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Why Have America’s Most Powerful Corporations Dumped Trump?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, dozens of major corporations, including financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies, have opted to sever ties with President Donald Trump and his businesses. Some corporations have even gone a step further by halting political donations to the Republican Party. In more drastic cases, political donations have been halted for both political parties.

However, an editorial published by Mother Jones highlights how these same companies had no issue backing Trump and the Republican Party when the president began pushing the envelope to distance from democratic norms in order to bring his own agenda to fruition. At the time, these same companies benefited from Trump and Republican lawmakers' passing of laws that ultimately saved corporations millions of dollars.

Dennis Kelleher, president of the Wall Street non-profit for financial reform, Better Markets, noted the "hypocrisy" in corporations' stance as he detailed his concern about their swift efforts to distance from the embattled president.

"Trump has not only broken norms of democracy but broken the law for years, while they comfortably stuffed their pockets with cash from tax cuts and deregulation," Kelleher said. "Now that Trump is merely days from leaving office, they have claimed to have suddenly found their values. It is, in many ways, hypocrisy."

The publication went on to highlight the "biggest prize" corporations received in 2017 from the Republican-led House and Senate that ultimately paved the way for major corporate tax breaks.

The biggest prize won by the corporations from Republican policy-making in the Trump era came with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill—his first major legislative achievement—enacted historic changes that have disproportionately benefited corporations and the wealthy.

According to William Gale, the co-director of the Tax Policy Center, that particular bill, which slashed corporate taxes by a staggering 14 percent, served as a "windfall gain" for corporate entities. Some of the companies that benefited greatly from the pandemic have also been criticized, specifically including Amazon and Verizon.

Amazon, for instance, called Republicans' actions last week an "unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process." Yet for two of the last three years, Amazon, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress and the White House for the Trump tax cuts, has enjoyed a negative effective federal tax.

Although Kelleher noted that the abrupt decision is likely one that was not planned, he still sees it as more of a "PR campaign" as opposed to a commitment that companies will stick with for the long-term.

They know going into 2021 how much they have estimated they're going to give, to who, and when. So let them disclose that information, and tell the public exactly which contributions they're no longer going to make," Kelleher says. "Until and unless they do that everybody should be deeply skeptical of the genuineness of what is so far a PR campaign."

Trump Approval Rating Crashes As Biden Soars

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump has often touted poll results that highlight his approval ratings among conservative voters but now, in the final days of his presidency, there is very little to brag about based on the latest poll results.

According to Pew Research, President-elect Joe Biden is entering his presidency on a favorable note with an approval rating of 64 percent, while Trump concludes his term down in the dumps. The pollster reports that Trump has his "lowest job approval rating" of just 29 percent. The lame-duck president's ratings have consistently declined since the election:

Donald Trump is leaving the White House with the lowest job approval of his presidency (29 percent) and increasingly negative ratings for his post-election conduct. The share of voters who rate Trump's conduct since the election as only fair or poor has risen from 68 percent in November to 76 percent, with virtually all of the increase coming in his "poor" ratings (62 percent now, 54 percent then).

FiveThirtyEight also offered a collective report that lays out the overall drop in Trump's approval rating by aggregating a series of polls. With poll results from various surveys and reports, Trump is facing a sharp downward trajectory in popularity across the board. While the data showed the president with a high watermark of 44.8 percent around Election Day, that has fallen more than six points to 38.1 percent on Friday.


Pew's data has Trump's approval rating at its lowest point of all the recent polls. But several recent surveys show his popularity dropping precipitously. Ipsos and Morning Consult both published polls finding him at 34 percent; ABC News found his approval at the higher, though still dreary, 38 percent. Nevertheless, some typically Trump-friendly polls still find middling results for the president, such as Rasmussen Reports's survey indicating his approval is at 48 percent. Overall though, the trend is clearly abruptly negative, as the chart from FiveThirtyEight shows.

Although the U.S. Capitol riots suggest the president still has strong approval among his most fervent fans, many of his supporters have become more critical of his post-election antics.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted during the week of Jan. 8-12 just days after the riots that erupted on Capitol Hill. A total of 5,360 U.S. adults, including more than 4,000 who also voted in the 2020 general election, participated in the survey.

The results indicate that among the general public, "about two-thirds (68 percent) say Trump should not continue to be a major national political figure for many years to come; just 29 percent say he should remain a major figure in U.S. politics."

