Attorney General Bill Barr‘s Dept. of Justice, in a possibly illegal move, used its full weight and power to try to determine the identity of the person behind a Twitter account parodying a top Trump-supporting congressman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
On November 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice, via a secret grand jury, served Twitter, Inc. with not only a subpoena ordering the social media company to reveal the identity of Twitter user “@NunesAlt,” but also with a gag order requiring the company to not reveal the existence of the subpoena, The Daily Beast reports.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kevin Poulsen shows that Twitter recently tried to quash the subpoena:
This was just unsealed. In the last weeks of the Trump administration, William Barr’s Justice Department tried to use a secret grand jury subpoena to unmask @NunesAlt, a Devin Nunes parody account. https://t.co/ENc4oiUV0f
— kpoulsen (@kpoulsen) May 17, 2021
It’s not that the Twitter account was posting state secrets or classified government intelligence. The account’s bio even reads: “Yes, it’s parody.”
So what does @NunesAlt, aka “Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom,” tweet?
A random selection:
I’m going to tell my grandkids that this was Pizzagate. https://t.co/Lp4BP04JKt
— Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom (@NunesAlt) December 28, 2020
— Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom (@NunesAlt) January 3, 2021
Translation: I betrayed my country in a desperate late-stage ploy to gain power in the twilight of my lackluster political career, and now everyone hates me. https://t.co/yfn3fOe7A0
— Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom (@NunesAlt) January 12, 2021
Legal experts are expressing outrage.
NBC News and MSNBC Legal Contributor:
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) May 17, 2021
Former federal prosecutor Ken White, now a criminal defense, white collar crime, and First Amendment litigation attorney:
This is absolutely outrageous. https://t.co/mVBlpfb4mF
— EveryKneeShallBowHat (@Popehat) May 17, 2021
First Amendment and defamation lawyer, and Free Speech Counsel at TechFreedom, a tech policy think tank:
Let’s be clear about this: the DOJ attempting to secretly unmask a social media account that parodies an elected official is a gross abuse of government power and a severe threat to the First Amendment. https://t.co/V81WKXB5hQ
— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) May 17, 2021
National security lawyer:
Clearly a great use of time and resources by DOJ https://t.co/u7eS2uYBZn
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) May 17, 2021
Former Federal Prosecutor:
Every day we learn about more corruption in Bill Barr’s DOJ. They actually served a grand jury subpoena on Twitter to unmask the identity of the person behind a Devin Nunes parody account. DOJ not only acted as Trump’s personal law firm, they were also working for Nunes! https://t.co/yIa3z3yYZn
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 17, 2021
I repeat, Bill Barr was HANDS DOWN, the worst, most venal, corrupt and immoral Attorney General America has EVER had.
He should be prosecuted in his own right for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. https://t.co/QvlgU0Pejz
— Pam Keith, Esq. (@PamKeithFL) May 17, 2021
So while extremist groups were openly talking about their plan to use violence to keep Trump in power, the DOJ—filled with stalwart Republicans who have since been picked up by corporate law firms—was ignoring that and instead going after @NunesAlt with a secret subpoena. https://t.co/QKpAEN0f9L pic.twitter.com/TuRUHF6DoH
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) May 17, 2021
This article has been updated to more accurately represent the description of attorney Ken White.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Former GOP Congressman: At Least 7 White Nationalist Groups Involved in January 6 Insurrection
Former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman of Virginia appeared on MSNBC Thursday morning and said there were “a minimum” of seven white nationalist groups that were part of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S Capitol.
Riggleman is a former Air Force intelligence officer and former CEO of a National Security Agency contractor.
“We had a minimum of seven white nationalist groups that were involved in the siege,” Riggleman said. “Seven, a minimum.”
Riggleman now works with the Network Contagion Research Institute, which is affiliated with Rutgers University. He was referring to NCRI’s report that lists the groups – most listed are actually white supremacist or neo-Nazi hate groups:
Proud Boys (White Supremacists)
New Jersey European Heritage Association (White Supremacists) Nick Fuentes and “Groyper Army” (Neo-Nazi)
American Nationalist Party (White Supremacists) American Guard (White Supremacists)
NCRI says its mission “is to track, expose, and combat misinformation, deception, manipulation, and hate across social media channels.”
#FacistTrump and #Gestapo Trend as Outrage Spreads Over Homeland Security’s ‘Occupying Army’ in Portland
An Oregon Public Broadcasting report has gone viral, revealing to many Americans waking up to learn that President Donald Trump’s Dept. of Homeland Security has an “occupying army,” as U.S. Senator from Oregon Ron Wyden and others have noted, in the American city of Portland, Oregon.
In short, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has sent armed federal forces, including camouflaged SWAT teams, to Portland to attack largely-peaceful protestors who alleged illegal acts – according to Wolf himself – include mostly painting graffiti onto a federal courthouse, and breaking some windows and a door.
Wolf repeatedly calls these demonstrators “violent extremists,” and “violent anarchists,” and is vowing to “never surrender” to them. Meanwhile, as OPB documented, Wolf’s unmarked, secret police forces are snatching demonstrators off Portland’s public streets and detaining or arresting them, possibly illegally.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon reposted this video. It’s received 8 million views so far.
Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end. pic.twitter.com/PE4YfZ9Vqd
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 16, 2020
He also offered President Trump some advice.
.@realDonaldTrump: Get your DHS lackey and uninvited paramilitary actions out of my state. Our communities are not a stage for your twisted reelection campaign.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 17, 2020
Orgeon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have asked Wolf to remove his troops. On national television, he refused, declaring, “Not on my watch.”
