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Opinion: The Catholic Church’s Complicity In NOM-Regnerus’s Anti-Gay Hate Speech

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We have been reporting on an invalid sociological study on gay parenting carried out by researcher Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin.

Regnerus’s known total of $785,000 for the study was arranged by The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation, where Robert P. George – (head of the anti-gay-rights, scientifically disreputable, so-called National Organization for Marriage) – holds positions of authority. Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member. NOM’s Robert George is a long-time Catholic Church co-conspirator in the Church’s ages-long, Unholy War Against Gays. He is a current Board member of The Catholic League, whose motormouth president Bill Donohue has a long and shameful history of verbal gay bashing.

The Regnerus study currently is being used as an anti-gay-rights political weapon in the 2012 elections. With its toxic connections to the so-called National Organization for Marriage, the Catholic Church of course has been using the invalid Regnerus study as a political weapon against LGBT-Americans — who against their wills are obliged to subsidize one of the very worst of their relentless and ruthless oppressors worldwide — the tax-exempt Catholic Church — with their hard-earned tax dollars.

Clarity still is needed as to the real source of the funding for the Regnerus study. Sure, the Witherspoon Institute gave a known minimal total of of $695,000, and the Bradley Foundation a known minimal total of $90,000, but where exactly did they find those big bucks? Could the Church possibly have been involved in getting that money to Witherspoon and/or the Bradley Foundation?  Witherspoon so far has refused to cooperate with Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple reporters for its Regnerus study-related communications.

Like NOM, and like Regnerus’s study, the Catholic Church is scientifically disreputable. When science has seemed  to contradict Catholic dogma, the Church often has lashed out maliciously at scientists and those who advance science and have faith in it. In its Unholy War Against Gays, the Church has used gay-bashing lingo from scientifically disreputable organizations like NARTH, and individual, scientifically disreputable figures like Paul Cameron. To understand how ridiculous, unscientific and out of touch with reality the Catholic Church is on all matters pertaining to human sexuality — not only on homosexuality — consider that the Catholic Catechism calls masturbation “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” A long, loud Bronx cheer please. Hard though it may be for some to grasp, the religious dogma simply does not match the science of human sexuality. Sperm are not holy, there are far more than enough sperm to go around; no sane person need worry about “wasting” sperm. We are reminded of the joke: Why does the Pope wear a bathing suit into the shower? He doesn’t want to look down on the unemployed. The Church’s obnoxious, science-bashing stupidity is implicit in the dogma of “papal infallibility,” which apparently holds that the Pope, not science, understands sexuality generally, homosexuality in particular, and has a right, based on the Pope’s anti-scientific gay bashing, to meddle in politics and civil laws around the world with a goal of maintaining and/or redoubling sexual orientation apartheid.

Ludicrous, duplicitous claims from Catholic Church and NOM officials that they “love” gay people are properly understood in the context of those two parties’ large-scale psychological domestic-and-political violence against LGBTers. It is characteristic of abusers to make fake declarations of “love” for their victims. That is not love, and nobody should be fooled by the deliberately disingenuous abusers.

For background information on the thick-as-thieves relationship between 1) the anti-gay-rights Catholic Church, and 2) the anti-gay-rights, so-called National Organization for Marriage, go here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

Notice that that last link is to a NOM Blog post reporting on Ratzinger’s appointment of Bishop Salvatore Cordileone as Archbishop of San Francisco. The NOM Blog post headline is  Bishop Cordileone, “Godfather of Prop 8”, Promoted to Abp. of San Francisco.

Thus we see that NOM is tone deaf to Italian-Americans who object to jokey, knee-jerk references to people of Italian heritage as being heads of organized crime mobs, yet at the same time, “Godfather” certainly is fitting for the Catholic Church’s political gay-basher Cordileone. On the one hand, NOM should not have referred to him as the “Godfather of Prop 8.” On the other hand — (Mr. Cordileone) — if 1) the Catholic Church of Rome’s 2)  Unholy-War-Against-GaysMob- Shoe fits you — (and that anti-gay-rights patented Catholic Church Mob Footwear certainly does fit Cordileone) — then you are accurately described as wearing it.

