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State GOP Leaders Lurching Toward Cultism, Secession, And Worse

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

State Republican parties across the country became even more extreme over the first week without Donald Trump in the White House, punishing Republicans who they felt didn't support Trump enough and pushing baseless conspiracy theories that helped lead to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The actions from state Republican parties are a surefire sign that the GOP cannot easily wipe its hands clean of Trump, even though those like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell want nothing more to do with him following the attacks that led to the death of one Capitol Police officer.

Here's a look at what some state Republican parties have done since President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20:

Arizona Republican Party

On Saturday, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure the late Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, along with former Sen. Jeff Flake and current GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, saying all three were disloyal to Trump.

Both McCain and Flake voted for President Joe Biden, while Ducey refused to overturn Trump's loss in Arizona.

The state party also voted to reelect Kelli Ward — a conspiracy theorist who has surrounded herself with white supremacists — as chair.

Ward told the Associated Press that she is a "Trump Republican" as she dismissed criticism from other state party members who felt she was loyal only to Trump and not the GOP itself.

"The people who are complaining are the people who actually put us in this spot where we are in Arizona, people who have been mamby pamby, lie down and allow the Democrats to walk all over them," Ward — who saw Republicans lose both of Arizona's U.S. Senate seats and Democrats carry the state at the presidential level for the first time since 1996 under her leadership — told the Associated Press.

Texas Republican Party

The Texas GOP announced on Saturday it was joining Gab, a far-right social media platform used by neo-Nazis.

The perpetrator behind the deadly 2018 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue used the site to announce his attack.

In the same tweet announcing it was joining the extremist social media website, the Texas Republican Party also used the phrase "We are the storm." That's a phrase used by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which many of the insurrectionists involved in the violence at the Capitol follow.

In fact, ABC News reported that many of the most violent insurrectionists have espoused QAnon beliefs.

Yet the Texas GOP, led by extremist Republican Allen West, has been using the phrase for months on its merchandise since West took control.

West has previously said the day Biden's Electoral College victory was certified that Texas should secede.

Oregon Republican Party

On Jan. 19, the day before Biden was sworn in, the Oregon Republican Party passed a resolution calling the insurrection at the Capitol a "false flag" and compared it to the burning of the German Parliament in 1933 that led to the rise of Nazi control.

In a resolution, the state party wrote that there is "growing evidence that the violence as the Capitol was a 'false flag' operation intended to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans," the resolution reads. "This provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag."

The Capitol insurrection was proven by many reports not to be a "false flag," but rather an attack carried out by fervent Trump supporters who had been fed a lie for months that the election was stolen. Trump himself told them to fight at the Capitol, comments that led to his second impeachment.

Hawaii Republican Party

The Hawaii Republican Party used its Twitter account on Saturday to promote content from a Holocaust denier, who was making baseless claims about Biden "selling the grid to China and killing diabetes patients."

Wyoming Republican Party

Finally, the chair of the Wyoming Republican Party took a page from West's playbook to suggest his state should consider seceding over Trump's loss.

"We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. Many Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas, too, and their consideration of possible secession," Wyoming Republican Party Chair Frank Eathorne said on recently pardoned former Trump associate Steve Bannon's podcast, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Another Trump Fanatic Busted -- For Threatening Family Of Rep. Jeffries

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The FBI on Tuesday arrested a California man for sending threatening text messages to family members of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as well as a family member of an unnamed New York City-based journalist, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Robert Lemke was charged with one count of threatening interstate communications after he allegedly texted Jeffries' brother on Jan. 6 — the day of the deadly pro-Trump insurrection at the United States Capitol — and threatened to hurt Jeffries' family if he did not overturn the election results.

"Your brother is putting your entire family at risk with his lies and other words," Lemke wrote in the text, according to the complaint. "We are armed and nearby your house. You had better have a word with him. We are not far from his either."

Lemke texted that he also knew where Jeffries' kids were located, saying, "Your words have consequences. Stop telling lies; Biden did not win, he will not be president. We are not[] white supremacists. Most of us are active/retired law enforcement or military. You are putting your family at risk. We have armed members near your home."

The complaint does not identify Jeffries, instead saying the victim was the brother of "Congressman-1."

However, Jeffries confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that he was the member of Congress in the complaint.

Lemke is the latest Trump fan to be charged with making threats to Democratic lawmakers after buying into Trump's lies about voter fraud and stolen elections.

In November, shortly after Trump lost the 2020 election, a New York man was arrested for threatening to kill now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Over the course of his four-year tenure, dozens of Trump supporters have either been arrested for making threats or for carrying out violence against those who did not support Trump leading up to the election.

But that number has swelled into the hundreds since the Jan. 6 insurrection, when a mob incited by Trump himself waged a violent and deadly attack at the Capitol.

The FBI on Tuesday said that roughly 135 people have been arrested for their role in the terror attack at the Capitol, which left five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer. Hundreds more could be arrested in the coming days, as the FBI has identified more than 400 suspects, NBC News reported.

"Regardless of the level of criminal conduct, we're not selectively targeting or just trying to charge the most significant crime," acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said at a news conference on Tuesday, according to NBC's report. "If a crime was committed we are charging you, whether you were outside or inside the Capitol."

