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Ousted Spano

GOP Rep. Ross Spano ousted in Florida as another House incumbent loses primary – Fox News

Dogged by investigations into campaign finance violations, first-term Republican Rep. Ross Spano of Florida was ousted Tuesday in a GOP House primary.

The embattled freshman lawmaker was narrowly edged out by Lakeland, Fla., commission member Scott Franklin in the state’s 15th Congressional District, which covers parts of Tampa’s northeastern suburbs. Spano becomes the eighth House incumbent to be defeated in this year’s congressional primaries. Five of the losing lawmakers are Republicans.

2020 PURGE: INCUMBENTS GETTING OUSTED IN PARTY PRIMARIES

The Associated Press called the race for Franklin at 9:35 p.m. ET.

Spano last year acknowledged that he had misreported as personal funds more than $100,000 in contributions to his successful 2018 congressional campaign. The misreporting of the donations was an “inadvertent and unintentional” mistake, he said, but a Justice Department investigation is ongoing.

Franklin was endorsed earlier this month by GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a strong ally of President Trump.

Franklin, a managing partner in an insurance company, will now be considered the front-runner to win the Republican leaning district in November’s general election.

FILE- In this Dec. 18, 2src19, file photo, Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington. (House Television via AP)

FILE- In this Dec. 18, 2019, file photo, Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., speaks as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington. (House Television via AP)

National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer offered “congratulations to Scott Franklin on his primary win tonight. Scott has fought for freedom as a member of the U.S. Navy and will continue that fight in the halls of Congress. Alan Cohn will support the Democrats’ extreme socialist agenda and will be soundly rejected by voters in November.”

In a House GOP primary in southeast Florida, Gaetz’s support of Laura Loomer may have helped the right-wing activist decisively win her race against five Republican rivals.

The 27-year-old Republican has sparked numerous controversies in recent years, including being expelled from Twitter and banned as “dangerous” from Facebook, in addition to being banned from from using Lyft and Uber for anti-Muslim comments.

The president congratulated Loomer on Twitter, saying, “Great going Laura.”

The GOP nominee will now face off in November in Florida’s 21st Congressional District against heavily favored Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, who was unopposed in her 2018 re-election.

The district includes the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort, where Trump is registered to vote.

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Federal Ousted

Ousted SDNY federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman to appear before House Judiciary Committee next week – Fox News

Former Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman will testify next week before the House Judiciary committee in a closed door hearing – just weeks after President Trump fired him.

Berman will appear before the Democrat-led House committee next Thursday, Fox News is told.

Attorney General William Barr informed Berman late last month that he was fired from his post as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

At the time, Barr said he asked Trump to fire Berman after the Manhattan federal prosecutor said Friday he planned to stay on the job against the Trump Administration’s wishes.

“Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” Barr said in the letter. “Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.”

Barr said Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss was appointed to take over until a permanent successor is in place.

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Berman’s appearance next week will be the latest event in a highly publicized feud between the former U.S. attorney and the Trump administration.

Barr and the White House announced in June that Trump will nominate Jay Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to replace Berman. But Berman, whose office has been a thorn in Trump’s side, said he learned of his “departure” from Barr’s press release and had no intention of leaving the job.

Barr initially said the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Craig Carpenito, would take over on an acting basis beginning July 3 until Jay Clayton’s SEC confirmation. But Barr switched gears afterwards by announcing Strauss would manage the SDNY in the interim.

Democrats accused the Trump administration of trying to shut down Berman, who is leading investigations into the president’s allies.

“The president has doubled down on his fixer’s obstruction of investigations into him and his allies,” said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a contender to be Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick. “It is clear that nothing will restrain his corruption. No one is above the law. The American people will have their say.”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who helped prosecute the Trump impeachment case before the Senate, announced his committee will launch an investigation into Berman’s ouster, saying it “smacks of corruption and incompetence.”

The Southern District has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including the president’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes. The office has also been investigating Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent, people familiar with the probe told The Associated Press.

Berman has also overseen the prosecution of two Florida businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were associates of Giuliani and tied to the Ukraine impeachment investigation. The men were charged in October with federal campaign finance violations, including hiding the origin of a $325,000 donation to a group supporting Trump’s reelection.

Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton said that Trump sought to interfere in a Southern District investigation into the Turkish Halkbank in an effort to cut deals with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

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