Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

spaminator

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Giuliani hit with ethics charges by Washington authorities over false election claims
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Sarah N. Lynch
Publishing date:Jun 10, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia office that polices attorneys for ethical misconduct filed charges on Friday against President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, over baseless claims he made in federal court alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen.


The D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel alleges that Giuliani, who is a member of the D.C. bar, made baseless claims in federal court filings about the results of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania.

A lawyer for Giuliani did not have an immediate comment.

The charges come a day after the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had its first prime-time hearing in which it outlined evidence that Trump and his allies sought to overturn the 2020 election and incite throngs of his supporters to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.

Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and New York City mayor, has been among Trump’s most fervent supporters, and repeatedly claimed without evidence that the election had been stolen.


The new ethics charges center on a series of legal challenges Giuliani made in Pennsylvania federal court in 2020. The charges were filed with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility.

The complaint says Giuliani sought an emergency order to prohibit the certification of the presidential election, an order to invalidate ballots cast by certain voters in seven counties, and other orders that would have permitted the state’s assembly to choose its electors and declare Trump the winner in Pennsylvania.

The charges say his conduct violated two professional conduct rules in Pennsylvania that bar attorneys from bringing frivolous proceedings without a basis in law or fact and prohibit conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.


Charges can lead to the suspension of a license to practice law or disbarment.

The charges mark the second time that a bar office has taken action against Giuliani.

His New York law license was suspended in June 2021 after a state appeals court found that he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements that widespread voter fraud undermined the election.

Giuliani’s DC law license was temporarily suspended after the New York decision.

Apart from having two of his law licenses suspended, Giuliani’s reputation has been stained by his dealings with Ukraine and he is being probed by Manhattan federal prosecutors over those business ties.

He began representing Trump, a fellow Republican and New Yorker, in April 2018 in connection with then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Giuliani has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. His lawyer has said the federal probe is politically motivated.
 

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Panel says evidence it gathered enough to indict Trump
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Hope Yen
Publishing date:Jun 12, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • 193 Comments

WASHINGTON — Members of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot said Sunday they have uncovered enough evidence for the Justice Department to consider an unprecedented criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump for seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.


“I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a committee member who also leads the House Intelligence Committee. “There are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the election that I don’t see evidence the Justice Department is investigating.”

The committee held its first public hearing last week, with members laying out their case against Trump to show how the defeated president relentlessly pushed his false claims of a rigged election despite multiple advisers telling him otherwise and how he intensified an extraordinary scheme to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.


Additional evidence is set to be unveiled this week in hearing s that will demonstrate how Trump and his advisers engaged in a “massive effort” to spread misinformation and pressured the Justice Department to embrace his false claims.

Committee members indicated Sunday their most important audience over the course of the hearings ultimately may be Attorney General Merrick Garland, who must decide whether his department can and should prosecute Trump. They left no doubt their own view as to whether the evidence is sufficient.

“Once the evidence is accumulated by the Justice Department, it needs to make a decision about whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the president’s guilt or anyone else’s,” Schiff said. “But they need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence, which I think there is.”


Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said he doesn’t intend to “browbeat” Garland but noted the committee has already laid out in legal pleadings a variety of criminal statutes they believe Trump violated.

“I think that he knows, his staff knows, the U.S. attorneys know, what’s at stake here,” Raskin said. “They know the importance of it, but I think they are rightfully paying close attention to precedent in history as well, as the facts of this case.”

Garland has not specified how he might proceed, which would be unprecedented and may be complicated in a political election season in which Trump has openly flirted with the idea of running for president again in 2024. “We will follow the facts wherever they lead,” Garland said in his speech at Harvard University’s commencement ceremony last month.

