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Roger Stone Complains About IRS “Deep State” Lawsuit Against Him

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Roger Stone on Friday, April 16, alleging that he owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nearly $2 million. Now, Stone is firing back with his take on the latest lawsuit.

As reports about the lawsuit began circulating online, Stone took to Telegram with his reaction. Along with links to reports about the case, Stone said, "Same Deep State Bullshit — different day," reports Law & Crime.

He added, "After Robert Mueller's dirty cops destroyed me financially the Department of Injustice, well aware of the fact that I have no income and no assets files a bogus civil suit against me. I guess they're still really pissed off about the pardon. Now I have no choice but to defeat them again."

Stone concluded his post with the hashtag written in third person that says, "#RogerStoneStillDidNothingWrong."

However, the Justice Department and IRS argue otherwise. According to the lawsuit, "For each of the years 2007 through 2011, Roger and Nydia Stone filed joint federal income tax returns but did not pay in full the amount of the income taxes they reported as due," the lawsuit alleges. What follows is a chart listing payments the Stones allegedly failed to make."

It also reads, "Despite notice and demand for payment, Roger and Nydia Stone have failed and refused to pay the entire amount of the liabilities described . . . [t]aking into account all payments, credits, and abatements, as of April 2, 2021, Roger and Nydia Stone jointly and severally owe $1,590,361.89 in unpaid income taxes, penalties, and interest for tax years 2007 through 2011, plus further interest and statutory additions that continue to accrue."

The lawsuit also highlights back taxes from 2018 that Stone failed to pay. According to the lawsuit, that year, the political operative filed a separate tax return that did not include his wife. The agency insists Stone "owes the government $407,036.84 after not paying 'in full the taxes he reported.'"

In addition to the Stones, a number of other entities are also named in the lawsuit. Law & Crime reports that those entities include: " Drake Ventures LLC (an "an alter ego of the Stones"), the Bertran Family Revocable Trust ("which holds title to the condominium where the Stones reside"), and an assortment of other parties (Broward County, Fla.; Russell Harris; Galleria Lofts Condominium Association, Inc.; and Galleria Lofts LLC)."

If the tax lawsuit proves to be ineffective in resolving the alleged debt, the Justice Department "seeks an order setting aside the transfer of the Stone Residence to the Bertran Trust as fraudulent."

"The Stones dominated and controlled Drake Ventures to such an extent that it does not exist as an independent entity," the lawsuit claims. According to court documents, the Stones "entered into an installment agreement with the IRS that required them to pay $19,485 each month toward their unpaid taxes." However, "[a]fter Roger Stone's indictment," the couple bought their home "in the name of the Bertran Trust."

Based on the suit, a total of six counts are alleged against the couple. Those counts include:

  1. Unpaid federal income taxes spanning the years 2007 through 2011 by both Roger and Nydia Stone
  2. Unpaid federal income taxes in 2018 for Roger Stone individually
  3. Alter ego liability for Drake Ventures;
  4. Fraudulent transfer to the Bertran Trust
  5. Nominee liability for the Bertran Trust
  6. The case seeks a declaratory judgment as to federal tax liens against all defendants."

Roger Stone has not yet released an official statement about the lawsuit.

Proud Boys Thug Who Assaulted Capital Cop Gets COVID-19 In Jail

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A member of the Proud Boys facing federal charges for his alleged involvement in the Capitol insurrection is urging a federal judge to release him from jail after he contracted COVID-19 behind bars.

According to Politico, Christopher Worrell is currently incarcerated at a Washington, D.C., jail and his attorney Allen Orenberg is petitioning to get him out. Orenberg argues that his client, who suffers from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is facing a number of obstacles in receiving proper medical treatment behind bars.

Worrell, who is also immuno-compromised, previously requested assistance from the U.S. District Court as his symptoms grew worse amid his incarceration.

"Given the pandemic and acute danger to Mr. Worrell, his continued detention amounts to impermissible pretrial punishment," Orenberg wrote. "The Government's interest in securing his appearance at trial does not outweigh his liberty interest in remaining alive and free from harm."

Orenberg also noted that Worrell's COVID diagnosis happened amid his petition in response to Judge Beryl Howell—who serves as the chief of the Federal District Court in D.C.—and the judge's decision to reject his initial bid for release.

