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‘Big One’: J6 Committee Announces Primetime Hearing After Meeting With DHS Inspector Over Secret Service Deleted Texts

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The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack Friday afternoon officially announced it will hold a primetime hearing next week, the eighth and final hearing in what is seen as the first part of its efforts to share with the public critical information it has obtained about the insurrection.

The announcement comes just hours after all nine members of the committee met with Joseph Cuffari, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general who revealed in a letter published Thursday that the U.S. Secret Service deleted text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, the day before and of the insurrection.

Cuffari “met with the committee behind closed doors two days after sending a letter to lawmakers informing them that the text messages were erased after the watchdog agency asked for records related to its electronic communications as part of its ongoing investigation around the Capitol attack,” CNN reports.

READ MORE: ‘Destruction of Potentially Vital Evidence’: Secret Service Deleted Messages From Jan. 6 After Investigator’s Request

“The committee now plans to reach out to Secret Service officials to ask about the erasure of text messages from the day of the US Capitol attack and the day before, including the agency’s process for cleaning out files to see if that policy was followed, the committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN.”

The Committee also announced that its next hearing will be held Thursday, July 21, at 8 PM ET.

Daily Beast political reporter Jose Pagliery notes because the hearing is scheduled for 8 PM, which “would be TV primetime … there’s the insinuation that this is meant to be a big one.”

CBS News’ Scott MacFarlane says next week’s hearing will focus on Donald Trump and his efforts to interfere with the Committee’s investigation. That could also include allegations he may have attempted to engage in witness intimidation.

READ MORE: Watch: Cheney Reveals Trump May Have Engaged in an ‘Effort to Influence Witness Testimony’

NBC News earlier this week reported Chairman Thompson said Thursday’s hearing will be “the last one — at this point.”

But the Committee is expected to hold additional hearings as soon as next month. It has indicated it is interested is obtaining testimony from both former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

That news comes as reports say Donald Trump is expected to announce his third presidential run some time before the November midterms, possibly in September. The Dept. of Justice has given no indication it is pursuing an investigation into what legal experts have repeatedly said are his potentially criminal acts.

One expert, former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, says she will be “listening for elements of involuntary manslaughter in Trump’s failure to stop the attack” at next Thursday’s hearing.

The Wall Street Journal Thursday evening reported Committee member Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) “said he expects the committee will likely decide to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department regarding Mr. Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 and the days leading up to it.”

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Santos Recuses Himself From Committees Amid Possible Criminal Investigation

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Embattled freshman U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY), in what is the first time he has taken any steps to acknowledge the depths of political and now possibly criminal challenges he faces, says he will recuse himself from his committee assignments until his ethics issues have been resolved.

Santos also told his Republican colleagues of his plans on Tuesday, NBC News reports. Santos is on the Science and Small Business committees.

The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger, who has provided extensive reporting on the Republican frequently called a “serial liar,” adds that the Santos’ announcement came after a meeting with Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“With all signs pointing to an active federal criminal investigation into his campaign finance activity, Santos has ‘voluntarily’ declined—after meeting last night with Kevin McCarthy—to stay off of committees, as Republicans try to sideline Ilhan Omar,” Sollenberger reports.

READ MORE: DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos

Sollenberger broke the news that Santos, or his campaign, amended his FEC filing to indicate $625,000 in “personal” loans to his campaign were not actually from his personal funds.

Republicans are trying to keep U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of their regular, prime targets, from taking her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaker McCarthy has already blocked Democratic Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, invoking his ability to do so because it is a Select committee and subject to the Speaker’s decisions.

MSNBC reported the breaking news on-air. Watch below or at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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BREAKING NEWS

DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.

“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.

But NBC News goes one step further.

“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”

READ MORE: Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.

The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.

DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.

In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”

Patch, which published a screenshot of  what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”

Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.

“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.

“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”

Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.

Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.

Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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