Fox News 2024-03-13 16:03:32


Hunter Biden refuses to attend House hearing with former business associates

Hunter Biden will not attend a House Oversight Committee hearing next week regarding alleged influence peddling and the Biden family’s business dealings, his lawyer said in a letter Wednesday.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., invited Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, Devon Archer and Jason Galanis to testify at a public hearing on March 20 at 10 a.m. 

All four individuals have already testified behind closed doors as part of the impeachment inquiry, but Comer said the public hearing would “examine inconsistencies among the witnesses’ testimonies in order to get the truth for the American people.”

But on Wednesday, Biden attorney Abbe Lowell sent a letter to Comer, blasting the hearing and the investigation altogether, and rejecting the invitation to what he called a “carnival side show.” 

COMER INVITES HUNTER BIDEN, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES TO TESTIFY PUBLICLY MARCH 20 AMID IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

“To begin, even if that hearing was a legitimate exercise of congressional authority, neither Mr. Biden nor I can attend because of a court hearing the very next day in California,” Lowell said. “The scheduling conflict is the least of the issues, however.” 

“Your blatant planned-for-media event is not a proper proceeding but an obvious attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass after the game has ended,” Lowell continued. 

Lowell reminded Comer of a statement he made in January when he said: “All we need are people to come in for the depositions and then we’ll be finished. We just need people to show up to the depositions and we’ll wrap this up. Nobody wants to wrap this up more than I do.”

Lowell said his client, the president’s son, “did just as you asked and, as you did when you announced that witnesses could choose depositions, you want to ignore what you said.”  

“I must confess my surprise by your hasty request,” Lowell wrote. “After that six-plus hour deposition on February 28, 2024, along with the realization that your inquiry was based on a patchwork of conspiracies spun by convicted liars and a charged Russian spy, I thought even you would recognize your baseless impeachment proceeding was dead.” 

Lowell said that “even before Mr. Biden testified, witness after witness undermined the central premise of your partisan charade.” 

“President Biden has done nothing wrong and certainly nothing, even in your misapplication of the impeachment provisions of the Constitution, to warrant further proceedings,” Lowell said. 

HUNTER BIDEN ADMITS HE PUT HIS FATHER ON SPEAKERPHONE, INVITED HIM TO MEETINGS, BUT DENIES ‘INVOLVEMENT’

Lowell added that Hunter Biden’s answers to questions during his deposition “were the final nail in the coffin of your wasteful year-long misadventure.” 

“As Mr. Biden said numerous times, backed up by an accurate reference to the records in the Committees’ possession, his father was never involved in or derived any financial benefit from Mr. Biden’s businesses,” Lowell said. “Your allegations of any wrongdoing by anyone comes only from your taking a word, phrase, or line out of context in a few communications usually written by people other than Mr. Biden or when Mr. Biden explained he was in the throes of addiction.” 

He added: “In total, your entire house of cards impeachment inquiry is built on one of those isolated texts, a drop-by hello at a dinner where Mr. Biden was pitching support for the World Food Program, a handshake hello in the lobby of a hotel, one of your colleagues not knowing the difference between ‘having a meeting’ and ‘meeting’ someone, Mr. Biden’s father chipping in to pay his share of a family bill, or Mr. Biden’s uncle paying back a loan he owed.” 

Lowell said all of that is “far from the ‘smoking guns’ you claim,” and said “the ‘evidence’ does not amount even to droplets from a water pistol.” 

Meanwhile, as for the March 20 hearing, Lowell said it is “not a serious oversight proceeding.” 

“It is your attempt to resuscitate your Conference’s moribund inquiry with a made-for-right-wing-media, circus act,” he said. “Your idea of congressional ‘fact-finding’ is, amazingly, to have Mr. Biden appear with the discredited ‘witnesses’ you continue to promote.” 

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Lowell went on to blast Bobulinski and Galanis, claiming they have lied.  

“Mr. Biden declines your invitation to this carnival side show,” Lowell wrote. 

Hunter Biden appeared for a highly-anticipated deposition last month before both the House Oversight and Judiciary committees and maintained that his father was never involved in and never benefited from his businesses. 

The committee also heard testimony from James Biden, the president’s younger brother, who testified the same. 

