride in women or female mice,” Amengual said. 

“However, this drug is not prescribed for women, as it could be dangerous during pregnancy.”

“This drug could be another tool in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.”

The next step is to track cholesterol levels of patients taking finasteride or to launch a clinical trial to confirm the link.

“There is still so much to discover on how finasteride works in our body,” Amengual noted. “But based on our findings, this drug could be another tool in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.”

In response to the drug being found to lower cholesterol and decrease heart disease risk, Siegel also called for more research.

“Much larger studies are needed in humans to confirm these findings before you would ever consider using this drug for cardioprevention,” he said.

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“It may end up being useful for this purpose in the elderly, who are at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, as an add-on statin therapy.”

In addition to the study’s small size, Osborn noted that it was performed retrospectively — “meaning there was no control group(s), and that random effects, unbeknownst to the researchers, may have swayed the results in one direction,” he told Fox News Digital. 

“That said, the authors’ observations are interesting and demand further investigation,” Osborn went on. 

“After all, lipid-lowering agents are one of the mainstays of cardiovascular risk reduction — and most Americans die vascular deaths.”

This study doesn’t mean that every male should start taking finasteride, Osborn cautioned.

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Instead, he recommends getting regular exercise, increasing daily fiber intake to 25 grams and taking high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to reduce cardiovascular risk.

“For now, skip the finasteride as a lipid-lowering agent,” he advised. “As it stands now, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.”

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Caitlin Clark, who smashed NCAA scoring record, makes WNBA Draft decision

Iowa Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark on Thursday announced she will enter the 2024 WNBA Draft when her collegiate basketball career comes to an end.

Clark is one of the most prolific women’s basketball players of all time. She recently set the all-time scoring mark in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball and is eyeing Pete Maravich’s record as the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer. She set the major women’s collegiate scoring record on Wednesday night against Minnesota.

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She now has 3,650 career points with one more game in the regular season left to go, along with the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

While Clark maintained she still has business to take care of, she said she was “excited” to be entering the draft.

“It is impossible to fully express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me during my time at Iowa — my teammates, who made the last four years the best; my coaches, trainers and staff who always let me be me; Hawkeye fans who filled Carver every night; and everyone who came out to support us across the country, especially the young kids,” Clark said in a statement.

WNBA GREAT SAYS ‘BLACK PEOPLE CAN’T BE RACIST’ AS SHE PUSHES BACK ON CRITICISM OVER CAITLIN CLARK REMARKS

“Most importantly, none of this would have been possible without my family and friends who have been by my side through it all. Because of all of you, my dreams came true.”

Iowa was on the cusp of winning a national championship last season but ran into LSU.

It was up in the air whether Clark would immediately turn pro or opt-in for an extra year of eligibility due to the 2020 coronavirus and the potential to earn a great deal of money through name, image and likeness.

But she squashed any notion of that with her announcement.

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CNo. 6 Iowa will host No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday on Senior Day. The Big Ten Tournament is set to begin Wednesday, with the Women’s Basketball Tournament to follow that.

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Hunter Biden pulls a 180 on public testimony after bombshell deposition

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said the impeachment inquiry against President Biden will move into its “next phase,” including Hunter Biden testifying publicly during an open hearing.

However, late Wednesday, Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell seemed to cast doubt on that, saying in a statement, “The transcripts of witnesses who have been called to date, including Hunter’s, makes it obvious that there is nothing left to ask, answer, say or do. This illegitimate inquiry should have ended long before their star witness was indicted for lying but it wasn’t. Now that Hunter has put this partisan conspiracy to the lie that it is — on the record and under oath — this political charade should finally come to an end.”

Hunter appeared on Capitol Hill for his closed-door deposition at the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday.

HUNTER BIDEN TESTIFIES HE ‘DID NOT INVOLVE’ HIS FATHER IN HIS BUSINESSES, CALLS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY ‘BASELESS’

The first son testified that he “did not involve” his father in his businesses, while blasting House Republicans for having “hunted” him in a “partisan political pursuit” and impeachment inquiry against his father. He also said Republicans have no evidence against his father, the president, “because there isn’t any.” 

Comer, R-Ky., made a public statement Wednesday afternoon, saying that Hunter’s appearance “was a great deposition for us.”

Hunter, however, thought the deposition went well for him. On his way out of the hearing room Wednesday, he told reporters he thought the hearing went “great.”

A source with direct knowledge of the deposition told Fox News Digital that Hunter “first made clear in his opening statement and emphasized throughout the deposition, Joe Biden was not involved in, did not benefit from, and took no official actions to benefit any of his business ventures.” 

Regarding the infamous “10 held by H for the big guy?” email, the source said Hunter told the committee that his associate who sent the message, James Gilliar, was “out of his mind for even suggesting Joe Biden get involved in their joint venture.” 

“Hunter discussed his addiction at length,” the source said, adding that Hunter “admitted that he was high or drunk when he sent the ‘sitting here with my father’ WhatsApp message, sent it to the wrong recipient, and is now embarrassed by the message.” 

That text was sent to a business partner for Chinese energy firm CEFC.

The source said Hunter also testified that his dad “was not sitting next to him.” 

But Comer said after the deposition that “it proves several bits of our evidence that we’ve been conducting throughout this investigation.”

