Nel's New Day

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?”

July 27, 2022

GOP, DDT Reject Human Rights

After a year, the Senate passed a bill to provide $280 billion for chip manufacturing, design, and scientific research. Seventeen Republicans supported the bill in the 64-33 vote with only one member of the Democratic caucus, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in opposition because of its weak guidelines. The U.S. has contributed no money to chip manufacturing, compared to the $150 billion that China pays to support the industry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she had the votes in her chamber for the bill.   

Most of the funding goes toward advanced, rather than basic, chips, the majority currently coming from Taiwan. The U.S. went from making 37 percent of the world’s chips in 1990 to only 12 percent while the nation contributes “nearly nothing” to their manufacturing  compared to China’s $150 billion investment. Even with the advantages to their states, some senators, such as Tommy Turberville (R-AL) ignored the importance of chips, i.e., a critical component for Javelin missiles, manufactured in Turberville’s state.

After Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans to force the removal of tax increases for the wealthy and big businesses from the bill, he failed to vote after testing positive for COVID.

In Congress, Republicans joined Justice Clarence Thomas to make women into baby incubators by removing female rights to travel, contraception access, and marriage to whom they love. Although 47 GOP House members voted for marriage equality, only eight supported the right to contraception, and 205 Republicans voted against women traveling across state lines for an abortion. This dystopian vision of the U.S. comes directly from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The GOP refusal to protect marriage equality and contraception is exactly the same Republicans used to deny protection for Roe v. Wade—their assumption these rights will never be overturned. Yet justices are calling the 2015 marriage equality ruling “undemocratic,” “a problem that only [the court] can fix.”

Sen. Joni Ernst has also blocked a bill legalizing contraceptives; at 52 years old, she probably doesn’t need them. Ernst made her reputation—and may have gotten elected in 2014—with a TV ad about comparing her goals in the Senate to castrating hogs.

Twenty House Republicans also supported human trafficking by voting against a bill to combat the problem. One of them, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), criticized Democrats for doing nothing about protecting victims. Another naysayer, Matt Gaetz (R-FL), is under investigation for sex trafficking at least one underage girl. Pence’s former aide, Marc Short, said about Gaetz’s recent speech to Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, “I’m actually surprised the Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak to teenage conferences like that.”

In his speech to Turning Point, Gaetz said all anti-abortionists were fat and ugly, that they couldn’t get pregnant anyway. After a 19-year-old Texas girl objected, he used her photo to support his lie and sent her a vile insulting tweet. She used his body-shaming abuse to raise $214,000 thus far for an anti-abortion group.  

DDT’s favorite network—no, it isn’t Fox—may disappear after Verizon Fios stopped carrying One America News, removing 3.5 million subscribers. Earlier this year, OAN lost its biggest revenue when AT&T dumped DirecTV off the service in April, losing another 15 million subscribers. Far to the right of Fox, OAN created a haven for pundits who couldn’t get jobs on other channels, those willing to promote conspiracy theories including the “stolen” election.  OAN has admitted Verizon thinks that the channel is not “a credible news organization.”

Perhaps not noticing that CNN’s new CEO is directing the network to the right-wing dark side, DDT threatens to sue the company for defamation going back to his 2016 presidency campaign. DDT is still claiming his 2020 election was “stolen,” as recently as his speech in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Clarence Thomas has said the Supreme Court should create an easier environment for people to win lawsuits against the media.   

DDT’s speech seems to be winding up to another presidential campaign with the lies about stolen elections and LGBTQ people front and center, especially trans women. For example, he misgendered swimmer Lia Thomas, accusing “him” of having “arms that are 30 feet long” and “seriously injur[ing]” a competitor “because he swam so fast that he gave her major wind burn as he went by.” Thomas also wasn’t named “female athlete of the year” and didn’t break the record “by 38 seconds.” DDT also talked about a transgender weightlifter who doesn’t seem to exist. In his speech, DDT called LGBTQ people “sickos.”

Fifty-five trans candidates running in 2022 have been joined by 20 gender nonconforming candidates, 18 nonbinary candidates, and four Two-Spirit candidates. Some of them are in red states such as Montana and Oklahoma. A total of 1,068 LGBTQ candidates, an increase of 73 percent since 2020, is running this year when legislatures introduced 162 anti-LGBTQ bills before July 1. Congress has 11 elected LGBTQ members.

