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‘Flailing Around on Fox News’: Former DOJ Officials Slam Matt Gaetz – ‘Panicking’ and ‘Desperately Needs a Lawyer’

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Former Dept. of Justice officials on Wednesday criticized Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for how he’s handling the news he is reportedly under a DOJ investigation for a possible sexual relationship with a teenaged girl and possible sex trafficking of a minor.

“The way he has behaved in the last 24 hours since this news broke, kind of flailing around on Fox News, and in multiple interviews with reporters, kind of, you know, implicating himself or raising charges that haven’t been publicly alleged against him, trying to implicate Tucker Carlson and his own behavior shows you a person who is panicking under the spotlight,” former Dept. of Justice Chief Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on MSNBC’s “Deadline White House.”

Host Nicolle Wallace added that “it looked like Tucker Carlson might have been wondering that, did he become a witness, if Matt Gaetz was saying ‘you saw me with this girl we had dinner with you and your wife.'”

Wallace and Miller were referring to Congressman Gaetz’s interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News Tuesday night, hours after the bombshell story broke. On-air, immediately after, Carlson called it the strangest interview he had ever conducted.

Related: Gaetz Claims $25 Million ‘Extortion Effort Against My Family’ – Denies Allegations of Sexual Relationship With Teen

“It was really hard to tell what Gaetz was trying to do in that interview,” former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance told Wallace. “He looked a lot like someone who desperately needs a lawyer to make sure he doesn’t put himself into more trouble than he’s already in.”

“Something that fascinated me in the interview, Nicolle, was at one point he talked about FBI agents, trying to interview this supposed girlfriend, and he used language that has nothing to do with sex trafficking. He said that they wanted to talk with her about ‘pay to play.’ That’s language that prosecutors use when they’re talking about public corruption, about politicians who insist on being paid or compensated in order to take official action. So, nothing that we heard in the interview with Tucker Carlson really made sense and it certainly didn’t benefit Gaetz.”

Related: ‘Read the Room’: Gaetz Mocked, Condemned After Office Posts Notice Looking for College Interns

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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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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CRIME

New Video Shows Teen Shot and Killed by Police Had His Hands Up

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A Chinese American teen who was fatally shot by Pennsylvania State Police in December of last year had his hands in the air when police opened fire, new unredacted video shared by NBC News shows.

Christian Hall, 19, was standing on the ledge of a highway overpass when police arrived. When they tried to persuade him to get down, they soon realized he had a gun, which was later discovered to be a pellet gun, and they backed off.

Hall had previously been diagnosed with depression.

Video of the incident originally released by authorities show his hands in the air with the gun on one hand. But when police opened fire, the video was blurred. New unredacted video shows that Hall had his hands in the air for 14 seconds, and kept them in the air as he was being struck with rounds from the police.

The Monroe County district attorney ruled the shooting justified and said the lives of the officers were in danger.

“I would like to see an unbiased investigation take place,” said Gareth Hall, Christian’s father. “I personally would like to see those police officers brought up on charges.”

Read the full report over at NBC News. You can watch the unredacted video below, but viewers should be warned that it’s graphic:

Pennsylvania State Police shoot and kill a suicidal teenager w/ realistic pellet gun, while his hands are above his head from PublicFreakout

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