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Expert Warns: ‘It’s Going to Be Very Hard to Unravel’ Militant Groups’ Links to Trump

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The House select committee issued another round of subpoenas to right-wing militant groups and their leaders, and an NBC News reporter who covers extremism explained what that means for the Jan. 6 investigation.

The bipartisan panel demanded information from groups involved in violence before and during the U.S. Capitol riot, including the Oath Keepers and their leader Stewart Rhodes and the Proud Boys and their one-time leader Enrique Tarrio, and journalist Ben Collins analyzed the subpoenas on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“The third most interesting case here is is this guy called Robert Patrick Lewis, who works with this group called First Amendment Praetorian,” Collins said. “Kind of a brand-new group from last September, really got kicked up around this election fraud conspiracy, was tied to people like Mike Flynn. This guy is a veteran and has, you know, was kind of new to this organizing space but was really good at it. created a bunch of rallies before Jan. 6. He’s always had this public stance of anti-violence, but on Jan. 6, it looks like he got swept up. He said, ‘Today is the day the true battles begin.’ So these are groups that were talking about violence in the run-up to the 6th or on the 6th itself.”

The select committee is looking into whether these individuals coordinated their efforts with Donald Trump’s White House or members of Congress, but Collins said that may be difficult to prove.

“There was always this dance with them, you know, specifically with Rhodes, he said, you know, ‘The president, just as I suspected, isn’t going to tell us to go to the Capitol and take that over,’ he’s not going to do that, but the president did say, ‘Let’s all go to the Capitol, here our voices will be heard,'” Collins said.

Many of those targeted individuals used burner phones to communicate, which could impede investigators’ efforts.

“They knew what they were doing was not on the level,” Collin said. “It’s going to be very hard to unravel this. They always use encrypted communications, whether it’s things like the Signal app or back ends to get around to people. They know they’re not doing necessarily great things. It is a very difficult thing. I don’t know how this committee is going to find all this stuff out.”

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Questions Raised About Another Freshman Republican’s Finances After He Refuses to Comply With Federal Law

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Rep. George Santos (R-NY) isn’t the only freshman Republican facing questions about his personal finances.

An investigation conducted by News Channel 5 in Nashville has found that freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN) never complied with federal laws requiring that he make disclosures about his personal finances.

In fact, notes News Channel 5, “not only did Andy Ogles ignore that law during the campaign, he continues to ignore it today.”

The law in question requires that Ogles and all candidates for elected office to disclose their assets and unearned income, their liabilities, and sources of income paid by one source that exceed $5,000.

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s amendment to bar Biden from selling oil goes down in massive bipartisan defeat

Ogles’ office hasn’t responded to News Channel 5’s questions even though the Tennessee lawmaker’s refusal to comply with the law could result in up to a year in prison.

Ogles’ defeated Democratic opponent, Heidi Campbell, told News Channel that it was “frustrating” to see Ogles flout the law, which she complied with last year by releasing her personal finance information all the way back in April of 2022.

“We, as Tennesseans, deserve to have representatives who are following the rules,” she said.

Ogles was also regularly late in filing campaign finance reports, which also contained so many discrepancies that Ogles has received four different letters from the Federal Election Commission demanding that they be explained.

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‘Sociopath Party’: Morning Joe Panel Horrified by Chance of Trump-Greene ‘Crackpot’ Ticket

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is reportedly angling to become Donald Trump’s running mate — or possibly even president herself — and panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” are worried.

The second-term Georgia Republican has tried to rebrand herself as a liaison between the Republican Party’s establishment and its right-wing fringes, but the show’s co-host Mika Brzezinski said Greene couldn’t escape her controversial reputation so quickly.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene, I will just put my marker down right here and say this is a potential reality unless people get their heads on straight,” Brzezinski said.

Guest George Conway agreed the firebrand lawmaker would only make Trump worse as his running mate.

“I mean, in a way she’s perfect — Trump-Greene ’24, a crack in every pot,” Conway said. “This will be the sociopath party ticket. She absolutely would play to his worst instincts and play to the worst elements of the Republican base. I think it would turn off the center of the electorate, but at the same time, I don’t think it’s going to be serious that she would get this because Trump cannot take someone as a vice president who’s going to potentially upstage him. That’s why Mike Pence was so perfect for him.”

“Pence was, you know, so much of a cipher,” Conway added. “He drank water when President Trump drank water at a meeting. He would basically nod and agree with what Trump said up until that day on Jan. 6, which could have been prevented if we had a vice president with a spine who had conceded the election as it should have been conceded long before then. So I don’t think it’s a realistic possibility, but the fact that we’re even talking about it is horrific.”

 
Image: L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock

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Watch: Santos Shuts Door on Reporters, Says ‘No Comment’ on $500,000 ‘Personal’ Loan After Amending FEC Report

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is continuing his campaign of obfuscation, just one day after amending his campaign finance report telling the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday the half-million dollars he claimed to have personally loaned his campaign was not actually from his personal funds.

Calling it a “tense exchange,” CNN’s Manu Raja reports Santos “would not explain to us why he amended his public filings to show that $500K from his contributions did not come from his personal funds.”

“Sir — let’s make it very clear: I don’t amend anything, I don’t touch any of my FEC stuff, right?” Santos said, berating the press.

Adding again that the embattled freshman New York Republican “refused to explain source of money,” Raju adds Santos told him, “don’t be disingenuous and report that I did because you know that every campaign hires fiduciaries.”

READ MORE: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘Whole Vision’ Is to Be Trump’s Vice President: Report

“’So, I’m not aware of that answer and we’ll have an answer for the press regarding the amendments in yesterday’s’ filing,” Santos said,

CBS News’ Cristina Corujo posted video of Congressman Santos telling reporters, “no comment,” and “I have no clue on what you are talking about ma’am,” when asked about the $500,000 loan and amended FEC report.

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that “Santos’ political operation filed a flurry of amended campaign finance reports, telling the feds, among other things, that a $500,000 loan he gave to his campaign didn’t, in fact, come from his personal funds as he’d previously claimed.”

READ MORE: Watch: Pope Francis Says Homosexuality Is ‘A Sin’ But Not ‘A Crime’

Some say that might be a crime.

Pointing to a New York Post article on Santos’ $500,000 FEC correction, former CNBC and Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky says, “This is de facto admission by George Santos of a crime. Candidates for federal office may loan or gift campaigns unlimited personal money. Everything else is limited to a few thousand dollars per donor and all of it must be disclosed on FEC paperwork.”

Watch the video of Santos above or at this link.

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