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Tag: liz cheney

J’Accuse! Cheney Charges GOP Leadership ‘Enabled White Supremacy’

In the wake of the Buffalo, NY mass shooting that killed ten Black people, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Monday morning leveled strong charges against the leadership of the House GOP, accusing them of enabling “white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism.”




House GOP leadership includes Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and the chair of the House Republican Conference, Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Over the weekend, after the Buffalo mass shooting, Stefanik became the face of the Republican Party’s embrace of a white supremacist, white nationalist, far-right conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement Theory.” It promotes the false, baseless, and racist belief that people of color are “replacing” white Americans – often by being systematically brought into the country – to disenfranchise white voters, to take their jobs, in college admissions, and in other areas of society.

NPR reports that “Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old white male accused of killing 10 people and wounding another three in Buffalo, allegedly said in his screed that the decrease in white birth rates equates to a genocide.”

It is being investigated as “a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.” Gendron’s 180-page “manifesto” references what he claims is the dwindling size of the white population, according to CNN.

The Washington Post reports that “Stefanik has not pushed the theory by name,” but “she and other conservatives have echoed the tenets of the far-right ideology as part of anti-immigrant rhetoric that has fired up the Republican base ahead of the midterm elections.”

A “series of Facebook ads published in September 2021 by Stefanik’s campaign committee … charged that Democrats were allowing undocumented immigrants into the United States as a ploy to outnumber, and eventually silence, Republican voters,” the Post adds, noting that Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) Sunday tweeted that Minority Leader McCarthy should be asked about it.

“Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION,” reads one of the ads, which shows a reflection of migrants in sunglasses Biden is wearing. “Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

House Select Panel Subpoenas Five Republicans, Including McCarthy

Remember last year when House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly turned against the bipartisan January 6 commission he had deputized one of his own members to negotiate?

Right. Now McCarthy is among five sitting Republican House members who have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee investigating January 6:

  1. Kevin McCarthy of California
  2. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  3. Jim Jordan of Ohio
  4. Andy Biggs of Arizona
  5. Mo Brooks of Alabama

These represent the first publicly known sitting members of Congress to be subpoenaed by the January 6 panel in what is an unprecedented move.

In January, Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi sent McCarthy a letter indicating the committee wanted to interview him about his discussions with Donald Trump and other White House staffers surrounding the January 6 insurrection.

McCarthy flatly rejected the invitation, calling it an "abuse of power."

The subpoenaed members—all Trump henchmen—will almost certainly file legal challenges in response.

It's quite a cast of characters: Brooks has bragged about wearing body armor during his speech to the January 6 MAGA crowd; Jordan has had a number of brain malfunctions surrounding his conversations with Trump on January 6 (not to mention some interesting text exchanges with then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows); and McCarthy has recently been heard in recordings with GOP leaders to have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

Surely that is just the tip of the iceberg, and committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming likely knew quite a lot about the rest of that iceberg even before the investigation proceeded.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Why McCarthy's Pathetic Groveling Is So Important To Trump

Call it the dictator’s paradox: By demonstrating weakness, you affirm the Big Man’s power. By groveling, you gain standing. Pretending to believe what’s patently false, you affirm manly independence from what Swift mockingly called “the vulgar Dictates of unrefined Reason.”

It’s not a question of true or false; it’s a matter of who’s in charge, a form of moral cowardice common in the pre-Civil Rights South: say, the Alabama of George Wallace or the Arkansas of Orval Faubus. Cowering acknowledges respect for the way of the world, enhancing one’s standing.

Up until the rotten edifice collapses, that is, when the ambitious sycophant may suffer a bad fall. Hard core segregationists became hard to find down South after the Civil Rights Act.

So it is with Trumpism. What happens if the Big Man’s strength proves more illusory than real? After all, everybody with sense enough to come in from the rain knows that Donald J. Trump didn’t merely lose the 2020 presidential election; he lost it by seven million votes.

What if something like that happens again, as appears quite likely? Whatever will become of the Rep. Kevin McCarthys of the world, who have turned themselves upside-down and inside-out to affirm Trump’s most preposterous lies?