That the NOM-leaders-financed, invalid Regnerus study is deliberately misleading and defamatory of gays is beyond all question.  An amicus brief filed by eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association was filed specifically to define exactly what — in an ACP brief relying on the Regnerus study — misrepresented the Regnerus study, but the brief also went on to define what in the Regnerus study itself disqualifies it from being taken seriously as science. Neither NOM nor Catholic Church officials have ever seriously engaged with the rationally-articulated, science-based dismissals of the Regnerus study as science. Naturally, the verified science goes in one Catholic Church ear and out the other, as the Church races full steam ahead with its illicit political propagandizing and gay bashing based on the invalid Regnerus study.

We never should have been forced into the position of having to defend against defamation in the form of a bogus sociological study that makes no valid comparison between its test group and its control group, and still less should we have been forced into anti-defamation action by such a study funded by persons aspiring to yoke us with their gay-bashing religious dogma via our civil laws. These monsters’ actions in defaming us on the not-very-well-disguised background basis of their theocracy-based bigotry go against the letter and the spirit of the Constitution of the United States.

A few stomach-churning examples of the Church using Regnerus as a weapon against gays and gay rights will suffice.

Even as the Church fights tooth-and-nail against proposed laws to lift the statutes of limitations on the prosecution of child rape — and let us say that again, for emphasis, because it is true — the Catholic Church in the United States (and elsewhere) fights tooth-and-nail against proposed laws to lift the statutes of limitations on the prosecution of child rape — Cordileone had the towering nerve to address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 14, 2012, and to tell them that the Regnerus study indicates that: “The protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a work of justice and is foundational to the good of all, especially for those most vulnerable among us, our children.”

One verifiable, real-world phenomenon Cordileone’s gay-bashing propaganda leaves out of account, is that the number of children in foster care in recent decades has declined, thanks to responsible gay parents adopting children who were neglected, abused and/or abandoned by their irresponsible heterosexual parents. With its characteristic mean-spiritedness against gays, the Catholic Church is actively seeking to strengthen the stigma and the legal discrimination against those gay-headed families and their children. Cordileone outright lies about the Regnerus study, where he says that it is “one of the first studies on this topic to have a comprehensive and scientifically respectable approach.” His deliberately misleading statement about the discipline of the scientific study of gay parenting is despicable and beneath all contempt, and therefore, characteristic of Catholic Church officials’ lying, demonizing pronouncements against gay human beings. That, actually, as happens, is one of the reasons that Mussolini and the Vatican got along so well together. The Regnerus study does not — as Cordileone disingenuously alleges — have a “comprehensive and scientifically respectable approach.”  Had the Regnerus study been “comprehensive,” it would have surveyed — you know — actual children of gay parents. A gay parenting study like Regnerus’s that does not survey gay parents or their children can not in any sense be called “comprehensive.” The Godfather of Prop 8 is, as turns out, a shameless bullshit artist. Not a single scientist of good repute and without a conflict of interest in commenting on the Regnerus study has supported the Regnerus study as scientifically valid. Beyond the aforementioned AMA amicus brief, and as first reported here on TNCRM, a group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s signed a letter to the journal that published Regnerus, expressing concern over the study’s lack of intellectual integrity as well as over the suspicious circumstances of the study’s publication.

In response to the scientific debunking of the Regnerus study, the Regnerus study’s supporters pump out yet more bunk. A Baylor Institute for the Studies of Religion letter published in support of Regnerus bears the profoundly misleading title of A Social Scientific Response to the Regnerus Controversy. The Baylor letter contains deliberate subterfuges to dismiss as irrelevant the criticisms of the Regnerus study’s most glaring and obnoxious failings — including that it makes no valid comparison between its test group and its control group — yet these gay-bashing bigots have the nerve to call their anti-gay-rights propaganda a “social scientific response.” Most if not all of the signers of the Baylor letter have conflicts of interest in signing and publicizing it. The lead signer, for example, is Baylor ISR Director Byron Johnson; he also is a Senior Fellow of The Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study and which is heavily promoting it in anti-gay-rights political contexts. This reporter sent Johnson an e-mail asking him to acknowledge on the record his conflict of interest in signing the Baylor letter without disclosing his connection to the Regnerus study’s funding and anti-gay-rights political promotions. Johnson did not provide the courtesy of a reply.