A federal judge in California said in a March ruling in a civil case that Trump “more likely than not” committed federal crimes in seeking to obstruct the congressional count of the Electoral College ballots on Jan. 6, 2021. The judge cited two statutes: obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

Schiff appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and Raskin spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
 

JLM

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Never mind the Whitehouse, but maybe he'll see a second term and it might be in the Big House, possibly a little longer than 4 years. :)
 

spaminator

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Trump advisers say they told him election fraud claims were illegitimate
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan
Publishing date:Jun 13, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Top advisers to then-President Donald Trump told him that his claims of widespread election fraud were unfounded and would not reverse his 2020 election loss, but he refused to listen, according to testimony on Monday at a hearing of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.


Close aides and family members said they told Trump that they found no merit in a wide range of often outlandish allegations that surfaced after his election defeat, including reports of a “suspicious suitcase” containing fake ballots, a truck transporting ballots to Pennsylvania and computer chips swapped into voting machines.

“I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff he has lost contact with, he’s become detached from reality,” said William Barr, who served as Trump’s attorney general and was long known as loyal to the Republican president. In video testimony, Barr bluntly dismissed claims of fraud as “bulls—” and “crazy stuff.”

“There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were,” he said.


The Democratic-led House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the assault on the U.S. Capitol by thousands of Trump supporters presented its findings at the second of an expected six this month on its nearly year-long investigation into the riot.

Monday’s hearing sought to make the case that Trump ignored the advice of many of his own staffers when he claimed that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him.

Committee members argue that Trump’s repeated fraud claims, known by Democrats as “The Big Lie,” convinced his followers to attack the Capitol.

“He and his closest advisers knew those claims were false, but they continued to peddle them anyway, right up until the moments before a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol,” said Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren.


Democrats said Trump raised some $250 million from supporters to advance fraud claims in court but instead steered much of the money elsewhere.

“The ‘Big Lie’ was also a big ripoff,” Lofgren said.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, and repeatedly insisted that he did not lose, dismissing the Select Committee investigation as a political witchhunt.

Opinion polls show that many of Trump’s supporters still believe his false claims about the election. Some are now running for offices in which they would oversee future elections. Trump has hinted at running for president again in 2024 but has not announced any decision.

CAMPAIGN ‘DID NOT MAKE ITS CASE’
Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, said he recommended on election night that Trump steer clear of any pronouncement of victory and instead say votes were still being counted.


“He thought I was wrong. He told me so, and that they were going to go, that he was going to go in a different direction,” Stepien said in videotaped testimony. Stepien was slated to testify in person, but canceled at the last minute when his wife went into labor.

Trump went on television to preemptively declare victory at the urging of Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor. Campaign advisor Jason Miller testified that Giuliani was not sober at the time.

“The mayor was definitely intoxicated but I, um, did not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” Miller said in video testimony.

Byung J. “BJay” Pak, who resigned as U.S. attorney in Atlanta as Trump’s camp questioned Georgia’s election results, said he found no evidence of fraud in that state.


Referring to the suspicious suitcase that supposedly contained fake or altered ballots, Pak said, sitting at the witness table: “The alleged black suitcase being pulled from under the table was an official lock box.”

Monday’s session followed a blockbuster hearing on Thursday night featuring testimony showing that close Trump allies – even Trump’s daughter Ivanka – rejected his false claims of voting fraud. Nearly 20 million Americans watched the hearing aired in the primetime peak television viewing hours.

Four people died the day of the attack, one fatally shot by police and the others of natural causes. Some 140 police officers were injured, and one died the next day. Four officers later died by suicide.

Nearly 850 people have been arrested for crimes related to the riot, including more than 250 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
 

spaminator

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N.Y. high court nixes Donald Trump appeal, clearing way for testimony
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Jun 14, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

NEW YORK — New York’s highest court rejected former U.S. President Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to avoid testifying in the state attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices on Tuesday, clearing the way for his deposition next month.


The state’s Court of Appeals said there was no “substantial constitutional question” that would warrant its intervention in the matter following an intermediate appellate court’s ruling last month enforcing a subpoena for Trump’s testimony.

