Potential Joe Biden blunder raises questions about possible teleprompter use

0

During an appearance on a late-night talk show, Joe Biden may have accidentally revealed that he uses a teleprompter.

The Democratic presidential nominee appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on April 21. During the virtual appearance from Biden’s basement, an eagle-eyed viewer noticed an intriguing detail.

Biden displayed several framed photographs of his family. Biden shared a very large framed photo of himself with his two sons, Hunter and Beau, when they were in college. When the former vice president held up the frame to the camera, a reflection of what appears to be the text of a teleprompter shows up on the glass of the picture frame.

GOP Rapid response Director Steve Guest shared a screen capture of the video on Twitter with the caption: “That reflection…Joe Biden was using a teleprompter for an interview with James Corden.” There appears to be green and blue text in the reflection.

TheBlaze reached out to the Biden campaign to verify if the former vice president used a teleprompter in his interview with James Corden. At the time of publication, the Biden campaign did not respond.

The viral video of a possible teleprompter comes only days after Biden campaign spokesman T.J. Ducklo refused to answer the question if Biden uses a teleprompter during TV interviews.

Fox News’ Bret Baier asked Ducklo, “Has Joe Biden ever used a teleprompter during local interviews or to answer Q&A with supporters?”

Ducklo responded, “Bret, we’re not gonna — this is straight from the Trump campaign talking points.” Baier retorted, “Well, yeah, they’re using it.”

Ducklo replied, “What it does, Bret, is it’s trying to distract the American people.”

“They’re using it. They talk about it every day,” Baier asked Ducklo twice, “Can you say yes or no?”

“They talk about it every day because they don’t have a coherent argument for why Donald Trump deserves reelection, deserves four more years,” Ducklo said. “We know that he lied to the American people, we know that he has not shown leadership during this crisis and they are desperate to throw anything they can against the wall to try to distract from that fact.”

“I’m not going to allow the Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News and get me to respond to that,” Ducklo said on Fox News’ “Special Report.”

Last week, reporters were criticized for giving Biden easy softball questions during a rare press conference. President Donald Trump said the easy questions “were meant for a child.”

“I look at that and I think it’s a disgrace,” Trump added. “And then I watch Biden getting asked questions that are really meant for a child to answer, anybody could answer. And I look at the level of question that you people ask. I mean honestly, it’s disgraceful.”

29 dead including 2 children, dozens missing from West Coast wildfires; President Trump to visit fire-ravaged California

0

Wildfires have devastated states on the West Coast; at least 29 people have been killed, dozens of others missing, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that 97 large fires have burned 4.7 million acres across the western states. Over 29,000 firefighters and support personnel are battling the wildfires, along with 2,200 fire engines and 103 aircraft. There are evacuation orders in place due to 40 large fires in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) noted that nearly 900,000 acres had burned by Friday. “In the last 10 years, we see an average of 500,000 acres burn in an entire year. We’ve seen that nearly double in the past three days,” Brown said.

Approximately 500,000 in Oregon have evacuated or have been instructed to be prepared to evacuate, which is more than 10% of the state’s population.

Oregon’s emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, told MSNBC that the state is preparing for a “mass fatality incident” because of the wildfires. “There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn’t get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety,” Phelps said.

Wyatt Tofte, a 12-year-old boy from Lyons, Oregon, and his 71-year-old grandmother Peggy Mosso died while trying to escape the fire. The boy took shelter in the family car, but the flames surrounded him. A family spokeswoman said Wyatt was found by himself in a car, and the family’s dog was found dead in his lap.

A record 3.2 million acres in California have been scorched since last month, and about 4,000 structures have been destroyed. The death toll in California from the wildfires reached 20 on Saturday.

A 16-year-old boy was among those where were killed by the wildfires in California. Josiah Williams died while trying to escape a fast-moving inferno in Berry Creek in Northern California.

“He was alone, terrified, and ran for his life,” the boy’s mother, Jessica Williams, told KOVR reporter Velena Jones. “My son was a good, smart, caring young boy that died alone, and it kills me thinking about what he was going through.”