The Pew Research Center's survey results come just days after Trump was impeached by House Democrats for the second time during his one-term presidency. Trump was accused by the House of Representatives of inciting an insurrection. Even 10 Republican members voted to impeach. His Senate trial isn't expected to be held until he is out of office.

While the survey indicates that "about half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (52 percent)" believe the president does bear some responsibility for the civil unrest at the Capitol, 79 percent do not believe his remarks merit impeachment.

Democratic voters hold a completely different stance. A total of 95 percent of those voters believe Trump does bear some of the responsibility for the riots. And 83 percent are in favor of the president being removed from office.

Eric Trump Blames ‘Cancel Culture’ For Capitol Riot Blowback

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Eric Trump is not happy with the growing number of businesses that have opted to sever ties with the Trump Organization following the storming of the Capitol incited last Wednesday by his father's dangerous rhetoric. But f course he isn't blaming Daddy for the consequences their family businesses are suffering.

Instead, he claimed the distinct distancing from his father is merely a result of "liberal 'cancel culture,'" according to the Associated Press. During an interview with the publication on Tuesday, Jan. 13, Eric Trump shifted the blame instead of acknowledging his father's actions.

"We live in the age of cancel culture, but this isn't something that started this week. It is something that they have been doing to us and others for years," Eric Trump told APNews. "If you disagree with them, if they don't like you, they try and cancel you."

He went on to defend his father's actions despite the U.S Capitol riots claiming the lives of 5 people while endangering hundreds of law enforcement officials and lawmakers. "You have a man who would get followed to the ends of the Earth by a hundred million Americans," Eric Trump said. "He created the greatest political movement in American history and his opportunities are endless."

Following the chaos that erupted on Capitol Hill, Trump was dropped from nearly every major social media network due to his dangerous rhetoric. Shortly after, other companies began to follow suit.

Capital One Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deusche Bank, and New York Signature Bank, two financial institutions with long-term business relationships with the president, also joined the growing list of companies severing ties with the president. New York City officials have also announced plans to cancel city contracts with the Trump Organization.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) released a statement addressing the civil unrest at the U.S. Capitol and the city's intent to no longer do business with the president's businesses.

"The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power," de Blasio said in a statement. "The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form, and we are immediately taking steps to terminate all Trump Organization contracts."

Two Big Banks Sever Ties With Trump Organization Over Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump may not see the error of his ways but some of the United States' largest banks are making it known they strongly disagree with his actions.

According to The New York Times, Deutsche Bank is distancing itself from the president amid the aftermath of the deadly riots that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Although Trump owes the bank approximately $300 million, the paper reports that the German financial institution wants no future business dealings with the president or his companies.

In addition to Deutsche Bank, New York's Signature Bank also released a statement confirming the closure of Trump's personal bank accounts while calling for the lame-duck president to resign from his post. The bank has also vowed not to conduct any further business with any Congressional members who actively worked to overturn the outcome of the presidential election and block the electoral college certification.

"We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again," Signature Bank said in a statement. "However, as Americans we are deeply, deeply saddened by the rioting and insurrection which took place in the most sacred of American institutions, our United States Capitol."

It added, "To witness a rioter sitting in the presiding chair of the U.S. Senate and our elected representatives being told to seek cover under their seats is appalling and an insult to the Republic. We witnessed the President of the United States encouraging the rioters and refraining from calling in the National Guard to protect the Congress in its performance of duty."

The bank concluded by saying: "At this point in time, to ensure the peaceful transition of power, we believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the President of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people."

The banks' decisions to sever ties with Trump could lead to an additional financial threat after he leaves the White House next week. Following his departure, Trump could be subject to a number of criminal investigations for fraud, tax evasion, and even sexual misconduct.

Report: Trump Won’t Resign, Regrets Committing To Peaceful Transition

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

One day after President Donald Trump released a video committing to a peaceful transfer of power, he was banned from Twitter—his strongest form of communication with his base. As expected, the new directive did not go over well with Trump and now, according to The New York Times, he regrets committing to a peaceful transition.

Amid calls for Trump's resignation or impeachment, the isolated lame-duck president is reportedly seething behind closed doors at the White House and has made it clear that he will not resign.

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Right-Wing Websites Revealed Plans For Washington Violence

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The disturbing violence that ensued on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Jan. 6 was a pinnacle of far-right rhetoric and several weeks of premeditated online planning clearly publicized on right-wing media websites, according to a new report published by NPR.

