Nel's New Day

December 23, 2022

Winter Solstice 2022, Worst Week for DDT?

[Corrected version for December 23, 2022, blog post]

December 21, the 2022 winter solstice, is the day of the year with the least daylight for the northern hemisphere with the exact solstice time at 4:48 ET, sunset. The darkness of the longest night might be comparable to the darkness of ignorance across the U.S.: one-fourth of its people believe the sun orbits the Earth, over one-third don’t know in which century the American Revolution occurred, and over half believe Adolf Hitler gained his power in a coup although he was actually elected. As the light begins to increase in the U.S., perhaps people will learn more about the danger of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, prime presidential candidates for 2024.

Disasters for DDT this past week bracketed solstice, beginning with the tenth and last House January 6 investigative committee public hearing and continuing later in the week with the release of the committee’s final report and information about DDT’s taxes.  

On December 19, 2022, the committee summarized the first nine hearings and released the criminal charges against DDT that committee members unanimously recommended to the Department of Justice: obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, making knowingly and willfully materially false statement to the federal government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection. In addition, the committee refers four congressional members “for appropriate sanction by the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply with lawful subpoenas.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is one who defied a subpoena from the committee.

 The committee gave evidence that Stefan Passantino, DDT’s former White House top ethics attorney, told Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, to testify under oath that she couldn’t recall details and keep her answers to “seven words or less.” He refused to tell her that funding for her legal bills came from DDT’s Save America PAC and kept urging her to show “loyalty” and “focus on protecting the President,” promising her “a really good job in Trump world.” Hutchinson was a valuable witness with information about DDT’s state of mind and actions before and on January 6, 2021. Before she testified, she exchanged Passantino for a new lawyer. Meadows also wrote Hutchinson trying to persuade her to be “loyal” and “protect” DDT because “we’re a family.”

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell also unsealed a June opinion stating that several communications among Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), lawyer John Eastman, and attempted election-overturner DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark, and his aide Ken Klukowski are not privileged.   

Under oath, Fox’s Sean Hannity, DDT’s close friend, admitted he didn’t believe DDT won the 2020 election “for one second” but always pushed the lie of DDT’s victory on his show, like other Fox “opinion” hosts did. In his May 2022 deposition, DDT’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani also admitted he didn’t believe the rigged voting machines lies.

On Wednesday, the committee released its 154-page executive summary of the investigation following an 17-month probe with over 1,200 witness interviews, hundreds of thousands of documents, the issuance of more than 100 subpoenas, and public hearings. It preceded the release of the final 845-page report documenting how DDT has continued to spread lies about his winning the election despite warnings from his family members, Cabinet members, and campaign officials that he should stop. Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnamy and national security adviser Robert O’Brien tried to talk DDT out of his rigged Dominion voting machines conspiracy theory. DDT campaign manager Bill Stepian said he locked his door to keep out DDT allies trying to promote the stolen-election claims, one of them Giuliani.

DDT’s lies ignited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and urged right-wingers, including a number of hate groups, to keep him in the Oval Office. Court cases about his lies supported by supporters, including far-right media, involve lies about rigged voting machines, “dead voters,” and voting numbers pushing recounts. Conservative states passed laws based on the election fraud lies attempting to destroy democratic processes. DDT’s lies also endangered lives of election voters and created a majority of election officials who believe his lies in many areas of the country.

Other findings:

DDT was central cause of the January 6 insurrection; none of the events of that day “would have happened without him.” The entire White House senior staff wanted “a Presidential statement” to persuade rioters to leave the Capitol. “Scared” Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Minority Leader from California, called Jared Kushner begging for his help to persuade DDT to call of those invading the Capitol.

DDT wanted 10,000 troops to protect himself so that he could march to the Capitol on January 6.

 The attack was “foreseeable”: law enforcement failed.

The RNC knew DDT’s claims about a stolen election were lies but still sought donations using the false claimd, receiving millions of dollars. DDT and the RNC received $250 million after the election, primarily from small donors who believed the lie that their money would help “stop the steal.”

DDT tried to talk to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger 18 times to overturn Joe Biden’s legal victory in the state.

While DDT continued to claim over 10,000 dead Georgians voted in the 2020 presidential election, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that his son had found a scant “12 obituaries and 6 other possibles depending on the Voter roll acuracy [sic].”

The plan to overturn election in states by ignoring the legal vote and appointing fake DDT electors moved ahead shortly after the election with hundreds of outreaches by DDT loyalists—68 meetings, attempted or connected phone calls or text messages at state or local officials; 18 prominent public remarks targeting the officials; and 125 social media posts mostly from DDT.

Over 30 witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, going so far as to refuse to give their ages. Others such as Meadows and former adviser Steve Bannon wouldn’t be questioned at all.

The hearing was largely about DDT, but the report provided 11 reform proposals to democratically and peacefully transition the presidency between elections—a failure in 2021:

14th Amendment: ban DDT from holding public office because he “engaged in insurrection.” Congress is asked to consider “creating a formal mechanism for evaluating whether to bar” individuals in the report from holding government office under the constitutional statute. In the House, 41 members introduced a bill to block DDT from holding office under 14th Amendment provisions, ratified in 1868.

Subpoena enforcement: grant Congress greater powers to use federal courts in enforcing its own subpoenas after several high-profile DDT allies refused the committee’s subpoenas.

Protection for poll workers: create steeper penalties for threats to election workers and safeguards protecting their identities.

Tougher oversight of the Capitol Police: improve preparedness of the force through congressional “regular and rigorous oversight” and routine hearings in which the Capitol Police Board testifies as well as assuring “full funding for critical security measures.”  

Role of media: scrutinize “policies of media companies … radicalizing their consumers, including by provoking people to attack their own country” to lessen people galvanized by incorrect information

Insurrection Act: “evaluate all such evidence, and consider tasks posed for future elections” after Oath Keepers’ members called on DDT to deploy armed militia or federal troops to stay in office.

National Special Security Event: make the counting of electoral votes on January 6 a national special security event with increased security protections and advance planning and preparation for the proceedings.

Electoral Count Act: reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to protect future presidential elections from being by declaring that the vice president only counts votes and that the number of votes to object a state’s electoral votes increases from one from each the House and the Senate to one-fifth of each chamber.

Combating violent extremism: adopt “whole-of-government strategies” to deal with the violent threat “posed by all extremist groups” and recommend greater information sharing “on a timely basis” on intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

More severe penalties for obstructing the transfer of power: expand federal criminal statutes aimed at punishing victim tampering to include those who try to obstruct, influence or impede the counting of Electoral College votes on January 6.

Accountability measures: go beyond formal recommendations that the DOJ investigate DDT and his key ally, John Eastman, of specific federal crimes and evaluate other DDT allies’ activities “to ensure criminal or civil accountability for anyone engaging in misconduct described” in the document. Further to urge courts and local bar associations to disqualify those in the legal profession participating in efforts to undermine democratic institutions and ask the DOJ to ensuring that agency employees avoid “campaign-related activities.”

Dahlia Lithwick pointed out one lamentable omission in the final report: Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni, got off the hook. No mention was made of Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself from cases involving the insurrection in which his wife both participated and held a vested interest in the outcome.

Clarence and Ginni Thomas were ultimately untouchable for the Jan. 6 investigators for the same reason they are untouchable for purposes of Supreme Court ethics reform: When you’re a justice, they let you do it. And when you are delivering long-sought victories, even ethical Never Trumpers like Liz Cheney will let you do whatever it takes to deliver the goods.

Tomorrow: DDT’s taxes and more disasters for him this week.

November 14, 2022

News Avoiding the Election, Mostly

Great news for Arizona and democracy! Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), lost her election to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Bad news for Arizona: after the losses of her and two other major DDT candidates, Mark Finchem for secretary of state and Blake Masters for U.S. senator, election liars may try to burn the state down. DDT wants an entire new election for the state because Democrats won some of the races, and some of the losers refuse to concede, saying that they will ensure that they win. With a little over 100,000 ballots still to be counted, Kris Mayes is only 3,000 votes ahead of GOP Abe Hamadeh, another DDT election liar who can bring lawsuits for the state.

