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Former FBI Agents: Mar-a-Lago Raid Is ‘A National Security Issue’

Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”

“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.

She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.

Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”

Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:

“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, [Christina Bobb] and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”

Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”

He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”

In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.

The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.

Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Falsely Compares FBI Raid On Mar-a-Lago To Watergate

The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump‘s Florida home. While there are few details yet on what federal agents are investigating, Trump quickly put out a statement in which he decries the “assault.”

“These are dark times for our Nation,” writes Trump, who since becoming president has likened himself to the entire country, at times declaring an attack on him to be an attack on the United States.

He continues, saying, “my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” which is true, but no president, possibly except Richard Nixon, has been under criminal investigation before.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he claims. Clearly the raid had to be approved by the highest levels at not just the FBI – whose director Trump installed – but the Department of Justice, likely by Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.


“It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he claims, using a term that many consider derogatory to developing countries. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,” Trump falsely claims.

Mother Jones’ David Corn responds to Trump’s “Watergate” comparison.

“Let’s make this simple: the Watergate break-in was a crime conducted by criminals. This raid was conducted by law enforcement officers who are supposed to catch criminals.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump's Criminal Lawyers 'In Direct Talks' With Federal Prosecutors

Attorneys for Donald Trump, the former president, are now in direct talks with officials from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

CNN calls it “the first sign of talks between the two sides as the criminal probe into January 6, 2021, accelerates.”

“The talks revolve around whether Trump would be able to shield conversations he had while he was president from federal investigators,” including “whether any communications that witnesses from the Trump West Wing had with the former president can be kept from a federal criminal grand jury under Trump’s claims of executive privilege.”

Legal experts generally default to executive privilege resting with the sitting U.S. president, but DOJ has also not prosecuted former top Trump officials, including Mark Meadows, after Congress voted to convict him on contempt charges for not cooperating with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack’s investigation.

“Mark Meadows could be a key witness,” CNN reveals.

“Trump has specifically been counseled to cut contact with his former White House chief of staff,” CNN adds, “whose actions leading up to and on the day of the US Capitol insurrection have been deeply scrutinized by the House panel.”

“In recent months,” CNN states, “the former President has ignored advice from some of his advisers to avoid speaking with former and current aides who have become entangled in the House select committee’s probe into January 6 and may become part of the criminal investigation, people familiar with the matter told CNN.”

Ryan Goodman, NYU professor of law and former special counsel at the Defense Department offered this insight: “Sounds like Trump team worried Meadows will flip and cooperate with DOJ.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Aide Navarro Sued By Justice Department To Capture Private Emails

The Justice Department on Wednesday sued former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro, demanding he return email communications he allegedly sent or received without copying his government account. The DOJ says these emails are presidential records and belong to the federal government. Legal experts are warning the government has an excellent case and others in similar circumstances should be “concerned.”

“Navarro, who worked for the White House during the entirety of Trump’s presidency, had used ‘at least one non-official email account … to send and receive messages constituting Presidential records,’ the Justice Department said in a court filing,” Politico reports. “Attorneys also accused him of ‘wrongfully retaining them’ in violation of federal record-keeping laws, as Navarro did not copy the messages into an official government account, nor did he respond to the National Archivist’s initial request for the emails.”

Top national security attorney Bradley Moss explained the case by saying, “Navarro walked out of the White House with hundreds of records in his possession and refuses to return them.”

The DOJ’s complaint against Navarro, a promoter of Trump’s “Big Lie,” suggests he tried to obtain immunity in exchange for returning the records but apparently DOJ refused.

“Prior to filing this suit, in an effort to avoid litigation, Department of Justice counsel contacted Mr. Navarro by email and United States mail to secure the Presidential records that Mr. Navarro had not copied to his government email account. Discussions with Mr. Navarro’s counsel to secure the return of Presidential records ultimately proved unsuccessful. Mr. Navarro has refused to return any Presidential records that he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents.”