Witnesses in the House January 6 probe are revealing more of his lies. The Pentagon now supports the many claims that he never called on the National Guard to protect the U.S. Capitol. DDT’s former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said DDT never requested the 10,000 troops to secure the Capitol before January 6, a claim made by both DDT and his former chief of staff Mark Meadows. DDT’s former official Mick Mulvaney will also testify before the committee; he says he believe the testimony of witnesses Cassidy Hutchinson and other top former DDT officials,

After eight hearings from the House January 6 investigative committee showing DDT’s involvement in the failed coup at the U.S. Capitol, the DOJ is taking steps to investigate him. Concerns include DDT’s attempt to force former VP Mike President to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election and DDT’s ties to establishing fake alternate electors in battleground states he lost. In five of seven states, these electors appear to be driven by DDT’s lawyers with DDT also involved. The DOJ interviewed witnesses, seized phone records of his top allies, and searched the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark who enabled DDT in his election-fraud theories. AG Merrick Garland has repeatedly said that no one is above the law, and the Fulton County (GA) criminal investigation into DDT’s efforts to overturn the election is also expanding.

Furious about the investigation, DDT used his Truth Social to repeat his lies and conspiracy theories—“massive and irrefutable” evidence about the “rigged and stolen” election, his “perfect” phone call to Georgia begging for more votes to make him a winner, and more whining about his impeachments and Russia scams. The extensive quotes, complete with excessive capital letters, are here.

The DOJ has a new warrant to search John Eastman’s phone in the continued investigation regarding a criminal conspiracy between DDT and his lawyer to overturn the election, partly through using fake electors. Eastman’s employer, conservative Claremont Institute, is backing off from its staunch DDT support after standing by Eastman before it learned more about his actions. Now they’re lamenting that he decided to jettison the Constitution for DDT’s benefit. The question now is how the think tank can separate itself from Eastman.

The House committee evidence supports charges of obstruction of an official proceeding with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and used against hundreds of insurrectionists along with possibly seditious conspiracy, like charges brought against Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. In a new poll, 79 percent of people think DDT’s actions on January 6 were illegal or unethical with only 21 percent believing he did nothing wrong. Even 55 percent of Republicans agree with either illegal or unethical behavior, the same percentage of Republicans who don’t want DDT as the 2024 candidate. The 69 percent of people who believe the January 6 attack to be a crisis or major problem for American democracy is up from 65 percent earlier this year.

Leaked audio from Steve Bannon, added to his saying that DDT would declare victory on election night even if he lost, are his conspiracy with exiled Chinese mogul Guo Wengui and his associates to spread the lies that Hunter Biden’s computer, Joe Biden’s son, contained proof about salacious crimes. Guo controls pro-DDT media sites spreading far-right disinformation. Before the election, Guo’s associates disseminated videos and photos of Hunter Biden in sexual encounters and drug use.

After paying almost $2 million for DDT’s legal bills, the RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said the money stops if he becomes a 2024 candidate using the weak excuse of its “neutrality policy.” Earlier, DDT backed down when McDaniel made the same threat after DDT said he was creating his own political party. DDT’s leadership PAC, Save America, and his presidential committee-turned-PAC Make America Great Again PAC are paying legal bills for issues related to January 6, raising concerns about his witness tampering.

A Harvard study of almost 500 documents shows primary motivation for 417 Capitol rioters charged for insurrection: support for DDT, 20.6 percent; DDT’s lie about a stolen election, 20.6 percent; “peacefully protest,” 7 percent; and “general interest in violence,” 6.2 percent.  

June 27, 2022

SCOTUS Continues Disastrous Rulings, CNN Goes Conservative

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

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

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

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

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

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

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State stated:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not a blueprint for a “beacon.”

June 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.

May 13, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marchese added:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 13, 2022

Abbott Damages Economy, GOP Beginning to Hurt

In a publicity stunt, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott put noncitizens onto buses and sent them to Washington, D.C. after President Joe Biden rescinded Title 42, DDT’s ban on refugees entering the country because of the pandemic. Less noticed, however, has been Abbott’s drastically slowing commercial traffic across the border in retaliation for Biden’s decision.

For a week, Abbott has ordered additional inspections at ports of entry to extremely thorough federal inspections. Troopers, however, can do only mechanical checks, not cargo checks. For over a week, these delays of up to several days resulted in rotting food, a supply chain crisis, and increased inflation. After extensive bipartisan criticism, Abbott backed down on the inspections at one bridge.

(Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, the third busiest land port of entry into the country, after Abbott blocked commercial traffic in and out of Texas at 13 ports of entry for unnecessary inspections.)   

 

The border averaged over 7,100 crossings daily, and Abbott now orders every truck to be inspected. Texas traffic dropped by two-thirds as importers re-rout trucks to Arizona bridges, but vegetables sent from Mexico may be spoiled by the time they arrive in the U.S. Having endorsed Abbott for his gubernatorial election, The Texas Trucking Association said that these inspections “cannot be sustained.” Texas’ GOP Agriculture Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid called the inspections a “catastrophic policy”; Mexico ships about two-thirds of the produce sold in Texas. Think Abbott if grocery shelves are empty. No one is answering questions about any discovery of migrants or drugs, the only purpose of the inspections.  [visual – Abbott border inspection]

Statement from Press Secretary Jen Psaki at the White House briefing (right: Juarez crossing): 

“Factually there is over $1 million in trade crossing over the US/Mexico border every minute. These actions are impacting people’s jobs and the livelihoods of hardworking people in Texas and across the country. That’s not a political statement. That is a statement of fact. I would note what we’re seeing with these unnecessary inspections of trucks, transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are significant delays which are resulting in a drop of commercial traffic of up to 60% to 70% in some ports.”