Once upon a time, the California congressman who yearns to be Speaker of the House was overheard in a recorded conversation with a group of fellow Republicans on June 15, 2016, obtained by the Washington Post.

“There’s two people I think [Russian dictator Vladimir] Putin pays: [Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said.

None of his listeners objected. Plays a bit differently today, doesn’t it? But then Trump went on to win the GOP presidential nomination, McCarthy made nice, and the two became allies.

His most recent series of blunders have made McCarthy look even weaker. Basically, he jumped into his own trap. Excerpts from a new book by two New York Times reporters titled This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future, began to circulate around Washington last week. It quoted McCarthy describing Trump’s role in the January 6 Capitol riot as “atrocious and totally wrong.”

He’d even gone far enough to inquire about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office and put Mike Pence in his place.

Two days later, the Times reported, the House minority leader held a telephone conference with his leadership team. Regarding Trump’s conduct on January 6, McCarthy told the group “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it.”

Responding to a question from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) about the likelihood of Trump resigning, McCarthy said he planned to phone Trump about the Democrats’ forthcoming impeachment resolution. He said he would tell the president that “I think [the resolution] will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.”

TheTimes report stipulated that its reporters had “reviewed the full recording of the conversation.”

Seemingly panicked, McCarthy ignored the blinking red light and blundered on. He and his press spokesman put out dueling statements denying everything. The Times story, McCarthy insisted, was “totally false and wrong.”

Bad move.

Reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns went on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program that same night, and played the audio tape.

Uh-oh. How could McCarthy not suspect that Liz Cheney would keep a recording of the call, and might be disinclined to keep his secrets after he’d purged her from House leadership to please Trump? (To be fair, she has denied taping the call or leaking the audio.)

After all, history records that only days after President Biden’s inauguration, McCarthy had hurried down to Mar-a-Lago to roll on his back and pee on his belly like a puppy before the former president.

So now the Very Cowardly GOP Leader has had to do it all over again. Knowing a sycophant when he sees one, Trump has gone out of his way to appear magnanimous. McCarthy, he told the Wall Street Journal, had changed his mind “when he found out the facts.”

“I think it’s all a big compliment, frankly,” Mr. Trump said about Republicans who doubted him after January 6, but later changed their minds. “They realized they were wrong and supported me.”

That’s just how Trump likes it. He has a downright canine understanding of who’s the Big Dog in any relationship. “Trump actually prefers it when people oppose him and then have to beg for his forgiveness,” Salon's Heather Digby Parton has written. “It shows dominance. And if there’s one thing we know, dominance tastes sweeter to him when he forces it with his boot on his rivals’ necks.”

But it’s all dependent upon the perception that Republican voters remain in thrall to the Big Loser. And there are growing indications that his hold over the base could be waning. Upcoming GOP primaries in Pennsylvania, Ohio and particularly Georgia don’t look so good for Trump-endorsed candidates.

Ruling by fear only works when there’s something to be afraid of.

McCarthy Seeks To Soothe Trump After Embarrassing Audio Surfaces

Days after the Jan 6 insurrection, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told top GOP lawmakers in a call that he would ask Trump to resign, according to a newly released audio clip, prompting Trump’s allies to question McCarthy’s suitability for the top job of House speaker should the Republicans win back control.

The audio contradicts McCarthy’s fiery denial of a Thursday New York Times bombshell report about McCarthy’s propositions to Republican leaders on how best the party and Trump could handle the fallout.

In the clip, McCarthy spoke about a conversion he had with then-President Trump, where he pressed Trump on whether he bore responsibility for the vile riot that resulted in the death of Capitol law enforcement and the delay of the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

“Well, let me be very clear to all of you, and I’ve been very clear to the president — He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if’s, and’s or but’s. I asked him personally today, ‘Does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened?’ He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he needs to acknowledge that,” McCarthy said in a clip that CNN obtained.