In response, Howell raised questions about Orenberg's arguments suggesting his client did not have proper access to cancer medications. According to the publication, Howell instead attributes the lack of access to Worrell's doctors. She also highlighted Worrell's participation in the U.S. Capitol riots, arguing "that Worrell joined the Capitol mob maskless and without apparent concern for his health."

Aside from his health concerns, the federal judge also ruled that "Worrell's alleged attack on police with a chemical spray, as well as his other conduct on January 6, justify his continued detention. She also ordered him detained in part because of an apparent threat he made to a witness while FBI agents were taking him into custody."

Worrell is one of many alleged Capitol rioters expressing concern about their treatment behind bars. So far, the Department of Justice has arrested more than 400 individuals in connection with the Capitol riots.

Women Recount Sex-And-Drug Partying With Gaetz Gang

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), already at the center of a massive investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, is now facing more allegations as two women share shocking details about some of the wild late-night parties he attended with them in the past.

On Wednesday, April 14, CNN reported details about the accounts of two women who admitted they previously partied with the Florida lawmaker. They revealed that in order to participate in the sex and drug-fueled parties — which included drugs like ecstacy and cocaine — the women had to follow rules to shield male attendees from being documented.

On CNN's New Day anchor Paula Reid highlighted some of the rules that were required to attend the parties. "The first thing some of them were asked to do was put away their cellphones," Reid said. "One of the women said she saw Congressman Gaetz take a pill she believed was a recreational drug."

The report detailed on CNN appears to coincide with the allegations that have been leveled against both Gaetz and his longtime ally, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who has been accused of using money transferring apps like CashApp and Venmo to pay women for sexual favors. Another woman, whose name has not been disclosed, revealed Greenburg gave her money in exchange for sexual favors.

The news outlet's review of the receipts in question revealed transactions between both men and one woman who reportedly attended the parties. Both Gaetz and Greenberg are also at the center of accusations involving a minor.

CNN reports:

One of the women who spoke to CNN said she did so in part because the picture of Gaetz as potentially connected to sex trafficking that has emerged in recent days does not align with what she saw. Both women said that they never saw anyone at the parties who appeared to be underage. Neither has spoken with federal investigators, they said.

According to the report, Greenberg is said to be cooperating with investigators. Gaetz's office has not yet released a statement about the latest report and allegations.

Fox News Airs Sexual Images Allegedly Pirated From Hunter Biden’s Laptop

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Two of Fox News' primetime hosts on Thursday evening aired explicit images that allegedly captured President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden engaging in sexual acts.

According to Mediaite, Fox News host Tucker Carlson was joined by Josh Boswell, the Daily Mail senior reporter who released the publication's latest report detailing "what WASN'T in Hunter Biden's book," alleging a variety of malfeasance. They aired images that appeared to be Hunter Biden with women in sexual situations, with the women's faces blurred out.

Critics objected to the display of the images as gratuitous and lacking any news value.

Boswell's appearance came as Hunter Biden pushed back against the Daily Mail's claims calling the laptop a "red herring."

On Thursday, April 8, the president's son appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his new book where he was also asked about the laptop. During his appearance on the late-night talk show, he discussed his previous ties to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma as he shared an excerpt from his new memoir, Beautiful Things.

Kimmel then asked about the highly publicized laptop at the center of controversy. During a previous interview with CBS News, Biden repeatedly said that he was unsure if the laptop was even his.

"I've seen you on some interviews, you know, talking about the laptop ... and when they asked you if that was your laptop, you say you don't know, which is hard to believe unless you read the book," Kimmel said jokingly in reference to Biden's past drug addiction battle. "And then it's like, I'm surprised you have shoes on."

"The pants were the problem," Hunter Biden quipped. "Now look, I really don't know and the fact of the matter is, it's a red herring. It is absolutely a red herring. But I am absolutely, I think, within my rights to question anything that comes from the desk of Rudy Giuliani. And so I don't know is the answer."

Twitter Explodes With Mockery Over Trump’s Furious ‘Happy Easter’ Rant

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

It's Easter weekend and several months after the presidential election, but former President Donald Trump is not done ranting about his landslide loss and his latest remarks have set Twitter ablaze.