Sen. Wyden beat acting Sec. Wolf to the “not on my watch” promise:
This weekend a peaceful protestor was shot in the head with a potentially deadly crowd control munition after Donald Trump deployed fed’l law enforcement to Portland. Trump thinks he can treat law enforcement as his personal occupying army. Not on my watch. I’m demanding answers: pic.twitter.com/9MytI1M05A
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) July 15, 2020
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts decried Trump’s “secret police force.”
I thought we’d already covered this after the attacks in Lafayette Square: the US government should not be using unidentified federal officers as a secret police force to terrorize US citizens & violate their constitutional rights. This is outrageous. https://t.co/EIXbZmHXak
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 17, 2020
As the news spreads, on social media many are tweeting with the hashtags #FacistTrump and #Gestapo, and tweeting Wolf’s name. All are trending.
Here’s a sampling:
I was dubious about this seeing #Gestapo on @Twitter, but what is happening is real, these are literally “secret police.” ‘It was like being preyed upon’: Federal officers in unmarked vans detain Portland protesters https://t.co/pUFU5tYRau
— Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) July 17, 2020
Imagine if Obama had sent unidentifiable “police” to Republican cities to arrest people in the streets for having concealed weapons.
What Trump is doing in Portland, Oregon with his #Gestapo — perhaps Erik Prince’s private police — is illegal and outrageous in many ways.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 17, 2020
Unidentified, military-equipped, federal secret police in Portland are snatching peaceful protesters off the streets & tossing them in unmarked vehicles. No body cam. No badge numbers or names. No accountability. In Nazi Germany they called them the #Gestapo. pic.twitter.com/CEavTEqcbb
— Bleeding Heart Liberal Marine (@zaharako) July 17, 2020
Graffiti exists in every major city in the USA, but this is Chad Wolf’s justification for secret police snatching protesters off the streets in unmarked vehicles in Portland.#Gestapo #FascitTrump #AmericaOrTrump https://t.co/sTPJvsoBuL
— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) July 17, 2020
Remember the unmarked militia in Lafayette Park? They’re now in Portland detaining peaceful protesters w/out cause or due process. Who are they? Who pays them? Why’s DHS Sec there defending their actions? #Gestapo #NaziTrump pic.twitter.com/9vTjwCXSsQ
— Biden_Brigade (@biden_brigade) July 17, 2020
Where is the wall-to-wall TV coverage of the fascist takeover of Portland?
Why isn’t Trump’s #Gestapo bigger news?!
RT to keep up the pressure! 🚨pic.twitter.com/MyOYvfhack
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) July 17, 2020
This is important:
Neither Oregon Gov Kate Brown nor Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler asked for federal military assistance to manage the ongoing protests in the city.
However, Acting DHS Sec Chad Wolf decided to descend on Portland and take over the city with troops.#Fascism
— 𝔾𝕣𝕒𝕡𝕙𝕚𝕔 ℝ𝕖𝕤𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣 #WearAMask (@jaywhyelle) July 17, 2020
This is how holocausts and genocides happen.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) July 17, 2020
— Denise Wu (@denisewu) July 17, 2020
TBH this looks like the underside of every bridge and backside of every building between NY and DC from the windows of the Acela. I hope Chad Wolf doesn’t have to take the train anytime soon!
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) July 17, 2020
No Chad Wolf, the violent extremists are the terrorists in uniform that you unleashed in Portland to injure and kidnap people you trashy fascist.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) July 17, 2020
The Pentagon Announced It Was Pulling Hundreds of Troops Out of DC. The Defense Secretary Just Canceled That Order.
It took Secretary of Defense Mark Esper just two hours to countermand a decision the Pentagon had announced, that it was pulling hundreds of active-duty troops out of Washington, D.C.
“Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions,” the AP reports. “It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.”
Secretary Esper surprised many Wednesday morning when he announced at a hastily-called press conference he disagrees with invoking The Insurrection Act to deploy U.S. troops to cities across the nation to, as President Donald Trump has said, “quell” protestors. President Trump fully supports invoking the law, and has already heavily militarized D.C.
In more than 140 cities Americans have been protesting the police killing of an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, George Floyd, now for nine days and nights.
President Donald Trump has demanded mayors and governors “dominate” the protestors, and has posted threatening tweets advocating his position against the protestors.
LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2020
Get tough police! https://t.co/nsaZYrJe9c
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2020
About one hour ago several large military vehicles were deployed to the area in front of St. John’s Church, where President Trump held his Bible photo-op on Monday.
- 'ATTENTION-SEEKING WITH A FRAT-BOY VIBE'2 days ago
Matt Gaetz’s Law School Classmates Want Him to Resign — and Reveal Details of His College Years
- 'EXPAND THE SUPREME COURT'1 day ago
‘Endless Cycle of Republican Abuse of Power’: Legal Experts Blast McConnell for Planning to Block a Biden SCOTUS Pick
- LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM2 days ago
‘I Never Lied’: Kayleigh McEnany Says God Made Her Tell the Truth in the White House Despite Documented Lies
- ANALYSIS1 day ago
Watergate Prosecutor Explains Why It’s Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions Who Are Lying About Trump’s Spying
- CRIME1 day ago
Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police
- 'WAKE UP!!'1 day ago
‘House Is on Fire’: Liberals Message Justice Breyer in ‘Fantasy Land’ After McConnell Says He’ll Block Biden Nominee
- BREAKING NEWS1 day ago
Trump-Appointed DOJ Official Involved in Spying on Democrats to Exit Next Week
- 'CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT'1 day ago
#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave