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More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice

Five members of a Texas family, Kristi, Tom, Dawn, Josh Munn, and Kayli Munn were arrested on Tuesday for entering the US Capitol together during the January 6 insurrection.

The family that does the crime together does the time together!

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Proof once again that there is no law the right won’t try to pervert, as Garfield County Sheriff’s Deputy Cree Carter abuses a hate crime law to harass 19-year old Utah resident Lauren Gibson for stepping on a “Back the Blue” sign.

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Thu 15 Jul 2021 06.00 EDT

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.

The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position.

Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature.

By this point Trump was the frontrunner in the Republican party’s nomination race. A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use “all possible force” to ensure a Trump victory.

Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.

The Guardian has shown the documents to independent experts who say they appear to be genuine. Incidental details come across as accurate. The overall tone and thrust is said to be consistent with Kremlin security thinking.

Vladimir Putin holds a meeting with permanent members of the security council on 22 January 2016 at the Kremlin. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/Russian presidential press service/TASS

The Kremlin responded dismissively. Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the idea that Russian leaders had met and agreed to support Trump in at the meeting in early 2016 was “a great pulp fiction” when contacted by the Guardian on Thursday morning.

The report – “No 32-04 \ vd” – is classified as secret. It says Trump is the “most promising candidate” from the Kremlin’s point of view. The word in Russian is perspektivny.

There is a brief psychological assessment of Trump, who is described as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.

There is also apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on the future president, collected – the document says – from Trump’s earlier “non-official visits to Russian Federation territory”.

The paper refers to “certain events” that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow. Security council members are invited to find details in appendix five, at paragraph five, the document states. It is unclear what the appendix contains.

“It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump’s] election to the post of US president,” the paper says.

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Joint Chiefs chairman feared potential ‘Reichstag moment’ aimed at keeping Trump in power

In the waning weeks of Donald Trump’s term, the country’s top military leader repeatedly worried about what the president might do to maintain power after losing reelection, comparing his rhetoric to Adolf Hitler’s during the rise of Nazi Germany and asking confidants whether a coup was forthcoming, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

As Trump ceaselessly pushed false claims about the 2020 presidential election, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, grew more and more nervous, telling aides he feared that the president and his acolytes might attempt to use the military to stay in office, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker report in “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”

Milley described “a stomach-churning” feeling as he listened to Trump’s untrue complaints of election fraud, drawing a comparison to the 1933 attack on Germany’s parliament building that Hitler used as a pretext to establish a Nazi dictatorship.

“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides, according to the book. “The gospel of the Führer.”

A spokesman for Milley declined to comment.

Portions of the book related to Milley — first reported Wednesday night by CNN ahead of the book’s July 20 release — offer a remarkable window into the thinking of America’s highest-ranking military officer, who saw himself as one of the last empowered defenders of democracy during some of the darkest days in the country’s recent history.

The episodes in the book are based on interviews with more than 140 people, including senior Trump administration officials, friends and advisers, Leonnig and Rucker write in an author’s note. Most agreed to speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity, and the scenes reported were reconstructed based on firsthand accounts and multiple other sources whenever possible.

Milley — who was widely criticized last year for appearing alongside Trump in Lafayette Square after protesters were forcibly cleared from the area — had pledged to use his office to ensure a free and fair election with no military involvement. But he became increasingly concerned in the days following the November contest, making multiple references to the onset of 20th-century fascism.

After attending a Nov. 10 security briefing about the “Million MAGA March,” a pro-Trump rally protesting the election, Milley said he feared an American equivalent of “brownshirts in the streets,” alluding to the paramilitary forces that protected Nazi rallies and enabled Hitler’s ascent.

Late that same evening, according to the book, an old friend called Milley to express concerns that those close to Trump were attempting to “overturn the government.”

“You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff,” the friend told Milley, according to an account relayed to his aides. Milley was shaken, Leonnig and Rucker write, and he called former national security adviser H.R. McMaster to ask whether a coup was actually imminent.