Psaki also said

“Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country.”

Biden has signed a new order banning businesses from selling kits used to create a gun at home without serial numbers. Called “ghost guns,” about 20,000 of these were recovered by police in 2021, ten times as many as in 2016. There may be far more because many police departments don’t report them. Philadelphia police report almost a 500-percent increase in the number of recovered ghost guns during the past two years, Biden’s rule revises the federal definition of a firearm to include unfinished parts such as the frame of a handgun and the receiver of a long gun. In less than four months, these parts must be licensed and have serial numbers; manufacturers are also required to run background checks before selling them.

Federally licensed firearms dealers must also retain key records until they shut down their business or licensed activity and then transfer the records to ATF as they are currently required to do at the end of licensed activity. Formerly, dealers could destroy most records after 20 years.

 People cheered when workers at an Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse unionized, fair and square, after the company was blocking from cheating. But Amazon isn’t done: it’s filed 25 objections against the union to get a re-do and blamed the National Labor Relations Board for “inappropriate and undue influence” in a lawsuit. Amazon behavior is without reproach: it mandated workers attend anti-union propaganda and paid $3,200 per day for professional union-busters. The union fight leader, Christian Smalls, was fired in 2020 for leading a walk-out against Amazon’s lack of COVID safety precautions.

During a union fight in Bessemer (AL), the location of a voting box inside an Amazon-branded tent tainted the election, according to the NLRB. A recent re-vote has not yet been determined. The vote for a second Staten Island warehouse is scheduled on April 25. 

The House January 6 investigation committee may subpoena more documents from John Eastman, the lawyer who tried to persuade former VP Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election in favor of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). On March 16, over 16 months after Biden was elected president, Eastman and others had an almost two-hour meeting with Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos trying to persuade him to nullify the 2020 presidential election.

Eastman said state electors, based on the state’s popular vote, didn’t belong to Biden. According to Jefferson Davis, who attended the meeting, Eastman wants Vos to start “reclaiming the electors” and move forward with “either a do over or having a new slate of electors seated that would declare someone else the winner.” After ABC News published Davis’ quote, he claimed Eastman didn’t suggest these ideas and that the “meeting was confidential.” Although Vos said the 2020 election couldn’t be decertified, he has declared widespread election fraud. A judge held Vos in contempt last month for not turning over documents from the GOP-led investigation Vos started in May 2021 into the 2020 election.

Both Pat Cipollone, DDT’s former White house council, and deputy Patrick Philbin will voluntarily talk to the House committee about plans to overturn the election. At a January 3 White House meeting, they warned they would resign if DDT replaced former AG Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, who tried to make the DOJ take part in the conspiracy to return DDT to the White House.

Biden has also authorized the release of White House visitor logs on January 6 to the investigation committee.

An argument for acquitting one of the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists has gained media attention: Samuel Shamansky, defense attorney for Dustin Thompson, is passionately arguing that his client is innocent because DDT “authorized this assault” on the Capitol and convinced “vulnerable” people that the election was stolen. Shamansky claims, “It was a plot, it was a scheme, it was a conspiracy…. that began at the highest levels of our government.” His client and other supporters “believed the lies that were fed to them.” Shamansky told Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes that DDT had “groomed” Thompson and others. With no evidence of a stolen election, DDT and other GOP leaders have persuaded their followers of a “stolen” election. Now the argument for all their illegal activities can come from claims of being “vulnerable.”

After weeks of publicity about his alleged voter fraud, North Carolina has taken DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows off its voter rolls, and the State Bureau of Investigation still works on its probe into possible fraud. Meadows was registered to vote in both Virginia and North Carolina, and his registration in North Carolina was at an address where he never lived. He voted in Virginia for a 2021 election. Meadows’ wife, Debra, is still registered at the trailer where she probably never lived.

A leading proponent of false accusations regarding widespread election fraud causing DDT’s 2020 loss, Meadows, a leader of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), has stopped speaking at their statewide Election Integrity Summits that show how to organize “citizen election integrity task forces” to check on people’s voter records to ensure they live where they have registered. Meadows, who lambasted the safety of mail-in ballots, voted with one in the 2020 election.

Meadows’ chief reasons for being exonerated are likely his color, his politics, and his gender. Light sentences for GOP, white males perpetrating voter fraud demonstrate this as they have escaped the maximum five years in prison for this felony. Republicans in Florida’s Villages who pleaded guilty to voter fraud got community service and a 12-week civics class. Two Pennsylvania men who also cast votes for DDT in the names of their dead mothers got probation. One of them excused himself by saying he “listened to too much propaganda.” An Ohio GOP official who forged his dead father’s signature on an absentee ballot received three days in jail. The Nevada man who complained about someone illegally voting for his dead wife finally admitted he did it himself and voted for DDT. He got probation.