In a three-hour face-to-face meeting, President Joe Biden and Chinese President XI Jinping looked for ways to work together. Biden said there will be no “new Cold War” and believes China has no imminent plans to invade Taiwan. The leaders were in Bali for the G20 summit, and the meeting came after months of quiet negotiations. Biden asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to follow up on the discussion in Beijing as part of a long process to thaw a tense relationship. Biden kept DDT’s tariffs and restricted selling semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China.

For the first time, Xi warned against nuclear weapons in Russia’s war when he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Chinese senior official said on the condition of anonymity:

“I think there is undeniably a discomfort in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of reckless rhetoric and activity on the part of Russia. I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent for part of the summit after he was taken to the hospital for a heart problem. He said he is fine. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, feels that Biden is compromised by China. No evidence, just a “feeling.”

The House January 6 investigative committee may subpoena the phone records of Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward according to a Supreme Court ruling. She had claimed the request for her phone records violated the First Amendment. The committee requested call records, phone numbers, text messages, and IP addresses communicating with Ward’s number between November 2020 to January 2021 when she was connected to the scam of an Arizona alternate electors’ slate to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.      

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision without explanation. Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, had taken part of the attempted coup by writing 29 Arizona lawmakers, urging them to choose “a clean slate of electors” instead of the state electors pledged to Biden in support of the popular vote. Ward and her husband were “fake electors” from Arizona, lying about the 2020 presidential election in their state. Both the state district court and the 9th Circuit Court disagreed with Ward’s arguments, one of the three-judge panel a DDT appointee.

Ginni Thomas is working on another coup, this one to get rid of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional leaders. She joined almost 60 far-right politicians, some of them like Thomas investigated by the House January 6 investigative committee, in signing a letter to delay the choice of GOP leadership in the 118th Congress.  The American Independent’s senior political reporter Emily C. Singer called it a “who’s who of insurrection supporting Republicans.”

A DDT-supported federal judge in the U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed a year-old lawsuit by Mark Meadows, DDT’s former chief of staff, to block the House investigative committee to subpoena him. He will likely appear and run the clock out to the end of the 117th Congress, but the ruling is a precedent for many other suits in the same court. Meadows was on the telephone when DDT tried to persuade Georgia election officials to “find” sufficient votes for his victory and with DDT on January 6, 2021 when insurrections illegally entered the Capitol.

A federal judge blocked attempts by Rudy Giuliani to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Giuliani’s accusation of election fraud by the mother/daughter pair caused serious threats and harassment against them; Freeman even had to leave her home for months. Giuliani had falsified a video for his lies.

The Senate returns next week, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also elected for that position in the 118th Congress, scheduled a Wednesday vote on the bill to codify the right to same-gender and interracial marriage. Democratic leader Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said she thinks the bill has the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and has reached an agreement on “commonsense” changes to protect religious freedom with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ, and Thom Tillis (R-NC). In July, almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.  

When Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) politely protested Elon Musk’s allowing Twitter impersonation of him—and many others—Musk responded by saying Marky’s own account “sounds like a parody.” Marky tweeted back:

“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

A fake tweet from Eli Lilly about free insulin in a supposedly verified account brought outrage after Lilly’s “apology” that it was false, including from a parody imitating Lilly:

“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account about the cost of diabetic care. Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it. Our official Twitter account is @LiIlyPadCo.”

About 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 8.4 million need insulin to survive. To manufacture, a vial costs under $10, but Lilly’s list price is $274.70, the generic at $82.41. Most people on insulin require 2-3 vials a month so at least 1.3 million people risk their lives by rationing their insulin. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for Medicare participants, but Republicans blocked all other price caps.  

In the midst of ballot-counting, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel released the newly declassified summary of a joint interview with George W. Bush and his VP Dick Cheney regarding the September 11 attacks. Members of the 9/11 Commission, did not record the event on April 29, 2004, and the released summary document is the only official record, a “memorandum for the record.”

Bush evidenced no sense about the death and destruction set free by his global war; the interview was at the same time as a massive insurgency in Iraq against a U.S. occupation which would kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Seeing the first plane hit the World Trade Center, he thought what a terrible pilot. When his chief of staff Andy Card told him the U.S. was under attack, he stayed in the classroom where he had been reading My Pet Goat to children. He tried to “collect his thoughts” and decided he should “project calm and strength.”

Communications equipment kept failing, including the secure phone line between Bush and Cheney. Bush couldn’t find Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and complained about not having “good television” on Air Force One. Cheney was responsible for authorizing the military to shoot down civilian aircraft. Bush also claimed he didn’t know anything about Saudi nationals receiving permission to leave the country after 9/11.

Bush said he got no “actionable intelligence” About Osama Bin Laden and preparation for hijackings or other attacks in the U.S. and claimed CIA Director George Tenet said “the threat was overseas.” Cheney criticized congressional oversight of covert operations, especially by the CIA, because it weakened the agency. To make the U.S. less vulnerable to attack, Bush said, “We had to kill them before they kill us.” Working with Putin was important to use U.S. military and intelligence of bases in central Asia.

Inflation dropped to an annual rate of 7.7 percent in October, down a half percent. The biggest inflationary contributors were shelter, gasoline, and food, the first two items raising historic profits for companies. Buyers will find less inflation in used cars prices, household supplies, clothing and accessories, household gas, and some food items.

Biden gave all veterans and Gold Star families lifetime passes to national parks.

New drugs could restore a woman’s period using the same medication as used in medical abortion, misoprostol or in combination with mifepristone. The process might not be classified as abortion because the woman doesn’t know whether she is pregnant. Misoprostol is also used for gastric ulcers in nonpregnant people but have become more difficult to obtain because of its connection to abortions. The courts, however, have described abortion as related to “knowledge of a confirmed pregnancy” or “intent to end a confirmed pregnancy.” Menstrual regulation doesn’t rely on a confirmed pregnancy, and no states ban or restrict this regulation with an unknown pregnancy status.

November 5, 2022

Standard Time Returns Morning Light, DDT Brings Dark

Tomorrow brings a “gift”—an additional hour to the day. The end of daylight savings time “springs back” the time, and people go through another jetlag. Last March, the Senate used a fast-track process to unanimously pass a bill retaining daylight savings year-round, keeping sunrise as late as 9:30 am in some parts of the U.S., according to this map. The House didn’t move the bill. In another 17 legislative days, the Sunshine Protection Act expires with the shift to the 118th Congress.

Nineteen states and more people prefer daylight savings for the norm, sending children to school in the dark but encouraging shoppers in later afternoon light. In 1974, then-President Nixon signed a bill for permanent daylight savings time to save gas; the new law was so disliked that it was overturned nine months later by then-President Ford. No matter how government changes time, Ali Güler, associate professor of biology at the University of Virginia, said it best: “We cannot stretch the day.”   

According to scientists, the healthiest setting for people is standard time using morning light to reset “our whole internal clock with what goes on in the world around us.” That light maintains circadian rhythms, sleep-wake cycles, and overall health, keeping a person permanently aligned. Time-change disturbs cardiac functions, metabolic processes, and hormone fluctuations. An excellent explanation of the importance to health by standard time.

Life is darker for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) as he searches for solutions to his multiple legal problems, the latest protection with a presidential candidacy. Using inflation and rejection of democracy, Republicans may retake Congress in 2022. According to his advisers, DDT hopes to take credit for the GOP win and declare his 2024 campaign on November 14.

Stalling has not worked in one of DDT’s lawsuits. The man who brags about never settling lawsuits has settled one with protesters alleging assault at the Trump Tower in 2015 by security guards. The amount of the settlement was not released, but plaintiffs are satisfied, according to their attorney. Attorneys from both sides stated that “the parties all agree that the plaintiffs in the action, and all people, have a right to engage in peaceful protest on public sidewalks.” DDT did not participate in the physical assault on five New Yorkers of Mexican descent, but plaintiffs alleged he should have known the security guard would have behaved in a “negligent or reckless manner.”