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney writes, “DOJ, which has been busy this week, sued Peter Navarro for the return of comms on his private devices b/c they’re presidential records.”

“The analysis is persuasive,” says Vance, who is now a professor of law and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “Other presidential advisors who used private comms should be concerned.”

The Associated Press notes that the “legal action comes just weeks after Navarro was indicted on criminal charges after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.”

Back in June while prosecuting Navarro’s criminal case, the DOJ said that the former Trump aide, arrested and charged with criminal contempt of Congress, is making “misrepresentations” and “false” claims, including that he was denied food and water and denied his right to call an attorney.

After he was arraigned and allowed to leave the courtroom in early June, Navarro had repeatedly made seemingly wild claims, including that he should not have been arrested at the airport, that he was put in “leg irons,” that he was “strip-searched,” that law enforcement officials refused to allow him to call an attorney – despite also repeatedly stating he would be representing himself, including before a judge.

He also complained he had been placed in solitary confinement, in a tweet promoting his book with a link to purchase it on Amazon.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Inadvertent Release Of January 6 Messages May Be Perilous For Alex Jones

After the attorney for Sandy Hook families revealed in court to Alex Jones on Wednesday that his own lawyer accidentally sent them the entire contents of his cell phone, a former prosecutor is noting scenarios that could potentially create even more trouble for the far-right wing conspiracy theorist who reportedly may have ties to events or people surrounding January 6.

The New York Times has described Jones as “a key player in the pro-Trump ‘Stop the Steal’ movement.”

Jones was on the witness stand in a defamation trial against him when the attorney revealed not only had his lawyer sent the data, but did not try to retract it or claim it as privileged. The attorney said the contents of the phone includes emails and texts as far back as two years, which presumably could include communications that reference the January 6, 2021 events.

A conspiracy theorist who promotes falsehoods and Donald Trump, Jones reportedly raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rally that preceded the January 6 insurrection.

At a prayer rally in December of 2020 Jones “said that God had raised up Trump and that Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other ‘miserable globalists’ are ‘slaves of Satan,'” Right Wing Watch has reported. “Jones said he didn’t know who would be going to White House in January, but he did know this: ‘Joe Biden is a globalist, and Joe Biden will be removed one way or another.'”


Last year The Washington Post reported that the “Justice Department and the FBI are investigating whether high-profile right-wing figures — including Roger Stone and Alex Jones — may have played a role in the January 6 Capitol breach as part of a broader look into the mind-set of those who committed violence and their apparent paths to radicalization, according to people familiar with the investigation.”

On Wednesday attorney Mark Bankston told Jones in court, “Twelve days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years.”

Tristan Snell, an attorney who prosecuted the Trump University case for the New York attorney general, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the news.

“Somewhere in the Capitol complex right now, a lawyer from the January 6 committee is writing a letter to the Sandy Hook parents’ lawyers requesting they produce Alex Jones’s phone records,” Snell wrote.

“Somewhere at DOJ, a different lawyer is doing the same thing,” he added.

In late January of this year, one year after the January 6 insurrection, Jones revealed he had spoken with the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Jones appeared in response to the Committee’s subpoena. He described their questions as “overall pretty reasonable” but bragged to his audience he had pleaded the fifth over 100 times.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Biden Serves Justice On Al Qaeda Chief -- And Republicans Complain

House and Senate Republicans are mostly quiet about President Joe Biden having killed top al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri , a terrorist who was Osama bin-Laden’s second in command. Few gave him credit for taking out the terrorist, despite lauding Donald Trump when he took out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Qasem Soleimani.

Ayman al-Zawahiri was “a mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks” who was “one of the most sought-after people by the U.S. for over two decades,” NBC News reports. Some Republicans offered praise to the men and women in the armed forces, some to the CIA, the agency Biden used to carry out the assassination. And some used the killing of the top al-Qaeda terrorist as an opportunity to attack the President.

