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Mormon Church President Thomas Monson Dies at 90

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From Pushing Prop 8 to Declaring Same-Sex Couples Apostates, Monson’s Anti-Gay Legacy Will Forever Remain

Thomas S. Monson, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has died in Salt Lake City at the age of 90, The New York Times reports.

While many of the Mormon faith have begun to post warm memories honoring his leadership, others, especially members of the LGBT community, likely have a different response.

President Monson was responsible for the Mormon Church’s silent but intensive organizing and funding of the fight against same-sex marriage in California. Monson helped make 18,000 couples in the Golden State see their legal marriages lie in limbo as voters decided to pass Prop 8 (the same day they elected Barack Obama president).

The Mormon Church is reportedly responsible for raising $30 million to help pass Prop 8, the ballot measure that nullified a law allowing same-sex couples to marry. That dollar amount does not include countless Mormons from in and out of state who were sent to get out the vote and perform other tasks to help ensure Prop 8’s passage.

Four months before California voters headed to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 8, the Church of Latter-day Saints put out a call for help,” The Mercury News reported in 2011.

A letter from church President Thomas Monson was read at every ward in California. It told members to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time.”

Organization meetings broke out across the state, but the leaders wanted more. Additional letters were sent to every church, with titles such as “Thirty People in Each Ward” and “More than Four Hours per Week.”

President Monson was directly behind this work.

It was not only Prop 8.

Under Monson’s leadership, the Mormon Church battled same-sex marriage across the country, fueling anti-gay initiatives with its funding and powering the work with its people.

The LDS Church was heavily tied to NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, and took its fight against same-sex marriage to other countries, including Mexico.

Monson’s fight against LGBT people didn’t stop at marriage.

In 2015, with support of other LDS Church leaders, couples in same-sex marriages or relationships were deemed “apostates,” subject to excommunication – merely for being gay and loving someone of the same sex. The children of same-sex couples were made into pawns. They are banned from being baptized, until they reach the age of 18, at which time they can be baptized but only if they denounce their parents’ marriage. 

The attack on same-sex couples led to a spike in suicides among LGBT Mormons, according to a support group for Mormon parents of LGBT children. The group said 32 people, aged 14-20, had died by suicide.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s obituary of President Monson mentions the word “gay” nine times, and “same-sex marriage” or “same-sex attracted” four times. 

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News

House Freedom Caucus Republican: Trump Is Spinning Out of Control

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A right-wing GOP lawmaker who has backed Donald Trump through both of his impeachments is sounding the alarm that the former president is becoming increasingly erratic which could put the 2024 general election at risk for his party.

According to a report from Politico, the closer Donald Trump gets to becoming the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee the more some GOP lawmakers are growing worried that not only will they lose their shot at taking back the White House, but he’ll take down-ticket GOP candidates down with him.

The report also notes that the battle between Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis is starting to turn off conservative voters and some are hoping that an alternative will rise from the squabble.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was blunt about the GOP’s prospects as they stand today, telling reporters, “I’m worried about it,” and expressed fears that Trump will keep independent voters at a distance.

READ MORE: Trump lobs wild bribery claim against DOJ lawyer in all-caps midnight Truth Social rant

With a wide array of candidates having just appeared over the past weekend in Iowa, Rep. Zach Nunn (R-IA) claimed the infighting is turning voters — even Republicans — off.

“We’ll see if the two titans punching each other fires up the base, or if six months from now people are tired of both and ready for a third way,” Nunn explained before making tha blunt observation, “When you talk to Iowans, s–t-talking other candidates will not get you success. We don’t necessarily pick the winner, but we’re pretty good at smelling bulls–t.”

Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie (R), who has sided with DeSantis, is very worried about the possibility of Trump at the top of the ticket.

“I wish Trump were on Twitter. He’s in an echo chamber right now. And people don’t know how far he’s spun out from where he was,” he said in an interview. “The more visibility that we can help Trump get — when he attacks [his former White House press secretary] Kayleigh McEnany, for instance — the better.”

You can read more here.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Has Been Notified He Is Target of DOJ Investigation – Insists ‘It’s Not True’ He’s Getting Indicted: Reports

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Attorneys for Donald Trump reportedly have been notified the ex-president is a target of a criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents. The ex-president denies he is being indicted.

The Guardian Wednesday evening reported federal prosecutors told Trump’s attorneys last week he is a target of the long investigation that is now led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. That investigation, experts believe, could lead to obstruction of justice and Espionage Act charges.

“Trump’s lawyers were notified before they met on Monday with the special counsel Jack Smith leading the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the senior career official in the deputy attorney general’s office and made the case that prosecutors should not indict the former president in the matter,” The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports.