DDT claimed he knew nothing about the protest or his guard’s actions, but his former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen said he told DDT about the protesters. DDT told his head of security, Keith Schiller, “Get rid of them.” Later Schiller told DDT, “I took the sign. He grabbed me, so I hit him across the side of the head.” DDT said, “Good.” Although he said he knew nothing about what happened, he said that Schiller “did nothing wrong.”  

More of DDT’s legal problems:

The House January 6 investigative committee has refused to change the November 14 date for DDT to testify, according to a subpoena. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said she thinks that DDT isn’t “man enough” to show up. The committee already gave DDT an additional week to provide subpoenaed documents connected to the January 6 insurrection which were due on November 4.

The House Oversight Committee wants the return of more items from DDT—expensive gifts such as golf clubs, diamond earrings, and the infamous soccer ball from Russian president Vladimir Putin, dozens of presents collectively worth over $50,000 and each worth over $415. Over that sum, the giftee must pay for them. DDT is unable to understand that the gifts were official presented to the president of the United States, not the individual Donald Trump.  

The Manhattan DA’s criminal case against the Trump Organization moved ahead for tax fraud because the company allegedly paid executives with gifts and other “off- the books” compensation to avoid paying taxes on the income. A conviction could result in up to $1.6 million in fines and cause creditors and business partners less likely to work with them. DDT’s lawyers blame former CFO Allen Weisselberg, 75, while still paying him part of his $1 million annual salary. If Weisselberg doesn’t cooperate in this trial, he receives an additional decade to his five-month prison sentence after pleading guilty. His benefits included a luxury apartment, several Mercedes Benzes, a city parking place, and his grandchildren’s private school tuition.

During the trial’s opening arguments, the judge sent jurors out of the room for 15 minutes to caution lawyers not to explain the law after they claimed the case was only cheating on personal income taxes. Lawyers tried to confuse jurors by stating that Weisselberg “acted solely for his own benefit.”

A separate pending civil lawsuit by New York AG Letitia James accuses DDT and his business, family members, and associates of fraudulently inflating or deflating the stated value of their assets for financial gain. This lawsuit could cause harsher punishments than the Manhattan case, including business certificates for the business canceled in New York, DDT and his children banned from leading New York businesses, and a $250 million fine. James also referred evidence of alleged criminal activity to the DOJ and IRS for further investigation.

A New York judge blocked the Trump Organization from transferring funds to DDT’s new business, Trump Organization II, established in Delaware to shield the assets from “ongoing fraudulent activity or deceptive activity.” In another order, the judge guaranteed the demand by appointing a monitor. DDT called on his supporters to protest in possibly more violence.

DDT filed his second lawsuit against Letitia James for bias and “great harm” against him although his own lawyers strongly opposed filing the suit, calling it frivolous. Filed in Florida, DDT’s case searches for friendlier judges and accuses James of trespassing on DDT’s right to privacy in Florida. DDT’s complaint in a federal court in New York was already dismissed.

DDT, his two older sons, and his company face a 2018 class action lawsuit for an alleged scam with multi-level marketing company ACN that paid them $8.8 million. The case accuses the Trumps of racketeering, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, negligent misrepresentation, and dissemination of untrue and misleading business statements.

Other DDT lawsuits and investigations: two DOJ probes regarding his handling of White House documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 election; a Fulton County (GA) probe into DDT’s attempts to overturn that state’s election; E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case based on her accusation of DDT’s raping her; and multiple lawsuits from lawmakers and police offers seeking to hold him liable for the January 6 attack.

The Washington Post, Politico, and other news outlets accessed eight emails from John Eastman, DDT’s former lawyer who orchestrated the overturn strategy of the 2020 election, because public court documents led to an active link to the Dropbox file where they were stored. The emails revealed the scheme persuading SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas to block the 2020 presidential election results by making the public think the results were illegitimate. Although Thomas’ wife was part of overturning the election, Thomas’ involvement is unknown.

The DOJ offered immunity to Kash Patel, DDT’s ally and one-time staffer for Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes, to testify before a grand jury about DDT’s handling of the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last August. A DDT loyalist, Patel won’t intentionally incriminate him at this time, but this agreement requires him to testify under oath about DDT’s claim he “declassified” documents. Patel declared DDT said they were declassified instead of following the legal procedure. In court filings, DDT’s lawyers refused to assert that DDT definitely declassified the documents. In Patel’s October appearance before the grand jury, he used the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination but can no longer do this if he wants immunity. According to John Bolton, DDT’s national security adviser until DDT fired him in September 2019, said, “There was never a standing order to declassify things.”

A top-notch national security prosecutor, David Raskin, joined the DOJ investigation of classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Raskin already won a guilty plea in the case of a former FBI analyst taking over 300 classified materials to her home, including documents about al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s associate. The DOJ may also unseal DDT’s grand jury filing, deciding by November 15.

DDT shifted $20 million from his Save America leadership PAC to a new DDT-aligned super PAC called Make America Great Again and another pro-DDT super PAC tossed $8.9 million into the MAGA PAC. A former veteran campaign finance lawyer surmised that DDT is avoiding laws preventing him from spending his personal stash on a 2024 presidential run. DDT has to make any transfers before declaring himself a candidate, and the scheme may still be illegal in the end.

After maintaining silence for a few days after the vicious attack on Paul Pelosi, the House Speaker’s husband, DDT smeared him, possibly to divert the media from his own problems. DDT doesn’t even have to make up his own lies; he just uses the ones from the millions of QAnon conspiracy theorists. His details are disproved by the video from the Capitol Police’s security cameras, but that hasn’t stopped him or the other liars.

SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts gave DDT one temporary victory, a temporary stay for providing DDT’s IRS returns to a House committee until the Supreme Court had made a ruling. DDT has stalled since 2019, and the Washington D.C. Circuit Court had ordered him to turn them over.

October 24, 2022

SCOTUS Justice Favors Graham, Other Rulings

British Prime Minister Update: Since yesterday, Penny Mordaunt has dropped out of the race, leaving Rishi Sunak the leader for Britain’s third leader in under two months.

The Supreme Court is not hearing arguments for a couple of week, but justices are making decisions. Justice Clarence Thomas just saved Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from the horrors of testifying to the Fulton County (GA) grand jury, at least temporarily. The jury is investigating the attempts of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his allies—including Graham—to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Thomas’ edict reverses a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court, two of them DDT appointees; Graham claims that sitting senators are exempt from any questions about the events.

The jury is seeking information about Graham’s phone calls after the election to Georgia Secretary of State and his staff when he talked about absentee ballots and voter fraud. Graham has been dodging the subpoena for his testimony for several months, claiming that his calls to Georgia were part of his job. A district judge ruled that Graham couldn’t be asked about the election certification, but other topics such as the reason for raising the issues and his communication with DDT were acceptable for questioning. Thomas was able to temporarily block the subpoena because he is assigned to the 11th Circuit Court covering Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. A justice can unilaterally act on a stay or submit it to the court for a vote.

Once again, Thomas has proved his conflicts of interest. His wife was part of the plot to overturn the presidential election, the subject of Graham’s subpoena, and Thomas made the decree regarding without support of any other justices. Although the Supreme Court justices have no code of ethics, a justice is legally required to recuse themself for a conflict of interest.

Thomas’ refusal to save DDT in the Mar-a-Lago document fiasco was a flip from his protection of Graham. DDT had delivered a request to the conservative justice, asking the Supreme Court to permit his special master to review 100 classified documents seized from DDT’s club instead of turning them over to the FBI. The 11th Circuit Court overturned the order from DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon to give the materials to the special master. Last January, all the justices except Thomas refused to block the disclosure of presidential records from the National Archives to the House January 6 investigating committee.

The Supreme Court vacated the 3rd Circuit Court ruling that Pennsylvania could count undated mail-in ballots. The law requires the voter to put the date on the envelope. The former decision can no longer be used as a precedent in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to permit counting of ballots with such errors. The high court did not deal with permission for voters to go to the Board of Elections to “cure” ballots by adding the date, signing a security envelope, or other provisions.

In November, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio will be using gerrymandered congressional districts that courts have rejected, districts that may be proved illegal at trial. The rationale is supposedly that changing voting rules cannot be changed close to an election after a 2006 Supreme Court case, Purcell v. Gonzalez.

