Nel's New Day

September 20, 2022

News – September 20, 2022

A few highlights from today:

More Republicans may go down for election fraud after the emergence of surveillance video at the Coffee County (GA) election office. Questioned about unauthorized forensics experts at SullivanStrickler tied to DDT copying sensitive voting machine software and data for eight hours in the county office, former state GOP official and “fake elector” for DDT Cathy Latham swore under oath that she briefly stopped by but stayed in the foyer—five minutes at most—talking about an unrelated matter at the front desk. “I didn’t go into the office,” she said.

According to a video, however, Latham visited the office twice on January 7, 2021, for over four hours beginning at 11:37 am and leaving at 7:40 pm. During that time, she led businessman Scott Hall into a back area to meet forensic experts and local officials as well as going in and out of the area where experts worked. The businessman was “looking into the election on behalf of the President,” according to the state GOP chair. Hall said that the team “scanned all the equipment, imaged all the hard drives and scanned every single ballot,” adding that he had the permission of “basically” the “entire local elections committee.”

Latham (right) watched the forensics team work on the voting machines and even took a selfie with one of the experts while she was in the office. The next day, she exchanged texts with SullivanStrickler’s CEO and updated Coffee County elections supervisor Misty Hampton on the forensics team’s whereabouts. Both Latham and Hampton couldn’t remember what happened, but Hampton’s texts indicated great enthusiasm for Latham’s news.

According to a SullivanStrickler executive, Latham introduced herself as an elections official. Her lawyer said there must have been a misunderstanding because Latham has never held that position. SullivanStrickler’s lawyers described Latham as “a primary point of contact in coordinating and facilitating” the firm’s work in Coffee County, adding: “Ms. Latham was on-site in the Coffee County elections office that day while the work was performed.” In a deposition, the executive said Latham “provided direction on what was required for collection,” and the company believed it had proper authorization to make “forensic images,” or exact copies, from the election equipment in Coffee County. 

Earlier told about the plans, Eric Chaney, a member of the county elections board employing Hampton, originally claimed he was unaware of anyone illegally accessing the server. He did remember finding “people present unknown to me” when he went by the office but said he thought they were from the secretary of state’s office. The video shows him present throughout most of the day and talking with the forensics team and Hall, including when the company’s CEO used a cord to connect poll pads to the team’s laptop. Questioned under oath, Chaney admitted he went to the office on January 7 but cited his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself to questions about the team copying voting data.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have violated federal law by lying to migrants in San Antonio (TX) about the aid they would receive in Massachusetts. They received a brochure with lists of what they can expect: “8 months cash assistance,” “assistance with housing,” “food,” “clothing,” “transportation to job interviews,” “job training,” “job placement,” “registering children for school,” “assistance applying for Social Security cards,” and many other benefits—all available on the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard. Images of the brochure are here.

Sheriff of Bexar County, Javier Salazar, said his office is investigating possible crimes in DeSantis’ removal of migrants from San Antonio and left to fend for themselves after they were told they were going to Boston. Salazar said the migrants were “lured … to staying in a hotel for a few days and then taken to an airplane … under false pretenses of being offered jobs.” He added that the 48 people, in Texas legally, were “exploited and hoodwinked.” The promised benefits are not available on Martha’s Vineyard, the reason that migrants voluntarily moved to another location.

DeSantis’ plan to deport migrants from Texas with Florida money received from the federal government may have run into problems. Salazar reported a flight with migrants scheduled from San Antonio to Delaware, President Joe Biden’s home state, had been postponed at the last minute. Delaware officials had been preparing a welcome for the plane. DeSantis didn’t give any notification of his plans to either Massachusetts or Delaware—or Texas, where he abducted the migrants.

If the law proves fraud or kidnapping, the migrants could be eligible for visas, upsetting DeSantis goal to annoy people. He also claimed migrants signed waivers agreeing to travel to Martha’s Vineyard, but unlawful acts cannot be waived. The island did not provide the advantages DeSantis promised the travelers, and the map was simply an arrow across the U.S. from Texas to Massachusetts. A qualifying crime for a U visa includes “the enticement of travel for a better life or jobs,” which may be difficult to prove in this case. International law also promises “the right to liberty of movement” as well as migrants suffering from deception, coercion, and abuse of power.

A civil rights law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against DeSantis on behalf of the migrants and “similarly situated people who are fraudently induced to travel across state lines by DeSantis and the State of Florida.” The migrants have consistently been called “illegal aliens” or “illegal immigrants,” but they were legally in the U.S. claiming asylum for the Venezuelan regime which DeSantis said “is responsible for countless atrocities.”

DDT is also having a bad day. His handpicked “special master” to investigate the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, Judge Raymond Dearie, asked DDT to “disclose details about any materials he claims to have declassified before calling them his property.” DDT claims he wants to keep that information secret to defend himself in case of an indictment and his appointed judge, Aileen Cannon, didn’t include that in her order. He also argued that Dearie is moving too fast (because DDT’s purpose was to stall) because Dearie wants both sides to label designations on the documents by October 7, 2022. That’s before the Midterm elections compared to Cannon’s deadline of November 30. Lawyers are also upset regarding Dearie’s request about whether DDT’s Fourth Amendment litigation should be filed with the magistrate judge permitting the search warrant.

DDT’s lawyers have never claimed in filings or court that DDT declassified the documents, they probably figured that saying they might be declassified covered them from committing perjury. In his first meeting as special master with DDT’s legal team and the DOJ, Dearie appeared dissatisfied with DDT’s attorneys about the lack of details regarding whether DDT had declassified documents. He told them that “it’s the end of it” if the lawyers could not definitely state that the records were declassified and the DOJ had evidence they weren’t. “You can’t have your cake and eat it,” Dearie told them. He also pointed out that the legal team might not be able to review the classified documents because they are restricted to those with a need to know. The DOJ had pointed out that some of its own investigators lacked clearances to review the documents. The three statutes used for the search warrant, however, do not require proof that the documents were classified.

After the DOJ failed in its request to Cannon for a stay to immediately examine the classified documents for an investigation, it appealed Cannon’s refusal to the 11th Circuit Court last Friday. The court may be more serious about the national security than Cannon: it required a response from DD by Tuesday noon. Cannon had ruled that extremely highly classified documents lying around at Mar-a-Lago for anyone to see was not a big deal and didn’t deserve an immediate investigation.

Texas AG Ken Paxton, under indictment for fraud, entered the fray by attacking the Biden administration in a federal court brief to the 11th Circuit Court regarding the seizure of records to support Cannon’s ruling. The filing falsely claims widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and argues that Biden cannot be trusted to appropriately behave in DDT’s case because he disagrees with Biden’s policies. Attorneys general from ten states joined Paxton’s brief

Now watchers await the DOJ response to DDT’s response, the appointment of a three-judge panel by the 11th Circuit (six appointed by DDT of the 11 active judges), and the next scene in DDT’s legal team attempts to walk over Dearie—a highly unlikely event.

White House lawyer Eric Herschmann reported that DDT was told last year he “could face legal liability if he did not return government materials he had taken with him when he left office.” DDT kept tens of boxes of materials that belonged to the U.S. government and lied about having them. The case is about far more than just a “storage dispute” as DDT’s legal team claims.

According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, DDT’s aides have the responsibility for providing him with “positive reinforcement.” A “cast” of people is “tasked” with surrounding DDT for this purpose, either ones who are paid or former aides who have nothing else to do now. Their job is to recite nice things people write about him on Twitter and other social media platform. Herschmann probably isn’t one of them.

September 5, 2022

News – September 4, 2022

A few catchups from the past week:

While Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) raves about a rigged election in a Pennsylvania rally, one of his own was convicted for trying to rig a siphoning scam to take votes from a Democratic candidate. The Seminole County (FL) GOP chair was found guilty of using his cousin as a “ghost” candidate,” an increasingly common practice in Florida, through putting a fake candidate on the ballot advertised as a progressive to take votes from the legitimate Democrat candidate. Floridian Republicans have also changed voter registrations from Democratic voters to the GOP without consent, and several Republicans in the retirement Villages voted twice. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has created state election police, but they are not investigating these election frauds. 

DeSantis’ election force has also not investigated him for another voter fraud, arresting 20 people with one of them dragged to jail in his underwear at 6:00 am. In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly supported the right of released felons to vote, but GOP legislators said they had to first pay all their fees and fines. Chaos reigned with no system to let people know if they were ineligible to cast a ballot. DeSantis’ appointees approved the completed registration cards for felons so the duly registered ex-felons didn’t know they were disenfranchised. To convict those charged, prosecutors must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrested people knew their votes were illegal. DeSantis just want to make eligible voters afraid to cast ballots, destroying democracy.

At least 150,000 Jackson (MS) residents continue to lack safe drinking water, and the mayor said they face “a much longer road ahead” before services are fully restored. Relying on bottled water, they can’t take baths, wash dishes, etc. The city said that “all of Jackson should now have pressure,” useless for most personal needs except flushing toilets. After decades of neglect, the Pearl River flooding set off problems at one of two water treatment plants, but residents had already been under a boil-water order when the pumps failed. The crisis is a combination of poor infrastructure, climate change, and systemic racism as a Democratic city government tried to deal with a Republican governor and state legislature.

