Nel's New Day

November 14, 2022

News Avoiding the Election, Mostly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 8, 2022

Supreme Court Addresses Race, Rights

SCOTUS will hear two more landmark cases this week. The first, on November 8, decides whether over 76 million low-income people in the U.S. could be stripped of Medicaid healthcare. The majority of justices, even some conservative ones, seemed reluctant to gut the program by saying that people couldn’t file a lawsuits for their rights under the law although they may determine that nursing home residents can use only administrative process to enforce the law. At this time, Section 1983 permits lawsuits for the enforcement. Only JusticesClarence Thomas and Samuel Alito might disagree. Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed to join the three other women while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh just asked about how Medicaid law should be enforced, appearing to assume that the law is enforceable.

A “conditional grant” program, Medicaid provides money to states, $670 billion in 2020, and funding includes general requirements governing its operation. In Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, the plaintiffs are suing the Indiana health system for using psychotropic drugs as “convenience” to keep Gorgi Talevski, a dementia patient, docile with psychotropic drugs, a violation of Medicaid law. The health system asks the Supreme Court to remove all ability for patients to bring lawsuits for law violations protecting nursing home patients.

Making Medicaid law unenforceable would remove the legal requirement that patients receive coverage and overturn a half-century of precedents, something the conservative Supremes is comfortable doing, by returning to decisions from the 1800s. A decision against Medicaid leaves patients open to abuse from health providers and state health officials. Three justices have already argued that “the modern jurisprudence permitting [Medicaid] beneficiaries to sue does not generally apply to contracts between a private party and the government.” Technically, any government official, such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis could remove health benefits from a class of people, violating federal law but blocking people from suing for their rights.

In another case before SCOTUS this week, justices will decide whether children can be removed from families in the Native American tribes. The government forced Indian children into boarding schools or white families with the purpose to assimilate and Christianize them until blocked by the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Before the law, 25 percent to 35 percent of all Native children had been removed from their family and put into foster homes, adoptive homes, or institutions. They lost their language, culture, and religion.

Three families are arguing against ICWA before the Supreme Court, one of them a white evangelical couple taking a Navajo and Cherokee 10-month-old in 2016 to “rectify our blessings.” They were told they couldn’t adopt the baby because of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) but went to court a year later to fight ICWA. The tribe finally backed down. Federal law requires all removed children to be placed with family, if at all possible, but a Native Minnesota woman was forced to fight in the courts for years to be allowed to take her grandchild. The Supreme Court could take her child away from her. Cases of children who don’t need to be removed and overlooked relatives as foster placements are common, especially in Black and Indigenous families.

The plaintiffs are supported by wealthy, well-oiled right-wing organizations claiming that keeping Native children with members of their tribes is race discrimination against non-Native parents and an overly intrusive federal government. Native Americans maintain that tribes need their children for their continued existence. The case goes far beyond keeping children in their culture; it could go down the path to remove tribal rights beyond child welfare: water, land, gaming, policing, and Native sovereignty itself. Defendants argue that the case is not about racial discrimination but about political status, that they are “members of quasi-sovereign tribal entities whose lives and activities are governed by the BIA in a unique fashion.” Tribes have their Indian Health Services clinics, courts, elections, and police forces. The right-wing groups could erase these. In short, conservative whites want to eliminate Native American heritage.

Last week, the Supremes discussed stripping any part of race from college admissions. Two key cases concerned policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Republicans have worked toward that end for several decades, and the use of race has been greatly watered down. Both education experts and the public agree that racially diverse college campuses benefit all students, but the public wants it to happen by magic without “discriminating” against whites. Asian Americans support affirmative action to diversity populations, but right-wingers use them as the victims of the practice.

One person who doesn’t believe in diversity is Justice Clarence Thomas, who acknowledges that affirmative action policies helped his entrance into Yale University and called it “the taint of racial preference.” It most likely put him on the Supreme Court in 1991 when he took the position left by Thurgood Marshall. Four other conservative justices received privilige affirmative action, and Barrett was awarded her job with millions of dark money advertising for her appointment and confirmation.

The six conservative Supremes seemed ready to toss the use of race in a factor in college admissions. Barrett said, “Achieving diversity and diverse student populations in universities has been difficult.” Her solution is to not bothering to solve it. Justice Brett Kavanaugh also wants to know how to stop affirmative action. The conservative approach toward racism is to declare it doesn’t exist; Justice Samuel Alito maintains it victimizes white people.

White supremacists want to do away with affirmative action because elite universities are the conduits to leadership in government, politics, and private business as well as higher incomes and economic mobility. Keeping schools white keeps control of these areas white. Of lawyers arguing before SCOTUS, 81 percent are white and three-fourths are male. 

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case because she sits on the school’s board but pointed out that students get into schools because of their family ties. She asked why lineage put one student into the school but denied the lineage of the other one because slavery or discrimination prohibited their ancestors were attending.  

This week, Jackson wrote her first opinion on the high court, a two-page dissent over the court’s refusal to hear a death row inmate appeal. She stated the lower court applied the wrong legal standard and should review the case. Names of the refusers are not made public, but court rules means that fewer than four justices voted to hear it. Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined Jackson’s dissent. The man on death row asserted that prosecutors didn’t tell him that their key witness had a serious intellectual disability. Jackson pointed out that the GOP majority of justices doesn’t always bother with existing law and longstanding legal principles.

While hearing cases, justices are also accepting and rejecting appeals:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) must testify before the Fulton County (GA) grand jury regarding criminal election interference about his statements about finding ballots after DDT’s 2020 loss in the state. Thomas gave him a short reprieve in his appeal from his failed decisions from a federal district court and the 11th Circuit Court, but the Supreme Court rejected his request to block the subpoena. Graham may be questioned as soon as November 17; he can invoke the 5th Amendment to avoid self-incrimination, incriminating on its own. The background.

Roberts accepted DDT’s emergency appeal to block a House committee from obtaining his IRS records by creating a temporary hold on the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court ruling that the committee has broad authority to obtain tax returns: the committee has authority over taxation law. Roberts indicated it gives SCOTUS time to weigh the issues. The committee needs to respond by November 10. In 2019, the Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, obtained DDT’s personal and business tax records as part of a criminal investigation. At that time, the Supreme Court rejected DDT’s arguments of having broad presidential immunity. No other resident of the White House has denied making his tax returns public.