Jeffries appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday and spoke about the threats his family received, which he said "unfolded at the same moment that we had been evacuated" from the House chamber during the violent insurrection.

Jeffries thanked the law enforcement officers who arrested Lemke, and placed blame for the threats directly on Trump himself, who Jeffries said "is responsible for this type of activity."

"He's the person who has perpetrated the Big Lie that he actually won the election and that the presidency was stolen by Joe Biden and Democrats in the House," Jeffries told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "That's why there were people who violently attacked the Capitol, who were there to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, hang Mike Pence, and hunt down members of Congress. And now you've got Senate Republicans who want to whitewash the whole thing. We're not going to allow them to whitewash anything."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Was Kayleigh McEnany Auditioning For Fox All Along?

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany signed a contract for a paid role at Fox News in January, according to a disclosure report unearthed on Tuesday by the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group.

McEnany would be just the latest Donald Trump administration aide to join the right-wing cable network.

McEnany disclosed in the report that she had an "employment agreement" with the Fox Corporation, writing under that status and terms that it was with Fox News and that she would be "starting work in January."

A Fox News spokesperson told the New York Times reporter that McEnany is not "currently" employed by the network, though the spokesperson did not deny that the former press secretary had signed a contract with the company.

HuffPost and New York magazine contributor Yashar Ali also reported that "a source familiar with Kayleigh's discussions" had said "there was a deal being negotiated but was put on pause...but that Fox News may still hire her give that the network doesn't 'condone cancel culture.'"

McEnany spent the final months of her tenure ignoring her role of informing the public by holding press briefings at the White House. Instead, she spent the majority of her time pushing voter fraud lies in multiple appearances on Fox News, in her dual role as campaign adviser.

Those lies eventually helped incite an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, carried out by a pro-Trump mob that sought to kill lawmakers and Trump's own vice president, Mike Pence.

McEnany's role on the Trump campaign was itself questionable, given she was simultaneously drawing a taxpayer funded salary of $183,000 per year.

McEnany scoring a gig with Fox News would be fitting, as the network effectively serves as a messaging platform for Republicans, and includes a spate of "opinion" hosts in its prime-time lineup that overtly support Trump. The outlet has also been a revolving door for Trump administration staffers.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed on with the network in September 2019, after her own stint at the podium. Her contributor gig with the network was terminated after she announced on Monday morning that she is running for governor of Arkansas.

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks also worked for Fox News after she left the administration the first time around. And Raj Shah, another former Trump administration spokesperson, joined Fox News after leaving as well.

Meanwhile, other Trump administration staffers have had a harder time finding employment since the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, which led to a stream of White House deserters.

Politico reported that corporate America has essentially frozen out those who worked in the Trump administration, adding that some former aides had their offers rescinded after the insurrection.

"They are really f---ed," an unnamed Republican strategist told Politico.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Hawley: Ethics Probe Of Me Will ‘Further Divide The Country’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is trying to avoid an ethics investigation into his role in inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by claiming that any probe into his conduct would be a violation of President Joe Biden's call for unity.

Hawley made the statement in response to a complaint seven Democratic senators filed with the Senate Ethics Committee, in which they demanded an investigation into the role Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) played in the terror attack at the Capitol, where a mob of Donald Trump supporters sought to block certification of Biden's victory at the behest of Trump himself.

Trump was impeached for a second time for inciting the mob, and Hawley and Cruz are both facing calls to resign, as they are also considered by some to be ring leaders of the effort.

But Hawley is hiding behind Biden's call in his inaugural address to bring the country together.

"Joe Biden and the Democrats talk about unity but are brazenly trying to silence dissent," Hawley said in a statement. "This latest effort is a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge. Democrats appear intent on weaponizing every tool at their disposal — including pushing an unconstitutional impeachment process — to further divide the country."

As for the ethics complaint, Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio wrote, "By proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob's cause and made future violence more likely."

"The question the Senate must answer is not whether Senators Hawley and Cruz had the right to the object to the electors, but whether the senators failed to '[p]ut loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department' or engaged in 'improper conduct reflecting on the Senate' in connection with the violence," the letter continued.

The complaint says that an investigation is needed to "fully understand" Hawley and Cruz's role in the attack, including whether Hawley and Cruz "were in contact or coordinated with the organizers of the rally," "were aware of other Members' contacts with the organizers," and whether Hawley or Cruz "received funding from organizations or donors that also funded the rally," among other questions.

"The actions of which we know demand an investigation and a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted," the Democratic senators wrote. "Until then, a cloud of uncertainty will hang over them and over this body."

Hawley has faced a barrage of criticism for his decision to object to the Electoral College results. Hawley's mentor, former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) told the New York Times two days before the Capitol insurrection even took place that Hawley "lending credence to Trump's false claim that the election was stolen is a highly destructive attack on our constitutional government."

Danforth's comment was prescient, as the lie about a stolen election led to an actual attack at the Capitol. Five people died in the insurrection, including one Capitol Police officer.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

In About Face, McCarthy Invites Veep Harris To Achieve ‘Great Things Together’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday presented Vice President Kamala Harris with a photo of her swearing-in as a gift, telling Harris he is "proud" of her and made a comment about how leaders are judged "not just by our words, but by our actions."