On Friday, April 2, Trump released a second statement after sounding off about the MLB All-Star game relocation. In that statement, the former president targeted the "radical left crazies" as he reiterated his complaints about the presidential election and "the Fake News Media" insisting his claims are "baseless, unfounded, unwarranted."

"With each passing day, and unfortunately for the Radical Left CRAZIES, more and more facts are coming out," Trump wrote. He even closed the bizarre rant by saying, "Other than that, Happy Easter!"

Twitter users wasted no time slamming the unhinged former president for his bizarre rant. Some users pointed out how Trump, widely supported by evangelical Christians, seemed to refer to Easter as if it were an afterthought. A user wrote, "Loving the message from Trump on the holiest of days in the Christian calendar "OTHER THAN THAT, HAPPY EASTER"

Another user offered a simplified interpretation of Trump's remarks. "Sadly, there was massive fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election, and many very angry people understand that ... Unfortunately for the Radical Left CRAZIES, more and more facts are coming out. Other than that, Happy Easter!"


Trump's latest mindboggling statement also reminded Twitter users of his series of epic blunders in April of last year. Around that time, the former president's COVID circus was in full swing as he appeared on national television nearly every day with countless unfounded claims that kept fact-checkers quite busy.

The latest Easter statement reminded many Twitter users of the running claim last Easter: despite the country being under nationwide lockdown, the United States would likely be reopening so people could attend church for the religious holiday. To make matters worse, Trump also claimed the virus would "miraculously" go away by April with the arrival of the warmer spring weather.would "miraculously" go away by April with the arrival of the warmer spring weather.

Now, Trump is being mocked for those remarks yet again.

It's been a year since Trump's Easter claims and the United States has reported more than 30 million coronavirus cases and over 560,000 COVID-related deaths since then.

Gaetz Boasted Of ‘Access’ To Woman Via Alleged Sex Trafficker

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has reportedly been very vocal about his alleged ties to the former Florida tax collector currently facing federal charges for alleged sex trafficking.

According to The Washington Post, the Florida lawmaker is said to have boasted about having access to women through former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg. Two insiders familiar with the situation have shared details about the lawmaker's claims and how he reportedly had no qualms about discussing his alleged relationships.

"Matt was never shy about talking about his relationship to Joel and the access to women that Joel provided him," said one of the insiders who requested anonymity. "What these videos implied was that there was something of a sexual nature going on with everyone."

Greenberg is currently facing a child sex trafficking charge in addition to a number of other charges. While Gaetz has not been charged, investigators are reportedly exploring a number of possibilities where the lawmaker is concerned. Gaetz is also "suspected of patronizing websites that allow men to set up dates with women in exchange for dinners or hotel stays, a person familiar with the matter said. It is not a crime to use such services unless money is exchanged explicitly for sex."

Another insider familiar with the scandal has also noted that investigators "are exploring allegations that Gaetz and others used illegal drugs during some of their encounters with women."

In addition to this claim, Gaetz allegedly showed nude photos and videos of women to other lawmakers on the House floor, as previously reported by Alternet. At the time, CNN also reported that one of the video clips featured a naked woman standing with a hula hoop.

The latest report comes just days after Gaetz denied the allegations against him. On Friday, the Post contacted the Republican lawmaker for comment about the claims alleging that he bragged about meeting women through Greenberg. In a message sent via text message, Gaetz responded with a denial of all the allegations.

"I have never paid for sex. I have never had sex with an underage person as an adult," Gaetz wrote. "I have dated women in college and graduate school, and have boasted about how great they are across the board, as boyfriends do. At times women I have dated have joined me at campaign events."

Former GOP Speaker Denounces ‘Reckless A-hole’ Cruz In New Book

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is not pleased with the Republican Party and the newly-released excerpts of his forthcoming book make his disdain quite clear.

On Friday, April 2, excerpts from the 12-term lawmaker's new book On the House: A Washington Memoir were published by Politico. Boehner recalled an orientation he conducted for the influx of freshman lawmakers elected in 2010. Although Republicans managed to fair well in that primary election, Boehner admits in his book that he was not very fond of the new group of lawmakers.