Justice Elena Kagan ordered a temporary block after an emergency appeal from Arizona’s GOP chair Kelli Ward to stop the House January 6 investigative committee from receiving phone and text records until SCOTUS settles the issue. The 9th Circuit Court had confirmed a U.S. district judge’s decision approving the committee receiving the records. Requested records do not include content or location information. Ward and her husband, Michael Ward, served as DDT’s fake electors for the state and talked to DDT and his staff members about Arizona’s election certification. In her testimony before the committee, she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights not to answer questions because her answers would incriminate her.

Last Friday, Barrett declined to block President Joe Biden’s student relief plan—for the second time. This decision leaves student loan forgiveness on hold from a separate challenge brought by six GOP-led states after an 8th Circuit Court judge granted a stay. As of last week, 26 million people applied for the program. Those behind the lawsuits suffer from a lack of standing, proof that the loan relief brings them harm. Private loans are not being canceled, leaving their lenders such as Pacific Legal Foundation with no reason to object. The two Indiana borrowers claiming they would be harmed because the state would make them pay taxes on the forgiveness aren’t required to participate in loan relief, leaving them without standing. Meanwhile applicants must wait for a ruling because six states are also suing.  

Tomorrow’s topic: whither democracy.

November 5, 2022

Standard Time Returns Morning Light, DDT Brings Dark

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

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

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

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

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

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

More of DDT’s legal problems:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22, 2022

DDT’s Troubles Multiply

The House January 6 investigative committee has issued a formal subpoena for testimony and documents from Deposed Donald Trump (DDT): November 4 is the deadline for materials related to DDT’s efforts to overturn the election, and November 14 is the closing date for his testimony. Part of the 10-page statement from Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY):

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”

Steve Bannon’s four-month prison sentence for refusing a subpoena, the first conviction for contempt of Congress, is an example if DDT doesn’t show up. Bannon is upset about even a light sentence from a DDT-appointed judge for his crime and called it “radically partisan.” Supposedly DDT told advisers he’d be willing to testify live before the committee, but they don’t expect him to follow through.

DDT can delay the subpoenas through the courts as he usually does, “testify” by using the Fifth Amendment not to answer which incriminates him, refuse the subpoena in contempt of court making him look like a coward, or answer questions—which has a one percent of doing. Any one of the four leaves him open to criminal proceedings.

Nineteen categories of document requests including communications with Roger Stone, former Secret Service agent Anthony Ornato, attorneys John Eastman and Sidney Powell, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and over a dozen other officials, associates, and members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. The committee also wants the “information sufficient to identify every telephone or other communications device” DDT used from November 3, 2020, to January 20, 2021 and specifies communications conducted on Signal—an encrypted phone messaging application—on any personal devices, or any communications conducted by any other means.

Some of DDT’s alleged actions in the committee’s three-page letter to him:

“Purposely and maliciously disseminating false allegations of fraud,” “attempting to corrupt the Department of Justice,” “illegally pressuring state officials and legislators,” “orchestrating and overseeing” the fake-electors scheme,” “corruptly pressuring your own Vice President,” “pressuring Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors from several states,” “filing false information, under oath, in federal court,” and summoning and deploying his followers “knowing they were angry and some were armed.”

“In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself.”

Requesting a president to testify before Congress is not unprecedented. After they left office, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford testified. President Richard Nixon provided evidence in response to congressional subpoenas, and sitting presidents Abraham Clinton and Bill Clinton testified. President Roosevelt explained:

“An ex-President is merely a citizen of the United States, like any other citizen, and it is his plain duty to try to help this committee or respond to its invitation.”

The public now knows that some of the highly sensitive documents seized left lying around at Mar-a-Lago included intelligence about Iran and China, one about Iran’s missile program, that could expose methods of gathering information necessary to keep hidden. Leaks could cause retaliation against the U.S. Some of the documents are so sensitive that FBI personnel and DOJ attorneys “required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents.” Classified documents are still missing, according to the National Archives. Maybe at his Bedminster golf resort?  

Fox network compared these materials to “mementos” and compared them to “overdue library books.” DDT has returned to the National Archives and the FBI of trying to frame him by planting the documents.

No criminal referral to the DOJ has been issued—yet. But the DOJ doesn’t have to have a recommendation from Congress to indict DDT.

DDT is also squabbling with his own “special master,” Raymond Dearie, about whether a few records are “personal” and “privileged.” In a phone call with both sides, Dearie said he didn’t understand how DDT could claim records are in both categories. DDT claims that documents, including immigration policies, are his personal property, but the DOJ disagrees. The agency asserts that all documentary materials created or received by a president, his staff, or his office in the course of official activities are government property and thus should go to the National Archives. Dearie said that DDT’s legal team hadn’t provided substance to explain his claims. DOJ said that a former president cannot use executive privilege to keep executive branch materials from executive branch criminal investigators. DDT hadn’t designated documents as personal while in the White House.

After reviewing hundreds of attorney John Eastman’s emails, which he claimed were “privileged,” U.S. District Court Judge David Carter determined the committee may have some of them because they were “sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States.” One email informed DDT that some of his allegations and voter fraud “evidence” in the Georgia election lawsuit were wrong. Last March, Carter had ruled that DDT and Eastman “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history.”

DDT knew there was no stolen election, no huge voter fraud. Yet he has lied for two years and fed the same lies to his chosen candidates. Much to the frustration of GOP leadership, he warns Republicans against early and mail-in voting, telling them to wait until Election Day to cast their ballots. According to Carter, Eastman cannot keep confidential communication private because they were part of an attempt to commit a crime or fraud. Carter concluded the communications were to further illegal conduct.

One of the emails from former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann responded to a comment about his edits in Eastman’s emails:

“I will review now. I didn’t send John edits, I explained that I was concerned about the President signing a verification about facts that may not be sustainable upon detailed scrutiny.” 

The newly-revealed emails confirm that DDT signed a court statement under oath, verifying his lies about voter fraud. The bogus “evidence” was used to push the insurrection, incite violence used in attempts to overturn the election, and elect DDT’s chosen candidates in the primary. Other documents prove that DDT’s lawsuits in swing states were only to delay the Electoral College results certification, not for legal relief.

DDT has used his Truth Social to lambast the judiciary. He called Carter a “partisan hack” and judges in John Durham’s inability to find DDT’s supposed truth “biased.” To Republicans, all their failures are a fraud. After DDT quietly sat for a deposition in the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial, he reposted pieces from Rumble to smear her and repeated the insults about her that led to the defamation lawsuit, leading to more proof for Carroll’s claims.

Considering Tony Ornato a “person of interest,”the House committee plans to interview the former Secret Service official and then White House Deputy Chief of Staff, despite his resignation from the government.  resigned after stalling on a second interview. The concerns were whether Secret Service agents refused to drive DDT to the Capitol on January 6 and the accusation that DDT’s supporters were armed at the rally. Documents support these claims that the Secret Service denied in more lies to federal investigators.

