Tag: stephen miller
Stephen Miller

Trump Aide Miller Summoned (Again) To Special Counsel Grand Jury

Former White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, the architect of ex-president Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant separation policies, is once again testifying before a federal grand jury as DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith continues his investigation into the January 6 insurrection.

Miller’s appearance Tuesday comes “after the courts ordered that he and other top advisers must share their recollections of direct conversations with the then-president related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot,” CNN reports. “Miller is likely to be asked in the grand jury about his phone call with Trump minutes before the Ellipse rally that day, and other conversations they had about the election. The grand jury is hearing evidence as part of a special counsel’s criminal investigation.”

Trump had tried to block Miller from testifying, claiming “executive privilege,” which he has no legal or constitutional authority to invoke, as courts have repeatedly ruled.

In response to a Bloomberg News reporter tweeting Tuesday morning that Miller had just gone through security at a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte noted, “Stephen Miller was on Fox News the morning of Dec 14 2020 *bragging* about the fraudulent elector scheme they were doing.”

Here is that video, from December 14, 2020. His claims appear to be fallacious.

In addition to reports of him testifying before the D.C. grand jury Tuesday, Miller is trending on Twitter after a just-publishedNew York Times report reveals his child-separation policy, designed to send the message to migrants in Central America to not try to travel to the U.S., “a significant number of U.S. citizen children were also removed from their parents under the so-called zero tolerance policy, in which migrant parents were criminally prosecuted and jailed for crossing the border without authorization.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Federal Grand Jury Investigating Trump's 'Save America' Super-PAC Grift

Federal Grand Jury Investigating Trump's 'Save America' Super-PAC Grift

A federal grand jury sitting in Washington D.C. has issued subpoenas aimed at the Save America PAC, the operation Trump formed soon after Election Day 2020 to exploit his lie that the election had been stolen from him. Trump has used the super-PAC to raise funds for his own political future as well as to distribute money to candidates he has endorsed around the country.

This grand jury appears to be separate from the one already investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Subpoenas from this new grand jury were issued to, among others, the execrable Stephen Miller, Trump’s speech writer and senior adviser in the White House, and Brian Jack, Trump’s former White House political director. Miller has been paid by the Trump super-PAC since leaving the White House, and Jack has worked as an adviser to Trump after leaving the White House, as well as for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House minority leader.

The grand jury has also subpoenaed several other people who worked on the Trump campaign or in the White House in various positions, such as the campaign finance director and the former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump. According to the New York Times, at least one of the new subpoenas was signed by Thomas P. Windom, a veteran fraud prosecutor in the Department of Justice, and another was signed by Mary L. Dohrmann, a federal prosecutor whom the Times reported has been working with Windom in recent months.

The other grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking information about the scheme Trump developed after the election to send fake slates of electors to Congress in order to disrupt the count on January 6 or to throw the election into the House of Representatives. These subpoenas, according to the Times, “sought communications with several pro-Trump lawyers — like Kenneth Chesebro — who helped devise the electors plan.” Other subpoenas were sent to Republican state representatives and senators allied with Trump, as well as to Republican state officials in the states that sent the slates of fake electors to Congress.

The two prosecutors behind the subpoenas seeking information on Trump’s super-PAC have also made appearances in court to oppose a motion by John Eastman to retrieve his cell phone from the FBI, which seized the device last June. Eastman was the Trump lawyer who devised the fake elector scheme and was one of the speakers at the Trump rally on the Ellipse just before the assault on the Capitol on January 6.

The new grand jury and the subpoenas issued to persons associated with Trump’s super-PAC mark a significant expansion of the criminal investigation of the former president, who is also under investigation for his removal of thousands of documents and other materials from the White House when he left office. The documents include at least 100 with classification markings up to the highest, most sensitive secrets the nation has, including several marked TS/SCI, for Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information. This designation is used for documents so secret that they must only be viewed in a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, overseen by an intelligence official who keeps a written record of everyone who sees the documents.

The SCIF at Mar a Lago was taken out after Trump left office. The documents marked TS/SCI, which should have been stored inside such a facility, were found by the FBI in the basement of Mar a Lago in a minimally secured storage room and in a box in Trump’s office, which is located just off the resort’s main ballroom, frequently used for weddings and public events like political fund raisers.

