Nel's New Day

June 30, 2022

Supreme Court Destroys Constitution, Part I

The swearing in of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson onto the U.S. Supreme Court makes two firsts for the high court: she is the first Black woman to be a justice, and the high court has four female justices for the first time in history. The 116th justice, she replaces Stephen Breyer who retired just before her being seated. Jackson was appointed in February and faced rugged confirmation hearings, rife with racism and transphobic questions and statements from Republican senators. The 53-47 vote approving her appointment was largely on party lines. Her swearing-in came immediately after the high court announced a large number of controversial rulings, many of them removing the rights of people in the U.S. [Photo: Jackson takes a judicial oath from Breyer, right, while her husband, Patrick Jackson, holds two bibles.]

On the last day of June, the activist conservative Supreme Court completed its release of opinions, promoting guns, opposing pro-choice, and supporting other pro-death positions. As the six Supremes twist the Constitution for their own purposes, they following their only rationale: they can do it.

Three of this week’s decisions:

West Virginia v. EPA:  Like the multiyear strategy by GOP officials, conservative legal activists, and funders to rewrite law in Roe v. Wade, the GOP-appointed justices curbed the EPA’s ability to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by ruling that the EPA lacks broad authority to shift energy production from coal-burning power plants to cleaner sources such as solar and and power. As Justice Elena Kagan said in her dissent, the majority didn’t even “see what the new rule says” before ruling. In fact, there was no rule after the D.C. Circuit Court rejected one from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Kagan also wrote:

“The subject matter of the regulation here makes the Court’s intervention all the more troubling. Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

Kagan noted that the conservatives’ impositions on EPA’s authority “fly in the face of the statute Congress wrote.” The majority stated that “it is simply ‘not plausible’ that Congress enabled EPA to regulate power plants’ emissions through generation shifting. But that is just what Congress did when it broadly authorized EPA in Section 111 to select the ‘best system of emission reduction’ for power plants.” Regarding the conservatives’ claim that they are textualists, she wrote, “The current Court is textualist only when being so suits it.”

The current court examines an executive branch policy that was never enacted and follows this court’s pattern of obstructing EPA’s efforts, beginning with staying the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan—an unprecedented action. This rule had set a goal for each state to limit carbon emissions but permitted states to determine how to meet those goals.

The decision is dangerous not only for refusal to delay climate warming in this one respect but also denial of the EPA ability to fight the climate crisis overall. The Clean Air Act, originally signed by President Lyndon Johnson and amended by presidents of both parties, has saved “millions of lives and trillions of dollars.” According to experts, the ruling can set the U.S. back years and have deadly, costly impacts. About 25 percent of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions come from generating electricity with coal about 20 percent of U.S. electricity.

According to Kagan, the majority isn’t following precedent but making up justifications. “The Court has never even used the term ‘major questions doctrine’ before.” This ruling states that biggest issues should be settled by Congress, not agencies, with no definition for the biggest issues. Justices  assigned technical decisions to unknowledgeable lawmakers instead of experts. The activist conservative justices could also apply the “Major Questions Doctrine” to all areas such as health, safety, and consumer protections. In another area, the six Supremes could block IX regulations, such as handling sexual misconduct allegations.

Noted legal expert Rick Hasen wrote about how the self-identified “textualists” deviate from valid textual analysis, proving Kagan’s point about the new opportunist “textualists.” In West Virginia, they failed to use the words of a statute in context with surrounding text, to read punctuation and grammar, and to examine dictionaries and other literature to determine meaning. Hasen wrote, “Instead, the Justices pull a rabbit out of a hat and avoid the words of the statute almost in their entirety.” The justices’ “substantive cannon … comes from the value judgments of the conservative Justices and from nowhere else. These justices are skeptical of broad administrative power, and of executive power generally. These justices know that in a closely divided Congress, its rulings like this will stymie legislative action on issues like climate change or preventing the spread of Covid. And they are fine with that… So much for honest textualism.”

Ardoin v. Robinson: The six Supremes blocked a district court’s order requiring the Louisiana legislature to draw new congressional maps that included a second majority-Black district. The lower court found that the original map likely violates Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. The justices put the challenge to the map on hold until deciding a similar dispute involving Alabama redistricting. With the oral argument on October 4, the old racist maps will obviously be used in the 2022 general election. Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards had vetoed the original map, but the legislature overrode him. Blacks comprise almost one-third of the state’s population, but the Supreme Court map has only one of six districts with a majority of Black voters.

On June 6, a federal judge agreed the challengers had a good case and told the legislature to draw a revised map for two majority-Black districts. Louisiana’s secretary of state Kyle Ardoin asked the 5th Circuit Court freeze the judge’s order, but a three-judge panel with appointments by Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump rejected the request. Ardoin appealed, and the panel set oral arguments for early July. On June 17, however, Ardoin asked the Supreme Court to put the district court’s order on hold by June 20, claiming the 5th Circuit Court’s refusal had  thrown the state “into divisive electoral pandemonium” and created “confusion statewide, all of which undermines confidence in the integrity of upcoming congressional elections.” He added that the “racial gerrymander … is particularly ‘odious.’”

Early voting doesn’t begin until October, over two months away, and the original map is the one that is racially gerrymandering. Yet the six Supremes bypassed the Court of Appeals to ignore a very conservative panel of judges and violate a law. The one-page order from the six Supremes provides no explanation of why they stripped half the Black representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: Oklahoma—and perhaps other states—now have the authority to prosecute non-Native people committing crimes against a Native person on tribal lands. This conservative majority was only 5-4 with Neil Gorsuch joining the three “liberal” justices. Gorsuch wrote that the Cherokee were promised they would be free from state interference when they were exiled to Oklahoma:  

“Where this Court once stood firm, today it wilts. Where our predecessors refused to participate in one State’s unlawful power grab at the expense of the Cherokee, today’s Court accedes to another’s.”

In 2015, Oklahoma state prosecutors charged Victor Castro-Huerta for the malnourishment and neglect of his five-year-old disabled stepdaughter and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. Castro-Huerta is not Native, but his stepdaughter is. The abuse occurred on the Cherokee Reservation. According to the Supreme Court opinion in McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020), Castro-Huerta could be only federal prosecuted.

The new decision limits McGirt, which declared much of eastern Oklahoma an American Indian reservation and blocked the state from prosecuting Native Americans on these lands which includes much of Tulsa. Instead, offenders are prosecuted in either tribal or federal court. The state is unable to “prosecute anyone for crimes committed on tribal land if either the victim or perpetrator is Native American.” Oklahoma overturns part of McGirt with the opinion that the state can intervene when victims are tribal members.

Native American rights advocate Gentner Drummond won the June 28 GOP primary for Oklahoma AG by defeating John O’Connor, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s choice who he had appointed last year for AG. Drummond had said that he was “not in favor of ripping [away] Native Americans’ rights they have been granted by treaty.” O’Connor called for disestablishing the six recognized Indian Nations in eastern Oklahoma. Drummond also called O’Connor Stitt’s personal attorney, leaving none for Oklahoma.

The ruling applies to all states if Congress doesn’t pass a law opposing that action for a given tribe of reservation. The result is a massive disruption of Indian Country criminal justice, including tribes’ prosecuting non-Indians for intimate partner violence and child abuse. The dissent stated that Congress could easily use a quick reversal as it did in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007).

Lobbyist Grover Norquist said:

“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

The six Supremes have the same goal for the Constitution, and they’ll do it in a much shorter time.

To be continued.

June 29, 2022

Primaries – June 21 & 28, 2022

Voters went to the polls on June 28, 2022 in Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and South Carolina, in part to decide whether they would support the picks for Deposed Donald Trump. 

In the Democratic world, governors of Colorado, Illinois, and New York—Jared Polis, J.B. Pritzker, and Kathy Hochul, respectively—all won their primaries. For her first general election after her appointment, Hochul faces pro-gun, anti-abortion Rep. Lee Zeldin who beat Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew. Facing incumbent Pritzker in Illinois, Darren Bailey, DDT’s pick, beat Richard Irvin who received $50 million from GOP billionaire Ken Griffin. Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association spent $35 million opposing Irvin, preferring a contest against the weaker, anti-abortion opponent.

Colorado:

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) will face off against Joe O’Dea, one of the only abortion-rights Republicans winning a statewide primary this year, despite progressive ads for his opponent Ron Hanks.

Pro-DDT election conspiracist Tina Peters lost the primary for Colorado secretary of state. As might be expected, Peters and her followers are declaiming a “stolen” election. “It’s not over,” Peters said. Once again, the only “stolen” elections are those lost by far-right conservatives.  

  • Peters faces multiple felony charges for tampering with election systems.
  • A judge had blocked Peters from overseeing elections because of her failure in her duties as county clerk and being “untruthful” when she brought in someone who was not a county employee to copy the hard drives of Dominion Voting Systems machines.
  • The FBI raided her home after she pressured her employees into not cooperating with a joint local, state, and federal criminal investigation.
  • Conservatives in her former county objected to Peters being secretary of state, and some switched their party affiliations to vote against her. They said that Peters “caused” voter fraud and is a “crook [who] should not be running for secretary of state.” Now she isn’t.

In a heavily-red area of Colorado, DDT-endorsed Rep. Lauren Boebert won the GOP primary, despite her outrageous positions, worsening by the day.

  • A recent one is being “tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution … in a stinking letter [that] means nothing like what they say it does.” The referred letter, by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, stated that the First Amendment builds “a wall of separation between Church and State.” Boebert’s comments seem to reference only Christianity.
  • Earlier this year, her employees said they aren’t paid on time, and Colorado plans an investigation into her misuse of campaign funds.
  • The new owner of the building has threatened to drop her lease, but Boebert has enough money.
  • Last year, her husband made $478,000 from a non-existent company.
  • She frequently tells people to “go back to your country,” including congressional members, and called Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) a terrorist
  • Desperate to please her voters, she asked Transportation Secretary for $33 million funding a bridge despite insulting the gay father about learning “how to chest feed” his children and accused him of making an “R-rated” movie with Jeff Bezos instead of doing his job. Boebert had decried the funding from the infrastructure bill as “wasteful” and full of “slush funds” and “government welfare.” She avoids questions about her hypocrisy.

Illinois:

DDT-supported election-denier Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) beat five-term Rep. Rodney Davis. Miller most recently praised the overturn of Roe v. Wade as “victory for white life” and earlier supported Adolf Hitler for his quote, “Whoever has the youth has the future.” Later she said she misspoke about “white life” but doesn’t withdraw her praise for Hitler.

Mississippi – runoff:

Rep. Michael Guest, who voted for an independent January 6 commission, survived a GOP challenge from Trump loyalist Michael Cassidy. Earlier, he looked like a goner by finishing in second place, but neither candidate had over 50 percent. Cassidy backed off from his support for a universal health insurance programs, but his flip-flop didn’t save him. Guest went negative in ads after Cassidy beat him 47.5-46.9 percent in the primary’s first round, declaring Cassidy “just came to Mississippi from Maryland and only registered to vote here last year” and that he was “grounded and put under an investigation” when he was a Navy Reserve pilot.

In a runoff, Rep. Steven Palazzo was the first incumbent to lose in the state in 60 years after defeating Mike Ezell in the June 7 primary without a 50-percent victory. According to the House Ethics committee, the six-term representative misused almost $200,000 in campaign funds for his home’s rent and repair and asked his aides to work for his campaigns and himself. Palazzo also paid his brother, Kyle Palazzo, $23,000 from campaign funds for unjustified work and may have used his federal position to get his brother reenlisted in the military.

Nebraska:

In the nation’s oddest special election, GOP Mike Flood will finish former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s Republican term after beating Democrat Patty Passing Brooks by four percent. Fortenberry resigned after his sentence of two years of probation for lying to the FBI. Flood’s win is in a redistricted area where 75,000 people living in the current 1st District but not the new one couldn’t vote for their representative and the 69,000 people living in the new district but not the old one can vote for the person who isn’t representing them. That’s about 11 percent of each district. Flood and Brooks go up against each other in November to determine the representative who takes over in January 2023.

Oklahoma:

Rep. Markwayne Mullins and former state House speaker T.W. Shannon are headed to a runoff on August 23 to pick the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate position vacated by Jim Inhofe. The primary had 13 candidates for the position including disgraced former EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, who received only five percent of the vote. Sen. James Lankford managed to win his GOP candidacy by two-thirds of the vote, despite being one of a few senators who decided not to challenge the electoral votes on January 6 after the attack. Conservatives found an opponent for the primary, but Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer received just over one-fourth of the total.

Texas:

Recount: Henry Cuellar, the only anti-abortion Democrat in the U.S. House, won the recount for the primary election by eight additional votes, 289, despite an FBI raid on his home during his campaign.

Indictments: DDT-endorsed candidate for the Texas House has been indicted for impersonating a public servant. There were no specific allegations. Frederick Frazier blamed his opponent, Paul Chabot, for suggesting Frazier pose as a city code compliance officer to remove Chabot’s campaign signs from a Walmart after winning the GOP primary runoff last month.

Utah:

Rep. Blake Moore is the GOP candidate for a second term in the U.S. House although he voted for the independent January 6 commission and aligned himself with GOP rejects Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). He also denounced “the political violence at our nation’s Capitol on January 6th.”

Primaries from June 21: Only one state, Virginia, and Washington, DC had a regular primary on June 21.

Alabama – runoff:

Katie Britt, lately endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) after competitor Mo Brooks went down in the polls, gave DDT another win, this on as the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate. The large Republican vote in the state gives her a good chance in November. DDT earlier endorsed Brooks until the candidate said it was time to move beyond the 2020 election. Less than a year ago, DDT said Britt was “not in any way qualified” to serve in the Senate. MAGA extremists opposed DDT’s establishment choice but perhaps less so since Brooks said he would testify before the House January 6 investigative committee after his loss.

Wes Allen, a state representative, defeated state Auditor Jim Zeigler, for GOP secretary of state candidate, both believing in election conspiracy theories. Allen makes the fourth GOP candidate for the position in different states who believe in the “big lie,” joining ones in New Mexico, Michigan, and Nevada.

Georgia:

Chris West, an Anglo, defeated Jeremy Hunt, the GOP hope in a revised district with a significantly Black voter base. West goes up against Sanford Bishop, who has served the district for three decades. Leading Republicans—Sens. Tom Cotton (AR) and Josh Hawley (MO), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—had endorsed Hunt.

Rich McCormick won in another congressional district against DDT-endorsed Jake Evans.

Mike Collins soundly beat former state Rep. Vernon Jones, a DDT endorsement who had switched from Democrat to Republican. Jody Hice vacated the seat to lose to Brad Raffensperger for GOP secretary of state candidate. Collins’ win devolved into a nasty fight when he called his Black opponent a “radically anti-white racist.”

Virginia:

Ben Cline, Morgan Griffith, and Rob Wittman, DDT-endorsed incumbents, easily won—two of them uncontested.

Washington, DC:

Democratic incumbent Muriel Bowser defeated three other Democrats in a bid for her third term as mayor.

June 21 made 100 out of 117 wins for DDT’s endorsements, but his record is only 75 percent for nonincumbents, 18 of 24. Of GOP nominees following DDT’s “big lie” about the 2020 election, 52 percent have won their primaries. DDT’s June 28 wins were largely safe seats.

June 28, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – June 28, 2022

The sixth hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee provided only one witness in person, Cassidy Hutchinson. As top deputy to the chief of staff Mark Meadows for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) during the insurrection and its leadup, she was in a position to know the palace intrigues: she kept the calendar, attended many meetings, and was on a first-name basis with a majority of the primary players. Before Hutchinson came to the White House, she interned for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the current GOP whip, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Republicans argue that she is nothing but a “low-level staffer,” but Alyssa Farah, former White House communications director, explained her position in the White House as seeing everything and “always on Air Force One.” Her office is next to that of Meadows and only yards from the Oval Office.

Hutchinson knew that DDT was aware of impending violence days before January 6, approved of it, and ordered his armed supporters to head to the Capitol after the rally. He planned to meet them there despite protests from his aides and Secret Service detail. Denied this opportunity, he tried to get his own way through physical means and protect rioters who chanted “hang Mike Pence” because Pence didn’t follow DDT’s orders to overturn the election.

Today’s testimony moved into the uncharted territory of DDT’s temper and the way he exhibited and approved violence. It threw out the DDT’s claim that the insurrection was “a simple protest that got out of hand.” A chronology of events in Hutchinson’s testimony:

January 2, 2021: DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani mentioned to that “we are going to the Capitol, it’s going to be great, the president is going to be there.” When she asked Meadows what Giuliani meant, her boss warned that “things might get real, real bad on January 6.” Intelligence agencies warned in the next few days that the rally could turn violent, but DDT and Meadows did nothing. Meadows supported DDT’s plan to lead his marchers to the Capitol.  According to Hutchinson, Cipollone said that DDT’s going to the Capitol on January 6 would cause legal problems in crimes such as “obstructing justice” and “defrauding elector count.”

Although Hutchinson didn’t know what was said, Meadows talked with Roger Stone and Michael Flynn on the night of January 5 at DDT’s urging. She said she advised Meadows to go to the Willard Hotel “War Room” that evening. He didn’t go, but “dialed in.” On the morning of January 6, Cipollone told Hutchinson that if DDT marched on the Capitol with his supporters “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.”

January 6, 2021—the rally: Disturbed by empty spaces at his rally at the Ellipse, DDT told aides to let them in. Former deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato told DDT that the crowd was armed, but DDT said that he didn’t “f***ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f***ing mags away,” meaning magnetometers scanning for weapons. Audio of law enforcement before the January 6 rally relayed reports of attendees carrying AR-15 rifles and Glock pistols as well as brass knuckles, knives, tasers, and other weapons confiscated when the crowd passed through the magnetometers. Knowing about the weapons, DDT said, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol.”

January 6, 2021—after the rally: Furious by being told he couldn’t go to the Capitol to join the rioters, DDT “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” and then used his free hand to lunge towards “the clavicles” of his Secret Service agent. DDT was not in a Suburban instead of the large limo called “The Beast.” DDT said, “I’m the f***ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now!” Yet the driver took him to the White House.

January 6, 2021—at the White House: Still in a fury, DDT hurled his lunch at the wall, leaving his valet to clean up the streaming ketchup. Meadows and Cipollone met with him about the chants to hang Pence, but DDT refused to do anything to stop the rioters. Hutchinson said both Meadows and DDT seemed indifferent to the threats. Cipollone told Meadows they needed to stop it, but Meadows answered, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.” Her statements confirm other testimony that DDT made this comment as well as testimony that DDT believed that insurrectionists assaulting police officers and ransacking the Capital were doing nothing wrong.

Hutchinson paints a picture of DDT as approving the intentional, not accidental, violence of the day because he wanted the violent mob to attack the Capitol for his benefit, use the violence to disrupt the electoral votes certification, and illegally keep him in the Oval Office—a coup. This evidence could be the basis for criminal charges such as seditious conspiracy against DDT. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Meadows that Cabinet secretaries were considering invoking the 25 Amendment to remove DDT from the Oval Office.

In her testimony, Hutchinson also said that Meadows burned papers after a meeting with Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), advocating for DDT to stay in power by replacing DOJ leadership. Destroying public records is illegal. Meadows also tried to get a presidential pardon after the insurrection, the highest-ranking official seeking this privilege. Giuliani had also indicated an interest in a pardon. Meadows encouraged language about pardons for the rioters in a January 7 speech, but White House lawyers blocked the language.

DDT’s aides called Hutchinson’s testimony a “bombshell” with potentially huge repercussions for Trump. One adviser said, “For the first time since the hearings started, no one is dismissing this.

Even Fox’s chief political correspondent Bret Baier called Hutchinson’s testimony “stunning and compelling” especially because she was in a “proximity of power” to know what was happening. “Nervous” and “blindsided” by the news of Hutchinson’s cooperation, DDT engaged in what his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen described as “distance, disparage, and destroy.” DDT began his negative statements with his usual separation from any person, stating, “I hardly know who this person Cassidy Hutchinson is” and then accused her of being angry because he wouldn’t allow her to join his staff at Mar-a-Lago. About DDT’s rebuttal to the testimony, Baier pointed out that Hutchinson was “under oath” and DDT was “on Truth Social.”

Baier also praised the Republicans who testified before the committee and called them “patriots.”  Fox anchor Martha MacCallum described hearings’ testimonies laying out a “huge, stunning and clear moment” showing a lack of evidence to support Trump’s claims of an unfair election in 2020. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said that DDT’s lawyers never found evidence of voter fraud and called DDT “unhinged.”  

In addition to other charges, participants in the coup may face charges of witness tampering. At the sixth hearing, committee members expressed their concern that DDT’s allies are trying to intimidate witnesses who cooperate with the special House panel. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the committee’s vice-chair said the committee asks all witness if they have been contacted by any former DDT administration or campaign officials “who attempted to influence or impact their testimony.” Thus far, the committee has found at least two examples of potential witness intimidation.

A January 6 witness described receiving a phone call:  

 “What they said to me is as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the team, I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect, you know, I’ll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World.”

“And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”

A second witness described receiving another phone call:

“[Someone] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he’s thinking about you. He knows you’re loyal and you’re going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.”

Mick Mulvaney, former DDT top official, tweeted that reports of witness tampering could be a serious problem for DDT:

“The Press is going to focus on some sensational revelations from today:  guns, grabbing a secret service agent, etc. But the real bomb that got dropped was the implied charge of witness tampering. If there is hard evidence, that is a serious problem for the former President.”

In February, committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar (R-CA) accused DDT of trying to sway testimony by offering pardons if he’s re-elected as president. He consistently repeats this claim at his rallies related to January 6.

The committee, with the House approval, has already made criminal recommendations for people refusing to comply with subpoenas. Thus far at least 30 people have failed to appear after receiving the committee’s subpoenas, an illegal action. During its yearlong work, the committee interviewed over 1,000 witness and explored over 140,000 documents while following up on 471 tips.

June 27, 2022

SCOTUS Continues Disastrous Rulings, CNN Goes Conservative

Mass Shootings: Last weekend, seven people were killed and 46 injured in 10 shootings of four or more people. Locations were Tacoma (WA); Blakely (GA), San Antonio (TX), Brooklyn, Patterson (NY), Winona (TX), Sutherlin (VA), Minneapolis, Hopewell (VA), and Houston.

Breaking news! The House January 6 investigative committee has scheduled an unexpected hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm EST after announcing none until the week of July 11. The sixth hearing comes after “recently obtained evidence.” No one knows that the “evidence” or the new witness is. One guess is that that rush comes to keep Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and his allies from suppressing the revelation.

One new bit of information is that federal agents used a warrant from the DOJ’s inspector general to seize the phone of DDT’s former lawyer John Eastman, instrumental in developing the illegal plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. U.S. District Court Judge David Carter had called the “likely” criminal conspiracy between DDT and Eastman “a coup in search of a legal theory.”

A federal grand jury in New York issued subpoenas to Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, and its board members. The investigation can delay the merger and caused the company’s stock to drop ten percent, making this year’s loss over half its value.

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District: The current Supreme Court continued its unanimous list of decisions against separation of church of state by ruling that a football coach could kneel to pray after games, possibly coercing his players into following his Christian religion. Writing for the six Supremes, Neil Gorsuch, stated lower courts should no longer follow the “Lemon test” from Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), criticized by religious conservatives, about whether the government’s action might look to a reasonable observer as government endorsement of religion. Overturned is 60 years of the Supreme Court position that the government cannot organize and promote prayer in public schools. Previously the high court had also limited speech rights of on-duty public employees.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent:

“This Court consistently has recognized that school officials leading prayer is constitutionally impermissible. Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents … The Court now charts a different path.”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State stated:

“Today, the court continued its assault on church-state separation, by falsely describing coercive prayer as ‘personal’ and stopping public schools from protecting their students’ religious freedom.”

Gorsuch’s opinion shows that the six Supremes swallowed the lies of Kennedy’s lawyer. Joined by many people, Kennedy wasn’t “offer[ing] his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied,” but the decision was based on “private” and “quiet” prayer.” The coach inserted “motivational” prayer into his coaching which resulted in a presentation on the 50-yard line, shown in photographs. He also went on a media tour bragging about being a coach who “made a commitment with God” and inviting everyone to come pray with him on the field in what a federal appeals court called a “stampede.” The school principal “saw people fall,” and the district was unable “to keep kids safe.” Crowds knocked down members of the school’s marching band. Gorsuch claimed that only the opposing team players joined Kennedy—which makes no difference.

Other pro-Christian opinions from the six Supremes are mandating states to include religious private schools in public tuition grants, access of a spiritual adviser for a person being executed, and the requirement that Boston fly a Christian flag at city hall if secular groups have that privilege. In banning abortion, Alito said that states should have the rights to make their own laws, but their decisions in religion and gun safety are opposite to this statement.

Ruan v. United States and Kahn v. United States:  Doctors may now overprescribe drugs after the government is forced to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the doctor knew or intended to prescribe drugs in an unauthorized manner. The ruling overturned the conviction of two physicians accused of operating opioid “pill mills” in Alabama. Xiulu Ruan made over $4 million in four years when he dispensed almost 300,000 prescriptions, many of them for opioids, in a pharmacy connected to his medical clinic. Practicing in Arizona and Wyoming, Shakeel Kahn operated mostly on a cash-only basis and accepted property for payment including firearms. The convictions were returned to the lower courts for review. Samuel Alito, who voted for the decision, wrote that the court’s “radical new course” may cause “confusion and disruption.”

Clarence Thomas dissented from the Supreme Court’s refusal to revisit New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) that creates a higher bar for public figures to claim libel. He opposes the rights of the media “to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity.” Earlier Neil Gorsuch had also urged justices to revisit the decision. Public figures such as Thomas must show “absolute malice” to succeed in a libel dispute against people or the media. Thomas ranted against the Southern Poverty Law Center calling Coal Ministries a “hate group” because it claims “homosexuals say yes” to pedophilia and promotes other anti-LGBTQ lies, called the SPLC position a “blatant falsehood.” He wrote that the group “has nothing but love” for homosexuals despite the leader emphasizes literature that pushes LGBTQ people to be executed.  

The six Supremes justify overturning Roe by saying “the law offered no protection to the woman’s choice in the 19th century.” That could be the justification for overturning everything—desegregation, biracial marriage, mandatory sterilization, male ownership of wives—the list could be endless. Declaring precedents “egregiously wrong,” the six Supremes are making the United States into a place with rights only for adult straight Christian conservative white men. Everybody else is screwed.

Judges in Louisiana and Utah temporarily blocked the states’ anti-abortion “trigger laws,” those immediately going into effect to block abortions. Louisiana has passed multiple trigger laws since 2006, and which ones go into effect or what conduct is prohibited is not clear. In Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and Texas, trigger laws are also being challenged. Mississippi AG Lynn Fitch had already certified the state’s trigger law, meaning that all abortions, except to save the pregnant woman or in a confirmed case of rape, will be illegal.

The high court has four more cases to announce this term, one determining clean water and the power of agencies. The others are President Joe Biden’s overturning DDT’s border policy “Remain in Mexico,” refusing immigrants entry from Mexico; EPA regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants; and weakened work protections for veterans with disabilities.

Note: CNN used to be a useful alternative to MSNBC for a take on the news—until Chris Licht was hired to replace Jeff Zucker as the head of CNN. Licht said he wants CNN to be “a beacon … by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics in journalism.” Friends with GOP former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Licht watched the Super Bowl with GOP pollster Frank Luntz and wants to showcase more conservative guests.

After Roe was overturned, CNN immediately aired commentary from these “experts:

  • Mary Szoch, the director of the center for human dignity at the anti-abortion rights and anti-LGBTQ rights Family Research Council who talked about how “American needs to reckon with” the “60 million unborn children’s lives taken by the abortion industry.”
  • Jeffrey Toobin, who exposed his penis during a Zoom meeting with colleagues at The New Yorker and masturbated.
  • Democrats for Life, that “seeks to elect anti-abortion Democrats,”—not a major player in the political world.

Licht told producers to stop referring to DDT’s accusations of a stolen election as the “big lie,” its common nickname. A CNN insider said:  

“It’s worrisome that we’re being told how to talk about one of the worst things that ever happened to American democracy. We have to call lies, lies, whether they’re small lies or big lies. Is there any lie bigger than that lie?”

Reporters such as Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta will be forced out if they don’t keep to Licht’s “less partisan coverage.” The influence seems to come from parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with DDT-donor John Malone calling the shots. Instead of raising ratings, Licht wants to generate revenue by sponsored segments inserted in news broadcasts, meaning the “news” comes from big business, and a paywall for part of CNN’s website, reducing CNN’s audience.

Not a blueprint for a “beacon.”

June 26, 2022

Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Day 123

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine moves into the fifth month, it could be be the deadliest war in recent history. In the eastern province of Luhansk, Russians have taken over Sievierondonetsk and moved on to the twin city of Lysychansk. At the same time, Ukrainian forces, protected by Ukrainian shelling, remain in the Azot chemical plant to direct artillery attacks against the Russians and talk of retaking the southern city of Kherson.  

The two 20th-century world wars killed millions of soldiers and civilians, but the “average war,” according to the Correlates of War Project, kills about 50 soldiers each day and lasts about 100 days, a number surpassed in Ukraine in early June. The Project defines war as sustained combat between organized armed forces of different states resulting in at least 1,000 battlefield deaths in a 12-month period. The Russia-Ukraine war has far surpassed the number of deaths as well as the over 200 battlefield deaths per day for the top 25 percent of wars. Thus far, the invasion has been deadlier than the Mexican American War with 19,000 battlefield deaths and approaches the 1913 Balkan War (60,000 deaths) preceding World War I.

Instead of tapering off, Russia seems to be aggressively building while the Ukrainians receive a continual supply of weapons and ammunitions from outside the country. Russian forces returned to firing on Kyiv as well as launching missile strikes from Belarus, the country to the north of Ukraine. Also hit were the southern port city of Mykolaiv, the northern region of Chernihiv, the central Ukrainian region of Zhytomyr, and a target near Lviv in the west of the country. Russia’s capture of Sievierodonetsk in eastern Ukraine is a “significant achievement” for Russian ambitions in the Donbas region, but Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said special forces remain in the city to direct artillery fire against the Russians. The next project for the Russians is cutting off the Sievierodonetsk’s sister city Lysychansk with massive artillery bombardment and airstrikes.

Russian president Vladimir Putin appears to be trying to push Belarus into his war. He plans to send missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to the country in the next few months and offered to upgrade Belarus’ warplanes to make them capable of carrying nuclear weapons. Russia continues to block all shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea and continues its capture of residents in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Yet military experts and Western intelligence predict that the Russian military may have to halt its offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region because of exhausted combat capabilities. The higher ground where Lysychansk is located and its Donets River obstructs Russian advances from the east, forcing movement from the southeast and northeast. Ukrainian forces inflicted losses in Russian occupying forces on the Bakhmut front and repelled an assault on the Sloviansk front as Russia tries to block Lysychansk.

The expenditure of ammunition, especially artillery shells, cannot be sustained for long, and Russia continues the loss of equipment and men. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used intelligence to estimate Russia’s fight for only the “next few months” before losing any forward momentum. Russian commentators even note the shortage of their country’s manpower; military blogger Yuri Kotyenok projected a need for 500,000 Russian troops to achieve its goals. President Vladimir Putin has not yet instituted the necessary risky and unpopular large-scale mobilization.

Russia’s aggressive recruitment has found only 40,000 to 50,000 troops to replenish forces lost or incapacitated, and some Russian commanders have banned all leave for military personnel because soldiers withdrawn from Ukraine to restore their combat readiness won’t return to battle. Russia is taking ancient tanks out of mothballs and away from bases throughout the huge country for Ukraine’s front lines. Ukraine, on the other hand, is receiving more sophisticated Western weapons such as French Caesar howitzers and German Panzerhaubitze 200 howitzers.

Canada has deployed two warships to the Baltic Sea and north Atlantic,  Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Kingston and Summerside, for four months as part of “deterrence measures in central and eastern Europe” launched in 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea. The two ships join two frigates already in the region to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. They will do naval mine-sweeping exercises and be present to “quickly and effectively respond” in any operations. HMCS Halifax and Montreal return to port in July from Operation Reassurance. About 700 Canadian troops with artillery and electronic warfare along with several military aircraft are in Latvia.

Russia has sabotaged military supplies for Ukraine since Russia started to take over parts of Ukraine in 2014. Ammunition sellers have been bullied not to sell to Ukraine, and weapon brokers are threatened with death if they make these deliveries. Depots in Eastern Europe have been blown up, for example four mysterious explosions in Bulgaria between 2011 and 2020 as well as other 2017 weapon depots attacks in Ukraine. The 60,000 rounds shot by Russia every day, ten times the Ukrainian capacity. The global supply cannot meet Ukraine’s wartime demand.

Problems for Russia also come from its need to decrease military presence in areas facing a Turkish offensive, such as northwestern Syria near the Turkish border around Aleppo and Tal Rifaat. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans a military operation to create a “safe zone” where 1 million Syrian refugees could return. Any attempt by Russia to take these areas risks confrontation between Turkey, a NATO member, and Russia’s allies with a massive humanitarian poll. The Iranians have taken control of these areas where Russia withdrew about two and a half months ago. Although Russians may have political power, its rival Iran has the military control on the frontlines.

The NATO Secretary General has asked Erdogan, Sweden, and Finland to meet in Madrid before the NATO summit this coming week. Sweden and Finland have applied for NATO membership because of Russian threats, but Erdogan is threatening to veto the two countries’ joining because of their support for Kurdish fighters and arms embargoes on Ankara. No country can join NATO without its members’ unanimous acceptance.

President Joe Biden is in Germany attending a G7 meeting focusing on the Ukrainian invasion and its consequences from energy shortages to a food crisis. Thus far, four members—UK, the U.S., Japan, and Canada—have agreed to ban Russian gold imports aimed at wealthy Russians buying bullion to reduce the financial effect of Western sanctions. Russian exported $15.5 billion worth of gold last year. Another discussion is potentially capping prices on Russian oil imports. Putin may have been sending a message to the G7 leaders, not only by his weekend shelling but also the new round of missiles in Kyiv which killed the parents of a seven-year-old girl.

Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland paid a surprise trip to Ukraine to support identification, apprehension, and prosecution of Russian war criminals. He announced that Eli Rosenbaum, a veteran prosecutor known for investigating former Nazis, will create a U.S. war crimes accountability team work with Ukraine and international law enforcement groups to track these criminals. Garland also visited Poland and Paris where he met the U.S. homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, with European counterparts to explore ways to combat terrorism and hold Russia accountable for its brutality in Ukraine.

The European Union has officially made Ukraine a candidate for membership. The process may require a decade, but Putin has been violently against Ukraine joining the EU.

Tens of millions of people are suffering from food deprivation because Russia’s boycotts won’t allow grain to leave Ukraine, but Putin is stealing the grain himself—400,000 tons thus far from the temporarily occupied territories. That’s almost one-third of what was available.

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize to help Ukrainian children and families displaced by Russia’s invasion. The $103.5 million from an anonymous buyer far exceeds the previously highest amount of $4.76 million for a Nobel medal. Muratov founded the independent Novaya Gazeta and sharply criticized the invasion of Ukraine. Russian threats closed the newspaper in March, and four of its journalists have been killed during Putin’s tenure.

Just like Germans in World War II, Russians are using its invasion of Ukraine to loot art, emptying museums and destroying Ukraine’s cultural heritage. With no trained armies to protect these treasures, museum curators are hiding in basements throughout the country to protect these items in areas where Russians are seizing control. Already, 250 cultural institutions have been targeted by Russian munitions with thousands of important museums pieces destroyed during the Russian bombing of Mariupol and other cities.

Scythian gold artifacts dating back to the 4th century BC valued at millions were stolen in Melitopol from crates used to hide the objects. Surveillance video showed a Russian art expert in a white lab coat carefully removing the gold. Russians have removed some art objects before destroying museums.

For the first time in over a century, Russia may experience its first major debt default on international bonds when the grace period deadline for Russia’s foreign debt payment of $100 million expired today. Taiwan’s holders of Russian bonds said they haven’t received the interest due on May 27 and won’t accept rubles. A default is declared if a deadline is missed. Russia has struggled to keep up with its payments on $40 billion in outstanding bonds since sweeping sanctions for the country invading Ukraine on February 24 cut Russia out of the global financial system.

June 25, 2022

The Blame Game Continues in Uvalde

The last victim has been buried after an 18-year-old used his newly-purchased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to kill 19 small children and two teachers on May 24 in a Uvalde (TX) classroom. Reasons for how it was allowed to occur have grown murkier because officials keep changing their answers and concealing the problems. Searching for answers, the relative of a victim, a local chaplain, and journalists were even forced to leave City Hall this past week before a closed-door hearing of the Texas House of Representatives and law enforcement because an official felt “intimidated.” Uvalde law enforcement stopped briefing the public about the shooting and refuse to respond to the media about surveillance footage, 911 calls, and bodycam.

Uvalde’s mayor Don McLaughlin accused state authorities of scapegoating local law enforcement and cherry picking details about state’s response to the massacre. He said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, “continued to … lie, leak … mislead or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and rangers from the response.” He said he would release information about the investigation and that “the gloves are off,” yet city officials wouldn’t comment on the probe.

After early reports from the state department needed to be corrected, the agency stopped public briefings for a week. One revision was how the shooter gained entrance into the school through a door with a faulty lock after erroneous initial accusation of a teacher leaving the door open. The conflict may also come from McCraw’s statement three days after the shooting that the school district police chief PetebArredondo was in charge of police response and made the “wrong response” in not immediately confronting the shooter. McLaughlin immediately asked for an investigation from the federal DOJ, independent from the one by the Texas Rangers. The State House inquiry makes three separate probes.

No longer providing updates on the shooting, Uvalde law enforcement officials have hired a private law firm to block the release of public records about the shooting that contain “highly embarrassing information.” A legal loophole allows them to refuse the release if no one has been convicted of the crime. Killed by a Border Patrol tactical team, the shooter can never be convicted.  

In a special State Senate committee hearing, McCraw described the law enforcement response an “abject failure” where the on-scene commander placed the “the lives of officers above the lives of children.” McCraw said, “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander.” Three officers armed with rifles, pistols, and body armor arrived outside the unlocked classroom three minutes after the shooter entered the school, and Arredondo said they had to wait to get keys to a locked classroom door before entering. McGraw said that neither video nor interviews had evidence that anyone checked the doors and that law enforcement could have entered through the windows. Arredondo’s decision delayed entering the classroom for almost an hour.

Arrendondo said he did not consider himself in charge, but McCraw said, “If you’re going to issue commands, if you’re going to direct action, you’re the on-scene commander.” The delayed confrontation with the gunman was “antithetical to everything we have learned over the past two decades since the Columbine massacre” in 1999, according to McCraw.

After the city council rushed to swear in Arrendondo, elected before the shooting, Council members voted to not offer him a leave of absence. He has not attended any meetings since his swearing in, and he will be forced to leave the Council after missing three consecutive meetings without being excused. Members of the Uvalde have called for his removal.

After almost a month after the massacre, the Uvalde school district has put Arrendondo on administrative leave after allegations against him. Uvalde school superintendent Hal Harrell didn’t give a reason for the action. No one confirmed whether the leave was paid, and “personnel decisions” won’t be made until the investigation is finished.

The Texas Tribune collected other revelations about the shooting: 

  • Officers doubted the decision to wait.
  • Communications and tactics suffered breakdowns.
  • Law enforcement delayed confrontation although they knew people were injured and possibly dying in the classroom.
  • Officers had sufficient firepower, equipment and motivation to breach the classrooms.
  • Footage and records show a well-equipped group of local officers entering the school amost immediately were pulled back after the shooter started firing inside the classroom and then waited over an hour.
  • The shooter was seen walking unobstructed into the room and then going in and out at least three times.
  • Up to 19 officers were outside the classroom while the shooter was inside, and 60 law enforcement officials were around the school during the shooting. 

The Tribune also gives a timeline beginning when the planning of the shooter and after he arrived on campus.

In mid-June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state agencies fought the release of any information clarifying the contradictory statements. DPS claimed that releasing bodycam footage would provide criminals with “invaluable information” about its investigative techniques, information sharing, and criminal analysis. Republicans have claimed that the shooter’s gun making no difference in the number of deaths, that he could have killed them all with a bat, a theory that McGraw refuted. Texas AG Ken Paxton has 45 days to consider requests from government and law enforcement officials to withhold records from the public. Both Paxton and Abbott are up for re-election in four and a half months.

The day after the Uvalde shooting, Abbott, who has been obsessed about the immigrants on the southern border, said that the shooting “could have been worse.” Yet during his seven years as governor when firearms were loosened, gun deaths for children 17 and under grew from 54 in 2015 to 146 in 2020. Avoiding the topic of guns, Abbott outlined the topics for his special legislative committee for shooting solutions.

Paxton doesn’t even have a solution for mass shootings. Asked what he would Texas lawmakers, who have legislated looser and looser gun laws, have a variety of solutions. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wants to “harden” schools, limited the buildings to only one door in and out. Others want to arm teachers or train students to fight shooters or to provide body armor for all students and educators. Other suggestions are taller fencing, tripwires, and metal detectors. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) recommends more “prayer.” Their ideas have not worked in the past and have nothing to do with restrictions of guns, but Republicans repeat past ideas.

With no solution for mass shootings, Paxton said he would tell families of the victims, “God always has a plan. Life is short no matter what it is.” After Texas lawmakers heard heart-wrenching testimony from the family members, only five Republicans voted to raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 and toughen the loose gun laws. Paxton did recommend arming teachers, adding to their multiple responsibilities beyond educating their students. 

As usual, Paxton said, “We can’t stop bad people from doing bad things.” Federal law prevents Paxton from buying a gun because he has been under indictment since 2015 for breaking state securities law.

A review of 89 journal publications and media reports by researchers at the University of Toledo and Ball State University found no help relief from armed school resource officers, restrictions on the number of school exits, active-shooter drills, and arming teachers and school personnel. The researchers concluded that the “ideal method for eliminating school firearm violence by youths is to prevent them from ever gaining access to firearms,” adding that “unfortunately, studies have found an alarming rate of firearms accessible to youths.”

Despite the majority of Texans supporting universal background checks, including at gun shows and from private sellers, the GOP legislators reject the idea. In February 43 percent of Texas wanted stronger gun laws while only 16 percent want to loosen them. The Texas GOP also rejects red flag laws, a process by which courts can temporarily take guns from people judged to be a danger to themselves or others, and safe storage laws requiring guns to be locked when stored. Reducing mass shooting by ten percent reduces homicides by 20 percent.

The media protects people from the horror of the mass shooting aftermaths. In Uvalde, dead children had to be identified through DNA because they were “pulverized” and “decapitated,” according to a doctor who saw the bodies. Only green sneakers revealed the identity of one victim. In the argument of whether this protection should continue, Jeh Johnson, homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2017, wrote, “We need an Emmett Till moment.” Till was a 14-year-old Black shot in the head after being tortured for lipping off to a white woman in Mississippi. It was August 1955. Till’s mother insisted on an open casket to show the bloated, mutilated body left in a river by two White men later acquitted of the crime by an all-White Mississippi jury.

Johnson wrote, “Something graphic is required to awaken the public to the real horror of these repeated tragedies.” He cites other horrific images of brutality showing what words cannot describe. If the six Supreme Court justices had seen these images, would they have so casually lifted New York’s commonsense gun safety law passed 109 years ago?

Uvalde had “good guys with guns,” like Republicans and the NRA recommend; they just didn’t use them. What is needed is bad guys without guns.

June 24, 2022

SCOTUS Religion Consumes U.S., Destroys Women

[Mass Shooting: June 23, 2022 – In Philadelphia, two men were killed, another went to the hospital in critical condition, and a fourth suffered non-fatal leg wounds.]  

According to the website of the U.S. Supreme Court, “the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law.” This court is failing. The six Supremes (SS) overturned Roe v. Wade (1973), possibly the worst decision since Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which ruled that Blacks cannot be citizens even if they are “free.” After almost 50 years of moderate freedom, all women able to become pregnant can be childbearing slaves, incubators for the males who impregnated them—even molesters and rapists.  

The Supreme Court bucked popular opinion in only three major rulings during the past 60 years: permitting flag burning in Texas v. Johnson (1989), the 1966 court ruling for Miranda requiring law enforcement to inform suspects of their rights to be silent and seek an attorney in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), and supporting mandated integration busing of Black children to white schools in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971). Congress immediately passed the Flag Protection Act, overturning the Supreme Court, and on June 23, 2022, the SS overturned Miranda by removing the ability to sue law enforcement by not reading them these rights.

All three of these unpopular decisions expanded the rights of people; these SS vastly shrink people’s rights, favoring the U.S. minority of evangelical Christians, big business, and law enforcement—although police prefer not to have unfettered concealed carry of weapons. In the 21st century, the majority of Supreme Court justices uses religion and politics, not the law or constitution, to determine their decisions. Their inexcusable rational for “no” is “it’s not in the constitution” and the reverse for “yes.” 

Technically, Chief Justice Roberts only voted to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, but he’s still complicit in the plot against women’s rights because he said Roe should be overturned. Within hours after the ruling, abortion is illegal in 10 states, another seven will soon join the ban, and four more within weeks. The number changes minute by minute. (The map is from early June 24, 2022.) Other states will charge into legislation to take the rights from women in their states, resulting in women losing their rights in half the “united” states. Women’s health will be dependent on where they live, how much money they have, and who their supporters are, exaggerating the current problems of healthcare which also ties into their race.

Roe prevented states from banning abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy and limited the ability to regulate abortion during the second trimester. In 1992, the high court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey changed the trimester guideline to fetal viability. Samuel Alito, who wrote the decision, claimed the right to abortion doesn’t exist in the U.S. Constitution. As in his opinion, he repeated his ignorance of history demonstrated in the leaked draft by stating that the right to abortion “was entirely unknown in American law” until the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 as a fake excuse that “the Constitution and the rule of law demand” the question of abortion return to the states. And his “historical rationale” for overturning Roe from directions by a medieval judge and a 17th-century witch-burner,

Alito has wrongly argued that contraception could prevent almost all unplanned pregnancies. He complained about nonexistent “barbaric” medical procedures but refers only to the fetus and not the pregnant woman who will die without an abortion or who is carrying a dead fetus. For emotional reasons, anti-abortionists uses the term “baby” for any embryo, zygote, and fetus to create a sense of guilt.

Brett Kavanaugh, who violated the law as a judge when he tried to prevent an undocumented girl incarcerated at the southern border from obtaining an abortion, tried to appear “moderate.” He claimed that today’s ruling “does not outlaw abortion throughout the United States.” The SCOTUS majority hates precedent, however, and this ruling, joined by a concurring opinion from Clarence Thomas, endangers federal rights to contraception and marriage equality, words also not used in the constitution. He didn’t mention biracial marriage, but with a White wife, Thomas won’t go there. (Thomas’ wife leads the SS.)

Alito argued that no other rights are at risk, that abortion is unique because it deals with “potential life.”  The religious view that contraception is a type of abortion, as five justices granted in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), makes all rights to contraception easy pickings for the SS. Roe is also based on Griswold v. Connecticut, which granted a federal right for married women right to birth control. The SS have claimed that privacy isn’t included in the constitution; all rulings remove that right—unless it deals with a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) says Roe’s overturn “will work out for everybody.” Praised for his choice of three justices, he answered, “God made the decision.” Former VP Mike Pence, a 2024 presidential hopeful, wants a national ban on abortion, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another presidential wannabe, is enthusiastically calling for abortion restrictions in her state.

The dissent from Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor explains that, according to the ruling, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

In the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino wrote how much worse women’s lives will be than before Roe:

“We have entered an era not of unsafe abortion but of widespread state surveillance and criminalization—of pregnant women, certainly, but also of doctors and pharmacists and clinic staffers and volunteers and friends and family members, of anyone who comes into meaningful contact with a pregnancy that does not end in a healthy birth. Those who argue that this decision won’t actually change things much—an instinct you’ll find on both sides of the political divide—are blind to the ways in which state-level anti-abortion crusades have already turned pregnancy into punishment, and the ways in which the situation is poised to become much worse…”

Tolentino describes many of the ways women have already been criminally charged and the lengths to which fanatical anti-abortionists will go to hurt women.

“Search histories, browsing histories, text messages, location data, payment data, information from period-tracking apps—prosecutors can examine all of it if they believe that the loss of a pregnancy may have been deliberate. Even if prosecutors fail to prove that an abortion took place, those who are investigated will be punished by the process, liable for whatever might be found.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) described overturning Roe “one of the darkest days our country has ever seen.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) called a hearing in the judiciary committee next month “to explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talked about how the most recently nominated conservatives—three of whom overturned Roe—swore under oath that they “respected authority” and the “precedent of the court, that they respected the right of privacy in the Constitution.” In the past two days, Pelosi said, the court contradicted itself in its rulings. In overturning a 1913 New York law, the same SS ruled that states cannot make laws “governing the constitutional right to bear arms,” Pelosi said. “Today, they’re saying the exact reverse, that the states can overturn a constitutional right for 50 years, a constitutional right for women having the right to choose.”

She concluded, “Their hypocrisy is enraging, but the harm is endless.”  

About the ruling, Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) praised the SS who “rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states.” That description doesn’t fit a myriad of other decisions that force Supreme Court rulings on all the states. Recently, the SS ordered that state courts can order the execution of innocent people and that states must pay tuition at religious schools. 

Youngkin’s “power of the people” didn’t appear in the religious decision. A May CNN poll showed 66 percent of people don’t want a complete overturn of Roe compared to 34 percent who do. Back to 1989, no more than 36 percent have wanted the ruling overturned. Seven in 10 people think the decision to have an abortion should be left up to a pregnant person and their doctor rather than being regulated by law.

Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed disappointment in Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, saying they trusted what the two justices said during the confirmation. Manchin further said that, although a Catholic and pro-life, he has “come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life.” These senators, however, are not known for following through.

Republicans have what they said they wanted. Now they head into a vast swamp of problems they created—high infant mortality, lack of care for women and children, increased need for prisons by criminalizing all connected to any abortion, expensive health and life care for fetuses unable to permanently function without ventilators and other needs, more divorces, greater crime, need of support for child care, the growth of poverty, and increased need for foster care as Republicans take children from mothers because of GOP-legislated child abuse. Texas already has a law criminalizing parents who allow transgender children any medical care connected to their gender dysphoria. The GOP’s pattern of dealing with these problems: nothing and whining nonstop about lazy people who won’t work and women who have children only to get undeserved taxpayer money.

Rejoicing Republican women may not want to be in jail when their miscarriages are assumed to be a self-inflicted abortion. Or lacking medication for after a miscarriage from a doctor’s refusal to prescribe it because it’s same as the one causing an abortion. Or their names on data bases the minute anyone knows about the pregnancy to make sure they won’t get an abortion. Rachel Maddow has more on her program. 

Much more will be written about this Supreme Court travesty in upcoming days, but that’s it for me on “a day that will live in infamy.” 

The U.S. beacon of democracy is extinguished.

June 23, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearings – June 23, 2022 plus Breaking News

 In another bombshell ruling, six Supreme Court justices struck down a 1913 New York law requiring people to demonstrate they have a “special need for self-protection” to carry a concealed handgun in public. To an indifferent majority, Justice Stephen Breyer noted the 277 reported mass shootings, more than one per day, during fewer than the first six months of 2022. He added, “Gun violence has now surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.” Shootings in New York City doubled between 2019 and 2021, rising much more in the first quarter of 2022. Wayne Pierre, NRA’s executive vice president, took credit for the ruling; its opinion was written by Clarence Thomas.

The six Supremes also blocked people from suing police if they are not given their Miranda rights. Samuel Alito wrote the violation is not “a violation of the Fifth Amendment.” Therefore police are required to read everyone their Miranda rights, but not doing it doesn’t violate the law.  

By 65-14, the Senate passed its lukewarm “gun reform” bill that one media sourced called the “most significant gun legislation in three decades.” The anti-assault law, which saved many lives, passed in 1994 but expired in 2004, resulting in thousands of deaths. The bill now goes to the House for debate, revisions, and a vote.

Since the fourth hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee on June 21, the number of violent threats against committee members has been on the rise, probably requiring security detail for all of them. Even before that hearing, the wife of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) received a letter threatening to execute her and their five-month-old baby. He said that violence will not lessen until people believe the truth. Despite her security detail since last year, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has not been able to have publicized campaign events because of security concerns.

After his day in the sun on June 21 for his testimony about denying the demands of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to violate the law and the U.S. Constitution, Rusty Bowers, Arizona state House speaker, destroyed his credibility when he said he would still vote for DDT in 2024. He testified that DDT “wanted him to take illegal, immoral, unprecedented, and unconstitutional steps to overturn the 2020 election results in his state,” according to Oliver Knox. “And Trump never provided a shred of evidence for his false claims of voter fraud.”

DDT attacked Bowers for being a RINO, “Republican in Name Only,” and repeated his lie that Bowers had told DDT he believed “the election was rigged.” Bowers needs DDT’s base in his state senate run against against another Mormon during the August 2 primary as he leaves the House. DDT has also become increasingly angry with the failed strategy of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who tried to close down the House investigative committee by pulling his appointments after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused two of them, one of them now subpoenaed.

McCarthy advised Republicans to ignore all these hearings, but DDT isn’t following that advice. McCarthy said that appointing Republicans to the committee would create more difficulty if they attacked it as political, but DDT wants to know why no one is defending him on television. DDT has also not endorsed McCarthy for becoming House speaker job if the GOP takes over the chamber in 2022, and McCarthy needs DDT’s base.

The first GOP failure in blocking an investigation was their refusal to create an independent commission with five Republicans and five Democrats who would equally share subpoena powers and prepare the final report. McCarthy had agreed to the commission if Democrats agreed to five changes. The Democrats agreed with the changes, but McCarthy backed out. House Republicans said they voted against it after DDT opposed the idea. The five GOP members who McCarthy withdrew from the official committee have formed their own “shadow” group to center on “the real true story about what took place on Jan. 6” largely focusing on alleged security failures under Pelosi’s watch with a report released before the August recess.

The official committee is now able to investigate and present findings without distraction. It behaves in a highly professional manner, and obstructive Republicans have no information to prepare DDT’s defense, no way to influence the committee’s direction, no contrary questions, no leaking, and no diluting findings before the final report. Republicans other than DDT are upset with McCarthy.

The night before the June 23 hearing, law enforcement officers used an FBI-issued warrant to search the home of Jeffrey Clark, Assistant AG for the Environment. Warrants are given only with evidence of a crime. DDT had planned to install Clark as acting AG in January 2021 to replace Jeffrey Rosen and make Clark the third AG in two weeks, after DDT fired his own appointee Bill Barr. The proposal failed when hundreds of DOJ employees threatened to quit if DDT replaced Rosen with Clark who planned to tell Georgia officials the lie that the department had proof for the state to rescind its certification of Joe Biden for the presidency.

When earlier called by the investigative committee to testify, Clark declared both attorney-client privilege—although he worked for an independent agency—and the Fifth Amendment over 100 times to not incriminate himself. He can’t do both. On January 3, DDT started calling Clark his acting AG, although he had not appointed him, to give Clark the power to endorse his lies about election fraud.  

[The hearings require an elaborate production as shown by this shot of the MSNBC control room.] 

Witnesses at the June 23 hearing included Rosen, acting AG during the January 6 insurrection; Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s top deputy; and Steven Engel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. Both Donoghue and Engel had threatened to resign if DDT replaced Rosen with Clark. All witnesses detailed their clarifications with DDT about the invalidity of DDDT’s accusations of the “stolen election” theories. Donoghue testified that DDT asked him to tell the public that the election had “widespread fraud” despite no evidence. He said, “Leave the rest of it to us,” meaning himself and the “U.S. Congressmen.” DDT’s former White House attorney Eric Herschmann told Clark, considered incompetent because he knew nothing about criminal law, sarcastically told Clark he was perfect for the job because he was willing to commit a felony.  

Some of today’s revelations:

Congressional co-conspirators to overturn the 2020 presidential election: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), sworn into the House three days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) attended a December meeting at the White House to discuss strategy although DDT knew there was no evidence of fraud. Perry introduced DDT to Clark who had no connection to election fraud or criminal investigations outside environmental damage.

Request for DDT’s pardons: Among members of Congress asking for DDT’s pardons to cover their crimes were GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Mo Brooks (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), Louie Gohmert (TX), Scott Perry (PA), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA). Both Gaetz, under investigation for federal child sex-trafficking and other crimes, and Brooks wanted blanket pardons for all possible crimes in the past and future, according to Mark Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson. More members of Congress may have asked for presidential pardons. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also asked if DDT would be giving pardons to congressional members. Pardoned people have to testify because they cannot plead the Fifth Amendment, not incriminating themselves.

Links with DOJ to overturn the election: In addition to the hearing’s DOJ witnesses and news about Clark, new DOJ attorney Ken Klukowski worked with Clark and DDT’s lawyer John Eastman to overturn the election, according to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Their dual method was to overhaul DOJ for it to focus on fraud claims and persuade legislatures to sign off on alternate slates of electors.

Pentagon involvement: DDT told former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller to call a high-ranking official in Rome (Italy) about the conspiracy theory “Italygate” that an Italian defense contractor uploaded software to a satellite to switch votes from DDT to Joe Biden. It was just one of the conspiracy theories that DDT told the DOJ to follow.

Film footage: British filmmaker Alex Holder testified behind closed doors and showed the raw footage of DDT, his family, friends, and then-VP Mike Pence from September 2020 to after the January 6 attack. DDT told the filmmakers, “I think I treat people well, unless they don’t treat me well, in which case you go to war.”

Sedition: DDT’s daily pressure on members of an independent government agency presents a clear picture of his opposition to his own government which was searching for justice, support the will of the people, and following the Constitution.

After this evidence of DDT’s incessant push at the DOJ to make the independent agency an arm of his campaign to create a coup, the next hearings, expected to cover domestic extremism and DDT’s actions inside the White House, will be scheduled starting the week of July 11. The wait is to incorporate the “new evidence [the committee reveives] on a daily basis with enormous velocity,” according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). The two hearings may not be the last before the panel issues final reports later this year.

A more detailed summary of the June 23 hearing by Heather Cox Richardson.

June 21, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – June 21, 2022

The fourth hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee began at 1:00 pm EST on June 21, 2021, but before those bombshells started dropping, the Supreme Court came out with a major ruling. Six justices violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by requiring Maine to give taxpayer funding to religious schools for tuition. In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the ruling, in connection with other recent court rulings to put religion above rights, dismantled “the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build.” She added the majority was “embracing arguments from prior separate writings and ignoring decades of precedent affording governments flexibility in navigating the tension between the Religion Clauses.” She continued:

“As a result, in just a few years, the Court has upended constitutional doctrine, shifting from a rule that permits States to decline to fund religious organizations to one that requires States in many circumstances to subsidize religious indoctrination with taxpayer dollars.”

Background information about the Supreme Court case, Carson v. Makin

The June 21 hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee, the fourth one since June 6, focused on the pressure by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) on state officials to prove election and voting fraud for the purpose of gaining voters and creating a slate of “alternative electors” who would illegally send DDT back to the White House for another four years. The hearing outlined DDT’s unrelenting campaign directed at state and local officials–many of them Republicans–that created physical danger for anyone to refused to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In his drive to get the illegal votes to win, DDT stirred up his followers who spread menace and violent threats but was indifferent to the high level of violence perpetrated on those who opposed his push to return to the White House, as described by the hearing’s witnesses.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) testified DDT’s supporters invaded a state legislative building mobbed his home with videos, calling the highly-religious conservative a pedophile and pervert. Bowers said that his gravely-ill daughter was disturbed; in fact, her illness was terminal, and she died weeks after the invasion of Bowers’ neighborhood. He also testified that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) called him on the morning of January 6, 2021 asking him to overturn the presidential election. Bowers’ testimony began with refuting a message DDT sent immediately before the hearing in which DDT falsely declared Bowers had told him in November 2022 that he knew the election was rigged.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperg described how DDT’s supporters broke into his daughter-in-law’s home where she lived with her two children. She is a widow after Raffensperger’s son died of cancer in 2018. Raffensperger also testified to the violence threats he and his family received as well as the “disgusting”, “sexualized” texts to his wife. 

COO of Georgia’s Secretary of State office Gabriel Sterling said he “lost it” after he learning about the death threats with a noose sent to a young first-generation U.S. citizen working for Dominion Systems that accused him of “treason.”

Election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss gave the most painful testimony of the day in describing how she and her mother Ruby Freeman are isolated, having no place to feel safe after DDT falsely accused them of fraud while counting votes on election night in Georgia. They were forced to leave their homes for safety, and DDT supporters barged into the home of Moss’ elderly grandmother, shouting they were making a “citizen’s arrest.” Using a doctored video in a hearing with Georgia state legislators, DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani compared Moss and Freeman to drug dealers, called for their homes to be searched, and urged that they be criminally charged. Earlier testimony videos from Freeman, who DDT accused 18 times of election fraud in his telephone call to Raffensperger begging for 11,800 more Georgia votes, said:

“Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me. I have lost my name and I have lost my reputation. All because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) leader of the June 21 hearing summarized the consequences of DDT’s lies on Moss and Freeman:

“If the most powerful person in the world can bring the full weight of the presidency down on an ordinary citizen who is merely doing her job, with a lie as big and heavy as a mountain, who among us is safe?”

Other revelations from the hearing:

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, testified that Trump himself called to ask for the party’s help organizing the false elector strategy.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Mark Meadows, testified by video that Giuliani, Meadows, and congressional members planned after the 2020 election to organize fake electors in states that Joe Biden won.

A staffer for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) tried to deliver certificates signed by DDT’s fake electors in Michigan and Wisconsin to VP Mike Pence and the National Archives on January 6, 2021, after Pence had already refused them, along with fake certificates from Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania prepared on January 4. Pence’s staffer refused the ones from Johnson. The senator denied that he tried to make the delivery, saying someone, he didn’t know who, asked him to do it.

Former DDT campaign staffer Robert Sinners who helped gather fake electors to overturn the election said he felt like a “useful idiot” after participating in the scheme and he’s now “angry.”

In one conversation when Giuliani asked Bowers to set up fake electors, DDT’s lawyer claimed, “We’ve got lots of theories—we just don’t have the evidence.” He never provided any evidence.

According to DDT’s campaign documents, his advisers knew the fake-elector plan was useless and using Pence to overturn the election was illegal.

Schiff’s introduction:  

“When state elections officials refused to stop the count, Donald Trump and his campaign tried to put pressure on them. When state executive officials refused to certify him the winner of states he lost, he applied more pressure. When state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint Trump electors, he amped up the pressure yet again. Anyone who got in the way of Donald Trump’s continued hold on power after he lost the election was the subject of a dangerous and escalating campaign of pressure.

“This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death. State legislators were singled out. So too were statewide elections officials. Even local elections workers, diligently doing their jobs, were accused of being criminals, and had their lives turned upside down.

“As we will show, the president’s supporters heard the former president’s claims of fraud, and the false allegations he made against state and local officials, as a call to action.”

Schiff gave credit to the people who refused to follow DDT’s demands despite the abuse they suffered: “The system held, but barely…”

At the next hearing on June 23, documentary filmmaker Alex Holder will testify, and the committee will show footage of DDT and his aides that he submitted to the investigation committee because of a subpoena. Holder had multiple interviews with DDT, his children, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and VP Mike Pence between September 2020 until after the election. Also subpoenaed is raw footage from January 6 and “discussions of election fraud or election integrity surrounding the November 2020 presidential election.” Senior campaign officials did not approve of the film project, but DDT’s people secretly agreed to be filmed. The completed documentary, Unprecedented, will be released this summer.

The Thursday hearing, beginning at 1:00 EST, will focus on DDT’s attempts to suborn the judiciary. Rep. Bennie Thompson called then-president Trump’s “attempt to corrupt the country’s top law-enforcement body, the Justice Department, to support his attempt to overturn the election.”

The hearings are making a difference in public opinion. After the first full week of hearings, 58 percent of respondents to a survey think that DDT should be charged with a crime for his part in the insurrection, up from 52 percent in early May. The same percentage believes that DDT bears “a great deal” or a “good amount” of responsibility for the insurrection. Sixty percent believe the committee is conducting a fair and impartial investigation, according to the poll. The committee has not yet determined whether it should recommend a criminal charge to the DOJ, but a few months ago, a federal judge concluded that DDT “likely attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress” on January 6, meaning a crime.

June 20, 2022

DDT Faces Millions of Litigation Costs, More Revelations of Incompetency

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 11:28 PM
Tags: , , ,

In weekend mass shootings of at least four people, at least 6 people died and 42 injured nine cities: Chicago, Baltimore, Pensacola (FL), San Antonio, Miami, Walterboro (SC), Washington, DC, Grand Rapids (MI), and Harlem (NY).

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) attacks in rallies and on the media are becoming more and more vicious indicating he increasingly faces more problems. He did manage to sell the lease to his Washington, D.C. hotel for $375 million: the gold letters “Trump International Hotel” have disappeared after a Miami investment group changed the venue at the Old Post Office into a Waldorf Astoria. People currying DDT’s favor paid him millions at the hotel in violation of the U.S. Constitution. 

DDT did pay D.C. $750,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging he misused nonprofit funds to benefit himself and his family by forcing the inaugural committee to overpay for event space in the hotel and misusing $1.1 million.

Lawsuits against him, are geometrically building. Once, he sued others; now they sue him.

In February, The Guardian wrote about at least 19 pending legal actions, 15 of them civil suits, against DDT: financial wrongdoings; his part in the January 6 insurrection, and his interference in the 2020 election. Eleven House members are suing DDT, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers for conspiracy on January 6. The Capitol Police and the D.C. Metro Police have sued DDT for physical and emotional injuries on that day, and the NAACP is suing DDT and the RNC for trying to overturn the Michigan election results by disenfranchising Black voters in Detroit. Legal problems may come from revelations in the House January 6 hearings, including his grift collecting $250 million in donations from his lies about a stolen election for a nonexistent “election defense fund.” Money was funneled to DDT’s business properties and DDT’s political action committee.

In Georgia, Fulton County’s DA Fani Willis is investigating whether DDT and his officials disrupted the 2020 election. Federal investigators are probing into whether DDT mishandled classified documents when he took them to Mar-a-Lago. Mary Trump is suing DDT for defrauding her out of millions of dollars from the family inheritance, and DDT is suing her and the New York Times about reporting on his taxes. E. Jean Carroll, who claimed DDT sexual assault her, filed a defamation lawsuit against him after the assault statute of limitations ran out. DDT’s former fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, is suing him for retaliation after he wrote a tell-all book about when he worked for DDT. An on-going class-action lawsuit from 2018 alleges DDT’s business scammed investors into supporting false or worthless business opportunities. Former tenants are suing DDT with the claim that his family hiked rents by inflating prices for appliances.

DDT and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Don Jr., will sit for depositions on July 15 in New York’s ongoing civil investigations into DDT’s businesses regarding his allegedly misvaluing assets for economic benefits. Using the similar charges, those other jurisdictions, one in New York and the other in Westchester County, are considering criminal cases.

DDT lost his appeal to remove the daily $10,000 civil contempt fine for refusal to turn over documents subpoenaed in his New York civil probe. His excuse for the failure was that he didn’t know where they were. The judge did pause the contempt fine after the lawyer detailed efforts to find the information, but DDT was still required to pay $110,000. He was also required to describe the business’s documentation retention and destruction policies as well as finish a review of five of 17 boxes in an off-site storage facility.

If DDT had not changed his residency from New York to Florida, the investigation into his business affairs would have to close in five years after it was opened. His move to Mar-a-Lago gives New York ten years for their probe.

“Law enforcement in New York has five years from the date of an alleged crime to officially file charges for most felonies, but under New York law § 30.10(4)(a)(i), that clock stops for up to five more years when a defendant is outside the state.”

DDT’s aides were amazed. “How is that legal?” they reportedly said.

Presidents are not permitted to keep gifts from foreign official, but DDT may have walked off with some of them. An investigation is more difficult because the State Department person appointed by DDT didn’t compile a list of gifts for 2020 valued at over $415 that foreign governments presented to DDT, former VP Mike Pence, and other White House officials. Some of these had been discovered at Mar-a-Lago after he moved out of the White House. The department’s inspector general said that tens of thousands of dollars in gifts are missing, including white tiger and cheetah furs from the Saudi government, illegal because of the Endangered Species Act. Upon discovery, it turned out they were fake.

In early May, a federal judge ordered the RNC to provide mass email marketing records, created in connection with DDT’s 2020 reelection campaign, to the House January 6 investigative committee. The probe is examining whether DDT’s fund-raising emails encouraged mob violence to block Joe Biden’s confirmation as president.

The company behind DDT’s social media venture, Truth Social, faces financial questions in a potentially shady venture with a dubious Chinese operation being investigated by the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) which probes issues such as insider trading. The examination will delay DDT’s deal.

In May, a San Francisco dismissed DDT’s lawsuit challenging his permanent ban from Twitter, stating free speech rights don’t apply to private companies. In July 2021, he sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s YouTube.

DDT also keeps losing his lawsuits against people who supposedly violate the non-disclosure agreements he forces them to sign. One loss was against a former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman who wrote a less-than-flattering book about her experiences. DDT has to pay $1.3 million in legal fees to Newman. When DDT was campaigning for the 2016 election, he grabbed a worker, Alva Johnson, and allegedly kissed her on the mouth against her will. She sued, and DDT countersued on the basis of violating a non-disclosure agreement. In March, he was ordered to pay $300,000 in legal fees and expenses to Johnson. DDT also lost an enforcement against Jessica Denson. And Stephanie Winstson-Wolkoff. And his niece, Mary Trump.

Somehow, his legal expenses have drastically dropped; others, including the Republican National Committee, are picking up the tabs.

DDT’s lawyer for all these cases has trouble reading forms. On documents filed with the New York court, Alina Habba, a regular on the conservative One America News, signed the place where the judge is supposed to sign. It was a proposed Order to Show Cause on Michael Cohen in a case about DDT’s former bodyguard Keith Schiller accused of assaulting protesters in 2015 outside the Trump Tower. Habbas supposedly wanted a deposition from Cohen but didn’t want him to appear in court.

Revelations of DDT in the White House:

DDT told a top DHS intelligence analyst appointed by DDT to block reports so that they would hide Russian efforts to interfere with the 2020 U.S. elections that made him “look bad.” The analyst was told to instead focus on Chinese and Iranian interference.

DDT asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper twice about secretly launching Patriot missiles, not used on the ground, into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and eliminate the cartels. According to DDT, he could just deny responsibility. One presidential adviser said his job was to “talk him out of doing crazy things.” Like executing drug dealers to solve the opioid problem, stop hurricanes with nuclear weapons, and putting Chinese flags on U.S. fighter jets to bomb Moscow to turn the two countries against each other.

Esper said that DDT also wanted to shoot protesters after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, but only “in the legs or something.” DDT also wanted to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to use active-duty troops against civilians.

Upset about the discovery of texts to and from former chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn Biden’s election, DDT wanted to demand the release of “all text messages sent to and from Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff during their attempt to overturn the 2016 Presidential Election.” As a private citizen, he can’t do that, and there was no attempt to overturn DDT’s 2016 election. President Obama welcomed DDT into the White House within 48 hours of the race being called, and DDT repeated thanked the president for his graciousness. No one spied on DDT’s campaign, transition, or White House. And the transfer of power was easily done, a far different situation than the one from DDT to Biden.

DDT is in so much financial difficulties that he resorted to the internet-only Axos Financial, a savings association, to refinance his $100 million Trump Tower mortgage. He made the loan days before the Trump Organization’s auditor resigned, saying that ten years of DDT’s financial statements were not reliable. Axos specializes in loans to foreign nationals, including Russians, that may pose money laundering risks. The finance company has also been sued by two former employees claiming they were wrongfully fired because they raised questions about Axos’ practices.

Next Page »

Mind-Cast

Rethinking Before Restarting

Current

Commentary. Reflection. Judgment.

© blogfactory

Truth News

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: