Florida GOP Ousts Christian Ziegler As Party Chairman After Rape Allegations

Florida GOP Ousts Christian Ziegler As Party Chairman After Rape Allegations

Florida’s Republican Party on Monday voted in an emergency meeting to remove its state chairman Christian Ziegler from his position following allegations of sexual assault, NBC News reports.

No one voted for Christian Ziegler,” Republican State Senator Blaise Ingoglia told CNN.

Ziegler is currently under investigation by the Sarasota Police Department after a woman last year accused the former chairman of rape.

Politico reports:

Ziegler has maintained that the sexual encounter he had with the woman who leveled the rape accusations against him was consensual. He and his wife, Moms for Liberty cofounder and Sarasota County school board member Bridget Ziegler, also acknowledged to police that they had been in a three-way sexual encounter a year earlier with the alleged victim, per a search warrant affidavit.

Charges have not been filed in the case. NBC News reports “Ziegler was not in attendance for the vote.”

An anonymous source told NBC News the party was forced to oust Ziegler after he “did not do the right thing and resign.”

“I believe it was almost unanimous vote to remove Christian Ziegler, which I believe is the absolute right thing to do,” the source said. “And I want to reiterate that we are spending a lot of time and energy on this, on this meeting instead of focusing on the things we need to focus on, and that’s simply because Christian Ziegler did not do the right thing and resign.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Ronna McDaniel

Rove: RNC Chair 'In Trouble' Over 'Highly Inappropriate' Call With Trump

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel “is in trouble” after she was recorded on a phone call with former president Donald Trump pressuring two Michigan electors to change their votes certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to GOP strategist Karl Rove.

Speaking with Fox News’ John Roberts, Rove was asked about recent reporting from the Detroit News about “a recorded phone conversation between former President Donald Trump, the RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and two Wayne County Board of Election officials.”

Roberts notes the Detroit News reporters described a conversation “about certifying the 2020 presidential election,” in which Trump is quoted “as saying ‘We’ve got to fight for our country. We can’t let these people take our country away from us.'"

In the recording, McDaniel tells the election workers, “If you can go home tonight do not sign it, we will get you attorneys.”

“We will take care of that,” Trump adds, according to the Detroit News.

The election workers subsequently “tried to rescind their votes,” Roberts notes.

“I think the former president’s got a problem with this,” Rove said. “They had voted to certify the election, he attempted to force them to change their decision, which they tried to do. I think this is what we would call ‘election interference.’”

Rove noted that same behavior got Trump “into trouble in Georgia.”

“This is a problem, the former president should not have been doing this,” Rove said.

“This is not a good move if accurate and if this tape is true,” he added. “The former president’s created another problem for himself.”

Asked if it creates “a problem for Ronna McDaniel,” Rove said the RNC chair could be in hot water because of the leaked phone call.

“I think it is, I think the chairman is in trouble here,” Rove said, calling the conversation “highly inappropriate.”

Watch the videos below or a this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Far-Right Outfit Castigates Candace Owens -- The Monster It Created

Far-Right Outfit Castigates Candace Owens -- The Monster It Created

The David Horowitz Freedom Center on Monday released a statement slamming Candace Owens, the far-right provocateur who credits the conference with boosting her national profile.

In an op-ed published by Front Page Magazine, the David Horowitz Freedom Center says “goodbye” to Owens, noting that six years ago, the organization invited her to its annual Restoration Weekend where she in turn met Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk “and became a national figure.”

“The David Horowitz Freedom Center went on promoting Candace, honored her with an Annie Taylor Award for Courage in 2018, and hosted her at multiple events,” the center writes. “That’s why we are so disappointed in what she has become.”
In its statement, the center slammed Owens’ promotion of “anti-Israel voices like Andrew Tate” and her “moral equivalence” about neo-Nazis.

“Candace Owens has become obsessed with her own fame, stirring up drama to compensate for a lack of real achievement,” the statement reads. “Her comments about Israel and her promotion of people like Andrew Tate are part of a pattern. Candace tackles a subject she knows nothing about, never bothers to learn anything about it, and then rides the backlash by playing the victim to generate more fame and money.”