The Save America PAC was registered with the Federal Elections Commission on November 9, 2020, two days after news organizations had called the election for Joe Biden. (If you need evidence that Trump knew he had lost the election, there it is.) The Trump super-PAC has not doled out very much of the money it has raised to Republican candidates endorsed by Trump. “Instead, it has hoarded cash or used it to pay firms and groups devoted to helping Mr. Trump, including his own businesses, or to undermining his enemies,” according to the Times. The super-PAC also has paid lawyers for Trump, including Christina Bobb, who signed the official certification on June 3 attesting that there were no remaining classified documents stored at Mar a Lago. The FBI, of course, found more than 100 new classified documents when it searched the Trump resort/club/residence on August 8. Another lawyer who has been paid by the Trump super-PAC is Lindsey Halligan, whose name has appeared on court filings involving the appointment of a special master to review the documents Trump removed from the White House.

The Save America PAC has also spent more than $200,000 at Trump hotel properties, according to the Times. Profits from the hotels owned by Trump would go directly into the bank accounts of the former president. The Trump super-PAC also paid nearly $8.7 million to Event Strategies, Inc., the company that helped organize the Ellipse rally on January 6.

Why it would take $8.7 million to organize a rally held about 200 yards from the White House is a mystery. Those must have been some very expensive bullet-proof plastic shields protecting Trump and the other speakers at the rally, and they must have been standing on some very expensive sheets of plywood used in the construction of a very expensive stage for the rally.

Or maybe Event Strategies paid inflated salaries to a whole bunch of people who “worked” on the rally, who then turned around and kicked back some of the money to YKW. The acronym this time stands for You Know Who.

For future grand jury updates, watch this space.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter

Stephen Miller

Trump White House Counsel, Stephen Miller Appearing Before Select Committee

Months after his initial subpoena, former President Donald Trump’s senior aide and speechwriter Stephen Miller is reportedly testifying before the January 6 select committee on Thursday.

The select committee is steadily rolling toward what will soon be weeks of public hearings beginning in late May or June. Private depositions, including this one with Miller, however, are still helping investigators tick off any final boxes in a probe that has collected more than 800 interviews behind closed doors.

According to the Associated Press, sources were unclear on whether Miller would appear in person or virtually. A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos.

The New York Times reported just 24 hours ago that the committee met with two of Trump’s most trusted attorneys, Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, on Wednesday. They were not formally subpoenaed. The attorneys were not under oath nor was their testimony transcribed. They are, however, likely to return, and on those visits, their engagement with the committee could be more formal.

Why the attorneys would meet with the committee this week is also being kept under wraps, but the National Archives on Wednesday did notify the panel it would soon begin transmitting a completely new tranche of records from the Trump White House.

Those documents are expected to be remitted to the committee within 15 days—barring a court order stopping the hand-off.

This February, Trump notified National Archivist David Ferriero that he would claim privilege over thousands of records in what will now be the seventh transmission.

Trump to Archives Feb 2022 by Daily Kos

Trump has been on a consistent losing streak, though, in trying to legally shroud January 6 documents from Congress. President Joe Biden overruled Trump’s executive privilege assertions, and courts have reinforced that decision.

The Archives will soon hand off Philbin’s records to the probe and that includes correspondence about the lawsuits he launched on Trump’s behalf to challenge Biden’s electoral victory. As for Cipollone, he was present for many meetings of critical importance to the Jan. 6 committee’s probe.

Cipollone was privy to meetings where Trump allegedly leaned on his other attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to call the Department of Homeland Security and demand that voting machines be seized because of widescale fraud.

That fraud was non-existent, but nonetheless, Trump raised the prospect on more than one occasion.

Cipollone and Philbin were also in the room when Attorney General Bill Barr tendered his resignation to Trump. In his recent book, Barr described the scene as explosive with Trump’s face “quivering” in anger when Barr rejected his insistent claim that there was fraud in the 2020 election.

