Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Schiff (D-CA) is consulting with the Sergeant at Arms after dozens of House Republicans who are not assigned to any of the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry of the president stormed a secure room in an unauthorized attempt to gain access to the proceedings.
The unprecedented attempt to obstruct the impeachment inquiry delayed the testimony of several witnesses who were in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), as Politico reports. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper was just about to begin her testimony when Republicans struck.
“It was closest thing I’ve seen around here to mass civil unrest as a member of Congress,” a source in the room told CNN. The several dozen Republicans “stormed through the three different doors,” and refused to leave.
Politico adds that “some GOP lawmakers brought their cell phones into the secure area — a significant violation of House rules. Another person said the room had to be fully swept for potential security breaches.”
Schiff is reportedly threatening those GOP lawmakers with ethics violations.
This was not a rogue group of Republicans acting on their own. They were led by one of the top Republicans in the House, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and right wing extremist Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) October 23, 2019
“They basically ran over a member of the staff” to get in the room, said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). “They just came into the room and started shouting about the president. Literally some of them were just screaming … saying that the process is wrong.”
Politico referred to the attack as a “stunt,” but Democrats are following the House rules.
“In reality,” Politico adds, “more than 45 House Republicans — nearly a quarter of the House GOP conference — already have full access to the depositions via their membership on one of the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry. And during the depositions, Republican counsel is given the same amount of time to question witnesses as Democratic counsel.”
Chief Political Correspondent for Sinclair at WJLA posted video:
WATCH: here’s the video of when 2 dozen GOP members, led by @mattgaetz entered the secure hearing room (SCIF) to interrupt witness testimony in the #ImpeachmentInquiry as they demand access, despite not being committee members. They’re complaining it’s a “Soviet-style process”. pic.twitter.com/8KddYz3r9D
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) October 23, 2019
UPDATE: 2:33 PM ET –
.@RepAlexMooney, seen below apparently videotaping as he barges into a SCIF, last year co-sponsored H.Res.907, calling for the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate why Sec. Clinton escaped criminal charges in connection with her handling of classified information. pic.twitter.com/R2RdVgxL93
— Ned Price (@nedprice) October 23, 2019
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Conservative SCOTUS Justices Show Open Hostility to LGBTQ People Being Parents in ‘Religious Liberty’ Case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments against the City of Philadelphia in a case brought by Catholic Social Services. By all accounts the six-justice conservative majority was not merely dismissive of equality and LGBTQ rights in favor of special rights for Christian-based organizations, but openly-hostile to the very idea that LGBTQ people and same-sex couples could be good parents.
Catholic Social Services (CSS) lost in a unanimous 2018 lower court ruling when it sued the City of Philadelphia for refusing to send children to it for foster placement because the religious organization reneged on its agreement to place children with LGBTQ parents and same-sex couples.
Far right wing Justice Clarence Thomas used a thinly-veiled analogy of a swimming pool to argue what’s in the “best interest” of a child.
“Don’t you think it’s in the best interest of the the child to also have a pool, that is, that is beneficial to the child?” Thomas asked, as The Washington Blade reports. “I don’t understand why that isn’t also in the best interest of the child.”
Justice Samuel Alito decided to push false animus in what sounded like a conspiracy theory.
“If we are honest about what’s really going on here, it’s not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents,” Alito claimed. “It’s the fact that the city can’t stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old-fashioned view about marriage.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh insisted the City of Philadelphia was somehow attacking the Catholic group. He called Philadelphia’s position, that LGBTQ people cannot be excluded, “extreme.”
“It seems like Philadelphia created a clash, it seems, and was looking for a fight, and brought that serious controversy all the way to the Supreme Court.”
Philadelphia did not bring the case to the Supreme Court. Philadelphia won the case. Catholic Social Services brought the case tot he Supreme Court.
(Kavanaugh was recently criticized for making a serious error in an opinion last week so dire it had to be corrected.)
And then there’s the Court’s newest, and most extreme Justice, Amy Coney Barrett.
Here’s how the ACLU’s Josh Block characterized her questioning:
“Barrett asks what would happen if an agency had a religious objection to serving couples in interracial marriages? CSS says government has a compelling interest in eradicating racial discrimination, but not discrimination against same-sex couples. Very scary response.”
As recently as Masterpiece, the Court has consistently held that government has a compelling interest in eradicating discrimination bases sex and sexual orientation. CSS is asking the Court to roll back those precedent.
— Josh Block (@JoshABlock) November 4, 2020
Despite Ban Joe Rogan Hosts His ‘Friend’ – Conspiracy-Monger Alex Jones – on Flagship Spotify Show
Joe Rogan—host of popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast and the biggest podcast star on Spotify—interviewed radical right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on a recent episode of his show despite the fact that Jones himself has been banned by the Spotify platform.
Rogan, who hosted Jones on two previous occasions on his show, conducted a three-hour discussion with Jones and podcast host Tim Dillon on topics ranging from climate change, Hunter Biden, vaccine concerns, globalists, and the influence of tech companies on freedom of speech.
At the top of the show, Rogan addressed his friendship with Jones, explaining that he does not believe in de-platforming people.
“People have criticized me for being friends with you, for talking to you, and they have also criticized me for not supporting a lot of these people that were banned and deplatformed,” Rogan said to Jones near the start of the episode. “My take on it has always been the best way to counter wrong speech is correct speech. When someone says something that’s wrong or a conspiracy theory that’s not accurate, the best way to counter that is to do better speech…and to let the truth rise to the top.”
Jones has long been banned from all major platforms, including Spotify, which canceled ‘The Alex Jones Show’ in 2018 “due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies.” (Author note: Jones was banned, in part, due to reporting by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt.)
Jones has peddled conspiracies about white genocide, vaccines, 9/11, and climate change. He claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018 were false flag operations, which led to parents of victims and survivors being harassed and threatened.
Over the past decade, Rogan has hosted a wide range of controversial and far-right figures on his show, including Jordan Peterson, Candace Owens, Steven Crowder, Gavin McInnes, Milo Yianoppoulos, Bret Weinstein, Roseanne Barr, Mel Gibson, and Ted Nugent, among others. Interestingly, he has also hosted renowned figures like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, athletes like Mike Tyson, and progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang.
While Rogan prides himself on his “question everything” mentality, his podcast has proven to be dangerous in its ability to convey false information to impressionable followers who already question the legitimacy of mainstream science and media. He has been guilty of spreading false information several times in 2020 alone, including information relating to Obamagate, an unfounded conspiracy theory based on President Donald Trump’s claims that former president Barack Obama broke a law during his transition out of office. He also claimed that left-wing people started the wildfires in Oregon, a statement for which he later apologized.
In an attempt to provide some sort of balance to the three-hour interview, Rogan tried to factcheck Jones’ various claims. Along with his producer Young Jamie, Rogan sought out relevant news articles surrounding some of Jones’ claims. He even asked Jones to avoid discussing topics like 9/11, and urged him to tread carefully with some of his accusations. At one point, Rogan warned him: “We’re gonna go down another rabbit hole, you son of a bitch.”
Despite the lengths Rogan went to fact-check Jones, he also celebrated the conspiracy-monger for “getting so many things right.”
“We all know that you’ve fucked some things up,” Rogan said.
“Your biggest fuck-up was Sandy Hook,” Rogan added, referring to Jones’ claims that the massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., never happened. “But you’ve gotten so many things right. This is why I keep talking to you about these things and why I defend you, and why I think it is fucking dangerous to censor you.” Rogan, notably, did not mention a single thing that Jones has supposedly gotten “right.”
As for Spotify, the popular platform is unlikely to take any editorial action against Rogan for Jones’ appearance. An internal email from Spotify’s chief legal officer and head of global affairs Horacio Gutierrez which was leaked to Buzzfeed framed the matter as a question of context, and stated that “we are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people’s shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies.”
“It’s all too common that things are taken out of context,” Gutierrez added.
This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
In Strange Move Clarence Thomas – Not Chief Justice Roberts – to Administer Oath to Amy Coney Barrett
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will not officiate the swearing in of soon-to-be confirmed Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett Monday night. Instead, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife is a close Trump ally, will do the honors.
The event is set to take place between 8 and 9 PM Monday night, according the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and media reports.
From a senior WH official: “Justice Clarence Thomas will administer the official Constitutional Oath to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House tonight.”
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 26, 2020
It’s unclear why the Chief Justice will not be administering the oath, but Justice Thomas and especially his wife, far right activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas (photo) are close to the Trump White House.
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