Americans paying attention only to Fox News or Republicans on Capitol Hill would have a very different understanding of this critical moment in history.

Matthew Dowd, a former Republican who was a chief strategist on the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, and became a Democrat after Donald Trump was elected, writes, “as I said at the time, too many in the news media were wrong about Biden’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Biden made right decision, and it was managed incredibly well.”

He adds, “we are still able to conduct operations against terrorists without having troops there.”

A few Republicans took to Twitter to recognize the moment, while ignoring President Biden’s achievement – or attacking him.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave Americans who took out the terrorist, Al Zawahiri,” wrote House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. “The Biden admin must provide Congress with a briefing as soon as possible to discuss the resurgence of Al Qaeda in the region following his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

Retired reporter Dan Murphy responded: “There were over 1,000 terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan in the final year of our military involvement there. US servicemen and woman died there every year. But no longer.”

“Yawn,” he added, suggesting he was bored with the Republican leader’s remarks.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) posted one of the most critical responses.

“I’m so proud of our military and Intelligence Community for this successful mission. Al-Zawahiri was an evil man who has been brought to justice. But we did this in spite of @POTUS’ leadership, not because of it.”

“His surrender of Afghanistan continues to threaten our security,” he added, offering nothing to support the claim.

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) repeatedly praised “the members of our Intelligence Community” but not President Biden.

“This mission also serves as a reminder that al-Qaeda is not gone from Afghanistan as President Biden claimed following his disastrous withdrawal,” LaHood charged. “Rising threats from al-Qaeda and other terror orgs must be confronted by the Admin in consultation with Congress to keep America safe.”

Spelling the eradicated terrorist’s name wrong, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) offered this response: “Amman Al Zawhiri’s death is undoubtedly a win for the world. This truly evil man can do no more harm to anyone. God bless the USA!”

William F. Wechsler of the non-partisan think tank The Atlantic Council calls this “a sense of vindication for Biden and a moment of truth for the Taliban.”

“This is a particularly notable accomplishment for President Biden, who decided to withdraw remaining US forces and leave Afghanistan to the Taliban, relying only on ‘over the horizon’ counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda. This decision was criticized by many counterterrorism experts at the time, myself included. But with today’s news, Biden and his team, ably led by Liz Sherwood-Randall at the White House, will go to sleep tonight with a deep sense of vindication and take a well-deserved victory lap.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump's DHS Inspector Concealed Deletion Of Secret Service January 6 Texts

The Department of Homeland Security scandal is growing larger, with its embattled inspector general increasingly appearing to be at the center of what one noted political scientist is calling a “coverup of treason.”

DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, appointed by then-President Donald Trump in 2019, was aware of Secret Service agents’ deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, as well as deleted texts from top Homeland Security officials, months earlier than first disclosed, according to reports from CNN and The Washington Post.

“Earlier this month, Secret Service officials told congressional committees that DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, the department’s independent watchdog, was aware that texts had been erased in December 2021,” CNN reports. “But sources tell CNN, the Secret Service had notified Cuffari’s office of missing text messages in May 2021, seven months earlier.”

That means that four months after the January 6 insurrection the DHS watchdog office knew Secret Service agents’ text messages, from the day before and day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, were missing and did not inform Congress or the National Archives, which is required by law to retain those records.

The deleted Secret Service texts are not the only missing data at DHS.

“Text messages for President Donald Trump’s acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” The Washington Post was first to report, on Thursday night.

As with the missing Secret Service texts, Cuffari knew early on – as early as May – but did not inform Congress or the National Archives.

Earlier this month the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), a nonpartisan independent watchdog, reported on Cuffari, Wolf, and Cuccinelli.

“Cuffari’s actions shielded high-level DHS political appointees, including then-acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his acting deputy secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, from fuller questioning by investigators, according to government records and interviews,” a POGO press release stated.