“What a tragic misuse of talents,” it adds.

Per the statement:

In 2018, Candace tweeted that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was clueless. She’s “programmed to hate Israel and she has no idea why.” Now she has become AOC. Candace hates Israel for the same reason that AOC does. Fame. She proved that she knows as little about Israel as AOC does when she falsely claimed that the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem is the only place that Muslims are allowed to live, thus “proving” the Hamas canard that Israel practices apartheid. It does not.

But this is not just about Israel. It’s about the survival of western civilization which the Islamic jihadis have been working to destroy. And it’s about the sad caricature that Candace has become, and the end of the promise we saw in her.

“The David Horowitz Freedom Center wishes to express its deep disappointment with Candace’s ignorant, hateful and morally obtuse remarks about Israel and the Jews,” the center adds. “But, of course, it’s not just about the Jews. The Jews are the canaries in the mine. The West is next and America above all.”

Read the full statement at Front Page Magazine.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump Flack: He's 'Confused' By His Lawyers' Guilty Pleas In Georgia (VIDEO)

Trump Flack: He's 'Confused' By His Lawyers' Guilty Pleas In Georgia (VIDEO)

Former President Donald Trump is “a little confused” by several of his former associates accepting plea deals in the Georgia election interference case, according to Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington.

Harrington spoke on The Absolute Truth program on [Mike] Lindell TV Sunday after four of Trump’s associates — bail bondsman Scott Hall and attorneys Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Kenneth Chesebro — pleaded guilty in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO case against the president and 18 co-conspirators.

As part of their plea deals, the four defendants have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and write a letter of apology to the state of Georgia.

“I think [Trump’s] a little confused, because look, if you’re a lawyer, you know that there’s no crimes here. According to the law, there’s literally nothing to plead guilty to, because there’s no laws that were broken,” Harrington said on The Absolute Truth. “And speaking out against a fraudulent election and telling people to watch hearings and petition their elected officials about fraud that was happening, on camera — so it’s just surprising.”

Bail bondsman Hall was the first Trump co-defendant to plead guilty to five misdemeanor charges of “conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of an election.” Hall “originally faced seven felony charges … based on allegations he helped breach election equipment in rural Coffee County, Georgia, in a failed effort to prove Trump’s false claims of voter fraud," as Al Jazeera reports.

On Friday, Oct. 20, Chesebro pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy, the New York Timesreported. That same day, Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts “to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties,” according to CNN.

Ellis on Tuesday pleaded guilty to “one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings.”

For Trump, according to Harrington, these plea deals are outside the scope of the law.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Kyrsten Sinema

Sinema Floats Third-Party Reelection Bid To Win GOP Votes

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who left the Democratic Party last December, has yet to announce if she’ll run for re-election next year. But, according to a document obtained by NBC News, if she does run, she sees her “path to victory” through “a third of the state’s Republican voters” and “anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the state’s Democrats.”

NBC News published the “two-page prospectus” on Monday, which purports to explain how “Kyrsten Will Win Arizona” in 2024.

“She receives significant crossover support from Republicans and current polling shows her favorability as high as 34 percent with Republican voters,” the document declares, noting Sinema — if she runs — will focus on courting “a significant number of the state’s independent voters and soft Republicans turned off by their party’s rightward swing.”

NBC News reports:

Under the banner “Kyrsten’s Path to Victory,” the document says Sinema can win by attracting 10% to 20% of Democrats, 60% to 70% of independents and 25% to 35% of Republicans.

Indeed, while Sinema’s campaign notes she’ll need “a majority of” independent voters and “at least a third” of Republican voters, she only plans to go after an untold “percentage of Democratic voters” to win, according to the document.

“Notably, the document suggests Sinema will attract more votes from Arizona Republicans than Democrats, despite having been a Democrat for a decade in Congress and continuing to get her committee assignments through the Democratic Senate majority,” NBC News reports.

Read the full prospectus here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Rupert Murdoch

Doddering Murdoch Was In Denial Over Dominion Lawsuit

This week New York Magazine published a sprawling account of the lead-up to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s ouster from the network, detailing Rupert Murdoch’s state of “denial” surrounding the $787.5 million dollar settlement his company was forced to pay to Dominion Voting Systems.

Murdoch on Thursday announced he was stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp.

Dominion Voting Systems successfully sued Fox News for defamation after the network accused the company of rigging voting machines to steal votes from former President Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election. In April 2023, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion $787.5 million and acknowledged, in a statement, “the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false."

The suit, Wolff notes “was far and away the largest defamation award ever made, outside of Alex Jones.”

In an excerpt from his new book, The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty, Wolff reports that after a Delaware Superior Court judge in June 2022 "ruled that the suit could also extend to Fox News’ parent company, Fox Corp,” a visitor to the billionaire’s Montana Ranch found Murdoch “absolutely unwilling to consider any view in which Fox could be at fault.

Wolff writes:

Murdoch, the visitor discovered, was stuck in a place far from the real world. The Dominion suit had somehow become an attack on him and on his long career. He seemed angrily trapped in the company’s desperate and preposterous logic: that it was just airing the newsworthy opinions of important political figures.

“Why don’t you just settle?” asked the visitor. This provoked a Murdoch rant, lots of it hard to follow but leaving the visitor with the sense that Murdoch had found himself alone, up against all those who wanted him to settle, and that he, if no one else, was going to stand up for free speech. And at any rate, it wasn’t Fox’s fault. It was Donald Trump’s fault. He wasn’t going to pay for what Donald Trump did. Sue Donald Trump. The visitor came away wondering how this famously cold and analytic business mind had become such a hot mess.

According to Wolff, while Rupert Murdoch remained static in his denial leading up to the settlement, CEO Lachlan Murdorch — who was named chairman and CEO of Fox News in 2019 — “began telling people that Fox was going to focus on Dominion and get it resolved.”

“But Rupert Murdoch wasn’t having it — he seemed to double down on a desire to punish Trump rather than resolve Dominion. Dominion wasn’t the problem — Trump was,” Wolff writes.

As Wolff reports, Murdoch’s refusal to settle with Dominion bucked the two main rules “of libel law for a media company” — 1) “never to go before a jury,” and 2) “avoid discovery.”

“On Monday, April 17, the day the jury was supposed to be seated and opening statements begun — before a day’s delay was declared — Murdoch told Carlson Dominion was holding to a demand of a billion dollars in damages,” Wolff reports. “For Murdoch, this was a nonstarter: He would not endure the humiliation and defeat of paying a ten-figure settlement in the case. It would be not only a record-shattering sum but also tremendous fodder for his enemies (like the Times) when it came to writing headlines.”

But the company did settle, announcing the following day that it was “pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems.”

“We are hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues,” Fox News said in a statement.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Fani Willis

Seeking October Trial, Fani Willis Calls Trump Co-Defendant's Bluff

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday "effectively call[ed]" former Donald Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro’s bluff, according to Atlantic Journal-Constitution reporter Tamar Hallerman.

Chesebro is one of 19 people charged earlier this month in a sprawling 41-count indictment accusing Trump and his associates of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

Prosecutors say Chesebro wrote internal campaign memorandums that purported to offer a legal framework for appointing fraudulent electors to overturn the will of Georgia voters and give Trump the state’s 16 Electoral college votes. Chesebro “is charged with racketeering and other offenses, such as conspiring to commit impersonating a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree and conspiring to commit false statements and writings,” the Atlantic Journal-Constitution reports.

Chesebro on Wednesday filed an “aggressive” motion demanding a speedy trial in the case. Reporters Hallerman and Bill Rankin described the motion as “the legal equivalent of throwing a bomb into the case,” adding the move “could force Willis to try Chesebro by the end of December and scuttle her plans to prosecute all 19 defendants together.”