JOE BIDEN ALLEGEDLY CONSIDERED JOINING BOARD OF CCP-LINKED COMPANY, WITNESS TESTIFIES FROM PRISON

Hunter Biden did admit, however, that he put his father on speakerphone with his business associates and invited him to drop by his business lunches. 

Archer testified before the House Oversight Committee last year that Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone at least 20 times with business associates. 

And Bobulinski testified he personally met with Joe Biden in 2017 for more than 45 minutes. He also testified that Joe Biden “enabled” his son Hunter to sell access to America’s “most dangerous adversaries,” including the Chinese Communist Party, Russia and more. 

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Meanwhile, Galanis, who is serving a 14-year sentence, testified from prison that Joe Biden was allegedly considering joining the board of a joint venture created by Hunter Biden and his business associates with ties to the Chinese Communist Party after he left the vice presidency.

Galanis also said that the words “lean in” were “used often by Devon and Hunter in our business dealings as a term for access to Vice President Biden’s political influence.”

City’s ‘racial equity’ official says she wants US to burn to the ground

The City of College Park, Maryland, hired a “racial equity” leader to spearhead its mission to eliminate systemic racism in its departments who has made statements defending violence and promoting the idea of a revolution against the United States. 

Kayla Aliese Carter supports “Black liberation” through revolutionary means and said she is working with some activists to plan “how we will eat and live and grow after we burn it all down.” She was hired to be a “Racial Equity Officer” under Mayor Fazlul Kabir in 2022. 

In this role, she oversees an entire team tasked with implementing a “racial equity” agenda across all city departments, affecting policies, practices, programs and budgets.

Carter was hired after Mayor Kabir signed into law “Resolution 20-R-16,” “which renounced systemic racism, declared support of Black lives, and called for the ongoing explicit and conscious confrontation of racism,” in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in 2020.

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The law mandated a systemic review – currently being performed by Carter – of “all current policies and programs” for evidence of bias and “disparate impact… for Black people.” 

Carter believes it’s not enough to be not racist, one must be actively antiracist and working to “dismantle this s–t.” Some of her posts contain defenses for violence, asking, “Why do Black people always have to rationalize our violence and anger? 

“Remember we are at war against colonialism,” read a post on Instagram from Feb. 2021. She captioned it with, “We can’t forget.”

The header for her X account says the following: “I can’t wait for society to collapse so MY ideology can rise from the ashes!”

“Today I cohosted and occupied space with dozens of people who have committed their lives, businesses, and money to Black liberation. On all days, every day, each day. Light workers. Already planning (BEEN PLANNING) for how we will eat and live and grow after we burn it all down,” she wrote in May 2020. 

Another post from May 2020 reads, “Do y’all understand why the oppressed are constantly shamed out of using violence?? BECAUSE THE OPPRESSOR WANTS TO BE THE SOLE PROFITEER OF VIOLENCE. THEY DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH BACK TALK. ‘DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO’ FACE A–. No.”

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Carter frequently posts stories about her day-to-day life and used the term “a yT [White]” to refer to colleagues.

“I can’t believe I forgot to tweet this earlier but I went in the office this morning a yT said, ‘You cut your hair — or took it out I guess…’ I was so confused bc I haven’t had braids in a month… but this distracted me from the fact that I need a new job,” she wrote in one post. 

In another she wrote, “This yT man in my meeting just said, ‘I want to take a moment and give the floor to any Black… participants to… tell us what MLK Day this year meant to you.’ I SWEAR I AM WHEEZING WHO HIRES THESE PEOPLE?”

Other racialized comments included her saying, “This is why I can’t stand Blacks…” and “This is why I cant trust yT people” in April and July 2022, respectively. 

In 2021 she posted, “I hate when White children stare at me its literally terrifying so I just state back until they stop.”

“The police ARE the White supremacists,” she wrote in August 2020. 

For her work in the city government, Carter makes $75,600, which is slightly above the average salary for the state at $69,750. 

According to her posts on X, Carter doesn’t appear to be enthusiastic about her role, and blames “capitalism” for forcing her to be in the workforce. She’d rather be a “collage artist” or a “lady of leisure,” she said on X in March and July 2023, respectively. 

“Tired of being so underpaid also tired of applying to new jobs. I don’t wanna go back to s*lling dr*gs but this economy is getting desperate,” Carter wrote in October. 