Back in February POGO reported that Cuffari “faces a previously undisclosed and escalating investigation — one that will apparently address persistent questions about whether he illegally ‘retaliated’ against former high-ranking employees. As such, the probe signals the latest phase of a nasty internecine battle that refuses to fade away, despite Cuffari’s successful bid to force out his former top deputy, as other internal critics left amid bitter recriminations.”

That investigation, according to the POGO report, began in May of 2021, more than one year ago.

In. April POGO sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to remove Cuffari from his role as DHS IG.

Late Thursday night noted political scientist Norman Ornstein, who sits on the POGO board, called the situation a “coverup of treason.”

POGO, Ornstein tweeted, “has been calling for a long time for the resignation of DHS IG Joseph Cuffari. He sat on the information of missing texts from the top DHS ‘acting’ officials, put there by Trump to do his bidding. Stinks to high heaven. Coverup of treason.”

Appointed by Trump, Cuffari assumed office on July 25, 2019. Less than one year later, in May of 2020, The Washington Post reported, “DHS inspector general’s office nearly dormant under Trump as reports and audits plummet.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

WATCH: Cruz Fist Bumps GOP Colleagues After Defeat Of Vets' Health Bill

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was caught on camera on the floor of the Senate fist-bumping his fellow GOP senators after they successfully blocked legislation to help veterans who are suffering after being exposed to toxic burn pits.

"Hundreds of thousands of American veterans were exposed to toxic fumes from burn pits on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan," NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reported in January. "So far, though, the Department of Veterans Affairs still denies the vast majority of their claims for respiratory illness and rare cancers. The White House, the VA, and Congress have all promised action, but it is not happening fast enough for sick veterans."

"This week, it was about to finally happen. But Republicans – many of whom previously voted to pass the bill, blocked it."

"The bill, known as the Honoring Our PACT Act, passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support in June, but due to a snag in the bill's language, it needed to go back and pass the House and Senate again," CBS News reports. "On Wednesday evening, 25 Republican senators reversed their support from June and voted no on a procedural vote to advance the legislation."

"President Joe Biden is a strong supporter of the bill," CBS News notes, putting the number of veterans exposed at 3.5 million. "At the State of the Union in March, he called on Congress to take action on burn pits, which he believes may have been a factor in his son Beau's terminal brain cancer."

"Veterans have come home with a number of illnesses, including terminal cancers, but have been forced to argue to the Department of Veterans Affairs their illnesses were related to burn pit exposure," CBS adds. "The legislation would have removed the burden of proof from veterans and their families by presuming a number of conditions could be related to exposure to toxic fumes from burn pits."

A video that's quickly gone viral on social media captures Senator Cruz gleefully celebrating the GOP's defeat of the legislation that could help millions of veterans, and their families. In it he initiates a fist-bump with Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

DeSantis Utters His Own Big Lie -- And Spurs Furious Backlash

Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, continuing his months-long, fear-based attack on the LGBTQ community, appears to be claiming that elementary school teachers are “instructed” to tell children they they might be transgender, and insisting if anyone dares to disagree with him, they are “lying.”

His claim, which appears in a clip posted by The Recount, is drawing massive outrage on social media.

“This will be for elementary school kids, where they’re instructed to tell them, ‘You may have been born a boy, that may have been what you said, but maybe you’re really a girl.’ That’s wrong. That has no place in school – so that is happening in our country. Anyone that tells you it’s not happening is lying to you,” DeSantis, talking very fast, says in the video.

“So I think what we did in Florida was very important, we laid down a marker to make sure that that’s not something that gained a foothold here, in the state of Florida, and our kids are able to be kids.”

DeSantis’ claim that “that is happening in our country” has drawn demands he “prove” his claims. The nationwide focus of his claim lines up with DeSantis’ expected run for President.

Emmy Award-winning producer and author Melissa Jo Peltier tweeted: “By f-ing who, DeSantis? WHO allegedly ‘instructs’ them to do this? Prove it.”