But, as Hailerman and Rankin report, Willis on Thursday called for the trial “to commence for all 19 defendants on Oct. 23.

“Willis is effectively calling Chesebro's bluff with this new filing — telegraphing to him and the 18th others that the state is indeed ready,” Hallerman wrote in a tweet. “Will be up to Judge McAfee to weigh in now. There's also the question of what happens to the pending fed removal motions….”

McAfee indeed weighed in “a few hours later setting the trial date Willis wanted but ruling it would apply only to Chesebro,” the reporters note.

“Due to the defendant’s timely demand for speedy trial ... scheduling will occur on an expedited timeline,” McAfee wrote in his decision. “At this time, these deadlines do not apply to any co-defendant.”

As the reporters note, multiple legal issues interact Chesebro’s with speedy trial request. For one, three defendants, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have asked to transfer their cases out of Fulton County Superior Court to U.S. District Court in Atlanta, and a number of legal experts say if one defendant is removed the other 18 would follow.”

According to the reporters, there’s no precedent for “how Georgia’s speedy trial rule and the federal removal statute interact.”
“There’s no case law,” Atlanta attorney Andrew Fleischman told Hailerman and Rankin.

The reporters add: “Under Georgia law, the speedy trial demand filed by Chesebro applies to all 19 defendants."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Mark Meadows

Atlanta Court Sets $100K Bail For Mark Meadows And Releases His Mugshot

One-time White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Thursday surrendered to the Fulton County Jail on charges related to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election, the Daily Beast reports.

A mugshot and booking records released Thursday showed Meadows “was booked on two charges — violation of the RICO Act and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer,” the Beast adds. Bond for the former House Oversight Committee chairman was set at $100,000 and he is “forbidden from speaking with co-defendants about the facts of the case, and from intimidating witnesses and co-defendants, or ‘otherwise obstruct[ing] the administration of justice,’” reporter Josh Fiallo notes.

Meadows is one of 19 co-defendants who are accused of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis announced the charges on Aug. 14.

The first of Trump’s co-defendants turned themselves in on Tuesday, and a steady stream of allies have trickled into the jail in the days since. Trump is expected to turn himself in at 7:30 PM tonight, according to a Truth Social post from the former president.

Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark on Tuesday made emergency requests to avoid arrest as they seek to move the charges to federal court. Those requests were denied by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones after Willis successfully argued the pleas were “improper” and “baseless.”

See the full mugshot below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Anthony Sabatini

Florida MAGA Congressional Candidate 'Wildly Plagiarized' Honors Thesis

Right-wing Florida congressional candidate Anthony Sabatini “ wildly plagiarized” portions of his honors thesis at the University of Florida, the Daily Beast reports.

Per the report:

… Sabatini’s honors thesis — a 2012 treatise on the political legacy of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, titled “A Profound Logic of The Blood” — is wildly plagiarized.

The Daily Beast’s review of the paper found that Sabatini lifted an astonishing amount of content verbatim from other sources. Worse, Sabatini — who double-majored in history and philosophy before being admitted to law school, also at the University of Florida — frequently pulls his passages from Wikipedia, and presents them without the required quotation marks or any clear attribution whatsoever.

In some instances, Sabatini injected slightly different words here and there — ripples in the streams of the thoughts, ideas, and words of other people, which he arrogated as his own. And in places where Sabatini does reference a secondary source, those references themselves frequently appear to be incorrect and, often, according to a plagiarism expert, entirely made up.

That plagiarism expert, Stanford University professor Mark Algee-Hewitt, called the thesis “a fascinating text from a plagiarism standpoint.”

“Many of the references to his secondary sources seem largely fabricated, right down to the page numbers,” he said.

According to the Daily Beast, the review of Sabatini’s thesis revealed even “ the very first sentence” of his paper “is plagiarized.”

The congressional hopeful also appeared to lift passages directly from Wikipedia, comprising what the Beast describes as “a stretch of totally uncited writing so long that it’s almost courageous.

Sabatini is currently running an “America First” campaign for Congress, challenging current Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) in Florida’s 11th Congressional District.

Florida Politics reports Sabatini “ has run on a far-right platform, associating himself with figures like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.”

“We are going to use this momentum to win and take our fight to abolish the FBI, build the wall, and gut the Department of Justice like a fish to Congress,” Sabatini said in a statement, Florida Politics reports.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Wandrea ArShaye Moss

'False And Unsubstantiated': Georgia Elections Board Clears Workers Accused Of Fraud

The State Election Board in Georgia on Tuesday cleared two Fulton County poll workers of fraud allegations perpetuated by Donald Trump and his allies, ABC News reports.

An investigation found the allegations against Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss were “false and unsubstantiated,” according to a report by Georgia election board investigators.

Freeman and Moss became targets of pro-Trump conspiracy theories “after their election-night conduct on a polling place livestream proliferated online,” ABC News reports.

Per ABC News:

In one video clip, online commentators accused Freeman of handling a suitcase of fraudulent or stolen ballots.

Another clip showed Freeman handing her daughter a small item, imperceptible on the grainy livestream footage, that led some online commentators to accuse the two of exchanging a USB drive, which was allegedly meant to somehow manipulate votes. Freeman said it was just ginger mints that she kept in her purse.

On December 3, 2020, former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani falsely claimed that Freeman and Moss “quite obviously surreptitiously [passed] around USB ports as if they’re vials of cocaine."

"It's obvious to anyone who is a criminal investigator or prosecutor that they were engaged in surreptitious illegal activity," Giuliani alleged.

The Georgia Elections Board on Tuesday cleared the pair of any wrongdoing. A social media user interviewed by Georgia election board investigators "admitted he created a fake account and confirmed the content that was posted on the account was fake,” according to ABC News.

Freeman told the House of Representative’s Select Committee on January 6 last year that Giuliani’s decision to “scapegoat” her and her daughter caused her to lose her “name,” “reputation,” and “send of security.” ABC News reports Freeman was even “forced to pack up and leave the suburban Atlanta home where she lived for 20 years” due to harassment she received from Trump supporters.

Read the full report at ABC News.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Bret Baier

Fox Host Bret Baier Bluntly Tells Trump: 'You Lost The 2020 Election' (VIDEO)

Fox News host Bret Baier on Monday confronted Donald Trump over his oft-repeated lie that he actually won the 2020 presidential election, bluntly telling the former president “you lost.”

The exchange occurred during an exclusive Fox News interview with Trump, who is currently the Republican front runner for 2024. During one segment of the interview, the Fox News host asked the former president how he plans to win back the “female independent suburban voter” who abandoned his campaign in 2020.

“First of all, I won in 2020 by a lot, okay?” Trump argued. “Let’s get that straight. I won in 2020.”

“That’s not what the votes show,” Baier replied.

Trump implored Baier to “look at True the Vote,” a conservative vote-monitoring organization that's "responsible for amplifying conspiracies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen," ProPublica reports.

“If you look at everything you want to look at, you look at True the Vote, where they have people stuffing the ballot boxes on tapes,” Trump said.

“Mr. President, that was all looked into,” Baier replied.

“Let’s go to recent,” Trump continued. "FBI Twitter. Let’s go to recent, the 51 agents. All corrupt stuff, Bret.”

Trump invocation of “FBI Twitter” likely refers to recent efforts by Trump allies including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to prove the FBI worked with Twitter to suppress stories about President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “51 agents” likely refers to revelations that the “Biden for President campaign helped to organize the open letter that spread disinformation about Hunter Biden’s famous laptop computer,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“That’s cheating on the election,” Trump argued.

“I understand about Hunter Biden, all fair things,” Baier said. “But, you lost the 2020 election.”

“Uh, Bret,” Trump shot back, as he started again about voter fraud.

“There were recounts in all of the swing states,” Baier said. “There was not significant widespread fraud.”

Trump then told Baier to “look at Wisconsin,” which the former president claimed “practically admitted it was rigged.”

“[The recounts] didn’t look at the right things, Bret,” Trump argued.

Baier then brought Trump back around to the question at hand, asking the former president: “This is how you’re going to tell that independent suburban woman voter to vote for you?”

Trump replied that his campaign is “off to winning an election."

"And I think we’re winning very well," he added.

Watch the full exchange below via Fox News or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Rudy Giuliani

Former Giuliani Associate Says He Offered To Sell Trump Pardons For $2 Million

Noelle Dunphy, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, is suing the onetime Donald Trump attorney over a litany of misconduct, including sexual assault, harassment and wage theft, ABC News reports. Dunphy joined Giuliani’s team in 2019 as his director of business development.

In a 70-page complaint filed with the New York Supreme Court, Dunphy recalls “alcohol-drenched rants that included sexist, racist, and antisemitic remarks, which made the work environment unbearable,” and noted many of the former New York City mayor’s diatribes were recorded.

The complaint alleges that in Feburary 2019, “Giuliani forced Ms. Dunphy to have sexual intercourse with him for the first time” after she “had refused and avoided having sex with Giuliani.”

The former associate also claims Giuliani asked her “if she knew anyone in need of a pardon,” because he and Trump were “selling pardons for $2 million.”

Per page 25 of the complaint:

He also asked Ms. Dunphy if she knew anyone in need of a pardon, telling her that he was selling pardons for $2 million, which he and President Trump would split. He told Ms. Dunphy that she could refer individuals seeking pardons to him, so long as they did not go through “the normal channels” of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, because correspondence going to that office would be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to Dunphy’s lawsuit, Giuliani declined to register his communications with Ukrainian government officials under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). When pressed by Dunphy on the matter, “Giuliani told her that he was able to break the laws because, he said: ‘I have immunity,’” the complaint claims.

The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages.

You can read the full filing here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Clarence Thomas

Senate Finance Chair Demands Gift List From Thomas' Billionaire Benefactor

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, on Monday asked Texas billionaire Harlan Crow for a complete list of gifts provided to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, “as well as information about Georgia properties that the prominent Republican donor purchased from Thomas and his relatives,” CNBC and the Washington Post report.

The request follows bombshell reporting from ProPublica that revealed Thomas failed to disclose two decades worth of near-yearly “luxury trips” with Crow, as well as Crow’s 2014 purchase of Thomas’ mother’s home.

As NPR reports, “Crow's companies also bought a property from Thomas, where his elderly mother still lives. The home was fixed up, Crow's companies pay the taxes on it, and it's unclear if Thomas' mother pays any rent.”

Wyden, in a six-page letter to Crow, called out the “unprecedented arrangement between a wealthy benefactor and a Supreme Court justice raises serious concerns related to federal tax and ethics laws.”

“The American public deserves a full accounting of the full extent of your largesse towards Justice Thomas, including whether these gifts complied with all relevant federal tax and ethics laws,” Wyden wrote, describing the “the secrecy” surrounding Crow’s relationship with Thomas as “simply unacceptable.”


The letter asks for a list of all flights Thomas took on any of Crow’s jets, as well as details of those trips. Wyden requested similar details about the justice’s trips on [Crow’s 162-foot superyacht] the Michaela Rose and information about the Georgia property purchases.

He concluded by writing, “Please list any additional gifts or payments with a value in excess of $1,000 made to Justice Thomas or members of his family since he was sworn into the Supreme Court that would not be captured by” the prior questions.

As the Washington Post notes, Thomas has only reported receiving two gifts since 2004.

In a statement regarding the lavish trips, Thomas insisted he “sought guidance from my colleagues and others in the judiciary, and was advised that this sort of personal hospitality from close personal friends, who did not have business before the Court, was not reportable.”

The justice has yet to publicly address Crow’s purchase of his mother’s home.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Donald Trump

Trump Yearning For 'Jesus Christ Thing' In Perp Walk Martyrdom

Former President Donald Trump hoped his arraignment on Tuesday will be “kind of a Jesus Christ thing” as he plans to turn himself in during daylight hours at the Manhattan courthouse, Rolling Stone reports.

According to a law enforcement official involved in security planning for the high-profile booking, Trump declined an option for a Zoom arraignment even as his Secret Service detail “argued in favor of holding the proceedings outside of court business hours, at night with minimal cameras and less risk.”

He wanted a perp walk, he wanted daylight hours,” the law enforcement official told Rolling Stone. “He wants to get out of the vehicle and walk up the stairs.”

“This is a nightmare for Secret Service," the law enforcement source added. “But they can only strongly suggest — not order — that Trump enter through the secure tunnels.”

A source “close to” the former president’s legal team said Trump is hoping to show his supporters that he’s “absorbing all this pain from all around from everywhere so you don’t have to.”

“It’s kind of a Jesus Christ thing,” the legal team source said, describing it as “a powerful message” that tells the public “if they can do this to me they can do this to you.”

Trump is scheduled to be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and a Secret Service spokesman confirmed the agency has “been meeting with NYPD and state court officers for the last couple of weeks regarding safety and security concerns for the courthouse, areas around the courthouse, and the appearance of the former president.” He will be fingerprinted and likely have his mugshot taken, but will not be placed in handcuffs.

“It will be a s***show” the law enforcement official told Rolling Stone.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

James Comer

Manhattan District Attorney 'Sets Record Straight' On City Crime After GOP Attacks

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg hit back at Republican members of the House of Representatives on Monday after three committee chairmen sent a letter demanding Bragg’s testimony about a potential criminal indictment of former president Donald Trump — and made false claims about New York City crime in the process.

Bragg is investigating an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and reports indicate an indictment is imminent. According to the New York Times, “Last week, senior officials from the district attorney’s office and the state agency that runs the courts had preliminary discussions to plan for a possible indictment and arraignment.”

Trump on Saturday took to his social media site Truth Social and appeared to confirm reports he “will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.”

In a letter released Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), House Administration Committee Chairmen Bryan Steil (R-WI) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) requested Bragg testify "about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.”

“We expect you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision,” the Republican leaders wrote.

The GOP chairmen then turned to bash the DA’s county, accusing Bragg of “adopting progressive criminal justice policies that allow career ‘criminals to run the streets’ of Manhattan.”

Responding to the letter, a spokesperson for Bragg “set the record straight about a few particularly egregious statements about the safety of our great city,” noting “homicides are down 32 percent in Manhattan” under Bragg “and shootings are down 14 percent.”

“We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us form fairly applying the law,” the spokesperson said.

“New York remains on the safest big cities in the U.S. with a far lower murder rate than the most populous cities where the Committee Chairmen hail from,” the spokesperson added.

The statement concluded:

In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work.

You can read the Republican leaders' letter here and Bragg’s spokesman’s full response here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Proof That Every Republican, Including Trump, Wants To Slash Social Security And Medicare

Proof: Republicans, Including Trump, Aim To Slash Social Security (VIDEO)

Many across the nation were likely horrified but not surprised Tuesday night when Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and several other House and Senate Republicans lashed out at President Joe Biden as he delivered the State of the Union Address, falsely branding him a “liar” for telling the truth: The GOP has consistently called to gut, sunset, or otherwise dramatically alter or dismantle the critical, life-saving social safety nets of Social Security and Medicare.

But it’s no secret Republicans for years, including recently, have wanted to take an ax to these programs, and other “entitlements,” despite proof they literally save lives.

Just Monday, Bloomberg reported, “House Republican committee and caucus chairs are pushing to create panels to study extending Social Security and Medicare solvency as part of any debt limit deal.”

“The discussion about creating commissions indicates some policy proposals floated by Republicans on entitlements — such as increasing the eligibility age or adding means-testing measures — are a possibility, even as GOP leaders say they’re not negotiating policy changes directly as part of a debt-limit vote,” Bloomberg added.

Cutting, gutting, altering, or otherwise tampering with “entitlements” (which also include federal and state programs paid for by workers via their paychecks) has been a core policy of the Republican Party for years.

Donald Trump repeatedly called for gutting Social Security and Medicare, a fact that appears to have been conveniently forgotten by some of his staunchest supporters.

Numerous House and Senate Republicans have either attacked or outright called for gutting, “sunsetting,” or otherwise dramatically altering Social Security and Medicare in the past year, including U.S. Senators Rick Scott (FL), Mike Lee (UT), Lindsey Graham (SC), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI), Ted Budd (NC), and U.S. Reps. Rick Allen (GA), Mike Waltz (NC), Kevin Hern (OK), and others.

Here’s Rep. Greene and most of the Republican caucus Tuesday night heckling the President, with some including Greene calling him a “liar.”

Proud of her disruption of centuries of decorum, after the State of the Union Greene told reporters, “I don’t clap for liars.”

Greene then recorded video after shouting “You’re lying!” and “Liar!” at President Biden, defending her antics — by lying.

Greene may have led the charge but she was far from the only culprit lying about the President of the United States in a nationally-televised speech that was seen in several parts of the world.

Here’s U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), once floated as a Trump Supreme Court nominee, “feigning outrage” at President Biden’s truthful claim, and video of him calling to gut Social Security and Medicare. In fact, he says in the video the reason he was running for Senate was to pull up “by the roots” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

And U.S. Senator Rick Scott, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), getting called out by Fox News for wanting to “sunset” Social Security and Medicare.

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, Republican of Georgia, claiming people are telling him they “want to work longer,” as he says he wants to raise the retirement age, which would dramatically alter Social Security and Medicare.

Or an apparently younger U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme:

Center for American Progress Action’s research director, Will Ragland, in October pointed out Trump has repeatedly promised to gut Social Security and Medicare:

“Every single budget Trump proposed would’ve cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid,” Ragland says.

And video of Trump saying it as recently as 2020:

Literally dozens of Republicans back in October called for gutting, sunsetting, or killing Social Security and Medicare. This was the GOP playbook just a few months ago.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in June: “entitlement reform is a must.”

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) in August saying he wants to “fix” “broken” Social Security and Medicare by turning them into “discretionary” spending:

U.S. Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), as a candidate, agreed with the “major points’ of Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan which included sunsetting all federal programs, which would include Social Security and Medicare. (Sen. Scott just hours ago “doubled down” on his call to die just that.)

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-NC) just one month ago called for “big reforms,” and said: “if we really want to talk about the debt and spending, it’s the entitlements program.”

Many of those who have been trying to gut Social Security belong to the far-right Republican Study Committee.

Last summer NBC News reported: “The Republican Study Committee, a large group of House conservatives, proposed a budget in June that would incrementally raise the retirement age to collect Social Security, based on changing life spans, and lower benefits over the long term by using a new formula.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

House Republican Claims 'Every President' Accidentally Took Classified Documents

House Republican Claims 'Every President' Accidentally Took Classified Documents

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) on Monday inadvertently undercut his party's case against President Joe Biden's alleged mishandling of classified documents during a Fox News interview.

Comer argued that the big scandal regarding the Biden documents case isn't what Biden did, but rather how the United States Department of Justice treated President Donald Trump for what Comer argued was a similar infraction.

"Every president -- Bill Clinton, Obama, Bush -- every president has accidentally taken documents that were deemed classified," he said. "Yet they were never raided, they were never treated with a special counsel like Donald Trump was!"

In fact, there are key differences between Trump and the other presidents that Comer referenced that can explain why they received different treatment than Trump.

Specifically, Trump continued holding onto documents he'd taken even after he'd received a subpoena from the United States Department of Justice for them.

What's more, the DOJ only decided to seek a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago after an inside source informed law enforcement officials that Trump ordered him to move documents to his personal office after he'd received the subpoena from the DOJ demanding that they be handed back.

In other words, the DOJ tried multiple times to give Trump the same courtesy afforded to past presidents who accidentally removed classified documents and only resorted to other means after he repeatedly blew off their requests.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.