Nel's New Day

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.

June 16, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – June 16, 2022

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 11:07 PM
Tags: , , ,

[Shooting, June 16: Two people are dead and another injured at a suburban Episcopalian church meeting outside Birmingham (AL).

[Update: Abbott’s baby formula plant at Sturgis (MI) has been reclosed because of flooding. Can Republicans blame President Joe Biden for the flood?]

The third hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee on June 16 focused on former VP Mike Pence: the developing strategy to reject Joe Biden’s electors for the presidency, Pence and his advisers’ eventual rejection of the theory, pressure by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to follow the theory, and the demand’s contribution to the insurrection and the endangerment of Pence’s life. Much of the information had already been made public, but the orderly presentation including video testimony from GOP officials clarified that most people integral to the scheme, including DDT’s personal lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, knew it was illegal. CNN has an excellent overview of the hearing highlights.

New information is Eastman’s email to Giuliani that he “should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.” That comment indicates the existence of a “pardon list” and Eastman’s understanding of his personal liability. The DOJ is also criminally investigating the alternative elector selections to overturn Biden’s legal votes with a grand jury subpoenaing Giuliani and Eastman, with information about other pro-DDT lawyers including Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro who wrote memos supporting the elector scheme.

Committee members praised Pence, but the missing person from the hearing was Pence himself. He was considered a hero for not permitting “alternative electors,” meaning illegal ones at the January 6 vote and for saying, “I had no right to overturn the election.” Yet he has not taken up any requests to testify about the coup that threatened his life. During the hearing times, he will be in Washington, but he will attend the House Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) who dismissed the committee’s work as “truly a political witch-hunt that was focused more on the Democrats’ obsession with Donald Trump than anything at all about Capitol security or investigating the events that led up to January 6.”

John Nichols writes about Pence’s political wish to do what is personally best for himself. Pence considered DDT’s idea for him to overturn the election and sought advice from former vice president Dan Quayle. Despite Quayle’s statement that Pence had “no flexibility” on following DDT, Pence kept pushing, hoping that Quayle might have a different answer. A career politician, Pence started campaigning for the 2024 presidential election months ago. John Nichols writes about Pence’s political wish to do what is personally best for himself:

“He wants to be seen by Trump critics as the patriot who stood up to the former president, and he wants to be seen by Trump allies as a loyal vice president who did almost everything the boss asked.”

Testimony before the investigative committee would force Pence “take a side,” and he won’t agree that DDT is a “crook” and his January 6 project is “an attempted coup.” Pence uses his ambition to make the decision to avoid telling the truth. Even the knowledge that DDT thought hanging him was “the right idea” will make him take a position.  

Weeks before the January 6, 2021 insurrection and three days before DDT told his followers to come to Washington, Pence told the highly conservative activist youth group Turning Point USA:

“We’re going to save America, and we’re never going to stop fighting to make America great again. You watch. I came to say here today to the men and women of Turning Point: Stay in the fight. Stay in the fight for election integrity.”

Turning Point’s founder, Charlie Kirk, was an organizer of the rally and march in Washington on January 6. Kirk bragged about “sending 80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight for this president.” Pence watched Kirk carry through with his participation in the event.

Until the insurrection, Pence went along with DDT’s lies about the election. He remained silent regarding DDT’s falsehoods regarding the dangers of mail voting, about DDT’s false claims he could lose the election only if it were rigged, and DDT’s lies on the early morning of November 4 that he won the election. Pence said nothing when DDT said that Pence agreed with him that Pence could overturn the election by refusing legally-chosen presidential electors and never refuted DDT’s conspiracy theories about voter fraud. Pence had no objection to disenfranchising voters through DDT’s failed court challenges to mail-in ballots. If Pence had turned down the offer to overturn the election when he heard about it, the violence on January 6 might have been avoided.

