Connect with us

News

Franklin Graham Spread ‘Anarchists Coming to Washington on a Plane’ Conspiracy Theory Days Before Trump Spewed It

Published

on

President Donald Trump is getting slammed for spreading a debunked conspiracy theory on Monday, but far right wing evangelical Franklin Graham spread a very similar story on Facebook on Friday, one day after the Republican National Convention.

“We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend,” Trump said Monday night. “And in the plane it was almost completely loaded with, with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”

Trump added, “it’s under investigation right now, but they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention. And they were like seven people on the plane like this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage,” Trump claimed, suggesting the RNC was targeted.

Tuesday Trump repeated the claim, expanding it to say, “a person was on a plane, said that there were about six people like that person, more or less. And what happened is the entire plane filled up with the looters, the anarchists, the rioters — people that obviously were looking for trouble.”

On Friday via a Facebook post, Franklin Graham, who serves as an informal advisor to President Trump, wrote: “A person who was coming to Washington on a plane this week said that there were some of these anarchists on the plane with them traveling to DC.”

NBC News Tuesday reported that the “conspiracy theory that President Donald Trump pushed Monday that a plane ‘almost completely loaded with thugs’ had been set to disrupt the Republican National Convention was almost identical to a rumor that went viral on Facebook three months ago.”

The claim about the flight matches a viral Facebook post from June 1 that falsely claimed, “At least a dozen males got off the plane in Boise from Seattle, dressed head to toe in black.” The post, by an Emmett, Idaho, man, warned residents to “Be ready for attacks downtown and residential areas,” and claimed one passenger had “a tattoo that said Antifa America on his arm.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

‘Ballsy Move’: Experts Praise Special Counsel for Not Playing Trump’s ‘Stupid Reindeer Games’

Published

on

Legal experts are applauding Special Counsel Jack Smith’s move to “leapfrog” a Trump effort to delay his D.C. case by claiming he has immunity from prosecution and appealing the decisions by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on that major question.

Trump is claiming he cannot be prosecuted for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election because he was president at the time, and is also claiming he cannot be prosecuted because he was impeached nay the House but not convicted by the Senate.

Legal experts and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan have declared Trump is not immune from prosecution for criminal acts, with Judge Chutkan writing: “Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.”

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS

On Monday the Special Counsel appeared to have short-ciircuited Trump’s delay tactic by asking the Supreme Court to rule on this question: “Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.”

“It is hard for Trump to logically object to Smith’s request today for expedited Supreme Ct review since it is Trump who is claiming he [should] not be subject to the indictment at all,” writes former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann, a popular MSNBC legal analyst. “Expedited review only helps alleviate that harm, if he is correct (which he is not).”

Weissmann adds, “Note newest Smith team member: the storied appellate lawyer Michael Dreeben. Argued over 100 cases in Supreme Court, and was head appellate lawyer on SC Mueller team.”

“This is a really ballsy move,” declared former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Asst. Attorney General Harry Litman. “And who is Michael Dreeben? He plays a similar role in Mueller investigation but he was a very long time Deputy Solicitor General and probably the most respected Supreme Court advocate on criminal issues in the Dept.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad

Steve Vladeck, the national security attorney and professor of law, adds, “if I were taking a criminal procedure issue to the Court, there’s no one I’d want as my special counsel *more* than Michael Dreeben.”

He also explains, “The bottom line of Jack Smith’s #SCOTUS filing is that he wants to ensure, one way or the other, that the issue of Trump’s constitutional immunity from the January 6-related prosecution is conclusively resolved by the end of the Supreme Court’s *current* term (i.e., June 2024).”

This is exactly the right move,” announced noted constitutional law scholar and Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe.  “And SCOTUS should agree to leapfrog the DC Circuit, just as it did in the Nixon tapes case. The issue is purely legal and delay hurts the country.”

Former 30-year federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst sums up the Special Counsel’s move: “Unwilling to play Trump’s stupid reindeer games, Jack Smith takes the reins and seeks an expedited answer from the Supreme Court on Trump’s baseless claim that he is above the law and can’t be prosecuted for his crimes.”

Watch Weissmann’s explanation of Smith’s move below or at this link.

READ MORE: Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’

Continue Reading

News

Jack Smith Asks SCOTUS to Rule on Major Trump Claim in ‘Unexpected Move’

Published

on

Special Counsel Jack Smith is asking the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court to rule on a major leg of Donald Trump’s defense, that he is immune from any prosecution for actions he took while President.

Smith’s question now before the justices: “Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.”