"So let's go forth from here together, accomplish great things for the American people, and every time you look at this photo, remember the beginning of the job we have to do," McCarthy said as he presented Harris — the first female vice president in history — with the gift.

McCarthy, however, did not atone for his role in the violent insurrection at the Capitol exactly two weeks ago, in which a Donald Trump-supporting mob violently broke into the building to try to push lawmakers to block President Joe Biden and Harris' victory.

McCarthy was part of the slew of GOP lawmakers who helped radicalize that mob with lies of voter fraud.

"President Trump won this election, so everyone who's listening, do not be quiet," McCarthy said in an appearance on Fox News on Nov. 5. "We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes."

As leader of House Republicans, McCarthy also signed off on Trump's anti-democratic attempt to force Republicans to vote against certifying Biden and Harris' legitimate win.

And ultimately, McCarthy was also one of the 147 Republican members of Congress who still voted to block certification of Biden and Harris' victory, even after the insurrectionists took over the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Now, McCarthy appears to be hoping no one remembers his role in spreading the lies that led to the attempted coup.

Biden himself spoke of this in his inaugural address.

"Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson: There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies," Biden said in his speech.

In the end, McCarthy was one of more than two-dozen Republican lawmakers who attended Biden and Harris' inauguration, despite having played a role in inciting the attempted coup.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Alibi For Insurrection? ’Trump Invited Us’ To Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A lawyer for one of the insurrectionists arrested for his role in the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week is directly blaming Donald Trump for the violence, saying Trump invited the rioters to the building and deserves blame for the attack the world watched unfold on Jan. 6.

Albert Watkins, a lawyer for Jacob A. Chansley — the man who was photographed wearing a fur headdress with horns inside the Capitol building during the rioting — says Trump's rhetoric since the election amounted to an "invitation" to come to Washington, D.C., to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli and the "QAnon shaman," has been charged with six federal crimes for his role in the rioting.

"He felt like he was answering the call of our president," Watkins told CNN. "My client wasn't violent. He didn't cross over any police lines. He didn't assault anyone. He was there at the invitation of our president, who was going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue with him."

Watkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Christ, you've got a president who has been rabble-rousing for six or seven months. ... Given the peaceful and compliant fashion in which Mr. Chansley comported himself, it would be appropriate and honorable for the president to pardon Mr. Chansley and other like-minded, peaceful individuals who accepted the president's invitation with honorable intentions."

It's not only Chansley who felt he was invited by Trump to the Capitol.

Video taken during the attack shows others invading the Capitol insisting they were there on Trump's invitation as well. A man can be seen shouting to police officers trying to keep the insurrectionists out, "We were invited here. We were invited by the president of the United States."

Meanwhile, Trump and his allies claim that he never intended there to be a violent attack on the Capitol and that he only wanted peace.

During the session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday convened to vote on impeachingTrump on a single count of engaging in "high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States," Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) asked, "Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on this Capitol been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?" After 30 seconds of silence, Mast continued, "It appears I will receive no answer," and yielded back his time.

At least four rioters said they had.

Trump was impeached for the second time on Wednesday by a vote of 232 to 197, with 10 Republicansjoining the Democrats in voting yes.

The single article of impeachment says that Trump "willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Ten Republicans Join Democrats To Impeach Trump Again

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Donald Trump's incitement of a deadly and violent insurrection is threatening to bring down the entire Republican Party, with major corporations blackballing Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the Electoral College results and voter sentiment against the GOP on the rise.

But only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump for his role in encouraging his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, with the rest excusing Trump's behavior or slamming their Democratic colleagues and accusing them of stoking violence.

The vote to impeach was 232 to 197.

The 10 Republicans who voted to impeach were Liz Cheney (WY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Peter Meijer (MI), Dan Newhouse (WA), Tom Rice (SC), Fred Upton (MI), and David Valadao (CA).

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is now facing calls to resign as chair of the House Republican Conference — the third-highest leadership position — over her decision to impeach Trump.

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing," Cheney said in a fiery statement announcing her decision to vote to impeach him. "None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

Other Republicans announced their votes to impeach Trump after Cheney issued her statement.

"Turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option," Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) said in a statement on Wednesday. "A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation's capital. It is also a vote to condone President Trump's inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office."

But the vast majority of House Republicans stuck by Trump, blaming Democrats and "antifa" for the violence on Jan. 6 and refusing to shoulder any of the blame for the lies they told about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election that helped incite the mob of Trump supporters.

Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado went so far as to blame Hollywood actors for the pro-Trump mob.

Republican lawmakers continue to support Trump despite the damage he has done to their party.

Trump is the first occupant of the White House since Herbert Hoover to cost his party control of the House, the Senate, and the White House after just one term.

He's leaving office with an abysmal approval rating.

Polls place Trump's approval rating in the low 30% range. Just 33% of voters approve of his job performance, according to a new Quinnipiac poll, the lowest approval rating the poll has ever recorded for him.

Polling also shows that voters directly blame Trump for the insurrection at the Capitol and want him to resign: The results of a Politico/Morning Consult tracking poll conducted between Jan. 8 and Jan. 11 found 55% of voters want Trump to resign before his term expires on Jan. 20 and put his approval rating at 34%.

But Republican members of the House still twisted themselves into knots to find an excuse to vote against impeachment, calling it "divisive" and saying it will only incite more violence.

Many Republicans apparently fear angering Trump's base, with some even afraid for their safety.

Democrats in the House stayed the course.

"I did not come to Congress to impeach Donald Trump. But the Constitutional crimes by an out-of-control president, inspired by his hatred and the big lie that he told, cannot be ignored," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York said during the impeachment debate. "Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense. It is what it is."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Democrats Suggest Capitol Attackers Had Inside Assistance

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

At least five House Democrats have said that evidence suggests both Capitol Police and Republican members of Congress may have aided and abetted the terror attack on Jan. 6, in which a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol as they tried to stop President-elect Joe Biden from being certified the winner of the 2020 election.

The comments from the Democratic lawmakers are chilling and come after those lawmakers have received private briefings from Capitol Police about the attack — which law enforcement was woefully unprepared for.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) made the most pointed accusation about Republican members of Congress possibly being involved in the attack. Sherrill, a retired Navy helicopter pilot who became a federal prosecutor after leaving the military, said in a Tuesday night video:

... Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn't have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I'm going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don't serve in Congress.

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), who served as chief of the Orlando Police Department before being elected to Congress, also suggested there may have been inside help, either from the Capitol Police or others.

Demings said on CNN on Wednesday morning:

Obviously this was a well-planned, well-coordinated breach of security, attack on our capital, and I do believe when we look at how the attackers were able to, they knew where they were going in many instances they knew directly where they were going, and I know many members of Congress get lost in the Capitol, and so I do believe there was some inside assistance. We know that there are officers that are being investigated, and others.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley's chief of staff told the Boston Globe, "Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit," suggesting something untoward had gone on.

And last week, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) suggested the attackers may have had help from within the building.

Clyburn said in an interview on SiriusXM on Jan. 8:

And the one place where my name is on a door, that office is right on Statuary Hall. They didn't touch that door. But they went into that other place where I do most of my work, they showed up up there. Harassing my staff. How did they know to go there? … How they didn't go where my name was? Then where you won't find my name, but they found where I was supposed to be. So something else is going on untoward here. So we need to have an extensive investigation to find out.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in an Instagram live video on Tuesday night that she does not feel safe around Republican members of Congress because she fears they, "would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, et cetera."

Some House Democrats are worried that their colleagues from across the aisle pose a danger.

An unnamed Democratic lawmaker told HuffPost that there is an "eyes-wide-open realization" that there must be precautions taken against "all these members who were in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns."

"You can't just let them bypass security and walk right up to [Joe] Biden and [Kamala] Harris at inauguration," the unnamed lawmaker told HuffPost's Matt Fuller.

It's possibly why metal detectors were installed outside the House floor — machines that Republican lawmakers are blatantly refusing to use, ignoring orders from Capitol Police.

With each day, more video evidence emerges depicting acts of violence at the Capitol.

Video has captured rioters chanting that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence, and a platform with a noose was erected outside of the Capitol building.

Another video shows rioters plotting where to go within the building, including a discussion of floor plans and where to go to "take the building."

Law enforcement officers say they are using the video and photos from that day to find and arrest the perpetrators.

To date, five people, including one Capitol Police officer and four pro-Trump rioters, have died from the attack.

Democratic lawmakers have made moves to try to expel congressional Republicans who helped incite the violence as well as those who voted to invalidate Biden's win.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

More Republican Legislators Linked To Violent Assault On Capitol

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The number of Republican state lawmakers identified as having either been at Wednesday's attack on the U.S. Capitol or part of the rally that led up to it continues to grow, as photographic evidence helps investigators pin down who was a part of the insurrection.

Four more GOP state lawmakers have been identified as attending either the rally that preceded the attack or the attack itself. They join 12 others who have already been outed as being part of the mayhem, along with a former state legislator.

The newly identified include:

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Azinger: Azinger posted photos to Facebook of being at the Washington Monument on Jan. 6 — the day of the attack — lauding the efforts by Trump supporters, even after knowing that the actions of the pro-Trump mob led to violence, death, and destruction.

"We're here!" Azinger wrote in a post that included photos of the Washington Monument, which has now been closed to the public due to threats of violence. "Stop the Steal, baby!"

Azinger blamed Antifa for the violence, a baseless lie.

Maryland state Del. Dan Cox: Cox is facing calls to resign after he went to the rally and tweeted that Pence is a "traitor" — at the very same time the violent mobs were marauding through the Capitol.

We've since learned that the terrorists at the Capitol were chanting that Pence should be hung, with a noose and a platform for a hanging spotted outside of the Capitol building.

Rhode Island state Rep. Justin Price: Like the other Republican state lawmakers who attended the rally or the insurrection itself, Price is also facing calls to resign after he marched to the Capitol with the pro-Trump mob.

Price claims he did not enter the Capitol, and also falsely blamed the violence on Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement, a patently false and racist accusation.

Virginia Del. Dave LaRock: LaRock wrote on Facebook that he was at the Capitol on Wednesday but did not say whether he entered the building.

He, too, falsely blamed outside agitators for the violence, even though the violence was carried out by Trump supporters and "antifa" was not found to be part of the crowd.