The minority leader also expressed concerns that Trump would ask him about getting a pardon from then-Vice President Mke Pence, who would have become president if Trump resigned. “Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get in any conversation about Pence pardoning,” he said in the audio.

Meanwhile, on a separate call the day before, McCarthy had expressed his frustrations with Trump, saying, "I had it with this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it," according to CNN.

The Washington Post reported Friday that McCarthy had hopped on a call with former President Trump shortly after the audio was released. McCarthy has also spoken to prominent Republicans in a bid to calm stormy waters and prevent a party revolt, according to CNN.

Former President Trump was not angry with McCarthy for his outburst, according to Politico. Instead, he was glad McCarthy didn’t follow up on the plan to seek his resignation, a sign of his vice-like grip on the GOP.

Citing anonymous sources, multiple news outlets predict potential party infighting in a closed-door meeting McCarthy will host with Republicans next week. The minority leader will hope to move past this controversy and shore up support in the party.

According to the Washington Post, the House GOP is awaiting a public response from former President Trump on the matter, so they can decide whether or not to continue backing McCarthy as their leader.

Former President Trump didn’t comment on the audio in his speech at a Heritage Foundation in Florida on Thursday night.

Select Committee Mulls Criminal Referral Of Trump For January 6 Coup Plot

The leaders of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Insurrection, a bipartisan panel probing the U.S. Capitol riot, are debating whether to send Attorney General Merrick Garland a criminal referral for former President Trump, despite having enough evidence to do so,according to the New York Times..

A criminal referral is only a notification to the Department of Justice about possible criminal conduct. Yet members of the committee are concerned that issuing one for former President Trump would politicize an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the Capitol attack and the events that preceded it. This effort has yielded over 775 arrests nationwide.

Since last summer, a group of ex-federal prosecutors working for the committee has been investigating the riot, what led up to it, and former President Trump and his allies' roles in inciting it.

The committee has conducted over 800 depositions, obtained nearly 90,000 documents relating to the investigation, and even issued criminal referrals for top Trump allies — notably Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist; Mark Meadows, former chief of staff; and, most recently, Peter Navarro and Don Scavino, two of then-President Trump’s top advisers.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told CNN that Trump and his allies knew their actions preceding the insurrection were “unlawful,” but “they did it anyway.” She added that the committee had yet to decide on issuing a criminal referral.

Cheney’s remarks came after the Times reported that the committee was confident it had obtained enough evidence to send the DOJ a criminal referral for former President Trump.

“The committee has … a tremendous amount of testimony and documents that I think very, very clearly demonstrate the extent of the planning and the organization and the objective, and the objective was absolutely to try to … interfere with that official proceeding,” Cheney told the CNN’s State of Union. She also cited U.S. District Court Judge Carter’s ruling in March that former President Trump “more likely than not” obstructed Congress in efforts to stop the certification of the Electoral College results.

According to the Times, committee members and staffers believe this ruling holds more weight than a criminal referral — which could be construed as a Democratic vendetta against former President Trump, who has been teasing a re-run in 2024 — ever could.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), a member of the House panel, didn’t see the need for a referral. “If you read his decision, I think it’s quite telling,” she said of Judge Carter’s ruling, according to the Times.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), another member of the House panel, called for the committee to issue referrals for crimes it uncovers, telling MSNBC, “I would say that I don’t agree with what some of my colleagues have said about this.”

Cheney played down reports of a divide in the committee. “I wouldn’t characterize there as being a dispute on the committee. I think that it is the single most collaborative committee on which I have ever served. I’m very proud of the bipartisan way in which we’re operating,” she told CNN.

The committee is wrapping up its 10-month-long investigation and aims to publish its final report in September, with public hearings held sometime during the summer.

Cheney: House Panel Considering 'Enhanced Penalties' For Trump's Crimes (VIDEO)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told NBC News' Chuck Todd on Sunday morning that the House Select Committee on the January 6 insurrection is examining whether Congress should enact “enhanced criminal penalties” to punish the “supreme dereliction of duty” by former President Donald Trump during the attack.

Speaking on Meet the Press, the Wyoming Republican said that the public will learn "new information" about the assault on the Capitol and the events leading up to it.

“Certainly our first priority is to make recommendations,” said Cheney. “And we’re looking at things like do we need additional enhanced criminal penalties for the kind of supreme dereliction of duty that you saw with President Trump, when he refused to tell the mob to go home after he had provoked that attack on the Capitol.”

What she has learned from the committee probe has made her even more troubled by Trump's conduct and the threat it posed to the nation.

“I have not learned a single thing since I have been on this committee that has made me less concerned, or less worried, about the gravity of the situation and the actions that President Trump took and also refused to take while the attack was underway,” Cheney remarked.

House Select Committee Says  Trump Mounted 'Criminal Conspiracy'  To Overturn Election

By Jan Wolfe and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday said former President Donald Trump may have engaged in criminal conduct in his bid to overturn his election defeat.

According to a committee court filing, "evidence and information available to the Committee establishes a good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts."

"The Select Committee also has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States," the filing said.

The court document was filed in federal court in Los Angeles as part of the U.S. House of Representative Select Committee's dispute with John Eastman, a lawyer who advised Trump on a plan to invalidate election results in key battleground states.

Eastman sued the committee in December, seeking to block a congressional subpoena requesting that he turn over thousands of emails.

The Select Committee's members have said they will consider passing along evidence of criminal conduct by Trump to the U.S. Justice Department. Such a move, known as a criminal referral, would be largely symbolic but would increase political pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to charge the former president.

Representatives of Eastman and Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The committee's leaders said in a statement that "Eastman’s emails may show that he helped Donald Trump advance a corrupt scheme to obstruct the counting of electoral college ballots and a conspiracy to impede the transfer of power."

Attorney regulators in California said Tuesday they have been investigating Eastman and whether he acted unethically in his work for Trump. The investigation could lead to disciplinary action against Eastman, such as suspension of his law license.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

House Homeland Security Committee Reaches Bipartisan Deal On Jan. 6 Commission

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Members of Congress have reached a deal on a commission that will probe the violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol 128 days after a mob of Donald Trump supporters carried out the attack. The deal, reached by House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and ranking member John Katko (R-NY), was announced by Thompson.

The House is expected to vote on a bill that would establish the commission in the coming weeks, according to a report from CNBC.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday morning that he wanted the commission to look beyond the Capitol insurrection: "I know Nancy Pelosi played politics with this for a number of months, and you got to look at the buildup before, and what went on afterward, otherwise the commission is not worth it," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Congress has held multiple hearings on the events of the January 6 insurrection, when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol to demand lawmakers block certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in the 2020 presidential election. Five people died as a result, and roughly 140 law enforcement officers were injured with everything from head trauma to burns.

However, the so-called National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex will not be made up of members of Congress or any currently serving government officials.

Instead, it will have ten members, five each appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, who will be experts in key fields such as law enforcement, intelligence, counterterrorism, law, and civil rights.

The commission will have the power to subpoena documents and testimony related to the attack from relevant figures and government departments.

Thompson said in a statement announcing the deal on the commission:

Inaction — or just moving on — is simply not an option. The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the U.S. Capitol. After all, the Capitol is not just a historic landmark; it is where our constituents come to see their democracy in action. As such, we owe it to the Capitol Police and all who enter our citadel of democracy to investigate the attack. The timing of this action is particularly poignant with this being National Police Week, when we honor those who gave their lives to protect us.

Democrats have been pushing for a commission for months.

However, Republican leaders were blocking a deal by demanding it also look into Black Lives Matter protests and antifa, which had nothing to do with the January 6 attack.

The GOP lost that battle: The deal reached by Thompson and Katko does not include BLM or antifa in the commission's charge.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Republicans were blocking the commission because some GOP lawmakers may be implicated in the findings of the review.

McCarthy did not commit to voting for it. He reportedly said Friday that he wants to see the details and that he wants the commission to focus on more than just the events of January 6.

The commission is mandated to submit a final report to the president and Congress by the end of 2021.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.