In a newly released audio from by journalist Bob Woodward, DDT claims better rapport with world leaders who are “tougher and meaner.” He talked about liking Russian President Vladimir Putin and gets along well with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan although he commented that people say he’s a “horrible guy.”

For almost two hours, DDT rehashed his whining lies Saturday during a rally at the fairgrounds in Robstown (TX), including the “stolen election” and plans to sue the Pulitzer Prize board because of its 2018 awards for reporting the Russian interference. He’s having trouble finding venues for his rants: GOP operatives fear he’s alienating some voters, and the numbers at his rallies have been shrinking.

AG Letitia James finally served DDT for a $250 million lawsuit in New York state after he avoided process servers for three weeks. She finally got a court order permitting her to send them electronically. Oral arguments are set for October 31 to determine if the Trump Organization immediately needs an independent financial monitor that he appoints and oversees. DDT is also trying to shelter his assets by forming a new business, Trump Organization II, and possibly move it out of state. His lawyer Alina Habba has failed in moving the case to Manhattan’s Commercial Division. 

An early employee of Trump Media & Technology Group’s (TMTG) Will Wilkerson stated that DDT, who already had 90 percent of shares in the parent company for Truth Social, pressured executives to give their shares to his wife, Melania Trump, despite their losses in taxes. He fired one of them who refused. Both DDT’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, book equity from TMTG employees. CEO Devin Nunes, formerly DDT’s congressional leaker with no technological experience, also caused employees to quit because he berated them and brought in loyalists.

 The editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s very conservative Wall Street Journal wrote that DDT should be held to account for his attack on democracy. A conservative voter posted her comment about the GOP: “Where is the honor? Where is the integrity?”

October 13, 2022

Dark Clouds for DDT

October 13 gave Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) at least three huge blows.

In one sentence with no dissent, DDT’s handpicked Supreme Court denied DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon’s order permitting special master to review classified documents that FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago using a warrant. 

New York AG Letitia James asked a state court to freeze Trump Organization assets to keep them from being transferred outside of the state.  

The House January 6 investigative committee culminated its hearing, the last if the GOP takes the house, with a unanimous vote to subpoena DDT for testimony and documents from his administration. The subpoena expires at the end of 2022.

All nine committee members made presentations during the 153-minute hearing, some of it recaps. New video provided videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) desperately calling high-level officials for help when DDT rejected her pleas to call off his violent supporters. The hearing also replayed congressional speeches by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) explaining that DDT was responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

Other testimony added pieces of the puzzle:

The Secret Service knew DDT-supporters’ threats and plots of violence much earlier than they had previously admitted but provided no warning or cautionary strategy for protecting congressional members and the vice-president from the armed protesters.

Months before DDT’s losing election, video and social media posts from DDT’s allies such as Roger Stone and Steve Bannon prove they instructed DDT to proclaim he won the election if he loses because “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” They also knew about DDT’s plans to have his supporters storm the U.S. capitol.

Knowing he lost the election, DDT signed a flurry of military orders, requiring “the immediate withdrawal of troops from Somalia and Afghanistan.”  

Evidence shows that DDT knew Joe Biden won the presidency despite his public lies and DDT approved of the insurrection.

The committee will recall witnesses who already testified under oath to see if they lied about DDT’s actions on January 6.

More on DDT’s problems:

As DDT’s rallies shrink in size, they increase in hatred, anti-science, and bigotry. The Mesa (AZ) event last weekend was in a dirt field; DDT still owes the city almost $65,000 for a previous event as well as outstanding debts to Phoenix and Tucson.  

From the Nevada and Arizona rallies:  

  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said that all Blacks commit crimes and that only God changes the climate. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) defended Tuberville’s bigotry.
  • Jim Marchant, DDT’s endorsement for Nevada’s secretary of state, said that he’ll put DDT back into the White House and “take our country back” when we “get all our Secretaries of State elected.”
  • State GOP chair Michael McDonald claimed the “fake electors” were just standing up “for the rights of Nevadans.”
  • DDT demanded that Ukrainians immediately stop trying to destroy the Russian army invading their country.
  • And of course, “Lock her up!”

DDT’s legal fees are rapidly mounting, but they’re being picked up by donors through his Save America PAC and the RNC while he fails to fund GOP candidates as he promised. His incessant appeals is contributing to burnout with small donors, but the organizations are funneling large sums of money to DDT’s businesses and nonprofits created by former White House, including DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows.

New revelations:

DDT’s former lawyer Christina Bobb told the DOJ that another lawyer, Evan Corcoran, told her to sign the supposedly complete list of documents although she didn’t do the search. She signed the statement as a custodian rather than a lawyer which means she may not be subject to attorney-client privilege protections.  

DDT threatened to expose identities of confidential government sources from his first impeachment and still obsesses about this revenge fantasy, according to a Rolling Stone report by Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley. After the insurrection, he waved papers and complained about redactions, saying that people should see who “did it” to the president, and he continues to talk about getting “the names” into the public record.

When chances of overturning the election reduced, DDT and Meadows pushed the DOJ to declassify the binder with records of the FBI’s 2016 Russian investigation. Recently, DDT wanted to tell the Archives he would trade “his” documents for information on the Russian investigation, but his aides didn’t follow through. Blackmail is always the name of the game for DDT.  

A DDT aide told the FBI that DDT directed his moving White House records from storage to his apartment, a statement supported by surveillance tapes. Since his campaign in 2016, DDT has repeatedly demanded lengthy prison sentences for people who he believed mishandled classified materials, starting with Hillary Clinton, and promised “to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information.” He added, “No one will be above the law.”

At his Arizona rally, DDT said he had “a small number of boxes,” but they were his. Legal experts have said that he is admitting a crime. Documents dated after DDT left the White House may be mixed in with the other ones, indicating that DDT has handled the documents after he left office.

Without naming DDT, the National Archives refuted his claims that past presidents had mishandled White House records with the help of the agency. At his Nevada and Arizona rallies, DDT made these claims about former presidents of both parties from Reagan to Obama. He even invented the lie that George H.W. Bush’s records were stored in a combination Chinese restaurant and bowling alley “with no security and a broken door.” The Archives declared temporary storage always “met strict archival and security standards and have been managed and staffed exclusively by NARA employees.” Any insinuations that records were stored in substandard conditions “are false and misleading.” DDT also accused President Clinton of losing nuclear codes.

Assigned by AG Bill Barr, special counsel John Durham’s almost four-year investigation into Robert Mueller’s investigation, which DDT promised to be a bombshell, dribbles to an end with the trial of Igor Danchenko. Durham claims that the researcher fed information to former British spy Christopher Steele with allegations about DDT’s ties to Russia in 2016. The judge appeared skeptical about the charge. 

DDT’s wealthy investor friend Tom Barrack is on trial for his lobbying between DDT and the United Arab Emirates for DDT’s profit. Barrack also worked with Paul Manafort, who pled guilty to fraud and conspiracy, and met DDT through their association with sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. Influencer of Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, made Barracl a foreign agent, but he failed to register for this role as required by U.S. law.

DDT’s defamation suit against CNN accuses them of comparing him to the Nazis and Hitler as well as the “malice” of using the term “Big Lie” for his massive lying about a stolen election. As a public figure, he may have trouble proving his case against the media, especially with the precedent from a DDT-appointed judge who ruled that Fox network’s Tucker Carlson didn’t engage in slander because of the opinionated nature of his show.

In another defamation suit by E. Jean Carroll, DDT will be deposed on October 19. She claimed he raped her, and DDT denied it, calling her “a liar” and “not my type.” He said this libel and slander was part of his presidential duties. Two judges on a 2nd Circuit panel said Carroll couldn’t sue DDT for defamation but asked the D.C. Circuit Court to rule on whether DDT acted “outside the scope” of his position when he defamed Carroll by casting doubt on her credibility and demeaning her personal appearance. Carroll will bring a civil suits against DDT for a sexual assault because a recent New York law changes the statute of limitations.

A federal judge denied DDT’s motion to pause Carroll’s defamation suit. He also ruled that DDT couldn’t show a meaningful threat of irreparable injury if a stay is not put in place but that Carroll would suffer irreparable injury with a stay. Twenty months ago, the judge denied DDT’s request that the United States be substituted for DDT in the lawsuit.

The special master assigned to the Mar-a-Lago case about DDT’s stolen documents gave DDT until October 20 to prove why the seized unclassified materials are covered by executive privilege. The reason has to go beyond “I thought so.” 

One of DDT’s ongoing associates while he was in the White House is Chinese businessman Tao Liu, a fugitive from China and mastermind of a conspiracy defrauding thousands of investors with connections to Chinese and Latin American organized crime. His crimes cover the world.  The FBI monitored Liu because he allegedly worked with Chinese spies to buy access to U.S. political figures. The Secret Service didn’t screen Liu at Bedminster where he wandered in and out, and the government kept their encounters secret. In 2021, Liu was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty in a federal pled guilty in a federal conspiracy to bribe a U.S. official in a passport sting and money laundering.

This list of DDT’s legal problems is two months old but gives an excellent summary up to August 21, 2022.  

In an Atlantic article, Franklin Foer explains why Merrick Garland will likely indict DDT.

Remember! DDT said, “Nobody is above the law.”

 

October 7, 2022

News for the Week – October 6, 2022

Hurricane Ian has passed, and the House January 6 investigative committee has scheduled a hearing for October 13 at 1:00 pm EST. They picked the time because Fox network refuses to film hearings during evening prime time.

Part of the right-wing Proud Boys’ inner circle, Jeremy Bertino of Belmont (NC), a longtime lieutenant of its chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, has pled guilty to seditious conspiracy. He may be a key witness against his five former colleagues, leaders with ties to influential supporters of former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). They face a December trial on charges including plotting to forcibly stop the presidential transition culminating in the January 6 insurrection. Five members of the Oath Keepers are already on trial for the same charge, and four members of the far-right group already pled guilty along with two other Proud Boys. Bertino’s guilty plea and illegal possession of firearms as a convicted felon could be punished by 51 to 63 months in prison. A search of his home revealed six firearms including two semiautomatic AR-15 style rifles with scopes.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), an occasional moderate, is leaving Congress within the next two months to become president of the University of Florida. The state’s GOP governor, Pete Ricketts, can fill the open seat through the 2024 election. Sasse’s term, his second, lasts through 2026, meaning the replacement would have only a two-year term before a reelection.

As in the past, DDT bashed Sasse, one of seven senators voting to convict DDT in his second impeachment. Conservative author Nick Adams posted that DDT should “buy a house in Nebraska and… [Nebraska] Governor Pete Ricketts should appoint President Donald J. Trump to the US Senate to replace Ben Sasse.” DDT has praised DDT for his Adams’ work, Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness. DDT wrote on Truth Social that he is “looking forward to partnering with Nebraska’s great Republican Party to get a real senator … not another fake RINO.” A new governor in 2023 could appoint the term-limited Ricketts to replace Sasse.

Some of DDT’s gubernatorial candidates are so bad that GOP leaders support their Democratic opponents:

Kansas: Former Gov. Bill Graves is supporting Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly over state AG Derek Schmidt, who worked in Graves administration. Graves joins 160 other Kansas Republicans endorsing Kelly. Schmidt’s relationship with Republicans is so bad that GOP state senator Dennis Pyle is running against him as an independent. Since Kelly became governor, she balanced the budget, funded public schools, restored infrastructure projects, removed the food tax, and cut $1 billion in taxes while shattering records for new business investments and landed major economic development opportunities.

Michigan: Over 150 state Republicans launched a coalition of business leaders, former state lawmakers, and ex-congressman, and top staff from the GOP administrations of Gov. John Engler and Rick Snyder to support Democratic incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reelection bid. The former head of the Michigan GOP is also part of the group

Pennsylvania: GOP leaders, including former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former Allegheny County state Rep. Jim Kelly, announced they support AG Josh Shapiro running for governor against Doug Mastriano. Other GOP officials including two former congressmen, a former state House speaker, and a former lieutenant governor, added their endorsements.

In Maryland, Democratic Wes Moore is ahead of DDT’s gubernatorial choice Dan Cox by 32 percent to replace term-limited Republican Larry Hogan.  Massachusetts Dem candidate Maura Healy has a 99-percent chance to beat DDT’s gubernatorial choice, Geoff Diehl, replacing term-limited GOP Charlie Baker. In this year’s gubernatorial races, 17 lean GOP and 16 Democratic with three states in the middle, according to fivethirtyeight.com.  (Interactive map)

Gas prices going up? Blame Saudi Arabia, not President Joe Biden. Not only did OPEC cut oil supplies. but Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Aramco also bought the biggest oil refinery in the U.S. at Port Arthur (TX) in 2017. Aramco has full ownership of 24 distribution terminals and exclusive rights to sell Shell-branded gasoline and diesel in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, the eastern half of Texas and the majority of Florida.