So far, at least one GOP state lawmaker has been arrested for their role in the violent attack: Incoming West Virginia Del. Derrick Evans, who took a selfie video of his crimes and shouted, "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol."

The Justice Department announced it was charging Evans with "one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds."

Evans' video made it easy for law enforcement to determine that it was, indeed, Evans.

Evans "streamed live to his Facebook page a video of himself joining and encouraging a crowd unlawfully entering the U.S. Capitol," the Justice Department wrote in a news release announcing Evans' arrest.

Evans resigned on Saturday, saying "I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians."

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which seeks to get Democrats elected to state legislatures across the country, criticized GOP legislative leaders for not commenting on the number of Republican lawmakers who were part of the mayhem on Wednesday.

"There can be no unity without accountability," Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post said in a news release. "Every elected official who betrayed our democracy is unfit to represent their communities. We challenge our Republican counterparts to step up for the country they claim to love and join us in upholding the values that make this nation great. If there was any time to put country over party, it is now."

To date, at least five people died in the attack, including a Capitol Police officer.

And Trump is now likely to be impeached a second time for inciting the insurrection that led to the deaths and desecration of the Capitol.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

West Virginia GOP Legislator Charged In Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

At least one Republican state lawmaker has been arrested and federally charged as part of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans filmed himself inside of the Capitol, breaking into the building with the mob of Trump supporters.

He's one of 12 GOP state lawmakers who were either at the rally where Trump incited the mob to head to the Capitol, or were in the Capitol itself as part of the insurrection — according to a list compiled by FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich.

Some of the lawmakers claimed they were not part of the violence. But their presence ties them to the horrific events the country watched unfold and is leading to calls for their resignations.

The Republican lawmakers are:

Tennessee state Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver: At 6:41 p.m., as law enforcement was still working to clear the building of the violent insurrectionists who broke in as part of a now-failed coup attempt, Weaver tweeted a photo from earlier in the day at the Capitol praising the mob.

"Epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation DC," Weaver tweeted.

Weaver admitted to the Tennessean that she was "in the thick of it" and falsely claimed that there "wasn't any violence going on here."

But Trump supporters were captured on video assaulting journalists and law enforcement officials by countless media outlets and individuals at the scene, in reports that traveled around the world. One Capitol Police officer is now dead from injuries sustained trying to protect the hundreds of lawmakers and workers inside, in addition to four others who died.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase: A leading contender to be the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, Chase posted an image of the pro-Trump mob gathered outside of the Capitol to Facebook, writing, "DC Rally! SHARE what the media won't show you!"

She later defended the violent coup attempt in a video, saying, "I will tell you that while I do support peaceful protest, that I believe that we the people have had enough, and when you back good people, law-abiding citizens, into the corner, they will push back when you give them no other options."

The Virginia Democratic Party called Chase's comments "despicable" and "what the whole @VA_GOPhas become."

West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans: Like Weaver, Evans was one of the insurrectionists who illegally entered the Capitol.

The New York Times reported that in a since-deleted video posted to his Facebook Page, Evans screams "We did it!" upon entering the building, adding "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!"

Evans also ignored demands from Capitol Police officers to leave, shouting "Patriots inside, baby!" according to the Times.

He has been charged by the Department of Justice for his role and is now facing calls to resign.

Michigan state Rep. Matt Maddock: Maddock and his wife, Meshawn Maddock, spoke at the rally before the violent insurrection took place.

Meshawn retweeted a video of the mob walking toward the building and said it was "the most incredible crowd and sea of people I've ever walked with."

A local Michigan Patch site reported that Meshawn claimed she left before the violence started.

Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill: Hill, a former police officer, did not attend his own swearing-in at the Missouri state Capitol to attend the rally and later the violent insurrection at the Capitol.

In a post on Facebook, Hill claimed that he went to the Capitol but left "immediately" when he heard that someone had been shot and suggested that the violent insurrectionists inside were not Trump supporters — a lie right-wing media and some Republican lawmakers are pushing.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano: A local news outlet reported that Mastriano led a bus of Trump supporters down to the rally, where Trump called on his supporters to "fight" and march to the Capitol, where the violence began.

Mastriano told a local news outlet that, "At no point did we enter the Capitol building, at no point did we tread upon the Capitol steps, and at no point did we tread upon police lines. Obviously, we're there together and we don't want to get caught in any violence, so we left out of there."

Nevertheless, his Democratic colleagues are calling for his resignation.

"Doug Mastriano is a sitting senator who actively organized a violent insurrection in an attempt to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. Sen. Corman & GOP leadership should call for his immediate resignation. If not, he should be removed from all committee or leadership positions," Democratic state Sen. Tim Kearney tweeted.

Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem: Finchem tweeted on Jan. 1 that he was traveling to Washington, D.C., to "fight for President @realDonaldTrump," adding that he was going to be at a protest at 10 a.m. at the Capitol building, where the insurrection occurred.

Finchem later tweeted a photo of the mob on the steps of the Capitol with the caption, "What happens when the People feel they have been ignored, and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud."

That language appears to directly support the insurrection that took place.

Finchem later complained that he could not get food delivered to his hotel room after attending the violent insurrection because of law enforcement activity.

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman: Eastman was at the rally earlier in the day where Trump incited the mob but claimed that he did not go to the Capitol, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Still, Eastman traveled from Alaska all the way to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally, whose sole purpose was to egg on the effort to force Republican members of Congress to block President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Eastman told the Daily News that he thought the riot and break-in was "pretty terrible."

Democratic state Rep. Sara Hannan told the outlet that she heard from constituents who wanted Eastman to be expelled for attending the rally, but said he would not be because he had a First Amendment right to attend a rally.

"If his picture shows up having breached and vandalized the Capitol buildings ... then I think there should be repercussions," Hannan told the Daily News. "But as far as his right to protest, that's an American's right."

Incoming Nevada state Assemblywoman Annie Black: A local news outlet in Nevada reported that Black was at the Capitol when the violence broke out but did not go past the security line "to avoid being associated with the mob."

Like Eastman, Black traveled a long distance to attend a rally that was specifically trying to pressure Congress to overturn a free and fair election. Yet she condemned the violence, later trying to blame it on "rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators" — the same kind of blame-shifting rhetoric that has been seen on right-wing media outlets.

"Whoever these people were, whether they were rogue Trump supporters or outside agitators, they should be identified, arrested, charged, prosecuted, and severely punished," Black told 8NewsNow.

Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller: Miller posted a video to Facebook at the rally before the mob breached the Capitol.

He used violent rhetoric, calling the rally a "great cultural war to see if we will survive, whether if we will remain a free people."

He spoke of the "dangerous Democrat terrorists" who are "trying to destroy our country."

Miller's wife is Rep. Mary Miller, also a Republican, who is now facing calls to resign after she spoke at the rally and said "Hitler was right" to recruit youth into his Nazi movement.

Outgoing Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones: Jones attended the rally that preceded the violent insurrection, where he officially declared that he was leaving the Democratic Party and joining the GOP.

"Moments ago, I announced that I am officially joining the Republican Party," Jones tweeted. "Now more than ever, the Republican Party is in desperate need of leaders that know how to fight. I know how to fight."

Jones took a selfie at the march to the Capitol with Finchem, one of the other GOP lawmakers at the insurrection.

Outgoing Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern: Kern posted photos traveling to the District of Columbia for the rally urging a coup, tweeting on Jan. 4, "DC Hear We COME!!!!!! #StoptheSteal"

Kern went to the rally where Trump fired up his supporters to go to the Capitol. He tweeted a photo of himself outside of security fencing, and it's unclear whether he went inside.

Kern lost reelection in 2020.

Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone: Saccone is no longer in the state Legislature, but he was also part of the violent mob at the Capitol.

He said in a since-deleted Facebook post that, "We are storming the capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?"

Saccone lost a special election to Democratic Rep. Connor Lamb in 2018. Saccone went on to lose a GOP primary in a different United States House district in Pennsylvania later that year.

The violent insurrection that occurred on Wednesday was spurred on by Trump himself.

Trump called for Republicans to fight 20 times in his rambling one-hour-and-13 minute-long speech, in which he called on his supporters to march to the Capitol to "give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help, we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country," according to a transcript.

Trump is likely to be impeached for a second time over the incitement.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Second Trump Impeachment Looms As Democrats Demand Action

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The likelihood that Donald Trump will become the first president in American history to be impeached twice is growing, as more and more House Democrats voice support for the effort to punish and remove Trump from office following the shocking mob attack on the U.S. Capitol that he incited, which has now left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

The number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now stands at 158, according to a tally compiled jointly by Daily Kos Elections and the American Independent Foundation, a number that skyrocketed over the past 24 hours and continues to grow.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who decides what makes it to the House floor for a vote, is on board with impeaching and removing Trump, saying at a news conference on Thursday that the president is "a very dangerous man" who incited "an armed insurrection against America."

"While it's only 13 days left, any day could be a horror show for America," Pelosi said, her voice laced with anger as she stressed the urgency for Trump's removal.

House Democrats will hold a conference call at noon on Friday to discuss the path forward, Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman reported.

The question remains whether enough Senate Republicans would vote to convict and remove Trump from office, a punishment that requires a two-thirds vote.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said he would "definitely consider" impeachment, saying he believes Trump "disregarded his oath of office," but he has not fully committed to it yet.

Trump finally conceded defeat late Thursday in a video posted to Twitter that was laced with lies and a bizarre remark to his supporters at the end that "our incredible journey is only just beginning."

The concession took 61 days after the media called the race for President-elect Joe Biden, and came only as members of his staff and other Republican elected officials began throwing him under the bus for Wednesday's violent and deadly terrorist attack.

Of course, those same aides and GOP lawmakers did not accept responsibility for their own role in fomenting the rage that led to Wednesday's events, which will go down as one of the most shameful moments in American history. Trump surrogates and Republican lawmakers lied for two months now about voter fraud, backing up Trump's effort to get judges to steal the election for Trump — an effort that failed in spectacular fashion.

"The president's language and rhetoric often goes too far. I think, yesterday in particular, the president's language and rhetoric crossed the line and it was reckless," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on a local television station on Thursday, taking no responsibility for the fact that he, too, lied to Trump supporters about a stolen election and led the charge to try to overturn Trump's rightful loss.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Blame ‘Antifa’ For Capitol Assault By Trumpists

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A number of Republican lawmakers and right-wing media personalities are blaming "antifa" for the violent attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the Capitol on Wednesday that led to at least four deaths, ignoring their own responsibility in helping foment the rage underlying the attack.