Republicans will say that voter fraud is real, but the few cases come primarily from Republicans. On the other hand, a Black woman mistakenly cast a provisional vote in 2016 because she wasn’t told she couldn’t vote while on supervised release for a federal conviction. Her sentence? Five years in prison. The white GOP guys planned to break the law; the Black woman didn’t.

 It took almost two years, but South Dakota finally impeached the state’s Attorney General Jason Ravnsbory (R) after he killed a man in a car crash, left the scene of the crime, and then denied he noticed. In the state’s first impeachment of an elected official, 28 Republicans joined 8 Democrats to impeach despite a special committee saying the hit-and-run death was not an impeachable offense. All 31 opposing votes came from Republicans. Permanently removal from the office can occur with a two-third vote for conviction in the state senate with 32 Republicans and three Democrats. The trial can start after 20 days, and Ravnsborg hopes for re-election this fall.

Not even 2,000 people showed up to DDT’s North Carolina rally last weekend. Most of the local media didn’t report the crowd size.

March 5, 2022

Ukraine Fights On: Day Nine

Update on John Eastman:    A judge rejected another stall from the lawyer who helped Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) in his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election on January 6 by falsifying the electoral college votes. A March 8 hearing will not be postponed, and the House investigatory committee will not be required to provide “exculpatory” evidence. The judge informed Eastman that the committee already told him it may invoke the “crime-fraud exception” requiring him to release the emails.

A Russian plane has landed at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. to pick up 13 expelled Russian spies. It had to follow this flight pattern because Russia cannot fly over EU airspace. 

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Steve Daines (R-MT) jeopardized the life of Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday by sharing photos of him in real time during a Zoom meeting. According to Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), the Ukrainian Ambassador asked everyone not to share anything on social media to protect Zelensky’s security. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a former Army Ranger, tweeted, “If an embattled wartime leader asks you to keep quiet about a meeting, you better keep quiet about the meeting…. Lives are at stake.” Michael Steele, former RNC chair, wrote, “Why would you risk his safety for a tweet?” Thus far, Zelensky has escaped at least three Russian assassination plots after being warned by anti-invasion Russians from Federal Security Service or FSB.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s promise of a five-hour “humanitarian corridor” permitting Mariupol and Volnovakha civilians to evacuate disappeared, and Russians continue shelling the cities. Ukraine’s southeastern port city of Mariupol, population 447,000, is cut off with no food, water, electricity, and heat. Leveling cities is a typical strategy Russia uses to take over countries.  Earlier Russia captured Kherson, an economic hub of 290,000 along the Black Sea and the Dnieper River after the mayor made a deal. Almost 3,000 protesters gathered, despite Russian ruling that no more than two people gather together outdoors.

Ukraine has taken back control of Bucha, a northwest city of 37,000 population. (Left: a Bucha street with destroyed Russian vehicles.) Russians also failed to take the nearby city of Irpin with 60,000. Late Friday, the 40-mile Russian convoy was stalled 15 miles from Kyiv. Ukraine delayed them by blowing up a key bridge and attacking vehicles in the convoy. In an extremely rare occurrence, a sniper killed Russian major general, Andrei Sukhovetsky, in Ukraine, called a “major demotivator” for Russia. He was the commanding general of the Russian 7th Airborne Division. 

Putin’s new law makes “fake” news (actually facts) about the Russian invasion—officially called “special military operation,”—punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Those who publicly call for sanctions can be fined with sentences up to three years in prison or a 1.5 million ruble fine (about $12,000 at this time) for “disseminating “false information.” Using an “official position” to spread this “false information” increases prison time to five to ten years and up to 5 million rubles fine. Imprisonment will be 10 to 15 years “if fake information caused serious consequences.” Foreign media outlets including BBC, Voice of America, and Deutsche Welle are blocked in Russia as are Twitter and Facebook. Bloomberg and CNN no longer broadcast from Russia. Citing “free speech,” Elon Musk plans to continue broadcasting false Russian propaganda on his satellite network Starlink. 

Ian Garner, authority in Russia culture, wrote that the target of Putin’s message is his own country, but it looks “more like World War I—a detached imperial tsar directing his troops in an abstract war against imperial opposition.” He continued that not “even the most war-hungry Russians are buying into Putin’s World War II cosplay dreams.” As in the 1990s, older Russians watch and believe Putin’s state TV, but younger ones know Putin is lying about being forced into war because of social media. Even Putin’s supporters outside Russia are calling the invasion a “mistake.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) brought an angry bipartisan response for calling Putin to be assassinated. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said, “We should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state.” For perhaps the first time, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) agreed that Graham’s statement was outrageous. Calling it “unhelpful,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid WWlll.” About Graham, Ben Rhodes tweeted:

“This guy was the chief apologist and enabler for an autocrat who called Putin a genius on the eve of invasion and sided with Putin over US intelligence over his assault on American democracy.”