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, is consuming the media with a “on-again” position of buying Twitter after vacillating so long that he was headed for a trial on October 17 for trying to break the deal. Over six months ago, he offered to buy the company after he discovered he couldn’t make changes as a shareholder, limited to 15 percent of Twitter stocks. Since then he has badmouthed the company, driving down its shares by almost one-third at one time while offering to finalize the deal with a large drop in the original $44 billion he offered.

When the deal when completely sour, Twitter took Musk to court, but he didn’t want to be deposed and went back to the original agreement of $54.20 a share if the social media company dropped all litigation. Musk asked for additional time to put together financing because most of his assets are tied up with other companies such as Tesla. That company’s shares have dropped by one-third in the past six months, and Musk’s financial backers for Twitter have started to back out. The judge gave Musk until October 28 to finalize the deal. Earlier offering to sell for less, Twitter’s lawyers said that Musk’s “proposal is an invitation to further mischief and delay.”

Like DDT with his Truth Social, Musk has grandiose ideas for his business model—an all-purpose app for messaging, shopping, video gaming, and web browsing, similar to China’s WeChat app. He envies TikTok’s algorithm keeping users hooked and wants a creator-friendly platform focusing more on video. He even has a name, X—the everything app. In addition, Musk wants users to pay for each posted tweet with small amounts of the cryptocurrency DogeCoin and plans to allow DDT back on Twitter to move his QAnon conspiracies and calls for violence into the mainstream venue.

This week, Musk tweeted proposals for “Ukraine-Russia Peace”: give Russia the illegally annexed Crimea, stop Ukraine from joining NATO, ensure water supply to Ukraine, and ask the UN to run another set of referenda in eastern Ukraine allowing Russia to overtake the regions if Russia wins. Along with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelinsky, over 60 percent of the more than one million respondents disagreed, but Musk attributed the vote to the “biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen.” Tesla shares dropped 9 percent, and Musk lost $15 billion from his $252 billion but regained most of it after he said he was going through with the sale.

Buying Twitter means Musk takes on a lot of baggage. The company did win a Dutch case at The Hague in its claim that Twitter did enough by deleting lies spread by three men who claimed a Dutch town was the site of a satanic pedophile ring. Dozens of people “flocked to the municipality of 34,000 people to lay flowers and messages in a graveyard of so-called victims after conspiracy theorists latched on to the claims.”

Yet the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case this term to determine whether tech platforms should be immune from punishment for harmful content posted by users. It regards a woman killed by the Islamic State militant group in Paris during a 2015 attack. She was one of over 100 people killed by ISIS that year, and the family claims videos fed algorithmically on YouTube inspired the extremists. The intent of the SCOTUS case is deciding whether to retain a legal provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Section 230, that protects internet companies from liability for users’ posts. Democrats assert tech companies use Section 230 to avoid accountability for hate speech.

Bits from the White House:

President Joe Biden has pardoned everyone federally convicted of simple possession of cannabis under federal law, over 6,500 people, and urges governors to follow suit. Although states are moving toward legal use of cannabis for medical and recreational use, the substance remains illegal under federal law. Biden also asked Health and Human Services Secretary and the DOJ AG to “expeditiously” review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

VP Kamala Harris was in a one-car accident when her Secret Service driver hit a curb in a tunnel hard enough that the tire had to be replaced and bringing Harris’ motorcade to a standstill. She was transferred to another vehicle and taken to the White House, but the Secret Service reported only “a mechanical failure” in an alert.

The White House announced a “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights” to hold technology companies accountable for internal biases threatening the civil rights by ensuring AI programs are developed with built-in protections. Examples include discrimination against student loans for those who attend a Historically Black College or University and an algorithm recommending child welfare agencies investigate families of Black children.  

Because of the CHIPS and Science Act, providing $52 billion in public investment in semiconductor manufacture, Micron will spend up to $100 billion during the next 20 years to build up to four plants in upstate New York near Syracuse to manufacture computer chips. The company estimates that the project will create almost 50,000 jobs, with about 9,000 of those in the plants themselves

The GOP complains the loan relief may help Blacks more than Whites because of the racial income gap. Will Republicans then sue to take all benefits away because more Blacks are in poverty than Whites as they reject equal voting rights for Blacks?

Alabama has a gender-based dress code: AL.com reporter Ivana Hrynkiw was told her skirt was too short to view an execution at a prison and open-toe shoes were unsuitable although she had worn the skirt on her job multiple times with no questioning. The prison official approved rain gear—waterproof waders—she borrowed from a photographer and her gym tennis shoes. A judge told a staffer for another judge was told she couldn’t go into the courtroom wearing a pantsuit. And more stories about Alabama sexism!

September 27, 2022

News on September 27, 2022, Hearing Canceled Etc.

The House January 6 investigative committee has postponed its September 28, 2022, hearing because of Hurricane Ian, expected to go through Florida the next two days. The upcoming hearing was expected to focus on a declaration of victory for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) despite his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Danish filmmakers filmed DDT’s friend Roger Stone during the months prior to the election showing his prediction of violent clashes with left-wing activists because DDT would use armed guards and loyal judges to stay in power. In one video clip, Stone says:

“F–k the voting, let’s get right to the violence. Shoot to kill. See an Antifa? Shoot to kill. F–k ’em. Done with this bulls–t.”

The committee also has details about Stone’s contacts after obtaining records of Kristin Davis, aka the Manhattan Madam, who was with Stone at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC on the day before and the day of the Capitol attack. Stone also called Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud boys, before and after the January 6 and contacted the former Oath Keepers chief Stewart Rhodes nine days after the attack. Both are charged with seditious conspiracy.

Other Stone contacts are with prominent Republicans who tried to overturn the 2020 election such as Texas AG Ken Paxton and Donald Trump Jr’s aide Arthur Schwartz. During the 2016 election, Stone was middle-man between Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and DDT’s campaign. In his book The Breach, Denver Riggleman, former staff member of the investigative committee, describes how DDT’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was the center of the efforts to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral college win through his thousands of texts.

According to recent revelations, Secret Service leadership turned over cell phones from 24 agents to DHS Inspector General, DDT-appointed Joseph Cuffari, in July. The House committee had requested texts from the phones almost a month ago. Cuffari knew in December 2021 that the phones had been wiped, but he waited to inform Congress and the National Archives required to retain the records. His own staff called on President Joe Biden to fire Cuffari, and political scientist Norman Ornstein describes Cuffari’s actions a “coverup of treason.”

