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DOJ Refuses to Explain Why Jeff Sessions Is Speaking to an Anti-Gay Hate Group Tonight Behind Closed Doors

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Attorney General Addressing Lawyers Representing Christian Baker Whose Case Is Before the Supreme Court

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday evening will address an anti-gay hate group at a private, closed to the public function, and the Dept. of Justice is refusing to explain why. Worse, the group, Alliance Defending Freedom, is involved in a Supreme Court same-sex marriage case, leaving open the very real question of why would the Attorney General allow such an appearance of impropriety? That case, a highly-anticipated one brought by Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cake Shop, will decide if people of faith can use their religion as a license to discriminate against gay people and same-sex couples.

Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden first reported the event, via Twitter:

Holden also notes he reached out to the DOJ, which refused to comment on why Sessions was speaking to the ADF. More importantly, he asked, “if it signaled [a] new DOJ position in court.” 

“Decline comment,” was the DOJ’s response, Holden says.

Right Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery reports tonight’s event is the ADF’s Summit on Religious Liberty in Orange County, California. He notes the ADF “is the largest of the Religious Right legal groups, engaging in culture war battles against LGBTQ equality and reproductive choice in the U.S. and increasingly around the globe. So why would the address of the attorney general to ADF, a group not normally shy about taking credit for its work, be closed to the media?” he asks.

Meanwhile, the DNC has issued a scathing statement on Sessions’ speech tonight.

You can judge a person by the company they keep and tonight – Attorney General Jeff Sessions is choosing to spend his time speaking in front of one of the country’s leading anti-LGBTQ hate groups,” an email from the DNC reads.

“The Alliance Defending Freedom actively helped draft discriminatory legislation, worked to preserve laws criminalizing same-sex relations, and attacked the separation of church and state. ADF has been previously designated a hate group and Sessions’ appearance at this event, as the top law enforcement official in the country, brings in to question whether the attorney general intends to protect all Americans.”

It’s a valid question.

Sessions from the beginning of his tenure as Attorney General has made clear he has little intention to protect the most vulnerable of Americans, our children. In a joint decision with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, he chose to rescind the Obama-era guidelines protecting the civil rights of transgender students.

Education Week, in noting Sessions’ speech tonight, Tuesday elaborated on his decision to rescind the transgender guidelines, and ADF’s reaction at the time.

The Trump administration’s move won praise from Alliance Defending Freedom, which said that President Obama left schools with ‘an impossible choice: sacrifice the dignity and privacy rights of their students by opening overnight facilities, locker rooms, and restrooms to the opposite sex; or protect those rights while watching the government strip away federal funding that schools spend on critical items like special-education programs and lunches for underprivileged children.'”

“By overturning the prior administration’s power grab, President Trump has enabled local school boards once again to protect the dignity and privacy rights of all their students,” the group said in a statement at the time.

RELATED STORIES:

‘I Don’t Believe Jesus Would Have Made the Cake’: Christian Baker Whose Case Is at Supreme Court Speaks on ‘The View’

WATCH: Top Anti-LGBT ADF Attorney Says ‘No Evidence’ Gays or Lesbians ‘Have Been Denied Service’

Almost Everything You’ve Been Told About The Idaho Wedding Chapel Story Is A Lie

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Matt Gaetz Just Compared Child Sex Trafficking Allegations to a Parliamentary Debate on Earmarks: Report

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Embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addressed the Ohio Political Summit in Strongsville on Saturday.

NBC News correspondent Henry Gomez reported from the event, noting “a bunch of Senate and gov candidates have backed out of the event.”

Gomez reported Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), “was supposed to speak at this event this afternoon but she’s nowhere to be found. Organizer won’t answer questions about if she’s still speaking and just pulled a candidate from a different congressional district on stage to fill the time.”

When Gaetz took the stage, he reportedly addressed the allegations against him.

“I’m being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors. Yet, Congress has reinstituted a process that legalizes the corrupt act of exchanging money for favors, through earmarks,” Gaetz said.

 

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Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

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