Miller’s appearance, meanwhile, signals a continued tightening of the committee’s focus on Trump’s innermost circle. Whether Trump asserted privilege over Miller’s testimony Thursday remains to be seen. He reportedly offered his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner a chance to invoke privilege during their appearance.

Neither took him up on the offer.

Investigators want to interview Miller about his role in Trump’s “alternate elector” scheme. In an interview with Fox in December 2020, Miller openly vowed that Trump’s so-called alternates would keep the president in power because they had the ability to stop or delay the certification of electoral votes.

Those electors, however, were unsanctioned and unrecognized in every state they formed in. The National Archives ultimately rejected all alternate slates for certification. The last hope for Trump to stay in power was to have then Vice President Mike Pence stop the proceedings. Pence did not.

There are also questions about Miller’s involvement in crafting Trump’s January 6 speech. The ex-senior adviser has a penchant for inciteful rhetoric

Trump’s onetime bodyman turned personnel director John McEntee met with investigators on Wednesday, too. It was revealed in November that McEntee played a critical role in having Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper ousted, despite being a political neophyte with zero experience in the defense arena.

He was, however, one of Trump’s pets inside the administration because he took it upon himself to root out any and all anti-Trump sentiment in the White House’s ranks and report on his findings.

Printed with permission from Dailykos.

Stephen Miller Is Back — And He’s Attacking Black Farmers

Stephen Miller Is Back — And He’s Attacking Black Farmers

Reviled Trump adviser Stephen Miller who helped shape Trump’s racist immigration policies has a new focus: sabotaging President Joe Biden’s plan to help struggling Black farmers who average $2,400 each in farm income.

Miller founded America First Legal Foundation (AFL), which is bankrolling a Texas lawsuit against Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. It’s over Biden’s planned debt relief for Black and other minority farmers. The lawsuit is one of at least 13 challenging the constitutionality of the program.

“AFL is filing a lawsuit . . .against the Biden administration to prevent it from administering programs created under the American Rescue Plan Act that discriminate against American farmers and ranchers based on the basis of race,” Miller said last year.

In 1910, Black farmers owned 16 million to 19 million acres, about 14% of our nation’s farmland. The number of Black farmers plummeted more than 90% from 1920 to 1969. In 2017, about 1.4% of our nation’s farmers were Black, and they operated about 0.5% of agricultural land.

Historian Pete Daniel said that federal agriculture offices increased discrimination against Black farmers after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Black farmers were excluded. Farm Service Agency county committees, which decided who qualified for loans, were dominated by white men.

In 2021, when Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected about 42 percent of Black farmers for direct loans compared with a rejection rate of nine percent for white farmers.

Florida farmer Kelvin Cannon told the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, which wants to intervene in the Texas lawsuit, that he had to resubmit his loan application in 2021 at least 15 times before he was approved for an FSA loan. By the time the loan was approved, it was too late to plant any soybeans, corn, or peanuts.

“If I do not receive my anticipated debt relief from the USDA, I will be unable to adequately support myself and my two little girls who are four and six years old,” Cannon said. “I’d lose everything – my house, my truck, and all my farm equipment. My family will be homeless.”

Under Biden’s American Rescue Plan, socially disadvantaged farmers could receive debt relief for up to 120% of the value of the loan. This includes African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.

Rodeo cowboy Sid Miller, now the agriculture commissioner in Texas, and four other white farmers or ranchers sued Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in federal court in the northern district of Texas.

The Texas court is favored for Republicans because of Judge Reed O’Connor. He ruled against transgender rights and the Affordable Care Act in other cases, issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the USDA from making debt relief payments to minority famers while the lawsuit is active.

Judges hearing other cases over the constitutionality of the law have put those cases on hold until the Texas lawsuit is decided.

Jessica Culpepper, an attorney for Public Justice, said O’Connor is likely to find the law unconstitutional, following another case about help for restaurants that was decided in May.

Democrats are trying to include debt relief for minority farmers in Biden’s Build Back Better package, but that could exclude thousands of farmers debt relief was supposed to help because of changes in loan eligibility.

Bankers are also pushing back against federal help for Black farmers. The American Bankers Association and other banking groups told the USDA there could be adverse consequences to bank income because of help for financially struggling farmers.

Reprinted with permission from DC Report