Paxton, who initiated the persecution of families with trans youth, ran away in a truck to avoid being served with a subpoena for a federal court hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The lawsuit is from nonprofits trying to help state residents pay for out-of-state abortions because of Texas’ vigilante law against the procedure. Paxton claimed he left the premises because he was concerned for his safety although the process server identified himself and held up the subpoena. For the past seven years, the attorney general has been under indictment for securities fraud and faces a lawsuit from former top deputies accusing him of abuse of office. In his reelection primary, Paxton received under 43 percent of the vote as high-profile Republicans tried to unseat him, but he defeated George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son, in the runoff. Texas’ voter suppression laws will likely put Paxton into power while he awaits a trial on his indictment.   

DDT’s special master, Raymond Dearie, has postponed the deadline for another week to complete digitizing the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago because no vendor will work for him. The government may need to hire a vendor. DDT’s $3 million new lawyer, Chris Kise, has also disappeared from the investigation into the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago; he may be moved into DDT’s business legal problems.

Two new books about DDT reported House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called DDT “crazy” and considered a vote to convict DDT in the January 2021 impeachment trial. Now McConnell has endorsed the bipartisan electoral count reform bill to keep future presidents from trying to overturn presidential elections through Congress. The bill would reaffirm that the vice president has only a ceremonial role for the joint session of Congress to count electoral votes and increase the number of congressional members to object to a state’s electors. The Senate bill already has support from 11 GOP senators, more than enough to overcome a filibuster if all Democrats vote for cloture.

McConnell prefers his bill to the House bill passed by 229-203 with support from nine Republicans who will not be returning in 2023. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was one of the sponsors, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called the bill unconstitutional. The House bill requires at least one-third of the members of both the House and the Senate to object to a state’s electors instead of the current one member from each chamber. McConnell’s preference is for one-fifth of the members from both chamber in the Senate bill.

The electoral bill has been struck from the continuing resolution bill trying to avoid a government shutdown this weekend. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-V) will not support Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) bill because part of the pipeline runs through his state and seizes property from private owners. Kaine said he wasn’t consulted on the language of the bill or given a chance to share his constituents’ “deep concerns” over the project. The bill also changes the legal battle from the 4th Circuit to the D.C. Circuit. Kaine said litigants should appeal instead of changing “federal law to achieve their goal” if they object to the 4th Circuit ruling. If Congress doesn’t soon pass some sort of budget agreement, the government will shut down on October 1.

In a frantic search for the way out of his problems, DDT moved from Hillary Clinton’s missing emails to the “lost” millions of emails in George W. Bush’s White House. In 2008, Democrats claimed the missing emails left an “enormous gap in the historical record“ during a critical period. Newsweek reported in 2016:

“This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction, and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.”

DDT may have given up on Clinton’s “scandal”: the article states in the first sentence that no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Clinton exists. After his recent—and repeated—claims about Clinton, DDT lied about Barack Obama taking classified secrets and clashing with the National Archives. DDT still can’t find a parallel for his taking classified materials, leaving them lying around in a fancy country club, refusing to return them, and being investigating for obstructing the retrieval process. He’s working on the “what about …” and “everybody does it” defense.  

The party of “law and order” and its leader are still savagely attacking the FBI, the lead agency for enforcing both domestic and foreign crimes. After its investigation into DDT’s alleged crimes, DDT called them “corrupt,” “mobsters,” “vicious monsters,” and “a real threat to democracy” while accusing them of “atrocities.” His allies fell in line, claiming they are politicized, pushing conspiracy theories and calling on the FBI to be defunded—sort of like “defund the police.” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Fox network viewers that a possible “cabal” within the FBI politicized the agency’s work.

Next year if they gain power, the GOP plans extensive investigations, possibly a select committee, to probe the recovery of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago as well as curbing FBI funding and surveillance permissions. With no visible evidence, the GOP “Commitment to America” claims “more than 14 whistleblowers” have “come forward to publicly raise concerns about the FBI’s politicization,” based on an assertion from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

The people of the U.S. should be treated like little children, says Arizona’s supposedly Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema as she praised McConnell and declared she shares GOP values. According to her reasoning, the filibuster needs to be restored to its former glory because parents shouldn’t give children everything they want. MSNBC Chris Hayes described her comparison:

“Sinema and others like her are the Grown Ups. And We The People are spoiled children constantly asking for things.”

Sinema falsely claims the filibuster was “what our forefathers intended.” The first use of the Senate filibuster,however, was in 1837 to keep President Andrew Jackson from a resolution of censure, and it didn’t become popular until the mid-20th century when Southern Democrats used it to fight the Civil Rights Act. Until 1970, a senator could filibuster only by standing on the chamber floor and non-stop talking, but now it requires only a senator effortlessly submitting an intent to filibuster in writing.

MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out:

“The number 60 never appears in the Constitution, but it seems to live in Kyrsten Sinema’s imagined version of the Constitution. If a simple majority vote is a dangerous and fickle threshold for governing in a democracy, then why should only five members of the United States Supreme Court get to decide the final interpretation of the law of the land? Why doesn’t Senator Sinema advocate a minimum of a 6-vote threshold in the Supreme Court instead of a mere majority and why is the United States of America the only country that has a 60 percent threshold to win a vote in a national legislative body?”

More news tomorrow.

September 1, 2022

News Bits – September 1, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 22, 2022

DDT’s Response to Hearing, Congressional Action

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) couldn’t stay quiet about the eighth hearing on July 21 by the House January 6 investigative committee:

  • He called Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the House January 6 investigative committee, “a sanctimonious loser.”
  • He said he “didn’t know” the witness Sarah Matthews, who worked for his 2020 presidential campaign before becoming his White House deputy press secretary.
  • About his failure to have “10,000 to 20,000 troops to stand guard at the Capitol Building,” DDT wrote, “It’s Nancy Pelosi’s fault, she turned down the troops!”
  • He claimed he didn’t tell House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that the mob is “just more upset about the election than you are.”
  • He added that “Crooked Hillary Clinton” and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams “contested their elections” for a “far longer time.” (In 2016 Clinton conceded her defeat to DDT within 24 hours, and Abrams did not challenge the election as DDT did. Neither led an angry mob to stop their opponents from taking power.)
  • He repeated the lie about “an election Rigged and Stolen from me, and our Country” and added “the USA is going to Hell. Am I supposed to be happy?”
  • He called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a “disloyal sleaze bag.” Immediately after the insurrection, McConnell told then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, “We’re not going to let these people keep us from finishing our business. So we need you to get the building cleared, give us the OK so we can go back in session and finish up the people’s business as soon as possible.” The next day he blamed the attack on DDT. “Is this the same Mitch McConnell who was losing big in Kentucky, and came to the White House to BEG me for an Endorsement and help?” DDT wrote. “Without me he would have lost in a landslide.”

