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‘Crazy, craven, and incompetent all at once’: House GOP blasted over their priorities

After securing the majority in the wake of the midterms, House Republicans announced their plans to focus on multiple targets for investigation regarding President Joe Biden and his family's business practices.

“In the 118th Congress, this committee will evaluate the status of Joe Biden’s relationship with his family’s foreign partners and whether he is a President who is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars and influence,” said Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee. “I want to be clear: This is an investigation of Joe Biden, and that’s where the committee will focus in this next Congress.”

As CNN points out, Comer went on to say that he has spoken with multiple whistleblowers who say they were involved in schemes involving the Biden family, reviewed Hunter Biden’s laptop, and received “previously unknown transactions.”

The announcement was seen by some critics as poorly thought-out, since exit polls from the midterm suggested both Democrats and Republicans want to see lawmakers focus more on "kitchen table issues" such as the economy and inflation.

"GOP's House majority has been official for less than 24 hours, and the first big priority they announce is an investigation of Hunter Biden, after leaks they will also investigate the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners," MSNBC's Matthew Miller tweeted.

"Crazy, craven, and incompetent all at once," he added.

Failed GOP candidate busted on felony rape charge just days after losing election to his mom

A South Dakota House candidate who lost his race appeared in court this Tuesday on a charge of second-degree rape, KOTA reports.

Bud Marty May, 37, faces 50 years in prison over the Class 1 felony charge. According to the victim, May forced himself on her in a bathroom stall at a bar, telling her, “I am 6′8, white, it is all consensual.”

May then fled the scene but was later detained by police. The Republican candidate initially denied involvement, but then claimed, "it was simply a hug."

As KOTA points out, May ran for one of the two South Dakota House seats in District 27, which includes Bennett, Jackson, Oglala Lakota, and Pennington counties.

The seats were won by Peri Pourier (D) with 29% of the vote, and his mother Elizabeth May (R) with 26.7% of the vote.

Trump Organization criminal fraud trial delayed

The criminal fraud trial of the Trump Organization in Manhattan was put on hold for the rest of the week after a key witness for the prosecution contracted COVID-19, CBS News reports.

Jeffrey McConney, a Trump Org. controller tested positive for the virus after coughing repeatedly during his testimony.

Manhattan prosecutors have charged the Trump Organization, currently run by Trump's two adult sons, Donald Jr and Eric Trump, with hiding compensation it paid to top executives between 2005 and 2021.

In his testimony from Tuesday, McConney claimed that a "longtime Trump attorney oversaw an internal investigation of the Trump Organization's tax practices in 2017 and 2018, leading the company 'to do things differently,'" according to CBS News.

Trump, who is not named in the case, slammed the charges as a "witch hunt" by rivals, weeks ahead of congressional elections on November 8.

"The highly partisan Democrat Witch Hunt goes on, this time in New York... right during the important Mid-Term Elections, of course," he said on social media.

The company faces potential fines of over $1.5 million if found guilty.

One of the implicated executives, longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg, has already pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax fraud, and is expected to testify against his former company as part of a plea bargain.

A close friend of the Trump family, the 75-year-old Weisselberg admitted he schemed with the company to receive undeclared benefits such as a rent-free apartment in a posh Manhattan neighborhood, luxury cars for him and his wife and private school tuition for his grandchildren.

According to his plea deal, Weisselberg has agreed to pay nearly $2 million in fines and penalties and complete a five-month prison sentence in exchange for testimony during the trial, for which jury selection began Monday.

"This plea agreement directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity and requires Weisselberg to provide invaluable testimony in the upcoming trial against the corporation," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in August.

Weisselberg has so far refused to give testimony directly implicating the former president in the scheme.

With additional reporting by AFP

Charlie Kirk calls on his audience to bail out Pelosi attacker

During a segment on his livestream show, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk slammed news outlets and journalists who say the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband this weekend is a sign that right-wing rhetoric is sparking real-world violence, saying "of course" Republicans should reject Democrats' attempts to link them to the attack.

"Why is the conservative movement to blame for gay schizophrenic nudists that are hemp jewelry maker breaking into someone's home -- or maybe not breaking into someone's home. Why are we to blame for that exactly," Kirk said. "And why is he still in jail? Why has he not been bailed out? And by the way, if some amazing patriot out there in San Francisco or the Bay Area wants to really be a midterm hero, someone should go and bail this guy out ... bail him out, and then go ask him some questions."

Kirk's claim that Paul Pelosi's attacker, Dave DePape, is gay likely came from an article posted, then deleted, by Elon Musk that claimed without evidence that DePape had previously attended a gay nightclub before the attack.

Reports show that DePape had a long history of believing in and blogging about conspiracy theories. In recent years, his beliefs started to reflect themes that are echoed in right-wing conspiracy theorist circles.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Trump Organization fraud prosecutor: 'If we booted every juror for disliking Trump we'd have no jurors'

Speaking to New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Manuel Merchan on the third day of jury selection in the Trump Organization tax fraud trial this Thursday, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said people's dislike for former President Donald Trump is pretty much ubiquitous, Business Insider reports.

"If we were to strike every juror who had a negative opinion about Donald Trump, we wouldn't be able to get a jury at all," Hoffinger said.

"This is not about Donald Trump," but about his business, said Hoffinger.

Hoffinger was responding to attorneys for the Trump Organization, who want to boot a juror who referred to Trump as "narcissistic."

"Honestly, I used to think he was funny before he was president," the man who would later become juror No. 8 said in court, adding, "Then he started acting a little crazy and narcissistic."

"That's the only reason I didn't like him as president — not so much policy," the man said.

The jury that will determine if the Trump Organization defrauded tax authorities was officially selected this Thursday.

"The jury includes two women who said in court that they didn't like how Trump ran the country, but noted that they could still be fair and impartial jurors.

Read the full report at Business Insider.

Family of Trump-backed Nevada Senate candidate endorses his Democratic opponent

Members of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt’s family have publicly endorsed his Democratic opponent, The Nevada Independent reports.

Fourteen members of Laxalt’s family signed a three-page letter endorsing incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the race for Nevada's Senate seat, saying that they believe Masto "possesses a set of qualities that clearly speak of what we like to call ‘Nevada grit,’” adding that “no further comments will be made, as we believe this letter speaks for itself.”

"Catherine is a model of the 'Nevada grit' that we so often use to describe our Nevada forefathers," the family wrote. "Her entire career is not a simple “sound-bite” that merely speaks of supporting Nevada. Rather, her entire career demonstrates years of bold actions that she has taken as an authentic advocate of Nevada. In so many ways, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto exemplifies what it simply means to be a Nevadan. She has learned from her home state. She has fought for it. She is proud of it. As a proud Nevada family, we are honored to endorse Catherine Cortez Masto for the prestigious national role of U.S. Senator for Nevada."

This is the second time Laxalt’s family has rejected his political aspirations. During his 2018 run for governor, 12 of his family members publicly opposed him, saying he “leveraged and exploited the family name.”

A poll from The Nevada Independent/OH Predictive Insights found Laxalt leading the race with 45 percent to 43 percent, with a 3.6 percent margin of error.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Laxalt last year.

“Adam Laxalt is running for Senate in Nevada to defeat Harry Reid’s, Chuck Schumer’s, and Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked successor, and win an America First majority in the U.S. Senate. Adam is a Navy Veteran who served our Nation bravely in Iraq. As a former Attorney General he has always supported our Law Enforcement and keeping our communities safe," the former president said in a statement.

“He fought valiantly against the Election Fraud, which took place in Nevada. He is strong on Secure Borders and defending America against the Radical Left. Adam has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Latest bombshell in Trump document scandal leaves NY Times reporter at a loss for words

According to a recent report from The New York Times, the National Archives ratcheted up its pressure on former President Donald Trump to return documents he'd taken from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"Mr. Trump, still determined to show he had been wronged by the F.B.I. investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia, was angry with the National Archives and Records Administration for its unwillingness to hand over a batch of sensitive documents that he thought proved his claims," The Times' report stated. "In exchange for those documents, Mr. Trump told advisers, he would return to the National Archives the boxes of material he had taken to Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla."

Speaking to MSNBC this Monday, the report's co-author Michael Schmidt said the the notion of Trump using classified documents as a negotiating tool with the National Archives "is just another example of how Trump has sort of approached all of these investigations."

"He was entertaining outlandish ideas -- ideas that were not based in typical reality of what you can and cannot do," Schmidt said. "The idea that if you had materials that were government records and you could use them as a bargaining chip -- with Trump you run out of adjectives, and the best one we could come up with is 'outlandish.'"

"But in the story, what we do is we chronicle that not only did [his behavior] fit a pattern about the previous investigation, like the Russia investigation where he entertains crazy thoughts, but he also, he misled his own aides, he pushed them to take actions that he was unwilling to take himself, and that in turn exposed the aides and the lawyers and the representatives that were working for him, that increased their own legal exposure. And with Trump, it is a story that time and time again repeats itself."

Watch video below or at this link.

Watch: BBC correspondent taking cover during Russian missile attack on Kyiv

Several cities across Ukraine were rocked with explosions in what some are calling the most extensive attack on the country since Russia launched its invasion in February.

"This morning, a massive high-precision strike was conducted on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, military command, and communications," said Russian President Vladimir Putin. "In case Ukrainian terrorist attacks continue on Russian territory, our response will be tough and proportional."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a statement that the strikes disproportionately targeted civilian infrastructure in 11 of Ukraine's 25 regions.

"It's a tough morning when you're dealing with terrorists," said Zelenskyy in the video. "They're choosing targets to harm as many people as possible."

BBC reporter Hugo Bachega was broadcasting live from Kyiv when when the first rounds of the strikes came in, causing him to duck for cover.

Watch the video below:

Company that organizes Donald Trump's for-profit speeches is in financial disarray

A company that organized Donald Trump's post-White House paid speeches is having financial trouble, The Washington Post reports.

The American Freedom Tour's is having trouble paying vendors, investors and employees. Sources speaking to The Post say the company has lost two top executives and has canceled events in a number of locations. It's reportedly set to host a large event at Mar-a-Lago in December in an attempt to turn its financial situation around.

"It’s not clear what that means for the tour’s advertised upcoming black-tie gala at Mar-a-Lago, with tickets starting at $10,000 a couple to spend time with Trump," The Post's report states. "The event includes a poolside reception and a formal ballroom dinner. Dinner and a photo with Trump costs $40,000, and a private library meeting with Trump is so pricey that it’s only listed as: 'INQUIRE BELOW.' The company declined to say how much Trump is being paid for the event."

The company’s CEO, Brian J. Forte has filed more bankruptcy more than once in the past, and filed for bankruptcy again in the wake of his company's financial issues.

"The tour has had a slate of problems, including angry investors, speakers and vendors who have not been paid, according to people familiar with the situation, who like some others spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal details," The Post reports. "Trump joined the group with little vetting, advisers say, and some of his team was not aware of Forte’s business history when told by The Post."

The financial problems at the company caused it to engage in practices that upset some employees -- such as the time it canceled an event in Milwaukee but continued to sell tickets online. Sources tell The Post that the company continued to sell tickets for events that weren't likely to happen.

Read the full report over at The Washington Post.

'Nervous' Donald Trump may call off campaign launch until after the midterms

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly considering waiting until after the November midterm elections to announce a third presidential campaign as his legal troubles continues to mount. Trump is also facing concerns that Senate candidates he endorsed may not be as promising as he led on, CNN reports.

Trump initially planned to launch his 2024 campaign on Labor Day weekend, but the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month and diminished hopes for a "red wave" in November.

Documents at Trump's Florida home were "likely concealed" to obstruct an FBI probe into his potential mishandling of classified materials, the Justice Department said in a court filing Tuesday.

The filing provides the most detailed account yet of the motivation for the FBI raid this month on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, which was triggered by a review of records he previously surrendered to authorities that contained top secret information.

Before the raid, the FBI uncovered "multiple sources of evidence" showing that "classified documents" remained at Mar-a-Lago, the filing says.

"The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed... and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government's investigation," the filing adds.

"There is a direct tie if Trump becomes a campaign ad in November and Republicans lose the Senate, and the last thing he wants is to be blamed," said a former Trump campaign aide.

CNN's report says Trump is "feeling nervous about prematurely diving into the 2024 primary" in light of the developments.The report cites nine former and current Trump aides and allies who requested anonymity.

"Everyone was operating under the assumption that shortly after Labor Day would be the best possible time to launch, but that has changed and he's being told to deal with the FBI stuff first," said a Trump adviser.

Nevertheless, some within Trump's orbit are urging him to launch immediately.

"They are going to blame him no matter what, so he should just announce," a person close to Trump said.

With additional reporting by AFP

Donald Trump's 'PR stunt' legal motion 'full of frivolous arguments': former federal prosecutor

Former President Donald Trump and his legal team filed a motion this Monday to have an independent review of the alleged classified documents recovered by the FBI during its raid on Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

The motion called the raid "unprecedented" and "unnecessary," adding that it was an action taken just months before the 2022 midterm elections "aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump."

Trump said Monday evening that the motion is "strongly asserting" his rights, "including under the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, regarding the unnecessary, unwarranted, and unAmerican Break-In by dozens of FBI agents, and others, of my home, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida."

"They demanded that the security cameras be turned off, a request we rightfully denied. They prevented my attorneys from observing what was being taken in the raid, saying 'absolutely not,'" Trump said in a statement. "They took documents covered by attorney-client and executive privilege, which is not allowed. They took my passports. They even brought a ‘safe cracker’ and successfully broke into my personal safe, which revealed…nothing!"

Trump said he is "now demanding that the Department of 'Justice' be instructed to immediately STOP the review of documents illegally seized from my home."

Speaking on CNN this Tuesday, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said the motion had segments that "didn't even contain a legal argument at all" and were likely just included for "PR purposes."

"It does not even appear to have been filed in an appropriate way ... he makes 4th Amendment arguments before he's a criminal defendant, he's asserting executive privilege against the executive branch -- it's hard to understand how you're asserting executive privilege against the executive branch for seizing documents that belong to it, itself," Mariotti said.

Watch the full segment below:

Oklahoma GOP candidate says it is 'totally in the right' to execute gay people

A GOP candidate in Oklahoma's Republican primary runoff election tomorrow is facing backlash after comments he made several years ago have emerged, LGBT Nation reports.

Scott Esk, 56, who is running for a seat in the state's House, commented on a Facebook post back in 2013 where he quoted a bible verse and later added that "we would be totally in the right" to execute gay people.

"Ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss," he wrote.

When a journalist asked him a year later about his comments, he replied that it's “totally just” to kill gay people.

“What I will tell you right now is that that was done in the Old Testament under a law that came directly from God,” he said at the time. “And in that time, there was, it was, totally just came directly from God.”

In a subsequent video explaining his comments, Esk said he has “compassion on anybody in the grips of an insidious addiction, such as homosexuality.”

“Any Christian should be in the position to say that this is sin or this is good. If we don’t make that distinction, we’re not going to help people,” he said in the 2015 video.

In another video from earlier this year, Esk called reports on his comments a “hit piece on the fact that I had an opinion against homosexuality.”

“Well, does that make me a homophobe? Maybe some people think it does,” he said. “But as far as I and many of the people, the voters of House District A7 are concerned, it simply makes me a Christian. Christians believe in biblical morality, kind of by definition, or they should.”

“The fact is, that it’s much more offensive knowing what obscene things homosexuals do with each other than it is for somebody to hold the view that it is indecent,” he said.