Before I highlight a second main Catholic Church use of the Regnerus study as a political weapon in the Church’s Unholy War Against Gays, please take a look at some additional Church-Regnerus-NOM, anti-gay-rights propaganda, by seeing here, here, and then here in French, and here in Spanish — (in a publication called La Espada Catolica, The Catholic Sword — they’re apparently pining for the good old days of The Crusades, when they slaughtered Jews and Muslims all across Europe and the Middle East) —  and then here in German, and then here in Portuguese, and then here in Dutch and then here in Italian. The NOM-heads-funded Regnerus anti-gay defamation has spread all around the world, a veritable contagion of gay-bashing lies.

NOM and the Catholic Church both are seemingly very worried about the P.R. fall-out from their dishonorable connections to the invalid and defamatory Regnerus study. It is hardly a surprise that NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, a pathological anti-gay liar and professional anti-gay hate speech propagandist responds to science-based debunkings of the Regnerus study with yet more of her filthy, gay-bashing lies.

It also is hardly surprising that the disreputable Catholic League President Bill Donohue is sweating the science-based criticism of the Regnerus study. Best-selling author Anne Rice called Donohue out by name when she filmed a video announcing that she was leaving the Catholic Church, in no small measure because of the Church’s gay bashing and political gay bashing. Donohue demonstrated what low-down, hypocritical stuff he is made of, when he and his co-conspirator Timothy Dolan took to Dolan’s blog, trashed a 16-year-old girl who alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, and called the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests a “phony victims group.” If SNAP is a “phony victims group,” as Dolan and Donohue want the world to believe, then why, when SNAP was involved in Church child rape victims’ advocacy in the Los Angeles Diocese, did the Church settle with the victims for $660 million?

These vile, powerful Catholic adult males who abuse their power to trash a 16-year-old girl in public have no moral standing to carry out their Unholy War Against Gays. Yet, in response to my allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct against Mark Regnerus –presented to the University of Texas at Austin — Donohue sent an ad hominem attack against me to UT President William Powers. Dohonue discloses to UT President Powers that Robert George is on the Board of the Catholic League, yet he does not fess up about George’s connections to the funding of the Regnerus study; Donohue’s disclosure is thus a non-disclosure disclosure and an attempted misrepresentation of facts relevant to the Regnerus matter. In the letter, Donohue alleges that he is a trained sociologist, yet he makes no attempted scientific justification for Regnerus’s failure to make a valid comparison between his study’s test group and control group. A student in any Sociology 101 class would get an F for insisting that inappropriate test-group, control group comparisons are valid.

In his cowardly, dishonest and contemptible letter, Donohue scoffed at my having characterized a letter sent by the Archbishop Dolan to President Obama as threatening. Dolan’s letter to President Obama, meanwhile, which Donohue actually attached to his own letter to Powers — (as though the Dolan letter proves that Dolan made no threat to Obama) — warned President Obama that if he continued on the road to equality, he would “precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.”

If that is not a threat, what is it? Does Donohue maybe believe that the President of the University of Texas at Austin can not identify a Catholic Church threat when he sees one in print?

In his letter, Donohue further mislabels as “scurrilous” my past statement that Robert George has “a long history of telling dehumanizing lies about gay people.” Meanwhile, Robert George has said that homosexuality is “beneath the dignity of human beings as free and rational creatures.” He has argued to the Supreme Court of the United States that it should be possible to throw gay people into prison and to fine them for their intimacy. His NOM colleague William Duncan held a symposium session at Liberty University titled Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens; Who Deserves Protect Class Status? There are mountains of additional similar, verifiable “dehumanizing lies” that have been told by Robert George and his NOM co-conspirators in their foaming-at-the-mouth, Unholy War Against Gays.

George & Co. very literally say that gay people are not human, but Donohue wants UT President Powers to believe that it is “scurrilous” for me to report that Robert George has a long history of telling dehumanizing lies against gay people. Has Donohue even checked a dictionary lately for the meaning of “scurrilous”?

Donohue also lies outright in his letter to UT President Powers, where he says that “the “Fortnight for Freedom” events that were organized by the bishops had absolutely nothing to do with same-sex marriage;” Donohue is mistaking Powers for a fool, and assuming that he has no fact-checking capabilities.

