Is Pat McCrory Feeling the Heat?
Tuesday evening Governor Pat McCrory posted a five-minute video denouncing what he calls “a vicious, nation-wide smear campaign” targetingÂ North Carolina. McCrory, who is running for re-election, uses his office as a political tool against his DemocraticÂ opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has announced he believes McCrory’s anti-LGBT law is unconstitutional, and thus will not defend it in court.
Before the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, then-Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly stated that state Attorneys General are not obligated to defend laws they believe are unconstitutional. HB2 has unconstitutional written all over it.
In his video, McCrory begins by saying, “the people of North Carolina love each other and they respect their differences,” and “the people of North Carolina put aside their disagreements and come together to accommodate and work out solutions, while still respecting each otherâ€™s beliefs and values.”
He then goes on to attack Attorney General Cooper, and “other politicians, from the White House to mayors and city council members,” who he claims “have initiated and promoted conflict to advance their political agenda.”
â€œThis is not about demonizing one group of people,” McCrory then claims, after signing an amicus brief against a transgender child. “Letâ€™s put aside our differences, the political rhetoric and yes, hypocrisy, and work on solutions that will make this bill better in the future. I am open to new ideas and solutions.”
The hypocrisy is palpable.
Some responses via Twitter:
Direct admission that only reason he signed bill was to stop trans people in Charlotte from using restroom. Thanks!https://t.co/W4s10nUENA
â€” Joshua Block (@JoshACLU) March 29, 2016
â€” Samantha Allen (@SLAwrites) March 29, 2016
Keep digging, Governor Wallace. https://t.co/5dnKf5o3bJ
â€” Dana Beyer (@DanaBeyerMD) March 29, 2016
NC governor releases video arguing the only way to respect difference is through discriminatory legislation. https://t.co/9QeKfbX2QM
â€” TC (@tchop__StL) March 29, 2016
If this is a “complex issue” maybe shouldn’t have kept text secret and passed/signed in 13 hrs w/out usual vetting.https://t.co/W4s10nUENA
â€” Joshua Block (@JoshACLU) March 29, 2016
Whaaaaa!! Video Message from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on HB2 https://t.co/QdyevRcr8m
â€” Hilary Rosen (@hilaryr) March 29, 2016
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‘Moral Turpitude’: Trump Coup Memo Author John Eastman Now Facing 11 Counts of Alleged Ethics Violations – and Disbarment
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 charges, “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.
“We believe that the evidence described by my colleagues today and assembled throughout our hearings warrants a criminal referral of former President Donald J. Trump, John Eastman, and others…” — @RepRaskin #January6thCommitteeHearings pic.twitter.com/Baa1jxsx8k
— Defend Democracy Project (@DemocracyNowUS) December 19, 2022
On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported California state bar regulators “say they will seek to strip” Eastman of his law license.
“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.
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.'”
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.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted
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.”
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.
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.
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.
‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is
An amended Federal Elections Commission (FEC) campaign finance report from U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) made headlines this week after it appeared to indicate the embattled freshman New York Republican lawmaker was withdrawing his previous claims of having made loans of his own money to his campaign, totaling $625,000.
If the funds did not come from the candidate, who did they come from?
No one seems to know, and Santos is refusing to answer questions.
Now it appears to be even more complicated.
The Daily Beast reports on a “kerfuffle” that “took place after the FEC posted new statements of organization filed by Santos’ five federal political committees, including his campaign, claiming their treasurer, Nancy Marks, had handed the books over to another accountant popular among Republican officials, Thomas Datwyler.”
Just one problem: Datwyler apparently doesn’t work for Santos.
“Datwyler’s attorney, Derek Ross, told The Daily Beast those filings were inaccurate, saying Datwyler had rejected the Santos campaign’s offer earlier this week.”
Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that Santos “has been accused of listing a man as his campaign financier against his wishes and using his signature without consent, in the latest controversy to hit the New York House Republican.”
Newsweek claims that in that amended filing that suggests the $625,000 did not come from Santos’ personal funds, Datwyler “was listed as his new treasurer, with the filing signed with his name.”
That’s raising even more questions.
ABC News adds that “Adav Noti, former associate general counsel at the Federal Election Commission and now senior vice president and legal director of the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, told ABC News that someone with the committees’ login credentials would have had to file those amendments and list Datwyler’s name as the new treasurer.”
“It’s completely illegal to sign somebody else’s name on a federal filing without their consent. That is a big, big no-no,” Noti told ABC News.
Marc Elias, the famed elections attorney for the Democratic National Committee who won all 64 cases in the 2020 presidential election filed by Donald Trump or his allies, says some people need to get a lawyer.
“This isn’t going to end well,” Elias tweeted. “I would suggest that all of the treasurers, potential treasurers, past and future treasurers, and alleged treasurers for Santos’ campaigns get lawyers asap.”
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