When The Oklahoman asked him about his views, he referred to the videos and refused to do an interview.

“I’ve stood up for what is right in the past, and I intend to in the future and I am right now,” he told the publication. “That’s got me in trouble. The media are not my friends, as far as I’m concerned.”

'Insane': Florida Republican House candidate blasted after calling for federal agents to be shot 'on sight'

A Florida Republican candidate for the House was suspended from Twitter in the final days of his campaign after advocating for Floridians to shoot federal agents on sight, Florida Politics reports.

Luis Miguel, who is running against incumbent Rep. Bobby Payne, was suspended after he tweeted, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops on sight. Let freedom ring.”

"I'm sorry to have to post this, but this man is running for office in my area. It's real. And it's dangerous," one Twitter user wrote in response to the tweet. "I believe we must turn the mirror in on the lies being used to stir up people for heinous purposes. Someone is going to get killed. My heart is broken."

Speaking to Florida Politics, Miguel said the suspension was permanent but “doesn’t affect (him) at all.” He then doubled down on his tweet, saying that it was justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces.”

His call for shooting federal agents is still live on Instagram, where the remark has stirred up a number of negative comments.

"Getting desperate for attention? Or you just insane?" one Instagram user commented.

"This isn't helping our cause!" added another.

Inventory list shows FBI took 11 sets of classified documents out of Mar-a-Lago: report

During their search of Donald Trump's Palm Beach resort this week, FBI agents recovered 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to "be only available in special government facilities," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, were on a list of confiscated items that was reviewed by the newspaper. Also on the three-page list was information about the “President of France."

One set of documents recovered was marked, “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which, as the Wall Street Journal points out, is an abbreviation that refers to "top-secret/sensitive compartmented information."

The search warrant states that FBI agents wanted to search “the 45 Office,” as well as “all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.”

People familiar with the matter say the search was intended to recover classified information that Trump allegedly mishandled.

Officials were poised Friday to make public a sealed warrant explaining the unprecedented raid on Trump's estate, which triggered accusations of political persecution by the former president and his supporters.

The 76-year-old Trump supported the release of the search warrant, although he has had a copy of the document for days and could have revealed its contents himself previously.

The search on Monday was believed to be focused on classified papers Trump may have removed from the White House, with one report suggesting they included documents related to nuclear weapons.

The highly unusual move to unseal the search warrant and the receipt listing the property seized by FBI agents was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland -- the country's top law enforcement officer -- who said he had "personally approved" the dramatic raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home.

"Release the documents now!" Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform, as he slammed the raid on his home as a "political weaponization of law enforcement."

Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, said Garland had "called Trump's bluff" by putting the onus on the former president to object or consent to release of the document.

With additional reporting by AFP

Jon Stewart confronts right-wing conspiracy theorist over veterans bill

Jon Stewart was caught on video getting visibly angry this Monday at a known conspiracy theorist and right-wing activist over the veteran bill he's fighting to get passed.

Jack Posobiec, who helped popularize a conspiracy theory claiming Hillary Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring out a pizza parlor and who pushed unfounded claims about the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, showed up outside Capitol Hill as Stewart was promoting his lobbying efforts.

While it's not known what exactly precipitated Stewart's anger, the two ended the encounter in a positive note, with Stewart saying he mistook Posobiec for a "troll" and Posobiec saying he actually supports the legislation, known as the PACT Act, that would help thousands of veterans suffering from cancer, respiratory illness and other ailments.

So-called burn pits have been commonly used by the US military in post-September 11 conflicts, and are lit to get rid of everything from plastic bottles to human waste to old tires -- all incinerated with the aid of jet fuel.

But the fumes from these open fires are now suspected of causing a range of illnesses among soldiers who were deployed at such bases, from chronic respiratory ailments to a variety of cancers.

President Joe Biden himself says he thinks these pits were at the root of the brain cancer that claimed the life of his son Beau, who served in Iraq in 2008.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that some 3.5 million US service members were exposed to toxic smoke in Afghanistan, Iraq or other conflict zones, and more than 200,000 veterans have registered on lists of people who came into contact with burn pits.

Watch video below or at this link.

TikTok influencer facing backlash after posting video of racist attack on Home Depot employees

Amanda Marie, an influencer with around 14,000 followers on TikTok, is getting some backlash after she posting a video describing how she harassed a Home Depot employee while using homophobic language and telling him to "go back to your country," Boing Boing reports.

The video shows Marie telling a Black employee that she's going to get him fired. She then goes to her car and recounts the incident from her perspective, saying, "I said, 'I'm not leaving.' … I then turned around and said, 'If you're going to be rude, go back to your country. Go back to your country!' 'Cause he wasn't from here."

"So I turn around, and I say, 'Go back to your motherf***ing country and learn some f***ing manners before you come here,'" she said.

She also tried to claim the homophobic slur "fag," which she allegedly used against one of the employees, is not seen as an offensive term back in New York.

As Boing Boing points out, she deleted the video from her various platforms after the backlash.

Watch the video below.

RNC tells Donald Trump it will stop paying his legal bills if he runs in 2024

The Republican National Committee has paid nearly $2 million to law firms representing Donald Trump, but now they're warning the former president that they'll stop paying his legal bills if he runs for president in 2024, ABC News reports.