In an extension of the redistricting conflict, Louisiana Republicans want to redefine a Black voter to exclude anyone who identify with another race—a “pure” view of racial identity. In Ardoin v. Robinson, Republican officials argued that Blacks are limited to only those who check just the Black box or both Black and White and do not identify as Latino. Alabama had already dropped the idea before taking their lawsuit to the Supreme Court. GOP success would almost entirely eliminate the use of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to challenge district maps. The topic hasn’t been up for a debate since the 2003 ruling overturning Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and was considered settled.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case from Rhode Island in which a Catholic group and two women attempted to overturn a lower court’s ruling. The plaintiffs want the state’s abortion-rights law declared unconstitutional because it doesn’t give 14th Amendment legal standing for fetuses. A 2019 Georgia law grants fetal personhood to embryos at six weeks of pregnancy; pregnant women can claim them dependents on tax returns.

SCOTUS permitted the execution last Thursday of a severely mentally ill man in Oklahoma who killed his nine-month-old daughter two decades ago. Benjamin Cole is the second execution of 25 planned executions through 2024, one a month. Although the state has a history of painfully botched lethal injections, that process was used. A 1986 Supreme Court ruling found the execution of the severely mentally ill to be unconstitutional; Oklahoma state law blocks executions of people who are insane. Cole lives in a largely “catatonic” state, not understand legal proceedings, and uses a wheelchair.

The conservative Supremes are preferential toward executions. Recently, they kept Andre Lee Thomas, a 21-year-old Black man, on death row despite his ineffectual defense, racial bias, and a mentally ill defendant. Thomas was declared incompetent to stand trial for 47 days until a psychiatrist stated he suffered from a drug-induced psychosis. Later, the defense attorney said not challenging the letter was a mistake. An all-white jury, four of whom openly opposed interracial relationships, convicted him.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett also declined a request to halt the federal judge’s ruling permitting President Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan to continue. The lower federal court in Wisconsin determined that the plaintiff, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, lacked standing. The judge said that merely paying taxes is not sufficient to challenge federal actions. In St. Louis, another federal judge dismissed a challenge to the program from six GOP-led states, again on the basis that the states lacked standing.

An appeal from the St. Louis case to the 8th Circuit Court brought the program to a temporary halt, however, until the court rules on an emergency request by the six GOP states to block the policy. Briefs regarding the case are due to the 8th Circuit Court by October 24 and 25. The White House asked borrowers to continue to apply, adding to the at least 22 million who have already done so. The process of review applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers can take place during the hiatus. Only one of the 11 active judges on the 11th Circuit Court was appointed by a Democratic president, Barack Obama. Of the remaining ten, DDT appointed four, George W. Bush 5, and George H.W. Bush one.  

In a case on October 12, 2022, Helix Energy Solutions Group argued that employee Michael Hewitt, paid by the day, didn’t deserve overtime because he made over $200,00 a year. Exempt from overtime are executives, administrators, and other professional categories. A lower court agreed with Helix, and the 5th Circuit moved to the Hewitt’s side. The six conservative Supremes seemed to oppose the remaining justices in another continued attempt to overturn agency “power.”

On the same day, arguments in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith debated whether Andy Warhol legally used Lynn Goldsmith’s 1981 copyrighted photograph of Prince for his 1984 screenprints. When Vanity Fair’s image of Warhol’s Orange Prince on a 2017 special issue, Goldsmith wasn’t credited or paid. The Warhol Foundation received $10,000 for its use. In 2021, the 2nd Circuit Court ruled in favor of Goldsmith, overturning a New York federal judge’s ruling in 2019 that Warhol’s series was fair use. The question before the Supreme Court is whether changing the source material’s meaning creates fair use.

On Fridays, the Supreme Court justices determine which petitions for appeal they will accept, usually rejecting 98 percent of them which leaves lower courts’ decisions intact. At least four justices must agree whether to take the case, and the conservative majority wants to go big, aggressively moving the county in a far-right direction as shown by last year’s overturning Roe v. Wade. The remaining three progressive justices don’t even have the numbers to determine what cases will be heard; they can only dissent. Chief Justice John Roberts prefers small incremental rightward movement, but he’s no longer in charge.

Republicans still slam Democrats for “activist judges,” but the GOP is now responsible for the radical changes to the right. Expectations for the term are to eliminate affirmative action, continue narrowing the Voting Rights Act, and permit discrimination based on “free speech” and “religious freedom.”

The decisions evidence a strong MAGA movement at the current Supreme Court because of its emphasis on white grievances. According to the conservative Supremes, the 14th Amendment to protect minority rights forbids a more equal society and allows them to chip away at the Voting Rights Act. The argument is always “racism is over.” Five more cases are already scheduled for the upcoming docket that can elevate white supremacy, one of them already heard on October 4.

Ruth Marcus wrote, “Never before in the court’s history has the ideological alignment of the justices tilted so heavily to one extreme.”

September 22, 2022

News – September 21, 2022 (DDT Faces More Trouble)

 Aileen Cannon, a judge appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), had ruled against the DOJ’s immediately using seized classified documents from Mar-a-Lago on August 8 for an investigation. In one week, however, DOJ appealed; DDT again won Cannon’s approval; DOJ appealed to the 11th Circuit Court for the materials; and a three-judge panel granted a stay on Cannon’s orders in a ruling siding with the DOJ. It may be the fastest judicial action in history. In the temporary victory for national security, the panel said that Cannon “abused” her discretion in requiring outside review of seized classified documents. In a 29-page opinion, the panel wrote:

“For our part, we cannot discern why [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”

The panel, composed of one judge appointed by President Obama and two appointed by DDT, also unanimously refused to accept the claim from DDT’s legal team that he might have declassified the documents, as did the special master Raymond Dearie, DDT’s choice for special master that Cannon appointed.

“Plaintiff suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was President. But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified. And before the special master, Plaintiff resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents. In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.”

DDT has consistently claimed the documents were not classified because he said they were declassified. On the Fox network, he went farther when he told Sean Hannity by falsely saying that there was no declassification process and he could wordlessly declassify documents:

“You can declassify just by saying “it’s declassified,” even by thinking about it.”

The 11th Circuit Court ruling simplifies Dearie’s work by removing classified documents from his purview; he had said he wanted to avoid reviewing them if possible. The question is whether DDT’s team will appeal the 11th Circuit Court decision.  

Hours before the bad news for DDT from the 11th Circuit, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced she has filed a civil lawsuit against DDT, three of his adult children, and the Trump Organization for $250 million in financial penalties to cover over a decade of fraud when they falsely inflated and deflated their assets to pay lower taxes while getting better insurance coverage. She also asked for a judgment barring DDT and his children in the suit from serving as officer or director of any state-licensed or registered corporation, real estate acquisition in New York, and applications for loans from any financial institution in the state for five years.

The lawsuit comes from a three-year civil investigation with 65 witnesses and reviews of millions of documents. The defendants allegedly conspired to violate state laws, falsifying business records, issuing false financial statements, and committing insurance fraud. Possible federal crimes, including bank fraud have been referred to federal prosecutors and the IRS. DDT supposedly turned the Trump Organization over to his two adult sons in 2017 and serve as executive vice presidents.

Former AG Bill Barr criticized James for trying “to drag the children into this,” referring to adults ages 38 to 44. Yet all three participated in “the fraudulent valuation methods and assumptions.” As usual, DDT claimed that the lawsuit is political by a “failed A.G.” James said:

“There aren’t two sets of laws for people in this nation: former presidents must be held to the same standards as everyday Americans.”

DDT’s fraud related to 23 assets inflated every year between 2011 and 2021, totaling over “200 false and misleading valuations” between 2011 and 2021 is the building at 40 Wall Street owned by the Trump Organization which was valued at $200 million on a tax filing in 2010 that was valued at $524 the following year. In 2015, DDT’s triplex in Trump Tower, 10,996 square feet was three times that size and valued at $327 million. At that time, only one apartment in New York City, housed in a newly built ultra-tall tower, had sold for as much as $100 million. In DDT’s building, the most expensive apartment had sold for $16.5 million. Rental units worth $750,000 were valued at nearly $50 million. DDT claimed his Mar-a-Lago home was worth $739 million, but it was worth one-tenth of that estimate. 