"I had to explain how to actually get things done," Boehner said. "A lot of that went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn't have brains that got in the way. Incrementalism? Compromise? That wasn't their thing. A lot of them wanted to blow up Washington. That's why they thought they were elected."

He added, "To them, my talk of trying to get anything done made me a sellout, a dupe of the Democrats, and a traitor. Some of them had me in their sights from day one. They saw me as much of an "enemy" as the guy in the White House."

Boehner also admitted that around that time, the Republican lawmakers' political ammunition was based solely on their stark disapproval of former President Barack Obama.

"People really had been brainwashed into believing Barack Obama was some Manchurian candidate planning to betray America," Boehner wrote.

The former lawmaker went on to share the moment he realized the Republican Party was approaching an uncomfortable impasse. When he pushed back against the baseless claims about Obama's birthplace, Boehner noted that he faced stark criticism for doing so despite telling the truth.

"My answer was simple: 'The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That's good enough for me,'" Boehner said. "It was a simple statement of fact. But you would have thought I'd called Ronald Reagan a communist. I got all kinds of shit for it—emails, letters, phone calls. It went on for a couple weeks. I knew we would hear from some of the crazies, but I was surprised at just how many there really were."

Boehner also lambasted his political party for spiraling into "crazytown" and entering a state of heightened paranoia as he expressed concerns about the dangers of a "reckless a--hole" takes center stage. He made it clear he was referring to none other than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Boehner's book, On the House: A Washington Memoir, is set to be released April 13, 2021.

Florida Law Firm Refutes Gaetz’s ‘False And Defamatory’ Extortion Claims

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

A Pensacola law firm has fired back at Rep. Matt Gaetz's (R-FL) claims accusing one of its attorneys of extortion.

According to MyNBC15, Beggs & Lane Attorneys and Counselors at Law released a statement in defense of its partner David L. McGee, also a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Florida, whom the controversial lawmaker has accused of extorting his family for millions of dollars.

As reports of sex trafficking allegations involving Gaetz were made public on Tuesday, he appeared on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight where he claimed McGee "attempted to extort $25 million from Gaetz and his family in exchange for McGee making the investigation 'go away.'"

The following day the law firm released a statement in response to Gaetz's claims.

"During his tenure with the Department of Justice, [McGee's] reputation for integrity and ethical conduct was impeccable," the statement read. "It has remained impeccable throughout his 25-year tenure with our firm. While he was with the DOJ he would never have entertained a scheme such as what Congressman Gaetz suggests nor would he today. Unsubstantiated allegations do not change that fact."

In a statement released on Tuesday, Gaetz detailed a meeting between his father and the FBI as he insisted that the goal was to catch McGee for the alleged actions. The statement reads, "The planted leak to the New York Times tonight was intended to thwart that investigation. No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation."

During the Fox News interview, Gaetz also claimed McGee was supposed to reach out to his family to receive a sizable portion of the extortion money — a $4.5 million down payment. When asked how Gaetz's decision to speak publicly could impact the investigation, attorney Eric Stevenson weighed in with his perspective.

"In our system, a criminal defendant or a suspect or a subject doesn't ever have to give a statement to law enforcement," he said. "But any statement they make can be used in court, even if they didn't make it to law enforcement. So it's quite possible that someone who gets charged with a crime and makes a statement in the news, that -- even if they don't take the stand -- what they said on the news gets played in court in front of a jury. So that's the real fear that I have for clients with them talking."

As of April 1, Gaetz hae not been charged in connection with the allegations but the investigation is reportedly ongoing.

Far Right Turns On Gov. Kristi Noem, GOP’s Rising Star

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem appeared to be a rising Republican star. She'd gained national notoriety among the Republican Party and her relationship with former President Donald Trump only made her more popular among conservative voters in and around her state. But, now it appears that is changing because she is drawing ire not only from her party but also individuals on the other side of the political aisle.

According to The Daily Beast, Noem initially seemed to anticipate signing the state's controversial new piece of legislation targeting transgender athletes' rights. In fact, on March 8, the Republican governor tweeted her anticipation. "I'm excited to sign this bill very soon," Noem tweeted at the time.

However, it's been weeks since her tweet, and the bill has still gone unsigned as she continues to slowly back away from it. Days after the tweet, Noem's office noted that the bill was being evaluated as the governor sought subsequent changes to the bill's verbiage.

