Breaking: GOP Senator Forces First Openly Gay Army Secretary Nominee To Temporarily Step Aside
Republican U.S. SenatorÂ Pat Roberts of Kansas has placed a hold on the nomination of Eric Fanning.
Eric Fanning made national headlines last September when Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee fibbed about his qualifications to become the next Secretary of the Army. Fanning, who is gay, is immensely qualified and was nominated because of his qualifications to serve as the next head of the Army.
At the time, Huckabee waged a small war against Fanning.
RELATED:Â Mike Huckabee’s Supporters Want Obama ‘Tried For Treason’ For Nominating Gay Man To Lead US Army
“It’s clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America’s homosexuals than honoring America’s heroes,” Huckabee, said inÂ a statementÂ last fall, ignoring the fact that countless LGBT service members at every level are also America’s heroes.Â
“Veterans suicide is out-of-control and military readiness is dangerously low, yet Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he’s nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army. Homosexuality is not a job qualification,” said Huckabee, who last year also had said he would have said he was transgender in high school if it meant he could have showered in the girls’ locker room.
“The U.S. military is designed to keep Americans safe and complete combat missions, not conduct social experiments,” the ordained Southern Baptist minister accused.
Now, it looks like Huckabee may get his wish.
RELATED:Â ‘Homosexuals’ Over ‘Heroes’: Huckabee Takes Aim At Obama’s Gay Nominee To Head US Army
Acting Army Secretary Eric Fanning is stepping down, temporarily for now, because the Senate has yet to vote on his nomination, which they have had for well over three months.
“Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., placed a hold on Fanning’s nomination in protest over Obama’s campaign to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and transfer detainees to the United States,” the AP reports, adding that sinceÂ Army Undersecretary, Patrick Murphy was confirmed last week, there’s now someone else to take charge.
Roberts (photo, top left,) was endorsed by a cavalcade of anti-gay Republicans of note for his 2014 re-election campaign, including Huckabee, Tim Huelskamp,Â and Rick Santorum. That’sÂ Ted Cruz in the photo above, campaigning for Roberts.
Posted by Pat Roberts on Friday, July 25, 2014
Roberts, a “Hard-Core Conservative,” has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He has voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as well as other obstacles to marriage for same-sex couples, voted against adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law, voted againstÂ reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.Â
Back in November, Sen. Roberts placed the hold on Fanning’s nomination.
UPDATE:Â First Openly Gay Nominee For Army Secretary Steps Down As Acting Secretary After John McCain Tantrum
But in October Roberts aired a campaign video which The New York Times called, “Campaign Tactic: GuantÃ¡namo Fear-Mongering.”
No detainees from GuantÃ¡namo are headed for the prisons of Leavenworth, Kan., anytime soon, if ever. But you wouldnâ€™t know that from the campaign of Senator Pat Roberts, a Republican in a very tight race, who has made a terrorist-free state one of his most fervent campaign promises.
â€œPat Roberts promises to keep terrorists out of Kansas,â€ says a newscaster in a clip included in one of his recent television ads. â€œSenator Roberts issuing a very blunt threat to the White House about inmates at GuantÃ¡namo Bay,â€ says another journalist. And finally the ad turns to Mr. Roberts himself, declaiming, in a voice loud enough to echo across the plains, â€œNot. On. My. Watch!â€
Here’s his ad:
Roberts may not have placed a hold on Fanning’s nomination because he’s gayÂ â€“ or maybe he didÂ â€“ but regardless, no doubt, given his record, that was at least an added bonus.
As for Fanning, given the current state of affairs in the GOP, don’t expect Roberts to withdraw his hold on the nomination any time soon. Fanning, in fact, may never becomeÂ Secretary of the Army, which would be a loss for many reasons, but especially for the U.S. Army.
Image via Facebook
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
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One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
NEW: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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