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CORRUPTION

Trump DOJ Refused to Open Criminal Investigation Into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao IG Says Was ‘Warranted’

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The Trump Dept. of Justice refused an Inspector General’s request to open a criminal investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine’s Chao’s possible misuse of her office. Chao resigned one day after the January 6 insurrection.

“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday, The New York Times reports. The Times cites “a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”

The Inspector General’s report reveals the IG’s office had “referred its findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on December 16, 2020, and the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section on December 17, 2020, both of which declined prosecution.”

Mother Jones‘ David Corn weighed in, saying the report “shows Elaine Chao apparently violated federal ethics rules in multiple ways, including directing official staffers to do personal tasks.”

In one instance, Chao had her staff pressure a store to do a repair job for her father. “Tell them I’m the secretary of transportation,” she said.

“The report said the Justice Department declined to investigate her promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary in the Trump administration,” the Times notes, suggestion there is no question Chao engaged in “promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary.”

The Times adds: “The inspector general’s investigation detailed a series of instances where Ms. Chao directed her staff to spend federal government time and resources to help with matters related to the shipbuilding company and her father.”

A search of the IG’s 44-page report reveals the word “father” appears 82 times.

Read the Times’ full report here.

 

 

 

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CORRUPTION

Wallace Skewers Christie for Trying to ‘Save’ the GOP and Favoring Fox News

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MSNBC news host Nicolle Wallace skewered former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while he was promoting his book, “Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden.”

“Is bias more dangerous to the country than conspiracy theorists?” Wallace asked.

“No, but that’s the third section of the book where I talk about the movement forward. In the second portion of the book, we talk about the conspiracy theories and the truth-denying that went on with things like Qanon, Pizzagate, the election situation, John Birch Society… that’s what I talk about. There’s two sections of the book and I’m sure you’re conflating them,” Christie answered.

“I’m not conflating them,” Wallace said. “I don’t think it’s an intellectually honest case to make against conspiracy theories without taking on Fox News.”

During the interview, Wallace also asked Christie if he thought former President Donald J. Trump gave him COVID-19. He denied naming Trump specifically in the contraction, but ultimately said he didn’t know who gave it to him.

See below for how Twitter has responded to the interview, which originally aired Tuesday night, and also to the news of Christie’s potential run for president in 2024.

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CORRUPTION

GOP Rep. Gonzales: ‘I Will Not Let’ Trump ‘Steal’ the 2024 Election

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A stern warning was issued to Republicans Friday by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH): don’t rest on your laurels – former President Donald Trump will try to steal the next election.

“January 6 was an unconstitutional attempt led by the President of the United States to overturn an American election and reinstall himself in power illegitimately,” Gonzalez said. “That’s fallen nation territory, that’s third world country territory. My family left Cuba to avoid that fate. I will not let it happen here.”

Gonzalez said he could see one of two outcomes: “He either wins legitimately, which he may do, or if he loses again, you just try to steal it.”

Gonzalez was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Gonzalez and his family were the target of attacks and threats following the impeachment hearing. He has chosen to retire from Congress at the end of his term and avoid facing off with a Trump-backed primary challenger.

Gonzalez told CNN he will try to stop Trump from running the same 2020 playbook to overturn another election.

“The institutions don’t hold themselves,” Gonzalez said. “In the moments of truth, you need the right people to pass the most difficult tests. We had just enough people on January 6 pass the test. We have to make sure we have equal number of people to continue to pass the test going forward.”

“I’m afraid that the kind of political violence, the kind of abandonment of the rule of law, the kind of abandonment of the constitution that we watched, does threaten the foundations of democracy, the foundations of our system,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who was kicked out of House GOP leadership over her criticism of Trump.

“And the fact that so many in my party are willing to be silent, are complicit, are enabling it, adds very much to the peril,” added Cheney, one of two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating January 6.

“I have real concerns about the future of this democracy,” said Bill Gates, a Republican supervisor in Arizona’s Maricopa County who pushed back on claims that there was fraud in the 2020 election result. “I didn’t think we had this sort of pull towards authoritarianism in our in our democracy.”

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CORRUPTION

FBI Raids ‘Two Locations Associated with Project Veritas’ Under Bill Barr: Report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week reportedly raided two locations associated with conservative group Project Veritas as part of a probe that started under former Trump-appointed Attorney General Bill Barr.

According to the New York Times, the searches were related to an investigation into how the personal diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden, was stolen just ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“Federal agents in New York conducted the court-ordered searches on Thursday — one in New York City and one in suburban Westchester County — at places linked to people who had worked with the group and its leader, James O’Keefe,” writes the Times. “Project Veritas did not publish Ms. Biden’s diary, but dozens of handwritten pages from it were posted on a right wing website on Oct. 24, 2020, at a time when President Donald J. Trump was seeking to undermine Mr. Biden’s credibility by portraying his son, Hunter, as engaging in corrupt business dealings.”

A member of the Biden family contacted law enforcement officials about the diary’s theft and a Department of Justice investigation into the matter began shortly afterward.

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