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Buttigieg Goes On Offense as Republicans Attack



From GOP Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, to the State of Florida’s CFO, to Republicans in Congress, the far right has put a target on Pete Buttigieg‘s back.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA), who attended an event in December that included U.S. Rep. George Santos and white nationalists, on Monday called for Secretary Buttigieg to resign. On Tuesday he suggested the House should impeach him.


Collins said Buttigieg was “hired to check a diversity box,” and claims his “focus on wokeness prevents him from assessing the root cause of transportation incidents.” In Collins’ Fox News op-ed and a follow-up Fox News interview the word “woke” appears six times.

RELATED: As Pete Buttigieg Surveys East Palestine Train Derailment Even Fox News Admits Elaine Chao ‘Never’ Visited an Accident

It all seems to have begun last year in July when Buttigieg criticized U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) for calling protecting the marriages of same-sex couples with a federal law a “stupid waste of time.”

“If he’s got time to fight against Disney,” Buttigieg said, referring to the GOP’s attack on the entertainment giant after it voiced concern about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, “I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine. But this is really, really important to a lot of people. It’s certainly important to me.”

Rubio tried to fight back via video, which was quickly panned by many on social media, often criticizing the Florida Republican’s claim that protecting marriages of same-sex couples was a “fake problem.”

In December, Rubio attacked Buttigieg again, this time by using his position to ask the Dept. of Transportation’s Inspector General – a Trump appointee – to open an investigation into Buttigieg for using private or government planes 18 times.

In his press release touting his call to investigate Buttigieg, Rubio writes: “Flashback. In 2017, House Democrats sent a similar letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General following reports the secretary used private jets on multiple occasions.”

In 2017 the President was Donald Trump and the HHS Secretary was Tom Price, who was investigated after spending more than $1 million on transportation in just four months. He ultimately was forced to reign in disgrace. Buttigieg in two years has spent $41,000 on non-commercial flights.

Sec. Buttigieg has used private aircraft 18 times in two years, and The Washington Post reports “the Transportation Department said that of 138 flights Buttigieg has taken since being sworn in early in 2021, 119 have been on commercial airlines.”

His immediate predecessor, Elaine Chao, in just her first year spent $94,000 on non-commercial flights.

READ MORE: Federal Agencies Knew of Several Jan. 6 Threats Against Democrats Says Government Watchdog

“The fact remains that he flies commercially the vast majority of the time,” DOT spokesperson Kerry Arndt said. “The exceptions have been when the Department’s career ethics officials, who have served under both Democratic and Republican administrations, determined that the use of a 9-seat FAA plane would be either more cost effective or should be approved for exceptional scheduling or security reasons.”

And yet, on Monday the DOT IG opened an investigation.

On Monday Buttigieg tweeted, “Glad this will be reviewed independently so misleading narratives can be put to rest.”

Sen Rubio has also called on Buttigieg to resign for not immediately heading to East Palestine, Ohio, the scene of the Norfolk Southern toxic train crash – despite previous Transportation Secretaries not going to crash sites, and despite numerous federal agency officials who did and still are on scene.

Buttigieg had no trouble responding.

CNN senior reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere notes that before he called for Buttigieg to resign, Rubio called for less train inspection by humans.

Just last week House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer published a letter launching an investigation into Transportation Buttigieg in the wake of the Norfolk Southern toxic train derailment. But Buttigieg was forced to correct Comer who wrongly claimed the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was a part of the Dept. of Transportation.

“I am alarmed to learn that the Chair of the House Oversight Committee thinks that the NTSB is part of our Department,” Buttigieg said. “NTSB is independent (and with good reason). Still, of course, we will fully review this and respond appropriately.”

Also last week disgraced former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called for Buttigieg to be fired – framing him as the target for all GOP claims of Biden issues.

“Incompetence should not be accepted. Joe Biden should fire DOT Sec. Buttigieg and bring accountability to failures of his administration,” Gingrich tweeted.