An RNC official speaking to ABC News said that the party's "neutrality policy" prohibits it from taking sides in the presidential primary.

As ABC News points out, this isn't the first time Trump's legal bill have been used as leverage over him.

"According to the book 'Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show,' by ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl, in the final days of Trump's presidency, Trump told McDaniel he was leaving the GOP and creating his own political party -- only to back down after McDaniel made it clear to Trump that the party would stop paying his legal bills for his post-election challenges and take other steps that would cost him financially," ABC News reports.

Since October of 2021, the RNC has shelled out at least $1.73 million to three law firms representing Trump.

"I don't think there's been any effort" by the RNC to remain neutral, longtime Republican donor and Canary LLC CEO Dan Eberhart told ABC News. "This is a symbiotic relationship."

"The RNC needs Trump or Trump surrogates or Trump's likeness to raise money, and Trump wants them to continue paying his bills and be as pro-Trump as possible," Eberhart said. "So neither is in a hurry to cut the umbilical cord."

Police chief fired for spewing racial epithets and gloating about shooting a suspect

A Mississippi police chief is out of a job after the board of aldermen voted to remove him after a recording was made public featuring him spewing racial epithets and expletives, WLBT reports.

Former Lexington Police Chief Sam Dobbins has previously denied that the recording was of him. But according to former Lexington police officer Robert Lee Hooker, who made the recording, it's of the former chief. Hooker resigned from the department last week, citing a toxic work environment.

In addition to the multiple racial epithets in the recording, Dobbins bragged about shooting a suspect at least 119 times.

The board voted 3-2 to oust Dobbins.

The recording was first obtained by the Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting.

Mississippi police chief linked to racist recording

Lindsey Graham agrees to testify to Georgia grand jury

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has agreed to abide by a subpoena and appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating election meddling in the state, CNBC reports.

According to a court filing, Graham still retained his right to challenge the subpoena's legality.

The grand jury is investigating former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election's result in Georgia.

Graham had previously sought to have the subpoena thrown out, but lawyers for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis rejected his request, saying it came prematurely since the subpoena had not been issued to him.

But on Tuesday, both parties told the judge that Willis and Graham “have reached an agreement to withdraw all process and proceedings pending.”

“Senator Graham has agreed to accept service of a subpoena for testimony from the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury in Atlanta, Georgia, without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity,” the lawyers wrote in the court filing.

Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters gets blasted by the best man at his wedding

This Monday, Mother Jones published a profile of the frontrunner in the Arizona Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Blake Masters, who will face Democrat Mark Kelly if he wins. In a subsequent article, Mother Jones shared six of the most "revealing moments" from their profile.

Mother Jones' Noah Lanard describes Masters a highly unusual candidate who has "supported open borders, backed a women’s right to choose, and denounced nationalism" in the past.

Now, he's running as an "America First" candidate who espouses similar views as Tucker Carlson. Lanard also describes him as a "35-year-old protégé of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel" who "now has his sights on American democracy."

Among the "revealing moments" from the profile is the fact that a tech worker who donated to Masters campaign now deeply regrets supporting him. “This is the first time where I will regularly wake up and feel just a sense of dread about who it is that I have backed,” the tech worker said.

Masters was also apparently pro-choice in the past. "After graduating from Stanford in 2008, Masters wrote to a listserv used by members of Columbae, the left-wing, vegetarian co-op he belonged during his college years. 'When will someone start a group that’s pro-gun (pro-freedom) AND pro-choice (pro-freedom)?' Masters wrote in opposition to the NRA. 'I would join,'" Lanard reports.

Also revealed in the profile is how some of Masters' former close friends are now repelled by him.

“It makes me ache when I see what he writes and says,” one of his best friends from high school said. “It puts me in a state of depression.”

“I don’t know what’s worse,” said Collin Wedel, the best man at his wedding, “if he actually is aware that he’s selling snake oil to people, or if he truly believes” what he’s saying.

Masters has previously come under fire after blaming gun violence on Black people and claiming the Capitol riot was an FBI false flag.

The GOP candidate was endorsed by former President Donald Trump last month. "Arizona is a State where the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen, and a very thorough audit proved it. Blake knows that the 'Crime of the Century' took place, he will expose it and also, never let it happen again," Trump said in a statement.

Former campaign manager: Donald Trump was 'a sitting president asking for civil war'

During their hearing this Tuesday, the Jan. 6 committee presented evidence showing that Donald Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale expressed remorse in exchanged texts with former Trump adviser Katrina Pierson.

Parscale said that he felt "guilty" about helping Trump win in 2016 in light of events that took place on Jan. 6, namely the killing of Trump supporter and Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt.

Parscale referred to Trump as “a sitting president asking for civil war,” in regards to his efforts to overturn the election.

Pierson replied, “You did what you felt right at the time and therefore it was right.”

“Yeah, but a woman is dead.” Parscale said, later adding, “If I was Trump and I knew my rhetoric killed someone.”

Pierson replied, “It wasn’t the rhetoric.”

“Katrina,” Parscale said. “Yes it was.”

The assault on the Capitol left at least five people dead and 140 police officers injured, and followed a fiery speech by Trump to thousands of his supporters near the White House.