Pence is also skipping the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Nashville where he was booed and called “traitor” last year. Both witnesses at June 16’s hearing, counsel Greg Jacobs and mentor Michael Luttig, spoke at length about the importance of their Christian belief. About any possible problem with DDT, Pence’s former aide Marc Short and Pence’s trip organizer in South Carolina and state senator Josh Kimbrell said Pence just doesn’t want to talk about the past as the former VP avoids saying anything about DDT. On the campaign trail, Pence praises the “Trump-Pence agenda” and criticizes Democrats and the media for their focus on January 6. Yet Pence has not spoken to DDT for over a year and refused invitations to visit Mar-a-Lago.

During Pence’s four years as DDT’s enabler, he spent every day obsequiously supporting the man in the White House. Proud of being a family man, Pence passionately praised DHS for separating children from parents at the southern border and lambasted any critics. He ignored a question about whether the separation was the “Christian thing to do.” Pence supported DDT in his blackmail scheme against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to get dirt on Joe Biden. The VP supported DDT in all things—the Muslim ban, DDT during his impeachment and trial, the disaster from mismanagement of the COVID debacle, etc. In all Pence’s actions, officials asserted he was ignorant of wrong-doing, that he knew less than the public did.

Pence had one day of “heroism,” and now he’s back to trashing democracy in his attempt to become the president of the United States in his goal of turning it into a theocracy.

Last Monday, ratings for the second hearing were #1 for MSBC with 3 million watchers from 10:45 am to 12:51 pm. CNN (1.8 million viewers) came in second, and Fox (1 million viewers), which decided to show this hearing unlike the first one, was third.

Fox network analysis Brit Hume told “Special Report” host Bret Baier that the hearings damaging DDT’s reputation can be a favor for the GOP that believes it cannot win with DDT as its presidential candidate. Hume said Republicans are reluctant to push back at DDT but would appreciate the Democrats for doing their work for them. He said:

“They’re afraid of his supporters and don’t want to come out against him directly. But they’d like him to go away. If the effect of this committee is to make his possible candidacy go away, I think a great many Republicans would privately be very glad.”

The question remains about whether DDT was lying about a stolen election or if he refused to believe he actually lost. William Saletan wrote that “a delusional president is far more dangerous than a mendacious one.”

“The evidence actually points to a different conclusion: Trump wasn’t lying in the way that other presidents have done. He was simply impervious. He refused to accept unwelcome facts. And that degree of imperviousness, in a president, is much more dangerous than dishonesty.”

For four years, DDT was in charge of the world’s most powerful armed forces and the nation’s nuclear arsenal—and is willing to use violence to get his own way. Whenever anyone disagreed with DDT’s claim of a rigged election, he either switched to another subject or replaced them.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Chair Thompson called for anyone considering whether to cooperate with the investigation to reach out. Before the third hearing, DDT wrote, “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME,” referring to the hours of hearings on television. Thus far, he’s been quiet since the June 16 hearing.

The hearings are helping DDT’s Twitteresque “Truth Social” that has increased to 3.27 million users but far short of the 80 million he had on Twitter when he was banned in January 2021 “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” after the attack on the Capitol. After this morning’s hearing, the DOJ complained that the lack of access to transcripts from the investigation is hampering their prosecutions. Prosecutors filed a letter in court as part of their agreement to push back the Proud Boys’ defense to December. Defense attorneys also complain that the committee’s releases of its investigation is unfair to their clients and demand access to all records.

The committee responded that the investigation is ongoing and will continue until a final report is released later this year. Members are also concerned about the DOJ’s slow action to pursue cases against DDT and his inner circle. The agency declined to prosecute former chief of staff Mark Meadows and aide Dan Scavino for defying the committee’s subpoenas.

June 4, 2021

The Men in DDT’s Life

Furious with being mocked, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) killed his “social-media platform” (aka blog) after only 29 days. Another problem with From the Desk of Donald J. Trump was almost no engagement, probably because people had to donate to him to make for responses. Senior DDT aide Jason Miller said the blog “will not be returning.” That’s the tip of the iceberg for DDT ridicule.

