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Trump Telling Aides He Wants to Pardon Himself on His Last Day in Office: Report

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President Donald Trump has been telling White House aides in recent weeks he wants to grant himself a pardon on his last day in office, The New York Times reports Thursday.

The paper’s Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman says the President, now under siege for inciting what became a violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, may have reason to be increasingly interested.

“The discussions between Mr. Trump and his aides about a self-pardon came before his pressure over the weekend on Georgia officials to help him try to overturn the election results or his incitement of the riots at the Capitol. Trump allies believe that both episodes increased Mr. Trump’s criminal exposure.”

No president has ever tried to self-pardon. It would be “a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history.”

Trump reportedly enjoyed the insurrection scenes.

“As aides urged Mr. Trump to issue a strong condemnation on Wednesday and he rejected that advice, the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, warned Mr. Trump that he could face legal exposure for the riot given that he had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and ‘fight’ beforehand,” the Times notes. “The president had appeared to White House aides to be enjoying watching the scenes play out on television.”

Trump has previously claimed he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself, though most legal experts disagree.

Should he go through with issuing a self-pardon, it would likely force the hand of the Biden administration’s Dept. of Justice to charge him with crimes, the only real way to test whether or not he constitutionally can self-pardon.

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT

DeSantis Administration Blows Off Court Ruling – Strips Funding From Schools Defying Unlawful Mask Mandate Ban

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The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going ahead with plans to financially punish schools that defy his ban on mask mandates for students.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran withheld funds from the Alachua and Broward county school districts that are equivalent to the salaries paid to school board members’ salaries.

Both counties had defied DeSantis by implementing mask mandates and refused to back down in the face of the governor’s threats.

However, there is some question of whether the decision to withhold the funding from the schools will hold up in court.

“Corcoran’s announcement Monday came after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper on Friday ruled that DeSantis’ overstepped his constitutional authority in issuing the executive order,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. “Cooper issued an injunction barring Corcoran, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education from enforcing DeSantis’ order. It was not clear Monday evening whether the announcement about withholding funds from the Alachua and Broward districts conflicts with Cooper’s ruling.”

Despite this, the Florida Department of Education released a statement Monday saying that “the withholding of funds will continue monthly until each school board complies with state law and rule.”

RELATED –
Florida Judge Shreds Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order Banning Mask Mandates: CDC Is ‘Gold Standard’

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Madison Cawthorn Attacks Dr. Fauci: ‘We Want to Prosecute This Guy to the Full Ability of the Law’

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying House Republicans will “prosecute” the esteemed immunologist and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as a “pawn of the Chinese Communist Party” and for lying to Congress.

There is no evidence either of those claims are true.

Speaking to former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, the host of “Just the Truth” on the Real America’s Voice website, Cawthorn falsely claimed Dr. Fauci has “directly lied to Congress,” echoing a claim made by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday. Ellis, who claims to be a “constitutional law attorney,” did not mention to Cawthorn that the House of Representatives does not have the power to criminally prosecute.

“I’ll tell you when we take the majority back in 2022, I’ll make sure consequences are doled out,” Cawthorn promised. “But we want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law because I’ll tell you to lie to the American people just to get your name in the news just to see your face on the cover of books just to get fame or fortune, I’ll tell you, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not deserve either fame or fortune.”

On Wednesday Cawthorn told Newsmax, “I think we should indict Jill Biden.”

Watch:

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Guns for Hire?: GOP Governor Accused of ‘Renting’ Out South Dakota’s National Guard Troops as For-Profit ‘Mercenaries’

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It may be called South Dakota but the “Mount Rushmore State” is pretty far up in the northern United States. And yet Governor Kristi Noem, a Trump-loving far right Republican, is sending her National Guard troops to patrol the border: the Southern Border, in Texas.

The capitol of South Dakota, Pierre, is over 1100 miles from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s capital city of Austin, about a 17 hour drive according to Google, if you don’t stop to eat or sleep.

Gov. Noem is sending her National Guard troops down to the Lone Star State to help out Gov. Abbott with the “ongoing violations of state and federal law by illegal aliens crossing the unsecured border,” she has just announced.

Who’s paying for these soldiers?

In a statement Noem says “private donations,” the source of which she does not disclose. Nor does she say where the funds are going.

“The Biden Administration has failed in the most basic duty of the federal government: keeping the American people safe,” Governor Noem’s statement reads.. “The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide.  We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden’s Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve.  My message to Texas is this: help is on the way.”

“The deployment will be paid for by a private donation.”

Many are furious that the governor has turned U.S. troops into “a mercenary force.”


Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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