“What the f— am I dealing with?” Milley asked him.

The conversations put Milley on edge, and he began informally planning with other military leaders, strategizing how they would block Trump’s order to use the military in a way they deemed dangerous or illegal.

If someone wanted to seize control, Milley thought, they would need to gain sway over the FBI, the CIA and the Defense Department, where Trump had already installed staunch allies. “They may try, but they’re not going to f—ing succeed,” he told some of his closest deputies, the book says.

In the weeks that followed, Milley played reassuring soothsayer to a string of concerned members of Congress and administration officials who shared his worries about Trump attempting to use the military to stay in office.

“Everything’s going to be okay,” he told them, according to the book. “We’re going to have a peaceful transfer of power. We’re going to land this plane safely. This is America. It’s strong. The institutions are bending, but it won’t break.”

In December, with rumors circulating that the president was preparing to fire then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and replace her with Trump loyalist Kash Patel, Milley sought to intervene, the book says. He confronted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the annual Army-Navy football game, which Trump and other high-profile guests attended.

“What the hell is going on here?” Milley asked Meadows, according to the book’s account. “What are you guys doing?”

When Meadows responded, “Don’t worry about it,” Milley shot him a warning: “Just be careful.”

After the failed insurrection on Jan. 6, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Milley to ask for his guarantee that Trump would not be able to launch a nuclear strike and start a war.

“This guy’s crazy,” Pelosi said of Trump in what the book reported was mostly a one-way phone call. “He’s dangerous. He’s a maniac.”

Once again, Milley sought to reassure: “Ma’am, I guarantee you that we have checks and balances in the system,” he told Pelosi.

Less than a week later, as military and law enforcement leaders planned for President Biden’s inauguration, Milley said he was determined to avoid a repeat of the siege on the Capitol.

“Everyone in this room, whether you’re a cop, whether you’re a soldier, we’re going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power,” he told them. “We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.”

At Biden’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, Milley was seated behind former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who asked the general how he was feeling.

“No one has a bigger smile today than I do,” Milley replied. “You can’t see it under my mask, but I do.”

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Note the lie about the fire at St. John’s Church.

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Federal authorities have arrested two men in California who allegedly wanted to start a movement to overthrow the government and discussed blowing up the Democratic headquarters in Sacramento in a new, major case of would-be domestic terrorists motivated by former President Donald Trump’s election defeat.

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A correction I saw somewhere, Obama did NOT fire Milley! But he did fire Mathis, who wanted to go to war with Iran, and that’s why Trump nominated him at the Pentagon, before firing him! :roll_eyes:

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Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani could face criminal investigation in Arizona over their attempts to overturn election

Lindsey Graham floats Senate GOP leaving Washington, DC to deny a quorum for Democratic infrastructure bill

Here are the QAnon supporters running for Congress in 2022

The QAnon conspiracy theory was linked to the Capitol insurrection. Here are 40 congressional candidates who have embraced it.

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What an awful little group that Rep McCarthy selected for the review of the Jan 6th riot.

Jim Jordan among 5 Republicans selected for Jan. 6 select committee House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has decided which Republicans he will name to a select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Axios.

Driving the news: McCarthy will name Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) as ranking member, alongside Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.), and freshman Troy Nehls (Texas).

State of play: McCarthy’s appointments come just over a week away from the committee’s first hearing on July 27, which will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.

  • The select committee will comprise 13 members, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the final say as to who sits on the panel.
  • This committee is Democrat-led, though Pelosi also named Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as one of her appointees.

The big picture: Pelosi moved forward with the creation of a committee controlled by Democrats after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have established a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack.

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Remember the lie that Trump was losing money while in office?

Trump’s business made $2.4 billion during his presidency.

Forbes estimates the pandemic helped wipe about $200 million off Trump’s top line last year.

“But he donated his salary to charity!”