Comments by DDT’s main man, Russian President Vladimir Putin, at an economic forum today echoed GOP lies about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “They came with political demands,” Putin said, because they were justifiably angry with the election results. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) described the violent riot as “a normal tourist visit,” and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) referred to the attack as a largely “peaceful protest.” Three days ago, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused the U.S. of violating attackers’ human rights and said these people faced “persecution.” President Joe Biden plans to meet Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Former VP Mike Pence, quiet about the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol for almost five months, has finally spoken out. He said he and DDT may never “see eye to eye” on the event, which he called “a dark day in the history of the United States,” but “I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.” Pence is definitely running for president in 2024.

After stalling two years, former White House counsel testified before the House Judiciary Committee about DDT’s attempts to block a federal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said McGahn’s appearance “vindicates the congressional subpoena right” and “McGahn was clearly distressed by President Trump’s refusal to follow his legal advice, again and again.” Nadler added the testimony “shed new light on several troubling events” although DDT has repeatedly said, “I never suggested firing Mueller.”

Both Jim Jordan (R-OH), accused of permitting a doctor to sexually abuse athletes while he was an assistant coach at OSU, and Mat Gaetz (R-FL), under FBI investigation for a number of crimes including sex-trafficking, considered the hearing a waste of time. A transcript of the hearing will be publicly released within a week.

Getting rid of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy seemed difficult, even after President Joe Biden replaced three USPS board members, but an FBI investigation may speed DeJoy’s exit. The probe involves campaign fundraising activity before he left his former business when he allegedly pressured employees to attend political fundraisers and contribute to GOP candidates before being reimbursed with bonuses. In 14 years, 124 employees gave over $1 million to federal and state GOP candidates, many of the donors giving for the first time. DeJoy may escape charges because straw-donor schemes have a five-year statute of limitations, and the donations were made before 2015.

DeJoy is the fourth and last of the 2016 RNC finance team leadership to face DOJ investigations:

Steve Wynn: Sexual misconduct allegations forced him to resign, and last week the Wall Street Journal reported DOJ examinations into Wynn’s 2017 efforts in support of Chinese officials when he wasn’t registered as a lobbyist.

Elliott Broidy: Faced with multiple controversies, he pled guilty to federal charges of illegal lobbying. DDT pardoned him earlier this year.

Michael Cohen: The center of many DDT-related scandals, DDT’s former attorney/fixer was sentenced to prison before he turned against DDT.

Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO, announced he is filing a lawsuit to force the Supreme Court to declare the 2020 election null and void, thus returning DDT to the White House. Lindell’s defamation-RICO-libelslander suit for $2 billion damages against Dominion Voting systems and its competitor Smartmatic wasn’t approved by MyPillow, and the company immediately fired the attorney representing Lindell when it heard about the case. Oddities in the case:

A civil rights claim that voting machine vendors are the government and that communication from Dominion to Lindell requesting he stop the lie about the voting machine company stealing the election for Joe Biden violates Lindell’s Free Speech rights.

A claim of conspiracy between competitors Dominion and Smartmatic although Smartmatic didn’t sue Lindell. In addition, Lindell wants a DDT-appointed judge in Minnesota to rule the Washington, DC case against him is abuse of process, ergo defamation.

The RICO claim that Dominion, Smartmatic, and Dominion’s lawyer Thomas Clare formed an association to stop people saying that the companies stole the election. Protecting a brand isn’t illegal unless the government tries to suppress free speech.

Former DDT lawyer Rudy Giuliani, currently under investigation for a number of crimes, worked during DDT’s first year in the White House for the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv through his consulting firm Giuliani Security & Safety. Giuliani has always maintained he worked only for DDT and not foreign countries. Journalists Asawin Suebsaeng and William Bredderman reported:

“The deal was reportedly the result of the local influence of the Ukrainian-Russian real estate developer Pavel Fuks, an ally of the town’s Moscow-friendly mayor. Fuks was previously engaged in negotiations to construct the never-realized Trump Tower Moscow.”

