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Inspector General Refuses to Investigate if Acting DHS Secretary Wolf Is Serving Illegally After Judge Says ‘Likely’

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The Inspector General for the Dept. of Homeland Security has just announced he will not investigate whether or not Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his “deputy,” Ken Cuccinelli, are serving in their federal government roles illegally. A federal judge on Friday ruled Wolf’s appointment by President Donald Trump was “likely” illegal. In March a separate judge ruled Cuccinelli’s appointment is also illegal.

Cuccinelli’s official title is “Senior Official Performing the Duties of the United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.”

In August the Government Accountability Office issued a report stating the appointments were invalid, in violation of federal law, and both were ineligible to serve.

President Donald Trump refused to act on that report and the Acting DHS general counsel, Chad Mizelle, responded to the report, labeling it “erroneous” and saying it should be withdrawn. Trump soon after nominated Wolf to be the permanent DHS Secretary.

Calling it “a bitter inter-branch disagreement,” as CNN reports, on Tuesday DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari refused to take up the issue. He says that although there were “troubling aspects” of the DHS report, it “would be pointless” to investigate.

“Neither GAO nor DHS OIG can issue a binding determination on that issue, but a federal court can and probably will,” Cuffari said in a letter to Democratic Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Carolyn Maloney of New York.

Democrats are calling for Wolf and Cuccinelli to resign.

Image by Dept. of Homeland Security via Flickr 

 

 

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CRIME

Jan 6 Committee to Vote on Criminal Referral of Uncooperative Trump DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark

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The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has announced it will vote on holding Trump-era Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark in contempt.

“According to a report released last week by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, there is credible evidence that, while serving as an official at the Department of Justice, Mr. Clark was involved in efforts to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Mr. Clark proposed delivery of a letter to state legislators in Georgia and others encouraging to delay certification of election results. Moreover, he recommended holding a press conference announcing that the Department was investigating allegations of voter fraud despite the lack of evidence that such fraud was present. Both proposals were rejected by Department senior leadership for lacking a factual basis and being inconsistent with the Department’s institutional role,” the committee announced on October 13.

 

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CRIME

Marjorie Taylor Greene Wants to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse

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A new bill was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to award Kyle Rittenhouse the Congressional Gold Medal for “protecting the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”

Rittenhouse was acquitted last week of all charges, including intentional homicide, stemming from a fatal shooting that involved two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A third protester sustained injuries from the incident.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can award an individual or institution, but it’s unlikely to go anywhere as there are currently zero co-sponsors.

“Kyle Rittenhouse deserves to be remembered as a hero who defended his community, protected businesses, and acted lawfully in the face of lawlessness. I’m proud to file this legislation to award Kyle Rittenhouse a Congressional Gold Medal,” Greene said in a statement.

Not to be outdone, a spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who has offered Rittenhouse an internship with his office, told The Washington Post in response to Greene’s bill, “We are concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office.”

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CRIME

Guilty: All 3 Men Convicted of Murder in the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

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Jurors found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. all guilty of murder Wednesday for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was killed while  jogging through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement that she is “…grateful the jury has found the three men responsible for the senseless murder of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of their crimes. I am hopeful that this verdict gives Mr. Arbery’s family, and people across America, some level of comfort in knowing that these men are being held accountable for taking the life of an innocent young man.”

The federal trial will occur in February and additional sentencing is possible, including life in prison.

CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explained, “The absence of a viable claim of self-defense” bolstered the prosecution’s case against Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who were found guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

“Even when Travis McMichael took the stand and said, ‘No, he never threatened me. No, I don’t recall him trying to take the gun. No, he never shouted at me.’ How could you possibly make a case at that point for self-defense?” Coates said after the verdict was read.

Coates added, “Travis McMichael pulled the trigger. That is not in dispute.The other two men aided and abetted hunting this man down … These are three people who, for all intents and purposes, are laymen. The prosecution did a phenomenal job ensuring that the jurors saw that each of these men were culpable and that there was no self-defense claim.”

The trial jury consisted of 11 White jurors and one Black juror.

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