Merrick Garland’s DoJ did not decline to wake up and prosecute Wilbur Ross for lying to Congress about the Trump/GQP attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census to twist its results; Bill Barr’s did.



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Ex-Trump Ally Tom Barrack Charged With Illegal UAE Lobbying


Prosecutors cast Trump as a victim of the alleged scheme.


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Pelosi is right to want to get these guys off the Jan 6th ‘committee.’ But can she?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) picks to serve on the Jan. 6 select committee, citing that the outspoken Republicans may jeopardize “the integrity of the investigation.”

McCarthy announced Monday that he would recommend Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), noting that the two Republicans and three others represent an array of viewpoints and opinions. Both Jordan and Banks voted against certifying the election of President Biden.

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Another article on that:

Pelosi vetoes Banks, Jordan for Jan. 6 select committee

The move is poised to spark a full boycott of the investigation by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Twitter is lambasting Politico for doing the "but this is good for Republicans"schtick here again.

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Trump’s PAC collected $75 million this year, but so far the group has not put money into pushing for the 2020 ballot reviews he touts

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-pac-ballot-reviews/2021/07/22/d451fcaa-e596-11eb-934f-7e6c1927f261_story.html

Former president Donald Trump’s political PAC raised about $75 million in the first half of this year as he trumpeted the false notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him, but the group has not devoted funds to help finance the ongoing ballot review in Arizona or to push for similar endeavors in other states, according to people familiar with the finances.

Instead, the Save America leadership PAC — which has few limits on how it can spend its money — has paid for some of the former president’s travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the group’s inner workings. The PAC has held onto much of its cash.

Even as he assiduously tracks attempts by his allies to cast doubt on the integrity of last year’s election, Trump has been uninterested in personally bankrolling the efforts, relying on other entities and supporters to fund the endeavors, they said.

The tactic allows Trump to build up a war chest to use in the 2022 midterms on behalf of candidates he favors — and to stockpile cash for another potential White House run, an unprecedented maneuver for a former president.

In the meantime, the months-long audit of Maricopa County’s ballots in Arizona — which is expected to cost millions — is being paid for primarily by nonprofit entities that do not disclose their donors and private individuals such as former Overstock chief executive Patrick Byrne. A lawsuit seeking a similar audit in Fulton County, Ga., has been financed by small donations, according to the group that brought the claim.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not answer questions on whether the group is considering putting money into the ballot review efforts. The group will have to publicly disclose its fundraising and spending for the first half of the year by July 31.

Since leaving office, Trump has repeatedly pushed for various states to overturn the election results, sending out a blizzard of statements with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. He has consulted with state officials in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and has described state ballot reviews as the key to prove he won the 2020 election. And his political group has repeatedly urged donors to give by claiming that Trump is working to protect their vote — fundraising pitches that his advisers say remain the most lucrative.

“We need you to join the fight to SECURE OUR ELECTIONS!” reads one Facebook ad.

On Saturday, Trump is scheduled to speak in Phoenix at an event called the “Protect our Elections Rally,” hosted by a group founded by conservative activist Charlie Kirk. The former president has repeatedly made false claims of irregularities in the Arizona vote, asserting in a statement this month that it amounted “to hundreds of thousands of votes or, many times what is necessary for us to have won.”

“There was no victory here, or in any other of the Swing States either,” he added in one of the statements put out by the Save America PAC.

Trump launched the group after the election, and it quickly raised $31.5 million last year as he blasted the integrity of the vote, but had spent little of its haul by Jan. 1, according to its public disclosure for that period.

Trump has told some advisers that he wants to keep a large bank account to show strength for a potential 2024 campaign. He continues to tell advisers that he will probably run for president again, though some in his orbit suspect he will not. Some advisers have also urged him to save the money for travel next year to barnstorm the country on behalf of candidates he has endorsed.

“That is probably the most lucrative thing he’s had in terms of cash flow since the Plaza casino in Atlantic City,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer and frequent critic. “This is just as lucrative. He has recognized because of what happened after the election — he can make money as a candidate.”

Besides fundraising, Trump has begun renting the massive trove of data that his campaign amassed to other candidates he supports in exchange for a share of their fundraising revenue, according to people familiar with the deal. That could ultimately prove another valuable cash flow for him.

A Trump adviser said he had not ruled out spending money on ballot review efforts in states such as Arizona and Georgia “at some point down the road.”

Organizers of the Arizona ballot review have not revealed the full costs of the intensive process that is now in its third month, but they acknowledged it is likely to climb into the millions. The Republican-led state Senate agreed to put $150,000 in taxpayer dollars into the effort, but the remainder of the cost is being covered by private donations.

Nonprofits have sprung up that are devoted to financing the Arizona endeavor, which Trump allies claim will show irregularities in the vote, which narrowly gave the win to President Biden. Those assertions have been repeatedly disputed by election officials and failed in court.

Among those fundraising for the audit are Voices and Votes, a group founded by One America News network host Christina Bobb, who frequently uses her on-air reports about the audit to encourage viewers to donate.

Byrne, who attended a chaotic Oval Office meeting with Trump in December to discuss ways to overturn the election, founded another group, the America Project, which Byrne said has raised $1.2 million to help pay for the Arizona review. Byrne also told The Washington Post that he personally donated an additional $500,000. Because the group is not required to disclose information about its donors or spending, it is not possible to corroborate those assertions.

Supporters of a different group — Election Integrity Funds for the American Republic, which has been promoted by Michigan attorney Matthew DePerno — have in recent weeks taken to the social media platform Telegram, popular among Trump allies, to allege that Byrne had not followed through on his funding promises. They pushed allies to donate to their group instead. Byrne has strongly denied those claims.

In an email, DePerno said he had no formal role with the group but said he had raised $276,900 through it for the Arizona audit “in just a couple of days.” DePerno said that when he started raising money for the organization, others “wrongly assumed” that if he was raising money, then Byrne was not. But he said he has never said anything negative about Byrne.

“People and the media should have focused on the good work I was doing, not twisting it into a negative,” he wrote.

Additional details about the financing of the Arizona audit could emerge in coming weeks. Last week, an Arizona judge found that records and correspondence related to Cyber Ninjas, the private contractor hired to conduct the audit, should be considered public documents under state law, including information related to audit funding. The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by the group American Oversight.

The litigation is ongoing, but in denying a motion by the Senate to dismiss the case, Judge Michael Kemp wrote, “It is difficult to conceive of a case with a more compelling public interest demanding public disclosure and public scrutiny.”

Trump supporters have been agitating to mimic the Arizona effort in multiple places.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, state Sen. Doug Mastriano ®, a Trump ally who has repeatedly questioned the election outcome, sent letters on July 7 to three Pennsylvania jurisdictions — the city of Philadelphia, as well as the Republican-leaning counties of York and Tioga — requesting that they turn over to the legislature a long list of voting-related items, including all of their voting machines, tabulators and ballots from the 2020 election.

Citing his role as chairman of the state Senate’s Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which he wrote has the power to subpoena documents from government agencies, Mastriano told the counties that if they did not provide a plan to comply with his request by July 31, subpoenas could be forthcoming.

State officials have warned that turning over voting equipment could result in counties footing the bill to replace them. York and Tioga counties have already told Mastriano they do not plan to comply voluntarily. Philadelphia has not yet responded.

Mastriano has not said who would pay for the audit if he is able to obtain the information he is seeking from the three localities.

Trump allies have also been seeking an audit in Georgia, though so far unsuccessfully. Activists who have been hoping a judge in Fulton County would order that they be given access to ballots and equipment have so far instead settled for examining computerized images of ballots, which are accessible in Georgia via a public records request.

Garland Favorito, who leads the activist group that brought the lawsuit, has said his effort is being funded entirely by small-dollar donors to his organization, and he has received no other outside funding.

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