Giuliani’s failing reputation dropped even farther after he hawked MyPillow products on his Common Sense podcast. He got the most excited about the “slippers!” Giuliani also faces a lawsuit from Dominion and Smartmatic for his lies about the 2020 election. 

FEC is fining American Media, tabloid publisher owning the National Enquirer, $187,500 for its hush money payment to Karen McDougal concealing DDT’s affair. According to the FEC, the company’s CEO David Pecker, DDT’s friend, “knowingly and willfully” violated campaign finance laws in conjunction with DDT’s campaign officials and his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen, instrumental in the affair’s coverup. In 2018, American Media agreed to a deal by admitting the hush money was to influence the 2016 general election but declared that silence is not a “thing of value.” FEC called the payment “an in-kind contribution to Trump and the Trump Committee” and declared “the violation was knowing and willful.”

The latest problem for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), after the sex-trafficking probe, is the problem into his possible obstruction of justice for a phone call with a witness in his sex-crimes investigation. Both the witness—an ex-girlfriend—and Gaetz’s former friend Joel Greenberg are cooperating with the FBI about Gaetz’s alleged crimes that include drug use, pay for sex with women under 18, and requests for pardons from DDT through Roger Stone.

One person, Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), is keeping Palestinians from receiving any U.S. aid approved by DDT despite their homes and infrastructure being destroyed. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) led 145 Democrats calling on him to lift the hold on assistance for the humanitarian disaster.

During his time in the White House, DDT broke Facebook rules with impunity, but the social media platform will stop protecting politicians from policies removing other users. The independent FB Oversight Board, an independent group costing $130 million to review FB guidelines, criticized special treatment for politicians, recommending the “same rules should apply to all users.” The system of strikes on users will no longer be secret: users will be made aware of strikes in violating rules possibly leading to suspension. FB will also move toward disclosure of special newsworthy exemptions to keep content from politicians and others otherwise violating its rules. Since 2019, FB employees have asked the company to no longer have a list of political accounts not subject to fact-checking and content-moderation for other users. Internal research shows people are more likely to believe lies when shared by elected officials. Under new FB rules, posts made by politicians won’t be fact-checked but are open to enforcement of other rules such as bullying. The new guidelines might have prevented DDT’s messages to create division after George Floyd’s murder and praise violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last January.

Facebook has banned DDT from its social media platform until January 2023 after the independent Oversight Board forced FB to make a decision. Another evaluation about DDT’s risk to public safety will be done at that time according to Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs. This evaluation of “external factors” includes “instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest.” The decision blocks DDT from posting to FB or Instagram for the 2022 election cycle and raises questions about Florida’s ability to fine FB for the ban after 14 days because of its new law.

Like DDT, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is losing his position. Israel’s parliament system uses that legislative body to select its PM, requiring a majority vote of 61 in the 120-member body next week. The new governing coalition of 13 parties, still largely right-wing, picked Yair Lapid and his main coalition partner, Naftali Bennett. Lapid brought eight diverse parties from left-wing to hard-line right with his centrist party, as well as the United Arab List, a small Islamist party, joining the governing coalition for the first time. All coalition parties share animosity to Netanyahu.

According to the agreement, Bennett will serve for two years, followed by Lapid for the final two years—unless the vulnerable coalition crashes and burns before then. The decision stopped a fifth election in under 27 months; the last four all ended in deadlock. Knesset, the parliament, must approve the decision before it’s finalized, but Netanyahu’s 12-year record run appears to be over. Like DDT, Netanyahu is still fighting to keep his office because of the 2019 indictments for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis bitterly opposed COVID funds, but he pandered to would-be voters with bonuses for them created with $9 billion stimulus monies in his $100 billion budget.

And DDT starts his summer speeches tomorrow at the North Carolina GOP state convention.

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