The governor accused the city of mismanagement two months after the federal EPA system violated the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. In March 2020, the EPA found the potential for bacteria such as E.Coli and issued an emergency order to fix the deficiencies. Jackson residents lost access to clean water for weeks in 2021 when the pipes froze. A fire knocked all five pumps at one treatment plant out of service, and last October lawyers sued for “hundreds if not thousands” of children being poisoned by lead in the water. As white people fled the city, 20,000 between 2000 and 2010, Jackson lost both tax revenue and institutional support as In 40 years, the population of Jackson dropped from 200,000 in 1980 and over from 50 percent white to 80 percent Black.    

The long tentacles of health care provided by the Catholic Church reaches farther than hospitals, as students at Ohio’s Oberlin College discovered last week. Campus student health services would provide contraception only for health problems other than preventing pregnancy, and only victims of sexual assault can receive emergency contraception. Oberlin outsourced the student health services to a Catholic health agency which follows religious directives prohibiting contraception to prevent pregnancy—and blocking gender-affirming care. The college developed an alternative plan to offer reproductive health services to students on campus, but some states’ guidelines are similar to the Catholic Church. About 40 percent of reproductive age women live “in areas with high or dominant Catholic hospital market share,” according to a researcher of data in 2020. Many people don’t realize that the Catholic Church controls their health care because the information is concealed. Options of patients, especially low-income ones, can be disproportionately restricted.

Texas spent $12.7 million to bus migrants to the East Coast–$1,400 per person. A one-way, same-day ticket from El Paso costs $291 to New York City and $324 to Washington, D.C., and same-day flights are under $400. Gov. Greg Abbott is asking for private donations for his project but received only $167,828 as of August 17. His goal is to “incite fear among Americans,” a typical Republican strategy, but busing saves migrants money by taking them closer to their destinations.

After DDT spent months attacking House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), warfare is breaking out between McConnell and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm. Like many other Republicans privately express, McConnell doubts the “quality” of DDT-picked candidates winning primaries, fearing both the Senate and House this year will be lost—again. Scott attacked McConnell in an op-ed for the conservative Washington Examiner, accusing “the very people responsible for losing the Senate last cycle” of “trash-talking our Republican candidates.” Without giving McConnell’s name, Scott’s message was clear, coming two weeks after McConnell expressed concern about the GOP taking back the Senate in 2022. Some of DDT’s infamous candidates for Senate are Blake Masters (AZ), Herschel Walker (GA), and Mehmet Oz (PA). Earlier this year, Scott irritated McConnell by releasing the radically-right “Plan to Rescue America” which alienated many affiliated voters.

Scott is also in trouble for the lack of money in the GOP Senate campaign arm. By the end of July, the committee collected a record $181.5 million but spent over 95 percent of it, $26 million just on texting people to donate. The remaining $23.2 million is less than half of the Democratic committee stash leading up to the November election in two months. Scott is getting blamed for not bringing in money, and his group is canceling bookings for advertising, ones they can’t get back even if they manage to raise the money.

The Senate funding committee decided to not pick anyone in the primaries after DDT’s endorsements. In the past decade, it avoided out-of-the mainstream nominees who might lose in the general election; this year many GOP candidates winning the primaries haven’t run for office before. Their negative, expensive primaries left favorable ratings underwater, and they trail in many battlegrounds with well-funded Democratic opponents. By mid-August, Dems outspent their opponents by four-to-one in Ohio, over double in Arizona, and almost two-to-one in Nevada as well as by $14 million in Georgia.  

Scott gained more notoriety by criticizing President Joe Biden’s Delaware “staycation” while on a luxury yacht in Italy during the Florida primaries. He claimed he had planned his trip to Italy long ago because of a wedding anniversary, but the primaries were also planned well in advance. Presidents typically take off a few weeks in August because of the annual congressional recess for the month, and Scott defrauded the government out of Medicare funds while CEO of a large Florida health system.

After 28 months, litigation about DDT’s financial records going to a House committee has reached a settlement: DDT’s former accounting firm Mazurs must turn over some records to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Records are narrowed to financial ties between DDT or his businesses with foreign countries for 2017-2018 and documents between November 2016 and 2018 for DDT’s company holding the lease with the federal government for the former Trump International Hotel. Earlier this year, Mazurs said it had fired DDT and that the firm’s financial statements prepared to DDT “should no longer be relied upon” because it used DDT’s figures.

Last month, despite DDT’s legal opposition, a three-judge appellate court agreed with a lower court decision that the Treasury Department should provide DDT’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. DDT’s DOJ allowed former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to block the committee from obtaining the returns with the excuse that Democrats wanted them for partisan reason. The committee successfully renewed the request after Biden’s inauguration, seeking DDT’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020. 

A Virginia state judge dismissed two cases attempting to bar the public display and sale of two books the plaintiff alleged obscene under an obscure state law. By taking this action, the judge also struck down the law, finding it unconstitutional. Filing by lawyers, presently a GOP state assembly delegate and a former GOP congressional candidate, assert the award-winning graphic memoir Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and well-reviewed A Court of Mist and Fury by bestselling author Sarah J. Maas were “obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors.” The statute does not allow for a work to be “obscene for minors” and failed to prove that the books are obscene at all. The plaintiffs’ declaration violated both the U.S. and the Virginia constitutions. One of the lawyers, who lost his June 21 primary for Congress by 40 points, tried to build a case for “parental rights.” John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, said that the plaintiffs tried to weaponize the use of obscenity laws against books that don’t “fit their worldview.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin providing abortions for beneficiaries if the person is endangered by pregnancy or the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. The VA has made this medical procedure available before but amended its regulations for safety reasons after the Supreme Court and states overturned Roe v. Wade. The rule will be available for a 30-day comment after being published on September 1.

August 23, 2022

Media Focuses on DDT—His Election Fraud, Stolen Documents

The incompetent legal team for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has asked a federal judge to stop the FBI review of documents taken with a legal search warrant from Mar-a-Lago until an appointed neutral special master inspects the materials. The federal lawsuit also attacks the search which DDT’s lawyers call a “shockingly aggressive move, overly broad, and maintains that deserves a more detailed description of the seized records. According to the filing, the seizure showed “no understanding of the distress that it would cause most Americans,” indicating a possible threat. It added that the FBI and DOJ treated DDT “unfairly” and “illegally seized.” Again, DDT, who was hiding classified documents, is described as “fully cooperative” although he didn’t respond to a subpoena for them.

The DDT-appointed federal magistrate judge in Florida authorizing the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago stated he “carefully reviewed” the FBI’s sworn evidence before signing off and considers the facts contained in an accompanying affidavit to be “reliable.” Bruce Reinhart included this information in the order unsealing redacted portions of the affidavit giving evidence for the search. He also noted that “neither Former President Trump nor anyone else purporting to be the owner of the Premises has filed a pleading taking a position” on efforts to unseal the affidavit.

The judge said the necessary redactions may make the document “meaningless” to the public. He also suggested the physical description of Mar-a-Lago could hinder the Secret Service’s ability to protect DDT because of access by “private members” to the premises and made suggestions for DOJ’s redactions to address that concern. Other judicial recommendations included protecting witness identities, actual information in the files, and methods of the ongoing investigation. Reinhart refused the request from media and conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch to unseal the entire affidavit because complete disclosure “would detrimentally affect this investigation and future investigations.”

A new report from the New York Times has specific information about documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and the process. The first 150+ documents marked as classified were retrieved last January by the National Archives. The 15 boxes included material from the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the FBI covering a number of topics of national security interest. According to several people, DDT had gone through the boxes himself in late 2021 before giving them to the FBI.  

Worried about the highly sensitive nature of the material in the earlier seized boxes, archives officials referred the matter to DOJ which had convened a grand jury investigation. In May, the DOJ issued a subpoena for the missing documents, and in early June, DOJ officials made another visit to Mar-a-Lago. DDT’s lawyer Evan Corcoran went through the boxes to retrieve classified documents for the DOJ and gave them a few dozen documents. He drafted a statement which another DDT lawyer, Christina Bobb, signed. She is supposedly the custodian of the documents, and the statement declared that, to the best of her knowledge, all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned. Corcoran also showed Jay Bratt, the chief of the DOJ counterespionage section of the national security division, the basement storage room and said the remaining material had been kept there.

The question is who is lying with the statement, DDT for hiding documents from his lawyers or Bobb for signing a false statement.

On June 22, the DOJ sent a subpoena to the Trump Organization for Mar-a-Lago’s security footage, including the hallway outside the storage area which is well-trafficked. It revealed people moving boxes in and out of the storage, sometimes changing containers for the documents. The DOJ is now seeking surveillance footage between the first subpoena and August 8, the date of the search. Mar-a-Lago has little control over who comes into the club, even finding a spy who stole electronic items.

Armed with a search warrant two weeks ago, FBI agents removed 26 more boxes of material with over 11 sets of material marked at different levels of classified, including the highest level of classification—top secret/sensitive compartmented information—a total of over 150 records. They were located in the basement storage and in a closet within DDT’s office.

DDT’s allies continue to insist that he had a “standing order” to declassify the material and tried to excuse his taking the boxes because the General Services Administration, not DDT’s staff, packed the boxes with the documents. No documentation has been found to indicate DDT declassified any of the documents, and the alleged crimes identified by the DOJ isn’t connected to the documents’ classification status. White House aides described the chaos in trying to pack up the White House as some records were tossed into burn bags. One source blamed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the documents at Mar-a-Lago.

National Archives officials worked to get the material returned throughout much of 2021 because all presidential records material remains government property to be provided to the archives at the end of his term. Some of the missing documents were common knowledge such as DDT’s original letters from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the note that President Barack Obama left DDT before he left office. Former White House officials who DDT designated as his representatives to the archives tried to regain the documents for the archives, but DDT described the boxes of documents as “mine.”