Cal Fire stated that five of the 20 largest California wildfires in history have occurred in 2020, including the biggest ever, the August Complex Fire. The largest California fire in history is located about a two-hour drive northwest of Sacramento. The August Complex Fire has burned 746,000 acres after merging with other large fires. The blaze is currently 25% contained.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that he would visit fire-ravaged California. The president will travel to McClellan Park in Sacramento County on Monday to be briefed on the catastrophic wildfires.

“Since mid-August, President Trump and Governor Newsom have spoken by phone and the White House and FEMA have remained in constant contact with State and local officials throughout the response to these natural disasters. The President continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally-executed, state-managed, and federally-supported emergency response,” Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

On Friday, President Trump tweeted about the wildfires obliterating the West Coast.

“THANK YOU to the 28,000+ Firefighters and other First Responders who are battling wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington,” he wrote. “I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way!”

Authorities have arrested four people for suspected arson in the historic wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington. Two Oregon men were arrested and accused of looting homes that were forced to evacuate.

29 dead including 2 children, dozens missing from West Coast wildfires; President Trump to visit fire-ravaged California

0

Wildfires have devastated states on the West Coast; at least 29 people have been killed, dozens of others missing, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that 97 large fires have burned 4.7 million acres across the western states. Over 29,000 firefighters and support personnel are battling the wildfires, along with 2,200 fire engines and 103 aircraft. There are evacuation orders in place due to 40 large fires in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) noted that nearly 900,000 acres had burned by Friday. “In the last 10 years, we see an average of 500,000 acres burn in an entire year. We’ve seen that nearly double in the past three days,” Brown said.

Approximately 500,000 in Oregon have evacuated or have been instructed to be prepared to evacuate, which is more than 10% of the state’s population.

Oregon’s emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, told MSNBC that the state is preparing for a “mass fatality incident” because of the wildfires. “There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn’t get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety,” Phelps said.

Wyatt Tofte, a 12-year-old boy from Lyons, Oregon, and his 71-year-old grandmother Peggy Mosso died while trying to escape the fire. The boy took shelter in the family car, but the flames surrounded him. A family spokeswoman said Wyatt was found by himself in a car, and the family’s dog was found dead in his lap.

A record 3.2 million acres in California have been scorched since last month, and about 4,000 structures have been destroyed. The death toll in California from the wildfires reached 20 on Saturday.

A 16-year-old boy was among those where were killed by the wildfires in California. Josiah Williams died while trying to escape a fast-moving inferno in Berry Creek in Northern California.

“He was alone, terrified, and ran for his life,” the boy’s mother, Jessica Williams, told KOVR reporter Velena Jones. “My son was a good, smart, caring young boy that died alone, and it kills me thinking about what he was going through.”

Cal Fire stated that five of the 20 largest California wildfires in history have occurred in 2020, including the biggest ever, the August Complex Fire. The largest California fire in history is located about a two-hour drive northwest of Sacramento. The August Complex Fire has burned 746,000 acres after merging with other large fires. The blaze is currently 25% contained.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that he would visit fire-ravaged California. The president will travel to McClellan Park in Sacramento County on Monday to be briefed on the catastrophic wildfires.

“Since mid-August, President Trump and Governor Newsom have spoken by phone and the White House and FEMA have remained in constant contact with State and local officials throughout the response to these natural disasters. The President continues to support those who are battling raging wildfires in a locally-executed, state-managed, and federally-supported emergency response,” Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

On Friday, President Trump tweeted about the wildfires obliterating the West Coast.

“THANK YOU to the 28,000+ Firefighters and other First Responders who are battling wildfires across California, Oregon, and Washington,” he wrote. “I have approved 37 Stafford Act Declarations, including Fire Management Grants to support their brave work. We are with them all the way!”

Authorities have arrested four people for suspected arson in the historic wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington. Two Oregon men were arrested and accused of looting homes that were forced to evacuate.

Bill Maher shreds CNN correspondent on live television for defending riots, looting, downplaying violence

0

Comedian Bill Maher castigated former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin on Friday after she appeared to dismiss recent violence and unrest erupting across the country following George Floyd’s death.

Yellin, author of the novel “Savage News” and founder of #NewsNotNoise on Instagram, appeared on the show along with Peter Hamby, host of Snapchat’s political show “Good Luck America” and contributing writer for Vanity Fair.

