Tag: utah

FBI Agents Kill Man In Attempted Arrest Over Biden Assassination Threats

FBI agents on Wednesday shot and killed a Utah man they were investigating for allegedly making death threats against President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris just hours before the President is scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City for his first presidential trip to the Beehive State. According to court documents the man was seen wearing a “hat bearing the word ‘TRUMP’ on the front.”

CNBC reports federal agents shot and killed the man “while trying to arrest him for threatening to murder President Joe Biden and the New York district attorney who is prosecuting former President Donald Trump in connection with hush money payments, NBC News reported.” The network identified the man as “Provo resident Craig Deleeuw Robertson, who was accused in court documents of vowing to retaliate against the FBI during an investigation.”

Former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi posted what he says is “the Facebook profile photo of Craig Deleeuw Robertson.”

Court documents say the FBI described Robertson as a white man ‘approximately 70-75 years old’ who was surveilled ‘wearing a dark suit (later observed as having an AR-15 style rifle lapel pin attached), a white shirt, a red tie, and a multi-colored (possibly camouflage) hat bearing the word ‘TRUMP’ on the front,'” CNBC adds. “Robertson was also found to be the owner of a sniper rifle and numerous other firearms.”

The Washington Post, which notes the FBI did not name the deceased, reported on the “alleged online threats against Biden, according to a 30-page felony complaint signed by a judge Tuesday.”

“The complaint included screenshots of Facebook posts allegedly made by Robertson, one of which read: ‘THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION OR TWO. FIRST JOE THEN KAMALA!!!’”


“Robertson,” The Post continues, “also allegedly made disparaging posts about New York State Attorney General Letitia James (D), California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, per the complaint.”

“In an October 2022 post, Robertson allegedlywrote: ‘Merrick Garland, the Demented Weasel, I am 100% anti-abortion. Why are your FBI cowards not kicking in my door? Know this ‘they will die.’ ‘”

KUTV reports, “In his most recent post, Robertson stated he had a dream about seeing ‘Joe Biden’s body in a dark corner of DC parking garage with his head severed and lying in a huge puddle of blood.'”

“He adds: ‘Hoorah!!!'”

“Nearly all his recent posts were dedicated to his thoughts on Biden, save for a select few that attacked Hunter Biden, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Whoopi Goldberg, and Democrats in general.”

The New York Times adds, “In another online post, referring to Mr. Bragg, the man wrote that he wanted ‘to stand over Bragg and put a nice hole in his forehead with my 9mm and watch him twitch as a drop of blood oozes from the hole as his life ebbs away to hell!'”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

In Utah, Democrats Get Serious About Democracy

Why Saving Democracy May Mean Supporting A Conservative

Fighting Republican authoritarianism means sometimes delaying political gratification.

The Utah Democratic Party did something extraordinary last week: They threw their support behind a Republican. Well, a former Republican, anyway. Evan McMullin, who ran for president as an independent in 2016, is now seeking to unseat Sen. Mike Lee.

At the Democratic Party convention, held at Cottonwood High School in Murray (don't you love democracy?), some delegates were uncomfortable. One told the Deseret News that he "never imagined my fellow Democrats would disenfranchise me," adding that "Democrats need to be on the ballot." But most delegates were swayed by the arguments of former Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, who vouched for McMullin's integrity and urged that he would help "heal the divide" in Washington. Besides, he said, McMullin has a real path to victory. The Democrats agreed and, with 57 percent voting in favor, elected to join a coalition that also includes the United Utah Party to endorse McMullin.

Now, cards on the table, it isn't as if any Democratic nominee would stand a ghost of a chance. Utah hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate in more than 50 years, and Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state 5-to-1. But McMullin is a political unicorn — a former Republican, CIA veteran and conservative who garnered 21% of the vote in Utah when he made his quixotic presidential bid in 2016.

Lee was swept into office by the Tea Party wave of 2010. He defeated incumbent Republican Bob Bennett in the primary by arguing that Bennett had lost his edge after years in Washington. Lee claimed that he, by contrast, was a "constitutional conservative." His website boasts that he has "spent his career defending the fundamental liberties of all Americans and advocating for America's founding constitutional principles."

Unless those principles conflict with his personal ambitions. Maybe that's in the small print.