Some members of the “Gang of Eight,” House and Senate leaders and leaders of intelligence committees from both parties, want access to documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Other lawmakers want complete copies of the affidavit also, but the magistrate judge must sign any releases. Not all the “gang” supports the request. 

To overturn Joe Biden’s presidential win, DDT-related attorneys obtained sensitive election system files that they shared with election deniers, conspiracy theorists and right-wing commentators. The lawyers hired a Georgia computer forensics firm to place the files on a server where they were downloaded dozens of times to 10 accounts “associated with a Texas meteorologist who has appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show; a podcaster who suggested political enemies should be executed; a former pro surfer who pushed disproven theories that the 2020 election was manipulated; and a self-described former “seduction and pickup coach” who claims to also have been a hacker,” according to a Washington Post report.

Records obtained through a subpoena include contracts between Atlanta-based SullivanStrickler and DDT-connected attorneys, notably Sidney Powell. Data came from Coffee County (GA) and Antrim County (MI). One of the plaintiffs in a Georgia lawsuit said the recklessly handled files “go far beyond” these two counties.

Previously, Misty Hampton, a Coffee County elections supervisor in 2020, permitted a group into the offices to prove the “election was not done true and correct,” she said. Hampton resigned under pressure last year because she falsified time sheets. Coffee County files were downloaded to at least four people outside the company: Jim Penrose, a cybersecurity consultant who claimed to have worked for the National Security Agency; Doug Logan, operator of the now defunct CyberNinjas that performed the Arizona GOP election review; Conan Hayes, former Hawaii pro surfer; and “Scott T,” claiming to work with Hayes at Allied Security Operations Group that produced a discredited report on Antrim County used by DDT as proof of a stolen election.  

Hayes’ Twitter account has posted conspiracy theory material and images smearing Dominion voting systems in Michigan. He also allegedly worked with Mesa County (CO) officials to copy elections software in May 2021. One of three arrested was Tina Peters who lost a run for secretary of state but claims that the election was rigged.

SullivanStrickler’s work began in Michigan after Matthew DePerno, now the DDT-endorsed GOP candidate for the state attorney general, won a court order in December 2020 to have access to Antrim County’s election systems. The next week, SullivanStrickler employees uploaded dozens of files that were shared with attorneys representing Antrim and Michigan’s attorney general in a lawsuit opposing the county election results for DDT. Later the Antrim files were made available to a larger pool of accounts for people who made false claims about the election and promoted conspiracy theories about election fraud. Data security expert Harri Hursti said that widespread release of server images “lowers the barrier to planning an attack against any election management system running this Dominion software.”

The right wing had hoped to campaign on how horrible the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is, but news about it is barely a blip on the screen with DDT, as usual, sucking up all the time through his possible corruption and attacks to avoid backlash. One theory is that the culture war and DDT are feeding conservative activism so that the GOP can’t weaponize the IRA. The GOP sweep in 2010 came from the GOP attacking Democrats over the Affordable Care Act, but the health care is now popular. Attacking the investment of money in clean energy isn’t a good talking point.

Republicans also set their hopes on campaigning with complaints about the Democrats’ economy, but a new NBC poll gives threats to democracy at the top concern from 21 percent of registered voters. “Cost of living” was five points lower at 16 percent, and third at 14 percent was “jobs and the economy.” In the poll, 57 percent believe investigations into alleged misconduct by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) should continue. Republicans will need to look for more issues

June 16, 2022

Primaries – June 14, 2022

After Tuesday’s primaries, over 100 Republicans moving on to the general election in November follow the “stolen election” lie that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) used to raise $250 million and keep his following. These candidates include five for governor, four for state attorney general, one for secretary of state (who determines the voting in the state), eight for the U.S. Senate, and 86 House candidates. The number of “big lie” candidates increases from 108 state or congressional candidacies to 149 winning candidates out of over 170 races by adding candidates campaigning on restricting voting rules based on false accusations of election and/or voter fraud: 4 governors, 2 lieutenant governors, 5 secretaries of state, 3 attorneys general, 2 U.S. senators, and 12 U.S. representatives.  

What can happen if these people get elected is currently playing out in Otero County (NM) where the GOP-led three-member refuses to certify the legal vote from June 7. The state secretary of state even had to ask the state Supreme Court to order the certification. Commissioners claim the Dominion voting machines were inaccurate, one woman going to far as to say she knows it in her heart. Another commissioner, co-founder of Cowboys for Trump, still believes DDT won the 2020 election. He was convicted of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021, has to be in Washington on June 17, the deadline for certifying the election, and could be removed from his office according to state law. In 2020, he said, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” 

Last week, the commission voted to recount ballots, remove state-mandated ballot drop boxes, and discontinue the use of Dominion voting machines. According to the GOP county clerk, these new policies break state law; she said she’d recount the election by hand only under court order. The clerk also said that Dominion tested Otero County voting machines in public view and the machines are independently certified in advance. DDT won 62 percent of Otero County votes in 2020, and the commissioners are still having a fit. One commissioner ridiculed any intervention in the dispute and asked, “They’re going to send us to the pokey?” Maybe.  

On Bulwark, Will Saletan listed three requirements for DDT’s endorsements:

  • Personal loyalty to DDT.
  • Tolerance of corruption by favored groups and persons.
  • Tolerance for the actions of Vladimir Putin.

*DDT’s endorsements.

Primaries for the past week:

The event started with Alaska’s special primary election on June 11 to replace former Rep. Don Young, who died in March, for the remainder of 2022. Former governor and vice-president candidate Sarah Palin, one of 48 candidates vying for the position, is thus far in the lead with almost 30 percent of the vote, followed by GOP Nick Begich at 19.3 percent, independent Al Gross at 12.5 percent, Democrat Mary Pelota at 7.5 percent, and GOP Tara Sweeney with 5.3 percent. Santa Claus, a self-described “independent, progressive, democratic socialist” candidate, has 4.5 percent.

The state has counted about 100,000 ballots of the 138,900 it received. Ballots must be postmarked by June 11 and received by June 21. Palin, who quit halfway as governor in 2009, promised she is serious and committed to Alaska. This election is Alaska’s first for the new law mandating a ranking system: with no one receiving at least 50 percent, four candidates advance to the general election in which voters rank the four candidates in order of preference. A special general election for this position is set for August 16, the same date as the regular primary for that position that has 31 candidates for representative.

DDT endorsed over a dozen candidates in the June 14 primaries: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Carolina. Most of his picks were easy wins, incumbents and heavy favorites or unopposed.  

Maine:

Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage is attempting a comeback against Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, both unopposed in the primaries, in the general election. Faithful DDT-supporter Bruce Polquin won the GP primary to repeat his losing race against Democratic Rep. Jared Golden.

Nevada:

*Joe Lombardo, questioning the 2020 election legitimacy, has been declared the GOP gubernatorial candidate with about 38 percent. Former GPO Sen. Dean Heller came in a distant third after Joey Gilbert, who was near the U.S. Capitol when it was stormed on January 6, 2021.

*Former AG Adam Laxalt got the GOP nod to run for U.S. Senate.

*Jim Marchant, like Lazalt a follower of the “big lie,” picked up the GOP candidacy for Secretary of State with 38 percent. Still bitter about an earlier election loss, he plans to overhaul the state’s “fraudulent” elections.

Michele Fiore, Las Vegas City Council member, picked up the GOP treasurer candidacy, running on an anti-transgender platform after an embarrassing loss for the U.S. House in 2016. Her associates are domestic terrorist Matt Shea and insurrectionists the Bundy clan and Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers. And Fiore thinks cancer is caused by a fungus.  

North Dakota:

*John Hoeven will likely return to the U.S. Senate as will unopposed *Kelly Armstrong to the House.  

South Carolina:

DDT managed a long string of successes in the state with little opposition for most of them: *Henry McMaster, governor; *Alan Wilson, attorney general; *Tim Scott, U.S. Senate; and U.S. representatives *Jeff Duncan, *William Timmons, and *Ralph Norman. Timmons defeated DDT’s “top pastor,” Rev. Mark Burns, who wants to execute all transgender people and calls people who support them treasonous to the U.S. Constitution. Plus his history of violent remarks and falsehoods. 

*Russell Fry for U.S. House will make DDT proud; he defeated incumbent Tom Rice who had voted in favor of impeaching DDT. Rice first said about Fry:

“If you want a Congressman who supports political violence in Ukraine or in the United States Capitol, who supports party over country, who supports a would-be tyrant over the Constitution, and who makes decisions based solely on re-election, then Russell Fry is your candidate.”

Realizing he needed to crawl back to DDT, he said he would support DDT if he apologizes for the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Too little.  

Rep. Nancy Mace was DDT’s big loss. DDT endorsed Katie Arrington after Mace voted to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral votes. The state GOP establishment supported both Mace and Rice, but Arrington worked hard to win. She campaigned on four priorities:    

“First thing we need to do fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, eliminate the Department of Federal Education [sic], impeach President Joe Biden, and ‘open Hunter Biden’s laptop.’”

In May 2021, Arrington lost her security clearance and was placed on leave from the Defense Department with the allegations she disclosed classified information. In the South Carolina House of Representatives, Arrington and her opponent, Nancy Mace, almost came to blows in a bitter disagreement. She got in a fight with a woman at a rally who claimed Arrington’s bracelet proved she was a Satanist. After Mace’s win, DDT tried to make up for not giving her the endorsement she had begged him for by writing in Truth Social, “Congratulations to Nancy Mace, who should be able to easily defeat her Democratic opponent!”