Last month, DDT was deposed for the lawsuit, but he claimed the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination for all questions except his name. Jurors can consider declaration of the Fifth as negative in civil suits. The Trump Organization also tried to settle last month, but James rejected the offer.

The civil lawsuit could have horrendous results for DDT and his children. New York Times reporter Susan Craig said DDT might have to renegotiate crucial loans because of liquidity problems. If liens are called, loans will be extremely hard to get, and values for them will be much lower than DDT had declared. It would be “financial ruin for the company” as well as be disastrous for a 2024 campaign.  

James’ civil lawsuit is separate from the Manhattan criminal case, but they work together on the inquiry. DA Alvin Bragg criminally charged Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg for a scheme to not pay taxes on noncash perks. He will have to testify against the business as part of his guilty plea. Weisselberg also described instructions to inflate assets on financial statements. Earlier in 2019, Michael Cohen, DDT’s former lawyer and fixer, habitually inflated and deflated DDT’s assets for financial gain.

Donors who think they are paying for “election integrity” by giving to DDT’s Save America PAC are not only providing DDT’s legal fees but also paying for Melania Trump’s fashion designer. The PAC also gave $650,000 to the Smithsonian Institution for portraits of DDT and former first lady Melania Trump. Two artists have reportedly been commissioned for the two portraits. No spending on any “election fraud” as the PAC advertised. The DOJ is investigating.

DDT faces another New York lawsuit since the state’s new sexual assault survivor’s law went into effect. E. Jean Carroll had accused DDT of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, but the statute of limitations expired. Now adult accusers have a one-year window to bring civil claims over alleged sexual misconduct no matter how long ago it happened. Carroll’s defamation suit can also proceed. Her attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote that the case will be filed on November 24, 2022. While DDT was in the White House, AG Bill Barr’s DOJ had defended DDT in the defamation suit.

Justice Clarence Thomas may also be in trouble if his wife, Ginni Thomas, honestly testifies to the House January 6 investigative committee. She pushed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election as shown by multiple texts between the election and the January 6 insurrection, and worked with DDT’s election attorney John Eastman for the same purpose. In addition, Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers in late 2020, urging them to overturn the state’s popular vote victory for Joe Biden and put together “fake electors” for DDT. She also emailed two GOP Wisconsin lawmakers with the same intent. In March 2021, Thomas attending a meeting of right-wing activists where the audience was told that DDT remains the “legitimate president.” She has a long history of participating in far-right organizations, many of them with cases before the Supreme Court; her husband has always refused to recuse himself and voted in their favor.

 Lawyers representing asylum seekers allegedly “tricked” into flying from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard are seeking a nationwide injunction to block Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis from luring immigrants to travel across state lines. Taking funds from the $12 million federal COVID money assigned by state legislators to transport undocumented immigrants, DeSantis started with 50 asylum seekers, paying Oregon-based Vertol Systems Company over $1.5 million for “relocation of unauthorized aliens.” Florida paid the company $615,000 on September 8, following by $950,000 on September 19. The chartered planes landed in Massachusetts on September 15. DeSantis accused “opportunistic” activists of using illegal immigrants as “political theater.”

Two state legislators asked the DOJ to investigate the asylum seekers’ involuntary relocation from Texas. The letter explained migrants didn’t know where they were being flown and put on the plane under false pretenses.

A federal bankruptcy judge in Houston ordered new officials to supervise Alex Jones’s bankruptcy of his parent company and probably destroyed Jones’ plans to hide his assets from court orders to pay for court rulings in his all four lost defamation trials regarding the Sandy Hook massacre. The DOJ-appointed trustee monitoring the case has expanded duties. Jones is also under scrutiny for a potential role in the January 6 insurrection.

The House January 6 investigating committee has scheduled its first fall hearing for September 28, 2022, at 1:00 pm EST. Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced it might not be the last one but would probably be the only one before the November 8 Midterm elections.

September 1, 2022

News Bits – September 1, 2022

Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) lawyers tried to stall DDT’s problems from stealing classified documents by claiming that taking them was like having overdue library books, and President Joe Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia about preserving democracy that infuriated Republicans. More about that later while the judge decides whether to assign a “special master” for DDT but meanwhile lots of other news.

In the Alaska’s first ranked-choice election, Democrat Mary Peltola’s win by three percent came from half the people voting for GOP Nick Begich refusing to put Sarah Palin for their second choice—29 percent picked Peltola, and 21 percent didn’t vote for anyone. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), presidential wannabe, tweeted that the GOP-created ranked-choice voting process “is a scam to rig elections.” Peltola’s win was an 18-point overperformance for Democrats in a red state. In special elections since March 2021, Republicans were two percent over the estimated leaning for the winners before Roe v. Wade was overturned; after that, Democrats had an 11-percent lean.

Tony Ornato, DDT loyalist and deputy chief of staff for operations, retired two days before a scheduled interview with Inspector General investigators after stalling for two months. A top Secret Service official, Ornato may have tried to send VP Mike Pence to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 6, 2022, so that the presidential counting of votes would be delayed. Pence refused to get into the car. Ornato also told DDT’s White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson DDT demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6 after the rally and lunged for the steering wheel when Ornato refused to drive him there. Having met with the House January 6 investigative committee twice about Pence’s location, Ornato said he will meet with the Inspector General investigators, but, as a private citizen, he cannot be required to do so with a testimonial subpoena.

The House committee has asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for an interview regarding his communications with DDT’s senior advisers, including Jason Miller and Jared Kushner, about television advertising claiming lies about fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote that Gingrich was part of the fake elector plot to persuade Pence and congressional members affecting the outcome of vote counting on January 6. Committee investigators interviewed witnesses during much of August and continue to receive many new documents while they work to recover missing texts from the Secret Service and Defense Department that the agencies wiped from phones of former and current officials.

Members are exploring identification of documents that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned in his office fireplace and other mishandling of documents. After the FBI served a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, Meadows made arrangements to return records to the National Archives.

The committee also interviewed some of DDT’s Cabinet secretaries including Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin, Robert O’Brien and Elaine Chao about their conversations after the insurrection in connection with invoking the 25th Amendment, the removal of a president on grounds of incapacitation, mental health or physical fitness. These discussions could show the serious problems of DDT’s behavior.

Former DDT White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin have been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection.

New information about Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, may contribute to the January 6 investigation. She pushed state lawmakers in Wisconsin as well as Arizona to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win. Emails show emails to at least two Wisconsin state lawmakers appear to be pre-generated by Thomas, mirroring form letters she sent to 29 Arizona legislators asking them to interfere in the state’s slate of presidential electors. She told them to unilaterally choose a “clean” slate of presidential electors and “consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead.”

Thomas’ push to overturn the election received scrutiny because of her husband’s refusal to recuse himself in a case about the House’s January 6 investigation. He was the only justice to publicly dissent from the Supreme Court’s move not to block a court order permitting House investigators to see DDT’s White House documents. Thomas also exchanged texts with Meadows in 2020 to persuade him in continuing the fight to overturn Biden’s win. Meadows gave these texts to the House select committee. Thomas has also openly opposed House investigation, calling on the two Republican members of the committee to be removed from the GOP caucus.

Owners of Fox network are defending itself in a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems with the position that media sources shouldn’t be punished for lying about the 2020 election. Dominion asks for $1.6 billion in damages and has moved into discovery with Fox hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro being deposed. According to the Fox argument, the First Amendment allows news organizations to lie about public figures if it’s not done knowingly and has no reckless disregard for the truth. A Delaware judge denied the motion to dismiss the suit last year and stated that the case should proceed and that “the Court can infer that Fox intended to avoid the truth.”  

On the flip side of the coin, Lachlan Murdoch, Fox CEO and founder Rupert Murdoch’s son, is suing an Australian news outlet, accusing it of lying about Fox and its news about the election. Lachlan Murdoch contends an article calling the Murdoch family “unindicted co-conspirators” in the January 6 insurrection and the preceding election lies caused him to be “gravely injured in his character, in his personal reputation, and his professional reputation.” Crikey, the independent outlet, had stated that if DDT is indicted, “the Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis.” The First Amendment protects the statement in the U.S., but Australia has no such protection.

