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The highest-ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), is complaining that attempts to investigate Trump’s crimes and corruptions are in violation of the Constitution. But experts say he’s full of it.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), recently issued a large document request to more than 80 different individuals and entities to investigate Trump and his administration for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and corruption.

Collins, who leads the minority on the committee, sent Nadler a letter in which Collins whined about the “sprawling investigation.”

The Republican described the investigation as “astounding” and “alarming,” and called into question the “constitutional insufficiency of this exercise.”

As part of his defense of Trump, Collins also cited constitutional oversight expert Morton Rosenberg, who has written that “the Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment restricts Congress in conducting investigations.”

But CNN reached out to Rosenberg and he told them that Nadler’s actions do not conflict with the Constitution, invalidating Collins’ hysterical response.

“All they’re doing is making an invitation with these letters — an invitation to cooperate,” Rosenberg said. He then said Collins is “exaggerating what’s going on here” and that there is “no constitutional problem” with Nadler’s investigation.

Collins’ over-the-top response is the latest salvo from Republicans in Congress as they continue to defend Trump, no matter what.

The members are taking their cues from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said he doesn’t believe Trump did anything wrong when he paid hush money to cover up his extramarital affair.

However, congressional Republicans had no problem with investigations into presidential conduct and policy when President Barack Obama was in office.

In fact, the same House Judiciary Committee was one of many Republican-led committees that investigated the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Those investigations were part of a fruitless attempt to blame President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the deaths that occurred.

Just last year, when Republicans were still in charge of the Judiciary Committee, they were stillinvestigating Hillary Clinton’s email server.

With Trump in the White House, Republicans chose to ignore all the evidence of corruption and crimes that has emerged. Then, in the 2018 midterm election, voters punished the party for being Trump’s co-conspirators and put Democrats in charge.

Now that Democrats have begun catching up on Trump, his Republican allies, like Collins, are suddenly trying to cry foul.

Published with permission of The American Independent.


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Eric Holder

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs.

“This is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of a war, and this war will go on,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general and Democrat, told MSNBC, saying that he and the Democratic Party will be suing in states where state constitutions protect voting rights. “This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.”

“The stakes are too important to give up now,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which for years has operated an Election Day hotline to help people vote. “Our country cannot claim to be free while allowing states to legislate away that freedom at will.”

In recent weeks, as it became clear that the Senate was not going to change its rules to allow the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to pass with a simple majority, there have been efforts by some lawmakers, election policy experts, and civil rights advocates to identify what election reforms could pass the Senate.

“There are several areas… where I think there could be bipartisan consensus,” said David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, in a briefing on January 20. “These areas are all around those guardrails of democracy. They are all about ensuring that however the voters speak that their voice is heard… and cannot be subverted by anyone in the post-election process.”

Becker cited updating the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which addressed the process where state-based slates of presidential electors are accepted by Congress. (In recent weeks, new evidence has surfaced showing that Donald Trump’s supporters tried to present Congress with forged certificates as part of an effort to disrupt ratifying the results on January 6, 2021.) Updating that law could also include clarifying which state officials have final authority in elections and setting out clear timetables for challenging election results in federal court after Election Day.

Five centrist Washington-based think tanks issued a report on January 20, Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform, which suggested federal legislation could codify practices now used by nearly three-quarters of the states. Those include requiring voters to present ID, offering at least a week of early voting, allowing all voters to request a mailed-out ballot, and allowing states to start processing returned absentee ballots a week before Election Day.

But the report, which heavily drew on a task force of 29 state and local election officials from 20 states convened by Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center, was notable in what it did not include, such as restoring the major enforcement section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was removed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. It did not mention the Electoral Count Act nor growing threats to election officials from Trump supporters.

“This won’t satisfy all supporters of the Freedom to Vote Act, but this is a plausible & serious package of reforms to make elections more accessible and secure that could attract bipartisan support,” tweeted Charles Stewart III, a political scientist and director of the MIT Election Data and Science Lab. “A good starting point.”

The reason the centrist recommendations won’t satisfy civil rights advocates is that many of the most troubling developments since the 2020 election would likely remain.

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Former president Donald Trump

By Rami Ayyub and Alexandra Ulmer

(Reuters) -The prosecutor for Georgia's biggest county on Thursday requested a special grand jury with subpoena power to aid her investigation into then-President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the U.S. state's 2020 election results.

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