Trump was impeached for a historic second time by the House of Representatives after the riot -- he was charged with inciting an insurrection -- but was acquitted by the Senate.

In a statement Tuesday on the Truth Social platform, Trump denounced the committee as "Political Hacks and Thugs."

"Have you seen them before?" he asked. "Yes, they are essentially the same lunatics that drove the Country 'crazy' with their lies and made up stories, like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, and all of the others."

With additional reporting by AFP

Santa Barbara woman has racist meltdown at a Mexican butcher shop — then things escalated

The owner of a Mexican butcher shop in Santa Barbara, California says his store has been on the receiving end of a string of racially motivated acts of vandalism, the Santa Barbara Independent reports.

“I’ve been here for 30 years,” said Javier Lomeli, owner of Carniceria La Nueva, located on Haley Street. “I don’t know why — if they have something against me or Spanish-speaking people.”

Lomeli says a Caucasian “transient, about 50-60 years of age,” was trying to peel off decals on the store’s front window a little over a week ago. He says the same woman was later captured on security video attempting to remove the decals and shouting obscenities at the video camera and employees from the Mexican Restaurant next door.

Security video shows the woman shouting, “This is America, not Mexico,” and “You f—ing liars.” She then yells at the restaurant employees next door, saying, “You’re all foreign murderers.”

Then things escalated. Last Sunday, someone hurled an object at the storefront window, which shattered the glass.

“It’s not easy in the past couple years,” said Lomeli, who has had to take more time off recently after being diagnosed with cancer. “I’m just tired of this.”

Donald Trump facing 'a plethora of criminal charges': Norman Eisen

Speaking on CNN this Wednesday, legal analyst Norm Eisen said that in light of recent testimony before the Jan. 6 committee, "Trump's involvement in violence" on Jan. 6 is now being scrutinized, making legal action all the more possible.

Defense attorney Caroline Polisi agreed, saying there is "now a plethora of potential criminal charges at play."

"We talk a lot about what crimes could be charged here, and yesterday was the first time I certainly saw that we saw a through-line between seditious conspiracy, the violence that took place [on Jan. 6] we heard about in the first hearing with the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, and actually President Trump," Polisi said.

"Up until this time, yesterday essentially, I could only see exposure for obstruction of an official proceeding, potentially obstruction -- conspiracy to defraud the United States, things of that nature," she continued. "Now we're actually getting around to the realm of seditious conspiracy."

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top White House aide with unique access to Trump and the inner workings of the West Wing, testified Tuesday at the sixth June hearing of the House committee probing the attack on the US Capitol.

An executive assistant to Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, she was a central figure in the White House around the period of the insurrection on January 6 last year.

In some of the most explosive testimony from the hearings so far, Hutchinson said Trump and some of his top lieutenants were aware of the possibility of violence ahead of the attack -- contradicting claims that the assault was spontaneous and had nothing to do with the administration.

Hutchinson said she recalled her boss saying four days before the insurrection: "Things might get real, real bad on January 6."

Hutchinson had sought out Meadows, she said, after a White House meeting involving Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

As they were heading to Giuliani's car, he asked her if she was "excited" for January 6, she testified.

When she asked what was happening on that day, Hutchinson testified that Giuliani "responded something to the effect of, 'We're going to the Capitol,'" Hutchinson said.

"'It's going to be great. The president's going to be there. He's going to look powerful. He's going to be with the members. He's going to be with the senators. Talk to the chief about it. Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it.'"

Watch the video below.

Man who allegedly 'assaulted' Rudy Giulani has charges reduced

A ShopRite worker who was arrested after he allegedly hit Rudy Giuliani in the back has had his charges downgraded, the New York Post reports.

Daniel Gill, 39, left a Staten Island Criminal Court after his arraignment Monday.

Gill, who has no previous criminal history, had his charges downgraded to third-degree assault, third-degree menacing, and second-degree harassment over the caught-on-camera attack inside the supermarket. He was initially charged with second-degree assault involving a person over age 65. He was allowed to be released on his own recognizance.

“It appears to be a tap on the back and not a slap,” Gill’s defense attorney, Susan Platis, had argued during his arraignment. “This is not criminal contact, it is very unlikely that the touch could have caused any injury. So to call this assault in the third, or even menacing, is a stretch.”

Giuliani refused medical attention at the scene, but complained of swelling and “much more pain” due to the incident.

Security footage of the incident shows Gill come up behind Giuliani and slap him on the back before apparently exchanging words with him. While the slap doesn't seem to reflect Giuliani's account, he can been slightly lurching forward after Gill makes contact with his back. Giuliani has called for Gill to be locked up, saying he could have easily been killed if he’d been knocked to the floor.

“This guy should be in prison,” Giuliani said during a virtual press conference ahead of Gill’s court appearance, then later slammed the downgrading of charges, saying “finally, I thought we had a DA in New York in Staten Island who was a real DA in favor of protecting victims and not letting criminals go free.”

Giuliani claims the man said the former New York City mayor "kills women" due to his stance on abortion.

Legal analyst warns the Supreme Court has just unleashed 'legal chaos'

Speaking on CNN this Friday, legal analyst Steve Vladek addressed the questions about both the immediate and long term implications of the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, determining that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion.

The conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark 1973 abortion decision that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion, saying that individual states can now permit or restrict the procedure themselves.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," the court said.

Vladeck says other rights to contraception and same sex marriage could also possibly be at risk, according to the concurrent opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas, adding it's hard to take seriously Justice Samuel Alito's opinion that the Friday ruling doesn't necessarily pose a risk to other rights.

CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates agreed, saying that the Supreme Court's ruling will spark "legal chaos."

"You're going to have interstate battles about how you're going to enforce these laws," she said, adding that there have been examples from history where "wrongly decided decision" have been overturned.

"...I can't help but wonder, how do you intend for these laws to be enforced?" Coates continued. "Is there no doctor-patient confidentiality provision any longer? ... Are you going to be able to have access to medical records or interrogate people in the office of the receptionist or the doctor about someone's menstruation? The womb is actually the site of the so-called crime, so whatever law would be enforced would have to be intrusive and invasive in trying to figure out what has happened there."

The ruling represents a victory of 50 years of struggle against abortion by the religious right but the anti-abortion camp is expected to continue to push for an outright nationwide ban.

The ruling was made possible by the nomination of three conservative justices to the court by former Republican president Donald Trump -- Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

The case before the court was a Mississippi law that would restrict abortion to 15 weeks but during the hearing of the case in December several justices indicated they were prepared to go further.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 13 states have adopted so-called "trigger laws" that will ban abortion following the move by the Supreme Court.

Ten others have pre-1973 laws that could go into force or legislation that would ban abortion after six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

Women living in states with strict anti-abortion laws will either have to continue with their pregnancy, undergo a clandestine abortion or obtain abortion pills, or travel to another state where the procedure remains legal.Watch the segment below or at this link.

Rudy Giuliani whines that the January 6th hearings are an 'attempt to try and destroy' Donald Trump

Speaking on his podcast Common Sense, Rudy Giuliani slammed the Jan. 6 hearings, calling them a politically-motivated spectacle that's designed to help Democrats win upcoming elections.

According to Giuliani, the hearings are "completely political and intended to affect the 2022 and 2024 elections."

"...and a further extension of the 'kill Trump' program by any means possible," Giuliani continued. "I call this, 'Russian collusion 2,' or 'Russia collusion Ukrainian corruption 3' because this is the third attempt to try and destroy [Trump] with false evidence."

"We've gotta let the American people know because it's being hidden from them and it's like we live in a communist state."

While speaking under oath before the committee this Tuesday, Arizona Republican House Speaker Russell "Rusty" Bowers said that Giuliani admitted to not having any evidence of mass voter fraud despite repeatedly claiming he did.

"My recollection, he said, 'We've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence,'" Bowers said.

The committee said in its fourth hearing that Trump and his allies were personally involved in pushing Republican-controlled legislatures to flip the results in several swing states, away from Joe Biden and into Trump's column.

Rusty Bowers, speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, testified about pressure to reverse his state's results, from Trump and Giuliani.

Bowers said Trump demanded a hearing at the Arizona State Capitol to investigate allegations of election fraud but Bowers responded that the evidence didn't warrant a hearing, "and I did not want to be used as a pawn."

"You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath," Bowers told Trump, according to his testimony.

Bowers said he asked Giuliani "on multiple occasions" for evidence of his stolen election claims.

He told committee members Giuliani said "we've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence."

Watch the video below:

With additional reporting by AFP

'They're usually without genitalia': Ted Cruz complains about 'lesbian toys' in new Buzz Lightyear movie

During a segment on his podcast The Verdict, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz lamented "woke Disney" for what he says is its promotion of gay characters, namely the "lesbian toys" featured in the new Buzz Lightyear movie.

"Now, never mind that the last time I checked, most toys are kinda androgynous -- they're usually without genitalia ... " Cruz told his co-host, conservative commentator Michael Knowles, adding that the movie has "now been banned in 14 countries," including possibly China.

"I gotta say, it's a wild twist when Hollywood has been willing to grovel to China and let China censor its movies, to embrace anti-Americanism, to avoid any criticism of China because they want to get access to the Chinese movie market, but when it comes to their culture agenda, apparently now they've suddenly discovered, 'Alright, give up the money because lesbian toys are more important."

More than a dozen Muslim-majority countries have refused to show "Lightyear" -- a sci-fi spin-off from the Pixar classic "Toy Story", set for global release on Friday -- in opposition to the marriage between two female side characters.

"We had been warned this would be a likely outcome," producer Galyn Susman told AFP in a Zoom interview.

"We weren't going to change the movie we wanted to make just because of a few countries with -- for a lack of a better term -- backward beliefs," she said.

Although many reports have focused on a supposed "lesbian kiss" in the film, the scene in question is actually more of a brief peck between two long-married characters who have a child.

Director Angus MacLane said no efforts were made to alter the film to please censors.

"We made our movie and they didn't want to watch it, so fine," he told AFP.

Watch the video below:

'I shouldn't talk about that': Rudy Guiliani refuses to discuss colleague's January 6th hearing testimony

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann gave a deposition to the Jan. 6 committee saying that Rudy Giuliani acknowledged in a private phone call just hours before the Capitol riot that then-Vice President Mike Pence lacked the legal authority to block the certification of the 2020 election -- but Giuliani continued to say publicly that the effort was "perfectly legal."

