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Lawmaker’s Top Aide Threatens Public University Professor for Liking Facebook Joke Mocking His Boss

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A Nebraska professor scrolled past a Facebook post mocking his congressman, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), with a sophomoric joke — and the lawmaker’s top aide threatened to get him fired for “liking” it.

The widely shared image showed a Fortenberry campaign sign defaced with googly eyes and mocking his name as “Fartenberry,” and the GOP lawmaker described the vandalism as “political violence” in a tweet.

His chief of staff, Dr. William “Reyn” Archer III, then called at least one of the social media users amused by the photo posted by the group Seeing Red Nebraska, reported the Lincoln Journal Star.

“I know this is not high comedy,” said Ari Ari Kohen, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “It was Sunday, I was bored and got a laugh out of it. I clicked ‘like’ because I found it amusing.”

A Fortenberry campaign staffer sent a screenshot showing Kohen’s interaction with the page to the lawmaker’s office, and Archer called the professor to discuss it.

Archer then contacted the chair of the university’s political science department when Kohen didn’t immediately return his call, and he copied the chancellor and the interim chair of the College of Arts and Sciences on his email.

“The question is what the position of the department and university is regarding vandalism or worse violence, which we have seen in this political season,” Archer said, and requested to speak by phone.

A university spokeswoman declined to comment on the communication, and Kohen returned Archer’s call late last week and tried to explain he was not promoting vandalism.

“It wasn’t clear at all what he wanted from me, if he wanted me to unlike it or retract it,” Kohen said. “He told me they could put this out publicly that I liked vandalism, and essentially, that that would be bad for me.”

Kohen took the legislative aide’s comment as a threat, and he filed a complaint against Archer with the House Ethics Committee.

Archer denies making a threat, although Kohen gave a recording of the call to the ethics watchdog, and insisted the professor’s social media activity was a “slippery slope to liking vandalism.”

“When you are a teacher of political science, you have a higher requirement,” Archer said. “You can’t hide as a person who is a professor.”

But Kohen said Archer’s apparent threat was a greater danger.

“To have people in this position who are ready and willing to abuse their authority like this,” he said, “to bully people and push people around and threaten to call down retribution over something that maybe hurt somebody’s feelings — we’re all poorer if that’s what’s happening in this country.”

 

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Pat Cipollone Is ‘A Greatest Hits Package of Crazy Statements’ by Donald Trump: Legal Expert

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Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to speak to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress on Friday.

Former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Harry Litman told CNN that Cipollone has carefully negotiated the testimony and he will likely “steer around down the middle” of the attorney/client privilege. However, former President Donald Trump is not the client of a White House counsel, the White House is. President Joe Biden has waived executive privilege for anything involving Jan. 6 or the 2020 election.

“He is a greatest hits package of crazy statements by Donald Trump,” Litman said of Cipollone. “He is the one who says to Mark Meadows, ‘You know, if you do this, you’ll have blood on your effing hands.’ He’s the one who says to Mark Meadows about [Mike] Pence, ‘You’ve got to stop it’ and Meadows says, ‘You’ve heard him. He thinks the rioters are right.’ He’s the one who has to go to Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old, and plead with her because Meadows won’t speak to him. ‘Please try to keep him from going to the Capitol.’ He’s the one who says, ‘if I go to the Capitol, it will be every effing crime imaginable.'”

READ MORE: Longtime friend of GOP’s Eric Greitens calls him a ‘broken man’ and accuses him of lying about his beliefs

“Now, they’ve negotiated it up, and probably what he wants is to say he’s not piercing attorney/client privilege. But all these statements I’ve said to you, Trump’s nowhere around. So, attorney/client has to be with the client for the purpose of getting legal advice, so he’s got tons to say without that.”

As Litman explained, Cipollone is in “everything.”

See the discussion below.

Image: Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks  via Flickr:
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump talk with Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, her husband Jesse Barrett, Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife Virginia Thomas, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Deputy White House Counsel Kate Comerford Todd in the Blue Room of the White House Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, after attending Barrett’s swearing-in ceremony as Supreme Court Associate Justice.

 

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‘This Is a Business’: New Footage of Trump Family Emerges From Jan. 6 Investigation

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Newly revealed video footage shows how close British filmmaker Alex Holder got to the Trump family in the lead-up to the January 6th insurrection.

The family allowed Holder to gain exclusive access to them and the former president’s inner circle in the period between the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Politico obtained a new trailer for the upcoming documentary “Unprecedented,” which will stream on the Discovery+ network.

“Ivanka frets about a line on her dress, and jokes about covering it with a pet roaming about. ‘Can I borrow your dog?’ she asks her makeup artist,” Politico reported. “Jared nervously repositions his tie and asks, ‘Is that okay?’ Don Jr., seen at a rally, screams, ‘We will make liberals cry again!’ Eric is caught on a phone call, mysteriously saying, ‘For the sake of this country, we’re going to get these guys.'”

Those mundane moments build up to Jan. 6, and the film shows Donald Trump encouraging his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and Holder’s photographer joins the throng.

READ MORE: Robert Crimo III’s family noticed nothing amiss, but social media posts painted a darker picture

“We’ve got to get the roaches out, all of them,” a Trump supporter yells to the photographer.

The documentary crew also recorded scenes from the ensuing attack, and Holder has turned over the raw footage to the House select committee investigating the riot.

“Gaining power is easy,” the narrator says in the trailer. “Surrendering it is not.”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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Trump Celebrates Fourth of July by Attacking His Enemies as Biden Hails the American ‘Idea’ of ‘Hope’

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President Joe Biden is celebrating Independence Day by promoting the American “idea” of “hope” while his predecessor, Donald Trump, is spending the Fourth of July by attacking his enemies and airing his grievances. Later today the President and First Lady will “host a Fourth of July BBQ with military families and deliver remarks to celebrate Independence Day,” according to the president’s official schedule.

Trump is celebrating the most patriotic day on the calendar by attacking his enemies, revisiting his impeachments, the Mueller Report, the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, falsely characterizing global challenges, and declaring, “it’s not looking good for our Country right now.”

President Biden on Monday declared on Twitter, “America is an idea.”

“An idea that is stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant,” Biden said. “It gives hope to the most desperate people on Earth, it guarantees that everyone is treated with dignity and gives hate no safe harbor. It instills in every person in this country the belief that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it.”

Banned from Twitter and Facebook, Trump posts on the social media platform he owns to his 3.4 million followers, a small fraction of the 88.9 million followers he amassed on Twitter.

“I know it’s not looking good for our Country right now,” Trump says on his Truth Social platform, adding a series of claims like there’s “a major War raging out of control in Europe, the Highest Inflation in memory, the worst 6 month Stock Market start in History, the highest Energy Prices EVER, and that is the Good News. Happy Fourth of July!!! ((Don’t worry, We will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and remember, none of these terrible events would have happened if I were President!!!))”

He also criticizes the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack as a group of “political thugs,” spreads false information about his impeachments and the Mueller Report, while painting himself as a victim.

Trump targets Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, declaring that she “keeps saying, over and over again, that HER Fake Unselect Committee may recommend CRIMINAL CHARGES against a President of the United States,” which she did this weekend.

 

Image: The Bidens watch the fireworks from the White House on July 4, 2021. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz.

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