Texas:

In a Texas special election for the U.S. House, GOP *Mayra Flores defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez outright, avoiding a runoff changing the seat from blue to red after a Democrat resigned midterm. Flores claims she isn’t QAnon, but her conspiracy theories fit right in with those of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Flores also gained DDT’s endorsement. A Mexican immigrant, she married a Border Patrol agent. To keep the seat after 2022, she will need to defeat Democratic Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, who currently represents the 15th Congressional District, in a redrawn 34th Congressional District in November’s midterms.

DDT’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania will stay in the news. Mehmet Oz, the carpetbagger from New Jersey, couldn’t even correctly spell the name of the town where he registered his Pennsylvania candidacy. He is working hard to be another DDT, however, going full anti-immigrant that he connects with “soft-on-crime policies.” Studies show he lies because cities with large immigrant populations have decreased crime.

Oz’s background displays the hypocrisy of his campaigning: the GOP millionaire profits off his wife’s family-owned tree-pruning business exploiting undocumented labor. The fine of $95 million against Asplundh Tree Experts Co. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was the biggest it ever gave. Oz is a shareholder. DDT similarly abused his undocumented workers going back to the building of Trump Tower over 40 years ago, in his case Polish employees who worked for as little as $4 an hour for 12-hour days.

Oz’s opponent may be getting more votes. David McCormick has already conceded the election without a recount, but the U.S. Supreme Court restored the ruling of an appeals court, approving the counting of undated mail ballots in a contested Pennsylvania judicial election with implications for the November election. Three justices—Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas—objected. Pennsylvania requires the voter to date the ballot despite its postmarks and dates provided by election officials when the ballots are received. A lower court declared the absence of the handwritten date an “immaterial” error.  The high court made its decision without determining the merits of the case.

June 21 is a quiet day for primaries—only in Virginia.

June 16, however, has another hearing from the House investigative committee about the January 6, 2021 insurrection at 1:00 EST. That will be enough grist for the mills in the upcoming days.

June 2, 2022

Elections ‘Rigged,’ in Limbo

A mass shooting today: At a Racine (WI) cemetery during the funeral of Da’shontay L. King Sr, who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop, at least five members of his family were injured. The shooter is still at large.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is eagerly waiting to see if he has to declare the Pennsylvania GOP primary for U.S. senator “rigged,” but conservative Justice Samuel Alito has tossed a clinker into the process. Candidate David McCormick sued to have undated or wrongly-dated ballots counted, and the 3rd Circuit Court, using an earlier ruling, agreed. These ballots arrived on time, but the voter had to write a date on the envelope. A judicial candidate, however, appealed to the Supreme Court to block them, and Alito put a stay on the lower ruling until the Supreme Court makes a decision. The deadline for the results is June 8.

DDT’s endorsement, Mehmet Oz, declared himself the “presumptive” candidate although 1,200 GOP mail-in ballots and 4,000 provisional ballots from all parties remain to be counted. McCormick has been receiving two-thirds of the votes from the mail-in votes. Oz is leading by only 923 votes, requiring a mandatory recount. To run, Oz changed his address from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

Straightening out the mess will be difficult. Some counties include undated ballots; others don’t. Some areas haven’t finished the first count. Defects in mail ballots require decisions about acceptance or rejection. Counties must research voters of provisional ballots to decide whether they count. Campaigns have a two-day waiting period to appeal these decisions to county court before they are rescanned in a South Philly mail ballot delivery challenged by McCormick and Oz campaigns. And in Allegheny County. Today, a Commonwealth judge ordered counties to count undated ballots but keep them separate.

Federal judges ruled that the dating requirement is immaterial to voters’ qualifications and not counting them violates federal civil rights law. Ballots arrived on time with no indication of fraud. But Alito halted the decision with no deadline for a ruling. DDT may have to wait a long time.

David Perdue, GOP loser for Georgia’s governor, isn’t shouting “rigged” about his predictable failure, but the other losing opponent to incumbent Brian Kemp complains she was cheated. Kandiss Taylor, who believes that DDT really won the 2020 election, got only 3.4 percent of the GOP gubernatorial primary compared to PDDT-endorsed Perdue who received 21.8 percent.

DDT’s allies believe the Kemp win is fraud. Former Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson circulated this reason in DDT’s “Save America” PAC:

“On Primary Day in Georgia, Kemp gets 74% and Perdue gets 22%. Nobody in any election in America gets 74% of the votes. Ever. It doesn’t happen. Obvious fraud.”

Uncomfirmed claims of election fraud arise only when Republicans—or DDT’s endorsements—lose elections. To the GOP, any other election is legitimate. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), headed for a runoff on June 13 after he came in second for the GOP U.S. Senate primary, confirmed the GOP hypocrisy. About his second place to another Republican, he said, “At some point, you have to hope that the election system is going to be honest.” Brooks was one of 147 legislators to oppose the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021, and support the illegal plan to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential win in favor of DDT. Brooks said the 2020 fraud took place “in predominantly Democrat parts of the state” despite the 100+ lawsuits disproving any election fraud in 2020 and DDT-appointed AG Bill Barr’s statement that the 2020 election was fair.

Thus far, 55 lawmakers objecting to Biden’s election have participated in competitive primaries using the same rules and regulations as in 2020, and the GOP has cried fraud about only DDT’s losses in Georgia. Pennsylvania may come under that category if Oz doesn’t win. No winning Republicans in 2020 denied their victories because of “rigged” elections. The rare factual election fraud in past years came from Republicans, for example the North Carolina in 2018 requiring a redo of a House race.   

After four years, DDT’s EPA secretary Scott Pruitt, known to treat his staff like servants, has been reported in violation of federal policies and “endangered public safety” for forcing his security detail to drive at dangerous speeds on routine trips. Typically late, he also made them use sirens and emergency lights. Once he ordered the driver to plow into oncoming traffic because he needed to pick up his dry-cleaning. The internal report had been kept secret until now although it was finished a month before he resigned in July 2018.

The EPA also reversed its exoneration of Pruitt for his installation of a $43,000+ secure phone booth in his office, used only once, and now states Pruitt violated the appropriations law. Pruitt also committed more violations in expenditures for decorating his office.  Pruitt is running for U.S. Senate from Oklahoma with a dozen opponents and no endorsements, not even DDT.    

Three congressional Republicans are facing ethics charges for insider trading:

  • Reps. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and John Rutherford (R-FL) violated the STOCK Act by not reporting their stock trades. According to the Office of Congressional Ethics, Fallon has “a pattern of late disclosure of reportable transactions, which continued even after he was on notice of his STOCK Act filing obligations.” When he did not cooperate with the probe, the OCE recommended the House Ethics Committee subpoena Fallon.
  • Rutherford is on the Ethics Committee which usually does not investigate its own members. The OCE, however concluded he has “a pattern of late disclosure of reportable transactions made in [IRA] accounts, which continued even after he was on notice of his STOCK Act filing obligations.”
  • Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) was investigated. The OCE, however, “failed to reach a determination on the allegations against Jacobs after its nonpartisan board reached a tie vote on referring the matter further, but House Ethics said in a statement they would continue to investigate the issue.”

Last week, the OCE announced an investigation into Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-SC) cryptocurrency promotional efforts and an alleged relationship with a congressional aide. Cawthorn lost his primary last month.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) allegedly misused campaign funds to pay dues at a private social club in Texas, and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) allegedly enlisted congressional staff to complete personal tasks.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), third highest-ranking Republican in the U.S. House after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stripped Liz Cheney (R-WY) of the position, hopes to become DDT’s vice-president in 2024. With an A+ rating from NRA, Stefanik’s husband, Matthew Manda, is public affairs manager for the Newton (CT) based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and a plaintiff in a lawsuit attempting to block a New York law increasing liability for gun manufacturers. In April, Manda coordinated dozens of gun industry leaders to speak with elected officials—including Stefanik. A reporter asked Stefanik’s adviser Alex deGrasse if Manda’s work influences Stefanik’s stance on gun rights, deGrasse called the journalist “a very sick person” and called the employer, the Albany Times Union, “sexist.”

In South Dakota, AG Jason Ravnsborg probably won’t run for re-election. He was impeached for a hit-and-run after he killed a pedestrian in September 2020 but allowed to plead to a misdemeanor. Ravnsborg is on leave until after the impeachment trial beginning on June 21, but he announced last Friday that his office will not charge billionaire T. Denny Sanford, the state’s richest man, with possession of child pornography. The affidavits are still sealed despite requests for them from news outlets, Argus Leader and ProPublica. Anti-pornography positions are becoming popular among conservatives—just not for billionaires.

South Dakota GOP legislators are so opposed to Medicaid expansion that they put a constitutional amendment on the June 7 primary ballot to restrict initiatives because of one for the expansion scheduled on November 8. The proposed amendment would prevent measures spending over $10 million for five years and require 60 percent of voters, not 50 percent, to approve the initiative. GOP lawmakers admitted that the purpose of the constitutional amendment was to block the Medicaid expansion. Voters in five states—Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Utah—have already approved the expansions after the legislature refused to accept it.