"I've heard from individuals, not businesses, and not particularly from the NCAA," Noem said during a press conference.

When top business and sports officials, including the Greater Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, began to express their disdain about the piece of legislation and its possible financial impact, Noem did as well.

The publication reports that while the bill was being evaluated, "instead of targeting drafting errors, she wanted two sections of the bill tossed out and two other parts revised. In this new version, transgender athletes could play college sports."

So why the changes?

In states where similar laws have been passed, there has been some blowback. For example, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) withdrew from a number of events scheduled in North Carolina when the state passed a similar piece of legislation back in 2017.

While sweeping anti-transgender legislation has become has passed in multiple states, it does not look like Noem is sure about South Dakota being added to the list. Over the weekend, she unveiled the "Defend Title IX Now" an initiative to reform the 1972 gender equality sports law to approach the situation differently.

While she has expressed concern about girls and women being able to compete fairly in sporting events, the potential business impacts appear to have her rethinking the legislative effort. She released a statement explaining the rights of the NCAA as a "private association."

"The NCAA is a private association—that means they can do what they want to do," Noem said. "If South Dakota passes a law that's against their policy, they will likely take punitive action against us. That means they can pull their tournaments from the state of South Dakota, they could pull their home games, they could even prevent our athletes from playing in their league."

On Monday, Noem also said, "I'm still excited to sign the bill," she said on Monday. "We saw some things that needed to be corrected that can be done with a style and form revision. The part we needed to fix were a trial lawyer's dream."

However, lawmakers have criticized her remarks. According to State Rep. Fred Deutsch, a conservative Republican, Noem did not "have her eyes on the ball," the publication reported.

"My take only: She got into this situation because it was a historic year with COVID, marijuana, money, and more," Deutsch told the Daily Beast. He also noted that her team should have been involved from the preliminary stages of the proposed bill. "That led to her tweet that she looked forward to signing the bill even though she apparently hadn't yet read it," he said.

Angry That Biden Hasn’t Painted Wall, Trump Plans Border Visit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Jason Miller, senior advisor to former President Donald Trump, revealed that he may soon be traveling to visit the U.S. border but the trip won't be immediate since he's reportedly trying to avoid "creating the impression that he's "showboating" about the issue," Mediaite reports.

During an appearance on The Michael Berry Show, Miller leveled a litany of complaints about the situation unfolding at the border as he criticized President Joe Biden for tapping Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee the issue.

Describing the situation as an "absolute crisis," Miller said, "And then to make matters worse, Joe Biden throws gasoline all over the fire by putting Kamala Harris, Mrs. Open Borders herself, in charge of the entire Southern border?" Miller said. "I mean if this doesn't scare the you-know-what out of you, it should."

Then, the host Michael Berry asked, "Do you foresee the [former] president making a visit to the border?"

Miller admitted that Trump had discussed doing so. "You know, we discussed that recently," he said. "I can see him doing that soon. One of the things that I think President Trump wanted to let Joe Biden go and fail on his own before he goes and steps in on that."

However, Miller insists the trip may not be anytime soon because Trump does not want it to appear like a publicity stunt. He added, "I think there's a very fine line between calling someone out on the policies and then appearing to do something that's showboating, or give Joe Biden an opportunity to point and say 'See? You know this isn't serious work, President Trump is down at the border making a scene out of this,' and allowing Joe to essentially weasel out for not having to go himself."

Miller also suggested that Trump is not happy about the wall not being painted. He added that "it is something that President Trump is really concerned about. All of his hard work. They won't even paint the wall. They were supposed to paint the wall this month. So it would be a black color as opposed to the rust color because elements and such. And Biden has even stopped that."

Despite Miller describing the border situation as a "crisis," the Associated Press reportedly sent guidance to its reporters this week advising them to refrain from describing it with that term.

Trump Makes Ohio Senate Hopefuls Perform ‘Apprentice’ Audition At Mar-a-Lago

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former President Donald Trump is already working behind the scenes to set the stage for the 2022 primary election. He may not be making a return to the White House in 2022 but he is reportedly working to make sure he manages Republican lawmakers who seek higher office in 2022.

