Nel's New Day

November 12, 2022

Dems Take Senate; Snowflake GOP Whines

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has been become the 50th senator, making the Walker/Warnock election in Georgia on December 6 a non-factor in possible losses of GOP bills and votes. Her election follows Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) earlier win. His opponent, Black Masters, blames House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his loss because Masters wanted more funding. Masters already received $15 million from gay billionaire Peter Thiel.

As can be expected, GOP sour grapes prevailed. After DDT accused the voting system in Clark County (NV), the state’s most populous county, of being corrupt, county officials fought back to refute his lies. As in 2020, DDT and his allies are attacking any states with Democratic winners of election fraud if their votes weren’t counted by midnight of Election Day—even if the law permitted states to accept ballots several days after Election Day as 18 states do. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed DDT on a Republican conference call hosted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the Senate fundraising committee by falsely claiming that there was no “mathematical way” Adam Laxalt could lose to Cortez Masto.

National media finally declared Tina Kotek Oregon’s governor-elect, and her GOP candidate finally managed to concede. Nevada’s GOP candidate Joe Lombardo beat his opponent, but the GOP election denier candidate for secretary of state, Jim Marchant, lost. He had said he would certify the 2024 election for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT. In Arizona, Kari Lake trails Katie Hobbs for governor by 34,000 votes after the last drop from a GOP area of Maricopa County failed to give her a big boost. Another 190,000 ballots with possibly Democratic emphasis are waiting in the wings.

Lake has cried voter fraud because the vote wasn’t completed within a few hours of the end of voting. She called Arizona “a banana republic,” and Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts told Lake to “grow up”:

“Kari Lake was vowing to call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night. Do you need a timeout? That’s what I used to ask my toddler sons when they’d throw themselves onto the floor, kicking and screaming, because they didn’t get their way.”

Lake even promises she would “call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night,” according to Roberts. MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hilliard said Lake alleges fraud but refuses to name what it is or or report anyone to authorities.  

The best satire, close to fact, came from the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz. It begins:

“The United States of America has become the envy of the world after a ten-billion-dollar expenditure on political advertising changed virtually nothing. People around the globe marvelled at a democracy so robust it could withstand an outlay of cash greater than the gross domestic product of nations such as Tajikistan, Montenegro, and Somalia…

“’When you imagine what you could do with ten billion dollars, you immediately think of building new roads or schools,’ a citizen of Montenegro said. ‘But America’s roads and schools must be in excellent shape, if they can afford to spend ten billion dollars on elections instead.’

“’Ten billion dollars could pay for a lot of solar panels, wind farms, and other measures to mitigate climate change,’ a resident of Somalia said. ‘Thank heavens Americans realized that political advertising is the thing that makes them No. 1 in the world and decided to spend it on that.’”

The Republicans are traumatized by their loss, and DDT faces unprecedented attacks from many in the GOP. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal called him the GOP’s “biggest lower” and former House Speaker Paul Ryan begged Republicans to move forward in a non-DDT direction. “Trump is a loser,” right-wing pundit Eli Lake on Daily Beast wrote on Twitter. “He’s an albatross, a boat anchor on the party. For three straight elections, he has been a liability for Republicans.” Commentary magazine’s John Podhoretz called DDT a “pathological loser narcissist who has now been humiliated by the American electorate in three separate national contests.” Even DDT’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, “Between being Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis tonight, you want to be Ron DeSantis. Trump is not doing very well.”

Even conservative tabloid New York Post ridiculed DDT. 

While DDT’s inner circle tried to talk him out of declaring a candidacy within the next couple of months or longer, he unleashed his venom on heir apparent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had a really good night. His gerrymandering of districts in opposition to both Republicans and Democrats in legislature created a number of GOP congressional winners, maybe responsible for the U.S. House win if it happens.

DDT called DeSantis an “average” governor with “great public relations.” In a statement, DDT asserted:

“Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. … When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off.”

DDT went even farther when he  claimed he “sent in the FBI and U.S. Attorneys” to stop “ballot theft … just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win” for DeSantis’ 2018 election. In the same Truth Social post, DDT wrote, “I also fixed his campaign.” A legal expert called the action “fraud.” DeSantis’ defeated opponent, Andrew Gillum is already using DDT’s statements in a court filing

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins tweeted:

“Am I losing my mind? Is this not a gigantic deal? He’s either casually admitting to using federal agents to interfere in a state election or lying about it for some equally inexplicable reason, right? Am I reading this wrong or is this a five-alarmer for the DOJ?”

DDT followed his attacks on DeSantis with rants and slurs against Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin, another possible presidential candidate in 2024. In a racist comment, DDT said that “Young kin … sounds Chinese” before he took credit for Youngkin’s win. During the election, the governor had tried to separate himself from DDT.

In more tantrums, DDT blames Fox’s Sean Hannity, his former BFF, and casino mogul Steve Wynn for the Election Day losses of his hand-picked candidates. Trying to cover for his failures, DDT insisted he “did a great job” in the midterms and concluded, “Remember, I am a ‘Stable Genius.’” He sticks to his declaration on Election night, “I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” Like all the other whining Republicans, is melting like snowflakes.

The U.S. House is still not a done deal for the GOP. A projection gives Republican a one-person lead over the Democrats, but 19 elections still haven’t been called for the chamber. No matter which way it goes, the GOP is in for a “Bloodbath!” the term Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about Election Day. Republicans have two major issues: what to do about “loser” DDT and who should have the GOP leadership in Congress.    

Republicans are blaming McConnell for not worshipping DDT and for not approving some of his candidates. Conservative senators pushing for Ron Johnson’s (WI) leadership are asking colleagues to postpone votes for GOP leadership elections next week, but the vote is still on schedule. No matter who wins, that person will be Minority Leader.  

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), desperately trying to become the party leader in the House is catering to the collection of crazies who have been elected. As of yesterday, at least 150 election deniers were elected to the House with a few other undecided races such as the queen loonie Lauren Boebert from Colorado. A newbie is gay election-denier George Santos from Long Island who attended DDT’s January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and said he wrote a “nice check” to help cover the legal fees of some of the rioters. To Santos, abortion is comparable to slavery. McCarthy will do anything to get votes for House Speaker; he already promised Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) banned from committee membership for the past two years, that she can have any committee position she wants.

The far-right House members are campaigning to block McCarthy from leadership. A strategy from the Freedom Caucus is to create an easier process to call for a vote ousting a sitting speaker. The conservatives also wants more representation on selecting committee assignments and aims to delay the legislative by taking more time to review even non-controversial bills. Other demands are launching investigations and impeachments of President Joe Biden and his Cabinet members.

A huge problem of selecting any GOP House leadership is the slim majority, even if Republicans take the House. McCarthy is also in DDT’s pocket, making serious problems for anyone else running for president in 2024.

Inflation was a concern for 31 percent of voters, but democracy was far above at 44 percent. Abortion was also not far behind inflation at 27 percent. Voters over 65 years old preferred Republicans over Democrats by 55 percent to 43 percent, meaning 55 percent of them voted against keeping their benefits. Maybe they think that saving a few dollars on gas will make up for these losses. Pew Research exit polls shows a lengthy selection of other descriptors about how people voted this month—a great read for political junkies.

October 27, 2022

Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Day 245

Russian President Vladimir Putin has one last chance to win his invasion of Ukraine—a GOP congressional takeover on November 8. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested that the House would pull funding for the war if he becomes speaker. They would destroy Ukraine’s courageous struggle to keep its democracy at the same time that its troops are retaking land Russia started to occupy since its attack on February 24, 2022. Putin’s conscription attempts are bad to terrible, and men dragged onto the battle field are poorly equipped and badly trained. While Russian propaganda proposes Ukrainian genocide, the Russian attacks on Ukrainian power stations removing electricity from a million people has only increased Ukrainian resolve.

In the past, Republicans have exhibited friendship with Putin and Russia, and recent votes against aid for Ukraine has shows that continued Russian support by far-right congressional members. In a New Yorker interview with Isaac Chotiner, columnist Christopher Coldwell gave reasons for this GOP fondness for the brutal country trying to annihilate Ukrainians. The GOP sees Putin as an ally in their culture wars and the shared contempt for international institutions. They also admire Putin’s “macho nativist authoritarianism” and have been swayed by his trolling propaganda to influence U.S. elections in the past eight years.   