The court also dismissed a motion by Trump’s lawyers to stay the subpoenas, saying that doing so would be “academic,” since it wasn’t taking up the former president’s appeal in the first place.

Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., agreed last week to answer questions under oath starting July 15 unless the Court of Appeals decided to step in.

A messages seeking comment on Tuesday’s ruling was sent to Trump’s lawyer. Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., declined comment. A message was also left with a spokesperson for Attorney General Letitia James.


The appellate division of the state’s trial court ruled May 26 that the Trumps had to undergo a deposition, upholding a lower court’s ruling that James’ office had “the clear right” to question Trump and certain other figures in his company, the Trump Organization.

James has said her three-year investigation has uncovered evidence that the Trump Organization exaggerated the value of assets including skyscrapers, golf courses and even his Manhattan penthouse to get loans, insurance and tax breaks for land donations.

A lawyer for her office told a judge last month that evidence could support legal action against the former president, his company or both, though the attorney said no decision had been made.

Trump has decried the investigation as part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.
 

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Trump-backed challenger Russell Fry ousts Republican incumbent Tom Rice in South Carolina midterm race
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Eric Beech and Jason Lange
Publishing date:Jun 15, 2022 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Representative Tom Rice, who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, lost his re-election bid in South Carolina on Tuesday, while a second Republican incumbent targeted by the former president prevailed.


A prime target in Trump’s midterm revenge campaign against perceived political enemies, Rice lost the Republican nomination to Russell Fry 24.6% to 51%, with 99% of the vote counted, according to Edison Research. Fry, a state legislator, is likely to win the November general election in the strongly Republican district.

In another South Carolina district, U.S. Representative Nancy Mace defeated Trump-endorsed challenger Katie Arrington 53.2% to 45% with 76% of the vote counted, Edison Research said.

Rice, a five-term incumbent, and Mace, a freshman, each ran afoul of Trump after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, while Congress worked to certify the 2020 presidential election. The riot is now the subject of a bipartisan congressional investigation that focused this week on Trump’s false claims of a stolen 2020 election.


Rice was one of 10 congressional Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment and now the first of that group to lose re-election. Some others opted not to run.

“The voters have spoken and Tom Rice is coming home,” Fry told supporters in a video posted on his campaign’s Facebook page. “Today, Donald Trump won.”

Mace drew Trump’s ire by refusing to back Republican efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. Trump, who turned 76 on Tuesday, had asked supporters to give him two birthday presents by defeating Rice and Mace.

The results will be seen as a measure of Trump’s continued influence over the Republican Party as he hints at another run for the White House in 2024. His endorsees so far have had mixed success in battleground states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.


Voters also cast ballots on Tuesday in Nevada, Maine and North Dakota to choose party nominees to compete in the November general elections for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

With Democratic President Joe Biden slumping in the polls and soaring inflation souring voters’ moods, Republicans are expected to win control of the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. That would bring Biden’s legislative agenda to a halt and give Republicans the power to launch investigations that could be politically damaging.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll completed on Tuesday showed Biden’s public approval rating at 39%, in its third straight weekly decline, approaching the lowest level of his presidency. Fifty-six percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s job performance.


REPUBLICAN FLIPS HOUSE SEAT
Republicans got a boost in South Texas, where party candidate Mayra Flores defeated Democrat Dan Sanchez in a special election to capture the seat vacated by former Democratic Representative Filemon Vela in March, according to Edison Research.

Flores will fill the vacancy for the remainder of Vela’s term, which expires in early January. Although the victory raises Republican hopes of flipping more Democratic seats in November, the district’s boundaries have been redrawn for the fall vote to make it more favorable to Democrats.

In Nevada, Trump-endorsed Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general, was the front-runner in a crowded field of Republican primary contenders seeking the party’s nomination for a crucial U.S. Senate race. Polls closed but no results were yet available.


Republicans are looking to pick up the seat held by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the 2022 midterm campaign.

Republican Jim Marchant, who falsely claims the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, is vying for a chance to become Nevada’s top election official.

