Once again House Democrats are being forced to punish Republicans who use extremist threats to advance their agenda. House Democrats – twice – were forced to impeach then-President Donald Trump, and now they have just filed a resolution to censure U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, for using “the resources of the House of Representatives to further violence against elected officials,” specifically President Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The resolution points to an anime video edited to make it appear he was killing Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and wounding President Biden. That video has been viewed over one million times.
Congressman Gosar not only refuses to apologize for the video, he defended it, as the resolution states, “as a ‘symbolic cartoon.’” He also took the opportunity as he defended the video to spread “hateful and false rhetoric about immigrants.”
The resolution, which already has about 60 co-sponsors, cites the failure of the leadership of the Republican Party “to condemn Representative Gosar’s threats of violence against the President of the United States and a fellow Member of Congress.”
It also notes that Speaker Nancy Pelosi “made clear that threats of violence against Members of Congress and the President of the United States should not be tolerated and called on the Committee on Ethics of the House and law enforcement to investigate the video.”
The resolution was introduced by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) and nine other Democrats.
Congresswoman Speier posted the text of the resolution moments ago:
Introduced a resolution w/ 60 Members to censure Rep Gosar. We cannot continue to normalize violence against POTUS and members of the House. We must defend the integrity of this institution. pic.twitter.com/Rvx536WrCQ
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) November 12, 2021
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‘Direct Personal Knowledge’: Federal Judge Denies Lindsey Graham’s Request to Quash Subpoena Ordering Him to Testify
A federal judge in Georgia Monday morning denied U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham‘s motion to quash a subpoena from the Fulton County special purpose grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Politico’s Kyle Cheney was first to report the development.
“Senator Graham has direct personal knowledge of conversations with Georgia election officials which have been the subject of public dispute as to the nature of his inquiries and requests, including any implicit or overt suggestions to discard ballots or otherwise alter the election results,” U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May writes.
Quoting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Judge May notes that “the District Attorney described Senator Graham as a ‘necessary and material witness in [the Special Purpose Grand Jury] investigation’ not only because of his personal knowledge of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, but also because he possesses ‘unique knowledge’ concerning ‘the Trump Campaign and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.'”
Graham will have to prove his case if he wants to avoid testifying. As Judge May’s explanation of the arguments in the case suggests, that may prove challenging.
Judge May says in her ruling that “the Court finds that there are considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry falling outside the Speech or Debate Clause’s protections.”
“Additionally, sovereign immunity fails to shield Senator Graham from testifying before the Special Purpose Grand Jury. Finally, though Senator Graham argues that he is exempt from testifying as a high-ranking government official, the Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections.”
Because Sen. Graham asked for the subpoena to effectively be tossed out, the judge did not dive further into the merits, instead ordering the case be sent back to the Superior Court of Fulton County.
He will have to either testify or convince the court he is somehow immune from doing so.
As the judge wrote, those issues Graham will have to address include his claim “that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution completely shields his testimony,” “that the doctrine of sovereign immunity protects him from testifying,” and “that the subpoena should be quashed because he is a high-ranking government official.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Trump Under FBI Investigation for Potential Violation of the Espionage Act Legal Experts Say
‘Simply Jaw-Dropping’: Legal Experts Also Stunned Over Top Secret, Confidential Contents of Cartons FBI Seized From Mar-a-Lago
“A search warrant viewed by POLITICO reveals that the FBI is investigating Donald Trump for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and removed classified documents from the former president’s Florida estate earlier this week,” Politico reports.
The New York Times also confirms.
“Federal agents who executed the warrant did so to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”
Based on the search warrant released to far-right media outlet Breitbart News, multiple legal experts also say Donald Trump, the former president is under FBI investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act.
“A federal magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe evidence of the crime of ESPIONAGE to be found at Mar-A-Lago. Repeat 5 times,” writes former U.S. Attorney and DOJ official Harry Litman, now an LA Times legal affairs columnist. He also notes that “top secret/compartmented is stratospherically high classification. Scandal he ever had in [those documents] the first place.”
Top national security lawyer Brad Moss writes: “18 U.S.C. 793 – Espionage Act. That’s for willful/grossly negligent removal of information relating to the national defense. 18 U.S.C. 2017 and 18 U.S.C. 1519 – that’s for concealing federal records.”
Moss also retweeted this statement by veteran Cox Radio Capitol Hill correspondent Jamie Dupree:
“So the leak of the Trump search warrant via Breitbart indicates that former President Donald Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act and for Obstruction of Justice.”
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler also confirms, writing: “The hilarious thing is that since Brietbart doesn’t even know what a Supervisory Special Agent is, they probably don’t realize they’ve confirmed that Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act.”
Western New England University School of Law law professor Jennifer Taub also confirms, writing: “Donald Trump is being investigated for espionage.”
The Wall Street Journal was first to publish details of what FBI agents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday. Legal experts have been calling Friday afternoon’s revelations “jaw-dropping.”
FBI agents “removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the WSJ report states.
Despite initial reports the FBI seized between ten and 12 cartons of documents and other materials unlawfully removed from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, there were 20 cartons retrieved. That is in addition to the 15 cartons the National Archives were forced to retrieve earlier this year.
“The list includes references to one set of documents marked as ‘Various classified/TS/SCI documents,’ an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.”
The classified/TS/SCI markings are the most important.
Legal experts say the search warrant was “broad,” and indeed the Journal reports the warrant “shows that FBI agents sought to search ‘the 45 Office,’ as well as ‘all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.'”
Late Thursday evening The Washington Post revealed FBI agents were looking to retrieve classified documents “related to nuclear weapons,” making Monday’s raid all the more important, and Trump and his teams handling – or mishandling – of those documents all the more egregious.
The George Washington University Law School’s Professor of Government Procurement Law, Steven L. Schooner, says, “removal of, failure to account for, & failure to return (under subpoena) ‘classified/TS/SCI documents’ is, ugh, simply jaw-dropping, and that’s regardless of whether it’s nuclear-related.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss – Trump Org and Ex-CFO Weisselberg Criminal Fraud and Tax Evasion Case Will Proceed
Former Trump Organization longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg‘s request to dismiss his case on charges that include conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records has been denied by a New York State judge. The Judge ruled Friday morning the criminal fraud and tax evasion case against Weisselberg and The Trump Organization will proceed.
“Weisselberg and the company CBS News reports. “The Trump Organization and Weisselberg accused prosecutors of targeting them ‘based on political animus’ toward former President Donald Trump.”to dismiss all 15 counts charged against them. Judge Juan Merchan dismissed one of several tax fraud counts against the Trump Organization, but allowed all others to remain,”
“Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation. These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment,” Law & Crime adds.
Weisselberg, who was Trump’s top accountant, handled a large portion of his business interests, and was co-trustee of the trust set up when Trump became president, will have his next hearing September 12. Jury selection will begin October 24.
Weisselberg began working for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, in 1973.
Indicted ex-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg has walked into the Manhattan criminal courthouse. pic.twitter.com/BhbFW5dYYa
— Jose Pagliery (@Jose_Pagliery) August 12, 2022
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