The Murdochs will want to avoid discovery because opposing counsel has access to emails and other internal communication. Concern about discovery caused Fox to settle a suit with the family of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who Fox falsely accused of leaking emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election after Rich was shot and killed. In the Dominion lawsuit, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch may be forced to join their hosts in being deposed. The owners claim they don’t make day-to-day decisions on programming or tell hosts what to say or not to say, but text messages prove the opposite.

A three-judge panel of the conservative 8th Circuit Court temporarily blocked Arkansas’ law banning gender-affirming medical care for trans children and teens. The court ruled that the ban would cause “irreparable harm” to trans young people and their loved ones and prohibit “medical treatment that conforms with the recognized standard of care.” Last year, over 200 anti-trans bills were introduced in over 30 states, and many of them have passed. Lies sent about trans people include trans children receiving gender-confirming surgery. Conspiracy theorists have attacked Boston Children’s Hospital for its Gender Multispeciality Service program treating children with gender dysphoria, including a bomb threat this week.

A KKK plaque is installed at the entrance of Bartlett Hall, the U.S. Military Academy’s science center in West Point (NY). It depicts a person in a hood, holding a weapon, with the words “Ku Klux Klan” on a triptych titled “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible.” The KKK was founded by Confederate veterans at the end of the Civil War.

Florida is rejecting donations of dictionaries after a freeze on new books in its libraries and classrooms so that parents have more control of school materials. In Sarasota, officials declined hundreds of dictionaries from a Venice Rotary Club’s donations. The group has donated over 4,000 dictionaries to the city’s elementary schools for almost 15 years in partnership with a nonprofit called the Dictionary Project. The law requires all “reading material” be “selected” by a certified education media specialist, but the district has none.

Texas loves God, as long as he’s straight, Christian, and English-speaking. A new law requires schools to display donated posters with “In God We Trust” in a prominent place. So parent Sravan Krishna tried to present a sign with the national motto in Arabic to a school district, and they refused after they tried to keep him from speaking. Muslims are the fifth-largest religious group in the state, and Texas has the largest population of Muslims in the U.S. The law has no requirement for English, but the school board said they had enough signs. (The law also makes no requirement for the number of signs.)  In addition to presenting posters in Arabic, Krishna donated another one with “God” in rainbow colors. Although a lawyer has said that the motto must be in English, the colored one didn’t pass muster either. About 20 percent of youth in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+.  

[Note the U.S. and Texas flag on the sign. According to the law, the sign must include them and only the words “In God We Trust”–nothing more.]

Despite GOP attempts to kill unions, their approval is at the highest point since 1965 at 71 percent. And just before Labor Day!

July 31, 2022

Alito Leads the Christian Nationalists

Last week, Rep. Marjorie Taylor (R-GA), a GOP leader, called on Republicans to rename themselves “The Christian Nationalist Party.” She said, “We need to be the party of nationalism and I’m a Christian, and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists.” In the past, Christian nationalists largely denied its existence or shouted name-calling if accused of the religious white supremacy. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) followed Greene by saying:

“The church is supposed to direct the government, the government is not supposed to direct the church. I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk.”

Christian nationalists believe the myth that the U.S. was created as a “Christian nation,” that framers didn’t believe in neutrality in religion. The purpose of Christian nationalism is dividing the nation into “us v. them” with entitled White Christians controlling all governments and courts. The January 6 insurrectionist was a public example of the violence to obtain this privilege. The 2022 election has expanded the push toward Christian nationalism with candidates such as Doug Mastriano as a candidate for Pennsylvania’s governor.

When Greene ran for Congress in 2019, she attacked Muslim Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), accusing them of trying to impose “Sharia in America” and demanded they “go back to the Middle East.” No religious freedom there. Omar is a naturalized citizen from Somalia, and Tlaib was born in Detroit. Greene’s accusations violate the “freedom of religion” in the U.S. Constitution. Mastriano agrees with Greene in falsely claiming that elected Muslims “practice Sharia law” because they “respect neither the culture nor the rights of the original population.” Neither does he, because Native Americans, America’s indigenous peoples, did not practice Christianity.

Christian nationalism tries to enforce their belief that only White Christians have full rights, and the U.S. Supreme has gained a majority supporting that fascist belief. Justice Samuel Alito is leading the group to force his values on the entire nation. Last Thursday, he gave a political speech in Rome, supposedly about “religious liberty,” but ridiculing national opposition to his opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. In his writing, he went back to rulings from the 1200s to justify the rights of states to block all abortions, even one for a raped 10-year-old girl.

Justices now give faith-based speeches at faith-based events sponsored by faith-based parties who file briefs before the court. They have no obligation to publicize or record their speeches, but the University of Notre Dame released a video of his speech. To Alito, secularism is a threat to religious freedom although authors of the Constitution created a secular government with religious liberty. Alito’s justification for forcing religion on people is that an increasing percentage of the population is rejecting it.

In his speech, Alito attacked world readers to get cheap laughs about people who don’t meet his high “religious” standards. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed disappointment at Alito’s faulty ruling and opinion in eliminating abortion in the U.S., and the European Union’s parliament formally condemned the reversal of protections for this reproductive healthcare after the SCOTUS ruling of Roe v. Wade a half century ago. Alito sarcastically said that Johnson “paid the price” with his criticism by his resignation from the position, which had nothing to do with his comments about the supreme Court ruling.

Alito decried the “growing hostility to religion, or at least the traditional religious beliefs that are contrary to the new moral code that is ascendant in some sectors.” When he complained almost two years ago about safety restrictions precautions during the pandemic, his political speech railed against marriage equality, contraception, reproductive rights, and five Democratic senators. Last fall, Alito criticized U.S. journalists,Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CO) said that “judges turning into political actors, giving speeches attacking journalists, is terrible for the court and terrible for democracy.” 

Instead of a “new moral code,” however, the United States “has more non-Christian people to question the implied, often systemic primacy of Christian values and rules in American society,” wrote Philip Bump. He compared the change to the increase of non-White people who may be skeptical of a society in the U.S. that advantages Whites.  The “new code” which Alito sneers at, is recognition of people long excluded from power. This is the threat to Alito’s “traditional” beliefs.

Since Alito got on the Supreme Court, thanks to George W. Bush, he has followed the evangelical policy of denying rights to women. In 2007, he ruled against Lily Ledbetter’s lawsuit that Goodyear was guilty of pay discrimination by giving men higher wages than women for the same type of job. Ledbetter discovered the discrimination in 1998 and filed an EEOC complaint, and Alito stated that she should have followed the law by filing her claim within 180 days after he first paycheck. She filed as soon as she discovered, after nine years, the disparity, but Alito didn’t care. 

Known for rolling his eyes at female justices during oral arguments, Alito belonged to Concerned Alumni of Princeton, formed from outrage for women being admitted to the university. Appointed to the 3rd Circuit Court by Ronald Reagan, Alito argued that women must tell their husbands before having an abortion, indifferent to the possibility of domestic violence. He used the justification that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor held that position although she joined the ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) that “women do not lose their constitutionally protected liberty when they marry.” Angry about Casey’s reference to “undue burden” permitting abortions, Alito threw out the possibility of any abortions. His argument is that regulating abortion is not a “sex-based classification” of the sort that would trigger heightened constitutional scrutiny merely because it’s a “medical procedure that only one sex can undergo.”

During Alito’s speech, he took umbrage that he witnessed a young boy in Berlin ask who Jesus was, which he described as ignorance about religion. He described it as a “growing hostility to religion, or at least the traditional religious beliefs that are contrary to the new moral code that is ascendant in some sectors.” Thus  he makes Christianity is mandatory although Christians comprise under one-third of the people in the world. Alito’s speech was the emphasis on demanding all people being religious (aka Christian).  Quoting St. Augustine, he said, “Our hearts are restless until we rest in God.”