Lee was among the last holdouts at the GOP convention in 2016, hoping to deploy procedural rules to deny Trump the nomination. In July of that year, adverting to Trump's "authoritarian" tendencies, he shot back at a MAGA radio host, "Don't sit here and tell me that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump. ... I mean we can get into the fact that he accused my best friend's father of conspiring to kill JFK."

Over the following years, like every other leading Republican except those you can list on two hands, Lee immolated his constitutional principles on a pyre. As Amanda Carpenter itemized, the recently revealed text messages to Donald Trump's White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reveal a senator not only willing to overlook a little authoritarianism now and again but also an active participant in a behind-the-scenes effort to overturn a free and fair election. On Dec. 8, 2020, for example, Lee texted to Meadows that "If a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternative slates of delegates, there could be a path."

Lee, you see, wanted the coup to be by the book. If the states (only the ones Trump lost, of course) submitted alternate slates of electors, why, then, according to the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act (which Democrats should have repealed and replaced by now), the MAGA forces could stall and possibly prevent the certification of Biden's victory. Lee later texted to Meadows that he was on the phone "14 hours a day" discussing whether state legislators were going to submit "clean" slates for Trump. After the texts leaked, he told the Deseret News, "At no point in any of those was I engaging in advocacy. I wasn't in any way encouraging them to do that. I just asked them a yes or no question."

It didn't occur to Mr. Constitutional Conservative that phone calls from a United States senator to state legislators asking questions might be interpreted as signals or even possibly as threats? He certainly knew that Trump was engaging in every possible ploy to overturn the election. What business did a Utah senator have even calling legislators from Pennsylvania or Michigan? And he wasn't troubled by the utter fallaciousness of the election fraud claims, rejected by something like 63 courts, that would be the foundation of any effort to submit alternative slates? That's the nub of it. It was a lie — a blatant, stinking lie.

In October 2020, Lee famously tweeted "We're not a democracy." It's a familiar conservative talking point. We are a republic. True. A democratic republic. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution that Lee claims to revere guarantees to each state a "republican form of government." A republican form of government depends utterly on votes being counted legally and properly. Otherwise, the Constitution's guarantee becomes a dead letter, rather like the sham elections in Russia or Cuba. It seems that Lee wanted to use the Constitution as a fig leaf for a naked power grab. Yes, he ultimately voted to certify Biden's victory, but only after granting the coup plot legitimacy with his backroom maneuvering.

The Utah Democratic Party has demonstrated flexibility, too rare a trait in today's politics. Utahans now have a rare opportunity to strike a blow for democracy and the Constitution. A McMullin victory would signal that there are consequences for betraying your oath and making a mockery of appeals to the Constitution.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Sean Reyes

Utah Governor (And Governor.-Elect) Denounce Attorney General For Joining Texas Election Lawsuit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Utah is among the red states that signed onto a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in four states. But according to KUTV-TV 2 (the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City), Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes signed Utah onto the lawsuit without consulting either Gov. Gary Herbert or Governor-elect Spencer Cox — both of whom consider the lawsuit "an unwise use of taxpayers' money."

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Landslide? 5 States Mitt Romney Won That Donald Trump Could Lose

Landslide? 5 States Mitt Romney Won That Donald Trump Could Lose

Donald Trump is crying.

He’s crying “rigged.” He’s crying “fraud.” He’s even crying about “international banks” that are plotting “the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.”

And in case you can’t hear dog whistles, he’s accusing black people of the crime of voting, while conjuring up paranoia about a vast conspiracy of the media and monied elites reminiscent of the worst tropes of anti-semitism that now happens to include a Mexican — Carlos Slim, the telecom billionaire who is the largest single shareholder of The New York Times Company. (Slim owns 17 percent of its Class A shares, although the newspaper company is still controlled by the Sulzberger family through its Class B shares.)

Also implicated in the Trumpian conspiracy are SNL’s Lorne Michaels, the dozen or so women who have accused him of assault, and the microphone that caught him admitting to similar sorts of assaults on women.

“This is a guy who spent all his time hanging around trying to convince everybody he was a global elite,” President Obama said, to a Clinton rally last week. “Talking about how great his buildings are, how luxurious and how rich he is and flying around everywhere, all he had time for was celebrities. And now suddenly, he’s acting like he’s a populist out there.”