According to a report published by Politico, the former president recently met with four Republican Senate candidates in Ohio who are launching political campaigns in hopes of replacing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who is set to retire at the end of his term. The publication reports that on Wednesday, March 24, an Apprentice-style meeting took place at Trump's luxurious Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The publication reports that the four Senate seat contenders—including former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, tech executive Bernie Moreno, and Mike Gibbons, the investment banker who co-chaired Trump's Ohio fundraising group—traveled to the luxury golf club to attend a fundraiser for Trump's former White House aide Max Miller, who has entered the Senate race to unseat Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).

The meeting scene that played out behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago is being similar to the boardroom scenes highlighted on Trump's former TV show The Apprentice. The Senate candidates spent their time competing for the former president's support. In addition to being compared to the boardroom-style game show, one person familiar with the media also insisted that it was more akin to "The Hunger Games."

According to Talking Points Memo, one person present noted that "the Ohio Republican Senate hopefuls were thrown into an unexpected and awkward showdown for Trump's support ahead of next year's midterm elections." The meeting began with Trump asking each candidate about the status of their campaigns. Each candidate had the opportunity to highlight the strong points of their campaigns.

At one point, former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel bragged about "crushing" Timken in the preliminary polls while Gibbons highlighted the support she has received due to serving as Ohio's Republican Party chair.

Mandel responded: "Mr. President I only know two ways to do things: either not at all, or balls to the wall. I hired a bunch of killers on my team. I'm a killer, and we're going to win the primary and then the general."

Gibbons pointed out his history of contributing to the fundraising efforts for Trump's presidential campaign while Moreno noted that his daughter previously worked with the former president's re-election campaign. The latest report underscores the extent of Trump's efforts to take down the Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of his impeachment.

Ted Cruz Defends ’Thoughts And Prayers’ Response To Massacre

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Following a second mass shooting in less than a week, the time in Boulder, Colorado, Sen. Ted Cruz pushed back against Democratic lawmakers with contradictory remarks during a Tuesday Senate hearing on gun violence.

According to the Texas senator, Democratic lawmakers are only focused on sociological "theater."

"All of us lift up in prayer the families in Boulder, Colorado, the families in Atlanta that lost their lives, including the police officer in Boulder, Colorado," Cruz said. "I can tell you in Texas we've seen far too many of these."

Cruz also recalled a number of other similar shootings that have taken place in Texas. "Every time there's a shooting we play this ridiculous theatre where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders!" Cruz exclaimed.

"We will learn in the coming days and weeks the exact motivation of the murderers in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado," Cruz said. "But we already know this pattern is predictable, over and over and over again, there are steps we can take to stop these crimes. And you know what the steps aren't? The steps aren't disarming law-abiding citizens. Every year firearms are used in the defensive capacity to defend women, children, families roughly a million times a year in the United States."

But despite admitting that gun violence is a serious issue in the United States, Cruz railed against the Democratic lawmakers advocating for firearm regulations. He also claimed Democrats have a "contempt" for prayer.

"The Democrats who want to take away the guns from those victims would create more victims of crimes not less. I agree it's a time for action, and by the way, I don't apologize for thoughts or prayers. I will lift up in prayer people who are hurting and I believe in the power of prayer, and the contempt of Democrats for prayers is an odd sociological thing. But I also agree thoughts and prayers are not enough — we need action."

According to The New York Times, the Violence Project, a database of armed attacks, has unearthed statistics about mass shootings over the last five years. During that time span, a total of 29 mass shootings have taken place in which four or more victims were killed.

Proud Boys Indicted In Capitol Riot Have Police Ties

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Long before the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, Charles Donohoe, leader of the Proud Boys' North Carolina chapter, was sharing posts via Telegram about his yearning for violence.

"We need to stop fighting Antifa in the streets where the cops are and start fighting them in bars and alleys," Donohoe wrote back in 2019. "We need to stomp them. We need to ruin their lives physically like they have ruined ours financially with doxxing. We need to rack up their hospital bills. We need to use special operations tactics and lightning strike them."

According to The Daily Beast, his previous profile photo on the encrypted social network featured him shaking hands with a member of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, later identified as Collin Cole, a Black police officer who served in the Marines with Donohoe.