Among 2020 election deniers running for elections posts across the country, Marchant has distinguished himself by claiming that elections have been rigged for decades and by arguing that electronic voting machines should be replaced by paper ballots. He blamed his own 2020 U.S. House loss to Democratic Representative Steven Horsford on election fraud.

Marchant faces six other Republican candidates in the secretary of state contest and has received endorsements from high-profile conservatives, including former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and pro-Trump businessman Mike Lindell.


Republicans also are selecting nominees to run against three vulnerable House Democrats from Nevada – Horsford, Dina Titus and Susie Lee.

Titus, who entered Congress in 2009, faces a challenge for her party nomination from progressive Democrat Amy Vilela, who is endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders.

The Republican field in Titus’ district includes former Nevada Trump campaign aide Carolina Serrano, retired Army Colonel Mark Robertson and pro-Israel activist David Brog. Brog is endorsed by Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In Maine, Paul LePage, whose turbulent eight years as the state’s governor foreshadowed Trump’s rise, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Governor Janet Mills in November.

LePage, who once described himself as “Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular,” was widely criticized as governor for his inflammatory remarks on a host of topics from immigration, the environment and LGBTQ issues to abortion and voting rights. He left office with an approval rating below 40%.
 

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Anti-vaccine doctor sentenced to prison for Capitol riot
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Kunzelman
Publishing date:Jun 16, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

A California doctor who is a leading figure in the anti-vaccine movement was sentenced on Thursday to two months in prison for storming the U.S. Capitol, where she delivered speeches to rioters during the mob’s attack.


U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C., also sentenced Dr. Simone Gold to 12 months of supervised release after her 60-day prison term and ordered her to pay a $9,500 fine. She can report to prison at a date to be determined.

Gold, a former emergency room physician, said she deeply regrets entering the Capitol during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and didn’t intend to get involved in an event that was “so destructive to our nation.”

“It’s the opposite of who I am,” she told Cooper.

Gold founded America’s Frontline Doctors. a group known for purveying COVID-19 misinformation. The Beverly Hills-based doctor, a Stanford Law School graduate, has over 480,000 followers on Twitter. She has condemned COVID-19 lockdowns and promoted the use of unproven and potentially dangerous drugs as coronavirus treatments.


The judge told Gold that her anti-vaccine activism wasn’t a factor in her sentencing. Cooper said Gold wasn’t a “casual bystander” on Jan. 6.

The judge also said Gold’s organization has misled supporters into believing her prosecution was politically motivated and trampled on her free speech rights. Cooper called it “unseemly” that America’s Frontline Doctors has invoked the Capitol riot in raising money, including for her salary.

“I think that is a real disservice to the true victims of that day,” he said.

Gold pleaded guilty in March to entering and remaining in a restricted building, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

More than 800 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot at the Capitol. Over 300 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors, and nearly 200 have been sentenced.


After the riot, Gold told The Washington Post that she followed a crowd into the Capitol, didn’t witness any violence and didn’t think she was breaking any laws.

“I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot,” she said. “Where I was, was incredibly peaceful.”

But prosecutors say she entered the Capitol immediately after a law enforcement officer was assaulted and dragged to the ground in front of her. Gold also joined a mob that was trying to break into the House chamber and later ignored police commands to leave Statuary Hall so she could finish giving a speech, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors had recommended 90 days of imprisonment, one year of supervised release and 60 hours of community service for Gold.


Gold spent two days in jail after her January 2021 arrest. Her lawyers had requested a sentence of time served and 60 hours of community service. Gold agreed to pay $500 in restitution.

Prosecutors said Gold hasn’t shown remorse or accepted responsibility for her actions. They accused her of trying to profit from her crime, saying America’s Frontline Doctors has raised more than $430,000 through its website for her legal expenses.