In 1898, South Dakota was the first state in the U.S. to establish the popular initiative process. Initiatives have raised the minimum wage, created an independent ethics commission, and legalized cannabis in the conservative state. After the ethics commission approval in 2016, the legislature overturned it and tried to make the initiative process more stringent. In 2020, the all-GOP Supreme Court struck down the cannabis legalization initiative for having more than one subject. Last year, GOP legislatures increased the font size of the ballot petition while mandating that the text fit on one page.

South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem, spoke at the NRA convention three days after the Uvalde (TX) massacre, explaining the need to carry all guns without any permits because leftist protesters want to tear down Mt. Rushmore. With presidential aspirations, Noem reconnected with DDT’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he allegedly sexually harassed a female donor at a political event in Las Vegas.

In Missouri, a first-time Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Anheuser-Busch heir Trudy Busch Valentine, was scheduled to have an NRA fundraiser until she got caught. With ten opponents and lots of money, she also campaigned on “commonsense gun legislation,” promising to be leader.

May 25, 2022

Primaries – May 24, 2022

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was up with another round of endorsements for the May 24 primaries in Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. Candidates not receiving over 50 percent of the vote will have runoffs on June 21. Minnesota also a special primary for one congressional district, and Texas, requiring primary winners receive at least 50 percent of the vote, had a few controversial elections.

Pennsylvania Recount:

Dr. Oz’s race with David McCormick for U.S. Senate goes to a mandatory recount with the difference in Oz’s favor at only 947 votes out of over 1.3 million ballots. The deadline of June 7 will tell Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) if he lost his endorsement for Oz and must scream “rigged election.” Oz is staying quiet while McCormick sues to keep the state to stop them from discarding mail-in ballots lacking handwritten dates. Mail-in ballots favored McCormick over Oz by 32 to 23 percent. Instead of “find the votes” as DDT demanded in Georgia almost 17 months ago, DDT demands, “Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?” Pennsylvania’s GOP delayed counting mail-in ballots by blocking any preparation of them before the election. In the chaos, exhausted election officials have quit, leading to more chaos in November.

Oregon Failure:

Kurt Schrader’s battle with Jamie McLeod-Skinner for Democratic candidate in the 5th Congressional District slogs on because of the extreme incompetence of the GOP Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall. With 66 percent of the vote counted, McLeod-Skinner is still 18 percent ahead, and Hall has no projection of when results will be announced. She does have a deadline of June 13. Much more about this later!

(X) = DDT’s endorsement lost.

Texas Runoffs:

Incumbent Texas AG Ken Paxton just destroyed the Bush dynasty by defeating George W. Bush, Poppy Bush’s grandson and Jeb’s son, in Paxton’s re-election. The start to the presidency should have been little Bush’s election to land commissioner, but this year’s loss was the end. Since 2015, candidate Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud while four judges have moved the case from one place to another. A large number of his staff quit in 2020 after Paxton abused his office in helping a campaign donor raided by the FBI. The FBI is investigating Paxton for corruption, and the state bar filed a professional misconduct lawsuit against Paxton for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections in four battleground states won by President Joe Biden. His election in November is highly possible because of suppression of votes from those opposed to his anti-immigrant, anti-climate, anti-healthcare access, and anti-transgender crusades. Paxton beat Bush 68 to 32 percent.

Incumbent Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar has declared the race for himself, but his opponent Jessica Cisneros hasn’t conceded with only 0.4 percent separating them—175 votes—and votes left to count. Traditional House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), support Cuellar despite his anti-abortion stance, but his reputation suffers from an unexplained FBI raid on his home and campaign office under six weeks before the primary election raised more questions. Automatic recounts in Texas are only in the case of ties; otherwise the requester pays for it. There is no deadline for the completion.

Wayne Christian, friend of Chevron, won another term on the Railroad Commission overseeing the oil with an easy win in the runoff, 65 to 35 percent, despite a $2 million donation to underdog Sarah Stogner. Corruption continues as ranchers continue to get no help.

Rep. Ronny Jackson, who won his second primary unopposed on March 1, faces ethics charges before the general election for inappropriate use of campaign funds. During his first term, the Pentagon inspector general’s office accused him of “inappropriate conduct” while he was DDT’s White House doctor. A Defense Department’s inspector general’s report earlier found that Jackson drank while on duty and abused his staff. Later, the physician called the COVID omicron variant a Democratic conspiracy theory to win 2022 elections. Jackson also faces questions about why Oath Keepers members texted him during the January 6 insurrection and claimed he needed protection.

The Ethics Committee also reported that DDT’s choice and winner of a West Virginia primary, Rep. Alex Mooney, likely accepted an impermissible gift for a vacation in Aruba and violated federal law by using congressional staff to plan the trip on official time and with official resources. Seven current and past employees identified “frequent requests to complete unofficial tasks—ranging from babysitting and car repairs for a personal vehicle to assisting with personal finances and businesses—solely for the personal benefit of Mr. Mooney and his family.”

Georgia: 

DDT suffered two losses important to him in the state where he attempted retaliation against both governor and secretary of state who refused to invent over 11,000 votes for him to win in the 2020 election despite DDT’s consistent begging.  

(X) Gov. Brian Kemp beat DDT’s endorsement for U.S. senator, David Perdue, big time by almost 52 points. In a last-ditch gathering, Perdue said he might not accept the election results and claimed his polls losing to Kemp by big margins were “full of crap.” He smeared Stacey Abrams by saying the Black woman’s statements were “demeaning her own race” and she should “go back to where she came from.” Perdue fought both Democrats and Republicans, including DDT’s former VP Mike Pence. Kemp makes the third primary gubernatorial defeat for DDT—Idaho and Nebraska—with two wins, one of them Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania who Republicans will support in only a lukewarm fashion and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in Arkansas who was a given. Initially reluctant to run, Perdue was pushed by DDT and ran an apathetic campaign. Abrams, who lost the 2018 gubernatorial election when Kemp was controlling the votes, is again the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

(X) Brad Raffensperger defeated DDT’s pick Jody Hice for secretary of state by 19 points with a majority vote, meaning no runoff. Crossover Democratic votes in the open primary may have helped Raffensperger beat his conspiracy “stolen election” believer Hice.  

Burt Jones may have to go to a runoff for lieutenant governor candidate.

(X) John Gordon, DDT’s endorsement for attorney general, lost with only 26 percent of the vote, and (X) Patrick Witt received only 17 percent of the vote for Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.                             

Herschel Walker did bring in the GOP U.S. Senate primary for DDT to run against incumbent Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor who was elected in a special January 2021 election. The positive part of Walker? He was an NFL star in the last century. Political experience? Nothing. Otherwise? Lying about education and business, corruption, fraud, domestic violence, sexual abuse, murderous urgesconsignorance, illogic, and much more. Asked about Walker’s problems, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “Every candidate has flaws and assets.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon Queen of Congress, won her primary by almost 70 percent although the conservative National Review endorsed her opponent Jennifer Strahan, calling Greene “a disgrace to her office and a disservice to her constituents in Georgia’s 14th district.” Another notch for DDT. 

Alabama: 

Mo Brooks, unendorsed by DDT after a spat, came in second for the U.S. Senate primary to Katie Britt, but they’ll face a runoff on June 21. Britt’s exposure as McConnell’s lobbyist didn’t help her get votes. DDT endorsed no other Alabama candidate, but incumbent GOP Gov. Kay Ivey avoided a runoff for her fall candidacy. Brooks is getting ready for the runoff by returning to DDT’s fold. In an interview on the day of his election, he repeated lies about the insurrectionists being “antifa” and the election was “stolen” because of the “800,000 to 1.7 million non-citizens that voted in 2020.” When confronted with lack of evidence, he said that he has proof but won’t give it to the January 6 investigation committee because he doesn’t want it to be “secret.”

Arkansas:

DDT won all three of his state endorsements: Sanders as heir to governor, Tim Griffin for attorney general, and John Boozman for U.S. senator—despite Boozman’s three opponents. One of them, 33-year-old billionaire football star Jake Bequette, criticized Boozman for not challenging the 2020 electoral college count on January 6, 2021, but got only 20 percent of the vote. Boozman also played football—1969-1973.

The Michigan Bureau of Elections named 36 petitioner circulators whose petition sheets contained only invalid signatures and described the current election cycle as having wholesale fraud. The question is whether the disqualified candidates knew about the problem. They cry foul about being eliminated from the race. For the signatures, petition circulators used outdated voter lists with outdated addresses and dead people.  The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers will decide this week whether it will act on the bureau’s recommendation.

No primaries next week, but there will be seven of them on June 7.

 

May 20, 2022

Republicans Fight Democrats, Each Other

A week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had his time in the sun by single-handedly blocking the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, the Senate passed the House bill by 86-11. Eleven Republicans, 22 percent of the GOP caucus, voted against the bill: Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Bill Hagerty (TN), Josh Hawley (MO), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), Paul, and Tommy Tuberville (AL). All 57 dissenters to the bill in the House vote 368-57 are Republicans. 

About the serious shortage of baby formula, Republicans claim that President Joe Biden is doing nothing about the problem or women should breastfeed so they don’t need the formula.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), among the House leadership, called Biden and other Democrats “pedo grifters.” She blamed the shortage on Biden’s economic policies instead of mismanagement by one of the four monopolizing manufacturers with dirty conditions and massive expenditures on the company’s stock. Republicans ignore Biden’s actions solving the shortage:

  • Invoking the Defense Production to speed up the production.
  • Authorized the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to bring more imports for overseas.
  • Requiring suppliers to fulfill orders from baby-formula producers before other customers.
  • Making a deal with Abbott Nutrition for them to manufacture baby formula if they clean up the plant where it’s made.