Jared Holt, a visiting research fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) in Washington, D.C., offered details about his own findings after investigating right-wing extremist activity online. Since President Donald Trump lost the presidential election, Holt has noted an uptick on various sites including "Parler, Gab, TheDonald, and MeWe."

According to Holt, those sites have been inundated with "conspiracy theories, disinformation and outright lies about the results of the election." He also noted that many of the lies circulated on those sites "often came from the top arbiters of power in the Republican Party, notably President Donald Trump himself."

Holt also noted that the vast majority of the posts published by TheDonald ahead of the Electoral College certification highlighted "calls for violence."

More than 80% of the top posts on TheDonald on Wednesday about the Electoral College certification featured calls for violence in the top five responses, according to research from Advance Democracy, Inc., an independent, non-partisan organization.

On social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok there were other posts inciting violence on Jan. 6 several days before the event took place. The publication reports "ADI found more than 1,480 posts from QAnon-related accounts about Jan. 6 that contained terms of violence since Jan. 1."

A substantial number of TikTok videos inciting violence had also gone viral with "hundreds of thousands of views." While it is no secret that President Donald Trump's post-election rhetoric over the last two months contributed to his base's hostile response, his promotion of the "Save America" rally and his remarks during the event subsequently served as gasoline being poured on a blazing dumpster fire.

"Then it really, really went nuts," Holt says. After Trump promoted a Jan. 6 protest in D.C., "a lot of his extremist supporters interpreted this as a call to action for them."

While Holt claims he was "closely monitoring" the dialogue and discussions taking place on right-wing platforms, he admits he was taken aback by the rapid escalation in violence that erupted on Capitol Hill.

"I was surprised," Holt admitted. "One of the challenges of doing the line of work that I do is these are extremist communities and the rhetoric is extreme just all the time. It got really, really intense running up to the protest, but oftentimes the ratio of extreme rhetoric to extreme action — there is a little bit of difference there."

Will Trump Flee To Scotland? First Minister Warns He Isn't Welcome

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The White House is not denying the possibility of President Donald Trump fleeing to Scotland after his one-term presidency.

With just a matter of days until Inauguration Day, Trump is on the verge of a legal onslaught — including potential prosecution for tax evasion, fraud, and sexual misconduct.

Scotland's Sunday Post released a report with details from an unnamed source at the country's Prestwick airport, reports Fox News. According to that person, "U.S. military surveillance planes have been in place there for a week." The publication also noted that "there has also been a booking of an 'American military version of the Boeing 757 on January 19' which suggests Trump might resort to fleeing the United States.

The White House's response to the report has also raised questions as the president's staff did not flatly deny the speculation.

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Judd Deere, Trump's deputy White House press secretary, released a statement to Fox News. "Anonymous sources who claim to know what the President is or is not considering have no idea. When President Trump has an announcement about his plans for Jan. 20, he will let you know."

Trump has not yet confirmed whether he plans to attend the presidential inauguration. Over the last several weeks, Trump's main focus has been on circulating false claims of widespread voter fraud.

However, a previous report published by The Associated Press also noted: "While many had assumed he would skip the event after his loss, some now do expect him to make an appearance for the sake of tradition, even if he tries to overshadow the event by, perhaps, announcing the launch of his 2024 campaign just before."

But despite speculation, Trump's chances of fleeing to Scotland are about as slim as his chances of making his Florida golf club, Mar-a-Lago, his permanent residence. According to The Independent, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Trump will not be allowed to visit Scotland during Biden's upcoming inauguration. Since the president usually visits Scotland to play golf at his resort there, an upcoming visit would be deemed non-essential. Therefore, he would have no legitimate reason to travel there.

"We are not allowing people to come in to Scotland without an essential purpose right now and that would apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else," Sturgeon confirmed. "Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."

Rep. Boebert’s Faked ‘Glock’ Video Sparks Twitter Firestorm

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) found herself at the center of controversy following the release of her latest campaign-style video ad. In the video, Boebert claimed she is going to "carry my Glock to Congress" to highlight her defense of Second Amendment rights.

In the clip, Boebert said, "Even though I now work in one of the most liberal cities in America, I refused to give up my rights, especially my Second Amendment rights. I will carry my firearm in D.C. and in Congress."

"I walk to my office each morning by myself," Boebert says. "So as a five-foot-tall, 100-pound woman I choose to protect myself legally, because I am my best security."

