The reason a hate crime is treated by law enforcement as more “serious” is because it affects not only the victim, but all the people in the group the perpetrator targets. Just like terrorism.
Perhaps the best explanation comes from conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, who, discussing federal hate crimes legislation, wrote in 2009Â that a hate crime â€œis really two crimesâ€‰â€”â€‰one against the individual and another against the group to which he belongs. By that definition, Shepardâ€™s murder may be viewed as a terrorist act against all gays, who would have felt more fearful as a result.â€
Violent anti-gay hate crimes happen far too often and are life-changing, physically and emotionally.
In late 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center commented on the data released in theÂ FBIâ€™s 2009 Hate Crime Statistics reportÂ and stated it showed â€œthe LGBT community is, by far, the most victimized by violent hate crimes.â€ The SPLC also added,Â â€œHomosexuals are far more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in the United States.â€
So, to fake a hate crime is an act so egregious, it should be met with a jail sentence for those who perpetrate the fraud, (assuming there aren’t mental health considerations,) but especially when they are attempting to profit politically or financially for perpetrating the fraud.
Meet Kyle Wood, gay Republican. His photo, from his Twitter profile, is above.
Kyle Wood hails from Madison, Wisconsin, and is working for RepublicanÂ U.S. congressional candidate Chad Lee. Lee is running against — and, reportedly, losing against, DemocratÂ Mark Pocan.
“Kyle Wood, a campaign worker for the Republican congressional candidate Chad Lee, today recanted his statements about being assaulted and choked at his home on Oct. 24, according to Madison police,” the Daily Page reports:
Wood, who is gay, originally claimed he was attacked because of his politics and sexual orientation.
“It was terrifying,” WoodÂ told Christian SchneiderÂ of theÂ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “All of a sudden, there was something around my neck, so I couldn’t breathe — I mean, I could breathe enough to live, but I couldn’t scream. All I could think about was getting it off my neck.”
Red Alert Politics, one of the few media outlets to not have updated its reporting, the same day Wood recanted, published this account:
Last Wednesday, Kyle Wood, a full-time volunteer with Republican Chad Leeâ€™s Congressional campaign,Â was beaten inside his home in MadisonÂ by a yet-unidentified attacker who claimed that as a gay man Wood should be supporting the gay candidate for Congress.
The text messages obtained by Media Trackers show Philip Frank, Pocanâ€™s partner, making sexually-charged comments to Wood before threatening him and making racist statements about the spouse of Chad Lee. The messages were apparently sent two or three days before the Wednesday beating.
After mocking Wood for supporting the Republican candidate, Frank wrote, â€œRemember your station in life and remember not to cross the husband of a powerful man. You are on shaky footing as it is, push much farther and you wonâ€™t have a future in this town, or any other.â€
Wood has since told interviewers that he believes the attack on him â€“ who attacked him he doesnâ€™t know â€“ could have been motivated by who he was supporting and the increasingly rancorous atmosphere of Wisconsin politics. â€œIt probably had something to do with the fact that I support a Republican candidate running against an openly gay man,â€Â he told Christian Schneider of theÂ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.Â â€œI think thereâ€™s just so much animosity at this point, people have just stopped being reasonable,â€ he commented.
Apparently, none of it was true.
Here are Wood’s recent tweets, going back to October 13, from his previously dormant Twitter account:
â€” Kyle Wood (@zenandbadgers) January 21, 2011
Joe Jervis, aka Joe.My.God., yesterday had this to say:
There were so many holes in Wood’s story, not the least of which were the “injuries” that were clearly inconsistent with his claims, that most LGBT news sites, including this one, did not report the story.Â My “silence” on the “attack” spurred GOProud president Jimmy LaSalvia to taunt me on Twitter, ultimately telling me to “rot in hell” for my disbelief.
This latest bit of outrageous homocon fakery makes claims of beingÂ pushed off a bikeÂ or having aÂ brick thrownÂ through a window pale in repulsive comparison.Â THIS time, the husband of aÂ U.S. House candidateÂ was smeared. Kyle Wood will surely get what is coming to him. But the worst part of his despicable crime is that now our enemies haveÂ yet another reasonÂ to suspect all future anti-gay violence.