My original letter to UT’s President Powers complained of the Regnerus study’s NOM-linked funders using the Regnerus study as a cudgel against gays in the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” events. The justification for my mentioning that, was and remains a justified suspicion that Regnerus could be politically in collusion with his study’s funders. Whereas Donohue tells powers that the “Fortnight for Freedom” had “absolutely nothing to do with same-sex marriage, the documented truth is that in association with the “Fortnight for Freedom,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published a letter to its website that is one long hateful screed against marriage equality for gay couples. Demeaningly, the USCCB anti-gay screed forcefully deplores the fact that when equality becomes law, “same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage.” Though the USCCB screed demands that same-sex marriage be outlawed in order to protect “religious freedom,” the hateful screed is written in willful ignorance that whole Christian churches ordain out, married gay and lesbian ministers, and that those churches’ religious freedoms require for marriage equality to be our civil law. The screed is just absolutely shameless, lying anti-gay hate speech from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and then Donohue adds insult to injury by sending an ad hominem attack letter against me to UT President Powers in which he outright lies about the Church’s “Fortnight for Freedom,” which did in fact include heaping servings of political gay bashing.

With its blood-soaked history of persecutions of sexual and other minorities, you might suppose that the Church would have the sense to stop the persecutions, yet the Church knows no shame. With the Catholic Church’s “infallible” leader Ratzinger implicated in the unconscionable actions of shifting child rapist priests between parishes without notifying parishioners of the danger, the Church appears to believe that by scapegoating gays, it will succeed in distracting world attention from its malfeasance. Donohue is himself guilty of that brand of scapegoating of homosexuals; it is one of the reasons that Anne Rice called Donohue out by name. As is his wont when the Church is accurately criticized, Donohue retaliated against Anne by attempting to smear her, instead of apologizing for all of the Church’s wrongs inflicted on the innocent. When the Howell, Michigan, Catholic public school student Daniel Glowacki verbally gay bashed in his classroom on Spirit Day, NOM-linked attorneys of The Thomas More Law Center — (whose logo is a Catholic sword against a cross, and whose motto is “Battle Ready to Defend America“) — came to Glowacki’s defense, and NOM made a video with Glowacki as yet another of its vehicles for begging for gay-bashing blood money.  Ask yourselves, why has that organization named itself for Thomas More, who as Chancellor had some of his victims burned at the stake for the “crime” of translating the Bible into English? Why is its motto a war-mongering one, and its logo a Catholic sword with a cross?  Are they not yet satisfied with their floods of anti-gay hate speech and the anti-gay-hate crimes that stem from the social attitudes at least in part occasioned by that hate speech?

Name so much as one — just one! — major gay rights organization that has a similarly violence-drenched logo and motto. Those are NOM’s anti-gay-rights Thomas More attorneys with their hate-and-war-mongering ways, and NOM’s head honchos at The Witherspoon Institute arranged for the funding of the invalid Regnerus study. The war that the Catholic Church and NOM wage unjustifiably against totally innocent gay people, is fought by the Church and by NOM as a dirty, dirty, dirty war, which those bellicose anti-gay parties wage without any sense of restraint or decency.

The Catholic Church has never adequately acknowledged its complicity in the mass slaughters of Jews and others throughout the ages. After telling its “flock” for nearly two thousand years that all Jews had to be held accountable for the death of Jesus, the Church had its “infallible” Popeexonerate” the Jews!  Mass slaughters of Jews in the Crusades, umpteen Catholic human rights abuses of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, with the Vatican having a branch called The Holy Office of the Inquisition, the Achtung! Sieg Heil! Old World Catholic Church charm of its Reichskonkordat political treaty with Hitler, plus the fact that the Vatican wished Adolph Hitler a happy birthday every year he was in power – the party in need of “exoneration” would hardly be the Jews.

The Church has yet even to settle with its victims in matters where it is irrefutably documented as being in collusion with Nazi war criminals. Vatican officials who helped known Nazi war criminals to evade justice through the ratlines to South America accepted assets stolen from Jewish as well as from gay Holocaust victims in payment for their criminal services. Yes; to assist a known war criminal to evade justice is in itself a crime. To accept fenced assets stolen from Holocaust victims to carry out the separate crime of helping war criminals to evade justice actually and truly is an additional, monstrous crime. Accepting fenced goods in payment for services is a crime. Catholic Church officials are guilty of those monstrous crimes.

Do not hold your breath, expecting the Church to acknowledge its complicity in getting gay Holocaust victims deported to be tortured and killed in concentration camps. Throughout Europe, there stand memorials to gay Holocaust victims, yet instead of acknowledging its role in those gay Holocaust victims’ tortures and murders, the Catholic Church picks up its  blood-stained sword of cutting-and-stabbing, anti-gay defamation — including the scientifically invalid Regnerus study – and very aggressively, selfishly and pitilessly wields it in repugnant, morally bankrupt attempts to skewer gay human beings and their rights along with them.