“It beggars belief that Gold could have incurred anywhere near $430,000 in costs for her criminal defense: after all, she pleaded guilty — in the face of indisputable, readily identifiable evidence — without filing a single motion,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

Defense attorney Dickson Young said Gold has paid her lawyers “out of her own pocket.” Young said America’s Frontline Doctors has kept the donated money for itself.


Gold told the Post that she had traveled to Washington to speak at a “Rally for Health Freedom” on the East side of the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6.

Gold was charged with John Strand, the communications director for America’s Frontline Doctors. Prosecutors also described him as Gold’s boyfriend.

Strand has pleaded not guilty to the charges again him and has a trial scheduled to start on July 18. Prosecutors say Strand rejected their offer for a plea agreement.

Strand was filming as Gold gave a speech in Statuary Hall about her opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates and government-imposed lockdowns. After police escorted her out of Statuary Hall, Gold delivered another speech in the Rotunda using a bullhorn while standing on a statue of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Gold and Strand spent nearly an hour inside the Capitol before leaving.

The Medical Board of California’s database shows Gold remains licensed to practice medicine in the state. However, Gold’s lawyers say the board sent her a letter threatening to revoke her medical license for “an instance of misinformation.”

“My reputation has been utterly shredded,” Gold said Thursday.

Gold moved from California to Naples, Florida, after her arrest. Defense attorney Kira West said Gold has received threats and travels with a bodyguard.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Yeah, it is who you are.

Just like if you spend a lifetime doing good work and volunteering for charities, then go home one day and murder your wife, you're a murderer.
 

spaminator

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Trump pressed, threatened Pence to overturn election, panel hears
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan
Publishing date:Jun 16, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. President Donald Trump pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to overturn his 2020 election defeat despite being told repeatedly it was illegal to do so, aides to Pence told the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.


Members of the Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee said Trump continued his pressure campaign even though he knew a violent mob of his supporters was threatening the Capitol as Pence and lawmakers met to formally certify President Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election.

The nine-member committee has used the first three of at least six public hearings this month to build a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat amounted to illegal conduct, far beyond normal politics.

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, while repeating his false accusations that he lost the election only because of widespread fraud that benefited Democrat Biden. Trump and his supporters – including many Republican members of Congress – dismiss the Jan. 6 panel as a political witch hunt.


The certification vote on Jan. 6 had become a focus for Trump, who saw it as a last-ditch chance to retain the presidency despite his loss at the polls.

Marc Short, who was Pence’s chief of staff, said in videotaped testimony that Pence told Trump “many times” that he did not have the authority to stop the vote certification in Congress as the Republican president sought.

Gregory Jacob, an attorney for Pence, said the main proponent of that theory, attorney John Eastman, admitted in front of the president two days before the attack that his plan to have Pence halt the procedure would violate the law.

Eastman had argued that Pence could reject results from certain states if he thought they were illegitimate, giving Republicans in those states an opportunity to declare Trump the victor despite the actual vote count.


Advisers to Pence told the committee that idea had no basis in law.

“It is breathtaking that these arguments even were conceived, let alone entertained by the president of the United States,” former U.S. Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, an informal Pence adviser, said.

Trump is widely expected to run for president again in 2024, and committee members and witnesses warned that he would not accept defeat no matter the actual outcome.

“Today almost two years after that fateful day in January 2021, that still, Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy,” Luttig said.

The committee showed an email Eastman sent to Trump’s attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, asking for a presidential pardon. Eastman never received one.


‘HANG MIKE PENCE’
The hearing featured several chilling clips of some of the thousands of Trump supporters who descended on the Capitol after a rally in which Trump repeatedly criticized Pence, chanting for Pence to be pulled out of the building or hanged.

Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m., while the attack was going on, that Pence did not have the “courage” to stop the count.

“It felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that,” Sarah Matthews, a Trump White House staffer, said in video testimony.

Representative Pete Aguilar said a witness had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the Proud Boys, one of the right-wing groups participating in the Capitol attack, said the group would have killed Pence if they been able to get to him.