His ideas seem much better this one from Republicans, introduced by Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott: starve migrant infants so that white infants will have the formula. Or Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), allegedly accused of sex trafficking minors, who wants to deny fomula to infants in poor families and save it for “hard-working Americans.”

The House appropriated $28 million in emergency funds for the baby formula shortage, but only 12 Republicans supported the bill. Stefanik, a new mother who uses baby formula, was not one of them, but she did vote for the Access to Baby Formula Act, temporarily waiving exclusive contracts between states and baby formula manufactures for six million people enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children program. Nine other Republicans, however, voted against that bill: Andy Biggs (AZ), Laurie Boebert (CO), Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Clay Higgins (LA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).  Stefanik’s own bill was for more foreign imports of the product. 

The Senate unanimously passed the Access to Baby Formula Act but didn’t take up the funding bill.  

The U.S. House also passed a bill 217-207 permitting Biden to issue an energy emergency declaration blocking gasoline and home fuel price gouging. Despite the huge hue and cry from the GOP about inflation, no Republicans voted for the bill, and it has little chance of getting the necessary 60 percent of votes in the Senate. Four House Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the bill: Reps. Jared Golden (ME), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Stephanie Murphy (FL), and Kathleen Rice (NY). 

The partisan vote in the House of 222-203 on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 shows how the GOP supports white supremacy.

Republicans hate globalization and want to bring home manufacturing, but Senate Republicans will likely drop a small program to train workers in new careers if they lose jobs from offshoring. GOP legislators say the U.S. is not working on new trade deals with other countries although old trade deals are still in effect. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated that Republicans care very little “about people getting laid off because of bad trade deals and tax policy that encourages jobs to go overseas.”

As frustrated as Democrats are with the GOP, Republican splits are causing dissension within the party. Hardline tactics of the highly conservative House Freedom Caucus have forced recorded votes instead of voice votes on what should be noncontroversial bills; legislators forced to stay for the voting can’t leave to do other business. A heated confrontation during a 2.5-hour voting on 13 measures led to raised voices from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and caucus members Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA), the current chair. Witnesses reported that Rogers promised consequences for the Freedom Caucus members if they continue delaying tactics. Beyond virtuous comments about the need to review all legislature, the Freedom Caucus bragged that they slow down the Democrats’ “agenda.” Suspension bills need a two-thirds’ vote to pass, and some are failing because of GOP opposition. One required the VA to provide contraceptives without co-pays. The bill later later passed after the normal rules process. In another bill, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was the only member of the House to oppose a resolution calling on leaders to condemn anti-Semitism.  

The House January 6 investigation committee is heating up the media with more information about who worked to overturn Biden’s presidential election. With evidence that Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) led a tour of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021, the committee wrote him, asking for his testimony. GOP legislators had claimed that security footage shows “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on” in the complex on the days before the insurrection. The committee wants to know about “individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings, in advance of January 6, 2021.”

Both Loudermilk and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IA) denied any tour like that, stating “a constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’” They added, “The family never entered the Capitol building.” Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) accused Republicans of leading tours to people using them to help interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. She didn’t provide any names, and Loudermilk called anyone in Congress who made these claims “morally reprehensible and a stain on this institution.” He asked the House Ethics Committee to “take quick and decisive action to ensure this never happens again.” The committee’s evidence contradicts these denials and raises questions about Loudermilk’s tour and its purpose. He is also among those texting former chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election.

Note that Loudermilk and Davis lied with their claim of “no tours” for the past 16 months.

New committee findings include official White House photos from January 6 showing Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) activites on the day. The probe is also targeting DDT’s 11:20 am phone call with then-VP Mike Pence in a final push for him to overturn the election and DDT’s 2:24 pm attack tweet, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” At that time, the Secret Service was rushing Pence into an underground Capitol loading dock for protection from the mob. The committee perceives this tweet as the driver of the mob’s fury and worst violence as well as DDT’s indifference to it.

Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, billionaire Larry Ellison, co-founder/chair of the Oracle software company and the biggest backer of Elon Musk’s attempted Twitter takeover, participated in a call with Fox’s Sean Hannity, DDT’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, True the Vote’s attorney James Bopp Jr., and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) focusing on strategies for overturning the election. Ellison’s part may have been to assess Sidney Powell’s false claims about voting machines. He has been an active participant in a number of DDT’s conspiracy theories.  

Powell, well-known for her evidence-free claims of election fraud in multiple court cases, is now providing financial support for high-profile insurrectionists through donations to her non-profit, Defending the Republic. One of them, Kelly Meggs, is an Oath Keeper facing seditious conspiracy charges who has a new lawyer after her former one, Jonathan Moseley, was disbarred in Virginia for improper billing practices. In 2009, Virginia suspended his law license for frivolous discovery requests and false statements about the judge in the case. On January 6 he was in a restricted area at the Capitol but said he didn’t notice.

Known as the “Kraken,” Powell is also paying to defend Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and another Oath Keeper, Kenneth Harrelson, from the network of militia-style groups created in 2009 after Barack Obama’s first presidential election. A few dozen face criminal charges for the January 6 insurrection, and 12 of them have been charged with seditious conspiracy for allegedly plotting to use violence to stop the transfer of power to Joe Biden.

Powell was responsible for a far-reaching set of conspiracy theories about the non-existent election fraud from billionaire George Soros to the involvement of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez who died in 2013. The committee subpoenaed Powell, and Dominion Voting Systems is suing her for $1.3 billion. She is also facing disbarment in Texas from allegations that she violated rules of professional conduct prohibiting attorneys from making false statements, using false evidence, bringing frivolous lawsuits, and taking a position that causes “unreasonabl[e] delays” or “burdens” and “engag[ing] in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”

Another DDT shyster lawyer and architect to overturn Biden’s election, Rudy Giuliani, testified to the House committee for nine hours.

Emails show Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas pushing two Arizona state lawmakers to overturn Biden’s win in that state by picking their own electors contrary to the popular vote. The justice is also godfather to the son of Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, married to one of the lawmakers, and the lawmaker, Shawnna Bolick, is a candidate for the secretary of state. Incestuous? Definitely a loss of democracy for Arizona’s voters if she’s elected.

May 13, 2022

5th Circuit Denies 1st Amendment Rights, January 6 Investigation Broadens

With no explanation, two Fifth Circuit judges, one nominated by Ronald Reagan and the other by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), supported a new Texas law to control private business. The dissenting judge, appointed by George W. Bush, is considered a “liberal” compared to the rabidly right circuit court. Republicans retaliated against their misguided liberal bias perception of ”Big Tech” by forcing large social media companies to disseminate objectionable speech such as dangerous misinformation, foreign propaganda, and hateful expression and permitting anyone to file lawsuits combatting content moderation. These corporations have lost their First Amendment rights although H.B. 20 sponsors claim the legislation is vital to keep “West Coast oligarchs” from silencing “conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

The GOP permitted “smaller” conservative platforms such as Parler and Gab to keep their First Amendment rights, but large companies are even blocked from posting warnings on their own websites for subjects with violence, vulgarity, disinformation, etc. Targeted companies must also submit a great deal of information to the state about algorithms, curation, and account suspension. Twice each year they must also provide a “transparency report” with every “action” taken against “content.” Anytime a company “removes content,” it must present a complex process of notice and appeal. Another provision prevents companies from blocking spam on emails, allowing users to daily collect $25,000 for impeding “the transmission of an unsolicited or commercial electronic mail message.”

YouTube will be forced to accept neo-Nazi and KKK videos promoting racism; Twitter will have to accept ISIS fighters’ terrorist advocacy; and Facebook must allow Russian propaganda about Ukraine. Only illegal incitement and “unlawful” speech can be suppressed, a very small percentage of hateful or violent expression because even intimidation and promotion of illegal conduct are allowed under the First Amendment.

Currently, large platforms use automated editorial tools to remove billions of posts and comments every year. They lack resources to review and resolve each appeal, especially within the 14-day limit. Companies can stop monitoring content, but all complaints of “illegal content” must be assessed within 48 hours. And the law prevents social media companies from providing services in Texas.

The ruling is completely against the First Amendment rights guaranteed to social media companies, according to the Supreme Court, especially Citizens United which gave rights to almost unlimited political donations because of free speech. “Editorial control and judgment” is speech shielded by the Constitution even if it discriminates against a specific group. While on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ruled that the government cannot “tell Twitter or YouTube what videos to post” or “tell Facebook or Google what content to favor.” Also, a government cannot force corporations to disclose information in an “unjustified or unduly burdensome” manner.

Last December, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman blocked the Texas law because social media platforms are not “common carriers” like telephone companies and postal services that “merely facilitate the transmission of speech of others.” Common carriers have far greater regulation because they don’t engage in expression and may hold monopoly power. Those carriers, however, don’t exercise editorial control. Pitman followed U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling in Florida on a similar law. Hinkle also ruled that penalizing content moderation violates Section 230, the federal law limiting platforms’ liability over their content.

Judge Edith Jones declared that the plaintiffs, websites, “are not websites.” Although appointed 37 years ago, she’s only 73 and should know better—especially if she’s going to rule on the subject. Judge Andrew Oldham worried that overturning H.B. 20 “would allow phone companies to kick off users.” He formerly clerked for Samuel Alito.

One choice for the tech companies is leaving Texas–except the law prevents them from doing that.