MSNBC on-air called it “an unexpected and fascinating legal move.”

The justices can agree to take up the question or refuse.

The Special Counsel has requested an expedited decision.

READ MORE: Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS

U.S> District Judge Tanya Chutkan has already ruled Trump can be prosecuted for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has appealed and is attempting to put the entire case on hold until a ruling has been made.

“Smith is attempting to bypass the appeals court,” the Associated Press reports. “The request filed Monday for the Supreme Court to take up the matter directly reflects Smith’s desire to keep the trial, currently for March 4, on track and to prevent any delays that could push back the case until after next year’s presidential election.”

 

Continue Reading

News

Clarence Thomas Vehemently Objects to LGBTQ Conversion Therapy Case Denial by SCOTUS

Published

on

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case challenging the state of Washington’s law banning anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors, but in the 6-3 decision Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas said they would have taken the case. Justice Thomas vehemently objected to the Court’s decision, using his dissent to declare the practice – denounced as dangerous by major medical organizations and as torture by organizations and some who have been subjected to it – a First Amendment issue.

NBC News reports, “the court left in place a state law that bars therapists from counseling minors to change sexual orientation or gender identity, a practice favored by some conservatives.”

Conversion therapy, which experts say is unsuccessful and has been labeled child abuse or fraud, aims to change an LGBTQ individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Human Rights Campaign has published the statements of 15 medical groups’ positions against conversion therapy, and of a coalition of medical, mental health, education, and religious groups also opposing the practice.

Courthouse News, reporting on the Court’s refusal to take up the case, noted, “State lawmakers enacted the law to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. A 2018 study found that over 60% of children who received conversion therapy attempted suicide.”

READ MORE: ‘They’re Coming After Our Children’: Watch Casey DeSantis’ Dystopian Fear-Mongering Ad

When accepting or denying a case for review, Supreme Court justices are under no obligation to identify their vote by name, much less submit legal arguments for their positions, but on this issue Justice Thomas included a multiple-page dissent.

Thomas insisted conversion therapy is an issue of free speech, despite that methods used in the U.S. and around the world can range from talk therapy to medication, surgery, electro-shock “therapy,” and even “physical and psychological violence” according to a statement opposing conversion therapy from the Independent Forensic Expert Group on Conversion Therapy.

“There is little question that SB 5722 regulates speech and therefore implicates the First Amendment. True, counseling is a form of therapy, but it is conducted solely through speech,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “A law that restricts speech based on its content or viewpoint is presumptively unconstitutional and may be upheld only if the state can prove that the law is narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests.”

Justice Thomas did not appear to consider the state’s primary role and compelling interest in protecting minors.

He also wrongly claimed, “under SB 5722, licensed counselors cannot voice anything other than the state-approved opinion on minors with gender dysphoria without facing punishment.”

CNN reports, “Under the law, a licensed therapist can discuss conversion therapy with minors or recommend it be performed by others such as a religious counselor, but a licensed therapist cannot perform it.”

READ MORE: Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business

Ignoring the numerous statements, studies, and positions of experts that conversion therapy is both unsuccessful in its aims and dangerous to the health of those who undergo the discredited practice, Justice Thomas wrote that under the Washington state law known as SB 5722, “licensed counselors can speak with minors about gender dysphoria, but only if they convey the state-approved message of encouraging minors to explore their gender identities.”

“Expressing any other message is forbidden—even if the counselor’s clients ask for help to accept their biological sex,” he continued. “That is viewpoint-based and content-based discrimination in its purest form. As a result, SB 5722 is presumptively unconstitutional, and the state must show that it can survive strict scrutiny before enforcing it.”

Justice Thomas also appeared to invite additional challenges to laws banning conversion therapy, which now exist in 22 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

“Although the Court declines to take this particular case, I have no doubt that the issue it presents will come before the Court again. When it does, the Court should do what it should have done here: grant certiorari to consider what the First Amendment requires,” Thomas wrote.

Issuing only a short statement that he agreed with Justice Thomas’ decision, Justice Alito called the case “a question of national importance.”

“It is beyond dispute that these laws restrict speech, and all restrictions on speech merit careful scrutiny,” he added.

In 2020, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law reported on a study that found “non-transgender LGB people who experienced conversion therapy were almost twice as likely to think about suicide and to attempt suicide compared to their peers who hadn’t experienced conversion therapy.”

READ MORE: ‘Corruption of the Highest Order’: Experts ‘Sickened’ at ‘Definitely Bought’ Clarence Thomas and His ‘Pay to Play’ Lifestyle

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.