On the same day as Alito’s speech, Justice Elena Kagan warned that the hard-right majority of justices risks destroying the court’s legitimacy. At a conference in Montana, she said,

“I’m not talking about any particular decision or even any particular series of decisions, but if over time the court loses all connection with the public and with public sentiment, that’s a dangerous thing for a democracy. People are rightly suspicious if one justice leaves the court or dies and another justice takes his or her place and all of sudden the law changes on you.”

After the six Supremes removed women’s right to abortions, confidence in SCOTUS fell to 25 percent in a conservative Gallup poll. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) called Alito’s speech an “embarrassment to the Supreme Court.” Lieu tweeted:

“He doesn’t understand there are different religions in America. What makes America great is that we let you practice your faith, change your faith or have no faith at all. Some religions support abortion, some don’t.”

Norm Ornstein, Emeritus scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote:

“Alito is not just a partisan hack. He is the leader of this partisan and reckless court, and he is a clear and present danger to our basic system of governance and of justice.”

Samantha Marcotte tried to explain how Alito was wrong in why people abandon religion, that it has occurred because of evangelicals’ opposition to expanded rights for all regardless of race, gender, sex, and sexuality:

“If Republicans want to know who is to blame for young people abandoning the church in droves, they should look in the mirror. The more both Republicans and the Christian establishment reject these basic rights, the more they can expect to be rejected themselves, especially by younger people.”

Instead of protecting religious freedom, Alito wants to impose his religion on everyone as a baseline of morality and public policy. He ignores any separation of church and state but instead expresses rage and disgust that society shifts away from the beliefs that he wants to be central to society. His treatment of those presenting cases in his court displays a personal belief that they are all fools or idiots—Republicans in the first group and liberal justices disagreeing with in the second.

Both Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas lead the charge to do away with rights by appearing to keep them—just making them much harder to achieve. In the case of blocking abortion, they turned it into states’ rights with about 60 percent of the states determined to block the procedure and going so far as to prevent pregnant women from cross state lines and perhaps even execute women who obtain abortions. In Miranda, people must still be read their rights—if they know enough to ask for them; people can’t sue police for not receiving a Miranda warning. Criminal defendants can’t challenge convictions for bad legal help with lawyers missing deadlines for appeals.

In the past, sane people held out a hope that Congress could protect them from Christian Nationalists; now the Supreme Court will not be protecting the law.

July 28, 2022

Politics – July 28, 2022

January 6, 2021 was a popular time for missing texts. The Secret Service can’t find any because of a “migration,” and messages for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are also missing for a period of time leading up to the insurrection. A problem with a “reset” of their phones. Joseph Cuffari, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), didn’t seem concerned about the missing texts, didn’t alert Congress about the problems with its request, and didn’t try to recover the lost data. Wolf was DDT’s favorite DHS Secretary and would likely be called back to work for DDT if he came back to the White House.

In a court filing, DDT’s attorneys asked a judge to grant him total immunity against any civil law lawsuits connected to the insurrection. DDT is attempting to ask all lawsuits to be dismissed. Previously, DDT claimed his January 6 speech was “protected by presidential absolute immunity.” The newer filing said DDT’s “statements were on matters of public concern.” Lawyers insist “impeachment is the only means of punishing a president for abuse and that attempts by Democrats and others to sue Trump after he emerged victorious in his impeachment trial are tantamount to ‘harassment.'” In February, the judge ruled the speech was likely “words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.” [Right: the man who considers running for re-election in two years.]

The DOJ probe into the insurrection, ongoing since April, is building, and AG Merrick Garland said he may charge DDT. Prosecutors are willing to go to court to get DDT’s White House officials to testify about conversations on and around January 6m, 2021. No former president has ever been criminally charged in U.S. history, but Garland hasn’t ruled out indicting DDT.  

Lawyers passing through DDT’s White House are adding themselves to the vast number of witnesses testifying about the January 6 insurrection, including DDT’s participation in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Last week, former VP Mike Pence’s aide Marc Short, a DDT accuser, and Pence’s counsel Greg Jacob testified before the DOJ grand jury investigating these events. Emmet Flood, briefly acting White House counsel, is Short’s lawyer. In 2019, DDT tweeted his “friend” Flood did a “GREAT JOB.”

Ty Cobb, Flood’s predecessor and overseer of the White House’s response to the Mueller investigation, said DDT’s declaration of candidacy “serves no interest but his self-defeating and overwhelming need for relevance, attention and money. Such an announcement also does not inoculate him from criminal investigation.” Cobb also listed DDT’s possible crimes on CNN. Pat Cipollone, DDT’s last White House counsel, confirmed earlier testimony and stated that everyone in the White House except DDT wanted people to leave the Capitol on January 6. At Cipollone’s side during his testimony was Michael Purpura, deputy White House counsel during the DDT’s administration.

Russian State Duma member Evgeny Popov is bragging about a close connection with DDT by calling him “our own Donald Trump” and lamenting the DOJ criminal investigation into DDT’s actions. He insinuated that DDT belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Popov also echoed the lie that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and DDT’s complaints about Joe Biden and the current state of the U.S. The Russian also ranted:

“Didn’t we write a cool speech for Donald Trump? The best is yet to come. It won’t be surprising if DOJ adds Trump’s speech to the materials of their criminal case. Donald says he is an agent of Russia, which is true.”  

In a bipartisan act, the Senate voted 84-14 in favor of the Honoring Our Pact Act (HOPA), passed in the House with a 256-174 vote, that expands health care and benefits to veterans suffering from exposure to unsafe practices, such as “burn pits,” while in the military. The typical conservative senators as well as Mitt Romney (R-UT) criticized the bill for mythical budgetary reasons. The bill moved to the House which supported it by a 256-174 vote and a tweak to make some spending mandatory.  When the bill was returned to the Senate for final approval, 42 Republicans voted against a procedural vote, leaving the bill in question. Jon Stewart gave an impassioned speech about the GOP abandonment of veterans in retaliation for Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) supporting a bill delaying climate change, lowering drug prices, and slightly raising corporate taxes,.

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) bill passed the Senate by 64-33 and moved onto President Joe Biden’s desk after a 243-187 vote in the House. Despite more attempts at retaliation for any action by Democrats, 24 House GOP members voted for the bill.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the biggest joke in the House before the onslaught of QAnon representatives, is irate because Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) put fact-checking articles about GOP lies from the past year into the congressional record, such as the false claims that AG Merrick Garland was investigating parents speaking at school boards and calling them “domestic terrorists.” In response to Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) misrepresentation of a DOJ whistleblower memo, Cicilline read the memo into the record. When Republicans objected, Cicilline asked that “the Republicans were afraid for the document to be in the record.” The incensed Gohmert said Cicilline isn’t permitted “to impugn false statements by this side.” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) laughed at Gohmert, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) first put his head in his hand and then went to using his cell phone.

Kentucky’s GOP senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, do their constituents a great disservice if they continue to ignore the dire consequences of climate change. In the past week, the catastrophic flooding in the mountainous eastern part of the state has killed at least eight people and left many others missing or trapped. Gov. Andy Beshear said, “We expect double-digit deaths.” He added, “Hundreds will lose their homes.” One county received 11 inches in rain in two days and expects more in the stalled weather front that caused historic flooding in St. Louis last Tuesday from over 12 inches of rain. In Kentucky, the hardest place hit, Hazard with 5,000 population, had over nine inches in 12 hours, and the terrain funnels more water down into the valley towns. Rock and mudslides also cut off populated areas. Heavy rainfall is now 20 to 40 percent more likely in the area than in 1900.

Remember when Republicans opposed regulations? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis disagrees with his party’s approach. He is notorious for blocking mask mandates during the worst of the pandemic, delaying COVID vaccinations for children, eliminating LGBTQ mention in classrooms while mandating Christian nationalism in the curriculum, countermanding constitutional separation of church and state, preventing protest gatherings of more than two people, removing the right to discuss race in the workplace, redrawing the state’s Congressional map to increase the number of Republicans Florida sends to Congress, establishing his own personal state army with no federal oversight, and permitting bullying of LGBTQ students.