Fortunately, for Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-CA) opposes McCarthy’s position. McConnell called on President Joe Biden to expedite military aid to Ukraine and promised GOP senators will work to ensure “timely delivery of needed weapons.” There was no mention of McCarthy, but the difference was obvious.

Another reason for the far-right extremist attachment to Putin is his similarity to Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and their similar goals. Maureen Dowd wrote:

“They would rather destroy their countries than admit they have lost. They have each created a scrim of lies to justify lunatic personal ambition. And while it should be easy to see through these lies, both cult-of-personality leaders are able to con and bully enough people to remain puissant.”

The strongmen who went into Ukrainian apartments with rifles and forced the occupants to vote in favor of the sham referenda annexing eastern Ukraine oblasts bear an alarming resemblance in dress and manner to the men stalking the Arizona ballot drop boxes.

Conservatives permiting Russia to overcome Ukraine and move across Europe will have the same danger as conservatives’ supporting Germany in the leadup to World War II. With other members of “America First,” Charles Lindbergh, the hero of many people in the U.S. for making the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, urged people to join Germany to preserve “our inheritance of European blood.” In 1940, editors of the conservative Wall Street Journal wrote that “our job today is not to stop Hitler [who had] already determined the broad lines of our national life at least for another generation.”

Famous U.S. manufacturers supported Germany’s efforts in his prewar preparations. In 1938, Henry Ford opened an assembly plant in Berlin to build “troop transport-style” vehicles for the German military, and both Ford and his chief executive received the Nazi Grand Cross of the German Eagle for “distinguished service.” GM built the “Blitz” truck in Berlin, used for German army blitzkreig attacks on Poland, France and the Soviet Union.   GM and Ford converted their Axis plant to production of military aircraft and trucks, building almost 90 percent of the armored “mule” 3-ton half-trucks and over 70 percent of the Reich’s medium and heavy-duty trucks which served as “the backbone of the German Army transportation system.” Ford provided access to huge quantities of raw materials, especially rubber, and GM gave Hitler the synthetic fuel technology. All the dealings were “extremely profitable.”

Eighty years later, blatant anti-Semitic attacks by leaders such as Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, and rapper Kanye West have resulted in the highest levels of harassment, vandalism, and violence toward Jews since the 1970s. Russians are donating millions of dollars to U.S. politicians—including DDT—through straw donors. Putin capitalized on U.S. political divisions with the statement that the West is divided into “traditional, mainly Christian values” and another—“aggressive, cosmopolitan, neocolonial, acting as the weapon of the neoliberal elite.”

The UN objected to a Russian argument that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cannot report to the Security Council regarding allegations Moscow is using Iran-made drones in Ukraine, violating a 2015 resolution. Tehran denies it supplied the drones, but they have been filmed in attacks. Russia also accused the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany of trying to exert influence over Guterres to investigate this use of drones. In addition, Russia may be advising Iran on ways to suppressing open demonstrations after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not following Iran’s dress code.

Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s power stations and other key infrastructure, according to the White House. Russians may need the Iranians to train them how to use their drones. Zelensky said that Russia had ordered 2,400 drones from Iran.

A senior Russian foreign ministry official threatened the U.S. and its allies with targeting their commercial satellites in return for their involvement in the Russian war against Ukraine. He may have been referring to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation, used by Ukrainian soldiers for communications, and synthetic aperture radar satellites tracking Russian troop and tank movements. The official made the same threat last month but may not have followed through because taking this action is difficult. In addition, Russians threaten to blow up a hydroelectric power plant in the Kherson region.

Russia also calls for the “de-Satanization” of Ukraine, a lie one step lower than their earlier goal of “de-Nazification” and reminiscent of the QAnon conspiracy theories in the U.S. Russian soldiers’ strategy to defeat Ukrainian civilians is to capture, torture, and then kill them in organized brutality throughout Russian occupied territory.

Ukraine is advancing on occupying Russian forces in Kherson despite heavy fighting. A Russian military blogger wrote, “I don’t exclude the surrender of Kherson [by the Russians].”

A recent discussion about nuclear-laced “dirty bombs” has been exacerbated by Russia’s letter to the UN with the evidence-free accusation that Ukraine plans to use them. While he spreads these lies, his military had an exercise of tests capable carrying nuclear warheads involving land, sea, and air. Videos of launches were published along with the defense minister’s claim that the tests were successful.

Earlier this week, Ukraine pushed back Wagner Group mercenaries operated by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Bakhmut, Donetsk, and seized a key highway in Luhansk. Prigozhin admitted slow progress amid “fierce enemy resistance.” Sergei Surovikin (aka General Armageddon), Russia’s new commander of the invasion in Ukraine known for his brutality, used the word “tense” in trying to retake southern and eastern Ukrainian regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin had claimed to annex through his coercive faux referenda. Russian troops are in danger of being pinned against the western bank of the 1,367-long Dnipro River bisecting Ukraine from north to south.

About trying to keep Kherson, Surovikin said, “The situation in this area is difficult.” He blames Ukraine for shelling infrastructure and residential buildings which Ukraine said was done by Russian military. Russians struggle to obtain supplies from the east because Ukrainians bombed the main bridge across the Dnipro and decided to ferry materials and equipment from the west bank of the Dnipro River to the eastern bank toward Russia. 

Syrian war crimes investigators may join crime victims in Ukraine to put Russian President Vladimir Putin into prison because he has used the same people, weapons, and tactics in both countries’ atrocities. In the command hierarchy, Putin is responsible for the crimes and its prosecution. Russia never agreed to be called up in the International Criminal Court, but Ukrainan courts or those in third countries could prosecute him. The U.S. could also declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism or support calls from Baltic states for an international tribunal to hold Putin and Russia accountable for the separate international crime of aggression used to prosecute Nazi criminals at Nuremburg. Putin’s international crimes have no statute of limitations.

A new shadow government in Belarus is planning to form a coalition with Ukraine to reduce Russia’s expansion after concerns that Russia will also invade Belarus. Taking Belarus allows Putin to move onto attacking Western Europe. Russia is sending about 9,000 troops and hundreds of armored vehicles for possible deployment.

In his latest escalation to the invasion, Putin has declared martial law in the four Ukrainian areas he annexed although he doesn’t occupy all the territory. He also ordered an “economic mobilization” in eight regions adjoining Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed in 2014. In Russia, he gave additional powers to leaders of its 80+ regions to protect critical facilities, maintain public order and increase production in support of the war effort.

U.S. F-16 warplanes intercepted two Russian bombers within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone. It is a perimeter where air traffic is monitored beyond the border of national airspace to provide additional reaction time in case of hostile actions. A Russian jet also crashed into an apartment in Yeysk, a port town about 25 miles from Ukraine, while it was on a training mission. The death toll is at least 14, including three children.  

September 24, 2022

Republicans Get Scarier

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is still on the campaign trail, this time trying to ingratiate himself with people at Wilmington (NC) by saying that his beloved daughter in law, Lara, is from the state and that he owns property there. Supposedly attempting to encourage voters to support GOP candidates, he aired his same false grievances which have lots of updates from the past week—the seizing of “his” documents, New York’s “racist,” “raging maniac’ AG Letitia James, and, of course, the “stolen election” in 2020 which he said he actually won.

At last week’s rally in Ohio, DDT promoted J.D. Vance for U.S. senate by saying “JD is kissing my ass.” He also claimed he invented the term “caravans” which he defines as “murderers and rapists.” Derived from Persian in the 1590s from Old French or Medieval Latin, caravan, derived from camel, means a group of travelers through a desert in a long line or a camper with a living area.

The Hitleresque/QAnon salutes and creepy QAnon music, popular last week, returned in his new audience. His Truth Social reposts consistently repeat QAnon messages, and he posted a photo of him wearing a Q pin. “The Storm Is Coming” on the pin refers to the day that QAnon supporters execute all opponents of DDT. The number of DDT’s QAnon posts grows when he feels he’s under attack, now a constant.

The FBI has been investigating QAnon for violent crimes and attacks, and DDT’s rallies will likely incite them to build on that violence. DDT led the crowd in the QAnon gesture although private security guards ask some supporters to put their arms down.

DDT seemed to have trouble reading his teleprompter. At one point, he declared, “We have to keep our country gay.” After a few stutters, he finished by saying “our country [isn’t] great anymore.” Twitter had a great time with his statement, and LGBTQ-friendly groups were already selling merchandise with “Make America Gay Again.”

The flight chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to take 48 legal asylum seekers from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard grows more and more shady. The Vertol Systems Company gave large donations to the governor’s allies and has been legally represented by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his former partner, Larry Keefe, now Florida’s “public safety czar” in charge of immigration policy. Keefe represented Vertol in dozens of lawsuits between 2010 and 2017.

Developer Jay Odom, responsible for packaging Vertol’s donations to candidates, was convicted and imprisoned in 2013 by an illegal campaign finance scheme for GOP Mike Huckabee’s failed 2008 presidential campaign and later arrested for a scheme with Florida’s House Speaker Ray Sansom in 2009 to build the speaker an airport hangar. In 2019, Vertol contributed $10,000 to Florida’s GOP controlled by DeSantis.

Vertol’s primary business is training pilots for the military and providing helicopters across the globe, not chartering planes. A week before the transport, the company flew its private jet from Florida to San Antonio. DeSantis’ administration refused to reveal the $12 million contract for its part in the “unauthorized alien” program, but the state budget specifies that “unauthorized aliens” are to be flown directly from Florida, not Texas. The migrants on the chartered flight were also not “unauthorized” in the U.S.

A judge in Florida ordered a lawsuit be continued regarding DeSantis’ August 4 removal of elected state attorney in Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren, who said he would not prosecute people for abortions or transgender youth gender transition treatment. Warren claims DeSantis violated his First Amendment rights for political reasons after DeSantis cited Warren’s “woke agenda” for his decision. The judicial ruling could define DeSantis’ ability to purge elected officials who disagree with him. He removed four school board members in Broward County defying his COVID mask mandates but operates selectively with no action against “constitutional” sheriffs who won’t enforce gun laws.

After revealing the GOP “Commitment to America” and then hiding it, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) led over two dozen House Republicans for its big reveal to show what the GOP, if given the congressional majority, will do to people. The party of so-called law and order will protect wealthy people from paying taxes by defunding the IRS. In a return to the past, they will investigate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, orchestrated by DDT during his term, and continue the search for COVID’s origins, specifically investigating Dr. Anthony Fauci who plans to retire.

Law and order Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who refused to block sexual assault of his athletes at Ohio State University, will look into the “weaponization of the DOJ against American people.” The business activities of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, will be a prime focus. Transgender people will be on the firing line, and freedom means parents who agree with conservatives—not the other parents—will be in control of banning books and determining curriculum. Republicans will throw money at law enforcement without any assistance for their needs.

“Longer, healthier lives for Americans” likely destroys healthcare in the popular Affordable Care Act and defends cures from charlatans such as ivermectin. The GOP’s aim to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” means to privatize, reduce, and then eliminate it. In the House, 158 Republicans already signed on to a budget cutting Medicare and Social Security. “Restore the people’s voices” in voting lists restrictions—means just “some people’s voice.”

Missing from their plans before Midterms are controversial terms such as abortion, election denialism, and Trump. Hoping to be elected House Speaker, McCarthy obtained DDT’s approval for the “Commitment” and praised QAnon member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), probably to get her vote. Yet she wasn’t allowed to answer questions from the audience of 150 local business owners, parents, and local activists.

The presentation included a video, to “celebrate the rich heritage of the American story and the vibrancy of the American Dream,” using footage of a drilling rig in Russia’s Volgograd region. The work of Serg Grbanoff, filmmaker based in Russia, appears in other parts of the video: his clip of a happy boy in a field with a toy airplane over the words “Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” comes from the same Russian area. The attack on Democrats, blamed by the video on Democrats, uses footage from a European grocery story with a Slovak word. The man featured in a Shutterstock contributor, DedovStock, is in Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountains of eastern Europe.

The “Commitment” and its rollout continues the new GOP’s refusal to govern. Republicans hate government and don’t want to put in any effort such as negotiation, compromise, or participation in hearings—the boring stuff. Even in state legislatures, bills are largely written by businesses looking to further their nests. The GOP either has no solutions for problems or knows that their ideas will be unpopular. Being vague and ambiguous, like “protect the lives of unborn children” or “curb wasteful government spending” being their sole “commitments,” is its only way to quell dissension. Republicans state that Democrats have no plan to solve inflation, but Republicans have not come up with them, only the outcomes with no path to them. After all, the GOP has been promising an answer to healthcare for over a decade.

The “Commitment” calls for a safe nation, free future, strong economy, and accountable government—all Democratic aims. Like Biden, the document wants to fight inflation and lower the cost of living, bring down gas prices, make the U.S. energy independent, strengthen the supply chair, and end U.S. dependence on China. Part of the Democratic platform, they have made progress despite Republicans consistent no votes. Legislation, absent almost all GOP votes, caps costs of some prescription medications for seniors, something Republicans promised to overturn the minute they have a majority. 

To combat high gas prices, Biden released reserves, steadily lowering the cost of gas by at least 25 percent during the same two-plus months. A barrel of oil has also dropped over $50 to under $80. Thus far, Biden has avoided a train strike and expanded the number of truck drivers, and the new climate law starts to make the U.S. energy independent. The CHIPS and Science Act reduces dependence on China although almost two-thirds of GOP senators and 187 GOP House members voted against it.

To refresh yourself about how the “Commitment” distorts language, read George Orwell’s 1984. Then House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) shut down the government for 28 days with his 1994 Contract with America. Republicans are now promising to do the same thing next week by refusing to vote for a budget, due September 30.

The MAGA “make America great again” doesn’t give a time limit for how far back Republicans want to “return,” but an Arizona judge has reinstated an 1864 anti-abortion law passed 48 years before the territory became a state. The only exception is if the pregnant person’s life is at risk; those with health risks or impregnated by rape or incest will have forced birth. That’s what electing Republicans will do for people.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wants to erase not only trans people but apparently women as a gender. In a fundraiser he protested teaching children that “more than one gender” exists. He claims doing so is “against nature, science, and common sense.” Some people aren’t sure which biological sex he plans to eliminate, but it’s unlikely he’s talking about men.

September 22, 2022

More Fraud – September 22, 2022

Special master Raymond Dearie is back in the news on Thursday: he ordered the lawyers of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) to submit a sworn declaration if they believe the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. The declaration must include “a list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022.” DDT recently repeated the accusation of FBI planting materials this week when talking to Sean Hannity on Fox network. Dearie set September 30 for the declaration’s deadline and asked DOJ for declarations about key facts regarding the search. His actions give an opening to hearing testimony about the search and seized materials from “witnesses with knowledge of the relevant facts.

The DOJ was also ordered to submit “copies of all seized materials” except those marked classified to DDT’s lawyers by September 29. DDT’s legal team must finish reviewing all documents for potential executive or attorney-client privilege by October 14 while regularly sending designations during the interim. Reviews and final designations from both sides are due by October 21. Dearie may also send  proceedings to Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the search warrant. Retired federal judge James Orenstein, appointed by George W. Bush, has been hired to help the review with his staff from the Eastern District of New York assisting. Orenstein had served “on the prosecution team in the Oklahoma City bombings trials.” Attorney General Merrick Garland played a leading role earlier in his career in the Oklahoma City investigation. Dearie said he won’t be paid for his work because the government is paying him as a federal judge but proposed that Orenstein be paid $500 per hour covered by DDT, based on an earlier court ruling.

Some of DDT’s faithful GOP senators are abandoning him, especially his ability to declassify documents just by thinking he does. John Thune (SD) said declassification has a process which should be followed and “apply to anybody who has access to or deals with classified information.” Thom Tillis (NC) agreed, and Mike Rounds (SD) called handling of classified documents a “very serious” issue. Other senators dodged the question, like Mike Braun (IN) who claimed ignorance about the “proper methodology.”

DDT made many bizarre comments about the search for government documents at Mar-a-Lago, but one that belies belief is that the FBI thought they could find “the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around someplace.” He repeated that to Sean Hannity on Fox this week, trying to gin up rumors by lying about “a lot of speculation” in his alternative reality.   

Past fraud has returned to haunt DDT—his 2014 rivalry with the 1980s metal rocker Jon Bon Jovi to buy the football team Buffalo Bills. In the $250 million fraud civil lawsuit filed by Letitia James in New York, DDT allegedly inflated assets’ valuation to finance a purchase attempt. DDT smeared the New Jersey resident, saying was that he was too Canadian for Buffalo because of Bon Jovi’s coalition of Toronto-based investors. In his $1 billion bid for the team, DDT needed a letter from a bank that he could get $800 million in financing. A Trump Organization executive, Jeffrey McConney, told the bank that DDT’s wealth, reportedly $800 billion, had “no material decrease” since the 2013 personal statement of financial condition, but those valuations were artificially inflated with DDT’s “deceptive strategies.” Although DDT claimed Bon Jovi planned to move the Bills to Toronto, he didn’t get the team and neither did the rocker. The winning $1.4 billion bid came from Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team.

Conservatives complained that the nation’s unemployment insurance program to help people during the pandemic caused people to quit work and live on the “government dole.” Yet fraudsters skimmed over $45.6 billion from the program, using dead people’s Social Security numbers and identities of prisoners ineligible for aid. That finding could be incomplete because of the focus on “high risk” areas for fraud; billions of dollars may also have been stolen. Thus far,1,000 people have been charged for these crimes, and 190,000 investigative matters have been opened. The program began in 2020 under DDT’s term in the White House.

In another program to help people during the worst of COVID, 47 defendants have been charged with stealing over $250 million from Feeding Our Future to provide free meals for needy children. Other charges involved about $1 trillion in loans and grants intended for small businesses, and GOP governors have used funding from a $350 billion program by making tax cuts and immigration crackdowns—such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis shipping migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

DeSantis has dropped to a new low in cruelty. He lured migrants to a hotel in San Antonio (TX) miles from their shelter with the promise to fly them to jobs, homes, and help in Delaware, only to cancel the flight and abandon the people. An anonymous source close to DeSantis stated that the flight, supposedly scheduled to land about 20 miles from President Joe Biden’s beach home, was to “punk” media and Democratic officials and “put a spotlight on the border.” Migrants were told they could stay in the hotel for the night before the bogus flight if they didn’t talk about the travel plans or who arranged them. The next morning, they were told the flight was canceled. Their recruiters hired a bus them back to San Antonio’s Migrant Resource Center ten miles away which would provide three days of shelter and aid. Some migrants were not told about the bus, and none of them received food after the flight was canceled.

In April, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sought federal protection for Venezuelan asylum seekers in the U.S.; five months later he accuses them of entering the U.S. “illegally.” He also doesn’t twisted the law, lying that migrants kidnapped by Florida’s governor from Texas and transported across several state lines could not sue for legal recourse. Rubio is only two points ahead of his reelection opponent, Val Deming.   

According to Rubio, health exceptions for the pregnant woman in an abortion ban are also a “massive loophole” and like vehicular manslaughter.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the man who fled the Texas cold during the energy shutdown for the Cancun warmth, is claiming “a great partisan victory!” In a video he took credit for a highway from Laredo to North Dakota that brings jobs and ”tens of billions of dollars” to his state, declaring his pride in the years of hard work for the project. Yet he voted against the bill unlike the other Texas senator, John Cornyn, among 18 Republican senators.

The GOP, party who claims to want transparency, unanimously blocked a Senate bill revealing names of donors giving over $10,000. Republicans need the dark money to get elected.

House Republicans briefly released their policy platform called “Commitment to America” on House Minority Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) website but soon dropped the public’s ability to see the document. Before its disappearance, however, multiple screenshots were taken. It criticizes the Democrats reduction of popular prescription drug costs and “fight inflation and curb the cost of living” through cuts in government spending and taxes, probably for the wealthy as in the 2017 GOP law. Its promise to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” was preceded by a GOP House committee meeting to reduce coverage and cut benefits by “massively” slashing Social Security in its proposed 2023 budget. Another “commitment” is new restrictions on voter access, including mandating voter ID, loosening rules on voter roll purges, and increasing access for observers during elections.

The platform is reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America.” McCarthy, however, proposed only one bill promised to get floor votes instead of Gingrich’s ten, a Parental Bill of Rights based on blocking the teaching of “critical race theory.” Deliberately vague, the agenda doesn’t deal in specifics. The one-page document, now removed from McCarthy’s website, is here

McCarthy tried the same grocery store stunt as Pennsylvania’s GOP candidate for U.S. senate, Mehmet Oz, to show the plight of people in the U.S. and failed, just like Oz. In a video with the store as backdrop, McCarthy talked for 15 seconds about financial problems before hellish images and statements about the country’s drugs, inflation, and kids falling behind because of non-existent school closures. He lied about the U.S. being in a recession, and he had no Republican solution, only GOP control of the House.

Claremont, MAGA’s most prominent think tank, is home not only to John Eastman, legal architect of DDT’s plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but also the “Sheriff Fellows,” MAGA sheriffs learning the fellowship’s curriculum of two sets of people in the U.S.—communities to be treated as freely and brutally as law enforcement wish and the “real Americans” who are above the law. Sheriffs are a likely target for extremism because the office is vulnerable and can enable vigilantes to exert havoc on society. They have great authority with tanks, helicopters, SWAT teams, battering rams, surveillance technology and guns to terrify community members. Claremont’s curriculum for training these sheriffs is here. Sheriffs are elected; voters should be wary.

And Thomas Barrack, DDT’s close friend, is on trial this week for secretly lobbying DDT on behalf of the United Arab Emirates for personal power and financial gain.

September 3, 2022

GOP Uses Biden’s Speech as a Shiny Object to Deflect Attention

[Correction in paragraph 3: “military has no allegiance …”]

MAGA and other conservative supporters of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) came out with amazing vitriol and petty bitterness against President Joe Biden’s call for democracy in the United States in his speech on September 1. One complaint was the visual of two Marines standing behind Biden in front of Independence Hall, where the Constitution was signed, produced massive qualities of GOP bile.

It was not a “break with White House traditions,” as Republicans claim: several previous presidents used the presence of troops as a backdrop during notable speeches. And DDT dragged out his Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to walk with him across Lafayette Square when he drove out legally peaceful protesters for a photo-op in front of a church. At one time, Republicans would not have seen the presence of two Marines and the playing of the Marine band as a menace. No more.

The White House stated the Marines showed “respect” for service members. A line from his speech is that democracy must be defended and protected. Top military officials were vital in stopping DDT’s insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2022 as well as maneuvering a peaceful transfer of power while DDT tried to incite violence with lies about election fraud. DDT wanted his control of the military to destabilize democracy, protecting MAGA protesters, and Biden pointed out that the military has no allegiance to a political party of the commander in chief.

Mark Thiessen, arguably the most conservative Washington Post, claimed that prime-time presidential speeches should focus only on explanations of a military action, a national tragedy, or a major policy initiative. He did try to cover DDT’s prime-time acceptance speech at the GOP from the White House at the GOP convention by calling it “controversial but stuck to his “rule” about presidential speeches.

Some MAGAs went far more overboard by claiming Biden’s red backlighting proves his being part of a satanic cabal of elites who are trafficking children around the world. Former DDT lawyer Jenna Ellis boosted images of Biden with #PedoHitler. Fox’s Tucker Carlson described the visuals as “a blood-red Nazi background,” and another network host and former DDT administration official, Monica Crowley, described the imagery as “almost satanic with the blood red lighting.” Red and blue lights, the colors of the U.S. flag, lighted Independence Hall.

The title of Dana Milbank’s column, “Dear Insurrectionists and Fascists: I’m Sorry I Offended You,” aptly describes the reaction from the “strongmen [who] were so fragile.” Milbank wrote:

“The insurrectionists of Jan. 6 busted into the Capitol, hit police with fire extinguishers, flagpoles, bats, stun guns and pepper spray; they threatened to kill the vice president and tried to overthrow the 2020 election. And now, they want an apology.

“MAGA Republican leaders have fomented violence, attacked the rule of law and deceived tens of millions of people into rejecting the outcome of free and fair elections. And now, they, too, want an apology.”

Milbank continues with sarcastic apologies for the insurrectionists causing themselves pain in their attacks of striking police officers with flagpoles on January 6 and “gouging their eyes.” To others, Milbank wrote he was “sorry you don’t like it when the Justice Department enforces the law and protects national security” and “regret[s] that you’ve taken away women’s rights…, banning books, and censoring history lessons [while] shunning science, expertise, and the truth.”

On the same day that Biden spoke from the Philadelphia location where Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) promised to provide “full pardons with an apology for many” to those convicted for the assault on U.S. democracy on January 6. He also bragged about meeting with insurrectionists and “financially supporting” some of those to defend them from “sick” prosecutors and “nasty” judges. DDT’s latest excuse for the search warrant last month was that the FBI was “looking for Hillary Clinton emails.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’s pre-rebuttal to Biden’s speech attacked Democrats for destroying democracy and demanded an apology for those in the U.S. he slandered as “fascists.” (Biden never used that term in this speech.) McCarthy was one of 139 House Republicans trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election—and democracy—on January 6. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who accused Biden of “disgust and hostility towards half the country,” said the RNC position of supporting fake electors sending false electoral certification to Congress is “legitimate political discourse.”

Anyone who watched the speech would note the difference between Biden and DDT in protesters’ interruptions. When a crowd shouted expletives about Biden and set off sirens, Biden pointed out that democracy permitted they were entitled “to be outrageous.” In contrast, DDT told his security staff to beat up anyone interrupting his speech and throw them out of the venue. Journalist Aaron Rupar used them to prove Biden’s premise about “unhinged and dangerous MAGAs.”

Satirist Alexandra Petri continued Milbank’s sarcasm in her column, “The Non-polarizing Speech President Biden Should Have Given,” directed at MAGA folk furious because they want Biden to “unify” the nation. Snippets:

“My fellow Americans. I am the president of the United States … maybe!…

“To those of you who say that violence is never the answer, and to those of you who say that violence is the answer right now, I say, Yup!

“This is a nation, after all, that honors the Constitution. Or doesn’t, if it doesn’t feel like it! Who am I to say who’s wrong and who is right? Maybe the president, but maybe just some guy!…

“I was told that [if I told people to accept the election it] would alienate a lot of people, so, instead, I want to take that time to just stare intensely out at the audience for a solid minute…

“We have had a democracy for a while, which I personally would like to keep, but some people seem to want us to try something new, and that could be … fine! Maybe 235 years is a good stopping point.”

Journalist John Harwood delivered his last commentary on DDT before he resigned from his position at CNN:

“The core point Biden made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true. Now, that’s something that’s not easy for us, as journalists, to say. We’re brought up to believe there’s two different political parties with different points of view and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that’s not what we’re talking about. These are not honest disagreements. The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue. Many, many Republicans are rallying behind his lies about the 2020 election and other things as well. And a significant portion—or a sufficient portion—of the constituency that they’re leading attacked the Capitol on January 6th. Violently. By offering pardons or suggesting pardons for those people who violently attacked the Capitol, which you’ve been pointing out numerous times this morning, Donald Trump made Joe Biden’s point for him.”

Although Harwood technically resigned, Dan Froomkin reported in Press Watch that he had been told last month the day of the commentary was his last day in the midst of Harwood’s multi-year contract. Last month, CNN fired CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter and canceled his show, Reliable Sources. News sources are predicting more purging at the network after orders from DDT-supporter John Malone, a member of the board owning CNN, who wants to make the network support Republicans.

Using his theme for his speech, an existential battle for the “soul of nation,” from an op-ed he wrote for the Atlantic six years ago, Biden continued his condemnation of the philosophy expressed by DDT and his followers, first expressed after the GOP support of white supremacist rioters in Charlottesville (VA). Throughout the speech, Biden clearly stated he was not addressing Republicans as a whole but the violent extremists determined “to take this country backwards … to an America where there is no right to choose no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”

Republicans are trying to deflect attention from all their recent problems regarding the insurrection, DDT’s theft of official documents, and Biden’s recent successes. The GOP have not only lost two high-profile special elections in the past few weeks but also has watched Biden’s approval ratings go up at the same time, jumping six points to 44 percent after his legislative wins. This rating is higher than several other elected presidents at the same point in their terms in the last half century: DDT, 41 percent; Barack Obama, 43 percent; Bill Clinton, 39 percent; Jimmy Carter, 43 percent; and Ronald Reagan, 41 percent. Wars raised approval for George W. Bush (65 percent) and George H.W. Bush (74 percent).

The GOP is getting desperate about taking back Congress in November and will likely continue to follow the advice from their megadonor Steve Wynn: lie about Democratic tax policies. Republicans don’t stop with taxes; they lie about everything.

Two days after Biden’s speech, DDT followed him to Pennsylvania when he ranted against the FBI, again claimed the 2020 election was stolen, pushed his Truth Social platform, praised leaders of Russia and China, and polished off the evening with a rousing chorus of “lock her up” about Clinton. Just lie.

August 23, 2022

DDT Keeps Monopolizing the News

More news about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago: John Solomon, conservative writer and a designated liaison to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) appointed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), released a May 10 letter from NARA that the agency and federal investigators “had grown increasingly alarmed about potential damage to national security caused by the warehousing of these documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as by Trump’s resistance to sharing them with the FBI.” NARA had discovered over 700 pages of classified material, including “special access program materials” which are some of the most highly classified secrets in government, in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago last January.

A major question is why “Team Trump” would release this damaging information that makes DDT look even worse by confirming the large haul of highly classified national security materials illegally taken to DDT’s club. Lawyers have made no mention of DDT’s having declassified the documents, as he claims. Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeted:

“Trump has been on notice since at least May of the FBI’s efforts to access this material. So his motion to seek a special master following the execution of the search warrant is months—not just weeks— late.”

The letter from National Archivist Debra Wall to DDT’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, also stated that DDT had no executive privilege; only the current executive branch of the government and president can grant this way for DDT to escape. Solomon posted the letter on his website, hoping to cause trouble for Biden. 

A fictional excuse for DDT taking top secret classified documents home with him after permanently leaving the White House is that he gave an order to declassify all the documents. Sycophant Kash Patrel, acting chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller after DDT lost his 2020 election, has been pushing the myth, citing DDT’s tweet from October 6 2020:

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows rejected Patel’s claim in a sworn statement when a judge demanded clarification about the tweet. It was in direct opposition to the White House’s position to not classify the Russia records. Meadows conceded that the tweet was not an order to declassify or release any records. Meadows wrote:

“The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders, and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents.”

Patel refused to give up on his false assertion and said that he witnessed DDT declassify “whole sets of documents” in December 2020 and January 2021 while he was “on his way out.” Previously, however, Patel said DDT “failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings.”

According to protocol, declassification doesn’t happen in secret. Former Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called such a concept “laughable” because “part and parcel of any act of declassification is communicating that act to all others who possess the same information.” In July 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court stated that “declassification, even by the President, must follow established procedures,” according to The New York Times. There is no evidence that DDT even tried to have a “standing order” to declassify everything taken to his home, as he claimed. John Bolton, DDT’s former national security adviser, called the statement “almost certainly a lie.”

DDT’s possession of classified documents opened an investigation to his violation of the Espionage Act, possible obstruction, and removing and destroying official documents.

Thanks to the lies spread from GOP legislative leaders among DDT’s base, The IRS is facing threats to its 600 facilities, comparable to those in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) isn’t spending its annual extra $8 million for the next decade to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, and it isn’t taxing people making under $400,000 a year. No matter. Lies are what the GOP campaigns thrive on, even if they kill people.

Fomenting the fear and hatred, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) spread these lies from the House floor about the IRS on August 9:

“They have 80,000 employees. You know what the IRS also has? 4,600 guns. 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why? Democrats want to double its already massive size. With this new power, the IRS will snoop around in your bank account, your Venmo, your small business. Then the government will shake you down for every last cent. In light of [the FBI’s search of Trump’s residence], let me ask: Do you really trust this administration’s IRS to be fair, to not abuse their power?”

McCarthy wasn’t the only person to put these lies into the House record: he was followed by Andrew Clyde (R-GA). Sen. Rick Scott wrote an open letter last week to job seekers discouraging them from applying for IRS jobs. His ire was focused on a posting for an IRS criminal investigator to serve search warrants and make arrests with the insinuation that all the IRS’s new hires will “need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them.” Fewer than 3,000 of the IRS’ 78,000 employees work in criminal investigations and carry firearms.

Far-right extremist Proud Boys, supported by many Republicans, posted that the new IRS hires had to be “willing to use deadly force.” Other online memes from the white supremacist supporters compared IRS employees to Nazi SS officers and called for a “tea party” to tar and feather tax collectors. Twitter has permanently banned Luis Miguel, a GOP House candidate for Florida’s state legislature primary, for his tweet, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops ON SIGHT. Let freedom ring.” Facebook and Instagram allowed him to continue posting after that statement was removed. Miguel lost the primary to the GOP incumbent, Bobby Payne.

Last week, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that former AG Bill Barr failed to be honest about having a deliberate process after the release of the Mueller report into Russian interference on the part of DDT’s 2016 presidential election. The DOJ must now make public the internal memo prepared by senior lawyers in 2019 about whether ties between DDT’s campaign and Russia consisted of crimes usually charged by prosecutors. A judge said that Barr’s DOJ claim that the memo was part of his decision about prosecuting DDT is inaccurate and that the memo was more like a “thought experiment.” Barr decided DDT would not be charged with a crime before the memo was written.

A federal judge ruled that Arkansas violated the Voting Rights Act with a six-voter limit for those who help people cast ballots in person. He wrote that Congress gave voter their choice of whom they wanted to assist them at the polls other than their employer or union representative.

Justice has finally been served in the planned kidnapping of a public official, namely Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury found two men, part of the far-right anti-government Wolverine Watchmen, guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 after a hung jury earlier this year. They were also convicted of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction in a plan to blow up a bridge as part of the kidnapping. 

 The men also went on “reconnaissance missions” to Whitmer’s vacation home, where they planned to carry out the kidnapping, and collected high-powered guns. Angry about Whitmer’s orders to stop COVID, they were also part of the hundreds of armed men who entered the state Capitol building. Two other men pled guilty and testified for the prosecution, and another two were acquitted in the trial deadlocked on the convicted men.

For years, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had pled the Fifth Amendment, invoking his right against self-incrimination. No longer. Now that he has taken a plea deal, he can’t avoid answering questions about DDT’s business dealings. If he tries to back out of the deal, the 75-year-old man faces a 15-year prison term. He can provide valuable information about DDT’s business and person misconduct without cooperating in a criminal probe against DDT.

Rasmussen has long been known as having a conservative bent, but new discoveries about their polling, lowering the average using several polls, show that anti-Biden authors are paying Rasmussen for surveys about Biden as advertising for their books. The company has a history of this problem: President Obama typically received approval numbers about five points lower on Rasmussen than other polls. Part of the problem may be their phrasing of statements to sway the answers for negative responses to Democrats and their actions. For example, August used this one last August:

“It’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.”

Daily Kos blogger Steve Singiser sarcastically asked why Rasmussen didn’t add “how tax cuts regrow hair, whiten teeth, and ensure that your favorite team will win the Super Bowl this year.”

[Note: Something has happened at Rasmussen recently. It’s latest poll for Biden averaging several sources was 47 percent, six points over the average of 42 percent of likely and/or registered voters. 

And tomorrow–primary results from Florida, New York, and New York. 

August 8, 2022

The News Doesn’t Stop – Search for DDT, More CPAC, Alex Jones, Toilets

When I started writing this blog over 11 years ago, a wise friend advised me not to put everything in the first few posts so I wouldn’t run out of material. Since then, Barack Obama was in office for eight years. But then came four years of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) after over a year of his campaigning. News has so filled the media that no one can ever run out information for any political blog. Today, I told my partner that the news might settle down this month because Congress went home to persuade people to vote for them. Yes, there are a few more primaries, but then Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) broke more news.

The FBI received a warrant to search DDT’s resort in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach (FL) while he summers at his northern home at his Bedminster (NY) residence and awaits a deposition for a lawsuit in his apartment at New York City’s Trump Tower. “They even broke into my safe,” DDT said. “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

DDT made his announcement the day after he teased a 2024 run for the president at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) summit. In a hypothetical matchup for the presidency, DDT trailed Biden, 41 percent to 44 percent, and 75 percent of Democrats prefer Biden not run for another term in 2024.Conviction of the federal crime to wrongly remove classified documents can keep the person from running for public office.

Currently, the DOJ has active investigations regarding DDT—wire fraud, attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the mishandling of classified documents, subject of the search. DDT took documents with him, some of them classified, after President Joe Biden’s inauguration and stored them in Mar-a-Lago’s basement. Previously, the National Archives reported that at least 15 boxes of White House records had been recovered from Mar-a-Lago, some of them classified, but more may still be there.

A search warrant, requiring two branches of the government, is issued when criminal investigators need to move quickly because sensitive materials might be moved, concealed, altered, or destroyed. It can be for a person’s residence, business, car, or other property.

Forty-eight years ago this day, Richard Nixon resigned his presidency. A month earlier, he visited Mar-a-Lago after he left the office, considering a move there.

Desperate to be re-elected—and possibly regain the House leadership—Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland for the search on DDT’s property. “I’ve seen enough.” McCarthy tweeted. “Preserve your documents and clear your calendar.” As usual, the party that claims to be the one of “law and order” accused attempts to find criminal actions to be “political” but still comparable to harassment of everyday citizens in Third World Countries, or “Banana Republic” as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accused. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) compared the search to the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said nothing.

To compound DDT’s problems, Cushman & Wakefield, DDT’s real estate appraiser, turned over 36,000 documents after being held for contempt of court for refusing a subpoena. The judge lifted the $10,000-a-day fine for not complying. State AG Letitia James’ office reported “serious problems” with some of Cushman’s appraisals for the Trump Organization over the years, including 40 Wall Street, his Seven Springs property in New York, and his Los Angeles golf club. Earlier this year, the judge found DDT in contempt for refusing to provide information but lifted the charge after DDT convinced the court he couldn’t find the information and paid $110,000 in fines.

While the FBI searches for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, photos purportedly of more documents in toilets have emerged. The information about DDT trying to flush these down toilets at the White House have been circulating for six months, but the photos create a greater sense of reality for a completely absurd—but perhaps true—situation. Images on Axios show folded paper with DDT’s handwriting using a Sharpie submerged in various toilet bowls. The book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America by Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House correspondent, will have the images and more information when released in October. If true, the document dumps violate the Presidential Records Act.

Haberman reported DDT used these disposals many times at the White House and on at least two foreign trips. Haberman wrote that the toilet dumps are “an extension of Trump’s term-long habit of ripping up documents that were supposed to be preserved under the Presidential Records Act.” Her book also reveals she was told that DDT has kept contact with North Korean president Kim Jong-un. One legible name in the photo, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), is a possible running mate for DDT in 2024. [Left, White House; right, overseas trip.]  

Topping off a really bad week for Alex Jones after he was found guilty of defamation regarding the Sandy Hook massacre and ordered to pay almost $50 million, the House January 6 investigative committee has his cellphone contents for the past three years. Those are the same contents he mistakenly sent to the plaintiffs’ attorney. According to the attorney, Mark Bankston, the texts include “intimate messages with Roger Stone,” DDT-aligned operative. Stone has several connections with the Oath Keepers, the far-right militia charged with orchestrating the violent plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. A major election-denier, Jones already sued the committee to block a subpoena for communications about his meeting the rally-goers intent on marching on the Capitol. Bankston said that “several law enforcement agencies” have also requested the phone data and intends to “immediately” comply with the requests. Roger Stone may be preparing a criminal defense or at least an excuse by claiming that Jones’ lawyer set him up.

The August 2022 CPAC has concluded, three days bracketed by two fascists, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and DDT. Orbán managed to outlie DDT, quite a feat considering DDT’s record. His false claims:

Zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, but he opposes race-mixing, and many of his close associates are anti-Semitic.

Stopped illegal migration with a wall that happens to be a wire fence and uses the “illegal migrants” to stir up fear so that he continues his control. Criminals can stay in the country if they purchase residency permits from his friends.

Prohibition of migration and sex education supported by Hungarians through referendums which were actually a simple questionnaire with loaded questions, ultimately invalid. Binding referendums must have 50 percent participation in an official vote.

Lower taxes in Hungary than in the remainder of Europe although the sales tax is 27 percent as well as thousands of small fees and other taxes for almost every economic transaction.

Support for families by six percent of the GDP, but really 1.3 percent, down from 2.5 percent in 1995.

CPAC’s memory will reverberate, however, through its political melodrama. Inside a cage, a barefoot man, dressed in orange jumpsuit and red MAGA hat, cried all day long in the Dallas convention center booth imitating a prison cell. Bluetooth headphones with the word “silence” were available for attendees who could listen to audio accounts from jailed January 6 defendants. Responders wept, threw money into the cage, and gave words of comfort and support to the man who wrote unhappy slogans on a blackboard, such as “Where Is Everyone?” 

Friday’s star was Brandon Straka, a 45-year-old self-proclaimed former liberal who founded #WalkAway, sponsor of the booth, a social media campaign encouraging Democrats to ditch their party for the GOP.  A gay man, the vocal “Stop the Steal” activist found himself in trouble with the government when he filmed himself on the steps of the Capitol on January 6 and encouraged the angry crowd to steal a police officer’s shield. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 90 days of home detention, $5,000 fine, and three years probation. The public learned through mistakenly unsealed court documents that he had extensively cooperated with prosecutors and provided information to authorities about other Stop the Steal activists, including Ali Alexander, a leader in the movement.

Before putting himself in the cage, Straka berated Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on a panel, saying that he and the GOP didn’t do enough to help January 6 defendants. Riled audience members heckled and booed Biggs. The icing on Straka’s cake was the “jail guards” unlocking the cage to allow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) inside where she hugged him and fell to her knees in front of him. They held hands and prayed.

Because of his plea deal, Straka didn’t spend any time in prison. The judge appreciated his “willingness to assist the government by providing complete and truthful information,” including at least one incriminating voicemail message he received from another conservative activist.

Straka may be back in a prison cell for real. The judge found Straka’s public comments made last week “inconsistent” with his statements in court. The DDT-appointed judge said Straka was “losing more and more credibility by the moment” and putting himself at risk of prosecution over possible lies to investigators.

And tomorrow is primary day in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Ten more states to go, with Louisiana have a free-for-all on November 8. Races not resulting in one person achieving over 50 percent of the vote return on December 10 for the run-off between the top two in the race.

I haven’t run out of ideas for the blog yet.

July 21, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – July 21, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And new evidence will be back in September hearings!


July 8, 2022

Conservatives in UK, US: A Study in Opposites

Boris Johnson, elected UK prime minister in December 2019, has been teetering on the edge of being driven out of what he calls “the best job in the world.” On July 7, 2022, he was forced out of 10 Downing Street after his own party no longer tolerated the scandals swirling around him. Johnson finally resigned when almost 60 members of his government quit although he plans to stay as leader until the Conservative Party finds his replacement.

“I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much… and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally,” Johnson said. But his persuasion failed, and government officials want him out of government as soon as possible.

Roiling the country were the parties at his offices during the COVID lockdown, inappropriately using donor money to refurbish the Downing Street home for prime ministers, and ordering MPs to vote in protection for a colleague breaching lobbying rules. His second ethics adviser recently resigned in under two years. The tipping point was a drunken groping by one of his appointments. The man denied the allegations, but the public learned Johnson kept him in a top government office after knowing about other concerns about the person. His own party members questioned both his judgment and his willingness to be honest.

Esther Webber, a senior U.K. correspondent for Politico Europe, explained that people in the UK hate hypocrisy, the idea that a leader won’t follow the rules. The response to Johnson’s behavior was that they vote for the party and not the person. When Johnson no longer had the party’s support, they thought it was time him to go.

Johnson was known for his similarity to Dictator Donald Trump (DDT)—his early show business career, clownish behavior, and willingness to break the law. Instead of being statesmen, both are showmen, wallowing in the howls of their crowds where they spread their lies. They are both conservatives, but differences lay in Johnson’s intelligence, education, and his family’s political background. A huge difference between Johnson and DDT is that the prime minister’s officials decided not to lie for him. They aren’t willing to destroy their own reputations by defending Johnson.

The biggest difference between DDT and Johnson is that DDT refused to resign after he lost the election because his party enabled him whereas Johnson quit because his party held him accountable. Fifty years ago, GOP finally understood the corruption of Richard Nixon and told him that he didn’t have their support. Testimony against DDT in the past year has been far more damning, and Republicans largely doubled down to lie for him. Even those who considered a confrontation with him immediately after the insurrection on January 6 soon backed down and traveled the sacred trail to Mar-a-Lago to regain his approval. Conservatives in both countries regard their leaders, DDT and Johnson, as liabilities, but in the U.S. the GOP is counting on gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, courts, and a waning base to get them into power at any cost to the nation.

In the United States, GOP legislators are willing to go to any lengths—as far as overturning a presidential election to support DDT. A chief example is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is fighting his subpoena from a grand jury in Fulton County (GA) for his complaints to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff about procedures for counting absentee ballots in the 2020 general election. Graham contacted them twice and reviewing the ballots for fraud. That was at the same time when DDT was calling Raffensperger demanding another 11,780 votes, the number he thought he needed to win Georgia. After numerous recounts, however, Joe Biden won by 12,670 votes.  (Above: Graham during confirmation hearings for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.) 

Graham’s lawyers tried to use his position as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee as a justification, but he wasn’t representing the committee. He was calling as a DDT supporter to overturn the election. Another fake “justification” was the “Speech and Debate” statement in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1) to shield congressional members from questions about their legislative activities and their motivations. The Supreme Court had ruled in Gravel v. United States (1972) that lawmaker “errands” not part of their legislative function are not protected by the speech and debate clause. 

The close friendship between Graham and DDT since the death of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made his reasons for asking Georgia to look into fraud highly questionable. The grand jury also subpoenaed DDT lawyers who worked on behalf of an organized effort to overturn Biden’s election: Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis, and Kenneth Chesebro.    

Jacki Pick Deason, another subpoenaed lawyer, presented heavily edited video before Georgia lawmakers in a December 2020 hearing falsely showing election workers producing “suitcases” of illegal ballots, according to court filings. State election officials’ investigation quickly showed the allegation to be false, but the spreading of the lies by Deason, Ellis, and Giuliani led to the massive disruption in the lives to two poll workers, Shaye Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman. who testified at one of the House January 6 investigative committee hearings. Chesebro worked with the local Republican Party to collect 16 fake electors who would then casting their false votes for DDT, part of Eastman’s plot.

Former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu predicted that Graham’s legal argument to block the subpoena will lose in state court and his lawyers will appeal it to federal court. Wu thinks that the Supreme Court is unlikely to agree that the state of Georgia is a branch of the federal government, but other courts may question this rational position after recent rulings. He did describe Graham’s position as “an arrogant[,] pompous and legally weak argument from Graham [that] should be slam-dunk rejected by any court that hears it.”

In “The Most Pathetic Men in America,” Mark Leibovich uses interviews with DDT’s supporters in Congress for his lengthy essay to be printed in his forthcoming book Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission, highlighting Graham’s and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) as DDT’s sycophants who denigrated DDT in private and groveled before him in public.

Asked how he could go from being one of DDT’s “most merciless critics in 2016” to crawling to him afterward, Graham used the term “relevance.” McCarthy said that his relationship with DDT was exciting, just the idea that he could get him on the phone any time. Once on the cover of Time as “The Republican Savior,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) predicted a “reckoning” inside the GOP before becoming an avid DDT minion.

Asked about their legacy as a DDT fanatic, Rudy Giuliani, subpoenaed for his part in trying to overturn the 2020 election, said, “Fuck it.” Olivia Nuzzi, working for the New York magazine, said his fly was unzipped at the time, and he was drunk on Bloody Marys. Former AG Bill Barr, responded, “Everyone dies.” McCarthy said nobody was putting up to ethical GOP representatives such as Jeff Flake from Arizona and Mark Sanford from South Carolina. Graham said, “Don’t care,” and then talked about the migrant children separated from their parents and kept in cages, “I don’t care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 day.”

Leibovich wrote:

“The gap between the public adoration expressed by Trump’s Republican lickspittles and the mocking contempt they voiced for him in private could be gaping. This was never more apparent, or maddening, as in the weeks after the 2020 election. ‘For all but just a handful of members, if you put them on truth serum, they knew that the election was fully legitimate and that Donald Trump was a joke.’”

Republicans kept saying after the election to be patient, and Graham said to give DDT the “space” required for him to come to grips with his losing the majority of the electoral votes. McCarthy said he was trying to “manage” DDT until he accepted reality. A senior GOP official said, “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time?” That “little bit of time” turned into a mob of DDT’s supporters attacked the Capitol Police, including spearing one of them with a flagpole still attached to the U.S. flag. After DDT moved out of the White House, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) showed up at Mar-a-Lago to personally present him with Scott’s invented “Champion for Freedom” trophy. Susan Glasser quoted a former U.S. ambassador describing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “a heat-seeking missile for Trump’s ass.” Pompeo is considering a run for the 2024 presidential candidate against DDT.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a GOP member of the House investigative committee, said , “McCarthy started all of that.” Asked about her legacy, she looked toward historical biographer David McCullough, delights in spending his days with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and all of the other Founding Fathers. Cheney lamented, “I have to spend my days with Kevin McCarthy.”

Inspirational are the small collection of DDT’s administration and elected official testifying at the House committee’s hearings, suffering intimidation, threats, and smears while telling the truth. Meanwhile, Graham went to Ukraine with Richard Blumenthal (D-CO) to present President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with the resolution adding Russia to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism that the two senators introduced in May.

June 23, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearings – June 23, 2022 plus Breaking News

 In another bombshell ruling, six Supreme Court justices struck down a 1913 New York law requiring people to demonstrate they have a “special need for self-protection” to carry a concealed handgun in public. To an indifferent majority, Justice Stephen Breyer noted the 277 reported mass shootings, more than one per day, during fewer than the first six months of 2022. He added, “Gun violence has now surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.” Shootings in New York City doubled between 2019 and 2021, rising much more in the first quarter of 2022. Wayne Pierre, NRA’s executive vice president, took credit for the ruling; its opinion was written by Clarence Thomas.

The six Supremes also blocked people from suing police if they are not given their Miranda rights. Samuel Alito wrote the violation is not “a violation of the Fifth Amendment.” Therefore police are required to read everyone their Miranda rights, but not doing it doesn’t violate the law.  

By 65-14, the Senate passed its lukewarm “gun reform” bill that one media sourced called the “most significant gun legislation in three decades.” The anti-assault law, which saved many lives, passed in 1994 but expired in 2004, resulting in thousands of deaths. The bill now goes to the House for debate, revisions, and a vote.

Since the fourth hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee on June 21, the number of violent threats against committee members has been on the rise, probably requiring security detail for all of them. Even before that hearing, the wife of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) received a letter threatening to execute her and their five-month-old baby. He said that violence will not lessen until people believe the truth. Despite her security detail since last year, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has not been able to have publicized campaign events because of security concerns.

After his day in the sun on June 21 for his testimony about denying the demands of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to violate the law and the U.S. Constitution, Rusty Bowers, Arizona state House speaker, destroyed his credibility when he said he would still vote for DDT in 2024. He testified that DDT “wanted him to take illegal, immoral, unprecedented, and unconstitutional steps to overturn the 2020 election results in his state,” according to Oliver Knox. “And Trump never provided a shred of evidence for his false claims of voter fraud.”

DDT attacked Bowers for being a RINO, “Republican in Name Only,” and repeated his lie that Bowers had told DDT he believed “the election was rigged.” Bowers needs DDT’s base in his state senate run against against another Mormon during the August 2 primary as he leaves the House. DDT has also become increasingly angry with the failed strategy of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who tried to close down the House investigative committee by pulling his appointments after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused two of them, one of them now subpoenaed.

McCarthy advised Republicans to ignore all these hearings, but DDT isn’t following that advice. McCarthy said that appointing Republicans to the committee would create more difficulty if they attacked it as political, but DDT wants to know why no one is defending him on television. DDT has also not endorsed McCarthy for becoming House speaker job if the GOP takes over the chamber in 2022, and McCarthy needs DDT’s base.

The first GOP failure in blocking an investigation was their refusal to create an independent commission with five Republicans and five Democrats who would equally share subpoena powers and prepare the final report. McCarthy had agreed to the commission if Democrats agreed to five changes. The Democrats agreed with the changes, but McCarthy backed out. House Republicans said they voted against it after DDT opposed the idea. The five GOP members who McCarthy withdrew from the official committee have formed their own “shadow” group to center on “the real true story about what took place on Jan. 6” largely focusing on alleged security failures under Pelosi’s watch with a report released before the August recess.

The official committee is now able to investigate and present findings without distraction. It behaves in a highly professional manner, and obstructive Republicans have no information to prepare DDT’s defense, no way to influence the committee’s direction, no contrary questions, no leaking, and no diluting findings before the final report. Republicans other than DDT are upset with McCarthy.

The night before the June 23 hearing, law enforcement officers used an FBI-issued warrant to search the home of Jeffrey Clark, Assistant AG for the Environment. Warrants are given only with evidence of a crime. DDT had planned to install Clark as acting AG in January 2021 to replace Jeffrey Rosen and make Clark the third AG in two weeks, after DDT fired his own appointee Bill Barr. The proposal failed when hundreds of DOJ employees threatened to quit if DDT replaced Rosen with Clark who planned to tell Georgia officials the lie that the department had proof for the state to rescind its certification of Joe Biden for the presidency.

When earlier called by the investigative committee to testify, Clark declared both attorney-client privilege—although he worked for an independent agency—and the Fifth Amendment over 100 times to not incriminate himself. He can’t do both. On January 3, DDT started calling Clark his acting AG, although he had not appointed him, to give Clark the power to endorse his lies about election fraud.  

[The hearings require an elaborate production as shown by this shot of the MSNBC control room.] 

Witnesses at the June 23 hearing included Rosen, acting AG during the January 6 insurrection; Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s top deputy; and Steven Engel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. Both Donoghue and Engel had threatened to resign if DDT replaced Rosen with Clark. All witnesses detailed their clarifications with DDT about the invalidity of DDDT’s accusations of the “stolen election” theories. Donoghue testified that DDT asked him to tell the public that the election had “widespread fraud” despite no evidence. He said, “Leave the rest of it to us,” meaning himself and the “U.S. Congressmen.” DDT’s former White House attorney Eric Herschmann told Clark, considered incompetent because he knew nothing about criminal law, sarcastically told Clark he was perfect for the job because he was willing to commit a felony.  

Some of today’s revelations:

Congressional co-conspirators to overturn the 2020 presidential election: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), sworn into the House three days before the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) attended a December meeting at the White House to discuss strategy although DDT knew there was no evidence of fraud. Perry introduced DDT to Clark who had no connection to election fraud or criminal investigations outside environmental damage.

Request for DDT’s pardons: Among members of Congress asking for DDT’s pardons to cover their crimes were GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Mo Brooks (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), Louie Gohmert (TX), Scott Perry (PA), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA). Both Gaetz, under investigation for federal child sex-trafficking and other crimes, and Brooks wanted blanket pardons for all possible crimes in the past and future, according to Mark Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson. More members of Congress may have asked for presidential pardons. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also asked if DDT would be giving pardons to congressional members. Pardoned people have to testify because they cannot plead the Fifth Amendment, not incriminating themselves.

Links with DOJ to overturn the election: In addition to the hearing’s DOJ witnesses and news about Clark, new DOJ attorney Ken Klukowski worked with Clark and DDT’s lawyer John Eastman to overturn the election, according to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). Their dual method was to overhaul DOJ for it to focus on fraud claims and persuade legislatures to sign off on alternate slates of electors.

Pentagon involvement: DDT told former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller to call a high-ranking official in Rome (Italy) about the conspiracy theory “Italygate” that an Italian defense contractor uploaded software to a satellite to switch votes from DDT to Joe Biden. It was just one of the conspiracy theories that DDT told the DOJ to follow.

Film footage: British filmmaker Alex Holder testified behind closed doors and showed the raw footage of DDT, his family, friends, and then-VP Mike Pence from September 2020 to after the January 6 attack. DDT told the filmmakers, “I think I treat people well, unless they don’t treat me well, in which case you go to war.”

Sedition: DDT’s daily pressure on members of an independent government agency presents a clear picture of his opposition to his own government which was searching for justice, support the will of the people, and following the Constitution.

After this evidence of DDT’s incessant push at the DOJ to make the independent agency an arm of his campaign to create a coup, the next hearings, expected to cover domestic extremism and DDT’s actions inside the White House, will be scheduled starting the week of July 11. The wait is to incorporate the “new evidence [the committee reveives] on a daily basis with enormous velocity,” according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). The two hearings may not be the last before the panel issues final reports later this year.

A more detailed summary of the June 23 hearing by Heather Cox Richardson.

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