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House Republican Leads Charge Urging Trump to ‘Protect Religious Liberty’ After SCOTUS ‘Redefinition of Marriage’

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Ohio Congressman Says Action Is Needed to Protect Religious Liberty in the Light of the Supreme Court’s Recent Redefinition of Marriage’

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) is leading a group of at least 51 Republicans, urging President Donald Trump to strip protections from LGBT people under the guise of religious liberty, which is already protected by the First Amendment. Davidson, who ran for former Speaker John Boehner’s seat in June of 2016 in a special election and won again in November, is a member of the far right wing Freedom Caucus, and a fervent Trump supporter.

Urging the signing of the draft executive order that was leaked in February, Rep. Davidson and 50 other House Republicans in a letter to President Trump say action is needed “to protect religious liberty in the light of the Supreme Court’s recent redefinition of marriage.”

The letter, dated April 5, was first reported by USA Today Monday afternoon. The paper reports Rep. Davidson “led the charge on the April letter.”

In the letter, Republicans falsely claim that rescinding any Obama-era executive orders they mention does “not take anything away from anyone,” but merely provides “a shield from federal assaults on religious freedom.”

USA Today reports Rep. Davidson and the other 50 House Republicans are calling for Trump to both rescind the Obama executive orders specifically protecting LGBT people in the workplace, and sign the leaked “religious liberty” executive order that effectively would have rescinded the Obama-era protections. 

Heralding the unconstitutional First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a bill that is a federal license for any person, organization, company, or government agent to discriminate against not only LGBT people, but anyone they perceive as holding a belief that marriage is anything other than one man-one-woman, and that sex should only be allowed inside a man-woman marriage, the letter says signing the leaked religious liberty executive order is necessary until Congress passes FADA.

Rep. Davidson’s letter also urges President Trump to sign the repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which bans most 501(c)(3) non-profits, including all churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions, from donating money to political candidates or advocating for or against them. He calls it “restoring the free speech rights of charities and churches threatened by the unconstitutional nature of the Johnson Amendment.”

American taxpayers are forced to pay about $80 billion in taxes each year to make up for the tax-exempt status of religious institutions, including churches and other religious groups.

The letter, five pages including signatures, also rails agains the Obama-era contraception mandate that is part of the Affordable Care Act, and urges protections for health care workers who do not wish to take part in any activity that could be seen as supporting abortion. 

USA Today reports “on Monday, a senior White House official told USA TODAY that some sort of policy to protect religious liberty is still in the works, but that the president is trying to find middle ground. The official did not want to publicly discuss a policy that is still under development.”

In an interview with USA Today, Rep. Davidson exhibited an extremely narrow view of America.

“Fundamentally, to Christians, you can’t say ‘we’re going to protect your First Amendment rights and be the way they’ve always been.’ But now, to the Catholic church: ‘if you want to place a baby for adoption you have to also place them with same-sex couples’ and the church says ‘that’s an affront to our doctrine.’ You can’t have it both ways,” he told USA TODAY.

“It strikes me that broadly, in general, progressives have been pretty welcoming to Muslims and have been very upset with the president and his tone with Muslims. I think this could be something that could be seen as a way to reach out and say, ‘no, the First Amendment applies to everyone in America,’ ” Davidson said. 

On Facebook, Rep. Davidson today writes, “President Trump has been courageous in following through on his campaign promises. The 51 members who signed this letter have his back when he takes steps to protect religious liberty.”

Interestingly, USA Today notes that “a similar letter was sent by Senate Republicans earlier this month” to the President. That letter is dated April 3. In an April 5 article the paper says the letter is signed by 18 GOP Senators.

It seems likely a far right wing group is behind the drafting of both letters.

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News

Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority

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Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.

Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.

The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.

An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.

READ MORE: ‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion

Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.

Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”

With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.

RELATED: ‘The Child Would Not Be Safe’: Woman Who Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her to Have Abortion Says She Felt ‘Threatened’

The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”

The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.

Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”

 

 

 

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CRIME

Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case

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A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.

Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”

Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”

The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”

Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.

According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
  • Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts

The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.

MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:

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

Image via Shutterstock

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News

Watch: McConnell Refuses to Say He Will Not Support Trump for President Even After ‘Terminate the Constitution’ Demand

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Even after Donald Trump called for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution this weekend and demanded he be put back into office or be given a do-over national presidential election, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to say he will not support the ex-president’s current run for the White House.

McConnell kicked off his weekly press conference Tuesday by mildly criticizing Trump, although not mentioning him by name.

“First, let me just say that anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the Constitution could somehow be suspended or not followed, it seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of United States,” McConnell told reporters.

But when asked if he “categorically” would refuse to support Trump – personally or in his role as Senate Republican Minority Leader – McConnell refused to go that far.

READ MORE: Watch: McConnell and McCarthy Shunned as Congressional Gold Medal Recipients Refuse to Shake Their Hands

“This is the second week in a row you’ve come out to begin your press conference criticizing Donald Trump,” a reporter off-camera said. “Can you say categorically that you do not support him if he were the Republican nominee?”

McConnell could not.

“What I’m saying is it would be pretty hard to be sworn in, to the presidency, if you’re not willing to uphold the Constitution. That’s what I said, and I just said it again,” McConnell stated.

“How about your personal support?” the reporter shot back.

McConnell ignored the question.

During the 2016 campaign Trump also made clear he did not feel beholden to upholding the Constitution, so it’s unclear why McConnell would suggest he could not be sworn in again should he be elected in 2024.

READ MORE: Far Right Republican Slammed by Raskin for Trying to Derail Respect for Marriage Bill with Failed Religious Amendment

In fact, Trump’s concerning remarks surrounding the Constitution in 2016 led Brown University political science professor Corey Brettschneider to pen a piece for Politico: “Trump vs. the Constitution: A Guide.”

“It may be true that Donald Trump has read the Constitution. But it’s unclear if he understands it,” it begins.

McConnell is not only the second longest serving leader of a party’s caucus in the Senate, nor his he just the Senate Republican Minority Leader.

He wields massive power and influence via his ties to a Super PAC.

According to CNN, the Senate Leadership Fund is “a super PAC affiliated with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This year alone, the Senate Leadership Fund has spent nearly $300 million to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate. In 2020 it spent over $475 million.

Many have seen their ads, which are almost entirely, according to Open Secrets, against Democrats, not for Republicans.

Watch McConnell below or at this link.

 

 

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