In Florida, teachers are ordered to dedicate 45 minutes of instruction about the suffering of people around the world on November 7, “Victims of Communism Day.” Mandated subjects are Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro along with “poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech” endured under those regimes. Teaching materials will be prepared by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Teachers are fleeing Florida, the state needs 10,000 teachers, and DeSantis accuses elementary school teachers, lying how they “instructed” children they may be transgender and anyone disagreeing with him is “lying.”

DeSantis latest regulation is blocking his administration from investments in “woke” corporations by prohibiting the use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings for these decisions. Doing so would allow recipients of pensions to receive funds from companies with similar funds. DeSantis said, “The inmates are running the asylum.” Yet the State Board of Administration stated it didn’t use these ratings for overseeing the $250 billion in funds. DeSantis’ revoking Disney’s zoning agreement for criticizing his “Don’t Say Gay” law has already cost Florida taxpayers $1 billion.

In the past, Republicans objected to being surveiled; now they promote it. With the approval of a Supreme Court majority, Texas’ anti-abortion law turns all citizens into vigilantes, reporting anyone supporting abortion and creating a society reminiscent of a totalitarian state. Tennessee and Florida allow students to sue transgender students for using the “wrong” bathroom. Anyone in New Hampshire can sue a school for violating vague rules regarding teaching about race, sex, gender, and other sensitive issues, and teachers lose their licenses. Only Democratic governors in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—up for re-election this fall—protect people from totalitarian surveillance. And only the six Supremes can protect others in the U.S., and they aren’t likely to do so.

Outrage by students at George Washington University has caused Justice Clarence Thomas to cancel his plan to teach a seminar there, something he has done since 2011. Thomas is threatening to overturn a large number of human rights after participating in overturning the constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade.

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 17, 2022

Ginni Thomas Corrupts the Supreme Court, the U.S.

The Supreme Court may be at its lowest ebb during modern times with a massive leak of the anti-abortion draft, a California man at Brett Kavanaugh’s house armed with a gun and knife, and protests outside other justices’ homes. Justice Clarence Thomas has decried the situation, blaming the “left,” but his own conflicts of interest, especially those exascerbated by his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, may be the biggest problem of the current court. A poll shows that 61 percent of the respondents want Congress to open an investigation into Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself, following Ginni Thomas’ increasing activism to overturn the 2020 presidential election

Events about Thomas, a major figure orchestrating insurrection events, have been increasingly revealed within the past several weeks. Before the third House January 6 investigative hearing, the one focusing on Mike Pence’s refusal to overturn the 2020 presidential election despite the false theory from John Eastman that it was his prerogative, more coup information about Eastman came out in connection to Ginni Thomas:

  • Eastman’s private December 24, 2020 email stated he knew about an internal “heated fight” at the Supreme Court about hearing arguments on DDT’s overturn attempts.
  • Eastman directly corresponded with Ginni Thomas while they coordinated to keep DDT in the White House after he lost the 2020 election.
  • The House investigative committee, according to its chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), will ask Ginni Thomas to testify before of this information.

Eastman had clerked for Clarence Thomas in 1996 and 1997, and Thomas has strong ties with the Claremont Institute, where Eastman works, having spoken there and regularly quoting the conservative founder. In an 8-1 decision against blocking the release of White House records connected to the January 6 insurrection, Thomas was the one vote to support DDT by opposing the request.

Ginni’s Timeline:   

During 2022, more and more information has come out about Ginni Thomas’ pressure on everyone to overturn the election:

January 2022: Jane Mayer’s seminal essay in The New Yorker established Thomas’ background and her work to politically swing Supreme Court decisions. Thomas’ connection with the Oath Keepers who helped organize the violence at the January 6, 2021 insurrection includes speaking at one of their events.

February 2022: A lengthy piece from the New York Times describes how Thomas worked to bring together the organizing factions behind the January 6 rally and Charles Pierce’s response to Jane Mayer’s essay. Thomas led the C.N.P. Action coalition of leaders from such groups as the Federalist Society, the National Rifle Association and the Family Research Council in “action steps” to pressure state officials in Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania to overturn the people’s votes. Clarence Thomas’ former clerks also tried to overturn the election.

March 2022:  Twenty-nine newly-revealed texts between Thomas and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows before the insurrection communicate her conspiracy theories and urge him and others in DDT’s inner circle to overturn the election.  

May 2022: Communication between Thomas and two Arizona GOP state legislators showed her argument to ignore the voters’ decision to choose Biden for president and appoint their own “clean slate” of electors for DDT.

June 2022: It was discovered that Thomas actually lobbied 27 more Arizona legislators for a total of 29 to set aside the 2020 popular vote and “choose” presidential electors for DDT. That total is more than half the state GOP lawmakers in Arizona. She told them that the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and wrote in her email to them:  

“The nation’s eyes are on you now. Please consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead.”

A month later she sent other similar emails to 23 of the Arizona GOP legislators. Her earlier influence with DDT included regular meetings with him and gave him lists of people to hire and fire. Thomas’ email correspondence with Eastman details the plan for overturning the 2020 election, more extensive efforts than previously known. She had also sent a text on election night to Meadows stating, “Do not concede. It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back [sic].”

On January 6, 2021, Thomas also attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and was seen at the Willard Hotel, location of the “command center” where Rudy Giuliani led the group to overthrow the election. She is a friend of the chief of staff for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who sued to force Pence to keep DDT in the White House. The chief of staff also belongs to the private “Thomas Clerk World” email listserv, past and present Clarence Thomas law clerks who support QAnon and who Thomas persuaded to join her overturning scheme. Next year, the House will be safe from Gohmert: he gave up his seat to fail a run for Texas attorney general. He now pushes for “justice” for those attacking the U.S. Capitol on January and accuses of the government in lying about these cases.

Ginni Thomas has long been intimately involved with several conservative groups with connections to the Supreme Court. In 2000, Thomas, then a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, screened resumes for Bush administration employees while the court had yet to rule on the legality of the Florida recount. Her husband, Clarence, was one of the five justices who put a stop to the recount in Florida, later shown to have a majority for Democratic candidate Al Gore who would have been president with the electoral votes from Florida.

More recently, Ginni Thomas was on the advisory board of the conservative group Turning Point USA, which transported busloads of insurrectionists to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Clarence Thomas was the only dissenter to the case which required DDT to allow the House investigative committee to receive White House documents. It was one of ten election-related cases that Thomas helped decide. In addition, Ginni Thomas openly complained that the U.S. is in danger of falling into the hands of “transsexual fascists.”

Stephen Gillers, an NYU law professor and a judicial ethicist, said:

“I think Ginni Thomas is behaving horribly, and she’s hurt the Supreme Court and the administration of justice. It’s reprehensible. If you could take a secret poll of the other eight justices, I have no doubt that they are appalled by Virginia Thomas’ behavior. But what can they do?”

Clarence Thomas has allied himself with conservatives in his speeches and rejects the “left” in his “we” and “they” terminology. In his talks, he also defends Senate Republicans for refusing President Obama his right to appoint Merrick Garland ten months before the end of his term with no excuse for a GOP Senate who put Amy Coney Barrett on the high court in under two weeks before DDT lost his election.  

Earlier, Republicans tried to push the narrative that she had no influence over her husband, Clarence Thomas, who is the longest-sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—and one of the most controversial for his possible unethical behavior in that position. In March, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) denied that Ginni would have any influence over her husband’s decisions and condemned Democrats for their demands that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from cases in which she is involved. A question might be if he sticks to his insistence that people are making “spurious accusations about fake ethical problems or partiality.”

After the latest revelation about Ginni Thomas, that she was working with a major figure in DDT’s attempt to overturn the election, Democrats are calling for her husband to resign from the Supreme Court, at the very least recuse himself from election-related cases. Approval of the high court is 36 percent, the lowest it’s been since the Supreme Court put George W. Bush into the White House in a 2000 decision and lower than President Joe Biden’s 39 percent approval rating at this time.  

A MoveOn.org petition to impeach Clarence Thomas has reached almost 238,000 signatures with impetus since the Wednesday hearing revealed emails between Ginni Thomas and John Eastman.

The argument has always been that the president is not above the law. That might be true, but Supreme Court justices, with no ethics guidelines and no oversight, will probably never be brought to justice.

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