Committee members said Trump’s comments against Pence incited the crowd.

The committee displayed photos of Pence sheltering in place during the riot. Jacob, who was with Pence during the attack, said he refused to leave and that he did not want to give the demonstrators the satisfaction of forcing him from the building. “The vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the U.S. Capitol,” he said.

The attack on the Capitol delayed certification of the election for hours, injured more than 140 police officers and led to several deaths.

Even after police had suppressed the attack and reclaimed the Capitol, Eastman continued to press Pence’s team to overturn the vote.

“I implore you one last time, can the Vice President, please do what we’ve been asking him to do these last two days – suspend the Joint Session, send it back to the States,” Eastman wrote to Jacob at 11:44 p.m. in an email released by the committee.
 

spaminator

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'Late Show with Stephen Colbert' crew arrested at U.S. Capitol
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Martin Weil and Caitlin Moore, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Jun 17, 2022 • 4 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

A television production team in Washington to record a segment for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was arrested Thursday night in a House of Representatives building, according to a spokeswoman for the show.


Seven people were arrested Thursday night in the Longworth House Office Building after a disturbance was reported there, the Capitol Police said Friday in a statement.

The police statement gave no names or affiliations, and a police spokeswoman declined to give details beyond what was in the statement.

According to the statement, officers saw seven people in a sixth-floor hallway at a time when the building was closed to visitors.

The people were part of a group that had been directed by Capitol Police to leave the building earlier in the day, the statement said.

They were charged with unlawful entry, according to the police statement.

A statement from CBS said: “Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was on-site at the Capitol Wednesday and Thursday with a production team to record interviews for a comedy segment” on behalf of “The Late Show.”

Actor and comedian Robert Smigel performs as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in the hallways outside the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on June 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Actor and comedian Robert Smigel performs as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in the hallways outside the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on June 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C. PHOTO BY CHIP SOMODEVILLA /Getty Images
The spokeswoman said the group’s interviews were authorized and prearranged through aides to the members of Congress interviewed.

After leaving an office on the day’s last interview, the spokeswoman said, the production team “stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained” by Capitol Police.
 

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Ex-Trump aide Navarro pleads not guilty to contempt charges
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Balsamo
Publishing date:Jun 17, 2022 • 18 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro pleaded not guilty Friday to contempt of Congress charges after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.


Navarro, 72, appeared in federal court in Washington to be arraigned on the two-count indictment.

He was charged with one contempt count for failing to appear for a deposition before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack and a second charge for failing to produce documents the committee requested.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta scheduled a trial for November. Navarro’s lawyers asked for the trial to be held next year, saying the case presented constitutional and legal questions that need to be litigated.

Navarro has argued that the select committee investigating the attack is unlawful and therefore a subpoena it issued to him in February is unenforceable under law.
 
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spaminator

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Former governor brandishes gun in campaign video, says he's 'RINO hunting'
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Publishing date:Jun 20, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Eric Greitens, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, posted a campaign video ad on Twitter on Monday that shows him brandishing a long gun and declaring that he’s hunting RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only.


In the video, Greitens identifies himself as a Navy SEAL and says he’s going RINO hunting. “The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” he whispers outside a building before a tactical unit breaks through a door and throws what appear to be flash-bang grenades inside.

Greitens, a former governor who resigned in disgrace in 2018, enters through the smoke and says, “Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”

The video comes at a time of renewed focus on gun violence and violence in politics following fatal mass shootings and threats to government officials. Two weeks ago, a man carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house after threatening to kill the justice.

Twitter said Greitens’ post violated its rules about abusive behavior but said it was leaving it up because it was in the “public’s interest” for the tweet to be viewable. The company’s move prevented the post from being shared any further.

Greitens campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment.


