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.
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DeSantis Signs Bill Dissolving Disney Special District in Vengeful Attack Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Opposition
Few bills have ever become law in a shorter period of time but Friday afternoon Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis just signed legislation stripping Disney of its special status, created in 1967, that essentially mandates the California-based entertainment giant to provide the same services as local governments.
DeSantis demanded the legislation one week ago in a vengeful direct attack on Disney, which publicly opposed his anti-LGBTQ “Don’t Say Gay” law after it had passed. It passed both chambers in a 24-hour period as GOP lawmakers bowed down to his will.
The move according to top Florida journalists and news outlets will raise taxes on Orlando residents by an estimated $2200 per family, force that county to take on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt annually, and absolve Disney of up to $2 billion in debt.
The Associated Press’s Zeke Miller and The New York Times first reported the news.
“Widely seen as retaliation, Mr. DeSantis’s move vividly illustrated just how drastically the G.O.P. has transformed from the days when its leaders mostly moved in lock step with the nation’s largest businesses,” The Times noted.
TALLAHASSEE (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill dissolving Disney’s private government after company criticized ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 22, 2022
House GOP Whip Denies ‘Knowing Anything About’ Republican Congressman Fundraising With Antisemitic White Nationalist
House Republican Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) is denying any knowledge of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), a white nationalist, fundraising with antisemitic white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who heads the America First PAC.
Former GOP Congressman Denver Riggleman posted a copy of the announcement to social media:
A sitting member of Congress fundraising with AFPAC. That’s where we are. And he sits on committees.
This is from a Telegram channel linked to Nick Fuentes. Telegram is a conspiracy & white nationalist fantasy land—that’s where Gosar hangs evidently.
A dangerous time. pic.twitter.com/KNFe8otj31
— Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) June 29, 2021
“I don’t know anything about that,” Scalise told reporters Tuesday when asked, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reports.
“That’s the first time I’m hearing about it,” Scalise added, CNN’s Manu Raju notes. “As you heard me in the past be very vocal against any form of white supremacy, so I’ll have to look into that.”
Scalise actually has a history of brushes with white supremacism. In 2002 he gave a speech to a group headed by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. In 2014 he apologized, claiming he had no knowledge of the group’s white supremacism. At the time he allegedly described himself as being “like David Duke without the baggage.”
The Arizona Republic adds that in “a tweet Monday night, Gosar seemed to respond to his critics, saying, ‘Not sure why anyone is freaking out. I’ll say this: there are millions of Gen Z, Y and X conservatives. They believe in America First. They will not agree 100% on every issue. No group does. We will not let the left dictate our strategy, alliances and efforts. Ignore the left.'”
The Washington Post reports that “Gosar’s extremism, of course, is hardly limited to his ties to the America First PAC. He has lodged conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and claimed protester Ashli Babbitt was ‘executed‘ by police. He has done the same with Charlottesville, suggesting it was a false flag by the left. Gosar’s office even confirmed this week that the congressman was in regular contact with ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander ahead of the Jan. 6 riot.”
‘Just Shoot Them’: Trump Told Top US General to ‘Crack Skulls’ and ‘Beat the F’ Out of Civil Rights Protestors: New Book
President Donald Trump told America’s highest-ranking general and top law enforcement officials to “shoot” civil rights protestors in Seattle and Portland, “crack their skulls,” and “beat the f–k” out of them, according to a new book by a Wall Street Journal reporter.
“The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior,” CNN reports, citing excerpts from Michael Bender’s book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.”
“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”
Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.
“Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts.
But Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (photo, right) refused, Bender reveals, with Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr often finding themselves the only ones willing to push back against the president.
General Milley, who made headlines Wednesday after delivering a stunning lecture on critical race theory and “wokeness” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who was not pleased by it, also pushed back against Trump senior advisor, white supremacist Stephen Miller.
During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.
“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.
The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.
“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.
Read the entire report at CNN.
Image of President Trump and General Milley: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr
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