Matthew Chapman

Bill Barr sued by watchdog for records in potential DOJ corruption scheme

On Thursday, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced a lawsuit against former Attorney General William Barr to obtain the records of a meeting he took with infamous Blackwater founder Erik Prince.

"CREW is suing the DOJ for records on any meetings that Barr and Prince had since they could reveal potential preferential treatment for Trump's allies in Department of Justice investigations," said the group their press release. "Prince reportedly faced a DOJ investigation for apparently lying before Congress about the Russia probe following Representative Adam Schiff's request for a criminal investigation, but almost two years later, no investigation has been reported and no charges have been announced. In addition to charges related to making false statements to Congress, DOJ apparently was considering whether Prince violated U.S. export laws, but no charges have been announced in that case either."

"Throughout his tenure, Barr consistently intervened in cases to the benefit of Trump's allies, including several Trump would later go on to pardon," continued the statement. "In his final days as president, Trump issued pardon after pardon to benefit himself and his cronies, including for four Blackwater guards convicted of killing of Iraqi civilians. Trump also pardoned Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, whose cases Barr and top DOJ officials had reportedly previously intervened in to withdraw stiff sentencing recommendations — in Stone's case, after Trump tweeted that the recommendations were unfair."

Prince, who is also a GOP megadonor and the brother of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was reportedly also involved in a meeting in the Seychelles to try to establish a backchannel to the Kremlin for the Trump administration. He is currently facing United Nations sanctions for allegedly violating an arms embargo in Libya.

Tucker Carlson blasted for 'straight up Nazism' after his latest defense of white supremacy

On Monday evening, Fox News' Tucker Carlson veered into hardline racism during his program, saying that Democrats agenda is to "change the population of the country" in order to allow themselves to set policy permanently — an overt nod to the white nationalist "great replacement" conspiracy theory.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has demanded Fox News fire Carlson.

"It is the secret to the entire immigration debate," said Carlson. "Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party's political ambitions."

Carlson, who has repeatedly espoused similar views on his program including openly questioning the idea that diversity "is our strength" and that immigrants make America "poorer and dirtier," triggered a fresh wave of fury from commenters on social media.

WATCH: Activist slammed to the ground by cops during Iowa capitol protest

Mulvihill has been charged with assaulting a police officer, although a fellow protester told the Register she didn't see her assaulting the officer "whatsoever."

"According to a criminal complaint the Register said it reviewed, Iowa State Patrol Trooper Dylan Hernandez stated that Josie Mulvihill asked him and Trooper Dalton Grell for their names and badge numbers," said the report. "The paper added that Hernandez also stated in the complaint that while he and Grell were about to leave for another assignment, Mulvihill 'pushed my arm in an attempt to gain my attention.'"

According to the report, after Mulvihill was arrested and pushed to the ground, protesters pushed back, resulting in a chaotic scene. One of them can be heard on video shouting "She's a f**king kid, bro!"

Watch the incident below:

BLM Protesters Stormed Iowa State Capitol to Try to “kill” Legislative Bills They Opposed

Greenberg's deal is 'devastating' for Matt Gaetz and could 'destroy' all his defenses: Florida prosecutor

On Thursday, following the news that former Florida tax official Joel Greenberg had cut a plea deal in the case that led to the sex trafficking investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Florida attorney Dave Aronberg broke down why Gaetz could now be in serious trouble.

"This is devastating news for Matt Gaetz," said Aronberg. "Matt Gaetz's defense is number one, he has never paid for sex, number two, he has never had sex with an underage girl. Greenberg's testimony could totally destroy those defenses, especially if he has incriminating messages from Gaetz."

"When it comes to child sex trafficking, the laws are so broad, powerful, and the sentences are so harsh, so tough," said Aronberg. "And rightly so, because we're talking about a very serious crime. You don't even need to show sex with a minor. It's enough if Gaetz enticed a girl to have Greenberg. It's enough if he paid for the hotel room. It's enough if he provided her with the drug ecstasy. It's enough if he stood at the airport with a sign with her name and drove her to the hotel. Any of those things would be enough to charge and possibly convict Matt Gaetz of child sex trafficking."