Equality Florida’s Press Secretary, Brandon Wolf, on Twitter called DeSantis’ comments a “Blatant, bigoted lie..”

A Twitter user whose bio says he is an attorney warns: “Lies like this are going to end up getting teachers killed. But he doesn’t care as long as it helps him win the Iowa Straw poll.”

Journalist Parker Molloy succinctly responded, “(This is not happening in our country.)”

Actor, screenwriter, and comedian David Dean Bottrell commented, “This @GOP crew will say absolutely anything. It doesn’t matter how idiotic. All it has to do is scare stupid, angry people who are not addicted to rage (because it’s all they’ve got now).”

Dr. Ellen Greaves, an attorney, asks: “How do they have time to come up with the garbage? Imagine what they might accomplish if they dedicated their energy/time to constructive endeavors benefitting all?”

Journalist Terry Blount: “Just an unbelievably absurd statement by this lying phony. Despite Trump’s bluster, this is the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee. That’s how extremely intolerant and out of touch the party has become.”

Other social media responses:

“That’s not happening, and there’s a reason why Florida is over 10,000 teachers short and they are fleeing the state. Because of his outrageous attacks on public schools…and using the most ludicrous and delusional lies to pit parents against public school teachers. Demented.”

“What’s insane about this lie is that people believe it”

“Ron DeSantis is the worst kind of lying fear-monger. Not only is he a fascistic authoritarian, but his just an awful person.”

“This isn’t happening, there is zero evidence this is happening and his source is ‘trust me, bro.’ Deplorable af.”

“They are planning a genocide right before our eyes.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Leaked: Anti-LGBT Republican Delivers Toast At Gay Son's Wedding

This week many were stunned to learn Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) had voted against the House Democrats’ bill to protect same-sex marriage at the state and federal level, just days before attending his own gay son’s wedding.

Buzzfeed obtained audio of Thompson’s toast to the happy couple, during which he bestows the warmest of wishes and says he’s just like any parent who hopes their child finds “that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that: someone to grow old with.”

Last week Rep. Thompson voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that rescinds the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, and requires the federal government and states to recognize the existing and lawful marriages of same-sex couples. That bill passed the House with the support of 47 Republicans and all Democrats.

Not only did he vote against the bill, Thompson’s press secretary called the bill a “stunt.”

“This bill was nothing more than an election-year messaging stunt for Democrats in Congress who have failed to address historic inflation and out of control prices at gas pumps and grocery stores,” Maddison Stone told Thompson’s local Pennsylvania newspaper, the Centre Daily Times.

Buzzfeed reports that Thompson “not only attended the event, but he delivered a speech to celebrate the nuptials, which he called ‘a really good experience.’ Media of the speech was provided to BuzzFeed News by a guest, who asked to remain anonymous.”

“I think the word should definitely get out there,” the guest said of their decision for BuzzFeed News to publish it. “These politicians need to be exposed for who they really are.”

Below, via Buzzfeed, is the text of Rep. Thompson’s toast at his son’s wedding, and a portion of the audio Buzzfeed obtained, posted by The Recount.

We really appreciate you all being here, and being a part of that. You know, as a parent — parents have hopes and dreams, right, with their kids, from the time that they’re born and they’re creeping and crawling and walking and falling over and walking again, and all the things that they learn right through their teens and into becoming adults. We have hopes and dreams. First of all, obviously, we hope right from the beginning, it’s all about having a healthy child. But it’s about being healthy. It’s about them being healthy. We hope for safety. We’re hoping that they find their way, find opportunity, they find inspiration. And as they grow and as they get a little older, we also hope and pray they’re going to find that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that: Someone to grow old with. So we’re just really thankful that you’re here. It actually goes beyond that, as parents. We love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families then. That’s what we’re rooting for. We’ve been fortunate with three sons, and [REDACTED]’s done a great job of adding to the family. Every kid showed up through cesarean section so it wasn’t all pleasant, right! So this has been a really good experience, especially for Penny, to have a new son enter the family! So we’re just blessed, and we just want to say thank you to everyone here as part of the celebration.