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation so rare that even Republican homosexuals are making them up. thedailypage.com/daily/article.â€¦
â€” Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) October 30, 2012
No “so rare,” as much as Fischer — a radical religious right extremistÂ whose entire job seems to consist of attacking the LGBT community — would like his followers to believe.
Last November, Zack Ford at Think Progress reported:
According to just-released statistics from the FBI,Â 1,528 hate crimesÂ were committed against people because of their sexual orientation in 2010, up fromÂ 1,436 in 2009. AsÂ Instinct Magazine points out, a similar number of hate crimes were committed based on religion (1,552), but only 7.2 percent of them were attacks against Christianity. This undermines the self-victimizing claims of groups like the National Organization for Marriage, who claim that anti-equality Christians are more significantly oppressed.
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Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’
Legal experts and other experts are urging – or in some cases, daring – Donald Trump to publish a copy of the FBI’s search warrant and the inventory list of the ten cartons of classified documents removed from Mar-a-Lago’s basement Monday, as his supporters openly call for civil war in response to what the former president called a “raid.”
“After the search, the federal agents hauled away roughly 10 more boxes,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
That makes the total number of cartons the former president was storing at his Florida home approximately 25, based on reports that 15 cartons had to be retrieved by the National Archives earlier this year.
Almost immediately upon news breaking that the FBI had executed a search warrant, Trump supporters went wild. They formed a convoy outside Mar-a-Lago, and online countless threats of violence and “civil war” have been made.
Tuesday morning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph, noting the “big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.”
Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno posted an image of a large number of tweets that call for civil war and other related threats of violence, including: “I already bought my ammo,” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,” “Let’s do the war,” and “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”
And Tuesday afternoon NBC News reported, “After Mar-a-Lago search, users on pro-Trump forums agitate for ‘civil war’ — including a Jan. 6 rioter.”
Legal experts have made clear they believe FBI’s execution of a lawful federal search warrant is most likely in connection with a national security and counterintelligence operation, not a casual stroll into the private estate of a former U.S. president – and certainly not a political move, like Trump supporters are falsely claiming.
Former Dept. of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich, who is also a former Asst. U.S. Attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) notes that “Trump has the search warrant, specifying the crimes being investigated, and the inventory of the items seized.”
“He has chosen not to share those items publicly although he is free to do so,” Bromwich adds.
Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on MSNBC Tuesday morning:
“Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that…If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves.”
“Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that…If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves.” @neal_katyal pic.twitter.com/j3PH8m8ACI
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 9, 2022
“By the way,” noted Richard Stengel, a former U.S. Under Secretary of State, “Trump now has the search warrant and the inventory of what was taken in his possession. If this raid was so egregious and unjustified, why not release them?”
“Trump can release the search warrant and the inventory of what the FBI took. Why hasn’t he?” asked Marc Elias, the DNC’s top attorney who successfully fought more than 60 cases of alleged election fraud brought by the Trump team and his supporters.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, responding to a Fox News tweet with video of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that reads, “‘WE DESERVE ANSWERS NOW'” wrote: “Some of those questions could be answered if Trump released the search warrant as well as the inventory of items seized, which his team presumably has.”
Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeting his article titled, “Why the Trump search warrant is nothing like Hillary’s emails,” wrote: “One person who could clear most of it up? Trump. He has access to the inventory of records at Mar-a-Lago and likely received a copy of the search warrant. He would also know the nature of the classified documents at issue.”
‘He Was Going to Sacrifice You’: Pence Mocked for Rushing to Support Trump After FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was by Donald Trump‘s side constantly promoting and defending him when he was President, and who was subjected to Trump’s support of rioters and insurrectionists calling to “hang Mike Pence,” is being highly criticized and mocked for again rushing to defend Trump in the wake of the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago.
Experts have made clear they believe FBI’s execution of a lawful federal search warrant is most likely in connection with a national security and counterintelligence operation, not a casual stroll into the private estate of a former U.S. president.
But not according to Pence, who is strongly believed to be organizing a 2024 presidential run.
“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump. No former President of the United States has ever been subject to a raid of their personal residence in American history,” he writes.
“After years where FBI agents were found to be acting on political motivation during our administration, the appearance of continued partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed,” he claims, which is at best a twisting of facts. No FBI agent was found to have taken official action based on personal political beliefs.
“Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our system of justice and Attorney General Garland must give a full accounting to the American people as to why this action was taken and he must do so immediately,” Pence demanded.
Pence could have made the exact same demand of Donald Trump, who has a copy of the lawfully executed search warrant and inventory of the likely hundreds or thousands of documents that are the rightful property of the U.S. government, and recovered by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
Meanwhile, Pence was singing a very different tune int he weeks before he was elected Vice President.
“We call on the FBI to immediately release all emails pertinent to their investigation,” he tweeted about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on October 28, 2016. “Americans have the right to know before Election Day.”
Trump “and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton’s personal email server because no one is above the law,” Pence added just hours later.
Responses to Pence’s remarks on Tuesday were strong.
“Mike he was going to sacrifice you,” tweeted Daily Kos staff writer Gabe Ortíz.
“No President has ever attempted to have an armed mob assassinate his Vice President either,” wrote journalist Marcy Wheeler.
Trump sent a “violent mob to murder you so he could end [the] republic,” tweeted economist David Rothschild. “Trump took boxes of classified documents from White House & is known to destroy documents.”
“Trump won in 2016 because FBI intervened on his behalf over ‘concern’ about Clinton’s document retention & security,” he continued. “Not investigating & prosecuting former president who flaunts breaking law, including leading coup against US, undermines rule-of-law for all of US.”
“You don’t know what the FBI’s warrant said or what evidence was presented to the judge who authorized it,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “Your suggestion that Trump should be beyond accountability to the law, like your silence when Trump called for imprisonment of his opponents as president, harms our country.”
Talking Points memo editor and founder Josh Marshall writes, “this is a good reminder of who Mike Pence is. None of this happened. The FBI never plotted against Trump. To the extent it has org bias it’s toward the right. Everyone knows this. Pence is just repeating anti-‘deep state’ propaganda invented to give Trump cover for his crimes.”
“The pervasive rightwing lie and conspiracy theory that the FBI is controlled by Biden for political purposes is based on the assumption that everyone in the Biden admin, the FBI, the department of justice, the media and secret service is corrupt and abusing power—and trump is not,” wrote Condé Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski.
Vox’s legal expert, Ian Millhiser asks, “Is there anyone on earth more pathetic than Mike Pence? Donald Trump egged on a lynch mob that wanted Pence hanged, and Pence is still Trump’s toady.”
‘Pledging to Sue’: Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Subpoenaed by J6 Committee ‘Didn’t Answer a Single Question’
Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee for Pennsylvania who was at the US Capitol on January 6 and is seen as a central figure in the plot to overturn the election, complied with a subpoena to appear before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack but didn’t answer any questions.
“Trump ally Doug Mastriano’s virtual appearance Tuesday before the House January 6 committee only lasted about 15 minutes,” CNN reports, adding that “‘he didn’t answer a single question,’ according to a source familiar with the matter.”
New York Times reporter Luke Broadwater confirms, adding that Mastriano is “pledging to sue the committee,” although it is unclear on what grounds.
Mastriano is a conspiracy theorist with strong ties to far right wing extremists including antisemitic Gab found Andrew Torba.
CNN adds that “Mastriano’s attorney cut off the virtual appearance soon after it began, the source said. His lawyer, Tim Parlatore, took issue with several procedural matters related to the deposition, and raised questions about the legality of the subpoena that Mastriano received from the panel, the source added.”
As of May the Committee had already interviewed over 1000 people and it appears few, if any, have made these claims.
The New Yorker in May called Mastriano “a leader of the Stop the Steal campaign, and claims that he spoke to Donald Trump at least fifteen times between the 2020 election and the insurrection at the Capitol, on January 6th.”
“He urged his followers to attend the rally at the Capitol that led to the riots, saying, ‘I’m really praying that God will pour His Spirit upon Washington, D.C., like we’ve never seen before.’ Throughout this time, he has cast the fight against both lockdowns and Trump’s electoral loss as a religious battle against the forces of evil. He has come to embody a set of beliefs characterized as Christian nationalism, which center on the idea that God intended America to be a Christian nation, and which, when mingled with conspiracy theory and white nationalism, helped to fuel the insurrection.”
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