Twitter users quickly fired back with critical reactions to Boebert's video. One Twitter user slammed Boebert's clip tweeting, "'I'd like to thank [Lauren Boebert] for this excellent free footage that she's just provided us to slice & dice & use to show America why, since the GOP has been overtaken by radical nuts like her, it can't be trusted w governing power."


Another user also tweeted arguments suggesting Boebert is not exactly the epitome of a law-abiding citizen. That user said, "Lauren Boebert has been arrested four times and is under investigation for "unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile" who worked at her Colorado restaurant. She was with her husband when he was arrested for exposing his penis to a minor. Not exactly a law-abiding gun owner."






According to The Washington Post, Boebert's "own staff later admitted that the video had deceptively portrayed Boebert as carrying her handgun with her as she walked through the streets of Washington, D.C. In fact, she had not, since that would've violated D.C.'s strict laws limiting the carrying of concealed weapons."

Ted Cruz And At Least Ten More GOP Senators Challenging Electoral College Vote

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As January 6 approaches, more Republican lawmakers are joining the Trump bandwagon to challenge the Electoral College vote despite having no substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud to suggest the presidential election was rigged.

On Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) along with Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Mike Braun (R-IN), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released a statement just days ahead of the Electoral College certification process.

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Saner Republicans Backing Away From Lin Wood After Deranged Tweets

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Trump campaign lawyer Lin Wood may have gone off the deep end with his latest threatening tweet aimed at Vice President Mike Pence.

On Friday, Jan. 1, Wood took to Twitter with a barrage of tweets as he slammed Democrats and Republicans of being "main participants in the theft of the election,"according to The Daily Beast. Wood also claimed that Pence, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should be arrested for alleged treason. He suggested that Pence should face "execution by firing squad."

"When arrests for treason begin, put Chief Justice John Roberts, VP Mike Pence @VP @Mike_Pence, & Mitch McConnell @senatemajldr at top of list," Wood tweeted.

Then, he replied to another Twitter user saying "If Pence is arrested, @SecPompeo will save the election. Pence will be in jail awaiting trial for treason. He will face execution by firing squad. He is a coward & will sing like a bird & confess ALL."



It did not take long for Wood's tweets to catch the attention of Twitter users. Trump's campaign has sought to distance from Wood's dangerous remarks. Jenna Ellis, one of Trump's campaign lawyers, also spoke out against Wood tweeting, "To be clear: I do not support the statements from Attorney Lin Wood. I support the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution."



In fact, Wood's disturbing tweets even caught the attention of his former client, Nick Sandmann, the conservative teen who Wood represented in his defamation case against multiple news outlets. He also admitted how disturbing and bizarre Wood's tweets were.

"I'm sorry but what the hell," Sandmann tweeted.


One Twitter user quickly came to Wood's defense noting the outcome of Wood's case which led to substantial settlements. However, Sandmann doubled down on his stance as he again insisted that Wood's tweets went too far.

He tweeted, "No, the truth is. And truthfully, this is a dumb tweet."

Despite the backlash he has faced, Wood has dismissed speculation about his sanity.With a quote from Vernon Linwood Howard, Wood tweeted a response saying, "The tweets about my insanity are at an all-time high this morning. Wonder why? No worries. I am fine. The attacks do not concern me. "A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep."



Over the last several weeks, Wood has been at the center of Trump's post-election legal battle one that has produced no changes in the outcome of the presidential election.

Wall Street Journal Editorial Rebukes Trump For ‘Embarrassing’ Ploy To Overturn Election

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

It may seem as if President Donald Trump has done everything he possibly could to overturn the results of the presidential election but his most "embarrassing" ploy is likely yet to come, according to the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

According to an editorial published Wednesday night, Trump's worst attempt to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden's win will likely come on January 6 during the Congressional hearing to formally record the Electoral College votes affirmed on Dec. 14.

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Postal Service Faces ‘Unprecedented’ Holiday Weekend Delays

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is currently inundated with "unprecedented volumes of mail" as Americans report package delays amid the Christmas holiday weekend.

According to the USPS website banner, the mail carrier is "experiencing unprecedented volume increases and limited employee availability due to the impacts of COVID-19." The Hill reports that the staggering increase in package volume and the limited number of employees due to the pandemic has created a number of problems for the mail carrier.

On Dec. 14, USPS released a statement urging Americans to keep shipping deadlines in mind when placing time-sensitive as they braced for Dec. 14-21, which was described as the "busiest mailing and shipping week" of the year.

