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The community is rallying for a liver transplant patient who was beaten in a Hackensack Staples store by another customer after asking her to wear her coronavirus face mask.

More than $2,600 had been raised as of Sunday morning on a GoFundMe for Margot Kagan, of Teaneck.

Kagan, 54, -- who had a liver transplant four months ago -- was at a copy machine at the Staples on Hackensack Avenue Wednesday when the attack happened.

“The woman on one side of the plastic dividers had a mask, but here, below her mouth," Kagan told News12 from a hospital bed at HUMC. 

"I said, ‘You should really put a mask on.'"

The woman began cursing at Kagan before walking around the divider, grabbing her cane and knocking her to the ground.

Surveillance tapes show Kagan lying on the floor after the attack as the customer finishes up at the copy machine then walks out.

The money raised by the GoFundMe, launched by Hillary Goldberg, will go toward any medical bills associated with the attack and any additional help the Kagan family needs during this time.

Click here to donate.

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Ron Johnson: Democrats weaponizing ‘Russian disinformation’ narrative to attack Biden-Ukraine investigation

A top Senate Republican defended his investigation into the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy against claims from Democrats that he is aiding a Russian disinformation operation.

Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is running joint investigations into the Trump-Russia investigators and their reliance upon British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s flawed anti-Trump dossier as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in Ukraine and his son Hunter Biden’s lucrative position with Ukrainian energy company Burisma along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The Wisconsin Republican announced a subpoena to FBI Director Christopher Wray for documents related to Crossfire Hurricane and released an 11-page defense of his inquiries on Monday pushing back against assertions by Democratic leaders that he received information from Ukrainians tied to Russia.

“Democrats and many in the media have mainly focused their criticism of our investigation on the Biden component of our oversight. ... They have once again decided to weaponize a false ‘Russian disinformation’ narrative as a tool for attacking their political opponents,” Johnson wrote on Monday. “It is Democrats who have sought out and disseminated Russian disinformation. It was the Democratic National Committee, together with cutouts for the Clinton campaign, that paid for and helped peddle the Steele dossier. ... They have introduced, and made public, Russian disinformation into our investigatory record; we have not.”

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday in which he noted the outlet reported last week that Johnson “is moving ahead with an investigation into ... Joe Biden using documents provided to [Johnson] by the son of a former KGB officer.” Blumenthal wrote that “Congress may become a forum for debunked conspiracy theories peddled by Kremlin proxies.”

Johnson responded: “This is false. Not only have we have repeatedly and publicly denied it, no one has presented evidence to the contrary — nor can they, because there is none.” The senator said he "unequivocally denied" reporting by the Washington Post that Ukrainian politician Oleksandr Onyshchenko gave his committee information, and Politico reported that another Ukrainian politician, Andrii Derkach, sent information to him.

“The investigation by my committee of allegations of conflicts of interest within the Obama administration related to Ukraine policy and of allegations of corruption within the Obama administration affecting the 2016 election is focused on documents and officials from U.S. government agencies and a U.S. Democrat-linked lobbying firm,” Johnson said. “We have not taken, nor do we possess, the documents from Ukrainians that Democrats keep claiming.”

In July, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote a letter to Wray to say they were “gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation.”

In response, former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted, “Gang of Eight (and others impacted) were already briefed. Weeks ago. This request is a CYA."

The New York Times published a report that same day, July 20, that said that “behind the congressional Democrats’ warning are the efforts of” Derkach, who in May leaked portions of calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Politico reported last week that “Democrats argue the investigation is based on Russian disinformation aimed at tipping the outcome of the election toward President Donald Trump.” Johnson denied having such motives.

Johnson said many questions remain related to Joe Biden and Ukraine, including about a 2014 meeting at the White House with Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, followed by Joe Biden visiting Ukraine a few days later and then Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board of Burisma over the next few weeks. The Republican senator noted Ukrainian oligarch and Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky is widely seen as corrupt and had $23 million frozen by British authorities in the time between the hiring of Archer and Hunter Biden.

“How could former Vice President Biden look any Ukrainian official (or any other world leader) in the face and demand action to fight corruption?” Johnson asked.

Joe Biden has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Johnson's committee voted along party lines in May to approve a subpoena for Blue Star Strategies, a firm that represented Burisma. The energy company became a hot-button issue last year when Trump seemed to reference it in a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that was the focus of a whistleblower complaint that led to the House impeachment investigation. After Zelensky expressed interest in purchasing anti-tank weaponry, Trump asked Zelensky "to do us a favor though" by looking into a CrowdStrike conspiracy theory and possible Ukrainian meddling in 2016. Trump also urged Zelensky to investigate “the other thing,” referring to allegations of corruption involving Joe Biden.

The Democratic-led House impeached Trump in December, but he was acquitted in the Republican-led Senate trial in February.

Trump and his allies have claimed that Joe Biden improperly used his position as vice president to pressure Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to protect his son from a Burisma investigation. Democrats say this focus is an effort to dirty up Trump’s 2020 rival.

National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director Bill Evanina released a statement on Friday revealing the intelligence community assessed that China wants Trump to lose, Iran was looking to undermine Trump’s presidency, and Russia was attempting to denigrate Joe Biden. Evanina noted "pro-Russian" Derkach was spreading claims about corruption to undermine Joe Biden, but Johnson said he has not made use of this information.

“I have no doubt Russia is continuing its efforts to sow discord and destabilize countries and political systems throughout the world, including here in the U.S.,” Johnson wrote, adding, “It is neither me, Chairman Grassley, nor our committees that are being used to disseminate Russian disinformation. Instead, it is Democrats and the media that have been doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s work for him.”

Robert Mueller’s special counsel report said Russians interfered in the 2016 election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion” but "did not establish" any criminal collusion between Russians and anyone in Trump's orbit.

News Ron Johnson Chuck Grassley Russia Ukraine Donald Trump

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