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Michele Bachmann’s No Good Very Very Bad Week

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Michele Bachmann, head of the Congressional Tea Party caucus and a former presidential candidate who withdrew from the race in January, has had a devastating week.

Michele Bachmann, who represents a conservative district in Minnesota, is being blamed on Twitter, along with Rush Limbaugh, for contributing to an environment of hate that some say led to yesterday’s tragic shooting which left six dead, plus the shooter, at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

“Twitter users have already begun to imply that public figures like Michele Bachmann and Rush Limbaugh are somehow responsible,” The Blaze reports:

Bachmann seemed to be the recipient of most of the allegations, presumably because of her calls to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood and its influence within the United States government.

If that seems a stretch, last night the Minnesota Star Tribune published an open letter signed by ten leaders of various faiths, that accuse Bachmann of “discriminatory and unsubstantiated accusations about Muslims.”

Writing that, “Bachmann’s fear-mongering hurts our country,” the group states:

We want to send a clear message to Congresswoman Bachmann that her efforts to demonize American Muslims are not welcomed by the Minnesota faith community. The safety and security of our country necessitates that we work together and not sow the seeds of division.

We the undersigned faith leaders stand in solidarity with our fellow American Muslims. Any attack on them is an attack on all of us.

Minnesota is known for its strong track record of interfaith work. Our interfaith alliances run deep and encompass a wide network of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Baha’i groups. We are proud of the trust and goodwill that our synergistic efforts have engendered over the years.

As interfaith leaders, we are appalled by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s discriminatory and unsubstantiated accusations. We strongly repudiate her past and current efforts to malign by association honorable American Muslims and respectable Muslim organizations that are serving our nation with great distinction. We deplore her finger-pointing and name-calling against the American Muslim community.

Despite the interfaith group’s position, Congresswoman Bachmann just announced she has joined a “citizens advisory board” on the Thomas More Law Center, a far right Christian legal defense group that claims to be “Christianity’s answer to the ACLU.” The Thomas More Law Center recently defended what the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as the “anti-Muslim Koran-burning publicity hound Terry Jones.”

The Detroit Free Press reports:

“I am pleased to join forces with the Thomas More Law Center,” Bachmann said Thursday. “They are in the courts aggressively fighting the internal threat to America posed by radical Islam.”

Richard Thompson, the center’s president and chief counsel, said that Bachmann “puts country before politics.”

“She understands the threat of radical Islam,” Thompson said. “We share her concerns regarding the stealth jihad that’s being perpetrated against the United States.”

Thompson was referring to what he and some other conservatives say are quiet ways in which some Islamic organizations are trying to take control in the West. Last month, Bachmann sent an open letter asking whether officials in the U.S. government — including Huma Abedin, a Muslim born in Kalamazoo who is a close aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — have ties to Islamic extremist groups.

Bachmann’s letter, signed by several other Republicans, was criticized by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others who praised Abedin. Bachmann defended the letter, saying there are legitimate concerns about Abedin’s family ties.

Established in 1998 by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, a conservative Catholic, the Thomas More Law Center has filed suits in a number of cases involving the rights of conservative Christians. It supported the right of a school in Pennsylvania to teach creationism, fought gay rights ordinances and opposes the contraception mandate announced by the Obama administration this year.

No word on what her compensation will be.

But Bachmann, despite pulling in $1 million in donations in the month of July, thanks in large part to her defamatory and scurrilous accusations against U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s top aide, Huma Abedin, is having serious financial difficulties.

Noting that “Bachmann’s campaign debt stand [sic] out, however, because the three-term congresswoman from Stillwater has been among the harshest critics on Capitol Hill of deficit spending and the nation’s debt under President Barack Obama,” SCtimes, a Gannett newspaper, reports that “Bachmann’s presidential campaign finance report for the second quarter showed a total debt of $935,000 but only $199,000 in available cash.”

Those figures presumably do not include Bachmann’s July haul, which begs the question, Did Michele Bachmann level charges against Huma Abedin and others in an attempt to gain attention — and cash?

Regardless, Bachmann may need that cash.

Via the Kansas City Star:

An Iowa campaign aide for former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann sued the Minnesota congresswoman and her senior campaign aides on Monday, alleging an official stole a private email list and that she was blamed for its use.

The lawsuit filed by Barb Heki claims that Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, state Sen. Kent Sorenson, took the list from Heki’s private computer to promote Bachmann’s candidacy among Christian home-school advocates before the Iowa caucuses. Heki was hired to coordinate home-school supporters for Bachmann’s Iowa campaign.

Of course, if things get really, really bad for Bachmann, at least she can count on the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell.
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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News

Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump Under FBI Investigation for Potential Violation of the Espionage Act Legal Experts Say

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‘Simply Jaw-Dropping’: Legal Experts Also Stunned Over Top Secret, Confidential Contents of Cartons FBI Seized From Mar-a-Lago

“A search warrant viewed by POLITICO reveals that the FBI is investigating Donald Trump for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and removed classified documents from the former president’s Florida estate earlier this week,” Politico reports.

The New York Times also confirms.

“Federal agents who executed the warrant did so to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”

Based on the search warrant released to far-right media outlet Breitbart News, multiple legal experts also say Donald Trump, the former president is under FBI investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act.

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

“A federal magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe evidence of the crime of ESPIONAGE to be found at Mar-A-Lago. Repeat 5 times,” writes former U.S. Attorney and DOJ official Harry Litman, now an LA Times legal affairs columnist. He also notes that “top secret/compartmented is stratospherically high classification. Scandal he ever had in [those documents] the first place.”

Top national security lawyer Brad Moss writes: “18 U.S.C. 793 – Espionage Act. That’s for willful/grossly negligent removal of information relating to the national defense. 18 U.S.C. 2017 and 18 U.S.C. 1519 – that’s for concealing federal records.”

Moss also retweeted this statement by veteran Cox Radio Capitol Hill correspondent Jamie Dupree:

“So the leak of the Trump search warrant via Breitbart indicates that former President Donald Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act and for Obstruction of Justice.”

Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler also confirms, writing: “The hilarious thing is that since Brietbart doesn’t even know what a Supervisory Special Agent is, they probably don’t realize they’ve confirmed that Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act.”

READ MORE: Suspect Who Shot Up FBI Office Days After Mar-a-Lago Raid Was Trump Supporter Who Called to Kill FBI ‘On Sight’: Report

Western New England University School of Law law professor Jennifer Taub also confirms, writing: “Donald Trump is being investigated for espionage.”

The Wall Street Journal was first to publish details of what FBI agents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday. Legal experts have been calling Friday afternoon’s revelations “jaw-dropping.”

FBI agents “removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the WSJ report states.

Despite initial reports the FBI seized between ten and 12 cartons of documents and other materials unlawfully removed from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, there were 20 cartons retrieved. That is in addition to the 15 cartons the National Archives were forced to retrieve earlier this year.

“The list includes references to one set of documents marked as ‘Various classified/TS/SCI documents,’ an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.”

The classified/TS/SCI markings are the most important.

Legal experts say the search warrant was “broad,” and indeed the Journal reports the warrant “shows that FBI agents sought 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.'”

Late Thursday evening The Washington Post revealed FBI agents were looking to retrieve classified documents “related to nuclear weapons,” making Monday’s raid all the more important, and Trump and his teams handling – or mishandling – of those documents all the more egregious.

The George Washington University Law School’s Professor of Government Procurement Law, Steven L. Schooner, says, “removal of, failure to account for, & failure to return (under subpoena) ‘classified/TS/SCI documents’ is, ugh, simply jaw-dropping, and that’s regardless of whether it’s nuclear-related.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

 

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