"This has been an extraordinary year of unprecedented challenges given the COVID-19 pandemic — and the Postal Service is expecting significant increases in the volume of mail and packages," the statement read. "Sunday delivery has been expanded in select high package volume locations, and the agency already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations."

However, prior to the release of that statement, many people had already reported substantial delays. While speaking to the Associated Press, Austin Race, of Grand Rapids, Mich., placed an order for his father's Christmas gift on Nov. 30. Despite having a 2-day shipping priority and placing the order long before the USPS deadline, his package was still delayed. In fact, as of Thursday, Dec. 24, the package still had not been delivered.

"I do understand the situation, but it's still kind of frustrating," Race said.

Others have faced package delivery challenges due to inaccurate notifications. A woman in Ann Arbor, Mich., told the publication that "Christmas ornaments she ordered Nov. 17 got stuck in Detroit, despite a Dec. 11 message from the postal service stating that it had already arrived at its destination in Columbus, Ohio."

"I was frustrated last week thinking, 'C'mon, get here,' but now I am just sort of laughing it off," she said.

The latest news about USPS comes just months after Trump-appointed postmaster general Louis DeJoy found himself at the center of controversy for incorporating unprecedented rollbacks that delayed the delivery of mail as the presidential election approached.

At the time, DeJoy was widely accused of making the changes to directly kneecap mail-in voting—an age-old voting method President Donald Trump had waged war against for several months. Although the House approved $25 billion in emergency funding back in August to reverse DeJoy's operational changes, it appears the damage had already been done.

Wisconsin’s Chief Justice Slams Threats, Violence By Trump Supporters

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack on Christmas Day opted to publicly speak out about her growing concerns regarding the reckless remarks being levied against members of the court over their disapproval of President Donald Trump's push to invalidate the results of the presidential election.

In the rare holiday statement released on Friday, Dec. 25, Roggensack spoke about the threats made against members of the court based on their decisions and religious beliefs as she publicly denounced "threats of actual or proposed violence," according to Law & Crime.

"I am concerned about recent comments aimed at members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Roggensack said. "I acknowledge that all members of the public have the constitutional right to speak in criticism of public servants, which certainly includes all justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. However, no justice should be threatened or intimidated based on his or her religious beliefs. Wisconsin has a long history of protecting the right to freely worship, as well as the right to freely speak."

She added, "Also, threats of actual or proposed violence have no place in public discourse in a democratic society"

Roggensack also urged the American public to recenter its focus on what lies ahead as she noted the importance of being able to agree to disagree without discourse.

"As we are about to begin a new year, let us all refocus on coming together where possible and treating those with whom we disagree with the respect that each of us would like to receive," she concluded.

Roggensack's remarks follow the Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling against the Trump campaign's post-election lawsuit. During an interview with The New York Times, Justice Brian Hagedorn, who authored the ruling, also spoke publicly about the backlash he has faced as he revealed details about the death threats he has faced as a result of his stance. Not only has he been verbally lambasted, he has also been a public target of Trump's ire.

"I've been called a traitor. I've been called a liar. I've been called a fraud," Hagedorn told the Times. "I've been asked if I'm being paid off by the Chinese Communist Party. I've been told I might be tried for treason by a military tribunal. Sure, I've gotten lots of interesting and sometimes dark messages."

What Will Secret Service Do If Trump Refuses To Leave On January 20?

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Could an autogolpe happen in the United States next month? With President Donald Trump's level of unpredictability, top government officials are on edge as they brace for what he could possibly do next. However, insiders have reported that the Secret Service has no plan of counteraction in place if President Donald Trump refuses to leave the White House in January, according to The Daily Beast.

The publication recently pressed a number of top officials, consisting of "Secret Service presidential details, agency heads, and military planners," for a rundown on the seemingly impossible scenarios that could very well come to fruition given Trump's record of pursuing the "unbelievable."

Many refused to speak publicly for fear they would "encourage President Donald Trump to cross a line that authorities haven't conceived of."

However, top-ranking government officials laid out two problematic scenarios that may arise in January: "One is: Will there be a question about who the president really is? The other: What happens if, in a fit of pique, the former president simply will not vacate the seat of American government."

"What if he sits down at the Resolute Desk and dares someone to physically remove him? What if he occupies a couch in the residence? The harm here is real, beyond how ridiculous the performance would look to the rest of the world: A functional president requires a functioning office."

One former Secret Service official, who opted to remain anonymous, shared where he would begin to approach the issue. "I'd have a conversation with the chief of staff, and then the family, Ivanka, and the other kids, and say, it's going to be your job to make sure he's gone."

Another alternative could be to use his staff against him, according to one former official. "When the staff leaves on January 19, don't let them back into the complex the next day, another former official said. "He can't do anything without his staff."

"I really think it would be up the Republican Party if he were to try something like that," a second former official said. "The Service and the military would just not want to get involved. It's not our role."

A former Secret Service agent disagreed, noting Trump's refusal to leave the White House would make him, by law, "a trespasser."

"We'd have to escort him out," they said.

Feds Request Permission To Subpoena Giuliani’s Electronic Records

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

According to NBC News, prosecutors with the Southern District of New York (SDNY) have been involved in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., regarding Rudy Giuliani's electronic communications. Officials are looking to obtain access to Giuliani's emails, according to two insiders. To be granted access, the SDNY must receive approval from the Justice Department to move forward with requesting a search warrant signed by a federal judge. However, it is still unclear whether or not the Justice Department has granted the request.

The full spectrum of the current investigation is also an aspect that remains unclear. However, the Wall Street Journal reported details about the October 2019 investigative probe into Giuliani's Ukraine business transactions as it revealed SDNY prosecutors were reviewing the embattled attorney's bank records. Around that time, two of Giuliani's previous associates —Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman— were arrested on a string of fraud-related charges.

Another aspect of the investigation that suggests it is still "very active" is prosecutors' pursuit of witnesses and the search for more documentation to build the case. Chuck Rosenberg, a current NBC News analyst and former attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, explained why the Justice Department might be hesitant to grant this type of request from SDNY.

"It's sensible to perhaps treat a search warrant as an overt investigative step," said Rosenberg. "Search warrants for a subject's personal belongings are not terribly discreet and the recipient of the warrant can talk about it. That could be a legitimate concern before an election but the equation changes after an election, when you no longer need to abstain from overt investigative steps."

Spokespersons for both law enforcement agencies have declined to comment on the latest reports. Giuliani's own lawyer Robert Costello also released a brief statement to NBC News.

"I have no reason to believe there's any truth to the allegations that there is renewed interest in my client."

Trump Pretends China, Not Russia, Is Behind Massive Hacking Exploit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump responded to Russia's cyberattack on various departments within the United States government and private companies around the country by downplaying the entire incident.

On Saturday, Dec. 19, Trump shared a series of tweets slamming the reports circulating about the attack. Instead of holding Russia accountable for the attack, Trump fired off at the media as he insisted the reports were fabricated.

"The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control," Trump said in a tweet.

He added, "Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!). There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA."


Trump's remarks came less than one full day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even admitted that Russia was behind the attacks. During an appearance on The Mark Levin Show, Pompeo admitted that there is a clear indication that Russia is to blame.

"This was a very significant effort, and I think it's the case that now we can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity," Pompeo said. "I can't say much more as we're still unpacking precisely what it is, and I'm sure some of it will remain classified."

According to CNN, nearly half a dozen federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security's cyber arm and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and State, were included in the cyberattack. However, investigators have yet to determine whether or not any sensitive data was accessed during the hack.


Pompeo said, "Suffice it to say, there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of US government systems and it now appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well."

Gov. Kemp Infuriated By GOP Conspiracist Attacks On His Family

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has been a target of President Donald Trump and Republican ire due to his refusal to grant requests to overturn the election results in his state. But, now conspiracy theorists have gone a step further by targeting the Republican governor's children --- and he is not having it.

When Kemp spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he weighed in on the ongoing attacks insisting it has "gotten ridiculous" He also had a clear message for those criticizing his decisions and targeting members of his family over decisions he has made regarding the election results.

"If anybody has an issue with something I've done, they need to come see me and I'll talk to them about it," Kemp said. "They don't need to bother my wife or my children or anybody.

He added, "I can assure you I can handle myself. And if they're brave enough to come out from underneath that keyboard or behind it, we can have a little conversation if they would like to."

Kemp's latest remarks come after the Trump campaign's repeated attempts to overturn the results of the election in Georgia. Although they have worked around the clock to invalidate the election results, Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications manager, has condemned all threats made toward all state and local officials involved in Georgia's election processes.

"The campaign is focused on ensuring that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are not. No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully," Murtaugh said.

On multiple occasions, Trump has also attacked Kemp, Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and other state election officials for not intervening despite having no necessary evidence of voter fraud to do on his behalf. In fact, Kemp has repeatedly stated that he does not have the power to overturn the results.