The new Texas ruling immediately lifted an injunction against the law without ruling on its merits, meaning that it can go into effect until future action. Plaintiffs NetChoice and CCIA filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court and asked for amicus briefs. They argue that H.B. 20 is unconstitutional, compelling private businesses to carry speech they would otherwise remove. Chris Marchese, counsel for NetChoice, said:

“The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam. Left standing, Texas HB 20 will turn the First Amendment on its head—to violate free speech, the government need only claim to be ‘protecting’ it.”

Marchese added:

“Texas HB 20 strips private online businesses of their speech rights, forbids them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and forces them to publish and promote objectionable content.”

The request is for the Supreme Court to reinstate the injunction on the law while appeals work through the full Fifth Circuit. Without that happening tech giants such as Meta, YouTube, and Twitter will suffer “irreparable harm.” Justice Clarence Thomas has already said that telephone companies are just like “digital platforms” because they both operate on physical wires. He and the two judges ruling against the tech companies ignore the fact that telephone calls are private; social media messages are designed to be communicated to the world.

The last time the Supreme Court was asked to reinstate an injunction, its “shadow docket” refused to do so, leaving the egregious anti-choice law in place while it is adjudicated. Justice Samuel Alito, liaison to the Fifth Circuit court, is responsible for deciding whether to unilaterally rule or refer the case to the full court.

The Texas case could now be decided on the court’s shadow docket, through which it issues orders without hearing arguments. The decision of whether to take up the case in this way is now up to Justice Samuel Alito, who is assigned to the Fifth Circuit. He will decide whether to rule unilaterally or refer the case to the full court. If the court does take up the case, the decision could come within days.

Did I mention that the law mandates all the social media companies continue to do business in Texas?

The House investigation committee into January 6 insurrection and overturning the election keeps chugging along, and emails from John Eastman, a pet DDT lawyer, reveals more of the corruption. He urged Pennsylvania GOP legislators to recount the state’s vote and trash tens of thousands of absentee ballots to show DDT won. By doing this, legislators would have “some cover” in replacing Biden’s electors with those supporting DDT and overturn the election results. According to his suggestion, GOP legislators could just express a concern with the state’s absentee ballot procedures and use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.” That leaves them “with a significant lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote.” Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes.

The committee obtained Eastman’s emails from the University of Colorado where he was a visiting professor. On December 4, 2020, Eastman wrote Pennsylvania state Rep. Russ Diamond to change the language of his proposed resolution, hiding Eastman’s participation, and explained how to do. Later Eastman said that then-VP Mike Pence could merely refuse to count Biden’s electors on January 6, 2021. The House committee has been in court a number of times trying to get Eastman’s emails sent through another previous employer, Chapman University. 

The House investigative committee has subpoenaed five GOP members: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Jim Jordan (OH), Mo Brooks (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), and Scott Perry (PA). Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that they learned that these colleagues have relevant information on the January 6 attack “and the events leading up to it.” McCarthy had pulled all his nominations for the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected Jordan.

The DOJ has opened a grand jury investigation into the classified documents that DDT took to Mar-a-Lago when he moved out of the White House and subpoenaed the documents from the National Archives.

In Georgia, fake GOP electors are cooperating with the criminal probe as prosecutors investigate DDT’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Fulton County DA Fani Willis is attempting to determine their connection with a broader, illegal plot to pressure election officials and overturn Biden’s win of over 11,000 votes. DDT has made his loss the basis for GOP primaries there, especially for governor and state secretary of state, and the incumbents running in the election, Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger wouldn’t give in to his begging.

After Vernon Jones, DDT’s endorsement for Georgia’s governor, quit, DDT moved to supporting David Perdue who lost his senate seat last year to Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue lost support of law enforcement when he denigrated the state troopers in an awkward attempt to blame Kemp, and DDT is growing disillusioned because Perdue came out 16 points below Kemp in the most recent poll. Thursday a judge dismissed Perdue’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results, because his evidence didn’t go beyond “speculation, conjecture, and paranoia.”

In a defiant action, DDT’s former VP, Mike Pence, will hold a rally with Kemp on May 23, the night before Georgia’s primary, with Kemp. Pence called his candidate, who refuses to support the lie of election fraud in a “stolen” election, “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.” Headed toward a presidential run, Pence also criticized DDT for admiring Russian President Vladimir Putin.

January 30, 2022

DeSantis for President?

Since November 2020, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has been operating a two-pronged attack—overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate presidency and run an underground campaign to be elected in 2024. Thus far, the first one has failed, and his leadership in the lies and violence is daily becoming exposed. A poll has revealed that his chances in 2024 may be diminishing. Although almost as many Republicans support him as several months ago, the percentage of those who support him for a presidential candidate has dropped by over 20 percent. Watching a failing DDT, competition is growing. Not one, of course, would ever say they will run against DDT, but three of them are working overtime to out-Trump DDT.

For months, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has been the pack leader. Of Republicans, 69 percent said DDT should run again for president, but without him, 30 percent support DeSantis. The governor’s most popular DDT position features COVID—at least DDT’s position before he realized that Republicans were dying off at a far more rapid rate than Democrats because, thanks to DDT’s anti-vax attitude until recently, 56 percent of Republicans aren’t vaccinated as of a month ago, compared to 92 percent of Democrats. 

DeSantis’ promotion of COVID in his state, including banning mask mandates and touting monoclonal antibody treatments instead of vaccinations, mades Florida below only six other states in the number of COVID infections per capita. Almost 65,000 Floridians have died of COVID, and over 25 percent of the population has contracted the coronavirus. And those figures come after officials tweaked numbers of infections and deaths to make them appear more favorable to DeSantis. Currently, he is fighting the federal government for removing his preferential Regeneron treatment, a huge moneymaker for his biggest donor. This monoclonal treatment doesn’t affect the new Omicron variant, causing almost 100 percent of COVID cases in England, but DeSantis wants taxpayers to pay $1 billion for the treatments instead of $10 million for vaccinations which are more effective.

One mystery about DeSantis is where he was for a couple of weeks at the end of December in the midst of shattering new records of infections with 1000-percent spike in cases. He said he was caring for his wife, recently diagnosed with cancer, but at his speech after reemerging, he had difficulty breathing, sweat profusely, looked wobbly, and struggled to read his notes in a wavery voice. (Video here.)  Fatigue? Brain fog? Who knows.  

DeSantis is so negligent about COVID that he changed the expiration date on one million COVID rapid tests from last summer to this coming March. He had stockpiled the tests and claimed people shouldn’t bother getting tested and handpicked his new surgeon general, who has yet to be confirmed, to be anti-vaccination and anti-testing. Some facts about Joseph Ladapo, who has yet to be confirmed for the position after over four months:

  • Helped lead the state movement to ban mask mandates at schools and private businesses.
  • Refuses to say whether COVID vaccinations are beneficial, but writing that the vaccine risks may outweigh the benefits. Unvaccinated people have 68 percent times the risk of dying from COVID than fully vaccinated people.
  • Would not say whether he regretted not wearing a mask in the presence of state Sen. Tina Polsky, diagnosed with cancer, during a confirmation interview.
  • Declined to answer questions about putting Orange County’s top public health official, Dr. Raul Pino, on leave for criticizing over half the department’s 568 employees who aren’t vaccinated. 
  • Participated with a group of doctors supporting unproven COVID therapies as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. One of his colleagues in the group claims having sex with demons during dreams causes endometriosis.
  • Opposes mass COVID testing so that people can “be living.” He made this announcement from a podium with the sign, “Early Treatment Saves Lives.”
  • Makes $437,000 a year for his job and for teaching at the University of Florida thanks to the Board of Trustees chair and millionaire developer, a big donor to DeSantis campaigns. Of that sum, taxpayers pay $250,000.
  • Lied when he said he treated COVID patients at UCLA.

DeSantis doesn’t keep to COVID in demonstrating his DDT-style incompetence, divisiveness, authoritarianism, and morally degenerative behavior.  

Freedom of speech: He tried to block university students and professors who objected voting rights. 

Protesting: His “anti-riot” legislation outlawed two or more people standing together in protest but exonerates anyone driving “into protesters who are blocking a road.” https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/defining-deviancy-down-politics-edition   

Private business rights: His law, blocked in the courts, prohibited social media platforms “banning political candidates or ‘journalistic enterprises’ from their services”—directly applying to DDT.

Voter suppression: Like governors in 18 other states, DeSantis signed voter oppression laws which block some use of ballot drop boxes, give partisan poll watchers new powers, and create difficulty in vote-by-mail. The justification is three voter-fraud incidents by DDT’s supporters in the past two years.  

Election fraud: He plans to create an “Office of Election Crimes and Security,” DeSantis ignored the real election fraud electing three Republicans. Dark money in a mysterious PAC elected three “ghost” candidates in three-way races to draw votes from Democratic incumbents in tight re-election races. One of them, bribed with $44,000 by a former GOP lawmaker, had the same name as the Democrat who lost by 32 votes. That “ghost” was fined and censured, but DeSantis said nothing, perhaps because the same donor for the ghosts gave DeSantis hundreds of thousands of dollars. DeSantis did reward the donor, a utility company, by permitting them the use of dirty fuel sources and a $1.5 billion rate increase for Floridians. The $6 million budget and 52 investigators would be bigger than most of the state’s police departments—but won’t be investigating Republicans.

Personal Guard: DeSantis also wants $3.5 million to reestablish a World War II-era civilian military force disbanded in 1947 that only he controls—not the Pentagon, that is “not encumbered by the federal government.”

