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Family 'happy' with Texas man's death sentence in triple murder of 4-year-old, parents: 'This is for baby Ray'

A Texas man's death sentence in a brutal triple murder that claimed a four-year-old child among the victims was met with approval by surviving family members. 

"Oh, we're happy," Frances Rivera, the mother of 24-year-old Maya Rivera who was murdered along with 28-year-old Ray Shawn Hudson Sr. and their 4-year-old son Ray Shawn Hudson Jr. in 2018, told Fox 26 Houston this week.

"This is for baby Ray. All of this is for baby Ray."

It only took five hours for a jury to convict the suspect in the murders, 40-year-old Robert Allen Satterfield, with capital murder and another 45 minutes to conclude that he deserved the death sentence.

TEXAS MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD SEX CRIMES HE COMMITTED WHILE SERVING AS ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF

"He won't be able to touch his children, or hug his children the way we're not able to hug and touch our children," Rivera said. "He won't be able to do that either. If he stays on death row five years, 10 years, or 30 years from now, we know he's not going to be able to enjoy life."

Satterfield murdered the family and burned their bodies in a pit. He was taken in by authorities days later after being pulled over driving the car he stole from them.

TEXAS SALON OWNERS CONSIDER CLOSING SHOP AFTER CRIME CRISIS LEAVES THEM WAITING UP 'TO AN HOUR' FOR POLICE

"They were put in a pit like trash. It was very heartbreaking to see the actual burn pit and what they had to go through," Rivera said. "Baby Ray saw his mother being shot. The only reason he killed baby Ray was because he could identify him."

 Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison told Fox 26 Houston that Satterfield was a habitual offender with gang affiliations who showed no remorse for the crime and showed signs of paranoia where he thought people were after him. 

"He felt like he was being disrespected by them. It could have been robbery, it could have been over the sake of a gun," Allison said.

Florida murder suspect arrested in missing Lyft driver's car after North Carolina police chase

Gary Levin, a 74-year-old Lyft driver from Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, hasn't been in touch with his family since last month.

On Thursday, his family says deputies in North Carolina chased his car at high speeds through three counties. It crashed, and they found someone else behind the wheel: a Florida man wanted on unrelated murder charges.

Wauchula police had been looking for Mathew Scott Flores since at least Jan. 24 in connection with the shooting death of Jose Carlos Martinez. On Jan. 25, they said he may have been driving a 2017 Nissan after swapping the license plates.

"Early indications are the vehicle Flores was in was in fact Mr. Levin’s vehicle, and that connection will be confirmed as soon as possible," Wauchula Police Chief John Eason told Fox News Digital Friday. He said he'd already dispatched investigators up to North Carolina.

‘DOPPELGANGER’ KILLER ACCUSED OF BUTCHERING LOOKALIKE TO FAKE HER OWN DEATH AND FLEE FAMILY

Flores was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries after his capture.

Stephanie Velgara, an alleged accomplice in Martinez's death, is also in custody.

Eason said the investigation remains ongoing and there could be additional charges. Wauchula police had previously said there may also be more suspects involved in the Martinez murder.

Levin's daughter, Lindsay DiBetta, first revealed the connection on Facebook Friday morning.

"The car was found in North Carolina, no sign of my dad on 2/2. The driver was involved in a high speed chase but was eventually caught," she wrote. "This is not a good person, he had a warrant out for his arrest for a recent homicide and he was trying to flee."

MISSING WEST VIRGINIA WOMAN LAST SEEN AT BAR WITH PERSON OF INTEREST, POLICE

Levin has been "unreachable" since Jan. 30, according to Palm Beach Gardens police.

His car was spotted in Gainesville on Feb. 1, a day before Flores' arrest and roughly 400 miles from the North Carolina state line.

DiBetta says her father last used his phone in the Okeechobee area around 4 p.m. on Jan. 30.

"If he’s anywhere it’s there," she wrote. "We cannot wait for answers and a court date. If my dad's out there we need to know."

She is asking anyone with information to come forward.

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Levin is described as a White male, 5 feet, 7 inches tall who weighs 170 pounds.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Palm Beach Gardens police at 561-799-4445.

'Sopranos' star Jamie-Lynn Sigler reveals how MS prevents her from giving her kids 'all they want'

Jamie-Lynn Sigler is getting honest about the struggles she faces as a mother with multiple sclerosis (MS).

On the "Bathroom Chronicles" podcast, Sigler shared her acceptance of her disease, but she admits she has trouble keeping up with her family. 

"I really don’t know how I would have found the person that I am today without it. And I’m so grateful for it," she said. "But I feel myself, like, leveling up and moving forward as a human being, but my body not following me, and it’s really, that’s my struggle now. You feel like it should be aligned, and it’s not. That’s the struggle in my family, to be quite honest, we all feel it."

Sigler was diagnosed with MS when she was 20 years old, just before she began the fourth season of "The Sopranos." The actress kept the diagnosis a secret for 15 years before announcing it to the world in 2016.

CHRISTINA APPLEGATE REVEALS HOW SHE COPES WITH MS: ‘MY HUMOR SHIELD KEEPS ME OK’

The mom of two boys, Jack Adam, 5, and Beau Kyle, 9, with her husband, Cutter Dykstra, also shared on the podcast that she’s continually looking into various forms of healing, including a journey to India to live in an ashram and meditate. 

"I think it would be really cool for my kids to witness miraculous healing, too, how they could take that throughout their life," she said. "I have, like, my vision that I always hold on to that I try to see when I meditate or anything, and it's always just me running with them."

She continued, "It's me just running in front of them in their joy and their happiness, because they talk about it all the time. It's all they want."

‘SOPRANOS’ STAR JOHN VENTIMIGLIA’S DAUGHTER ODELE DEAD AT 25

The 41-year-old first rose to fame as Meadow Soprano, the daughter of mob boss Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini, on HBO’s "The Sopranos" in 1999. 

On the podcast, she opened up on her somewhat complicated feelings about her time on the show

"It was such a big part of my life, and then it’s gone. And it was ten years, and then it’s over. You know, and then everybody moves on, and you’re like, ‘Wait.’ And still everybody talks about it, it’s still important to people," the actress explained.

"I’m so grateful to have been part of that, but because I feel so distant from that girl there, it’s like wait, I want to connect back to this thing that’s so important to everybody and me, and it’s given me my home that I live in and the success I have now, because everybody ties me to that. But I want to have a better relationship with that experience. . . . I feel like I’ve slowly been able to."

JAMIE-LYNN SIGLER TALKS 'THE SOPRANOS' SUPER BOWL 2022 COMMERCIAL, REVEALS HOW SHE CELEBRATED 'EPIC MOMENT

Sigler also shared that one of the cast members she’s stayed close with is Aida Turturro, who played Tony’s sister Janice on the show, saying that she is a "huge part of my survival journey . . . and my joy."

She even shared a photo back in January on Instagram with her co-star, writing in the caption, "Had a little visit from a soul mate today."

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Though she said she still faces physical limitations because of her MS, Sigler continues to act and finds ways to accommodate her condition.

"I’ve gone back and forth about quitting a million and one times because of this, and I just can’t give up on that either. I just love it so much, and I want to keep deepening my work as I get deeper myself," she said on the podcast.

Sigler can currently be seen on ABC’s "Big Sky."

Italy bans popular AI app from collecting users' data

Italy's Data Protection Agency said on Friday it was prohibiting artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot company Replika from using the personal data of Italian users, citing risks to minors and emotionally fragile people.

Replika, a San Francisco startup launched in 2017, offers users customized avatars that talk and listen to them.

It has led the way among English speakers, and is free to use, though it brings in around $2 million in monthly revenue from selling bonus features such as voice chats.

CHATGPT LEADS LAWMAKERS TO CALL FOR REGULATING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The 'virtual friend' is marketed as being able to improve the emotional well-being of the user.

But the Italian watchdog said that by intervening in the user's mood, it "may increase the risks for individuals still in a developmental stage or in a state of emotional fragility".

Jen Persson, director of children's privacy advocacy group Defend Digital Me, told Reuters that tools designed to influence a child's mood or mental well-being ought to be classified as health products, and should therefore be subject to stringent safety standards.

"These tools are being used with children without much oversight or protection from potential misuse," she said.

Italian regulators highlighted the absence of an age-verification mechanism, such as filters for minors or a blocking device if users do not explicitly state their age.

Replika breaches European Privacy Regulations and processes personal data unlawfully as it cannot be based, even implicitly, on a contract that a minor is unable to sign, the watchdog said.

EUROPEAN UNION TO AGGREGATE CANCER IMAGING DATA WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO SPEED UP EARLY DIAGNOSIS

Replika did not immediately respond to a Reuters email seeking comment.

Robert Grosvenor, a managing director at consultancy firm Alvarez & Marsal, said the Italian watchdog was unlikely to be the only European regulator considering action against companies like Replika.

"Whilst age verification could provide means to protect some of the most vulnerable groups, it does not address the risks and harms that AI-based services and solutions can raise if unregulated, in terms of the potential for unintended bias and discrimination," he said.

Replika's developer, U.S. company Luka Inc, must notify the Italian authority of measures taken to implement its requirements in 20 days and could be fined up to $21.8 million, or up to 4% of its global annual turnover, the statement said.

FDA warns of bacterial contamination in Indian manufacturer's eyedrops

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against using an eye drop made in India that has been linked to the outbreak of a drug-resistant bacteria leading to adverse events in at least 55 patients in the United States including infections, blindness and one death.

The agency said on Thursday that Artificial Tears eye drop manufactured by India's Global Pharma Healthcare Pvt Ltd. has a potential bacterial contamination and the company has violated current good manufacturing practices.

Global Pharma Healthcare, based in the southern city of Chennai, said on Wednesday it had issued a voluntary recall at the consumer level of unexpired lots of the eye drop, which was distributed in the United States by EzriCare LLC and Delsam Pharma.

INDIAN COUGH SYRUP MANUFACTURER LINKED TO DEATHS OF 19 CHILDREN IN UZBEKISTAN HALTS PRODUCTION

Global Pharma Healthcare did not immediately respond to a Reuters request seeking comment on the FDA statement.

EzriCare said in a statement on Wednesday that it had stopped further distribution and sale of the eye drop, and it was not aware of any testing that "definitively links" the bacterial outbreak to the product.

The company has removed the products as requested, a Delsam Pharma spokesperson said, adding that the products had a safety seal top and were not associated with customer cases.

An Indian government source told Reuters on Friday that the federal and state drug regulators have sent a team to a manufacturing plant near Chennai contracted by Global Pharma Healthcare.

"It is a contract manufacturing plant supplying through others to the U.S. market," the source said, adding that this specific drug was not sold in India.

INDIA TESTING COUGH SYRUP LINKED TO CHILD DEATHS IN WEST AFRICA

The incident comes after the deaths of at least 70 children in the Gambia and 19 children in Uzbekistan last year were linked to India-made cough syrups, which has dented the country's image as the "pharmacy of the world".

The FDA said it was collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments to investigate a multistate outbreak involving a rare, extensively drug-resistant bacteria.

It said that as of Jan. 31, the CDC had identified 55 patients in 12 states with infections linked to the use of Artificial Tears distributed by EzriCare, it said.

"Associated adverse events include hospitalization, one death with bloodstream infection, and permanent vision loss from eye infections," the FDA said.

'Risk to safety'? Montana congressman rejects Pentagon's reason for not shooting down Chinese spy balloon

The Pentagon's rationale for not shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon while it was over Montana — out of concern for the safety of those on the ground — is bogus, according to a Montana lawmaker. Montanans would have loved for it to be shot down, the lawmaker says.

"What the Pentagon has said was we didn't want to shoot it down because of the chances of civilian casualties. This is a balloon that didn't get here overnight. It was over the Aleutian chain, which is one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet," Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., told Fox News Digital. 

Zinke said there is "no doubt" the U.S. military could have shot down the balloon without injuring civilians or posing a safety risk to Americans. Zinke also suggested that some Montana residents wouldn't mind the balloon being shot down over the state.

"In Montana, Petroleum County, for example, … the least populated county in the lower 48, I guarantee you, the fine citizens of Petroleum County would enjoy having it shot down over their county, and probably there would be a line to shoot it down."

CHINESE BALLOON FLYING OVER US 'INTENTIONAL,' NOT WEATHER CRAFT THAT BLEW OFF COURSE, US OFFICIAL SAYS

The balloon, which China claims is a civilian reconnaissance airship that inadvertently drifted off course, has moved from Montana airspace into the central U.S., leaving many to question why the Pentagon did not take action to remove the balloon from American airspace while it remained over a sparsely populated region of the country.

Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Friday that the Chinese surveillance balloon, which was first reported to be hovering over Montana, had "changed its course" and moved to the central part of the country.

But he declined to get into specifics about its location. Ryder said the North American Aerospace Defense Command is closely monitoring the balloon's location and that it is moving eastward across the U.S.

Hours before Ryder's remarks, officials said the balloon sat above Billings, Montana, potentially giving the Biden administration ample time to act on the situation before it moved into more populated areas of the country. The Pentagon said that while it considered taking down the possible threat, it ultimately decided against any action due to "the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field."

CHINESE SPY BALLOON OVER CENTRAL US WILL BE IN US AIRSPACE FOR 'A FEW DAYS,' PENTAGON SAYS

The balloon "no doubt has a limited steering capability because it's a balloon, but they probably have a capability of deflating it," Zinke added. "We should deflate it for them, and we will return it to sender, just like they did with our EP3 a few years ago when that was operating international airspace. They escorted it to a Chinese military base and disassembled it."

Zinke, who said he finds fault with several of the "suspect" positions from the Biden administration relating to the balloon, said the main problem with it is "it shows the world that we can't make a decision."

"If we can't shoot down a balloon, how in the heck can we defend Taiwan," Zinke questioned.

Montana State Auditor Troy Downing also expressed frustration with the Biden administration's inability to act, telling Fox that the balloon's presence above the United States is "clearly an intended provocation" that China believes it can do what it wants in American airspace."

"As an Air Force veteran, we know the Chinese Communist Party has much more advanced surveillance equipment to spy on our nuclear sites," Downing said. "Sending a spy balloon is clearly an intended provocation to show the American people that, under this administration, China can invade our airspace with impunity. President Biden must act now to defend our sovereignty and national security."

The balloon, which Ryder said will "probably be over the United States for a few days," is flying about 60,000 feet above sea level, higher than civilian aircraft fly.

The National Weather Service in Kansas City, Missouri, posted photos of a large balloon visible from its office in Pleasant Hill that appeared to be headed southeast. 

"We have confirmed that it is not an NWS weather balloon," NWS Kansas City said.

Senior State Department officials have called the incident "unacceptable," and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has indefinitely postponed a planned trip to China to meet President Xi Jinping in light of the circumstances.

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry claimed the balloon was a civilian weather aircraft that was knocked off course, but U.S. officials dispute this claim.

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Senior State Department officials said Friday it was a "statement of fact" that China has violated U.S. sovereignty with this surveillance balloon. 

A senior U.S. Defense official told Fox News the balloon was launched from mainland China. The Pentagon does not believe that this was a weather balloon that flew off course. There was no "force majeure" that caused the Chinese surveillance balloon to enter U.S. airspace, as China's foreign ministry spokesperson had claimed. 

"This was intentional," the senior U.S. official said.

Fox News' Chris Pandolfo contributed to this article.

Texas lawmakers want feds to reimburse states for the high cost of Biden’s border crisis

A group of Republicans from Texas is pushing for the federal government to reimburse states and border communities that are spending billions of dollars to secure the southwest U.S. border that they say President Biden has ignored for the last two years.

These lawmakers introduced two bills this week that would let border states and border towns recoup some of the local funding they’ve spent on border security – a step they say is increasingly necessary in light of Biden’s "failures" to increase border security.

The first bill, from Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, would require the federal government to pay back any state that has spent more than $2.5 billion on border security over the last decade. Crenshaw’s bill says that Texas qualifies, as it has spent $3.2 billion on the border since the 2008-2009 state budget was passed.

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"Citizens of border States are being taxed twice for the same purpose," Crenshaw’s bill says. "States using their taxpayer dollars and allocating State budgets to meet public safety obligations, which fall under Federal responsibilities, imposes an undue burden on the State."

The bill said that reimbursement is needed due to the "failures of the federal government."

A second bill from Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, would create a grant program that the Department of Homeland Security could use to pay back communities that are overspending, to make up for the federal government’s failure to secure the border.

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"For the past two years, the Biden administration’s failed border policies have left our border communities on their own to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border," Jackson said. "Drug dealers, human traffickers, and cartel members are marching through these communities and devastating everything in their path, yet Biden is still silent."

"Our border communities should not be paying for Biden’s America-last agenda," he added.

Jackson’s bill would create a total grant pool of $25 million per year for the next decade and would let DHS distribute that money to border communities as needed. No community could receive more than $500,000 per year.

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Under Jackson’s bill, grants would have to go to communities that are within 200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico land border, and sanctuary jurisdictions that protect illegal aliens from prosecution would be ineligible for the funding.

Both lawmakers sponsored both bills, and several Texas Republicans are cosponsors of the two measures.

The legislation was introduced in the wake of several moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to pressure Biden to pay attention to the growing border crisis. Abbott announced a state-wide border czar this week and has said that he supports efforts in Congress to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for ignoring his duty to secure the border.

US has ‘absolute legal right’ to shoot down Chinese spy balloon, say national security experts

The Biden administration is well within its authority to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon that floated over Alaska and was spotted over Montana late this week, according to national security and legal experts.

"We have the absolute legal right to take it down," said Cully Stimson, a 30-year veteran of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and a senior legal fellow and manager of the National Security Law Program at the Heritage Foundation.

"From a rules-of-engagement standpoint, we have the absolute legal authority under domestic and international law to take this down," he added. "We’re legally on very, very solid ground."

AFTER CHINESE BALLOON ENTERS US AIRSPACE, BIDEN SECRETARY OF STATE POSTPONES TRIP TO CHINA

Stimson said that domestic authority for the action can be found in various laws of armed conflict and, internationally, in the Geneva Conventions, which are the treaties and protocols that set standards for war and defense of national territory.

Stimson said that U.S. territory includes U.S. airspace up until space is reached, but the balloon is well within U.S. airspace – Pentagon officials say it is at about 60,000 feet.

Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, says that U.S. airspace goes up to about 100,000 feet and said that other than these sorts of surveillance balloons, no aircraft are usually found above 60,000 feet. Clark said that taking down the balloon would be "legal as long as the balloon is unmanned and is in U.S. airspace."

James Andrew Lewis, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Strategic Technologies Program, said that while the exact boundaries for national airspace can get "fuzzy" at high altitudes, the Chinese balloon is well within U.S. airspace.

TRUMP JOINS CALLS FOR BIDEN ADMIN TO ‘SHOOT DOWN’ SUSPECTED CHINESE SPY BALLOON

"Things in orbit are outside of sovereign territory," he said. "Anything under 100,000 feet could be considered fair game."

While the option to take down the balloon is available, the Pentagon has so far said that it is worried about whether that’s a prudent option. One senior U.S. official said that there is worry about debris landing on residential areas, but also that there are other options for bringing it down "when it is deemed safe to do so."

Ilan Berman, senior vice president ot the American Foreign Policy Council, said it's likely that the Biden administration is citing the possibility of debris to avoid causing an incident with China.

"They just don’t want to shoot it down, because they don’t want to provoke the Chinese," he said.

Victoria Coates, a senior research fellow for international affairs and security at the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, said that China has said that it is building these surveillance balloons and is most likely testing the U.S. to see what kind of reaction it gets with the intrusion.

CHINA CONFIRMS BALLOON IS THEIRS, AS SPOKESPERSON CLAIMS IT IS CIVILLIAN RESEARCH AIRSHIP

"They rolled this over Alaska and Montana just to see what the response would be," she said, adding that "we need to make very clear that this is our space."

Coates said it is no coincidence that the balloon is hovering near U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile fields and said that China can’t be believed when it says it’s collecting weather data.

"This really tests the bounds of credulity, given their past behavior," she said.

'View' co-hosts feud over Ilhan Omar removal: 'Should not be on the committee'

"The View" co-hosts on Friday argued over whether Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., should have been voted off the House Foreign Affairs committee for her history of antisemitic comments

Co-host Joy Behar sparked a verbal battle during the Friday episode of the daytime talk show by claiming she doesn’t believe Omar’s excuses for some of her antisemitic remarks, suggesting the Democratic congresswoman isn’t as innocent as she claims. 

Co-host Sunny Hostin responded by giving Omar the benefit of the doubt, claiming that Omar is an immigrant who didn’t understand that some of her comments were actually offensive Jewish tropes. Co-hosts Alyssa Farah Griffin and Sara Haines both stated they believed Omar shouldn't be on the committee for her statements.

OMAR LASHES OUT AT MCCARTHY FOR 'PERSONALLY WHIPPING VOTES' AGAINST HER: 'PATHETIC'

Broaching the topic for the first time after Omar was kicked off the committee on Thursday, co-host Ana Navarro claimed that all Americans should be "disgusted" that a Republican-led Congress – populated with members that she views have made antisemitic comments before – could vote out Omar.

Behar seemed to agree with Navarro on GOP hypocrisy, however noted she doesn’t believe Omar is as much of a victim as she’s claiming to be.

Behar claimed, "I get what you’re saying. Believe me I understand that, because the right-wing [is] very hypocritical. But she said that she did not know that what she said that was con construed as anti-Semitic, she didn’t know that was what they call a ‘Jewish trope.’"

The co-host continued, "and that she didn’t know that, that people equate money with Jews, for instance, I don’t believe her"

Hostin immediately disagreed, replying, "I do. I think she’s an immigrant, I think she’s had a different experience." Behar countered, "She’s been here a long time."

Though Hostin insisted, "I think that’s a trope that’s largely – you hear it in this country. So I’m not surprised that she didn’t know."

REP. ILHAN OMAR PRESSED ON OLD COMMENTS: ‘WASN’T AWARE' THERE WERE ‘TROPES ABOUT JEWS AND MONEY’

Frustrated, Behar replied sternly, "That is not a trope. Excuse me. That is not a trope that’s just here in this country. That is a worldwide trope."

Fighting to get into the increasingly tense dialogue between the two, co-host and former Trump staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin took a shot at Omar too, saying, "And also, we’re talking about the Foreign Affairs committee. She should know better then."

Still Hostin remained focused on rebutting Behar, saying, "The other piece of it, Joy, is that I take her at her word that she didn’t know and she’s nevertheless apologized and met with Jewish members of her caucus."

Hostin then claimed that the conversation should not be about Republican hypocrisy, but Republican "racism." She continued, "I don’t think this is hypocrisy. I think it’s pure racism. And I think we should call that out when we see it, and we hear it, and we look at it."

Hostin bolstered her claim, mentioning how Omar has been the target of Republican racism ever since she was elected, citing former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric against her.

Co-host Sara Haines acknowledged Hostin’s point, but was tough on Omar as well, claiming that the lawmaker "has said things and apologized, but she keeps stepping into the same puddle. And so eventually you have to say your actions speak louder than your words, because she does it, a couple years later she does it again."

Haines concluded, "So I think it’s a fair decision to be made that she’s not on this specific committee."

Griffin agreed with Haines’ last point, adding, "I don’t think she should be on the Foreign Affairs committee. This is a committee tasked with dealing with U.S.-Israeli relations. She has shown a lack of understanding of antisemitism at a time when it’s on the rise in the U.S. and around the globe."

Who is Abbe Lowell? Hunter Biden's high-profile attorney in the legal battle over his infamous laptop

High-profile lawyer Abbe Lowell again entered the national spotlight this week representing Hunter Biden in the legal battle involving his infamous laptop, and Lowell's hiring signals how seriously Biden is taking his situation, an attorney tells Fox News Digital.

"Abbe is not cheap, and you don't bring in Abbe unless you want to go to war or prevent one," said the source who's worked with Lowell. "They're going on the offensive. He hasn't been charged with anything, but they're trying to prevent that because that would be bad for [President] Biden and Hunter."

Lowell made a splash this week with letters urging prosecutors to launch state and federal investigations into John Paul Mac Isaac, who he accused of "unlawfully" accessing the younger Biden's personal data on his laptop after it was left at his repair shop in 2019. Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon and other notable Biden critics were also listed in the lawsuit for their role in disseminating the information to the public.

"Mr. Mac Isaac chose to work with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer to weaponize Mr. Biden’s personal computer data against his father, Joseph R. Biden, by unlawfully causing the provision of Mr. Biden’s personal data to the New York Post," Lowell wrote Wednesday.

HUNTER BIDEN'S LAWYERS DENY ADMITTING LAPTOP'S EXISTENCE IN DEMAND FOR CRIMINAL PROBE INTO LEAKERS 

Cease and desist letters were also sent to others who obtained and disseminated the laptop's contents.

After critics reacted to the letters saying Hunter Biden was essentially confirming the laptop was his, Lowell pushed back, telling Fox News, "These letters do not confirm Mac Isaac’s or others’ versions of a so-called laptop. They address their conduct of seeking, manipulating and disseminating what they allege to be Mr. Biden’s personal data, wherever they claim to have gotten it." 

His past client list includes Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., John Edwards, Jared Kushner, and the source says his hiring was both a telling and "brilliant" move by Biden. 

"Abbe is one of the best attorneys on Planet Earth, so hiring him from a strategic standpoint was a brilliant move," they said. "You couldn't find someone who can navigate Congress and the DOJ space better than him."

They also pointed to Lowell's ability to navigate Congress, where the new Republican majority is set to launch a series of investigations into the president's son, as well as the media attention any probe will get.

Lowell began his career in the Department of Justice from 1977 to 1981, which included serving as a special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti under the Carter administration. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right appointed Lowell as its special counselor from 1994-1996 in its investigation and prosecution of human rights violations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. 

HUNTER BIDEN'S LAPTOP ADMISSION PROMPTS FIERCE CRITICISM OF MEDIA WHO INITIALLY DISMISSED IT: ‘CORRUPT ALLIES’

He was tapped by House Democrats as their chief minority counsel for the 1998 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton following his affair with Monica Lewinsky. 

In 2012, he represented Edwards, the former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, when he was accused of violating campaign finance laws. Edwards was found not guilty on one count while mistrials were declared for the other charges.

In 2015, Lowell took on Menendez as a client, who was hit with corruption charges by the DOJ.

A judge later declared a mistrial and the DOJ dropped all charges against the New Jersey Democrat. 

More recently, Lowell appeared alongside Kushner as he testified in 2017 before the Senate Intel Committee investigating Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Kushner is Donald Trump's son-in-law and served as a top White House aide during the Trump presidency.

HUNTER BIDEN’S LAWYERS DEMAND CRIMINAL PROBE INTO LAPTOP LEAKERS, GIULIANI AND OTHERS, ADMIT LAPTOP IS HIS

Other big name clients he has had over the years include D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff, actor Steven Seagal and music icon Sean "Diddy" Combs. 

Lowell is a partner at the law firm Winston & Strawn.

Fox News' Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.