On Friday’s edition of MSNBC’s “The Beat,” former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman tied Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to former President Donald Trump’s inner circle’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Akerman’s assessment came during a discussion about the House January 6 Committee’s new subpoena against Trump — and as Graham goes to the Supreme Court to try to block a subpoena from a grand jury empaneled by the Fulton County, Georgia district attorney to investigate efforts to invalidate President Joe Biden’s win in that state.
“It’s almost written as an indictment, this letter,” said Akerman. “It is the outline for an indictment of Donald Trump. I mean, it’s basically, you did this, this, this, you killed your brother, killed your son, robbed the bank, and oh, by the way, will you come in and talk with us and if you’re going to take the Fifth Amendment, meaning that truthful answers to any questions we ask to you would intend to incriminate you, we want to know in advance. So it really lays it out. I mean, this puts together, in a very succinct letter with three pages, everything that the January 6th Committee has come up with.”
“If you take it as a whole, I mean, you’ve got Donald Trump, who’s going to try and protect himself. You’ve got Lindsey Graham, who’s a key piece in the evidence, the chain of his conversation with Brad Raffensperger in the state of Georgia, and trying to find votes to get him elected in Georgia,” said Akerman. “You put those together and you’ve got people, I mean, Steve Bannon — you’ve got a masterful coverup.”
The challenge for prosecutors, added Akerman, is that there’s a concerted effort by Trump’s allies to “hide the ball” and run out the clock until Republicans can win control of Congress in a couple of weeks.
“Donald Trump is not going to cooperate. He’s not going to testify,” said Akerman. “Anything he says will be used against him and will wind up having a perjury charge, so I don’t see him cooperating. The question is, you know, how aggressive is the committee going to get? They’re not going to go to court and try and enforce that subpoena because it’s going to run out the clock. I mean, it looks like now that the Republicans are more likely than not to take the majority in Congress … if that happens, the committee is disbanded, and any effort in court would be immediately nullified, so they really have a choice. They either try and force them in through publicity, or they get the sergeant-at-arms out there, bring him in, sit him down at the table, and start asking him questions.”
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‘They’re Not Taking My Gas Stove’: Joe Manchin Teams Up With Hard Core Republicans to Promote False Claims
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is again promoting the false claim that the federal government is planning to remove gas stoves from private homes, after news last month revealed once more the open-flame appliances are responsible for hundreds of thousands of cases of children’s asthma.
“They’re not taking my gas stove out,” said Manchin, who has made millions from coal and protects his state – which ranks in the top five for production of natural gas – at every turn.
Manchin, a rare breed of conservative Democrat, announced in a Senate hearing on Thursday that he is teaming up with Republican Senators Ted Cruz and James Lankford to fuel the unfounded fears of the federal government coming to rip gas stoves out of Americans’ homes – fears promoted by the right.
“Gas stoves have been in the news lately and I’ve come out strongly against the Consumer Product Safety Commission pursuing any ban of gas stoves,” Manchin declared, despite there being no possibility of that. “In fact, I’m introducing legislation today with Senator Cruz that would ensure that they don’t and separately sending a letter to the commission with Senator Lankford.”
“I’ve always been a proponent of energy efficiency,” Manchin continued, “but the draft proposes efficiency levels that DOE [Dept. of Energy] says at the highest level, up to 96% of gas stoves don’t currently meet. I don’t like where I think they’re going with this and I tell you one thing, they’re not taking my gas stove put. My wife and I would both be upset.”
Manchin went on the claim the Biden administration is “looking to find ways to push out natural gas.”
And he warned the feds to stay out of his kitchen.
“Like I said before,” Manchin declared, “the federal government doesn’t have any business telling American families how to cook their dinner.”
The federal government does have a responsibility, by law, to warn Americans of health and safety issues in their homes. For decades it has been doing just that.
But the West Virginia Senator went even further, stating: “retrofitting or removing stoves that people have had for years is not going to happen.”
Manchin isn’t just blowing smoke – he has a lot at stake in the “gas stove war.”