“Engaging in important dialogues exploring the impact of capitalism on daily life (its a Tuesday and I have to work,” Carter wrote on X. The post included a screenshot of a text message exchange. The outgoing message said, “White man calling, I got to go.” 

“I need a new job but the problem is that I don’t want to work I just wanna lay in my bed being a girl can anyone help me with this?” Carter said in January. 

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Fox News Digital reached out to Carter and the mayor’s office for comment.

Judge rules on Trump’s $92M bond in New York defamation case

Former President Trump’s bond money — which totaled just under $100 million dollars — was accepted by a federal judge ahead of his appeal.

Trump posted the $92 million bond last week following a ruling that found him liable in his New York defamation case in January of this year.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved the bond on Tuesday, which will now serve as a guarantee that the former president will pay out if his appeal does not overturn the verdict.

TRUMP POSTS $91M BOND, APPEALS $83M E JEAN CARROLL JUDGMENT

Trump is appealing the January decision to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

He has continued vehemently denying Carroll’s claim that he sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room in 1996.

A jury found him liable for $83.3 million in damages to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her through previous statements attacking her credibility — $18.3 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages.

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The bond value is higher than the total damages due to a requirement for 110% of the judgment value to be posted during the appeal process.

Federal Insurance Company — based in Chesapeake, Virginia — provided the bond money, according to documents signed by the former president.

Trump’s lawyers said he made statements about Carroll in an effort to “defend his reputation, protect his family, and defend his Presidency.”

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A federal jury in New York City decided last year that Trump was not liable for rape but was liable for sexual abuse and defamation.

The former president was ordered to pay $5 million in that trial.

‘Star Wars’ child actor in mental health facility after psychotic break

It’s been nearly 25 years since “Star Wars” child actor Jake Lloyd appeared on the big screen in “The Phantom Menace” and since then he’s mostly stayed out of the public eye.

In an interview with Scripps News, Jake’s mother, Lisa Lloyd, explained that her now 35-year-old son has had a long battle with mental health and is currently at a mental health rehabilitation facility.

Lisa told the outlet that she began noticing her son struggling with mental health while he was still in school.

“Jake started having some trouble in high school,” she said. “He started talking about ‘realities.’ He didn’t know if he was in this reality, or a different reality. I didn’t really know exactly what to say to that.”

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Lisa recalled asking Jake if he was going to finish his homework one afternoon after a day of school.

“And he was like, ‘Well, I don’t even know if I need to do it. I don’t know which reality I’m in,’” Lisa shared. “And I’m like, ‘Well, you’re in my reality today, so you have to do your homework.’”

Lloyd’s mother explained that she took him to a doctor who suggested he had bipolar disorder. Lisa said he was prescribed several medications, but nothing worked.

Jake went on to graduate from high school in 2007 and enrolled in the private arts school, Columbia College Chicago.

Lisa told the outlet that her son’s short enrollment at the college did not go well for him.

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“He missed a lot of classes, and he was telling me that people were following him,” she said. Her motherly instincts kicked in, and she knew something was not right with her son. 

She recalled Jake telling her that people with “black eyes” were staring at him on the street, and he would have conversations with “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart late at night, through the television.

“He didn’t tell us he was hearing voices at the time. But he was,” Lisa told the outlet.

Before completing his first year, Jake left Columbia College Chicago and moved in with his mother in Indiana. Once he was back with Lisa, he was given a new mental health diagnosis, paranoid schizophrenia.

“When they finally told him, it totally threw him off into an even worse depression,” Lisa explained. “It was really hard.”

Lisa said Jake also has a neurological condition known as anosognosia, which according to the National Institute of Health, “is a neurological condition in which the patient is unaware of their neurological deficit or psychiatric condition.”

Lisa said Jake’s condition stopped him from wanting to take medication because he didn’t believe he was sick.

She explained, “He didn’t think he needed to go to the therapist because there’s nothing wrong with him.”

Fast-forward to 2015, Lisa received a phone call from Colleton County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina. Jake was driving from Florida to Canada alone when he was arrested after leading deputies on a multi-country car chase before crashing his vehicle.

Lisa explained that she hired a lawyer to get her son out of jail, but he refused to talk to her.

“I tried to call him and he wouldn’t talk to me. Just flat-out refused,” Lisa shared. “I was talking to the people at the jail and trying to explain to them that he’s off his medication. But they wouldn’t give him his medication.”

Lisa demanded her son be transferred to a hospital, but he ended up serving 10 months in jail.

This process was very hard on Lisa.

“As a mom, you’re just pulling your hair out because your child needs help,” she explained. “You know that he’s sick. You know that he’s not going to get any better unless he gets some medication.”

After Lisa continuously sent letters to Jake in jail, he finally reached out to her. She was able to get her son to a hospital before moving with him to California.

In 2018, things took a horrible turn for the Lloyd family.

Jake’s younger sister, Madison – who appeared as an extra in “The Phantom Menace” – died unexpectedly in her sleep from natural causes. She was 26.

“He just couldn’t handle it,” Lisa said. “He didn’t know how to process it. Sometimes he would just start saying that he really missed Madison. That’s about as much of a conversation as we’d have about it. “

She added, “At least he was acknowledging it.”

Last year, Jake was still struggling with his mental health. In March, Lisa recalled the moment her son had what she called a “full-blown psychotic break” while driving with her after getting food at McDonald’s.

“He said he wanted to turn the car off. And he turned the car off in the middle of the three lanes, and we were in the middle lane,” she explained. “There was a lot of yelling and screaming.”

Drivers witnessing the incident called 911.

“The police got there, and they asked Jake some questions,” she said. “He was talking to them, but none of it made sense. It was all word salad.”

Jake was not taken to jail, but was admitted to a mental health rehabilitation facility the following day.

Jake is currently 10 months into his 18-month stay. Lisa has seen improvements in her son and hopes this experience is a pivotal turning point in his mental health journey.

“He’s doing much better than I expected,” she said. “He is relating to people better and becoming a little bit more social, which is really nice. It’s kind of like having more of the old Jake back, because he has always been incredibly social until he became schizophrenic.”

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Lisa said Jake is now understanding the importance of taking his medication and has enthusiasm for life again, including seeing his friends and attending family barbecues.

She even took Jake to see “Wonka” for his 35th birthday last week and the mother-son duo “filled up on popcorn.”

“He really loved it,” she said. “That was one of the things that we couldn’t do when he was off his medication was watch movies. He just didn’t have the attention span for it.”

As for “Star Wars,” Jake still keeps up with the new shows. Lisa said he is a fan of the new Disney+ series, “Ahsoka.”

She explained, “He loves all the new ‘Star Wars’ stuff. People think Jake hates ‘Star Wars.’ He loves it.”

Lisa also wanted to make it clear that Jake starring in “The Phantom Menance” as a child did not prompt him to walk away from acting or contribute to his mental health issues. Prior to appearing in “Star Wars,” Jake made his acting debut alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1996 film, “Jingle All the Way.”

“It would have happened anyway,” Lisa said, noting that there is a history of schizophrenia on Jake’s father’s side of the family.

She added, “I believe that it was genetic. And his psychiatrist also agrees that Jake was going to become schizophrenic.”

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Lisa also noted that when the “Star Wars” film received backlash after it’s release in 1999, she shielded any negativity from her son.

“I protected him from the backlash. He was just riding his bike outside, playing with his friends. He didn’t know. He didn’t care,” she said. “Everybody makes such a big deal about that. And it’s rather annoying to me because Jake was a little kid when that came out, and he didn’t really feel all that stuff because I didn’t let him online.”

Lisa explained that in high school, Jake was bullied by kids for starring in the sci-fi film. She maintains that the franchise did not contribute to Jake’s decision to leave acting.

“People say he quit because of ‘Star Wars.’ Well, that’s not true. It didn’t have anything to do with ‘Star Wars.’ It had more to do with our family. And we were going through a divorce,” she explained. “Things were unsettled and kind of rough. And Jake didn’t seem to be having a lot of fun auditioning anymore.”

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As far as Jake appearing in another “Star Wars” production, Lisa is not sure if that will be possible.

“Jake loved filming ‘Star Wars.’ He had so much fun,” Lisa said. “I would love for him to get well enough to be able to do a little bit of something, and I’m sure he would maybe like to do that. He couldn’t at this point, but you never know how much he’s going to improve. So we’ll see.”

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While Jake’s future is unknown, Lisa is hopeful that her son is on the right track for happier days.

“We’re in a lot better place. And we do have a lot of things to look forward to,” she said. “We all love Jake, and we want to be around him. I just want him to be happy.”

Princess Diana’s brother lifts the lid on devastating family secret

Charles Spencer was 42 years old when he first revealed he was sexually abused as a child.

The younger brother of Princess Diana, now 59, initially made the revelation to a therapist after he “hit rock bottom.” Seventeen years later, the 9th Earl Spencer is detailing the alleged trauma he endured in a new memoir, “A Very Private School.”

“I was doing a 10-day course of very deep introspection and therapy,” he told Fox News Digital. “My therapist said to each of us, ‘Whisper to me one secret you’d never told anyone.’ I whispered to him that I was sexually abused as a child by an adult. And I remember him looking so shocked, and he had heard it all. Afterward, he took me aside and said, ‘This is very serious stuff.’”

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“By that stage, I had children,” the father of seven shared. “I suddenly put it into context. Wat if one of my children of either gender had been subjected to this as an 11-year-old? It made my blood boil. I then started to allow myself to feel the full devastation of what had happened to me.”

At age 8, Spencer was enrolled at Maidwell Hall, an elite English boarding school. The historian said meeting with other former pupils compelled him to revisit painful memories of the past.

“As I listened to their stories, I was appalled,” he recalled. “There was one [former student] I met with after not seeing him for 40 years. I knew from his wife that he had never talked about his time at the school because it was so traumatizing. He told me how he was made to feel worthless every day, how he’d been seriously sexually assaulted as a 9-year-old three times by somebody who was meant to protect him.

“I took 10 pages of notes, stopped and said, ‘This is too terrible — I can’t tell this story.’ He reached across, grabbed my arm and said, ‘Somebody has to do it – it’s got to be you.’ That convinced me, the truth needed to be shared with the world.”

Spencer said he found family records dating back 300 years of fellow Spencers attending boarding school.

“It was considered essential to send your children away to places where they would meet the right people,” Spencer explained. “These privileged kids would meet and form lifelong bonds at a price. You were ripped away from your family, and you’d probably be subjected to pretty brutal behavior. 

“But this was a trade-off that was in place and still is, I guess, among the upper classes of England. You don’t have to bother with child-rearing, and you can get on with your pampered lives. At the same time, the kid will come out with huge social advantages and a network of friends that will support those social advantages for a lifetime.”

Spencer claimed it didn’t take long to witness – and experience – incidents of alleged abuse behind closed doors.

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“It was a brutal experience,” he claimed. “The headmaster was a sadistic pedophile. He staffed a very small number of teachers in this place who were either … perverted or would never tell tales against him. There wasn’t really anyone to go to.

” I think my parents had no idea of the level of cruelty and perversion that was going on. They would never have sent me there. I think they probably had an old-fashioned view that corporal punishment, the beatings, would probably be part of the school. But they were such a ritual part of every day. There were 72 boys and at least a half dozen of us would be beaten every day. Your time came around very quickly. I don’t think the parents had any knowledge of that.”

Spencer claimed that one student was whipped so badly he struggled to take off his underpants at night because the dried blood and clothing stuck to his skin. The boy had to sit in a warm bath until the fabric came loose. The wounds took two weeks to heal.

Spencer alleged in his book that, after tea time, dozens of boys would disappear into a private wing, where they endured nightly beatings. There wasn’t hope that pajama pants would provide any protection. Spencer said the pain he experienced from his beatings was “shocking in its intensity.”

“There were certain things you would get beaten for,” Spencer reflected. “If you spoke after the lights had been turned off. If you spilled water or milk accidentally. I remember one boy was at the school gymnasium. He was standing against these bars on a wall when he put his arms back and said, ‘Look, I’m Jesus Christ!’ 

“He was whipped very badly for blasphemy. He was just a little boy having a moment of humor. … These were perverted adults taking advantage of these boys … and we had no communication with the outside world.”

Spencer claimed he was allowed to write a letter to his parents once a week. The messages were supervised, and he was unable to tell them what was happening. Spencer later learned that the parents of one student, who recently died from a long terminal disease, still had his letters. They were stained with tears.

“We were just left there at the mercy of some really dangerous people,” Spencer alleged.

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Spencer was also plagued by loneliness. He often thought of his older sister, Diana. The Princess of Wales who died injuries she sustained in a car crash in 1997. She was 36.