In a Facebook post around that time, Donohoe spoke of counter-protests scheduled to take place in Downtown D.C. He tagged Cole, who responded to the post by saying, "I'll be working downtown today for the protests."

Donohoe replied to the officer saying, "You'll see me me [sic] I'm with the proud boys. Don't publicly announce this please Antifa is trying to ruin our weekend." To which, Cole responded: "Of course not! I'll keep an eye out."

In the wake of Donohoe's recent arrest for his alleged participation in the Capitol riots, the New York Times did a bit of research to learn more about the Proud Boys leader. The publication reported that he and quite a few others have ties to law enforcement. When the Daily Beast reached out to Cole for comment, he claimed that he was not aware of Donohoe's arrest only saying, "Wow. Wow. Wow. I do not want to be associated with that."

He also claimed he had no knowledge of the far-right groups Donohoe spoke of when he'd tagged him to his previous posts. "I guess he was just warning me like, 'Be careful, Antifa's attacking,' but it wasn't anything past that," Cole said.

Further research also revealed Donohoe is not the only member of the Proud Boys with ties to law enforcement. The publication reports that Zach Rehl, identified as a Marine veteran who serves as the president of the Proud Boys' Philadelphia chapter, also has deep ties to law enforcement.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rehl—described as one of the far-right organization's "most visible representatives on the East Coast"— has family ties to the police department. Last summer, Rehl was also seen "mingling with officers at the Philadelphia police union hall."

Previous reports also suggest Rehl has strong ties to the police department. Following a rally back in September, the Daily Beast noted that the "Philadelphia Proud Boys were accompanied back to their cars by a police caravan. A Philadelphia Police officer was filmed talking to and shaking hands with the group in what the city's district attorney described to The Daily Beast as an "extra-friendly" interaction."

The group's connections with law enforcement raise a number of questions about their ties. Currently, Philadelphia Police detective Jennifer Gugger is also at the center of an internal department investigation for her alleged attendance of former President Donald Trump's rally that preceded the deadly Capitol riots.

The latest reports come as Donohoe, Rehl, and a number of other Proud Boys members face charges for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. On Wednesday, March 17, Donohoe was arrested and charged with conspiracy for his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol riots.

‘From Body Armor To Panic Buttons’: Legislators Stock Up On Protective Gear

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Shortly after the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, a state lawmaker asked the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance a compelling question: "Could campaign funds be used to purchase bulletproof vests, gas masks, and pepper spray?"

According to Politico, the unusual question underscores the main concerns many lawmakers have in wake of the heightened security threat the United States is currently facing. Now, many are reportedly making an effort to purchase more protective equipment.

The publication reports:

Alarmed by a growing number of threats, harassment, and scenes of violence at government buildings, lawmakers in both parties are seeking clarity from election agencies on whether they can spend campaign dollars and taxpayer money on security and personal protective equipment — everything from body armor to panic buttons at home.

Although the U.S. Capitol insurrection is now in America's past, there are still warnings of security threats for Washington, D.C., and state capitols, nationwide, as the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation work to combat. Lawmakers have also expressed concern about their well-being in light of the intense political climate.

In Michigan, where Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer found herself at the center of a kidnapping plot, lawmakers have inquired about the possibility of using campaign dollars for a number of protective items including a "home security system and ballistic vests to protect against an active shooter."

Michigan state Rep. Kevin Hertel (D) recently weighed in on the threats against lawmakers in his state. "Threats have an impact," said Hertel. "You can hear the fear in people's voices when they talk about these issues."

He added, "Protective gear became one of those necessary office expenditures," Hertel explained. "It became a cost of doing the job."

His inquiry is still pending as lawmakers in other states discuss similar grievances.

In January, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee sought advice from Federal Election Commission (FEC) on whether campaign funds could be used to employ bodyguards. More than 30 Congressional members asked, "if they could pay local law enforcement and buy security upgrades for their homes and offices out of their office allowances."

While provisions are being made for members of Congress to receive additional funding for more security, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has expressed concern about another aspect that should be considered: how the security threats also impact lawmakers' families.

"Between January 6 and the massive increase in threats, you worry a lot about your family and your staff," said Gottheimer, who led the Congressional requests. "It's not just to protect you, it's to protect people near you."