A Change.org petition asks IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman to investigate the Catholic Church for apparent violations of laws applicable to tax-exempt organizations such as the Catholic Church. The full text of the petition is extremely enlightening, and includes this: “The Church in every state very actively criticizes President Obama’s every LGBT initiative, naming him while condemning him, in ways that very evidently are negative endorsements of his candidacy, forbidden under 501(c)(3)-related law.” To sign the petition, go here.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.

In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”

Patch, which published a screenshot of  what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”

Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.

“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.

“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”

Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.

Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.

Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Moral Turpitude’: Trump Coup Memo Author John Eastman Now Facing 11 Counts of Alleged Ethics Violations – and Disbarment

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John Eastman, the far-right attorney, disgraced former law professor, former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and current chairman of the anti-LGBTQ National Organization For Marriage (NOM) is facing eleven counts of alleged ethics violations, and disbarment, by California state bar regulators. Among the allegations, “intentional acts of moral turpitude, dishonesty, or corruption.”

As The New York Times reported last fall, “after the November election, Mr. Eastman wrote the memo for which he is now best known, laying out steps that Vice President Mike Pence could take to keep Mr. Trump in power — measures Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans have likened to a blueprint for a coup.

So has the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, which late last month referred Eastman – in the same breath as Donald Trump – to the Dept. of Justice for possible prosecution on criminal charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported California state bar regulators “say they will seek to strip” Eastman of his law license.

READ MORE: Ginni Thomas Looking Like ‘Full Fledged Potential Co-Conspirator’ After Discovery of Emails With Eastman: Legal Expert

“The Notice of Disciplinary Charges alleges that Mr. Eastman violated this duty in furtherance of an attempt to usurp the will of the American people and overturn election results for the highest office in the land — an egregious and unprecedented attack on our democracy — for which he must be held accountable,” the State Bar of California’s Chief Trial Counsel George Cardona said in a statement. “Eastman has not been charged with any crimes to date.”

“The 11 charges arise from allegations that Eastman engaged in a course of conduct to plan, promote, and assist then-President Trump in executing a strategy, unsupported by facts or law, to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by obstructing the count of electoral votes of certain states,” the State Bar of California’s statement adds.

Law & Crime’s Adam Klasfeld further explains that Cardona “intends to seek Eastman’s disbarment for alleged violations of Business and Professions Code section 6106, which punishes making false and misleading statements that constitute acts of ‘moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption.'”

Last week The New York Times described Eastman as “a chief architect of Donald Trump’s effort to reverse his election loss,” but it is his fellow Republican attorneys who delivered the judgment on his skills.

“Many White House lawyers expressed contempt for Mr. Eastman, portraying him as an academic with little grasp of the real world,” The Times reported. “Greg Jacob, the legal counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence, characterized Mr. Eastman’s legal advice as ‘gravely, gravely irresponsible,’ calling him the ‘serpent in the ear’ of Mr. Trump. Eric Herschmann, a Trump White House lawyer, recounted ‘chewing out’ Mr. Eastman. Pat A. Cipollone, the chief White House counsel, is described calling Mr. Eastman’s ideas ‘nutty.'”

READ MORE: Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted

It wasn’t just Republican attorneys in the Trump White House.

During the January 6 insurrection, Eastman, certainly no silent architect, stood at the same podium Donald Trump would speak at, and delivered a fiery speech alongside Rudy Giuliani. Six days later his colleagues at Chapman University demanded his firing.

The disbarment may be the least of Eastman’s self-inflicted woes.

“He has been drawn into the criminal investigation into election interference in Atlanta, which is nearing a decision on potential indictments,” according to The Times, also adding that the “F.B.I. seized his iPhone.”

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

Watch the videos above or at this link.

This article was updated at 5:41 PM ET with details reported by Law & Crime, including references to “moral turpitude.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted

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Special Counsel Robert Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr, uncovered possible financial crimes by Donald Trump but made no attempt to prosecute them, The New York Times reveals in massive, bombshell report published Thursday after a months-long investigation.

“Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump. The specifics of the tip and how they handled the investigation remain unclear, but Mr. Durham brought no charges over it,” The Times’ Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman, and Katie Benner report.

The “potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes” came during a trip Barr and Durham, his special counsel, took together. They “decided that the tip was too serious and credible to ignore.”

But, “Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”

That’s just one aspect of The Times’ extensive and disturbing report.

It also reveals that there was little justification for Barr to install Durham as a special counsel to investigate what Trump wrongly maintained was an unjustifiable investigation into his ties to Russia.

In fact, The Times “found that the main thrust of the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws — including a strained justification for opening it and its role in fueling partisan conspiracy theories that would never be charged in court — that Trump allies claim characterized the Russia investigation.”

READ MORE: ‘Failed Spectacularly’: Top Legal Experts Call for Ethics Probe Into Bill Barr’s Handpicked Special Counsel John Durham

In another shocking revelation, The Times reports Durham “used Russian intelligence memos — suspected by other U.S. officials of containing disinformation — to gain access to emails of an aide to George Soros, the financier and philanthropist who is a favorite target of the American right and Russian state media.”

The Times does not explain how Durham obtained the Russian disinformation.

“Mr. Durham used grand jury powers to keep pursuing the emails even after a judge twice rejected his request for access to them. The emails yielded no evidence that Mr. Durham has cited in any case he pursued.”

Attorneys on Durham’s team apparently had significant qualms with his actions, leading at least two to resign.

“There were deeper internal fractures on the Durham team than previously known,” The Times reports. “The publicly unexplained resignation in 2020 of his No. 2 and longtime aide, Nora R. Dannehy, was the culmination of a series of disputes between them over prosecutorial ethics. A year later, two more prosecutors strongly objected to plans to indict a lawyer with ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign based on evidence they warned was too flimsy, and one left the team in protest of Mr. Durham’s decision to proceed anyway. (A jury swiftly acquitted the lawyer.)”

BARR THREATENED NSA

The Times also reports that Attorney General Barr bought into Trump’s false claims that there had been “no collusion” between the Trump camp and Russia.

READ MORE: Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

Importantly, The Times states point-blank that the Mueller Report “detailed ‘numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,’ and it established both how Moscow had worked to help Mr. Trump win and how his campaign had expected to benefit from the foreign interference.”

According to The Times’ account, “soon after giving Mr. Durham his assignment,” in May of 2019, “Mr. Barr summoned the head of the National Security Agency, Paul M. Nakasone, to his office. In front of several aides, Mr. Barr demanded that the N.S.A. cooperate with the Durham inquiry.”

The NSA is a wholly separate entity from the Dept. of Justice. It is an agency under the Dept. of Defense and reports to the powerful Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Barr apparently did not care, and, “repeating a sexual vulgarity, he warned that if the N.S.A. wronged him by not doing all it could to help Mr. Durham, Mr. Barr would do the same to the agency.”

DURHAM TRIED TO SCUTTLE A REPORT’S FINDING THAT TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION WAS WARRANTED

“Mr. Durham’s team spent long hours combing the C.I.A.’s files but found no way to support the allegation” that the investigation into Trump and Russia was the result of some anti-Trump deep state operation.

Barr and Durham actually “traveled abroad together to press British and Italian officials to reveal everything their agencies had gleaned about the Trump campaign and relayed to the United States, but both allied governments denied they had done any such thing. Top British intelligence officials expressed indignation to their U.S. counterparts about the accusation, three former U.S. officials said.”

The Dept. of Justice’s Inspector General’s investigation found there was, in fact, sufficient cause for the DOJ to have opened up the Trump-Russia investigation, contrary to Barr’s personal beliefs.

So he tried to have that finding removed from the final report.

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The Times reports that “the broader findings contradicted Mr. Trump’s accusations and the rationale for Mr. Durham’s inquiry,” which should have shut down what ultimately became Durham’s four-year long investigation that netted almost nothing.

The DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, “found no evidence that F.B.I. actions were politically motivated. And he concluded that the investigation’s basis — an Australian diplomat’s tip that a Trump campaign adviser had seemed to disclose advance knowledge that Russia would release hacked Democratic emails — had been sufficient to lawfully open it.”

So Barr tried to discredit Horowitz’s report.

“Minutes before the inspector general’s report went online, Mr. Barr issued a statement contradicting Mr. Horowitz’s major finding, declaring that the F.B.I. opened the investigation “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient.” He would later tell Fox News that the investigation began “without any basis,” as if the diplomat’s tip never happened.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

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