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Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved. Saturday, May 23, 2015
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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In his weekly address, President Obama commemorated Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“Like generations of heroes before them, these Americans gave everything they had—not for glory, not even for gratitude, but for something greater than themselves,” Obama said. “We cannot bring them back.  Nor can we ease the pain of their families and friends who live with their loss.”

The president will spend the first Memorial Day since the end of the war in Afghanistan at Arlington Cemetery, remembering the more than 2,200 service members who gave their lives in that conflict, as well as all of the nation’s fallen soldiers.

“So what we can do—what we must do—is fulfill our sacred obligations to them, just like they fulfilled theirs to us.  We have to honor their memory,” he said.

Obama asked that all Americans spend Monday honoring the memory and sacrifice of the nation’s service members.

Read the full transcript of the president's address:
 
Hi, everybody.  This weekend is Memorial Day—a time to pay tribute to all our men and women in uniform who’ve ever given their lives so that we can live in freedom and security.  This year, the holiday is especially meaningful.  It’s the first Memorial Day since our war ended in Afghanistan.
 
On Monday, at Arlington Cemetery, I’ll join our Gold Star families, veterans, and their loved ones to remember all our fallen heroes, including the more than 2,200 American patriots who gave their lives in Afghanistan.  And I plan to share a few of their stories.
 
Growing up in Arizona, Wyatt Martin loved the outdoors.  To him, a great day was a day spent fishing.  After high school, he enlisted in the Army because he believed that the blessings he enjoyed as an American came with an obligation to give back to his country.
 
Ramon Morris was born in Jamaica, and as a teenager came to Queens.  Like so many proud immigrants, he felt a calling to serve his new country and joined the Army.  He fell in love, got engaged, and the thing he wanted most was to make the world safer for his three-year-old daughter.
 
In their lives, Specialist Wyatt Martin and Sergeant First Class Ramon Morris travelled different paths.  But in December, their paths intersected as the final two Americans to give their lives during our combat mission in Afghanistan.
 
This weekend also reminds us that, around the world, our men and women in uniform continue to serve and risk their lives.  In Afghanistan, our troops now have a new mission—training and advising Afghan forces.  John Dawson was one of them.  From Massachusetts, he loved the Bruins and the Pats.  In April, he gave his life as an Army combat medic—the first American to give his life in this new mission.  This Memorial Day, we’ll honor Corporal Dawson as well.
 
Like generations of heroes before them, these Americans gave everything they had—not for glory, not even for gratitude, but for something greater than themselves.  We cannot bring them back.  Nor can we ease the pain of their families and friends who live with their loss.
 
But we are the Americans they died to defend.  So what we can do—what we must do—is fulfill our sacred obligations to them, just like they fulfilled theirs to us.  We have to honor their memory.  We have to care for their families, and our veterans who served with them.  And as a nation, we have to remain worthy of their sacrifice—forever committed to the country they loved and the freedom they fought for and died for.
 
Thank you, have a wonderful weekend, and may God bless our fallen heroes and their families.

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US Congress(WASHINGTON) -- In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas calls on President Obama to honor that nation’s troops by backing a defense authorization bill that provides them with the benefits they’ve earned, and the tools and resources they need to complete their missions.

“We carry a debt to those who have served, and especially to those who have fallen, to focus just on doing what’s right for the country and what’s right for our troops, and we honor them best by building on their sacrifice to pass along to the next generation a country even stronger, even more prosperous, and even freer than we’ve enjoyed,” Thornberry said.

The House Armed Services Committee Chairman contends the House has passed the defense authorization bill last week giving troops a raise an updating their benefits, but that President Obama wants additional money for domestic programs and has threatened to veto the defense bill unless he gets it.

“Look, we’re always going to have our differences, but it’s wrong for anyone to play politics with defense.  The world is too dangerous, and the men and women who serve are too precious for that,” he said.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

Hello, I’m Mac Thornberry.  I’m privileged to represent the people of the Panhandle and North Texas in Congress and to chair the House Armed Services Committee.

In my job I get to spend a lot of time around the men and women who serve our nation in the military.  I’m continually in awe of their character, their courage, and their dedication to our country.

Since the beginning, the United States has been blessed with outstanding individuals who cared about something bigger than themselves and have fought – and some even died – for American security and American freedom.

This Memorial Day, we continue to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.  The Greatest Generation took on one of the greatest evils the world has ever known, defeated it, and came home to build a nation.

But their achievement came at a heavy price.  On Memorial Day, all of us should take time to remember and to honor those who sacrificed their lives in answering the call of our country.