As of March 20, many of the inquiries still remain unresolved as the Justice Department, FBI, FEC, and lawmakers work to reach some form of common ground on national security threats.

Ex-Wife Of Trump Organization Executive Is Talking To Prosecutors

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The ex-wife of an executive who works for the Trump Organization has reportedly spoken with Manhattan District Attorney's Office investigators on multiple occasions as part of the investigation into former President Donald Trump's personal and business finances, according to NBC News.

During an interview, Jennifer Weisselberg revealed that investigators appear to be gathering information about Allan Weisselberg, her ex-husband Barry Weisselberg's father and the current chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.

Allan Weisselberg and his sons have reportedly been targeted by investigators for a number of reasons. Not only does the elder Weisselberg have a decades-long relationship with the former president, but he also has "the most complete understanding of the Trump Organization's inner financial workings."

In the interview, Jennifer Weisselberg explained her ex-father-in-law's relationship with Trump. "He discusses everything with him," she said, adding, "And Donald trusts him to continue the legacy the way his father set things up."

She revealed how noted deeply committed the Weisselberg family is to the Trump Organization. "It absolutely defines who they are," she said. "Allen would not take an hour or day off if Donald was in the office because I think he felt like he had to be there all the time."

Jennifer Weisselberg also admitted that she provided documents for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's investigators. However, she did not offer details about their contents. "I have no reason to be here except that I am not a woman who is willing to live a life of secrecy, out of fear, any longer," she said.

"I think it's important that I don't compromise the investigation," said Weisselberg.

At one point during the interview, Jennifer Weisselberg shared details about the dark side of her 14-year marriage to Barry Weisselberg. She also explained how they all play hardball to get what they want or achieve any goals they have.

"They control people by compensating you with homes and things," Weisselberg said. "It's not easy to walk away when they provide your home. They will out resource me in the courts forever, and I have tried to be graceful, and I have tried to handle this privately. And they are not agreeing to do so at all. What choice do I have?"

Jennifer Weisselberg's remarks come as the Manhattan District Attorney's Office continues its investigation into Trump and his organization.

‘Everybody Shouldn’t Be Voting’ Blurts Arizona Republican Legislator

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Since its devastating loss in 2020, the Republican Party has been committed to overhauling voting rights in the United States to ensure restrictive practices limit voting capabilities. Now, Arizona Republicans' latest actions show they are leading the way.

According to CNN, Republican lawmakers in Arizona's state legislature have unveiled more than two dozen proposed voting laws to make it more difficult for residents to vote. The various proposed laws are geared toward targeting certain aspects of the state's voting systems, namely its vote-by-mail system that contributed to Arizona residents' turning the state blue during the last presidential election.

The publication reports that: "A handful of the bills -- including two that would impose new restrictions on Arizona's popular vote-by-mail system and one that would limit its narrow voting window -- have gained momentum and could pass."

The flurry of proposed pieces of legislation has led to opposition from Democratic lawmakers. Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman (D-Tempe) offered her observation of the bills, what they signify, and who they are targeting, specifically.

"They are trying to make it harder for everyone to vote based on the hope and desire that the people who it harms more and who it disenfranchises more are the people less likely to vote Republican," said Salman.

On social media, Rep. John Kavanaugh (R-Scottsdale), who alsoArizona's Government and Elections Committee is also facing backlash for his remarks about voting as he insisted that "everybody" should not be voting.

"There's a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans," Kavanagh said. "Democrats value as many people as possible voting and they're willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don't mind putting security measures in that won't let everybody vote -- but everybody shouldn't be voting."

Kavanaugh added, "Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they're totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well."

One Twitter user referred to Kavanaugh's remarks as "saying the quiet part loud."

Some Twitter users even noted that Kavanaugh's remarks about the "quality of votes" are dangerously close to the context of the long-controversial three-fifths compromise which was "an agreement between delegates from the Northern and the Southern states at the United States Constitutional Convention (1787) that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives."

Although the law was axed back in 1865, Kavanaugh's remarks tread dangerously close to the line.

The avalanche of proposed voting rights bills in Arizona comes as Republicans across the nation have introduced more than 250 new pieces of legislation in 43 states. Georgia and Arizona are among the top two states to roll out highly restrictive voting rights bills.