Politico also confirms The Guardian’s reporting, stating: “Federal prosecutors have notified former President Donald Trump in a letter that he is the target of a criminal investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

Earlier Wednesday, a conservative website reported federal prosecutors had informed Trump’s attorneys he is a target and likely to be indicted. That website is run by John Solomon, who Trump named as his official representative to the National Archives last year. That move reportedly gave Solomon access to non-public administration records related to Russia, Politico reported.

READ MORE: Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump

Later Wednesday, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported via Twitter she had been in touch with Trump.

“Trump tells me minutes ago he has NOT been told he’s getting indicted, when contacted. ‘It’s not true,’ he said, adding again he hasn’t done anything wrong,” Haberman tweeted at 2:40 PM.

“When I asked if he had been told he’s a target, he demurred, saying he doesn’t talk directly to prosecutors,” she added.

Haberman says she used the Solomon report as the basis for her conversation with Trump.

Less than one hour after Haberman says she spoke with the ex-president, he again posted an angry rant on his Truth Social platform.

“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX, the “No Collusion” Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX #1, Impeachment HOAX #2, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS,” he rambled.

Trump made clear he expects House Republicans to protect him: “REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MUST MAKE THIS THEIR # 1 ISSUE!!!”

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Mark Meadows Reportedly Agrees to Plea Deal – Attorney Denies

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Mark Meadows, the former Trump White House Chief of Staff and former North Carolina Republican Congressman, reportedly has accepted a plea deal from the Dept. of Justice in exchange for pleading guilty to federal charges.

According to The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg, Meadows has also been co-operating with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigators, which several legal experts have recently suggested was likely happening.

“Over the course of the last year, grand jurors have heard testimony from numerous associates of the ex-president, including nearly every employee of Mar-a-Lago, former administration officials who worked in Mr Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operation, and former high-ranking administration officials such as his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows,” Feinberg reports at The Independent.

“Mr Meadows has already given evidence before the grand jury and is said to be cooperating with the investigation into his former boss,” the article, published Wednesday afternoon, states. “It is understood that the former North Carolina congressman will plead guilty to several federal charges as part of a deal for which he has already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.”

In an update to its reporting, The Independent adds Meadows’ attorney denies he would ever enter any guilty plea:

“A source who was briefed on the agreement claimed that the alleged agreement will involve the ex-chief of staff entering pleas of guilty to unspecified federal crimes but an attorney for Mr Meadows, George Terwilliger, denied that to The Independent. Mr Terwilliger said that the idea that his client would enter any guilty pleas was ‘complete bulls***’ but did not address the matter of immunity in a brief telephone conversation with this reporter.”

READ MORE: Pence Presidential Launch Mocked for Suggesting Drag Queens Are Assaulting ‘American Values’ – With No Mention of Trump

But in addition to breaking news that Meadows allegedly has accepted a plea deal, The Independent reports Trump is expected to be indicted under a portion of the Espionage Act. NCRM has not verified either of these reports.

“The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday.”

“The Independent has learned that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits ‘gathering, transmitting or losing’ any ‘information respecting the national defence,'” The Independent adds.

In early June, former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean remarked, “Meadows has a really good lawyer, a former deputy AG, who could guide him through cooperation and a minimal plea deal of some sort.”

That attorney, George Terwilliger, played coy when asked about his client’s possible grand jury testimony. Terwilliger told The New York Times in an article published late Tuesday, “Without commenting on whether or not Mr. Meadows has testified before the grand jury or in any other proceeding, Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

Former Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman on Tuesday said, “I’ve already observed Terwilliger’s skill in representing Meadows. But if he got him an immunity deal–as opposed to a guilty plea + promise to cooperate deal–he is a wizard. [Would] think that Meadows is way too culpable to merit a pass, but if Smith [couldn’t] make case w/o him…”

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), a former JAG attorney, tweeted on Tuesday:

“Mark Meadows had three options: 1. Take the Fifth Amendment. 2. Voluntarily cooperate. 3. Cooperate because he was given immunity or a plea deal. Based on the public reporting, it appears he did 2 or 3 above. This makes it more likely Donald Trump will be indicted, again.”

Meadows is a former chair of the far right House Freedom Caucus, and former chair of the House Oversight Committee.

NYU Law professor of law Ryan Goodman, a former U.S. Dept. of Defense Special Counsel, Wednesday morning said it is “NOT a big if” if Meadows has been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.

 

This article has been updated to include remarks from Ryan Goodman, and The Independent’s additional reporting with comment from Meadows’ attorney.

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

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