1655808844683.png
 

spaminator

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Stephen Colbert explains story behind staffers' arrests on Capitol Hill
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Emily Yahr
Publishing date:Jun 21, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 3 minute read • 30 Comments

CBS’s “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert didn’t wait long Monday night to discuss the bizarre topic that everyone was waiting for him to address: the fact that multiple members of his production team, including the voice behind one very famous puppet, were arrested last week in Washington at the Longworth House Office Building and charged with unlawful entry.


“How was your weekend?” Colbert greeted his studio audience. “I certainly had an interesting one, because some of my staff had a memorable one.”

The host launched into a quick recap: Last week, a group of Colbert staffers – along with Robert Smigel, who voices the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog puppet that originated on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” – travelled to D.C. to interview members of Congress to highlight the investigative hearings into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Democratic and Republican congresspeople agreed to talk to Triumph. He’s a bipartisan puppy. He’s so neutral, he’s neutered,” Colbert said. “Triumph and my folks shot for two days in congressional offices across the street from the Capitol building. They went through security clearance, shot all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, invited into the offices of the congresspeople they were interviewing.”



Thursday evening, the group was doing some “last-minute puppetry” in a hallway, Colbert said, when they were approached and detained by Capitol Police. (This echoed the statement that CBS released Friday when the news became public. The Washington Post reported that police said the building was closed to visitors at the time and that the group earlier had been directed to leave.)

“The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago – and for a very good reason,” Colbert said. “If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch.”

The host said everyone was “very professional” and “very calm.”

“My staffers were detained, processed, and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff, a lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police. But a fairly simple story,” he said.


“Until the next night,” Colbert continued. “When a couple of the TV people started claiming that my puppet squad had ‘committed insurrection’ at the U.S. Capitol building.” Colbert did not name names, but that quote came from Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.

“First of all, what? Second of all, huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol building,” Colbert said. “Fourth of all – and I’m shocked I have to explain the difference – but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.”

“This was first-degree puppetry,” he added. “This was hijinks with intent to goof. Misappropriation of an old ‘Conan’ bit. It’s really Conan’s fault.”


Colbert said such quotes were “predictable.”

“They want to talk about something other than the January 6th hearings on the actual seditionist insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people, and the injury of over 140 police officers,” he said. “But drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died. And it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol Police showed on that terrible day.”

Colbert remarked that the incident happened on the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, so it could have been a conspiracy. He joked that it was similar to such “puppet lawlessness” as “The Great Muppet Caper” and “the ‘Fraggle’ riots of the 1980s.”

“But in this case, our puppet was just a puppet doing puppet stuff. And sad to say, so much has changed in Washington that the Capitol Police do have to stay at high alert all the time because of the attack on January 6th,” he said. “And as the hearings prove more clearly every day, the blame for that actual insurrection all goes to Putin’s puppet.”
 

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1/6 panel: Local 'heroes' rebuffed Trump, then faced threats
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lisa Mascaro And Farnoush Amiri
Publishing date:Jun 21, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 5 minute read • 10 Comments

WASHINGTON — The House 1/6 committee heard chilling, tearful testimony Tuesday that Donald Trump’s relentless pressure to overturn the 2020 presidential election provoked widespread threats to the “backbone of our democracy” — election workers and local officials who fended off the defeated president’s demands despite personal risks.


The panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol focused on Trump’s efforts to undo Joe Biden’s victory in a most local way — by repeatedly leaning on public officials in key battleground states with shocking proposals to reject ballots outright or to submit alternative electors for the final tally in Congress.

The high-profile pressure, described as potentially illegal, was fueled by the president’s false claims of voter fraud — which, the panel says, spread dangerously in the states and ultimately led directly to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

“A handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy,” Chairman Bennie Thompson said, praising them as heroes and the “backbone of our democracy.”


The hearing was punctuated throughout with accounts of the personal attacks faced by state and local officials.

Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers said he was subjected to a public smear campaign, including relentless bullhorn protests at his home and a pistol-wielding man taunting his family and neighbours.

Officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states told similar stories of having their cellphone numbers and home addresses spread publicly after they refused Trump’s demands.