I think we have to do more than honor the fallen, however.  We have a duty to honor what they fought for, so that, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

The world today is full of turmoil.  Freedom and decency are still under assault.  ISIS, for example, poses a grave and direct threat to our security and our way of life.

No one knows how to solve all the problems of the world.  But one thing we do know for sure – the world is a safer, better place when the United States is militarily strong.  And a weakened America invites greater danger.

The Constitution endows Congress with specific responsibilities to help “provide for the common defense.”   For 53 straight years, Congresses of both parties have passed and presidents of both parties have signed into law a defense authorization act, which has helped to build that military strength that we need.  The House passed this year’s bill last week.  It gives our troops a raise and updates their benefits.  It eases our warfighters’ transition to the VA and it makes sure we get the most value possible for the taxpayer dollars.  The Senate will take up their version soon.

The House bill authorized exactly the amount the president requested to keep America safe.  But he wants more money for domestic programs and has threatened to veto the defense bill unless he gets it.  

Look, we’re always going to have our differences, but it’s wrong for anyone to play politics with defense.  The world is too dangerous, and the men and women who serve are too precious for that.

We carry a debt to those who have served, and especially to those who have fallen, to focus just on doing what’s right for the country and what’s right for our troops, and we honor them best by building on their sacrifice to pass along to the next generation a country even stronger, even more prosperous, and even freer than we’ve enjoyed.

Of course, no one put it better than Ronald Reagan when he said, “and we owe them something…We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.”

When this Memorial Day’s passed, there will still be brave Americans stationed all over the world to protect us and our way of life.   

To everyone who wears America’s colors and to everyone who ever has, and to their families, thank you.

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Image Source Pink/Image Source/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate voted 62-37 to pass the so-called "fast track" Trade Promotion Authority.

Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was in the chair when the vote was called at 9:21 p.m. on Friday.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., then informed the chamber that there is not a time agreement to speed up the timing of votes related to FISA reform.

Therefore, the earliest the Senate can move onto those measures is 1 a.m. Saturday, when McConnell has said the chamber will hold its next vote series – absent any intervening time agreement.

“If that changes, I’ll be the first to let everyone know,” McConnell promised. “If it does, obviously we’ll try to expedite the process but as of this moment, we’ll be voting at 1:00 a.m.”

The FISA votes are only procedural to get onto the bill – in the form of Motions to Proceed.

Both are expected to fail to reach 60 votes, but if either motion passes, senators fear their Memorial Day recess will go out the window – possibly drawing out the process until Wednesday.

If neither measure passes, the Senate is expected to advance a short-term measure to buy Congress a few more days to get a deal worked out once both chambers return in early June following the week-long recess.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department on Friday released 296 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail account related to the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The documents made public Friday were earlier provided to the House Select Committee on Benghazi several months ago in response to its request for more information about the incident that remains the most troubling moment in Clinton’s tenure at the State Department -- and a major vulnerability as she campaigns for the presidency.

“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks, which have been known since the independent Accountability Review Board report on the Benghazi attacks was released almost two and a half years ago,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement Friday.

The documents cover the period from January 2011 through Dec. 31, 2012.

“I have said repeatedly I want those emails out,” Clinton said during a campaign stop in Iowa earlier this week. "Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State Department. They have their process that they do for everybody and not just for me, but anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support."

Friday’s release is just the tip of the spear: Going forward, another 55,000 pages of former Secretary Clinton’s e-mails will be made publicly available on a rolling basis. The State Department has until next Tuesday to announce the roll-out plan for the much larger batch of e-mails.

The laborious task of sorting, reading, redacting and reviewing paper copies of what now amounts to hundreds of thousands of pages of documents falls to the State Department’s Office of Information Programs and Services and its lawyers, better known as the FOIA office -- which stands for Freedom of Information Act.

They’ve established a full-time staff, with one project manager, two case analysts, nine FOIA reviewers and a slew of additional information analysts who have been working since April. The larger trove of e-mails from Clinton’s private email account spans the period from 2009 to 2013.


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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(WASHINGTON) -- 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar responded to allegations of child molestation Thursday by calling his actions "inexcusable."

Now, Mike Huckabee is standing up for him.

"Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities," Huckabee wrote in a post on Facebook. "No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things."

According to a report from In Touch magazine, Duggar, 27, was investigated in 2006 for inappropriately touching minors when he was a teenager.

On Thursday evening, he released a statement that has since been obtained by ABC News in which he said he "would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions."

"I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling," he added. "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."

Huckabee and the Duggar family have long been close, and the former Arkansas governor has often praised the family for their Christian values. Photos of Duggar's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, and their endorsements of Huckabee for president are prominently featured on his campaign website; they still appeared on the homepage Friday afternoon.

The Duggars endorsed and campaigned for Huckabee during his 2008 presidential campaign, as well.

Josh Duggar said last week he had met with Huckabee in Washington, tweeting a photo of himself with the candidate that Huckabee later shared with his own Twitter followers. "Great to visit w/ my friend @GovMikeHuckabee this morning in DC," Duggar wrote. "Thankful to have his voice on the #2016 stage!"

Huckabee, whose campaign declined further comment when asked by ABC News, added that by admitting and apologizing for his actions, Josh Duggar acted as a testament to his family's "authenticity" and "humility."

"It is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends," he concluded. "Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support."

A personal representative for the Duggars had no additional comment Friday, nor did a rep for TLC.

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama told a Jewish-American audience on Friday that he has a personal stake in making sure the Iran nuclear deal is a success.

“This deal will have my name on it, so nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise,” the president said, echoing the comments he made to The Atlantic earlier this week.

Seeking to reassure the Jewish community, the president reiterated that the U.S. and Israel share the same goal: “Iran must not, under any circumstances, be allowed to get a nuclear weapon,” he said.

“Now, there’s a debate about how to achieve that -- and that's a healthy debate,” he continued. “The deal that we already reached with Iran has already halted or rolled back parts of Iran’s nuclear program.  Now we’re seeking a comprehensive solution.  I will not accept a bad deal.”

Obama also reiterated that a deal is not yet done and that “all options are and will remain on the table.”

“I can’t stand here today and guarantee an agreement will be reached.  We’re hopeful.  We’re working hard.  But nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he said.

The president, wearing a white yarmulke, spoke before the Congregation at Adas Israel at an event marking Jewish American Heritage Month.


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Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Presidential primary organizers have quite the dilemma on their hands. The Republican field has more candidates than in any recent primary, and debate organizers have been wrestling with one main question: How can we fit all the candidates on a stage?

The answer from Fox News and CNN, which are separately hosting the first two televised debates, is to invite the top 10 candidates as determined by a national polling average, and leave everyone else out.

Fox will average the last five polls that are conducted by “major, nationally recognized organizations that use standard methodological techniques.” That likely translates to non-partisan polls conducted by live interviewers.

So who’s likely to be left out?

Polling site FiveThirtyEight analyzes which candidates would make a debate held today. See the results here.

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Feng Li/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton has set the date for her first big campaign rally: June 13.

While there’s no word on where the event will take place, we do know this — June 13 will officially mark the end of the "ramp up" phase of her campaign.

It’s possible that former President Bill Clinton could attend the rally as well. It would mark his first official appearance with Hillary on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, Clinton will hold two events in New Hampshire Friday with more planned in South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Missouri in the coming weeks. Clinton is also adding Georgia, Rhode Island and even New Mexico into the mix. She's scheduled to swing through for fundraisers at some time in between.

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ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — It’s the Florida endorsement Marco Rubio may secretly be vying for — that of hugely popular Cuban rapper Pitbull.

In a BuzzFeed profile of Rubio, an unnamed aide, trying to tout the senator's cool factor, alluded to Rubio's hip hop fluency, and citing that he's on a first name basis with Pitbull.

Rubio has made mention of his favor for Pitbull, whose real is Armando Perez, in the past.

“Pitbull has become a friend and someone from Miami we’re very proud of,” Rubio said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in April.

But Rubio may not have the market cornered on cool. Pitbull has said that his mother and grandmother told him that “politics and religion” are the two things you don’t speak about, according to The Hill.

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Jemal Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Clinton Foundation has released a list of paid speeches by Hillary, Bill and Chelsea showing the payments that were donated to the foundation.

The amount of the payments, which were not disclosed before Thursday night, could total between $12 million and more than $25 million, according to the foundation, which provided only ranges rather than actual amounts.

Here is a breakdown of the donors:

BANKS


To any Democrats sensitive to Clinton’s perceived ties to the finance industry, this won’t look particularly good. Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi and Carlyle each donated between $250,000 and $500,000. Charles Schwab gave $100,000 to $250,000, as did Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
FOREIGN FRIENDS


Thailand’s ministry of energy paid a boatload, as did Qatar First Investment Bank, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and several other foreign companies. Chinese companies Alibaba, Beijing Huaduo Enterprise Consulting Company, China Real Estate Development Group, Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade Co. and Zhong Lu Corp also donated.
 
CASH FROM CHARITY


Between $50,000 and $100,00 was paid for a Clinton speech by Chicago House, a social-services group in Chicago that helps people “who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity by providing housing, employment services, medical linkage and retention services, HIV prevention services, legal services and other supportive programs,” according to its website.
 
WHAT THE CLINTON FOUNDATION IS SAYING


“In addition to the more than 300,000 donors who are all listed on our website, posting these speeches is just another example of how our disclosure policies go above and beyond what's required of charities,” Craig Minassian, Chief Communications Officer of the Clinton Foundation said in a statement. “This funding allows the Foundation to effectively and efficiently use our resources to implement programs that are fighting HIV/AIDS and childhood obesity, increasing opportunity for women and girls, lifting people out of poverty and combating climate change."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The White House says the president’s strategy against ISIS is working, despite the fact that ISIS is in control of much of Syria and has gained control of the capital city of Iraq’s largest province.

"We are in the degrade portion of this operation,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in Thursday’s press briefing, pushing back against those who are calling for an overhaul of the current strategy and drawing a hard line against the consideration of a large-scale military deployment.

“The president is not going to be in a position where he's going to consider a large-scale U.S. military deployment,” Earnest added. “And for those who are calling on a change in strategy, I would encourage them to be specific.”

Instead of overhauling current strategy, Earnest told ABC News' Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl that that President Obama and his national security team are looking for ways to apply strategies that have worked in other places -- using Kobani and Tikrit as examples of success -- to areas where the United States is experiencing setbacks.

“What's under consideration is how can we learn from those situations where we have had success and made progress and how can we apply those lessons to this area where we have experienced a setback,” Earnest told Karl.

Though Earnest said the White House is “deeply concerned” about the situation in Palmyra, the administration is not changing its current strategy in Syria.

“Until we're able to build up local forces on the ground in Syria who can take the fight to ISIL in their own country, you know, this is going to continue to be a difficult challenge, and one that is not going to be solved overnight, but rather, one that will require a long-term commitment,” he said.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- It was a historic first at the White House, as Press Secretary Josh Earnest took a question from a Cuban reporter in Thursday’s press briefing.

“Welcome to the United States and to the White House,”  Earnest told a group of visiting Cuban journalists before taking a question from a reporter who identified her affiliation with Cuba’s government-run national television network.

“First, do you think that it's possible to see a scenario in which we will open embassies in Havana and Washington? In that future scenario, is the administration committed to be more respectful of the Vienna Convention towards the behavior of the American diplomats in Havana?” the reporter asked Earnest.

After affirming hopes that the United States and Cuba will re-open embassies in each respective country, Earnest said it’s a priority that the two countries reach an agreement that will allow U.S. diplomats to do in Cuba what they “do in countries around the world, which is to not just engage the leaders of the government, but also to engage the people.”

Diplomatic movement within Cuba has been a sticking point in the ongoing negotiations to restore full diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Earnest also used the exchange as an opportunity to pointedly voice concerns about Cuba’s human rights record.

“We continue to have significant concerns about the way that the Cuban government all too often fails to respect the basic universal human rights that we hold so dear in this country,” he said. “That there are too many Cuban political activists, Cuban journalists, who see their freedom of speech, their freedom of assembly, their freedom of expression trampled by the Cuban government. That continues to be a source of significant concern, not just on the part of the president of the United States, but by a lot of Americans.”

Asked about the likelihood of a presidential visit to Cuba, Earnest said there’s one person in particular who is eager to for the president to make a visit to the island country in the near future: President Obama himself.

“I know that he would relish the opportunity to visit the island of Cuba, and Havana in particular,” Earnest said.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine says his officers are receiving potty training (get it?) after three separate incidents this year when officers left firearms unattended in the Capitol’s public restrooms.

“We are now providing additional training on what to do when you have to go to the bathroom,” Dine told lawmakers during a hearing on Wednesday.

Dine said a first-time offender would be suspended for five days under current policy for leaving a weapon unattended, but he is considering toughening the penalty to 30 days or even potential termination for a first offense because of the seriousness a single error can carry.

“There are no excuses for these mistakes,” he stressed.

The chief appeared before the House Committee on Administration to discuss a number of troubling issues that have plagued his police force in the past year, including the widely publicized gyrocopter landing on the Capitol lawn on April 15.

Dine defended his officers’ actions during that event, telling lawmakers that his agency had little heads-up of the possibility Douglas Hughes - the pilot who was indicted Wednesday on six counts related to the incident - might be heading to the Capitol on his helicopter-like aircraft.

“I think the officers acted properly, heroically, swiftly and efficiently," Dine said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Senate narrowly advanced a bill that would give President Obama the “fast-track” authority to negotiate trade deals with foreign partners.

Sixty votes were needed to move forward with the measure, and the Senate voted 62 to 38 in favor of invoking cloture -- setting up a vote on final passage for this week before the Senate leaves for Memorial Day recess.

The vote was a squeaker, going down to the wire with many observers unsure how a group of senators, led by Sens. Maria Cantwell, R-Washington, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, threatening to vote against advancing the measure if a vote was not held on the Export-Import bank.

With Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, draping his arms over the South Carolinian's shoulder, Graham and Cantwell were at the center of intense negotiations on the Senate floor with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who eventually assured the senators he would allow a vote on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank despite personally opposing the measure. After nearly thirty minutes of huddling, Graham and Cantwell voted in favor of invoking cloture on the trade bill, opening the floodgates for other senators to advance the measure.

Many Senate Democrats, who normally side with the White House on its legislative agenda, opposed the measure over concerns about a lack of amendments and secrecy surrounding the bill.

“We’re going to shut down debate on the first full day of consideration?” Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said ahead of the vote. “We’re not being unreasonable. We’re playing this straight. We’re simply asking for the Senate to debate this legislation.”

Before the vote, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, offered votes on nine amendments to the measure, but Brown objected, saying it didn’t reflect a thorough amendment process.

If the Senate failed to advance the bill, it would have sent a brutal blow to the White House. Last week, Senate Democrats defeated the first effort to move forward with the legislation.

“What we just witnessed here is Democratic senators shutting down debate on the top economic priority of the Democratic president of the United States,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the time.

Obama acquired some unlikely allies in his push for obtaining negotiating authority for trade deals. McConnell was one of the pivotal lawmakers advocating in favor of the president’s plan. But the debate has put the president at odds with some of his top Democratic supporters, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who engaged in a back and forth battle with the president over the deal.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A State Department employee has been arrested and charged with computer hacking, cyber-stalking and extorting college-aged women in what authorities say was a scheme to gather sexually explicit material.

Michael C. Ford, a State Department employee who has worked out of the U.S. Embassy in London since 2009, is accused of using government computers there to conduct the alleged crimes. He was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Sunday and is scheduled to appear in a federal court later Thursday.

Authorities said investigators found a spreadsheet on Ford’s work computer that appeared to summarize criminal activity that included a list of approximately 250 e-mail addresses he may have used to target the women.

A criminal complaint filed in Atlanta's federal court contains an affidavit from a diplomatic security agent that details the emails found after searching Ford’s computer records. It alleges that, in early 2015, Ford “apparently hacked into and stole compromising photographs from online accounts belonging to an 18-year-old Kentucky woman.” He then sent her threatening emails demanding she sent him more photographs and video of other “girls” and “sexy girls” who were undressing in changing rooms at pools, gyms and clothing stores, according to the court papers.

He allegedly would threaten to send the compromising photos to acquaintances of his targets or make them public in other ways if the targets did not comply.

The affidavit quotes emails recovered from Ford’s accounts. “Finally, I found you! What do you think? Nice a**!,” his first email to one victim allegedly read. When the woman responded by asking where he got the photos, according to the court documents, he answered: “I’m a wizard, I have lots. Do you like it? :).” He then allegedly asked, “Can I text the picture to [her acquaintance's phone number] or maybe email it to [other individuals].”

When the woman threatened to tell the police, according to the documents, he responded: “I’ve hacked nothing. You threaten me again and I send it out. Would you like that.”

The affidavit adds that when the woman begged him to leave her alone he responded yet again, demanding his terms. “I want you to video girls in the changing room [of her gym]. If you don’t, I send your details and picture to everyone. What do you say? Looks like you’ve made up your mind. Get ready for my email and post to go out tomorrow morning. Enjoy!”

Based on the totality of the information recovered from Ford's computer, the diplomatic security investigator said in the documents that he believes "Ford may be targeting college-aged women throughout the U.S."

The federal charges also state that at one point a man with the same name and Social Security number was arrested in connection with “'peeping-Tom'-like” offenses, without offering additional details.

The State Department declined to comment on Ford or the case, noting the pending charges and citing department policy.

ABC News reached out to Ford’s lawyers for comment but they were not immediately available.

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