This Thursday, Giuliani was confronted with the news by a reporter, but replied that he "shouldn't talk about that."

Giuliani then accused the Jan. 6 committee of leaking details about testimony he gave, despite the fact that the reporter was referring to testimony other than his own.

"I'm not gonna comment on his testimony," Giuliani said. "I'm gonna tell you that the committee is a witch hunt. I'm gonna tell you that the committee is an extension of [the Mueller investigation]. ... How dare those people who accused [Trump] of Russian collusion, who are lying about it -- I was telling the truth, the President was telling the truth -- You don' think they're lying now?"

The House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol is in the middle of a run of televised hearings on the insurrection mounted by a pro-Trump mob to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and overturn the results of the 2020 election.

It has already revealed testimony from many of Trump's closest allies who said he was told repeatedly he had lost a fair fight to Biden but declared victory and pushed his election fraud narrative anyway.

Watch the video below:

With additional reporting by AFP

'Just insane': George Conway calls for John Eastman to be 'disbarred and prosecuted' for role in insurrection

Reacting to recent news reports suggesting that Trump lawyer John Eastman may have had a back channel of communication to the Supreme Court as he worked to invalidate the 2020 election results, Washington Post contributor George Conway said on CNN that the attorney should be "disbarred" and "prosecuted."

Conway went on to say that he thinks Eastman "was just blowing smoke in some of these emails" since all avenues to get the Supreme Court to consider bogus voter fraud claims had been exhausted, but the content of the emails, where Eastman allegedly suggested that violence in the streets would convince SCOTUS to see things Trump's way was "appalling."

In regards to the Jan. 6 committee subpoenaing Ginni Thomas to testify, Conway said that "it was headed this way."

"The fact that she chose to involve herself in this appalling attempt to overturn an election was deeply problematic for her husband, deeply problematic for the Supreme Court ... it just raises too many questions that deserve answers."

During the latest Jan. 6 hearing, a retired federal judge testified Thursday that Trump's demand for Mike Pence to reject the results of the 2020 US election would have triggered a "revolution" had the vice president obeyed.

J Michael Luttig had advised Pence that his role in overseeing Congress's ratification of the 2020 election on January 6 last year was purely ceremonial -- rejecting Eastman's theory that Pence had the power to unilaterally overturn Joe Biden's victory.

Luttig, a renowned conservative legal scholar, told a hearing of the congressional committee investigating the 2021 US Capitol assault that had Pence gone along with the plot, it would have triggered a "what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis in America."

The jurist outlined how close he believed democracy came to collapsing as he appeared at the committee's third June hearing, which focused on the pressure campaign mounted by Trump against Pence to help the defeated Republican leader cling to power.

"There was no basis in the constitution or the laws of the United States at all for the theory espoused by Mr Eastman. At all. None," Luttig said.

Watch the video below or at this lin.

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Maryland School board member's son AirDrops video urging others to shoot Black people 'for fun': report

An investigation is underway after a video went viral showing a Maryland high school student -- who is the son of a local school board member -- holding a pellet gun and saying, “Shoot n*****s for fun, you hear me?” 47ABC reports.

The student is the 15-year son of Wicomico County Board of Education member Tonya Laird Lewis.

After the video went viral, Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis sent deputies to the student's house Tuesday night and conducted a threat assessment.

“This was done in person, we wanted to yank this kid’s chain, we wanted to see what he thought he was up to,” Sheriff Lewis said. “Did he think it was appropriate? Did he have any remorse for what he did? He was very remorseful.”

The student told investigators that the video was created about 5 months ago and recently was air dropped inside of his school.

“I know very well how airdrop works and you can walk through any public school here in Wicomico County, and if your airdrop is set to everyone as opposed to your contacts, I can tell you, you can pick up dozens of images walking through any school in this county; that is a fact,” Sheriff Lewis said, adding that he's working with the local state’s attorneys office to see if any charges will be filed.

“This information has been widely disseminated,” Sheriff Lewis said. “Not just necessarily throughout our office, but throughout the community, but especially our school resource deputies who are charged with protecting our county schools; and I can assure you that everybody is on high alert today, and there is no reason for anybody to be concerned over at Parkside or any other school in this county based on this particular incident.”

How Donald Trump's 'willful blindness' fundraising off of the Big Lie could constitute yet another crime

This Monday, the House committee investigating the Capitol riot said that former President Donald Trump fundraised off his false claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“The Trump campaign knew that these claims of voter fraud were false yet they continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails encouraging them to donate to something called the ‘Official Election Defense Fund,’” senior investigative counsel Amanda Wick said. “The select committee discovered no such fund existed.”

During a segment on MSNBC this Monday, former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the revelation shows that the committee "in investigating one crime may have stumbled on another."

"...if [Trump] is using a lie as a false pretense to collect money from people, that could also be a charge of wire fraud, so, in that way, we may have seen an expansion of the potential liability here," McQuade said.

McQuade went on to say that what she saw during today's House hearing was "the essence of willful blindness" -- namely due to former Attorney General William Barr's testimony that Trump didn't show any interest "in what the actual facts were."

McQuade went on to say that what she saw during today's House hearing was "the essence of willful blindness" -- namely due to former Attorney General William Barr's testimony that Trump didn't show any interest "in what the actual facts were."

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