On Tuesday Buttigieg appeared on CNN to respond to U.S. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attack on him.

READ MORE: ‘Finding Out Phase’: Greene Sees Few Sympathizers After Claiming She Was ‘Attacked’ and ‘Screamed At’ in a Restaurant

“Secretary Buttigieg has seemed more interested in pursuing press coverage for woke initiatives and climate nonsense than in attending to basic elements of his day job,” McConnell had said on the Senate floor.

Buttigieg noted that McConnell had no problem showing up in his home state of Kentucky when a major bridge was replaced under the Biden administration’s infrastructure law.

“I would not call the Brent Spence Bridge a ‘woke’ initiative,” Buttigieg retorted. “As for climate, climate is not ‘nonsense.'”

Buttigieg also encouraged McConnell to “be a partner to us, right now, in making sure there are fewer rail disasters in the future.”

“The freight rail industry has wielded a lot of power here in Washington. I would love to see Leader McConnell join us in standing up to them. There are specific things that could be done right now,” he said.


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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report



Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.

The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.

Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.

CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”

READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’

“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard  is as strong as any I’ve seen.”

The judge was very clear in his ruling.

“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”

READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’

Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.

Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.


Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock

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Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor



Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.

That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.

Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.

“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.

That could be through September of 2024.

READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump

“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”

That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.

“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.

“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”

READ MORE: Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution

Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”

And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”





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Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution



After a Manhattan grand jury indicted Donald Trump late Thursday afternoon on reportedly 34 felony charges, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg took one more step to preserve the rule of law: Friday morning, via his General Counsel, he sent the top three Republican House Chairmen attempting to interfere in his office’s investigation and prosecution of Donald Trump a stern warning.

The letter, addressed to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, Oversight Chairman James Comer, and Administration Chairman Bryan Steil spans six-pages. Its letterhead does not say District Attorney’s Office, but “District Attorney,” and has Bragg’s name in the upper corner, although it is signed by Bragg’s General Counsel, Leslie B. Dubeck. Politico has published the full letter.

It clearly states Bragg is drawing a red line: “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”

The letter also accuses the trio of “an improper and dangerous usurpation” and “attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation.” And it warns them against “unlawful political interference.”

READ MORE: ‘You Can’t Stand on Fifth Avenue and Just Shoot Somebody’: Donald Trump Indicted – Legal Experts Respond

“The Committees’ attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation and now prosecution–is an unprecedented and illegitimate incursion on New York’s sovereign interests,” the letter reads. “Moreover, your examination of the facts of a single criminal investigation, for the supposed purpose of determining whether any charges against Mr. Trump are warranted, is an improper and dangerous usurpation of the executive and judicial functions.”

In a section titled, “The Committees Lack Jurisdiction to Oversee a State Criminal Prosecution,” the letter points to reports that the Trump team has been working in coordination with House Republicans.

“Even worse, based on your reportedly close collaboration with Mr. Trump in attacking this Office and the grand jury process, it appears you are acting more like criminal defense counsel trying to gather evidence for a client than a legislative body seeking to achieve a legitimate legislative objective.”

Bragg’s general counsel also uses the letter as a warning to all House Republicans that their actions, behaviors, and words are on the record.

READ MORE: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Coordinating With Trump to ‘Surrender’

He holds up U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) as an example, suggesting to others they should moderate their rhetoric.

After dismissing Jordan’s threat in a previous letter to withhold federal funds from Bragg’s office – noting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has “has helped the Federal Government secure more than one billion dollars in asset forfeiture funds in the past 15 years” – Bragg serves up another warning.

He notes that “some committee members have explicitly stated an intent to interfere with the state proceeding. For example, responding to Trump’s statement that he would be arrested, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene stated that ‘Republicans in Congress MUST subpoena these communists and END this! We have the power to do it and we also have the power to DEFUND their salaries and departments!’ … and that Republicans who ‘do nothing to stop’ the prosecution ‘will be exposed to the people and will be remembered, scorned, and punished by the base.'”


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