Last week, former DDT adviser Steve Bannon went to trial for defying a subpoena from the House committee and was convicted within five days. Prosecutors had two witnesses, and Bannon had none, not even himself. As a witness, he would have to testify under oath. Bannon claimed he had executive privilege although he hasn’t worked in the White House since 2017. The conviction for two counts of contempt each brings 30 days to one year in prison with sentencing on October 21. Bannon will likely appeal.

Almost two years ago, DDT pardoned Bannon for his taking $1 million in an alleged wall-building scam. The case never went to trial. He continually declares that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president because DDT won the election. Before the insurrection, he told DDT, “[I]t’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.” On his January 5 podcast he said:

“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow…. [A]ll I can say is: Strap in. You have made this happen, and tomorrow it’s game day.”

Last year, Bannon said he would make his case “the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.” He implied he would try to force the January 6 committee to reveal internal communications and interviews conducted in secret. Last month, Bannon said that AG Merrick Garland and “everybody in the DOJ” would be impeached if DDT is indicted for anything related to overturning the election. Last week, he added, “We’re going medieval on these people. We’re going to savage our enemies.” Bannon is a “studio gangster,” a performer who can’t back up their songs or raps. 

Bannon thought he could win his case with fake excuses: deadlines on official documents weren’t for real; official signatures could have been forged by anyone; the subpoenas were not legitimate. Bannon even accused the committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) of testing positive for COVID to avoid testifying at the trial. The judge told the jury to ignore the signature issue.

As members of the U.S. Supreme Court consider erasing marriage equality, Andorra has became the 33rd country in the world to legalize same-gender civil marriage. Lawmakers in the Pyrennes country of 77,000 unanimously voted for this right as well as allowing transgender people to update their names and gender markers on legal documents without proof of medical care, something the U.S. moves toward eliminating. The House has passed the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) with all Democrats and 22 percent of Republican lawmakers, but the bill needs 20 percent of GOP Senators to join all Democrats for passage. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) already called the bill a “waste of time,” referring to hundreds of thousands of marriages—including mine.

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act, permitting states to refuse marriage equality and defining marriage as only heterosexual, passed by 342-67 including 118 House Democrats. Exactly 26 years later, support for marriage equality in the U.S. is 71 percent, compared to 27 percent in 1996. Texas wants to move back almost three decades. The man who created the draconian vigilante anti-abortion law is involved in six state lawsuits to chip away at LGBTQ rights, including marriage, most of them regarding religious rights to trump performance of marriage, preventative medical care (specifically PrEP for HIV) from private insurers, employment, and books in libraries.    

Susan Collins (ME) and Rob Portman (OH), who announced in 2013 his son is gay, announced the bill in the Senate. Ron Johnson (WI), usually the biggest outlier, said he wouldn’t oppose the bill. (He’s facing a very difficult re-election this year.) Sen. Thom Tillis (NC) said he was voting for the RMA, and Lisa Murkowski (AK) said she’s always supported same-gender marriage. Responses from the 50 GOP senators about their positions. Major excuses for lack of support are not reading the bill or no need, despite judicial threats against it. The bill would also codify the right to interracial marriage, not threatened by conservative Justice Clarence Thomas after his biracial marriage. 

In an odd shift from marriage equality, only eight Republicans voted for federal contraceptive protection when the Right to Contraception Act (RCA) passed by 228-195. The Supremes have also threatened to overturn the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut requiring married people to be permitted birth control. One excuse was that the bill would protect contraception not approved by the FDA—and of course, misinformation that the bill isn’t necessary. Two GOP Iowa representatives have put forward a bill to permit FDA-approved contraceptives to have over-the-counter status, but both voted against the RCA.

The House passed two access to abortion bills which are unlikely to survive the Senate, but the Senate is also playing offense with the Electoral College Count Act (ECCA), a bipartisan bill trying to prevent future coups like the one DDT attempted. Its provisions aim to prevent action by another losing candidate to move into the White House:

  • A state must appoint electors using the state’s laws before Election Day. State’s laws requiring electors based on the popular vote could not change the process. DDT tried to force legislators to appoint electors in opposition to the popular vote, pushed Republican congressional members to object to legal electors, and pressured his vice president to block the count, giving him time to take more action in the states.
  • State legislatures would no longer declare a “failed election” and overturn the state’s popular vote.
  • The governor must certify the correct electors by a hard deadline before Congress counts them, keeping a governor from certifying electors for a losing candidate. An aggrieved candidate could trigger expedited judicial review by a federal three-judge panel, subject to an expedited Supreme Court appeal. The ECCA would prevent state legislators and governors from breaking their laws.
  • The vice president’s role in counting the votes is only ceremonial.
  • One-fifth of each chamber would be required to force a vote to invalidate electors. The current law requires one member from each congressional chamber to start debate.

Another bill increases criminal punishments for threats, harassment, and violence against election workers.

DDT is still working to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. On July 19, he called Wisconsin GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos with a new scam after the state Supreme Court ruled that most absentee ballot drop boxes in the state are illegal for future elections. DDT wants to make it retroactive. Vos told DDT his idea is unconstitutional but said DDT “has a different opinion.”A former state Supreme Court justice, who resigned after a year, has been running a ballot audit for over a year and also wants the legislature to decertify the 2020 election although the justice’s own attorney said doing so is impossible. 

Ten months ago, DDT insisted Arizona must decertify the 2020 results, followed by his insistence two months later the Georgia do the same. He claims he will undo his defeat and return to the White House. Earlier in July, Christina Bobb, a former OAN host now working for the former president, wanted to decertify 2020 votes after the 2022 midterm elections. Throughout the nation DDT’s allies, including architect of overturning the election John Eastman, are pushing states to pass resolutions rescinding Electoral College votes for Joe Biden and sue to prove evidence-free claims of large-scale voter fraud in their work to reinstate DDT.

Congress has two more weeks to work on bills until members leave for their one-month summer adjournment. Meanwhile, five justices on the Supreme Court handed ICE authority over to a DDT-appointed federal judge in Texas on how to authorize their time for the next year despite a federal statute giving this power to the HHS Secretary. SCOTUS may make its order permanent next year, negating enforcement for the past 2+ decades. Amy Coney Barrett broke with the six Supremes.

July 21, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – July 21, 2022

The eighth hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee lasted 135 minutes and covered 187 minutes while supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) followed following his orders to violently destroy the orderly process of announcing electoral votes for the next president of the United States, Joe Biden. For that entire time, congressional members, their staff, and others were hiding from the insurrectionists while the Capitol Police tried to protect them. The Secret Service, who also feared for their lives and made goodbye calls to their loved ones, smuggled VP Mike Pence out of the Capitol and into safety from the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence” because he didn’t follow their demands.