In other words, Trump’s latest babbling is just telling us that he knows he’s facing a loss — a huge one. And one that he won’t be able to use to write off his taxes for the next 18 years.

If you want to know why Donald Trump is crying, just look at the electoral map, which suggests that he is anticipating an electoral college landslide that could be worse than any Republican has faced in 20 years, which would be shocking (or rewarding) given the trend of “negative partisanship” that has gripped American politics.

Let’s take a look. But keep in mind that Trump needs to carry all of these states along with at least three more Obama won — ideally Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania –for him to win.

(All data is from Real Clear Politics‘s poll aggregator.)

  1. North Carolina.
    President Obama won this state in 2008 and than barely lost it in 2012. Even in 2014, during a Republican wave, Democrats nearly held a U.S. Senate seat here while losing nine seats nationwide. The state has been trending Democratic due to it’s increasingly diverse population and large number of college-educated voters. But right wing donors, including the state’s own Koch-tied brother Art Pope, have conspired to keep it red using some of the worst voting suppression tactics America has seen since the 1960s. Trump is speeding up this shift and his lack of a ground game has seen Democrats take an unprecedented advantage in early voting. Hillary Clinton has an additional advantage because the Green Party’s Jill Stein isn’t on the ballot in the Tar Heel state.
  2. Arizona.
    North Carolina is probably the easiest pickup for Clinton. But it is a sign of Trump’s troubles that Arizona now seems to be almost as much a swing state as Iowa, the Obama territory where Trump seems to have the best chance of winning. Democrats haven’t won Arizona since 1996, but the state’s growing Latino population combined with its aggressive embrace of anti-immigration Republicans like Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have made it an attractive target for Democrats. As in every other competitive state, Clinton has a ground game advantage here as polls narrow. Trump’s decades of antipathy toward Native Americans and his insistence that calling Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” is hilarious may finally catch up with him. And Trump’s problems with Latinos mirror his problem with another swing group in the state — Mormons. Which leads us to…
  3. Utah.
    screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-10-54-17-amNo state seems ready to punish Trump for being the anti-Mitt Romney more than Utah. If the Republican nominee loses here, it would be the first time in over 50 years. But the combination of Trump’s unpopularity with Mormons and the presence of a conservative Mormon third-party candidate, Evan McMullin, on the ballot has begun to create some screwy deviations in the polls. Recent polls have shown the state is a dead heat with Trump, Clinton and McMullin all within points of each other. And the Clinton campaign has sent some feelers into the state. It’s hard to tell if that’s just trolling or a sign of actual confidence.
  4. Georgia.
    screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-10-53-32-amThe devil went down in Georgia. Could Donald Trump do the same? Only a massive landslide by Democrats can draw this once blue state back into the swing category. But Trump’s remarkable lack of appeal to non-white voters is speeding up Georgia’s lean to the center. In 2008, President Obama came within 6 points of John McCain in 2008 but the gap expanded again 2012. “Although whites now make up 58 percent of active voters in Georgia, down from 72 percent in 2002, the demographic shift remains a slow process, and Democrats have yet to capitalize on it in a statewide race,” Bloomberg reports. The Clinton campaign’s spending in the state and the shifting population has Republicans worried enough to take extreme measures to purge black residents from voting roles. Trump is maintaining a safe lead in the state while struggling with women. If that slide with the smarter gender expands and catches fire in the state’s exburbs as minorities show up in historic numbers, Georgia could be in play.
  5. Texas.
    If the 2020 Republican nominee for president has to defend Texas aggressively, Trump’s legacy as the man who doomed the GOP’s chances of ever winning the White House will be complete. The last two GOP nominees won the state by nearly double the number Trump is currently polling at. Still Republicans have probably kept this state safely red through 2016 with voting registration laws straight out the Jim Crow era.

And this list could still be growing. See: Alaska.

Trump once bragged about turning New York and California red. Then he promised to strike a path to victory through the Rust Belt.

Now, unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks, he will struggle to invalidate the results of a landslide worse than the one suffered by Mitt Romney — the man Trump once maligned as a “choker.”

IMAGE: Donald Trump and Mitt Romney shake hands after Trump endorsed the Republican’s candidacy for president, February 2, 2012.  REUTERS/Steve Marcus