"If he does cooperate, pleads guilty, fully cooperates, spills the beans, says everything he knows, the goal for him would be to get a reduced sentence?" said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "He would get a reduced sentence, right?"

"Correct. He would get a reduced sentence," said Aronberg. "And he would benefit from the fact that not only would he be the first one in the door, but also he is a local tax collector. He's not quite the big target as a member of Congress is. So, yeah, Matt Gaetz needs to switch to decaf. At any moment, a federal official could be knocking at his door with a pair of handcuffs. You know Matt has been losing a lot of sleep since Joel Greenberg was arrested last year. As the investigation has unraveled, you see more and more information. Greenberg is a walking crime machine. He's like the perfect person to flip, because he's facing up to life in prison. This is his only way out of it. And I think it is inevitable that he is going to flip against Matt."

Watch below:

Dave Aronberg on Joel Greenberg's plea deal

'Inmates run the asylum': Political observers stunned by QAnon congresswoman’s massive fundraising haul

On Wednesday, POLITICO reported that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the famously QAnon-sympathetic conspiracy theorist congresswoman who lost her House committee assignments after social media activity endorsing the execution of prominent Democrats in Congress, raised $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2021 — a huge amount of money for a freshman lawmaker in a district that is almost certainly too Republican-leaning to field a competitive race in the midterms anyway.

Political observers on social media quickly reacted to the news of Greene's fundraising haul, many of them expressing dismay and disgust that so many people endorse Greene's brand of politics.

'Bandits!': Trump campaign scammed supporters using deceptive recurring payment option

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump were hoodwinked by a deceptive "recurring payment" option for the president's campaign fundraising system, that led them to give far more money than they thought they were giving.

"Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the campaign had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election," reported Shane Goldmacher. "Contributors had to wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out. As the election neared, the Trump team made that disclaimer increasingly opaque, an investigation by The New York Times showed. It introduced a second prechecked box, known internally as a 'money bomb,' that doubled a person's contribution. Eventually its solicitations featured lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language."

The result was that many of these donors gave far more than they ever intended to the Trump campaign, and tons of them demanded refunds.

"Political strategists, digital operatives and campaign finance experts said they could not recall ever seeing refunds at such a scale. Mr. Trump, the R.N.C. and their shared accounts refunded far more money to online donors in the last election cycle than every federal Democratic candidate and committee in the country combined," said the report. "Over all, the Trump operation refunded 10.7 percent of the money it raised on WinRed in 2020; the Biden operation's refund rate on ActBlue, the parallel Democratic online donation-processing platform, was 2.2 percent, federal records show."

Some Trump supporters and their families are furious.

"It felt like it was a scam," said Russell Blatt, whose brother Stacy in hospice care was "opted in" to monthly payments after making what he thought was a one-time contribution to Trump, then was confused why his utility checks started bouncing. Victor Amelio, a 78-year-old retiree in California, donated $990 in September via the Republican portal WinRed, and before he knew it the "opt in" he had never checked debited $8,000 of his money to the Trump campaign. "Bandits!" he told The Times. "I can't afford to pay all that damn money."

If any of this money wasn't refunded, it may well have gone to benefit Trump financially. A previous report in February indicated that $2.8 million in money donated to the Trump campaign was funneled into the Trump Organization to settle debts. And many supporters still haven't even accepted Trump's loss, to the consternation of even his fellow Republicans.

Throughout his business career, Trump has frequently been accused of running scams to bilk money from unwitting people, one of the most famous cases being Trump University, which led to a multimillion-dollar settlement.

You can read more here.

Here's the biggest legal 'danger' Trump's advisers fear for him: report

On Thursday, Business Insider reported that advisers to former President Donald Trump are privately worried about their boss' legal exposure in multiple state investigations.