Sean Hannity not only agrees with Graham but also wants NATO countries to bomb the 40-mile convoy as Putin sits in Russia with nuclear weapons on “high alert” for any “aggressive statements” from NATO countries. Hannity said he didn’t want a nuclear war, but Putin could give the world—soon vaporized—no choice. 

Putin claims that the invasion is to “denazify” Ukraine, but Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, told state TV that Russian troops were told to seize Ukraine’s nuclear plants so that Ukraine couldn’t build “a dirty bomb” to attack Russia, a false assumption. Earlier this week, Russians shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and started a fire. The fire is out, but Russian soldiers are now in charge, and employees are operating it at gunpoint. New danger comes from both human error because of the stress and workers’ inability to change shifts and power failure from lack of constant electricity after a sustained power grid failure. Russia already captured the Chernobyl nuclear plant and the highly radioactive exclusion area surrounding it and is now heading toward the Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant, 75 miles north of Mykolaiv near the Black Sea. 

On the TV show, Kartapolov also asserted:

“De facto, we are at war with NATO, because all of Ukraine’s military formations are carrying out NATO’s tasks… NATO is also solving another problem, getting rid of Europe’s excess migrants by sending them to fight in Ukraine. God is not in power, but in truth.”

Kartapolov predicted a land grab of Ukraine, similar to that Russia made in Syria and Chechnya:

“Ukraine will recognize Crimea as the Russian Federation, as well as DPR/LPR [‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’] within their administrative borders. Ukraine will change its social and state system and become a neutral, demilitarized country. That’s it.”

U.S. and several other countries are flying weapons and other military supplies into Ukraine’s border countries for Ukrainian support. From Finland come 2,500 assault rifles and 1,500 anti-tank weapons while Sweden is sending 5,000 helmets, body armor, and 5,000 anti-tank weapons. Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia are also shipping anti-armor and anti-aircraft rockets, body armor, helmets, fuel, and hundreds of thousands of packages of field rations. President Joe Biden asked Congress for another $10 billion to support Ukraine and bolster European allies. He already sent 15,000 military members to Eastern Europe. Details on U.S. military support for Ukraine beginning last December.

The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) suspended Russia and Belarus from the council’s activities. Russia was a co-founder of the 12-member CBSS—EU and eleven countries. Belarus was an observer state in the organization to promote regional cooperation.

According to Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, over 60,000 men have returned from abroad to fight the invasion, forming 12 more combat brigades. Ukraine is enlisting civilian drone pilots for surveillance, requesting they donate aircraft and volunteer as pilots, if experienced. To keep the Ukrainian flagship frigate under repair, the Hentman Sagaidachny, the country deliberately sank it to prevent Russian capture.

Ukraine is using every resource it can—even cats that can spot sniper’s laser dots. [visual – Ukraine cat] reason the International Cat Federation banned Russian cats from competition. The Fédération Internationale Féline blocked import and registration of any cat “bred in Russia” as well showing any cat “belonging to exhibitors living in Russia” until May 31 when the organization will reevaluate its restrictions.  

Shell Oil, formerly declaring it was backing out of Russia, admitted it bought “a cargo of Russian crude oil” supposedly for its refineries and chemical plants and plans to continue the practice as needed. The company claims it will donate profits from Russian oil to “alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine.” Other companies, however, are leaving Russia:

  • In China, known for being Putin’s friends, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is suspending business with Russia and Belarus. One of the founding members of the bank, Russia has a seat on the board Russia with a six percent vote in operations and is the third-largest stakeholder after China and India.
  • S&P Dow Jones Indices are removing Russian stocks.  
  • Samsung’s suspension of shipments to Russia includes not only smartphones but also products from chips to consumer electronics.
  • Ukrainian Airbnb hosts have received almost $2 million from 61,000 bookings for people who don’t plan to use the booking but want to donate to Ukrainians. Airbnb also offered free temporary housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and suspended all operations in Russia and Belarus.
  • AMMO, Inc., based in Scottsdale (AZ), has offered to send Ukraine one million bullets if the U.S. government approves.

In the U.S., 83 percent of survey respondents support sanctions, and 69 percent are in favor even if energy prices rise. Even 58 percent of Republicans are willing to pay higher prices. Fifty-two percent approve of Biden’s management of the crisis, up from 34 percent last week. Biden’s approval also rose 8 points last week to 47 percent.