Listen to the audio below or at this link:

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet









Arizona GOP Boots Top Legislator Over January 6 Panel Testimony

The Republican Party of Arizona has formally censured the Speaker of the Arizona House, Republican Rusty Bowers, declaring he is “no longer a Republican in good standing,” and “unfit to serve” one month after he was a “star” witness in a nationally-televised hearing held by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Dr. Kelli Ward, the chair of the Arizona GOP and a Trump acolyte who attempted to have the vote counting stopped on election night, made the announcement late Tuesday. Ward posted the resolution that does not mention Bowers’ testimony but makes claims that accuse him of bipartisanship, and calls on “all registered Republicans to expel him permanently from office in the impending primary election.”

Last month Bowers testified that numerous top Trump allies, and Donald Trump himself, spoke with him after the election in apparent attempts to pressure him to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, a state Joe Biden won. Among those he said spoke with him were Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), according to The New York Times.

“Mr. Bowers also recalled speaking to Mr. Trump, making clear to the president that he ‘wouldn’t do anything illegal for him,’ as one questioner, Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, said,” The Times reported. “Nonetheless, another lawyer advising Mr. Trump, John Eastman, called Mr. Bowers in early January and urged him to schedule a legislative vote to ‘decertify the electors, because we had plenary authority to do so.'”

Bowers “also told the House Select Committee about the harassment he experienced outside his home from Trump supporters in the weeks before January 6, 2021, in which he was called a ‘pedophile’ and other epithets.”

The Times described Bowers as speaking “about the Constitution in reverential and spiritual terms,” saying he “had tears in his eyes as he described his gravely ill daughter enduring some of the harassment outside their house. (She died in late January.)”

The resolution censuring Bowers accuses him of “supporting a bill giving taxpayer-funded in-state tuition to illegal aliens at our state universities which is a direct violation of the Republican Platform and numerous resolutions passed by the State Committee which oppose policies that promote and reward illegal ‘sanctuary cities’ and lawlessness.”

It also charges that “Bowers joined Democrats to sponsor a one-billion-dollar education spending bill (HB 2039.) without a single committee hearing while simultaneously opposing and killing a bill to permanently reinstate the Pledge of Allegiance in our childrens’ schools”

Other charges state: “Bowers was the only Republican opposed to the bill (HB 2294.) establishing that only two genders should be named on all government documents,” and “Bowers sponsored one of the most horrific attacks on the Republican Party Platform plank on religious liberty by sponsoring a bill with Democrats (HB 2802.) that makes sexual orientation and gender identity a protected class forcing public schools and businesses to allow men identifying as women in womens restrooms and locker rooms, removing parental rights preventing parents from identifying the help that their own child may need in accordance with their religious beliefs and a prohibition of religious-based resources on subjects of sexual identity and orientation.”

Before being censured, Bowers, who is now running for the state Senate, said Monday it will take a “miracle” for him to win the election.


Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Georgia Grand Jury Subpoenas Trump Ally Jody Hice

A far-right Republican Congressman is the latest to receive a subpoena from Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis‘ special criminal grand jury investigation into Trump allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who was endorsed by Donald Trump in the race for the GOP nomination to become Georgia Secretary of State, received the subpoena which instructs him to appear Tuesday morning, Politico reports. But Hice has filed a lawsuit arguing that he enjoys Congressional privileges that should void the subpoena and that any action against him must be litigated in federal court.

“The subpoena underscores the rapidly escalating pace of District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation, which has already issued subpoenas to other figures close to Trump, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.”

Hice is a former radio show host and pastor. He lost the 2022 GOP Secretary of State primary against incumbent Brad Raffensperger. Before getting elected to Congress Hice was probably best-known for his claim that LGBTQ people have a secret plot to seduce and sodomize America’s sons.

“In a 2012 book, that candidate—pastor and talk radio host Jody Hice—alleges the gay community has a secret plot to recruit and sodomize children.” Mother Jones reported in 2014. “In It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America, Hice also asserts that supporters of abortion rights are worse than Hitler and compares gay relationships to bestiality and incest. He proposes that Muslims be stripped of their First Amendment rights.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Select Panel Plans Primetime Hearing After Talks With Secret Service Watchdog

The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack officially announced late Friday that it will hold a primetime hearing next week, the eighth and final hearing in what is seen as the first part of its efforts to share with the public critical information it has obtained about the insurrection.

The announcement comes just hours after all nine members of the committee met with Joseph Cuffari, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general who revealed in a letter published Thursday that the U.S. Secret Service deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, the day before and of the insurrection.

Cuffari “met with the committee behind closed doors two days after sending a letter to lawmakers informing them that the text messages were erased after the watchdog agency asked for records related to its electronic communications as part of its ongoing investigation around the Capitol attack,” CNN reports.

“The committee now plans to reach out to Secret Service officials to ask about the erasure of text messages from the day of the US Capitol attack and the day before, including the agency’s process for cleaning out files to see if that policy was followed, the committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN.”

The Committee also announced that its next hearing will be held Thursday, July 21, at 8 PM ET.

Daily Beast political reporter Jose Pagliery notes that because the hearing is scheduled for 8 PM, which “would be TV primetime … there’s the insinuation that this is meant to be a big one.”

CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane says next week’s hearing will focus on Donald Trump and his efforts to interfere with the Committee’s investigation. That could also include allegations he may have attempted to engage in witness intimidation.

NBC News earlier this week reported Chairman Thompson said Thursday’s hearing will be “the last one — at this point.”

But the Committee is expected to hold additional hearings as soon as next month. It has indicated it is interested is obtaining testimony from both former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

That news comes as reports say Donald Trump is expected to announce his third presidential run some time before the November midterms, possibly in September. The Dept. of Justice has given no indication it is pursuing an investigation into what legal experts have repeatedly said are his potentially criminal acts.

One expert, former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, says she will be “listening for elements of involuntary manslaughter in Trump’s failure to stop the attack” at next Thursday’s hearing.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday evening Committee member Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) “said he expects the committee will likely decide to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department regarding Mr. Trump’s actions on January 6 and the days leading up to it.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Top Anti-Abortion Group Would Force Raped Child To Carry Pregnancy

The top attorney for the far-right anti-abortion group National Right to Life Committee says the 10-year old Ohio girl forced to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion after being raped should have given birth to her rapist’s baby.

James Bopp, Jr., who worked to help overturn the 2020 election results by filing lawsuits favoring Donald Trump, is general counsel for National Right to Life. He tells Politico the model legislation he drafted and is attempting to have states pass would have banned the child rape victim from being able to have an abortion – adding he would hope she understands.

“She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child,” Bopp said.

Bopp “told Politico on Thursday that his law only provides exceptions when the pregnant person’s life is in danger.”

That comes as some experts are noting that “life of the mother” restrictions may be even more draconian – and subject to interpretation of law enforcement authorities or others – than previously understood.

Referring to the case of the 10-year-old child, attorney Ken White says “some people suggest that they’re relying on the exception for protecting the life of the mother,” to allow her to have an abortion in her home state of Ohio.

“But that strikes me as a grave risk for anyone involved in the abortion,” he adds, “in that it relies on prosecutors agreeing that the abortion is ‘necessary’ to prevent the death of ‘risk of serious and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function’ of the 10 year old.”

“Since some heartbreakingly young children do, in fact, give birth and survive,” White continues, “are we really going to trust prosecutors, in THIS environment, with plenty of ‘medical experts’ out there ready to take money to testify however prosecutors want, not to charge doctors over this? The doctor is supposed to take that risk?”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

CNN Reports Secret Service Agents Confirm Hutchinson Testimony

Secret Service agents are coming forward to say that for months after the January 6 insurrection, they heard stories very similar to the account former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson said she was told by a Trump loyalist and White House aide. The right-wing pro-Trump propaganda machine latched on to parts of her story in which she said she was told the outgoing president lunged at an agent, and “grabbed at” the steering wheel of the presidential limo, which on January 6 was an SUV.

Trump “angrily demanded to go to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and berated his protective detail when he didn’t get his way,” CNN reports, citing “two Secret Service sources who say they heard about the incident from multiple agents, including the driver of the presidential SUV where it occurred.”

That directly supports Hutchinson’s remarks before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack in her surprise bombshell testimony last Tuesday. “The sources tell CNN that stories circulated about the incident,” CNN adds, “in the months immediately afterward the US Capitol attack and before she testified this week.”

CNN also reports that “one source, a longtime Secret Service employee, told CNN that the agents relaying the story described Trump as ‘demanding’ and that the former President said something similar to: ‘I’m the f**king President of the United States, you can’t tell me what to do.’ The source said he originally heard that kind of language was used shortly after the incident.”

Hutchinson had told the committee that a Trump aide, Anthony Ornato, had told her Trump got into the presidential limo, which was not “The Beast,” as right-wing propagandists are claiming, but an SUV, and said: “I’m the f-ing president! Take me up to the Capitol now!”

“The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel,” Hutchinson also told the committee, citing Ornato as her source. Referring to Secret Service Special Agent Robert Engel, she said, “Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going the Capitol.’”

“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” Hutchinson then added. “When Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicle.”

Watch CNN’s report from Friday below or at this link:

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

House Select Committee Urged To Subpoena Ginni Thomas

Legal experts are encouraging the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack to subpoena far right-wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas, now that she is backing out from appearing barely weeks after saying she “looks forward” and “can’t wait” to testify.

In an 8-page letter, her attorney says he needs “a better justification for why Mrs. Thomas’s testimony is relevant,” The Washington Post reports.

The Committee has been interested in speaking with her since at least last summer but had declined to invite or subpoena Thomas, the spouse of a sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice. After evidence of email correspondence between her and the infamous “coup memo” author John Eastman, the Committee said they would like to talk with her. She quickly told the right-wing Daily Caller she “can’t wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them.”

Virginia Thomas, who goes by “Ginni,” is a longtime and powerful name in Washington who actively, according to reports, pushed dozens of state and federal officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Her attorney says he sees no reason for her to speak with the Committee.

“Mrs. Thomas has expressed a willingness to try to come before the Committee as a means of clearing her name,” Thomas’ attorney Mark Paoletta wrote in a letter, HuffPost adds. “But, based on my understanding of the facts … I do not believe there is currently a sufficient basis to speak with Mrs. Thomas.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst, is calling for Thomas to be subpoenaed.

“Thomas said she’d testify during the uproar,” Vance said via Twitter. “Now, she’s hoping to duck under the radar with so much other news. She should be subpoenaed like any other witness & if she fails to appear, treated like Bannon and Navarro, as she has no privilege to avoid testimony.”

Attorney, MSNBC anchor, and legal analyst Katie Phang tweeted, “SUBPOENA her. Now.”

Seth Abramson, an attorney and author said: “Only by issuing a subpoena to Ginni Thomas *now* does Congress have a chance of being able to work through her inevitable legal challenges and refer her to DOJ for a Criminal Contempt indictment *before* a possible handover of Congress to the insurrectionists in early 2023.”

Miranda Yaver, PhD, a political science professor who teaches courses on law at Wheaton also tweeted, “Subpoena Ginni Thomas.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Former Aide: Meadows Said 'Things Might Get Real, Real Bad' On January 6

Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide and advisor to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed to the House Select Committee that her boss had warned her of the apparent potential for violence on January 6.

Hutchinson, who worked for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise before moving to the White House in 2018, says Meadows told her the morning of January 6 that “things might get real, real bad.”

Watch: