The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s interim leader vowed fresh elections by early next year as Islamists staged fresh rallies Tuesday after dozens of ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s loyalists died in clashes at a Cairo military barracks.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has led demonstrations against last week’s military overthrow of the Islamist leader, called for an “uprising” after accusing troops and police of “massacring” its supporters during dawn prayers on Monday.

“Each province is organizing funerals and rallies [Tuesday], and each province will have a central sit-in,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad told AFP.

At the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters have been camping out for nearly two weeks, several thousand demonstrators, worn out by the heat, listened to speakers urging them to remain steadfast in their protest.

Amid the widening chasm in the restive country, interim president Adly Mansour issued a decree setting a timetable for a referendum on an amended constitution and then for parliamentary elections.

Mansour will form a panel of judicial experts to draft amendments to the suspended 2012 constitution within 15 days.

Once a draft is ready, it will go to a popular referendum, paving the way for parliamentary elections.

Mansour will announce the date for presidential elections after the new parliament convenes, according to the decree which was swiftly rejected by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Islamist group released the names of 42 people killed in the incident outside the elite Republican Guards’ headquarters, as the interior ministry and military said two policemen and a soldier were also killed.

Emergency services chief Mohammed Sultan said at least 51 people were killed and 435 wounded.

The military blamed “terrorists”, while witnesses, including Brotherhood supporters at the scene, said security forces fired warning shots and tear gas, and that “thugs” in civilian clothes carried out the shootings.

The United States called on the Egyptian army to exercise “maximum restraint,” while also condemning “explicit” Brotherhood calls to violence.

The Islamist movement’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), had called for “an uprising by the great people of Egypt against those trying to steal their revolution with tanks” because of Monday’s killings.

In the Suez Canal city of Port Said, a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire on a church early Tuesday, wounding a man, witnesses said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the latest wave of bloodshed in Egypt, calling for an independent inquiry.

According to Mansour’s decree, a panel representing political, religious and security services will agree final amendments to the constitution suspended on Morsi’s ouster and put it to referendum.

Parliamentary elections would be completed in less than three months after the constitution is ratified.

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official denounced the decree. “A constitutional decree by a man appointed by putschists… brings the country back to square one,” said Essam al-Erian in a Facebook posting.

In response to the “massacre”, the conservative Islamist Al-Nur party, which won almost a quarter of the votes in 2011-2012 parliamentary elections and had backed the army’s overthrow of Morsi, said it was pulling out of talks on a new government.

Al-Nur had rejected leading liberal Mohamed ElBaradei’s nomination as prime minister.

Among the names being floated as Egypt’s next premier is liberal economist Samir Radwan, who told AFP he was considering the position.

Mansour, a top judge before his appointment as interim president, has ordered a judicial commission of inquiry into the killings.

Emotions ran high as people searched for the names of missing loved ones on a list of the dead in hospital, where dozens of bodies were laid on the bloody floor of a makeshift morgue.

The army warned it would not allow anyone to threaten national security, urging protesters to stay away from military installations and to end their sit-ins.

International condemnation of Monday’s bloodshed poured in, with Germany expressing “shock” at the violence, Turkey calling it an attack on “humanity” and Brotherhood-backer Qatar urging “self-restraint” and “unity.”

Morsi’s single year of turbulent rule was marked by accusations he failed the 2011 revolution that ousted autocratic president Hosni Mubarak by concentrating power in Islamist hands and letting the economy nosedive.

The military, which overthrew Morsi after millions took to the streets from June 30 demanding that he resign, has come under mounting international pressure to swiftly install a civilian administration to oversee a rapid return to elected government.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

  • 1.Why did Trump choose to hide certain specific files and not others at Mar-a-Lago? What were the criteria that Trump used to keep some files concealed and not others? Who selected those files? Did Trump consult or direct anyone in his selection of secret files? Trump was notorious for being too impatient to read his briefing papers, even after they had been drastically shortened and simplified. Is there the slightest evidence that he spirited these papers away so that he could consult or study them? Who besides Trump knew of the presence of the files he had concealed at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 2. Mar-a-Lago has an infamous reputation for being open to penetration even by foreign spies. In 2019, the FBI arrested a Chinese woman who had entered the property with electronic devices. She was convicted of trespassing, lying to the Secret Service, and sentenced and served eight-months in a federal prison, before being deported to China. Have other individuals with possible links to foreign intelligence operations been present at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 3. Did members of Trump's Secret Service detail have knowledge of his secret storage of the files at Mar-a-Lago? What was the relationship of the Secret Service detail to the FBI? Did the Secret Service, or any agent, disclose information about the files to the FBI?
  • 4. Trump's designated representatives to the National Archives are Kash Patel and John Solomon, co-conspirators in the investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, the Ukraine missiles-for-political dirt scandal that led to the first impeachment in 2019, and the coup of 2020. Neither has any professional background in handling archival materials. Patel, a die-hard Trump loyalist whose last job in the administration was as chief of staff to the Acting Secretary of Defense, was supposedly involved in Trump’s “declassification” of some files. Patel has stated, “Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves."
  • The White House counsel failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings, but that doesn’t mean the information wasn’t declassified.” If Pat Cipollone, the White House legal counsel, did not “generate the paperwork,” was he or anyone on his staff aware at all of the declassifications? The White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons resigned his post in December 2020. Did his successor, who held the position for a month, while Trump was consumed with plotting his coup, ever review the material found in Trump’s concealed files for declassification? Or did Patel review the material? Can Patel name any individual who properly reviewed the supposed declassification?
  • 5. Why did Trump keep his pardon of Roger Stone among his secret files? Was it somehow to maintain leverage over Stone? What would that leverage be? Would it involve Stone's role as a conduit with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers during the coup? Or is there another pardon in Trump’s files for Stone, a secret pardon for his activities in the January 6th insurrection? Because of the sweeping nature of the pardon clause, pardons can remain undisclosed (until needed). Pardons are self-executing, require no justification and are not subject to court review beyond the fact of their timely execution. In other words, a court may verify the pardon was valid in time but has no power to review appropriateness. A pardon could even be oral but would need to be verifiable by a witness. Do the files contain secret pardons for Trump himself, members of his family, members of the Congress, and other co-conspirators?
  • 6.Was the FBI warrant obtained to block the imminent circulation or sale of information in the files to foreign powers? Does the affidavit of the informant at Mar-a-Lago, which has not been released, provide information about Trump’s monetization that required urgency in executing the warrant? Did Trump monetize information in any of the files? How? With whom? Any foreign power or entity? Was the Saudi payment from its sovereign wealth fund for the LIV Golf Tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club for a service that Trump rendered, an exchange of anything of value or information that was in the files? If it involved information in the files was it about nuclear programs? Was it about the nuclear program of Israel? How much exactly was the Saudi payment for the golf tournament? The Saudi sovereign wealth fund gave Jared Kushner and former Trump Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin $2 billion for their startup hedge fund, Affinity Partners. Do the Saudis regard that investment as partial payment for Trump’s transfer of nuclear information? Were Kushner or Mnuchin aware of the secret files at Mar-a-Lago?
  • 7.Did Trump destroy any of the files? If so, when? Did those files contain incriminating information? Did he destroy any files after he received the June subpoena?
  • 8.Were any of the secrets of our allies compromised? Has the U.S. government provided an inventory of breaches or potential breaches to our allies?
  • 9.Does the resort maintain a copying machine near the classified documents that Trump hid? Were any of the documents copied or scanned? Are Trump’s documents at Mar-a-Lago originals or copies? Were any copies shown or given to anyone?
  • 10.Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb has revealed that a video surveillance system covers the places where Trump hid the files at Mar-a-Lago, and that the system is connected to a system at his other residences at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey and Trump Tower in New York City. According to Bobb, Trump and members of his family observed the FBI search and seizure of his files at Mar-a-Lago, “actually able to see the whole thing” through their surveillance system. Who has that surveillance system recorded entering the rooms where the files were kept?

Kevin Bacon, right, in "The Following"

The aftermath of the August 8, 2022 search of the Mar-a-Lago club, former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, isn’t the first showdown between the FBI and a cult leader.

The Following, a 2013 Fox Pictures series, played out in similar fashion. Three seasons was enough for the producers and it’s been nine years since our introduction to Joe Carroll, English professor-novelist-serial killer, so there’s a spoiler risk -- but not enough to prevent the comparison.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}