While Ukrainians fight for their democracy, forced to leave their homes and perhaps the country under threat of killing, pro-Putin truckers, stating that vaccinations take away their “freedom,” are each spending thousands of dollars to converge on D.C. to “block the Beltway.” They also demand that the mask requirements, now over, end. They allege the invasion is a cover for a DDT-backed military operation in Ukraine where he is working with Putin to stop bioweapons from being made by Dr. Anthony Fauci. According to their fantasies, the shelling targets these secret laboratories. 

March 4, 2022

1/6 Criminal Charges Possible for DDT

While Vladimir Putin threatens to end the world, the House committee investigating events surrounding the January 6 insurrectionist is moving Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) toward criminal charges for his part in the attempted coup. According to a committee filing, DDT and a right-wing lawyer were part of a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The filing is an attempt to persuade a judge to allow the panel access to emails from John Eastman, who claims attorney-client privilege.

The committee also hinted it may make a criminal referral to the DOJ using the arguments to the court as a preview to the case. Congress cannot bring criminal charges; only the DOJ can do that. One of the possible charges against DDT is obstruction because of his attempts to block Joe Biden’s certification as president. After DDT’s election loss, he communicated with state officials and “engaged in a personal campaign to persuade the public that the election had been tainted by widespread fraud,” according to the House lawyers. They cited DDT’s personal pressure on then-VP Mike Pence “to manipulate the results in his favor” and to block Congress’ vote although DDT knew he lacked sufficient legitimate electoral votes from the states.

The filing also detailed how DDT’s officials pushed back at his insistence to block the election result. DOJ leadership testified that DDT pressured them to declare the entire election “corrupt.” Eastman was also told that no Supreme Court justice would approve of his legal theories. Even DDT’s faithful adviser, said DDT had been advised “in pretty blunt terms” he was going to lose his fight. Pence, his advisers, and prominent conservative attorneys condemned Eastman’s theory as nonsensical and impossible.

The House is trying to overcome Eastman’s confidential attorney-client claim by showing his communications are about fraudulent activity, or ongoing or future crimes. One of Eastman’s available emails shows he knew people delaying the electoral count were breaking the law. A judge earlier ruled that Eastman cannot shield 19,000 emails requested by the House committee.

During the insurrection, Eastman wrote Pence’s aide that he had told DDT his vice president could not unilaterally determine the electoral college vote. Yet five hours later, he wrote the same aide, again asking that Pence stop the certification.

The second possible charge is conspiracy to defraud the United States. DDT lied about the 2020 election and therefore attempted to “interfere or obstruct legitimate Government activity” with “deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest.” The committee also accuses DDT of conspiring to commit the same types of crimes as many of his followers breaching the Capitol grounds found guilty of engaging in conspiracies to interrupt Congress from its session certifying the election.

In addition, the House committee issued subpoenas to DDT’s lawyers suspected to be part of the efforts to stop certifying Biden’s presidential election. Closely involved in the scheme, DDT called the “war room” at the Willard Hotel, the location for planning to overturn the election, on January 5 to talk about ways that they could completely stop Biden’s certification. Present were the subpoenaed legal team with DDT’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Christina Bobb, One America News host, was subpoenaed because of her involvement in drafting the executive order to direct federal agencies in seizing voting machines in states that Biden narrowly won. Cleta Mitchell, also subpoenaed, participated in DDT’s phone call to pressure Georgia’s secretary of state Brad to “find” the exact number of votes to reverse his loss in the state. Other subpoenaed people also worked with the executive orders or pressure on the DOJ or state legislators to commit fraud.

The House committee has interviewed over 550 people and still wants to talk to DDT’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle as well as the people they subpoenaed earlier this week. Roger Stone, DDT’s longtime friend, refuses to testify, but Danish filmmakers have footage for two years showing frank statements about his part in overturning the election. Committee members just need to watch the film, and everyone can watch A Storm Foretold, expected to be released later this year. A 90-minute period covering the height of the violence on January 6 and Stone’s conversations with DDT are missing, but he may have talked about these.

Part of the filming shows Stone pushing the “Stone Plan”—a blanket presidential pardon for himself, DDT’s congressional allies, and the America First movement for trying to overturn the election. Stone also wanted DDT to pardon other backers, including convicted mobsters, but White House counsel Pat Cipollone scuttled the idea. Wanting a pardon for what they did shows Stone realized his and conspirators’ actions were illegal.

Stone and DDT probably won’t be friends anymore. On Inauguration Day, Stone said DDT deserved to be impeached and was the “greatest single mistake in American history.” He added that federal authorities in Manhattan might prosecute DDT because he didn’t preemptively pardon himself. “A good, long sentence in prison will give him a chance to think about it, because the Southern District is coming for him, and he did nothing,” Stone said.

More details of the film here.

Eastman has already “retired” from Chapman University for his part in trying to overturn the election; now California’s state bar is investigating him for possible violations of “California law and ethics rules governing attorneys following and in relation to the November 2020 presidential election.” The probe began last September. A press release stated that “a number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct.”

While the January 6 insurrectionists chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” Eastman blamed Pence for the violence when he wrote Greg Jacob, Pence’s chief counsel:

“The ‘siege’ is because YOU and your boss did not do what was necessary to allow this to be aired in a public way so that the American people can see for themselves what happened.”

Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said the filing is really about DDT, not Eastman. He added that the legal brief states “there is a good faith basis to believe that Donald Trump committed felonies and this lawyer, John Eastman, helped him do it.”

One viable theory regarding DDT’s behavior, considering his past, comes from author Don Winslow. He thinks the sole goal of DDT and his allies is to stall the process by questioning the integrity of the investigation with the hopes that Republicans will take over the House this year and shut down the probe. Winslow tweeted footage from a political ad stating:

“Every single deposition that the [January 6th Committee] does from today forward will be able to be dodged by the person till after the November mid-terms, including [Kim Guilfoyle] It’s not an accident that they subpoenaed Kim Guilfoyle this late.”

Documents for the filing show that multiple witnesses and documents prove DDT was repeatedly told his election loss was real and his claims of “fraud” were based on nothing. As advisers destroyed his conspiracy theories, he made up more. It’s the behavior of someone creating false evidence to support a lie. Former DOJ official Richard Donoghue testified about DDT’s reason for trying to overthrow democracy. DDT said something like, “What do I have to lose?” Donoghue pled with DDT not to “hurt the country,” but DDT ignored him. DDT believed he would never face any consequences.

Amanda Marcotte wrote:

“Trump has been criming his entire life, and never faced anything like a serious consequence. As the New York Times has repeatedly shown in its reporting, Trump has been a massive tax fraud his whole career. He doesn’t even bother to deny it, but brags about how defrauding the government and other taxpayers is a ‘sport’ and makes him ‘smart.’ He’s been accused of sexual harassment, assault, and rape by over two dozen women. But we don’t have just their testimony to rely on to believe them, because Trump himself bragged about it on the infamous ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ tape. Even when one of his illegal schemes comes back to bite him—as happened when he was forced to settle out of court with defrauded customers of his “Trump University” grift—the consequences are insufficient to actually be felt. Hell, he’s even managed to get the Republican National Committee to pay his legal bills so that he can keep wasting his money on golf courses.”

With DDT, it’s the thrill and power of getting away with whatever he wants and putting one over on everyone else. Yet he never uses words that are likely to get him convicted. Like when he blackmailed Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelinsky, he said things such as “I would like you …” or asking him for a “favor.” In February, DDT did slip when he said that “Pence did have the right to change the outcome,” indicating his state of mind, but even that might not stick.

DDT has neither morality or ethics, just a fear of consequences.

February 6, 2022

Grand Insurrection Party – The Cult of Donald Trump

According to Rick Ross, “a typical cult has a charismatic, unaccountable leader, persuades by coercion and exploits its members, economically, sexually or in some other way.” The biggest problem with cults is the way that they harm people through the leader, the coercion, and the exploitation. Warning signs for unsafe cult groups and leaders:

  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
  • No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
  • No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.
  • Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies, and persecutions.
  • No legitimate reason to leave—departing followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
  • Repeated stories by those leaving of abuse with a similar pattern of grievances.
  • Records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports documenting abuses of the group/leader.
  • Feelings of inadequacy by members.
  • Demand that the group/leader is always right.
  • The exclusive “truth” or validation comes only from the group/leader with no other ideas acceptable or credible.

Thus the description of the “Grand Insurrection Party (GIP),” Republicans who follow Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) without question and the reason for the RNC vote without discussion and almost no dissent to censure two Republican representatives involved in the process of investigating the events of the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Steve Bannon led the GOP charge against former VP Mike Pence for calling former DDT “wrong” in saying Pence could overturn President Joe Biden’s legitimate election. Other Republicans are staying quiet, but it’s early days. They’re likely waiting to see the direction of the wind. Without the cult of DDT, the RNC would not have visualized insurrectionists as heroes and martyrs—beyond accountability for their crimes.

Over a year ago, DDT said the people who attacked the Capitol should have to pay for their crimes. He even said he was “outraged” at their actions, calling for “law and order,” and said they “have defiled the seat of American democracy.” Reversing his opinion a year later, he attacked loyal followers who don’t follow his new position, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), by name-calling such as RINO (Republican in Name Only). DDT lambasted Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) earlier for not saying that Biden stole the election.

More information has recently been released about DDT’s plans to put himself back into the White House even before Pence refused to follow his orders. Soon after the election, DDT asked personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to talk to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the government seizing voting machines in battleground states that he lost. When Giuliani told him he couldn’t, DDT went to his AG Bill Barr with the same request. Barr told him “no,” that the election evidenced no crime.

DDT’s allies wrote him to use his National Security Agency (NSA) and Defense Department to look at intelligence, searching for evidence that foreign powers had interfered with election results, allowing extrajudicial responsibilities. To further his efforts, DDT pressured the Pentagon into naming his barely qualified loyalist, Michael Ellis as top NSA lawyer. Unfortunately for DDT, Ellis didn’t take charge until Biden’s inauguration, but three GOP senators—Kevin Cramer (ND), Ron Johnson (WI), and Cynthia Lummis (WY) received the memo. Lummis also attended a meeting where she was falsely told that foreign governments had changed the vote. None of the senators, however, alerted the FBI. The House January 6 investigation committee is looking into these events, helping prompt the RNC to pass its resolution.

Another problem for DDT is the history of fake electors from the battleground states that he wanted to overturn. Recently, memos made public show the involvement of his campaign lawyer at the advice of another lawyer, DDT’s ally, to create “an alternative slate vote, in hopes that its legitimacy will be validated.” It told fake electors to secretly meet and sign fake documents that they submit as if they were real. The advising lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, examined state law to find loopholes for the process. Fourteen fake electors have been subpoenaed to appear before the House committee, the chairs and secretaries of the groups in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In January, the right-wing Gatewing Pundit falsely reported that the Wisconsin State Assembly unanimously voted to withdraw Joe Biden’s ten legitimate electors. It didn’t happen because the bill was sent to the Rules Committee to die.

DDT, known for keeping all the money donated to him, gave $1.35 million to the Conservative Partnership Institute, a nonprofit organization where his former chief of staff Mark Meadows is a senior partner. The $1.35 million gift was made less than a month after the House committee was formed. Meadows initially turned over about 9,000 documents but then refused to give the committee any more and would not testify, even under the threat of criminal charges. The second largest donation from DDT’s Save America is $10,000, and most were $5,000. Recipients were those who supported DDT’s goal of overturning the election.

On January 26, a judge ordered John Eastman, the man who concocted the scheme to stop the Electoral College vote count on January 6, to quickly get the 94,000 subpoenaed documents, including 19,000 emails, to the House investigation committee. Eastman was told to review 1,500 pages per business day and immediately give them to the committee. The documents, which Eastman had fought to keep secret, are from Chapman College. Eastman tried to stall on the almost four-month job by beginning with the earliest documents and sending in newspaper articles, but the judge issued another order to prioritize documents between January 4 and 7, 2021. When Eastman was subpoenaed for his testimony, he invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 146 times.

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has turned over text messages two months, some of them already public, after they were subpoenaed. They include exchanges with Fox’s Sean Hannity about handling an unbalanced DDT after the Capitol attack, but these messages are a small part of her records.

No one knows if Pence will testify for the House committee, but the National Archives will be turning over some of his documents to the committee. That, however, was only the first round of document production. These materials specifically include “communications concerning the former Vice President’s responsibilities as President of the Senate in certifying the vote of presidential electors on January 6, 2021.”

Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, has testified in defense of his former boss, saying “snake oil salesmen” gave DDT bad advice to overturn the election. Short said he didn’t know if DDT was actually “seeking the bad advice” and confirmed “Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States.”

DDT is also calling on his cult members to violently protest any problems from the personal and political criminal and civil lawsuits against him, he said:

“They’re trying to put me in jail. These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They’re racists and they’re very sick. They’re mentally sick…. If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere.”

DDT also called on his mob to protest en masse to attack three Black law enforcement officials came almost immediately after his suggestion he would pardon violent protesters on January 6.

The House committee has a solution for high level officials who refuse to testify: they turn lower-level staff members into witnesses who provide information about their employers’ activities. The group has interviewed over 475 witnesses with over 100 subpoenas including ones for banks and telecommunications and social media companies which gathered personal data of DDT family members and allies, politicians, and one congressional member, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). With this data, they use link analysis, a mapping technique key to identifying terrorist networks after 9/11.

DDT’s cult followers have established a legal defense fund for his former aides associated with the January 6 inquiry. The one requirement for the First Amendment Fund from the American Conservative Union is that they disagree with the committee’s mission. DDT won’t be donating any money for them. Anyone not bending before DDT’s will should be eliminated. For example, after GOP Gov. Chris Sununu (NH) opposed DDT’s pardon idea for insurrectionists, DDT wants him removed from office and came out in support of any opponent to Sununu in the upcoming election.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) declared all the “mean” and “nasty” committee members could face jail time when the Republicans take over the House. He didn’t list any “laws” the committee members are “breaking.” Gingrich is working on GOP policy statements for the 2022 election.

DDT’s actions follows all the boxes applicable to a cult leader which can also drive away legitimate Republicans. Before the censure resolution, Mike DuHaime, former RNC political director, tweeted the RNC would be “insane” if it carries through:

“The party that long valued individuality and differences of opinion now demands fealty to the election results lie. And it stupidly keeps the focus Trump instead of Biden.”

Not all members of the GOP support the cult of DDT, but by the RNC is the Republican leadership. Those who allow the cult to continue are enabling it.

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