"The growing list of criminal investigations and civil lawsuits keep piling up while Trump remains ensconced in his South Florida oceanside compound Mar-a-Lago," said the report. "Alongside a rotating cast of attorneys, Trump has warily watched as local Georgia and New York investigators escalate their probes connected to both his slapdash efforts to hold onto the presidency despite losing the 2020 election and his namesake company's finances."

"Notably, the ex-president is also hearing from advisors that he faces little actual legal risk from the January 6 rioting at the Capitol, according to a dozen advisors, legal experts and Republicans close to the former president," said the report. The president is facing a civil suit for violating the Ku Klux Klan Act in connection with his role in fomenting the riots, but his criminal liability appears negligible.

New York is investigating the president's business and finances. Georgia, meanwhile, is looking into whether the president's pressure on state officials to "find" extra votes after the election violates any laws.

"If I were Trump, I'd be most concerned about the business activities in New York," said retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, an ally of the former president. "Because when you have a prosecutor hell-bent to get you and you've had a long career in business, there's always a possibility they could come up with some technical violation, more likely with his companies than him personally."'

You can read more here.

Matt Gaetz showed nude pics of women he said he slept with to GOP members of Congress: report

On Thursday, CNN reported new salacious details about the behavior of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is separately under a Department of Justice sex trafficking investigation.

"Sources say Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress over his relationships with women, and even showed fellow lawmakers some nude photos of women he said he slept with," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Lauren Fox is on this part of the story. What are you learning about these photos?"

"We should be very clear from the top, this is a separate issue than the DOJ investigation that is ongoing right now," said Fox. "When Matt Gaetz was a new member of Congress, he earned a reputation quickly of being a close ally of former President Trump's. He liked to be in the limelight of the media. He also, according to multiple sources CNN spoke with, behind the scenes likes to show his colleagues photos and brag about sexual exploits he had with women."

"Three sources told CNN this was something that Gaetz did, and two of these individuals had seen these images firsthand," said Fox. "One of these individuals said they saw this image, Matt Gaetz shared this image with them, a nude photograph on the House floor. One said they had seen an image Gaetz shared with them just off the House floor, but still at the U.S. Capitol. CNN reached out to Gaetz for comment. We have not heard any response from either Gaetz nor his office. Obviously this is a significant development given what is going on with the DOJ investigation."

Watch below:

Matt Gaetz

Texas snowstorm death toll was almost double the original reports — and could be even higher: officials

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that officials have doubled their estimate of the death toll for the freak snowstorm that paralyzed the state of Texas in February — and that even more could be reported as the investigation continues.

"The Texas Department of State Health Services said that the number of deaths, initially 57, was in actuality 111 and is still expected to rise as state investigators continue their work," reported Blake Montgomery. "The majority of the fatalities were from hypothermia, but lack of access to medical care, traffic accidents, and fires also played a part. Carbon monoxide poisoning, often caused by sitting in a car in a closed garage, was also a culprit."

According to Dallas County chief medical examiner Jeffrey Barnard, "We'll probably never have a really accurate number."

The storm swept across much of the country, but was particularly disastrous in Texas, which has an independent power grid that had not been properly winterized. Millions across the state lost power and water, and some were left burning their furniture to stay warm.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has come under heavy criticism for falsely suggesting wind and solar failures were a significant factor in the power failures. He has pledged reforms to ERCOT, the organization that manages the state's grid.

Former FBI agent demolishes Fox News claim Boulder shooter’s gun wasn't 'a weapon of war'

With the King Soopers mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, rocking the nation, commentators at Fox News have taken to circling the wagons around America's gun culture, and in particular defending the high-powered AR-style weapons of the type used in the shooting.

"These are not weapons of war," said reporter John Roberts during a segment on Wednesday. "These are not assault rifles. These are just semiautomatic weapons, they just look different."

Former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa, however, was quick to point out that this is false — and that the weapons in question are in fact very similar in classification to weapons used on the battlefield.

AR ("ArmaLite") style semi-automatic rifles are among the most popular sporting weapon in the United States. However, they have many features that make them similar in firepower to true machine guns.


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