“West Virginia is the fourth-largest producer of marketed natural gas in the nation,” according to a federal government December report.
“At every step of his political career, Joe Manchin helped a West Virginia power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business. Along the way, he blocked ambitious climate action,” The New York Times reported last year. It called the West Virginia Democrat “the single most important figure shaping the nation’s energy and climate policy.”
Watch Sen. Manchin below or at this link.
“They’re not taking my gas stove out!” pic.twitter.com/P4zFGC6Kqp
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 2, 2023
‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)
Trump White House press secretary turned Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been chosen by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address next week.
Speaker McCarthy hailed Huckabee Sanders, 40, as the nation’s “youngest governor” on Thursday afternoon in remarks to reporters (below).
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 2, 2023
The former press secretary was quickly endorsed by Trump, ran a campaign carefully crafted away from the press, and has no relevant experience to run a state.
“Can Sarah Huckabee Sanders be elected governor without ever taking questions or talking specifics about public policy?” Arkansas Times’ senior editor Max Brantley asked rhetorically last summer, calling her campaign “stealth.”
“Her inauguration marks the first time in 42 years Arkansas will have a governor without any experience in elected office,” the AP noted last month.
“She clearly has some national aspirations,” University of Arkansas political science professor Janine Parry told the Associated Press last month. “In order to fulfill those, it’s likely she’ll have to show some capacity for governance.”
According to Speaker McCarthy, she has already accomplished a lot in her first 23 days as governor.
Although McCarthy did not offer any specifics, CNN did: “Within 48 hours of being sworn in as governor, Sanders signed a flurry of executive orders, with one targeting critical race theory ‘to prohibit indoctrination’ in schools and another banning the use of the term ‘Latinx’ in official state documents.”
After the announcement was made, Huckabee Sanders tweeted, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to address the nation after the State of the Union on Tuesday. What America needs – and what Republicans are offering – is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave.”
But in a joint statement with McCarthy and McConnell, Huckabee Sanders took a much different tone.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats. We are ready to begin a new chapter in the story of America – to be written by a new generation of leaders ready to defend our freedom against the radical left and expand access to quality education, jobs, and opportunity for all.”
Responding to the news, critics online pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ history that was fraught with controversy and false claims in the Trump White House.
Indeed, conservative critic Charlie Sykes on MSNBC pointed to Huckabee Sanders’ ties to Trump, telling Andrea Mitchell that Huckabee Sanders was “a firehose of misinformation and disinformation” during the “Trump era,” and noted she has been “prioritizing the culture war” in her short tenure as governor.
“Yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years,” he added.
GOP taps Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver the Republican response to Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday, a pick that Charlie Sykes says is “yet another data point about the Republican party not moving on from the Trump years.” pic.twitter.com/eXAasOQWQ9
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 2, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him
Kyle Rittenhouse, who skyrocketed to fame in right-wing circles after shooting and killing two protesters during a social rights march in 2020, is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s father, according to PBS.
The lawsuit was filed by John Huber, the father of one of the two victims, and also includes city officials and police officers. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed motions from the city officials, police officers and Rittenhouse to dismiss the civil rights case in its entirety.
Huber’s lawsuit states that Rittenhouse conspired with police officers to intentionally cause harm to the protesters who were marching in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was injured by a Wisconsin police officer.
Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, drove to the demonstrations in Wisconsin and was a minor at age 17 at the time.
In the ruling Adelman said Huber’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants. Huber was killed after Rittenhouse was running after he shot and killed his first victim in the parking lot of a car dealership and Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard to disarm him. After falling to the ground Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded another protester Gaige Grosskreutz, who also has filed a civil lawsuit against Rittenhouse.
Huber’s lawyers and private investigators needed over 100 hours to locate Rittenhouse to serve him with the civil lawsuit paperwork, eventually serving him at his sister’s house. Rittenhouse’s lawyers tried to argue the case should be dismissed because he was not properly served. The judge dismissed that claim.
Rittenhouse has become a popular Republican right-wing speaker at public events and has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Jacob Blake was shot and injured, but not killed, as originally reported.
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