“She was the closest person to me growing up,” he said. “We had two much older sisters and a baby brother who had died. Then there was Diana and me. We were very close. And, actually, that was one of the devastations of being sent away. She was sent a year ahead of me, but for the first few years of my life, we went everywhere together. 

“We did everything together. We went to a very gentle primary school together, a day school, [before boarding school]. She was an absolutely lovely older sister to a little boy whose parents were divorced and had quite a traditional English upbringing. We were allies.”

In the book, Spencer claimed he was groomed and sexually abused at age 11 by an assistant matron at the school. She was about 19 or 20, Spencer said. He alleged that the unnamed matron preyed on other boys who were under 13 years old. According to Spencer, the alleged abuse led him to lose his virginity by secretly paying a sex worker while on a trip to Italy with his mother. He was 12 years old.

Over the years, Spencer kept the abuse a secret. But after two failed marriages, Spencer realized he needed help.

“I was so confused by my endless romantic disasters, deep unhappiness and two divorces,” he explained. “I also wanted to do something for my children. Actually, that was the spur. I wanted to get better for them, so I could be a better father. I don’t know if they would agree that I managed it, but that was my aim. And I think, if I hadn’t been a parent, I probably would have just gone on … coping. [Saying it out loud] was surprisingly helpful. It didn’t get to the root of the problem, but it sent me on a course of more honest therapy.”

A spokesperson for Maidwell Hall didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. It previously told “Today” it has notified authorities who investigate possible crimes against children. School officials are also encouraging any past students with similar experiences to come forward.

Today, Spencer said, he’s “really turned a corner” in the last three to four months, especially after writing his book. He’s still doing “a very effective” post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, as well as Tai Chi and breathing exercises.

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“I’ve got a whole armory of support techniques to try and get to a better place,” he shared.

According to “Today,” Spencer hired a private investigator years ago to track down the woman in question. While she was alive at the time, he felt it would be “too much” to confront her. The outlet noted that, under British law, there is no statute of limitation for rape and sexual assault.

Today, Spencer lives about 10 miles from Maidwell Hall. He hopes the school will now deal with its past “in an honest way.”

“I would tell [my younger self] it wasn’t his fault,” Spencer said. “As a child, you’re always thinking it’s your fault. I used to think I must have failed as a son to be sent away to such a place and not be part of the family. … But I would tell him, ‘You’re fine. You’ve come out on the other side.’”

EXCLUSIVE: Janet Yellen warns inflation decline might not be ‘smooth’

EXCLUSIVE: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday that inflation could face a bumpy return to normal after back-to-back reports showed that price pressures within the U.S. economy rebounded at the start of the year.

In a sit-down interview with FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence, Yellen pushed back against stagflation concerns and maintained that progress on inflation has not stalled.

“I wouldn’t expect this to be a smooth path month to month, but the trend is clearly favorable,” she said. “That said, President Biden’s top priority is addressing the issue of high costs that concerns so many Americans.”

Prices for everything including groceries, new cars and health insurance surged in 2021 and 2022 as the result of rampant inflation, which was caused by pandemic-induced disruptions in the global supply chain, an extremely tight labor market and increased consumer demand fueled in part by stimulus cash. 

While inflation has fallen considerably from a peak of 9.1% notched during June 2022, it remains above the Federal Reserve’s 2% goal. And when compared with January 2021, shortly before the inflation crisis began, prices are up a stunning 18.49%. 

High inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily affected by price fluctuations.

“I don’t think we’re going to see stagflation,” Yellen said. “Most forecasters believe we’re on a path where inflation will come down over time.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Jill Biden’s ‘work husband’ plagued by disturbing claims, deemed untouchable

EXCLUSIVE: The reported actions of a top White House official that included allegations of longtime bullying and verbal sexual harassment of staffers are accurate, a former top Biden aide told Fox News Digital, who said the claims should trigger an internal investigation.

On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that first lady Jill Biden’s top aide, Anthony Bernal, who is openly gay, has a history of questionable work conduct but is deemed “untouchable” because she views him as her “work husband.” 

Bernal, according to the report, has been known to speculate on the penis size of staffers in a move one of the publication’s sources believed was to make people uncomfortable and gain the upper hand.

“It lines up with everything I experienced working there,” the former top Biden aide, who wished to remain anonymous, told Fox News Digital of the report.

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“I’m surprised it has taken this long for so many staffers to speak out,” they said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if this empowered current and past staff to move forward.”