Campaign fraud: The Florida media reported that he uses the government-owned plane for “campaign-style events,” and a government watchdog group thinks he is “blurring the lines.” The plane cost $15 million to purchase and over $3 million a year to operate.

DeSantis now has a “reactionary and authoritarian” proposal called the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act. It bans schools and employers from making students and employees feel any “discomfort” because “of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.” Like similar laws in other states, its purpose is to make white supremacists feel comfortable about their privilege by eliminating Black history. The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial about the bill:

“It perpetuates two persistent great lies: That racism did not have a major influence on American history and that it is not an issue now. That is the current dogma of DeSantis’s Republican Party in its determination to retain the allegiance of white voters who are terrified of losing social and political dominance to changing demographics. Demonization of critical race theory, by making it into a boogeyman, is one front in the Republican culture wars. DeSantis would make Floridians ignorant of the most troublesome aspects of our past, present and future.”

As the editorial board wrote, DeSantis “knows critical race theory isn’t being taught in the schools,” but is lying about the issue anyway. The editorial said DeSantis’ bill was the worst one since Tennessee outlawed the teaching of evolution 96 years ago. The result of that one was called “the monkey trial.” DeSantis’ bill allows parents and employees to sue and act as vigilantes, as they can regarding abortion in Texas.

DeSantis himself has a racist history. About gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, a Black man, DeSantis said he would “monkey this up” in Florida and referred to Puerto Rican Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, elected to Congress, as “whatever she is.” He appeared with Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon at a Muslim-bashing event and moderated a Facebook page for racist memes, for example accusing Michele Obama of being a man. He endorsed Sebastian Gorka who has ties to a Hungarian far-right group collaborating with Nazis. Among DeSantis’ anti-immigrant positions is increasing punishments for undocumented migrants after one mentally-ill immigrant accidentally killed someone. One of his major campaign ads for governor was teaching his toddler son about “building the wall” although Florida has no land border with any other country. DeSantis’ wife, Casey, appeared at an event with a Barack Obama “birther” with ties to the anti-Muslim extremist who also ran the racist Facebook group that DeSantis moderated.

For over a month, DDT has focused on attacking DeSantis, first calling him “gutless” for not admitting he’s had a COVID booster shot and then saying he is an ingrate with a “dull personality” with no charisma and no chance of winning in 2024 without his help. As time goes on, he may have to diversify his insulting. Door Two and Three? Perhaps Virginia’s new governor Glenn Youngkin and Fox’s Tucker Carlson. More about them later.

January 20, 2022

Subpoenas Continue to Pour Out in January 6 Investigation

More shoes have dropped from the centipede in the House January 6 committee as it seeks testimony from witnesses to instigators of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The committee has asked Ivanka Trump, daughter of now Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and a former government official who swore to protect the constitution, for voluntary testimony regarding her knowledge about DDT’s actions before, during, and after the attempt to block reading of the Electoral College votes certifying Joe Biden’s election as president. According to evidence, Trump was present when her father tried to push Pence into rejecting votes for Biden and enlisted in White House aides’ attempt to persuade DDT to call off his supporters rioting at the Capitol. Other questions for Trump would be whether her father tried to block the National Guard deployment to the attack and if DDT “took appropriate action regarding the continuing threats of violence” in the days after the insurrection.

Trump was at the White House for all day on January 6, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he called her during the riot, asking for her help with her father. She told Graham she was trying to get her him to make a statement to stop his supporters. Former chief of staff Mark Meadows also called her for help, saying, “We’ve got to get this under control.”

The committee’s letter to Trump reveals information about her father. There is no evidence that DDT took any action for assistance at the Capitol, including deploying the National Guard or calling any law enforcement agency. Testimony from Gen. Keith Kellogg reveals the White House was worried about putting DDT on live TV during the insurrection for fear he would make the disaster even worse. DDT also pushed VP Mike Pence into making the “hard decision” to overturn Biden’s election, according to Kellogg, by trying to humiliate him. DDT’s White House counsel likely determined that Pence’s following DDT’s plans would be illegal or violate the U.S. Constitution. An unidentified member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus warned the White House that following DDT’s plans would “drive a stake in the heart of the federal republic.”

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has already told the January 6 committee about DDT’s secret meetings at the White House in the week preceding the insurrection. Grisham resigned from her position as Melania Trump’s chief of staff on January 6. She said Meadows scheduled the off-the-book meetings, known to only a few aides, and the former chief usher Timothy Harleth waved participants upstairs. Before going to the White House, Harleth was the director of rooms at the Trump International Hotel. He was almost fired after the election when tried to gain favor with Biden during the transition, but Melania Trump insisted on keeping him employed until Biden’s inauguration. DDT had increasingly stayed in his White House residency to work during his term to avoid being watched by aides. The committee is also seeking information from the Secret Service regarding DDT’s marching with supporters from the Ellipse to the Capitol as he promised the crowd.

The panel sent several subpoenas including to DDT’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis who defended DDT’s lies in court and traveled to a number of states to encourage legislators and electors to overturn the Electoral College votes. Two others receiving subpoenas are Boris Epshteyn, a former DDT campaign strategic adviser, and Sidney Powell, another attorney leading failed lawsuits against the big lie of a stolen election.

Giuliani, whose license has been suspended in New York and Washington, D.C. for his lies, has been identified as the coordinator for fake electors in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin to prepare false Electoral College certificates in their attempt to overthrow the 2020 election in favor of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). He publicly said these rival (aka false) slates were appropriate and necessary and was helped by Christina Bobb, an anchor from the conservative One America News. Former administration officials’ campaign was to recruit replacements for electors who didn’t want to participate in the scheme, distribute the fake language for certificates, and help electors gain access to Capitol buildings.

Leaders maintained that the fake certificates emulated Democratic actions six decades ago in a close race in Hawaii. In the state’s first election, a court found that the count favoring Richard Nixon was inaccurate but had not established that fact before certificates were required to be submitted on December 19. Both slates were submitted, and Congress unanimously voted to accept the certificate for John F. Kennedy. Presiding over the session, VP Richard Nixon accepted the decision “without the intent of establishing a precedent.” Hawaii had three electoral votes; JFK won by 84 votes, including those three.

The subpoena for Giuliani also demands evidence for his claims about the “stolen election” and specifics about the fees he was paid as attorney to push his false claims. A report had stated DDT didn’t pay the fees for Giuliani’s legal work, and DDT has paid nothing for Giuliani’s legal defense. The subpoena also requires information about the conspiracies used in the attempt to seize voting machines and the meetings at the “command center” at the Willard Hotel prior to January 6 to coordinate the overturn of the Electoral College votes.

Jenna Ellis, Giuliani’s close colleague, “prepared and circulated two memos purporting to analyze the constitutional authority for the Vice President to reject or delay counting electoral votes from states that had submitted alternate slates of electors,” according to the January 6 committee. Michigan AG Dana Nessel maintained the false electoral vote certificates were “an open-and-shut case of forgery of a public record.” New Mexico AG Hector Balderas also referred the fake certificate to federal prosecutors, and Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul said the federal government should investigate any illegal act furthering “seditious conspiracy.”

Epshteyn said he had conference calls with the legal team for discussions of alternate slates “in total congruence with the overall effort to send it back to the states” because of “rampant fraud across the country.” He was also at the Willard Hotel “command center” with Giuliani and others who have received subpoenas. A federal court in Michigan sanctioned Powell because her lawsuit against the state’s voting results was based on “speculation and conjecture.” She called it an “historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”

About the alternative slate and false certificates, former chief of staff Mark Meadows texted, “I love it!” DDT’s sycophant in the DOJ, drafted a letter to Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, that lied about the DOJ believing these false electors were valid rivals, but Kemp’s supervisors rejected Clark’s letter. Kemp had already certified Biden’s elector, but Clark said the letter was legal. At the same time, DDT’s attorney John Eastman had written memos describing ways VP Mike Pence could use the false electoral college certificates to declare that seven states had no winner for the presidential election. The proposal became a PowerPoint presentation for many GOP congressional members. Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short has testified that his and Pence’s legal team found no legal basis in Eastman’s proposal to accept any DDT electors from states voting for Biden. At least 86 judges, including the nine Supreme Court justices, had reject all efforts to overturn the election’s results.

Other subpoenas issued by the House investigative committee:

Nick Fuentes: a self-described “white majoritarian” and supporter of the insurrection who was removed from several social media platforms for hate speech; leader in the “groyper” movement comprised of of young reactionary far-right nationalists white nationalist, homophobic, nativist, fascist, sexist, and anti-Semitic believers.

Patrick Casey: like Fuentes, an organizer of far-right rallies in Washington, D.C. and leader of the white nationalist American Identity Movement and also of the Groyper movement; also with Fuentes, receiving “tens of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin from a French computer programmer” being investigated by the FBI for links to the Capitol attack or other illegal activity.

Phone records for Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. 

Records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit.

Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows are still refusing to cooperate with the investigation and have ben referred to the DOJ on criminal contempt charges.

Fulton County (GA) Fani Willis is continuing her probe into DDT’s alleged election fraud by requesting a special grand jury to investigate his efforts to swing the state’s election to his favor. On January 2, he called state Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ask him to “find” just enough votes to create a win for DDT. Willis is also investigating the unexpected resignation of Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor, Byung J. “BJay” Pak, two days after DDT’s call and a call from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to Raffensperger about the election. The grand jury would force the testimony of several witnesses refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the “reasonable probability” that Georgia’s election in 2020 “was subject to possible criminal disruptions.”

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