At one gripping moment, two Georgia election workers, a mother and daughter, testified that they lived in fear of saying their names aloud after Trump wrongly accused them of voter fraud.

“There were a lot of threats wishing death upon me,” said Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former state election worker.


The public hearing, the fourth by the panel this month, stemmed from its yearlong investigation into Trump’s unprecedented attempt to remain in power, a sprawling scheme that the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee has likened to an “attempted coup.” The panel insisted that Trump’s lies over the election threaten democracy to this day, as local officials face ongoing threats and challengers try to take over their jobs.

The committee’s vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, implored Americans to pay attention to the evidence being presented, declaring, “We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”

One key witness was Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who testified about Trump’s phone call asking him to “find 11,780” votes that could flip his state to prevent Biden’s election victory.


While the committee cannot charge Trump with any crimes, the Justice Department is watching the panel’s work closely.

Trump defended himself on social media, describing his phone call to Raffensperger as “perfect,” similar to the way he described the 2020 call with Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskyy that resulted in his first impeachment.

The public testimony from Raffensperger came weeks after he appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to intervene in the state’s 2020 election. Raffensperger beat a Trump-backed challenger in last month’s primary election.

He and Gabe Sterling, his chief operations officer, detailed their painstaking efforts to count the Georgia vote, going down the “rabbit hole,” he said, investigating one false claim after another of fraud. After a hand recount of 5 million ballots, Biden’s victory was unchanged.


“The numbers don’t lie,” said Raffensperger, who said that some 28,000 Georgia voters simply bypassed the presidential race but voted down-ballot for others. “At the end of the day, President Trump came up short.”

Bowers, the Arizona House speaker who also appeared in person, walked through what started with a Trump phone call on a Sunday after he returned from church. The defeated president laid out a proposal to have the state replace its electors for Biden with others favouring Trump.

“I said, ‘Look, you’re asking me to do something that is counter to my oath,”‘ Bowers testified.

Bowers insisted on seeing Trump’s evidence of voter fraud, which he said Trump’s team never produced beyond vague allegations. He recalled Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani later told him, “We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.”


Trump wanted Bowers to hold a hearing at the state Capitol, but the Republican leader said there was already a “circus” atmosphere over the election. The panel showed video footage of protesters at the Arizona statehouse including a key figure, the horned hat-wearing Jacob Chansley, who was later arrested at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Trump nevertheless pressed the Arizona official, including in a follow-up call, suggesting he expected a better response from a fellow Republican.

But Bowers said that because of his faith, including a belief the U.S. Constitution is divinely inspired, what the president was asking him to do was “foreign to my very being.”

Bowers called Trump’s effort a “tragic parody.”

With in-person testimony, Moss, who had worked for Georgia’s Fulton County elections department since 2012, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker who spoke earlier to the panel, gripped the audience with their accounts of the fallout from the smear campaign by Trump and Giuliani.


“Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Freeman testified. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me.”

The select committee outlined Trump’s elaborate “fake electors” scheme that sought to have representatives in as many as seven battlegrounds — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico — state that he, not Biden, had won their states.

Several Republicans in Congress latched onto the scheme in the run-up to Jan. 6.

The committee displayed a text message from an aide to Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to an aide for Vice President Mike Pence the morning of Jan. 6 saying Johnson wanted to give Pence an “alternate slate of electors for MI and WI.”


“Do not give that to him,” Pence aide Chris Hodgson replied. And Johnson didn’t, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Conservative law professor John Eastman, a lawyer for Trump, pushed the fake electors in the weeks after the election. The idea was to set up a challenge to Biden’s win when Congress met on Jan. 6 with Pence presiding in what is typically a ceremonial role to certify the election. Trump sent thousands of his supporters to the Capitol to “fight like hell,” as he pressured Pence to reject the ballots. The effort ultimately collapsed amid the deadly riot, as Pence refused Trump’s demands that he reject the electors.

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington and Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report.