What are the details?

Yellin appeared on Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” where she insisted that nationwide violence was concentrated in a small area in Portland, Oregon.

“I’m not down with this ‘Property’s on the table as something we can just take because things are not right,'” Maher said of protests and looting.

Yellin responded, “Where is the mass destruction of property happening right now?” prompting Maher to incredulously fire back, “Do you watch the news?”

“If you look at Portland, it’s two square blocks!” Yellin insisted.

From that point, it was clear that Maher wouldn’t let her get a word in edgewise.

“There is a view, it is in the media,” he told her. “Please. I know you’ve seen it. Don’t look at me like I am making this up — that somehow this is a justifiable approach.”

Yellin refused to depart from her talking points, and feebly responded, “Isn’t pain part of protest? I mean, isn’t that what … ”

“So you’re part of this,” he answered. “You believe it!”

He later added, “I saw this guy at a Papa John’s yelling through his broken glass, ‘You are going to elect Trump and I’m just trying to feed my family.’ I don’t think his view is just, like, ‘C’est la vie, it’s just property.'”

Anything else?

According to Deadline, “Real Time with Bill Maher” is believed to be the very first talk show to bring back live audiences following the COVID-19 production shutdown earlier this year.

The outlet notes that the production permitted no more than 25 audience members in the studio during a live taping.

(H/T: The Daily Caller)

Florida restaurant responds to backlash after Kamala Harris shows up for lunch

0

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) visited Florida on Thursday, where the Democratic vice presidential nominee stirred up controversy after visiting a Latin restaurant in Doral.

What are the details?

According to WTJV-TV, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, showed up for lunch to Amaze Latin Flavors during her campaign visit.

Her visit prompted much criticism, and some local residents ended up calling for a boycott of the eatery.

The restaurant, however, said that it had no idea Harris planned to visit.

“We don’t use the company for political reasons,” owner Andres Garcia told the station. “In respect to our stakeholders, we would not support that. If they would ask we say no, we are not going to do it.”

Garcia didn’t even know Harris was at the restaurant until he saw Facebook users calling for a boycott of the eatery on the social media platform.

“I learned the hard way sometimes when we look into the social media and we take it for granted what people say on social media,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Biden for President Florida campaign told WTJV, “Sen. Harris and Doug greatly appreciated the chance to stop by and pick up delicious arepas and talk to local Doralzuela residents.”

According to ABC News, Harris visited the battleground state to “court black and Jewish voters” ahead of her first in-person campaign event in Wisconsin.

The outlet reported that Harris met Biden campaign surrogate Ana Navarro when she visited the restaurant.

During a panel discussion later in the day, Harris said that President Donald Trump acted in “political self-interest” after a panelist said her community was negatively impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harris said, “[O]ur country is grieving the loss of jobs, the loss of life, the loss of normalcy, the loss of consistency, and, in many cases, the loss of hope, and Joe [Biden] and I talk about that all the time. … [W]e need leadership that sees and recognizes the suffering and is prompted then to be guided by the truth and fact, and not what is in theier political self-interest which is what we have seen in Donald Trump.”

Authorities arrest 4 people on arson charges in deadly and massive California, Oregon, and Washington wildfires

0

Authorities have arrested at least four people for suspected arson in the massive and still-growing wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington.

What are the details?

According to reports, authorities in those states say that at least four of the fires are considered suspicious.

California authorities arrested suspect Anita Esquivel for allegedly intentionally setting fires along U.S. 101.

She was booked into the Monterey County Jail on arson charges.

Oregon authorities also arrested Michael Jarrod Bakkela, who lived in the woods of Oregon on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangerment.

Oregon Live reports that Bakkela is reportedly responsible for setting one of two major wildfires in the state, which has killed dozens and displaced hundreds.

Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office spokesperson Rich Tyler added that the fire Bakkela reportedly set is considered to be one of two origins of the Almeda fire.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office PIO Mike Moran told ABC News that the fire has caused “significant damage.”

“There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief,” he said.

According to Oregon Live, authorities have told area residents to prepare for a “mass fatality incident” due to the fires.

Washington authorities arrested two unrelated suspects who reportedly set small fires in the brush in two different areas of freeway.

CNN on Thursday reported that the wildfires across the western states torched more than 4 million acres, which is roughly the size of the state of New Jersey.

Anything else?

The FBI on Friday released a statement about reports that “extremists” were responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon.

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon,” the statement rad. “With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources.”

Men accused of looting homes in Oregon’s wildfire evacuation zone take deputies on crazy chase through golf course

0

Deputies have arrested two men who they believe were looting homes in Oregon that had been evacuated due to the deadly wildfires on the West Coast.

The Beachie Creek Fire, which is smoldering in Clackamas and Marion Counties south of Portland, has burned 186,856 acres. In Marion County, officials have ordered 13,764 structures to be evacuated because they are at a Level 3 evacuation, which means “evacuate now” because there is current or imminent danger for the area.

With so many homes having been evacuated because of the massive fires, two Oregon men apparently tried to capitalize on the devastating natural disaster. Anthony Travis Bodda, 21, and Alexander Justin Jones, 36, were accused by police of looting evacuated homes in Marion County and taking deputies on a wild high-speed chase.

On Thursday, firefighting crews alerted police to a suspicious van in the towns of Detroit and Idahna, and were concerned that the vehicle could be involved with recent looting in the area.

Deputies responded just after 10 a.m. on Thursday, and the van drove off “at a high rate of speed.” Deputies from Marion and Linn Counties, as well as Oregon State Police, pursued the van in the Beachie Creek wildfire evacuation zone. The men attempted to ditch police by driving through a golf course.

Police used spike strips to disable the vehicle, then the men jumped out of the van and ran through the golf course. A police dog chased down the suspects. One was attempting to break into a home to escape the cops when he was apprehended. The other man was also tracked down by a K9 unit as he was entering a goat shed, according to police.

Bodda and Jones were both booked at the Marion County Jail and charged with attempted theft in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, felony elude, misdemeanor elude, reckless driving, interfering with a peace officer, possession of a burglary tool, reckless endangering, criminal mischief in the first degree, and criminal trespass in the second degree.

Sheriff officials said several stolen items were found inside the van. Bodda and Jones are also responsible for $1,500 in damage to the golf course, according to Fox News.

“I am disappointed that while in a state of emergency these people would victimize members of our community,” Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast said. “The women and men of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office are committed to holding people accountable if they chose to victimize residents from our evacuated areas.”

He added that his officers would continue to patrol the evacuated areas to prevent any looting.

People in Oregon have said that their homes were looted during the deadly wildfires.

“Everything had been rifled through,” said Christy Beaver from Junction City. “Drawers were open. Stuff was all over. Credit cards and checkbooks were missing. We’re not sure what else is missing because we haven’t been able to go back up there.”

Blue River resident Marcie Costa said that she lost her home in the Holiday Farm Fire. Her neighbor’s home survived the fire, but possession worth more than $1,000 were stolen, including a generator.

“We’ve suffered enough these people have suffered enough,” Costa said. “We don’t need to be victimized anymore from someone who don’t give a stuff about us.”

“We understand that OSP and the Sheriff’s Department are doing the best that they can,” Costa said. “But they’re spread so thin.”

Rumors of widespread looting caused 300 people to attempt to return to their homes inside the fiery evacuation zone. The concerned residents left the Super 8 hotel in Redmond on Thursday to inspect their properties for fire damage and looting.

“All across the region, we are asking folks to please respect those closures,” said Kassidy Kern, a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service. “Not just for the security of your personal property, but also for firefighters working in the area.”

Men accused of looting homes in Oregon’s wildfire evacuation zone take deputies on crazy chase through golf course

0

Deputies have arrested two men who they believe were looting homes in Oregon that had been evacuated due to the deadly wildfires on the West Coast.

The Beachie Creek Fire, which is smoldering in Clackamas and Marion Counties south of Portland, has burned 186,856 acres. In Marion County, officials have ordered 13,764 structures to be evacuated because they are at a Level 3 evacuation, which means “evacuate now” because there is current or imminent danger for the area.