Comer added that “there are also some contradictory statements that I think need further review.”

“So this impeachment inquiry will now go to the next phase, which will be a public hearing,” Comer said.

BIDEN MET WITH CHAIRMAN OF CHINESE ENERGY FIRM HUNTER DID BUSINESS WITH IN 2017, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIES

Comer stressed that Hunter and his attorney have “demanded” a public hearing following the deposition.

“Just as I said, when we said we were going to do the deposition first, we will have a public hearing next,” he explained. “So I think that the public hearing hopefully will clear up some discrepancies between some of the statements that were made between some of the associates and what we heard today.”

Indeed, Lowell said back in November 2023, “Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum and at the right time, to discuss these matters with the Committee.”

Comer said “all in all,” he is “very optimistic, very excited about this deposition.”

“I look forward to releasing the transcripts as soon as both sides agree to that,” Comer said, hinting that the first son’s transcript of his deposition could be released to the public by the end of the week. “Hopefully that’ll be within the next two or three days.” 

JOE BIDEN ‘ENABLED’ FAMILY TO SELL ACCESS TO ‘DANGEROUS ADVERSARIES,’ TONY BOBULINSKI TESTIFIES

During his opening statement Wednesday, obtained by Fox News, Hunter testified that he was present “to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business.”  

“Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never,” he stressed. “You do not have evidence to support the baseless and MAGA-motivated conspiracies about my father because there isn’t any.” 

The first son said he hopes his testimony will “put an end to this baseless and destructive political charade.” 

“You have wasted valuable time and resources attacking me and my family for your own political gain when you should be fixing the real problems in this country that desperately need your attention,” he testified. 

FLASHBACK: GOP-LED COMMITTEES RELEASE INTERIM REPORT ON HUNTER BIDEN, BURISMA PROBE

Hunter’s testimony comes after his uncle, President Biden’s younger brother James Biden, testified last week as part of the impeachment inquiry. James Biden testified that President Biden “has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest” in his business ventures. 

House Republicans have heard testimony from a number of the first son’s former business associates, like Tony Bobulinski, who testified before the committees earlier this month that Joe Biden was involved in the family’s business ventures. He also testified that he personally met with him. 

Days before Bobulinski’s testimony, another former business associate, Rob Walker, testified that Joe Biden met with the chairman of Chinese energy firm CEFC that his brother and son did business with. 

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After Walker’s testimony, the House Oversight Committee said it was able to “now confirm Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son.” 

House Democrats and the White House have criticized the inquiry as baseless, but Republicans insist they have just scratched the surface of the investigation into Biden family businesses.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and David Spunt contributed to this report.

Coroner determines official cause of death for ‘Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison’s son

Adam Harrison, the son of “Pawn Stars” personality Rick Harrison, died from an accidental overdose.

Adam’s cause of death was due to “fentanyl and methamphetamine toxicity,” Clark County Nevada coroners confirmed to Fox News Digital.

His manner of death was ruled an accident. Adam died Jan. 19 at the age of 39.

Rick had previously confirmed to Fox News Digital that fentanyl was to blame for his son’s death.

RICK HARRISON OF ‘PAWN STARS’ BLAMES FENTANYL FOR TURNING HIS LATE SON ADAM INTO ‘SOMEONE HE WASN’T’

“Yes, I can confirm Adam died from a fentanyl overdose,” Rick told Fox News Digital in January. “The fentanyl crisis in this country must be taken more seriously. It seems it is just flowing over the borders and nothing is being done about it. We must do better.”

‘PAWN STARS’ PERSONALITY RICK HARRISON SAYS SON ADAM DIED FROM FENTANYL OVERDOSE, BLAMES BORDER CRISIS

The Drug Enforcement Agency lists fentanyl as a Schedule II controlled substance “that is similar to morphine but about 100 times more potent,” and noted two milligrams (less than a grain of salt) of the synthetic opioid can be lethal, depending on a person’s body size.

In an incident report obtained by the New York Post, Adam had reportedly been behind bars for months before moving into a guesthouse in the Las Vegas area, where he was found dead Jan. 19.

Adam was living in the guesthouse for two weeks before his death, according to the report. A woman who lived in an RV between the main house and the guesthouse told police he “demonstrated some alarming behavior, including barricading himself in the house by pushing furniture against the house.”

Adam was last seen Jan. 17, the outlet stated. A woman renting the main house became concerned when he didn’t answer the door after she knocked multiple times. She reportedly found a message from Adam on Facebook saying he was sick and would quarantine. 

On Jan. 19, the woman contacted the landlord, who went into the guesthouse and found Adam unresponsive in bed. 

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Police reportedly found “two vials of a redacted substance next to the mattress,” in addition to “foil with an unknown pill, lighters and narcotic paraphernalia straws.” 

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for more information.

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Adam was Rick’s second child with his ex-wife Kim. Rick and Kim also have a son, Corey, who is featured on “Pawn Stars.” Rick remarried and has a son, Jake, with his second wife, Tracy.

While Adam was not featured on “Pawn Stars,” he reportedly worked at the shop and in the family business.

“Pawn Stars” debuted in 2009 and is the No. 2 reality show on television behind “Jersey Shore.” The premiere date for season 23 has yet to be released.

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