Complainers about how the hearings’ information has already been in the news are, in part, correct, but witness testimony verifies what was formerly called hearsay. DDT attacked a Secret Service driver when he demanded he was going to the Capitol for the insurrection and had to be forced back to the White House where he sat in his dining room and watched Fox reporting on the insurrection. For almost three hours he refused to take any action, despite begging from family, friends, and advisers; as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-OH) said, “He chose not to act.” DDT would not allow any photographs and legal record-keeping of his communications during that time. 

Committee Vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) facilitated the session, and Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), isolated after testing positive for COVID, spoke by video at the beginning and end of the hearing. Kinzinger and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) led the questioning of witnesses Matthew Pottinger, former National Security Council official, and Sarah Matthews, DDT’s deputy white House press secretary. Matthews, a House GOP staffer, has already been attacked as a liar and a pawn for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the House GOP account from the office of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Jeremy Adler, one of Cheney’s top aide, shamed Stefanik’s team because Matthews is “doing her patriotic duty.” The tweet was then deleted. A second tweet calling tonight’s hearing “heresy,” perhaps meaning hearsay, was also deleted.

Clips at the beginning and end of the hearing play speeches immediately after January 6 by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) given on their chamber floors. McCarthy said, “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” because he didn’t act “immediately.” McConnell said, “It was obvious that only President Trump could end this” because people were acting on Trump’s behalf and blamed DDT for using false voter-fraud claims to inflame supporters.   

The committee revealed more hearings are planned for September after Congress returns from its August hiatus. More people are volunteering testimony to support the proof DDT’s dereliction of duty and violating his oath to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Showing DDT’s dereliction of duty, White House counsel Pat Cipollone gave a detailed timeline on DDT’s January 6 activities during the insurrection, beginning as early as 2:00 pm when Cipollone and several others pushed for a statement to call off rioters. After a long pause, he answered a question by adding that everyone in the White House wanted the insurrectionists to leave except DDT.

Outtakes of DDT’s videos to—reluctantly—stop the mob’s violence and his follow-up speech the next day demonstrate his refusal to include any mention of peace and vilification of the insurrectionists (which Republicans still call “tourists”). He also couldn’t say, “The election’s over.” DDT did not call any agency—not Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, or any other—for a response to the attack. That was left of to Pence while he was in hiding. Then White House chief of staff Mike Meadows told Gen. Mark A. Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that DDT had called him, not Pence, in an attempt to make him look as if he were in control. Earlier, DDT refused to take a call from the Pentagon that was seeking to “coordinate on the response to the attack.” Adviser Eric Herschman told Cipollone that “the president didn’t want anything done.”

DDT wasn’t through after the failed insurrection. His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani made calls reinforcing support for the plan of overturning the election to such congressional members as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), Josh Hawley (R-Mo), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). A voicemail for Tuberville laid out the scheme: “just slow [this hearing] down.”

DDT left his dining room for his White House residence at 6:27 pm on January 6 after his last tweet of the day, a love note to his followers:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously, viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly, unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love and peace.”

The last thing DDT said on January 6 was “Mike Pence let me down.” Herschmann said everyone left the White House because they were “drained.”

At the Capitol, congressional members came out of hiding, resumed the electoral vote counting about 8:00 pm, and then finished their job at 3:41 am EST on January 7, 14 hours and 41 minutes after they started. The counting must be done in a session beginning son January 6 unless Congress passes a law changing it.

Senate staff had saved the paper Electoral College ballots when the chamber was evacuated because the mob was breaking into the building.

A lasting video of the eighth hearing is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) running in terror through the halls and down steps. This was after he thrust his fist in the air in support of the protesters and adding fuel to the violence while he was behind the barricades.

Three days after the insurrection, texts from DDT’s campaign officials and loyalists Tim Murtaugh and Matthew Wolking show their disgust and rage with DDT when he didn’t even acknowledge the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick on the night of January 7. Wolking wrote, “Everything [DDT] said about supporting law enforcement was a lie.”

Viewers see the hearings as building a criminal case against DDT and his enablers of seditious conspiracies in overthrowing the government and forcibly opposing its authority. The DOJ can use the committee’s work. Just as important, however, is “to stop Trump’s continuing attack on American democracy,” according to Robert Reich who lists six ways through the hearings:

Be crystal clear that the continuing attempted coup is based on a lie through repeatedly playing DDT’s former AG Bill Barr stating:  

“I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations [of voter fraud], but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense. And it was being laid out there, and I told them that it was—that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing a grave disservice to the country.”

Showing the battle between democracy and authoritarian is non-partisan with all the GOP witnesses who worked for DDT, GOP legislators, GOP-appointed judges, GOP-elected state officials, etc. They are all citizens disgusted by and worried about DDT’s attempted coup.

Appealing to Republican lawmakers to stop supporting DDT’s continuing attempted coup in stressing oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution. 

Explaining how average people fell for DDT’s treachery with disastrous results with witnesses such as Stephen Ayers representing the ordinary “family man and a working man” who took part in the insurrection because he thought DDT wanted him there.  

Reminding people of their duties to democracy as Committee chair Thompson said in the seventh hearing:

“We settle our differences at the ballot box. Sometimes my choice prevails, sometimes yours does, but it’s that simple. We cast our votes. We count the votes. If something seems off with the results, we can challenge them in court, and then we accept the results. When you’re on the losing side, that doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it. And in the United States, there’s plenty you can do and say so. You can protest. You can organize. You can get ready for the next election to try to make sure your side has a better chance the next time the people settle their differences at the ballot box. But you can’t turn violent.”

Presenting DDT’s attempted coup as ongoing like Cheney did when she described DDT’s attempts at witness tampering.

The hearings are making a difference. Without them, DDT’s popularity would increase as people lack information and forget. Instead, the 57 percent of people say DDT has, at least, a good amount of blame for the January 6 insurrection, up from 53 percent six months ago. Half the people think DDT should be charged with crimes based on the evidence presented in the hearings. At least 58 percent of people in the U.S. are paying either a lot of attention (25 percent) or some attention (33 percent) to the hearings.

The drip, drip, drip accumulation about a corrosive DDT provided by the hearings is eroding support for him, shown in polling, focus groups, and fundraising. Part of DDT’s problem is that he won’t stop litigating the 2020 election, which some describe as “Trump fatigue.”

And new evidence will be back in September hearings!

 

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