With so many homes having been evacuated because of the massive fires, two Oregon men apparently tried to capitalize on the devastating natural disaster. Anthony Travis Bodda, 21, and Alexander Justin Jones, 36, were accused by police of looting evacuated homes in Marion County and taking deputies on a wild high-speed chase.

On Thursday, firefighting crews alerted police to a suspicious van in the towns of Detroit and Idahna, and were concerned that the vehicle could be involved with recent looting in the area.

Deputies responded just after 10 a.m. on Thursday, and the van drove off “at a high rate of speed.” Deputies from Marion and Linn Counties, as well as Oregon State Police, pursued the van in the Beachie Creek wildfire evacuation zone. The men attempted to ditch police by driving through a golf course.

Police used spike strips to disable the vehicle, then the men jumped out of the van and ran through the golf course. A police dog chased down the suspects. One was attempting to break into a home to escape the cops when he was apprehended. The other man was also tracked down by a K9 unit as he was entering a goat shed, according to police.

Bodda and Jones were both booked at the Marion County Jail and charged with attempted theft in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, felony elude, misdemeanor elude, reckless driving, interfering with a peace officer, possession of a burglary tool, reckless endangering, criminal mischief in the first degree, and criminal trespass in the second degree.

Sheriff officials said several stolen items were found inside the van. Bodda and Jones are also responsible for $1,500 in damage to the golf course, according to Fox News.

“I am disappointed that while in a state of emergency these people would victimize members of our community,” Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast said. “The women and men of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office are committed to holding people accountable if they chose to victimize residents from our evacuated areas.”

He added that his officers would continue to patrol the evacuated areas to prevent any looting.

People in Oregon have said that their homes were looted during the deadly wildfires.

“Everything had been rifled through,” said Christy Beaver from Junction City. “Drawers were open. Stuff was all over. Credit cards and checkbooks were missing. We’re not sure what else is missing because we haven’t been able to go back up there.”

Blue River resident Marcie Costa said that she lost her home in the Holiday Farm Fire. Her neighbor’s home survived the fire, but possession worth more than $1,000 were stolen, including a generator.

“We’ve suffered enough these people have suffered enough,” Costa said. “We don’t need to be victimized anymore from someone who don’t give a stuff about us.”

“We understand that OSP and the Sheriff’s Department are doing the best that they can,” Costa said. “But they’re spread so thin.”

Rumors of widespread looting caused 300 people to attempt to return to their homes inside the fiery evacuation zone. The concerned residents left the Super 8 hotel in Redmond on Thursday to inspect their properties for fire damage and looting.

“All across the region, we are asking folks to please respect those closures,” said Kassidy Kern, a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service. “Not just for the security of your personal property, but also for firefighters working in the area.”

ESPN will televise NFL players’ protesting, singing of black national anthem on Monday Night Football

0

ESPN will televise any NFL players protesting the national anthem beginning on Monday — and will also feature the singing of the “black national anthem,” according to reports.

What are the details?

Monday Night Football’s Monday debut will likely be chock-full of protesters and will have two songs.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN — which typically shows the honor guard and the singing of the national anthem — will have a decidedly different format this season.

The network also reportedly has plans to televise the singing of the “black national anthem,” a song called “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

ESPN Executive Vice President of Event and Studio Production Stephanie Druley told reporters, “Our policy is to cover the anthem when it’s newsworthy. That’s not going to change. We are going to continue as we’ve done with the NBA and the WNBA. We will cover social justice movements, actions, as they happen. We’re not going to shy away from that.”

Druley added, “Look, we’re going to keep our main rule, which is when it intersects with sports, we’re going to cover it, and look, we don’t see the social justice movement as being political. It’s social justice.”

When asked if viewers would be able to see the playing of the national anthem, Druley said she didn’t know.

“We will make a judgment call every week,” she responded. “But I can tell you that Week 1, that first game, you will see the anthem — and you will see ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice.'”

‘The country is going through a lot of political situations’

According to the report, NFL players will “be encouraged to salute victims of police brutality by placing details with their names on their helmets.”

“The league will also stencil social justice statements such as ‘End Racism’ and ‘It Takes All of Us’ in end zones this season,” the report continued. “The league will play ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ before each game during opening weekend.”

On Tuesday, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus issued similar remarks.

“We don’t forget the fact that the country is going through a lot of political situations with Black Lives Matter, social justice and social injustice,” he said. “We’re not going to ignore that. Obviously, we’re going to address it in our pregame show, with interviews and features. But the coverage of the game, once we get to our game coverage, will obviously be focusing on presenting the action on the field. But we don’t forget and we don’t ignore those other two elements.”

McManus pointed out that a delicate balance needs to be struck with regard to this highly unique season’s viewership.

“We need to thread the needle just the right way. Because there are people who are tuning in just to hear about football. So we need to make sure that we don’t overdo the emphasis on what’s going on in our country,” McManus explained. “But we’re not going to ignore it. Our announcers on-site at the games are not going to condone and they’re not going to condemn what’s going on. They’re going to report it — and they’re going to move on.”

The New York Giants will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday, and the Tennessee Titans will square off against the Denver Broncos.

US federal judge orders two dozen Saudi officials and royals to testify in 9/11 attacks lawsuit

0

Two dozen Saudi Arabian officials, including members of the royal family, may have to testify about their knowledge of the events leading up to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A federal judge ordered 24 current and former Saudi officials to be available for depositions for a lawsuit brought by family members who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks.

What are the details?

Federal Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in New York unveiled the ruling on Thursday, the eve of the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The judge ordered Saudi officials to testify and reveal what they knew before the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Judge Netburn said that Saudi Arabia officials must provide depositions and were not protected by diplomatic immunity.

The judge asked that members of the royal family testify, including Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was a former intelligence chief in Saudi Arabia and was the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005.

Judge Netburn wants Bandar to testify because of his possible ties with Fahad al-Thumairy, a Saudi consular official based in Los Angeles and the imam of the King Fahd Mosque in Los Angeles.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, al-Thumairy was “reputed to be an Islamic fundamentalist and a strict adherent to orthodox Wahhabi doctrine” and “appears to have associated with a particularly radical faction within the community of local worshippers, and had a network of contacts in other cities in the United States.”

He also reportedly had associations with 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.

Judge Netburn noted that court documents obtained during the course of discovery “indicates that Prince Bandar likely has firsthand knowledge … [of] the role that al-Thumairy was assigned by the kingdom and the diplomatic cover” provided to him, as reported in Yahoo News.

Judge Netburn also called for Bandar’s longtime chief of staff, Ahmed al-Qattan, to testify. Court documents show that al-Qattan “likely has unique firsthand knowledge of al-Jarrah and al-Thumairy’s relevant pre-9/11 activity and any post-9/11 ratification of their conduct.”

Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah was a foreign ministry official within the Saudi Embassy, who oversaw the activities of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Until last year, al-Jarrah worked in the Saudi Embassy in Morocco. In May, the FBI accidentally revealed al-Jarrah’s name as the Saudi official suspected of directing “crucial support” to two al-Qaeda hijackers involved in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Saleh bin Abdulaziz, who served as Minister of Islamic Affairs at the time of the attacks and still works for the Saudi government, was also asked to be available for depositions.

Some family members of Sept. 11 victims claim that Saudi officials were complicit with al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden before the commercial airliner attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks, 15 were Saudi citizens. The families are seeking billions of dollars in damages. The Saudi government has denied involvement in the terrorist attacks.

“This is the most important thing to happen other than JASTA being passed letting us sue Saudi Arabia,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, James Kreindler, said on Friday.

“We now get a chance to move up the totem pole of Saudi officials,” Kreindler stated. “We can begin unraveling the entire plot of Saudi officials working with al-Qaeda commit mass murder. We can start uncovering what they know.”

“We want to do discovery into everything Saudi officials did in the United States,” he said.

Kreindler said he hopes depositions begin “as soon as possible,” preferably starting within “weeks or months, not years.”

“This is a game changer,” said Brett Eagleson, whose father was killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers and is a spokesperson for the families involved in the 9/11 lawsuit. “This is the most significant ruling we’ve had to date in this lawsuit. And to have this on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, you couldn’t script this any better. The families are elated.”

Michael Kellogg, an attorney for Saudi Arabia, declined to comment on Friday, according to the Washington Post.