Some GOP lawmakers did call out Trump and members of their own party for the lies about voter fraud and a stolen election that culminated in Wednesday's failed coup, placing the blame at their feet.

"What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States," Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said in an impassioned speech on the Senate floor after the body reconvened to certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

"You have some senators who, for political advantage, were giving false hope to their supporters. These senators, as insurrectionists literally stormed the Capitol, were sending out fundraising emails," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said on Fox News.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had quite literally sent a fundraising text as the Trump-supporting mob ransacked the Capitol.

Some repetitions of the lie that the attack was carried out by so-called antifa and not Trump supporters came from top GOP leadership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the suggestion Wednesday night in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

"People came here to do some damage. I don't know who they were with," McCarthy said of the group, which wore Trump hats, Trump shirts, and carried Trump flags. His comment was followed by a suggestion from Ingraham that "Antifa was in there."

Two other House Republicans, some of the most vocal supporters of Trump's coup, have also falsely blamed antifa for the attacks.

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, a leader in the failed effort to block the certification of Biden's win, has tweeted numerous times that the attack was a false-flag operation.

"Please, don't be like #FakeNewsMedia, don't rush to judgment on assault on Capitol. Wait for investigation. All may not be (and likely is not) what appears. Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics," Brooks tweeted, a baseless lie that seeks to absolve Trump supporters of the violence.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who has previously said his sole purpose in Congress is to support Trump, issued the same lie from the House floor during the debate over certification.

"Some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters and in fact were members of the violent terrorist group antifa," Gaetz said.

Other right-wing figures, such as Fox News' Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential nominee, also tried to absolve Trump supporters of guilt by falsely pinning the attack on antifa.

Trump knew that the rioters were his own supporters, treating the terrorists with kid gloves in tweets, as members of his current and former staff implored him to send a message to end the attack.

"We love you. You're very special. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil but go home and go home in peace," Trump said.

Antifa has been the go-to boogeyman for Republicans over the 2020 presidential cycle. They blamed the group for violent protests across the country.

Trump himself demanded his administration designate antifa as a domestic terror organization on Tuesday night. Experts say antifa cannot be deemed a domestic terror organization because it is not an organization at all, but rather a loosely organized movement.

Analysis continues to show that right-wing white supremacist groups and not antifa represent the biggest domestic terror threat the country currently faces.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

‘We Love You’: Trump Praises Terrorists After Biden Urges Him To End Rioting

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday delivered a forceful rebuke of Donald Trump, blaming him for the violent mob of his supporters that took over the U.S. Capitol as they tried to help aid Trump and the GOP's coup attempt.

"The words of a president matter no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire, at their worst, they can incite," Biden said in an address, clearly laying blame for the terrorist incident at the Capitol at Trump's feet. "I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege."

Biden went on to list off the actions the Trump mob took, including breaking into the building, smashing windows, and threatening elected officials.

"It's not protest, it's insurrection," Biden said of the mob's actions. "The world is watching. Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment."

Minutes after Biden spoke, Trump released a video finally telling his supporters to disperse.

Yet, he still pushed the baseless lies about a stolen election that inspired the mob to rebel in the first place.

"I know your pain, I know you're hurt, we had an election that was stolen from us, it was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side, but you have to go home now, we have to have peace, we have to have law and order, weh ave to respect our great people in law and order, we don't want anyone hurt," Trump said in the video, which he posted to Twitter.

But before releasing a video, Trump egged on the mob, telling them multiple times earlier in the day to go march to the Capitol, where his supporters attacked police officers. NBC News reported that improvised explosive devices were even found near the Capitol building but had been safely detonated without injury.

The New York Times reported that Trump's aides tried furiously to get him to get the mob to disperse, to no avail.

Some of his closest current and former aides even took to Twitter to publicly implore him to tell his supporters to leave.

"Now is the time for the President to be presidential," Mick Mulvaney, Trump's former chief of staff, tweeted, adding, "The President's tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home."

It's unclear what eventually got Trump to act.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Latest Trump Lawsuit Demands Court Cancel Georgia Vote

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on New Year's Eve demanding that a federal judge decertify the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, alleging without any evidence that "illegal voting" occurred and therefore the results were invalid.

The suit, filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in their official capacities, claims the existence of violations of election law that "have resulted in more than 11,779 'illegal' votes to be counted in the State of Georgia which is sufficient to change the outcome of the election or place the outcome in doubt."

President-elect Joe Biden won the state by exactly 11,779 votes.

The lawsuit is similar to dozens of other lawsuits the Trump campaign and Trump's GOP allies have filed since the election. They have lost 60 of those lawsuits, with judges tossing many of them due to a lack of any proof.

Multiple federal fudges have chastised Trump's lawyers and his GOP defenders for filing the lawsuits, accusing them of trying to subvert the will of the voters by getting judges to overturn a free and fair election.

"Voters, not lawyers, choose the president," wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, in a decision in November tossing out a Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to overturn election results in Pennsylvania. "Ballots, not briefs, decide elections."