According to the Post’s report, two individuals said Bernal shared his theory that a person’s thumb size correlates with their penis size. He allegedly did so in the current White House, in previous roles in the Biden campaign and during Biden’s vice presidency.

“It is to make people uncomfortable and to have power over them,” one source told the publication. “It is Me Too – classic Me Too.”

Another source told the Post that Bernal had often speculated on the penis size of several individuals, including political aides and Secret Service agents.

A third added that before Biden’s presidency, Bernal told a colleague he had a small penis during a dispute. On another occasion, he commented on a “staffer’s bulge in his khakis.”

“It was a lot of inappropriate remarks — talking about other people’s attractiveness and speculating about their sex lives at very weird moments,” the source told the Post. “That’s actually sexual harassment.”

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Bernal also regularly questioned people’s sexuality and would attempt to poke into their personal lives, according to the report, which came after the publication spoke to nearly a dozen current and former staffers. 

The individuals said they came forward because they wanted Bernal held accountable for his actions. 

“If the White House Counsel is investigating the behavior of a junior staffer in the scheduling and advance office, does that mean they’re investigating Anthony Bernal, an assistant to the president, too?” the former top Biden aide told Fox News Digital. “A dozen sources seem like enough to trigger that type of internal investigation.”

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients responded to the allegations by saying he and the Bidens have “full confidence in Anthony’s character.”

“His many fans at the White House know him to be both gracious and tough, holding himself up to the highest standards, with a heart dedicated to public service,” Zients told the Post. “It is disappointing that he is the target of unfounded attacks from unnamed sources.”

Meanwhile, the former aide also told Fox News Digital that Zients should be furious at the White House over the situation. 

“From a comms approach, I have no idea what the hell they were thinking by putting Jeff Zients’ name on a statement defending a guy accused by a dozen staffers of being a bully and worse,” the former aide said. “If I were Zients, I would be furious that I was left up the creek without a paddle. No one was protecting him in an effort to protect a serial abuser who has been a ticking time bomb for the Bidens for over a decade. If it weren’t for that book from a New York Times reporter, this would have continued to go unnoticed.” 

HUR TESTIFIES HE ‘DID IDENTIFY EVIDENCE’ THAT ‘PRIDE AND MONEY’ MOTIVATED BIDEN TO RETAIN CLASSIFIED RECORDS

“Aside from associating the White House chief of staff with a culture of abuse, bullying and harassment, they have elevated a story in an outlet they rarely treat with any credibility,” the former aide added. “They go out of their way to tell everyone to ignore the [New York] Post. But when you provide a statement from the White House chief of staff, you’re giving the story an avalanche of credibility and providing a permission structure for other outlets and journalists to advance the story.”

Sources told the Post they believe Bernal will not face consequences due to his proximity to the first lady. In her book, “Where the Light Enters,” she thanked Bernal, saying he provided her with “insights and guidance.”

“He knows how much I love him and respect him,” she added.

“Working for the Bidens is like living in another century,” a source told the Post. “You really cannot speak up without fear of personal or professional retaliation.”

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“He is by far the worst and most well-known abuser, but the Biden White House is a magnet for ugly and abusive workplace behavior,” they continued. “It’s totally inexcusable [in] this day [and] age, especially with Biden’s own narrative about standing up to bullies.”

The White House and first lady’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment nor did they answer whether they would investigate Bernal’s actions.

Convicted murderer of pregnant wife comes back to court with fiery new evidence

California killer Scott Peterson returned to court Tuesday with his new lawyers as he seeks to overturn his 2004 conviction for the murders of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn child – a crime he maintains he did not commit.

Peterson, 51, appeared remotely from Ione, California’s Mule Creek State Prison wearing a blue button-down shirt and asked the court for permission to appear remotely in future proceedings.

He was initially sentenced to death for the murders, and while the sentence was later overturned, his appeal for a new trial has failed in the past.

Peterson, whose look has changed repeatedly over the two decades he has been behind bars, traded in his slicked hair and salt-and-pepper stubble for a clean shave, and he had his hair pulled back in a short ponytail.

SCOTT PETERSON’S CONVICTION FACES SURPRISING CHALLENGE 20 YEARS LATER

Key evidence against Scott Peterson:

  • Peterson was having an affair with a woman named Amber Frey, who testified against him and cooperated with law enforcement
  • Frey told police in April 2003 that Peterson told her his wife was dead a month before she actually went missing
  • In recorded calls, he told her he didn’t want to be a father and was considering a vasectomy, according to court documents
  • Peterson, who lived in Modesto at the time of the murders, told police he was fishing in Berkeley the day his wife disappeared
  • Her remains and the remains of their son Conner were discovered in the San Francisco Bay
  • Prosecutors maintained the Medina burglary, across the street from the Peterson home, happened on Dec. 26, after Laci Peterson was already missing
  • Peterson had bleached his hair blonde and was carrying $10,000 cash and his brother’s passport near the Mexico border when he was arrested after Frey came forward

The hearing largely addressed scheduling for a number of upcoming hearings – on motions to seal documents, conduct new DNA testing and post-conviction discovery.

The judge first set a hearing on Peterson’s motion to seal on April 16, followed by the DNA hearing on May 29 and July 15 for discovery. 

Peterson and his supporters have long focused on suspects who allegedly burglarized a house across the street from his home, alleging they could have killed his wife. 

The Los Angeles Innocence Project announced in January it would seek new DNA testing on a hammer linked to a burglary across the street from the Peterson family home as well as a stained mattress found in a burned-out van parked less than a mile away.

His motion for discovery includes evidence connected with the so-called Medina burglary, the van fire and information on eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen Laci Peterson after Dec. 24, 2003, the day she was reported missing.

While Peterson has previously raised issues of juror misconduct and the potential that the burglars could have abducted and killed his wife, the new appeal hinges on conducting new DNA testing on the mattress with present-day technology.

TIMELINE: THE LACI PETERSON CASE

SCOTT PETERSON FAMILY PHOTO REVEALED AS HE FILES NEW APPEAL IN MURDERS OF WIFE, UNBORN CHILD

“The Los Angeles Innocence Project filed motions in January asking the Court to order further discovery of evidence and allow new DNA testing to support our investigation into Mr. Peterson’s claim of actual innocence,” the Innocence Project said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Today’s hearing was just the first step in a long process. We have not commented on our motions, and we will continue to present our case in court – where it should be adjudicated.”

Peterson initially received a death sentence, which was commuted to life in prison without parole in 2020 after a prior appeal.

His stint in state prison began in March 2005.

Peterson has always maintained his innocence. 

Paula Mitchell, his attorney from the Los Angeles Innocence Project, wrote to the court that she compiled more than 40,000 pages of documents while reviewing his case before requesting additional discovery from the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

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Fox News’ Melissa Chrise and Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

UFC legend ‘battling for his life’ after carrying parents out of house fire, daughter says

UFC legend Mark Coleman was hospitalized Tuesday after saving his parents from a house fire in Ohio, his daughter wrote in a social media post.

Morgan Coleman added that her father suffered from smoke inhalation during his heroic efforts in Toledo. Unfortunately, she said, he was unable to save the dog, named Hammer.

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“He managed to carry both of his parents out of the house but despite his best efforts was not able to save hammer. He was life-flighted to the hospital where he is currently battling for his life after this heroic act,” she wrote.

“Our father has always been our hero and means the world to us. He is and always will be a fighter. The strongest (and) bravest man I know. Please continue to pray for him and our family during this extremely difficult time. We will miss our sweet hammer so deeply.

“Thank you for all the love and support. Hammer house for life.”

DANA WHITE KEEPING BUD LIGHT AS UFC BEER SPONSOR A ‘BRILLIANT BUSINESS MOVE,’ EX-ESPN STAR SAGE STEELE SAYS

Mark Coleman, a Fremont, Ohio, native, represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics and joined the UFC in its infancy. He became the first UFC Heavyweight Champion with a submission victory over Dan Severn at UFC 12 in 1997.

He then faced off in a title defense against Maurice Smith at UFC 14, but he lost via decision. He would go on to fight in the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan from 1999 to 2006.

He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008 and eventually got his dream bout against Randy Couture after UFC 109 in 2010. He lost to Couture, but it was the first time two UFC Hall of Famers had fought in the octagon.

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Coleman wrapped up his fighting career with a 16-10 record, an NCAA Division 1 champion, a silver medalist in the World Championships, a three-time gold medalist at the Pan American Championships and a gold medalist at the Pan American Games.

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