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COVID Knocks Kelly Loeffler Off the Campaign Trail After Mike Pence Events — 45 Days Before Georgia Runoff: Report

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The eyes of the nation are on the two January 5th, 2021 runoff elections in Georgia that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

But one of the incumbent Republicans forced into a runoff is leaving the campaign trail.

“U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s campaign said Saturday she is self-isolating after she tested positive for the coronavirus and later received an inconclusive result,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday night.

“Loeffler’s spokesman Stephen Lawson said she took two COVID tests on Friday morning. He said her rapid test results were negative and that she was cleared to attend a pair of events with Vice President Mike Pence,” the newspaper noted. “He said she was informed later Friday that a PCR test came back positive and she was retested Saturday morning and the results were inconclusive.”

Republicans were notified after the positive test result.

“Though Loeffler regularly wears masks, her campaign events have often drawn large crowds where few are wearing masks and socially distancing is impossible. The campaign has notified Cotton, Pence, Perdue and other officials and staffers she came in contact with about her test results,” the newspaper reported.

Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat, is being challenged by Democrat Raphael Warnock.

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Republican Senator Denounces Trump’s Dinner With ‘Racist Antisemites’ – Critics Say His Claim ‘This Is Not the GOP’ Is False

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has become the first sitting Senator to denounce Donald Trump‘s dinner last week with, among other extremists, antisemite and white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. But while some are relieved an elected Republican has finally denounced what they say should have been done lone ago, critics are informing the Louisiana Republican that he’s wrong to say, “This is not the Republican Party.”

“President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites. These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party,” Senator Cassidy wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon.

Shortly thereafter U.S. Senator Susan Collins also denounced Trump’s dinner with Fuentes, as Axios reports. Fuentes was a guest of antisemite Kanye West, who has also made racist remarks going back nearly a decade.

READ MORE: Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

“I condemn white supremacy and anti-semitism. The president should never have had a meal or even a meeting with Nick Fuentes,” Collins told NBC News’ Frank Thorp V and Sahil Kapur.

“Spokespeople for nearly two dozen House and Senate Republicans,” Axios adds, “including party leaders, co-chairs of caucuses and task forces focused on Judaism or antisemitism and sponsors of legislation to combat antisemitic hate crimes — did not respond to requests for comment.”

Nearly all House and Senate Republicans are not the only ones refusing to denounce the dinner or Trump’s antisemitic, racist, or white supremacist guests. Despite his advisors’ urgings, Donald Trump has spoken several times to defend himself and paint himself as a victim — not once to denounce his guests’ extremist and vile beliefs.

Some on the left are thanking Sen. Cassidy for speaking up, while many critics are correcting his proposition that the GOP is not the embodiment of today’s far right, including antisemites and white supremacists.

READ MORE: Kellyanne Conway, Who Trump Reportedly Told He Understood He Had Lost to Biden, Testifying Before J6 Committee

“Notable and praiseworthy to see an actually elected Republican lawmaker condemn Trump by name for meeting with antisemites. Of course, whenever someone says ‘there is no place for X in our party,’ it generally means there is! But naming and condemning the thing obviously matters,” wrote The Atlantic’s Yair Rosenberg.

“Actually embracing ‘racist antisemites for dinner’ is 100% percent today’s GOP. But still good to see a Republican denounce it–although Sen Cassidy has long been a Trump critic,” wrote SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah.

The Dispatch’s senior editor David French, a former Republican who used to write for the right wing National Review, called Cassidy’s statement “Exactly right,” and added: “Thank you.”

“Took almost a week for ONE lone Republican Senator to openly say this,” pollster Natalie Jackson noted. “This is why I continue to say Trump has a chokehold on the party, even if some indicators wane.”

Brianna Wu, the co-founder the progressive political action committee Rebellion PAC, tweeted: “Spoiler. This is definitely the Republican Party.”

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Kellyanne Conway, Who Trump Reportedly Told He Understood He Had Lost to Biden, Testifying Before J6 Committee

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Kellyanne Conway, whose work in 2016 propelled Donald Trump into the Oval Office and spent three and a half years with him as a top White House advisor, is testifying Monday morning before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

ABC News White House and Capitol reporter Gabe Ferris Monday morning said, “Kellyanne Conway is meeting with Jan. 6 Committee staffers right now. She did not answer my questions about why she is here today.”

NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Ryan Nobles posted video of Conway apparently walking into the Committee’s offices. “Conway was not subpoenaed publicly & the committee won’t say if she was appearing voluntarily,” he notes.

READ MORE: ‘Lowest Common Denominator’: Trump Refuses to Denounce White Supremacist He Dined With Despite Advisers’ Urgings

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin notes, “Emmet Flood, who is representing Kellyanne Conway, also represents [former Pence chief of staff] Marc Short and Mike Pence in the 1/6 investigation. The convergence of interests between Short and Pence is clear. Whether Kellyanne shares those interests? Remains to be seen.”

Attorney George Conway, a “never Trumper” who happens to be married to Kellyanne Conway, posted a screenshot from Jonathan Lemire’s book which suggests Trump knew he had lost the 2020 presidential election.

That critical observation could prove important for prosecutors, who reportedly are already using the Committee’s work.

Conway points to a section that reads, “But off camera, [Trump] took a slightly different tone, even wondering aloud to Kellyanne Conway how he could ‘lose to fucking Joe Biden,’ in what she took as a sign that he understood, deep down, that he had been defeated, even if he was not ready to say so publicly.”

Video tweets and video above or at this link.

 

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‘Unambiguous Felony’: Trump at Risk in IRS ‘Personal Vendetta’ Audit Investigation – Report

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According to a report from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Epner at the Daily Beast, Donald Trump’s legal problems may be growing exponentially because there appears to be evidence he attempted to use the IRS to persecute political enemies before he lost re-election.

At issue, Epner wrote, are accusations from former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that the former president demanded the IRS look into tax returns filed by, among others, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

According to the legal expert, there is already an investigation by the IRS inspector general into the suspicious audits of the two FBI officials, with Epner writing, “As reported earlier this summer, both Comey and McCabe were subjected to highly unusual IRS audits. The odds of an individual randomly being subjected to this type of audit are similar to being struck by lightning. For both to be the subject of special audit by happenstance is about as likely as a whale falling from the sky and landing in the middle of a mountain range.”

As he notes, there is evidence Kelly is willing to provide evidence about Trump’s illegal demand, with Epner writing that “a president who unlawfully seeks to have an individual audited is subject to up to five years in prison. The crime does not require that the IRS actually carry out the audit. The crime is completed with the mere request.”

RELATED: The coming indictment of Donald Trump will break his power: former Obama lawyer

“If Trump made this demand while he was president, that is an unambiguous felony. Section 7217 of Title 26 of the United States Code makes it a crime for the ‘President’ to ‘request, directly or indirectly, any officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service to conduct or terminate an audit or other investigation of any particular taxpayer with respect to the tax liability of such taxpayer,'” he wrote before adding, “Based on my training and experience as an Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted tax offenses, I expect that each IRS employee along the chain of command kept detailed notes and records of who ordered them to conduct the audit, and on the facts that were cited to support that audit demand. I would not be surprised if each of those IRS employees cooperated with the DOJ, with all fingers pointing in Trump’s direction.”

He concluded that “the nice thing about prosecuting tax crimes is that the crimes are very clearly delineated. Few jurors have any sympathy for people who cheat on their taxes or wrongfully sic the IRS on an individual to carry out a personal vendetta.”

You can read more here.

 

Image by Evan El Amin/Shutterstock

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