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Trump’s New Acting Attorney General Was Board Member of Company Now Under Criminal Investigation by FBI: Report

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Company Reportedly Accused of Scamming Millions From Customers During the Time Matthew Whitaker Sat on Its Board

The FBI has launched a criminal investigation into a company which President Trump’s new Acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, was paid to serve on as a board member.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation of a Florida company accused of scamming millions from customers during the period that Matthew Whitaker, the acting U.S. attorney general, served as a paid advisory-board member,” The Wall Street Journal reports Friday.

The paper cites “an alleged victim who was contacted by the FBI and other people familiar with the matter.”

Whitaker has been described as a constitutional “nobody” by George Conway, a highly-regarded conservative attorney who happens to be the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.

On Friday President Donald Trump falsely denied knowing Whitaker, despite firing Jeff Sessions and installing him as Acting AG. Trump also insisted Whitaker is “highly thought of,” and called him a “very respected man in the law enforcement community.”

It is not known if Whitaker has or will recuse himself from the investigation of the company he advised, but he has refused to recuse himself from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

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‘Probably So’: McCarthy Says His Speakership Likely Will End After Vote

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The Republican Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, is acknowledging his leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives “probably” is about to end.

“If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” McCarthy, sounding resigned to his possible future, told reporters late Tuesday morning. The Speaker acknowledged that if all Democrats vote against him in a vote schedule for Tuesday afternoon, and just five Republicans join them, he will lose his job.

“That looks likely,” ABC’s Rachel Scott told McCarthy.

“Probably so,” he responded.

There are currently at least five Republicans who say they will vote to oust McCarthy, according to CNN’s Haley Talbot, as of last Monday night.

Democrats on Tuesday have said they will not support McCarthy.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been on a campaign to oust McCarthy, who was elected Speaker in January but only after the House voted 15 times before granting him the gavel. That gavel came with public and private concessions, among them, that any one member of the House could initiate a “motion to vacate,” which Gaetz did Monday night.

Gaetz claims he is working to strip McCarthy of the Speakership because he reached across the aisle and accepted votes from Democrats very late on Saturday to avoid what had been an almost-certain shutdown of the federal government. But McCarthy has long contended for Gaetz it’s “personal,” because the Speaker would not intervene to save Gaetz from a re-opened House Ethics Committee investigation into possible violations including sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.

if Republicans do succeed on the motion to vacate, there currently is no one named to replace McCarthy. That would leave the position that is second in line to the presidency vacant.

Watch today’s House session live below, starting at 11:45 AM, see his remarks to reporters above, or watch both at this link.

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Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar

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As Donald Trump’s rhetoric grows increasingly menacing and threatening, experts are again sounding the alarm.

It’s been weeks since Special Counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to impose a narrow limitation on the ex-president in the case charging him with attempting to overturn the 2020 election. It likely will be weeks until that Judge Chutkan announces a decision.

In the mean time, Trump continues to make disparaging remarks and what some have suggested are thinly-veiled threats or calls to action to his supporters against those he perceives as his enemies.

Trump recently suggested that his former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, “in times gone by” would have been executed for treason.

READ MORE: Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three

Milley’s perceived “treasonous” crime, according to Trump? Making a White House approved call to China to let them know Trump wasn’t planning to attack China, as the AP reported.

Last month, Trump wrote on Truth Social that General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

Special Counsel Jack Smith included that post in his communication with Judge Chutkan on Friday.

Monday morning, inside a Manhattan courthouse before the start of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud case, Trump unleashed an angry rant in front of news cameras, saying, “You ought to go after this attorney general.” He also called New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron a “rogue judge.”

He added, “now I have to go before a rogue judge, as a continuation of Russia, Russia, Russia, as a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time. And I don’t think the people of this country are going to stand for it.”

These were just Trump’s remarks at the start of the day. He faced the cameras two other times, during the lunch break and after the day’s proceedings had ended.

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

Describing Trump’s remarks, Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin wrote: “Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Trump called the case a ‘witch hunt’ and ‘a disgrace,’ saying, ‘You ought to go after this attorney general,’ because if there’s one thing the man loves, it’s a not-so-veiled threat against his enemies.”

Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar and expert on the U.S. Constitution, on Monday warned Trump’s remarks “crossed the line into criminal threats.”

“Trump’s 1st Amendment freedom of speech includes the right to express his racist views about anyone, including Attorney General Letitia James,” Tribe wrote. “But he has no right to foment violence against her. He crossed the line into criminal threats when he said ‘you ought to go after this attorney general.'”

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob, responding to the video, writes: “When Trump says “you ought to go after this attorney general,” we know what he means. Some call it stochastic terrorism, but I call it puppetmaster terrorism. He’s telling his crazed followers who the targets are.”

See the post and video above or at this link.

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Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three

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After weeks of “chaos” within the House Republican conference that led to a down-to-the-wire near-shutdown of the federal government, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has spent the past two days vowing to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy for reaching across the aisle to pass legislation keeping the government running.

Gaetz’s own future is in question with some of his Republican colleagues vowing to expel him should an unfavorable report be released by the House Ethics Committee on his possible sexual misconduct and illicit behaviors including possible drug use and possible public corruption.

“Several Republicans,” CNN’s Manu Raju reports, are “expected to back motion to eject McCarthy,” who “will very likely” need Democrats to keep his Speakership.

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

“House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries has not said if his caucus would join right-wing Republicans to help topple McCarthy or if Democrats might support him in exchange for political or legislative favors,” Reuters reported late Monday afternoon. “Democrats, in theory, could demand that McCarthy honor his spending deal with Biden, drop the impeachment inquiry, or hold votes on gun and immigration legislation.”

But Gaetz already has three publicly declared votes to oust Speaker McCarthy. In addition to himself, far right Republican Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona responded “Let’s roll” Sunday afternoon to Gaetz’s announcement he would file a “motion to vacate” against McCarthy.

And U.S. Rep. Bob Good of Virginia has also declared he would “never” vote to let McCarthy keep the Speaker’s gavel.

Other far right Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Byron Donalds, and Chip Roy, have indicated they would not support ousting McCarthy, at least not right now.

But Gaetz may have time on his side.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

While he on Monday acknowledged he probably doesn’t have the votes yet, the math could line up differently by the end of the week.

The Senate will not be in session after Wednesday, with many Senators expected to travel to California for the funeral of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“This could create some level of havoc on House side — dozens of [House] members will also want to fly out to SF,” noted Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane. “Maybe even McCarthy, but mostly House Dems. If the motion to vacate vote is Wednesday or Thursday, attendance could be haphazard.”

 

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