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This Lawmaker And Evangelical Pastor Just Got His Anti-Gay ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Passed

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Likely Unconstitutional, State Rep. Says Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel And Alliance Defending Freedom Will Defend State In All Lawsuits

Monday night the South Dakota House passed a bill that extends special protections to anyone – person or company, corporation, non-profit, club, with few exceptions – opposed to same-sex marriage or LGBT people in general, if they cite their “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” HB 1107 is sponsored by GOP State Representative Scott Craig, a virulently anti-gay evangelical pastor.

Here’s Rep. Craig in 2010 preaching to his congregation, calling LGBT people “the perverse.”

Craig’s HB 1107, in part, states:

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the state may not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that the person believes, speaks, or acts in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that:

(1) Marriage is or should only be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

(2) Sexual relations are properly reserved to marriage; or

(3) The terms male or man and female or woman refer to distinct and immutable biological sexes that are determined by anatomy and genetics by the time of birth. 

The bill, according to the ACLU of South Dakota, passed by a vote of 46-10:

BREAKING: The South Dakota House of Representatives just passed HB 1107, the bill that applies special protections to…

Posted by ACLU of South Dakota on Monday, February 8, 2016

“This bill could allow taxpayer funded discrimination and would allow state contractors who provide vital social services – such as homeless shelters – to turn away LGBT people. This bill will now head on to the Senate,” the ACLU of South Dakota says.

Rep. Scott’s campaign website says he is a founding board member of the Family Heritage Alliance, “a family and conservative values advocacy group focused on promoting and defending faith, family, and freedom.”

During Monday’s debate, Rep. Craig shared his thoughts on the bill.

“The real victims of intolerance and discrimination in our day are those who conduct their lives according to a belief regarding marriage and human sexuality,” rep. Craig said. “Our founding fathers never intended erotic freedom to trump religious freedom.”

Apparently, the debate Monday before the vote was rather heated, as these tweets via the Policy Director of the ACLU of SD show:

But if South Dakota residents are concerned that the legislation is unconstitutional (it is,) and that, if challenged in court it could cost taxpayers a small fortune (it could,) at least they can rest assured that the very anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel will defend them, presumably pro-bono – at least according to Pastor/Rep. Scott:

Which begs the question, who wrote the legislation, and why would anyone in advance of a vote obtain legal counsel to defend the state should it go to court?

The ADF is the group of Christian attorneys representing Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, who could have settled her discrimination case for $1000, but chose to become a martyr. Liberty Counsel of course is Kim Davis’ group of attorneys, including Mat Staver.

By the way, here’s Rep. Craig wholly misleading an audience he spoke to last month about one of his religious freedom bills, claiming it “mirrors” the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The convenient fact most anti-gay religious activists omit is the federal statute does not include most corporations. But facts are messy, right, Rep. Craig?

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube

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‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

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Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”

“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.

She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.

READ MORE: ‘Coverup of Treason’: Trump-Appointed IG, Under Investigation, Knew of Missing Secret Service and DHS Texts Far Earlier

Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”

Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:

“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, Bobb and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”

READ MORE: Trump’s Legal Team Now in ‘Direct Communication’ With DOJ Officials About J6 Criminal Investigation: Report

Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”

He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”

In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.

The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.

Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”

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‘I’d Be Advising My Client to Tell Their Family I’m Looking at Jail Time’: Mueller Prosecutor on the FBI’s Trump Raid

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Former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, explained on MSNBC that if he was advising a client facing what former President Donald Trump is, there would be a strong warning.

“If I were Donald Trump’s lawyer right now, thank God I’m not, I would be advising my client to be telling [their] family, ‘I am looking at jail time, and we should make plans accordingly.'”

After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland, Weissmann said that he should just keep his head down and keep doing his job.

“That is such a palpably false statement, the comment from Mr. McCarthy that he has seen enough,” said Weissmann. “One of the things that none of us has seen is the warrant, an application to the court. It’s very important to remember this was not a break-in, this was not a raid, this was not the attorney general of the United States deciding willy-nilly on his own that he was going to do the search. A court had to approve the search here based on, as you point out Lawrence, evidence. The evidence had to show that there was probable cause of a crime. That is the way our judicial system works, and that is what happened here.”

While McCarthy may want to hold a public hearing of Garland and demand documents, what the Republicans might ultimately end up doing is drawing additional attention to what Trump stole or attempted to destroy.

“I think the thing that I found the most remarkable and I think it’s really worth people really taking a step back, is this does mean the attorney general of the United States did not trust the former president to simply produce the documents voluntarily pursuant to a subpoena,” said Weissmann. “And it was necessary to go via search warrant. Normally, you think that if you order a subpoena to any reputable person they will produce documents. When you issue and obtain a search warrant, it is because you do not trust that the person will actually produce the documents. That means if they had to have evidence of that that led Merrick Garland to take this step. It was bold but certainly approved by the courts.”

He went on to joke that the irony is that, all of a sudden, Kevin McCarthy cares about document preservation.

“The Trump administration pioneered all these different ways of doing it from flushing it down the toilet, to burning it in the White House fireplace,” recalled Weissmann. “Points for creativity, but, all in all, I don’t think I expect a statement from the Justice Department about [McCarthy’s threats].”

See the comments below:

 

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READ: Trump Likens FBI Executing Search Warrant at Mar-a-Lago to ‘Watergate’ in New Statement

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The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump‘s Florida home. While there are no details yet on what federal agents are investigating, Trump quickly put out a statement in which he decries the “assault.”

“These are dark times for our Nation,” writes Trump, who since becoming president has likened himself to the entire country, at times declaring an attack on him to be an attack on the United States.

He continues, saying, “my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” which is true, but no president, possibly except Richard Nixon, has been under criminal investigation before.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he claims. Clearly it had ti be approved by the highest levels at not just the FBI – whose director Trump installed – but the Dept. of Justice, likely by Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he claims, using a term that many consider derogatory to developing countries. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,” Trump falsely claims.

Mother Jones’ David Corn responds to Trump’s “Watergate” comparison.

“Let’s make this simple: the Watergate break-in was a crime conducted by criminals. This raid was conducted by law enforcement officers who are supposed to catch criminals.”

 

 

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