Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, has just resigned from the Trump administration with barely more than one week left in the lame duck president’s tenure. Although he has only “acting” status, Wolf is the third cabinet-level official to quit the Trump administration over the President’s incitement of an insurrection and attempted coup.
Wolf made several statements in opposition to Trump’s incitement of insurrection and attempted coup last week, after which Trump pulled his permanent nomination to the post courts have ruled he currently holds unlawfully.
“Wolf, in a letter to Department of Homeland Security staff, said his resignation ‘is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary,'” CNBC reports.
“These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power,” wrote Wolf, whose resignation is effective at just before midnight.
Fox News reports Wolf also urged DHS employees to support the Biden administration.
“I leave knowing the Department has positioned itself for an orderly and smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team. Welcome them, educate them, and learn from them. They are your leaders for the next four years – a time which undoubtedly will be full of challenges and opportunities to show the American people the value of DHS and why it is worth the investment.”
Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in less than nine days.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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FBI Investigating Possible Links Tying Alex Jones and Roger Stone to Capitol Riot: Report
On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that the FBI and Department of Justice are investigating whether former President Donald Trump ally Roger Stone and far-right webcaster Alex Jones played a significant role in encouraging the invasion of the U.S. Capitol in January.
“Officials at this stage said they are principally seeking to understand what the rioters were thinking — and who may have influenced beliefs — which could be critical to showing their intentions at trial,” reported Spencer Hsu and Devlin Barrett. “However, investigators also want to determine whether anyone who influenced them bears enough responsibility to justify potential criminal charges, such as conspiracy or aiding the effort, the officials said. That prospect is still distant and uncertain, they emphasized.”
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Jones, an ally of Trump and an infamous conspiracy theorist who has claimed the government is feminizing the population through tap water and the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, pledged money to the pre-riot “Save America” election protest in exchange for a speaking slot, and also secured funding from Julie Jenkins, a Trump megadonor and the heiress to the Publix supermarket chain.
Stone, a former Trump campaign adviser who was pardoned for witness tampering and false statements in the Russia investigation, has claimed he had no knowledge of the insurrection beforehand, but has been caught on video in D.C. flanked by a right-wing militia as the attack was beginning to unfold.
“A key task for prosecutors and agents is to sift through the multitude of motives and intentions of the roughly 800 people in the mob that descended upon the Capitol — from those who came as individuals drawn to the idea of derailing Joe Biden’s presidency before it began, to those who allegedly began organizing immediately after the election to show up in Washington in large numbers to use force to try to keep Trump in power,” said the report.
You can read more here.
‘He Knew He Was Losing Power’: Morning Joe Compares Trump’s Capitol Riot to Hitler’s Infamous Nero Decree
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough compared the U.S. Capitol insurrection to Adolf Hitler’s orders to destroy German infrastructure out of spite at the end of World War II.
The “Morning Joe” host has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump and the Nazi autocrat, but those usually center on Hitler’s rise to power, but he said Thursday the former president’s actions after losing the Nov. 3 election reminded him of the end stages of other mad rulers.
“The most damning part of this is what happened while the attacks were going on for two hours, and the president had allies begging him to call off the terrorists, begging him to stop the assault of the United States Capitol,” Scarborough said. “But he had turned his mob against the Capitol because he knew he was losing power, he knew that it was over. He knew the end was coming in 14 days.”
Scarborough said evidence presented at Trump’s second impeachment showed the former president had turned against the country he had sworn to protect.
“Anybody who reads history, you can’t help but look back and ask, well, what leaders have actually turned on their own countries, savage their own countries at the end, and you have to immediately go to the Nero decree,” Scarborough said. “So few have done it. Hitler, in March of 1945, where Hitler ordered his generals to turn their guns on Germany out of spite because they had not done as well as he thought they should have done in the war, to tear up railroads, factories. But Donald Trump turned his mob on something far more precious to us at least than railroad tracks or factories. He turned his mob against the seat of government — the first branch, the United States Congress.”
“There are no parallels in American history,” he added. “No president has turned a mob against the United States government. outside of hitler, I can’t think of too many other leaders in history who have turned their mobs or turned their troops against their own government when it was obvious they were being removed from power.”
A Few GOP Senators Appear to Have Been Affected by Horrific Security Footage of Capitol Coup – and Some Not at All
For those who found Tuesday’s videos of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump-incited insurrectionists disturbing or difficult to watch, many seem to be saying Wednesday’s videos were even more difficult to watch.
The videos, never before seen security camera footage of the assault on the building and on hundreds of Capitol Police officers, show just how close the domestic terrorists came to coming in contact with the Vice President and the Speaker of the House – the second and third elected officials in line to the presidency – and Senate lawmakers.
Politico congressional reporter Andrew Desiderio says Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand “looked away” during the footage of Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges being crushed by the insurrectionists.
But a few Republicans were also emotionally affected.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, told CNN’s Manu Raju, “I don’t see how Donald Trump could be re-elected to the presidency” after the videos were shown in the Senate trial, if Senators don’t vote to bar him from running for office. She also told him “that the evidence that was presented thus far is pretty damning.”
Desiderio also says Oklahoma’s GOP Senator James Lankford “was incredibly shaken up after that last video of Officer Hodges being crushed. I and other reporters in the chamber observed Lankford appearing to get teary-eyed. Sen. Daines (R-Mont.) was comforting him and was holding his arm.”
Sen. Lankford afterward says of his reaction: “It’s painful to see … Who in God’s name thinks, ‘I’m going to show that I’m right by smashing into the Capitol’? Who would do that?” https://t.co/G5QRZrhF7R
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) February 10, 2021
And one unnamed GOP Senator confessed they hope all Americans watched today’s videos.
Sen. Angus King tells @MSNBC a Republican senator, not one of the six who voted to advance the trial, said to him: “I hope everyone in the country is seeing this.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 10, 2021
But not all Republicans were affected.
“I’ve got nothing for you now,” Senator John Cornyn told CNN’s Raju, who says the Texas Republican is usually very “talkative.”
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin appeared to be in total denial of Trump’s complicity.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson would not say to me that Trump is accountable for what happened on Jan. 6, instead pointing to the rioters, saying: “I hold those people responsible.” He added: “Those aren’t the Trump supporters I know.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2021
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a Trump die-hard, was untouched.
Blunt: “I don’t know what the other side will show from Seattle and Portland and other places, but you’re going to see similar kinds of tragedies there as well.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2021
As was Senator Mike Braun of Indiana – Mike Pence’s home state:
Several GOP senators make clear they view the footage as chilling and are shaken by what they saw – but are singaling they won’t change their plans to vote to acquit
“Same way that I was before,” Sen. Mike Braun told me when asked if he was shaken.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 10, 2021
It’s hard to convict, Braun added, “When you think the process is flawed in the first place.”
The Senate voted 56-44 that the process was not flawed, that the Senate had jurisdiction to try the case. Senators are jurors, and swear an oath to deliver “impartial justice.” As a juror, Braun does not get to decide whether or not the “process is flawed,” because the Senate said it was not, as CNN legal analyst Elzie Honig, a former federal prosecutor, suggests:
This is a vital point that is getting too little notice. Now that the Senate has voted that trial *is* constitutional, Senators should not rely on an unconstitutionality argument for final verdict. (It would be off limits in a real trial; I recognize impeachment is different). https://t.co/psSfzPLjy4
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) February 10, 2021
Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) called Tuesday’s proceedings a waste of time.
“This is a complete waste of time,” Scott said, per NBC News. “It’s not doing anything to help American families, it’s not helping people get jobs, it’s not helping get the vaccine out … it’s vindictive.”
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