Ballots in Georgia have been counted three times, each time with the same conclusion: Biden defeated Trump in the state.

Nevertheless, Trump is still trying to overturn the state's result, even though if Georgia's 16 Electoral College votes were removed from Biden's column, Biden would still have 290, more than the 270 needed to win.

Trump is continuing to go to extraordinary lengths to overturn the will of the voters in Georgia.

He called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday to demand that Raffensperger "find" just enough votes to make Trump the winner in the state.

The phone call could lead to criminal charges against Trump, as experts say it's a violation of both state and federal election law to engage in a conspiracy to commit election fraud.

Georgia has already certified its election results; the electors in the state cast their ballots on Dec. 14; and the election is over. What's more, the so-called safe harbor deadline to resolve disputes about the election results in the courts passed on Dec. 8.

The last step in the process is for Congress to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, which it is scheduled to do on Wednesday. More than 140 Republican lawmakers plan to object to the certification, but their stunt will fail, as the Democratic-controlled House will not vote to overturn Biden's win.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Surge Of Newly Registered Voters In Georgia Could Flip Senate Blue

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Georgia has seen a surge in voter registrations that suggest good news for Democrats looking to win control of the Senate, according to new data published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Since the Nov. 3 general election, a whopping 76,000 people have registered to vote in the Peach State.

And a majority of those new registrants, or 56 percent, are voters under 35 — an age demographic that skews overwhelmingly Democratic.

In the 2020 election in Georgia, President-elect Joe Biden won voters aged 30 to 44 by a 10-point margin, according to exit poll data. Biden won the 18 to 29 age demographic by an even larger 13-point spread.

Biden also won first-time voters in 2020 by a seven-point margin, according to the exit poll data.

Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group launched by Democrat Stacey Abrams, has made registering new voters ahead of the Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia a top priority.

If Democrats win both of those seats in January, they will control the Senate for the first time since 2014, ousting Mitch McConnell as majority leader.

Polling shows both of the races are close, with Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock running neck and neck with Perdue and Loeffler, respectively.

The races went to runoffs because no candidates garnered at least 50% of the vote in the general election.

Perdue received 49.7 percent to Ossoff's 47.9 percent in November.

The second Senate race was a special election with different rules, where all candidates — regardless of party — ran on the same ballot. Warnock came in first among the all-party field with 32.9 percent of the vote, while Loeffler took the second-place spot with 25.9 percent.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Michigan Attorney General May Seek Sanctions Against Powell

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday announced she may seek sanctions against Sidney Powell, the Trump-connected lawyer who has filed numerous failed lawsuits in Michigan and other states across the country to overturn the 2020 election results to wrongly keep Donald Trump in power.

Nessel made the announcement in a year-end phone call with Michigan reporters, according to Michigan political reporter Jonathan Oosting. She told reporters that she is seeking sanctions against Powell for "what we believe to be an intentional misrepresentation," Oosting reported.

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McConnell Approves Relief, Fearing Delay Could Forfeit GOP Senate Seats

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has held up the passage of virus relief since May, refusing to negotiate with Democrats as millions of people fell into poverty and laid off workers suffered.

But as it became clear that his blockade of needed relief could cost Republicans the two Senate seats in Georgia, he finally decided to go to the negotiating table, the New York Times reported.

According to the report, McConnell said in a call with Republicans that Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — the Georgia Republicans locked in competitive runoff elections that will determine control of the Senate — are "getting hammered" for not giving aid to Americans. McConnell now thinks that passing a virus relief bill could help Republicans win their races and keep control of the Senate.

The Democratic-controlled House has passed multiple coronavirus relief bills that have laid dormant in the McConnell-controlled Senate, with McConnell insisting the bills were too expensive and unnecessary.

The Democratic-passed bills authorized new rounds of direct payments to Americans who earn under a certain income threshold. They also restarted the additional $600 per week unemployment payments that McConnell let expire in July.

The Democratic-run House passed the first virus relief extension bill on May 15 — 216 days ago.

On Oct. 1, Democrats passed another bill that authorized more direct payments and added back the $600 weekly Unemployment Insurance boost. That bill that passed without a single Republican vote. But McConnell also let that bill sit for 77 days without action.

It's only now, with his Senate majority at risk, that he has decided to act — coming to the negotiating table with a much less generous offer of aid to struggling Americans. According to reports, McConnell drove down the dollar figure of direct payments from the $1,200 Democrats wanted to $600, and the weekly unemployment boost from $600 to $300.

Meanwhile, as McConnell refused to help, 8 million people fell into poverty — a massive surge of suffering that economists say could have been avoided had Congress merely kept the $600 weekly Unemployment Insurance boost.

"Due to the expiration of the CARES Act's stimulus checks and $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits, the monthly poverty rate in September was higher than rates during April or May, and also higher than pre-crisis levels," a study from the Columbia University Center on Poverty & Social Policy released in October found.

Democrats have been slamming McConnell for his refusal to help.

"Eight months ago, Americans got $1200 checks. Since then, Democrats have been fighting to get more. More unemployment help. More for money to pay for food and rent. But Mitch McConnell just kept saying no, no, no. Americans need help, and we must get it to them now," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tweeted on Wednesday.