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OPINION

‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

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A symbol of Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement, which culminated in his January 6, 2021 rally and the insurrection that followed, was flown over the home of Justice Samuel Alito just days before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and as the U.S. Supreme Court was reviewing a 2020 election case. Now, calls are mounting for Justice Alito’s ouster.

The “Stop the Steal” movement, created in 2016 by far-right activist Roger Stone, was put into action by Trump acolytes during the 2020 election cycle. It is based on the “Big Lie,” promoted by Donald Trump and the majority of his followers, the false claim that Joe Biden did not win the 2020 presidential election, that it was “stolen.”

A symbol of “Stop the Steal” is an upside down American flag, which is technically used only “as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” Trump’s MAGA followers co-opted the symbol, and it was widely seen during the violence of the January 6 insurrection.

It was also, as The New York Times reported in its bombshell story Thursday night, flown at “the residence of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in Alexandria, Va., according to photographs and interviews with neighbors.”

READ MORE: Will Trump Testify at Trial? ‘Absolutely’ Is Now a ‘No Decision’ Yet

A critical element of The Times’ report is the timing of Alito’s “Stop the Steal” flag.

“While the flag was up, the court was still contending with whether to hear a 2020 election case, with Justice Alito on the losing end of that decision,” the Times reported.

“In coming weeks,” The Times noted, “the justices will rule on two climactic cases involving the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, including whether Mr. Trump has immunity for his actions. Their decisions will shape how accountable he can be held for trying to overturn the last presidential election and his chances for re-election in the upcoming one.”

Justice Alito is taking no responsibility for the flag at his house.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Alito told The Times. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, who did not write the Alito article, commented: “Crucially, Alito doesn’t deny the flag was flying upside down, doesn’t deny its meaning, doesn’t express any disapproval for it and doesn’t disavow it.”

The Times also reports there are ethics and impartiality issues surrounding the use of the Stop the Steal flag.

READ MORE: ‘Ready to Start Another Insurrection’: Gaetz Support for Trump Echoes Proud Boys Order

“Judicial experts said in interviews that the flag was a clear violation of ethics rules, which seek to avoid even the appearance of bias, and could sow doubt about Justice Alito’s impartiality in cases related to the election and the Capitol riot.”

Legal and political experts, not to mention many ordinary Americans, are expressing great concern, with some even calling for Alito’s ouster, and some even using the word “impeachment.”

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), responding to the news, blasted both Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas.

“A judge is supposed to act in a way that enables all parties and lawyers appearing before the Court to believe they will be treated fairly,” Sen. Kaine wrote. “Alito and Thomas have brazenly destroyed this bedrock principle.”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and a scholar of authoritarians and fascism, also pointed to both Alito and Thomas, and called for their ouster.

“Clean up the Court,” she urged. “Thomas and Alito must go. They are far-right activists masquerading as impartial justices, that is why so many anti-democratic forces (Federalist, billionaires) have invested in them.”

Political scientist Norman Ornstein, the highly-respected emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic, responded to the Alito scandal.

“Sam Alito is a partisan insurrectionist. He has no business being on the Supreme Court,” he wrote Thursday night.

“It is time for a House member to introduce an impeachment resolution against Sam Alito,” Ornstein added an hour later. “He has openly and blatantly violated every standard we expect for any judge, not to mention the Supreme Court. And time for Dick Durbin to suck it up and hold hearings on this abuse of power,” he said, referring to the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Richard Painter, a professor of law and a former chief White House ethics lawyer, cut to the chase, posting the U.S. Code requiring recusal:

” ‘Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’
28 USC Section 455″

“Justice Alito should be impeached and removed!!” declared SiriusXM host and attorney Dean Obeidallah. “If a liberal justice flew a flag in support of coup attempt waged by a Democratic President, the House GOP would immediately impeach him! We need Senate Dems to hold hearings!”

Veteran journalist John Harwood, responding to the Alito article, remarked, “bitter fanatic on the court.”

Laurence Tribe, University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a constitutional law scholar who has argues three dozen times before the Supreme Court, commented: “More telling — and disqualifying — than the sheer antidemocratic sentiment this ‘Stop the Steal’ flag displayed is the hair-splitting sophistry of Justice Alito’s pathetic effort to shift blame from himself to his wife or someone else in his household.”

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a conservative until 2020, also blasted Justice Alito. Watch the video of her remarks below or at this link.

RELATED: Justice Alito’s Secret Speech ‘Spiking the Ball’ on Revoking Abortion Seen as Worsening Court’s ‘Credibility Crisis’

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OPINION

‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

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Donald Trump’s first return to Capitol Hill since the violent and deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection he fomented elicited responses of celebratory embrace, near-coronation, and a whitewashing of history from House and Senate Republicans and some of the mainstream media. That has critics sounding the alarm, likening their remarks to those of the subjects of authoritarian dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, a convicted felon awaiting sentencing who remains criminally indicted and out on bail in three other jurisdictions, an adjudicated rapist and fraudster who has been credibly accused by at least 18 to 23 or more women of varying degrees of sexual misconduct including harassment, assault, and rape, who allegedly had sex with a Playboy Bunny, and a porn star, the latter just four months after his third and current wife had given birth to their four-month old son.

He is a one-term, twice impeached ex-president who made over 30,000 “false or misleading claims” during his four years in the Oval Office, whose “inept and insufficient” response was in part responsible for about 40% of the COVID-19 pandemic deaths in the U.S., according to a February 2021 study that deemed them preventable.

And as of today, Donald Trump is 78 years old, and the subject of a New Yorker column published Friday alleging “age-related diminishment of a candidate.”

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

The ex-president met with House Republicans Thursday morning at the same restaurant where a pipe bomb was found outside on January 6, 2021. It’s just a seven-minute walk from the halls of Congress, where many of those same lawmakers who were jovially dining with and cheering on Trump, had huddled, hunkered-down, and fled through that centuries-old symbol of American democracy, afraid for their lives as supporters of the then-Commander-in-Chief – some of whom have said in court documents they believed were acting under his instructions – attacked the U.S. Capitol building and police, used the American flag as a spear, defecated on the walls, broke windows, damaged, destroyed, and stole U.S. Government property, hunted for the Democratic Speaker of the House, calling her by name, and hunted for the Republican Vice President, chanting their threats to “hang Mike Pence,” in a coordinated effort to help Trump overturn the results of the 2020 election he had lost by over seven million votes, and 74 Electoral College votes.

None of that matters now to the people’s elected representatives of the Republican Party in the House and Senate.

U.S. Senator, venture capitalist, and former “Never Trumper,” J.D. Vance (R-OH) on Thursday, walking in Washington, D.C. after he and nearly all of the Republican Senators met with Donald Trump and gave him a 30-second standing ovation, told reporters the GOP has absolved Trump of guilt and responsibility for the deadly insurrection three years ago.

“Well look, I think no real Republican with any credibility in the party is still blaming him for January the 6th. Frankly, some of his critics were in the room (Thursday) and were supportive and are supportive. So I think it’s a good thing and the Republican Party’s in a good place.”

After House Republicans had breakfast with Trump, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, criticized for apparently not remembering Congress is a co-equal brach of the U.S. government and Donald Trump is no longer a leader of any branch of government, glowingly bragged the ex-president “said I’m doing a very good job.”

Aaron Fritschner, deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman, blasted Senate Republicans after they met with Trump, saying they “just rolled the red carpet out and welcomed him back with smiles and handshakes.”

READ MORE: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

He posted a photo of Trump warmly shaking hands with Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reportedly had not spoken to Trump since before the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S Capitol, and on that day declared him “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection.

Journalist and Public Notice founder Aaron Rupar posted a “supercut” of Republicans responding to Trump’s visit, also likening their embrace to how subjects speak of dictators.

Award-winning Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall praised Rupar and blasted Republicans: “For all the ‘triumphant returns’ and ‘Trumps flexes’ and all the rest I don’t think anyone beside @atrupar really captured it. This was Pyongyang in the Rotunda. The maniacal clapping in unison, MTG almost breaking down in tears cuz Trump smiled at her. Total North Korea vibe.”

Critics are slamming not only House and Senate Republicans, but the mainstream media’s coverage, especially a social media post by the Associated Press, which declared Trump’s return to D.C. “triumphant,” a term often reserved for a conquering or undefeated hero.

Veteran journalist and D.C. Bureau Chief of Mother Jones, David Corn, co-author of the 2018 book, “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump,” criticized the AP’s post, saying: “Sounds like a North Korean report.”

Award-winning journalist Steve Silberman called the AP’s post, “an instant candidate for the Museum of American Fascism.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

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OPINION

‘We Do Not Remember When You Tried to Have Us Killed’: GOP Slammed for Trump Standing Ovation

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Donald Trump returned to Capitol Hill Thursday, the first time since the violent and deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection he fomented, spending the morning with House Republicans and the afternoon with Senate Republicans – who for more than 30 seconds gave the criminally convicted and still criminally-indicted ex-president a standing ovation.

Critics slammed Republicans for honoring a convicted felon whose “Big Lie” and actions put their own lives at risk, and resulted in death and tremendous injury and violence during and after the attack on the U.S. Capitol and on American democracy.

“Republican senators just gave a standing ovation to the convicted felon who wants to pardon the violent mob that broke into and defecated all over our nation’s Capitol,” The Lincoln Project said on social media. They added, “He sent bloodthirsty mob after these people on January 6th.”

READ MORE: ‘He Said I’m Doing a Very Good Job’: Mike Johnson Slammed Over Remarks on Trump Meeting

“Congressional Republicans just gave a standing ovation to the re-election losing, twice impeached, quadruply indicted, adjudicated rapist, business fraud & convicted felon who sent a rabid mob to attack them & their colleagues 3 years ago,” wrote activist and social media influencer JoJoFromJerz, who has nearly one million followers on X. “And that is how you know it is a cult.”

“It’s really not very complicated or subtle. And no one denies it,” observed Condé Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski. “Trump requires total loyalty to him or he’s at war with you. Loyalty over the law, the constitution, and the country. And his party has sworn an oath of omertà and fealty to him uber alles. And surrendered America.”

“We are with you Dear Glorious Leader Trump Eternal. We do not remember when you tried to have us killed so you could stay in power. No, Dear Leader, we applaud for you. Your rule is mighty and you are all-powerful!” mocked professor of communication Jennifer Mercieca.

Watch the short clip below or at this link.

READ MORE: Many Republicans Don’t Believe Trump Was Indicted or Aren’t Sure – But Say He’s Not Guilty

 

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OPINION

‘Lying’: Johnson Slammed for Latest Claim on Trump Respecting Peaceful Transfer of Power

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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Wednesday celebrated Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. to meet with House and Senate Republicans, barely blocks away from where the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy itself took place. Many hold the-then president and his “Big Lie” responsible for the insurrection, and he has been indicted on charges related to it.

Johnson was asked if the ex-president is committed to and respects the peaceful transfer of power.

The Speaker’s response has angered some critics.

Johnson has a tenuous grip on his gavel and on the House GOP majority. He has already faced one vote to remove him, and survived it thanks to House Democrats. To shore up his power, Johnson has traveled to Mar-a-Lago to appear with the indicted and now criminally-convicted ex-president, and has promoted several pieces of legislation critics say only serve as messaging vehicles to please Trump.

Pointing out that this will be the first time Trump has met with both House and Senate Republicans in D.C. since the January 6 insurrection, a reporter Wednesday morning asked the Speaker, “are you committed or have you spoken about basically not doing anything like that again and committing to respecting the American tradition of peaceful transfer?”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

Johnson, whose emotions are often on view, repeatedly frowned and looked irritated as the reporter spoke.

“Of course he respects that,” Johnson said frustratedly. “And we all do and we’ve all talked about it ad nauseam.”

“We’re excited to welcome President Trump back and he’ll be meeting with the Senate Republicans of course, after he has a breakfast with us. And there’s high anticipation here and great excitement.”

Ahead of Johnson’s remarks CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane had posted where Thursday’s meeting with House Republicans and Donald Trump will take place.

If there were no question about Donald Trump’s commitment to the peaceful transfer of power – and there is given to this day he calls insurrectionists, “warriors,” “victims,” “hostages,” and “patriots” – the Speaker would not need to be discussing it “ad nauseam.”

As a backbencher before being elevated to Speaker, Johnson was not just a little-known congressman, he was an architect of Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Johnson spread election fraud conspiracy theories and lies, as a CNN investigation published in April confirmed.

READ MORE: Speaker Johnson on Why He Thinks Hunter Biden’s Conviction Is Valid but Donald Trump’s Is Not

Also back in April, Johnson tried to rewrite history, whitewashing the role of insurrectionists and those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, saying some of them were “innocent, you know, people who were there and just happened to be walking through the building.”

Highlighting those remarks, The New Republic reported, “the Republican leader seemed to suggest that the 2,000 people who charged the halls, destroyed federal property, and interrupted the peaceful presidential transfer of power—1,265 of whom have been charged by federal authorities—were actually mere innocent bystanders.”

Critics were quick to call out Johnson’s remarks.

Veteran journalist John Harwood responded, saying, “by lying here, Johnson shows he understands that what he and House GOP helped Trump do in Jan 2021, and what Trump intends to do again if necessary, is wrong.”

He added, “if he weren’t ashamed of it, he’d tell the truth.”

Award-winning CNBC/NBC News reporter Carl Quintanilla responded to Johnson’s remarks with a 4-second clip of a someone who appears to be attacking law enforcement with the American flag on January 6.

“Bullshit,” declared former Tea Party Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh. “Trump is humanly incapable of accepting an election loss. He will NEVER respect the peaceful transfer of power. And Mike Johnson knows that.”

The Biden campaign reposted the video and remarked, “(No, he clearly does not).”

Media critic and former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob responded with: “Mike Johnson is a lying traitor.”

Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn wrote: “Given that Trump has promised to pardon the 1/6 insurrectionist rioters who attacked the Capitol, he’s not showing much respect for the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power. Johnson is lying for Trump. That’s not very Biblical.”

Watch Johnson’s remarks below or at this link.

See the video and social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: Many Republicans Don’t Believe Trump Was Indicted or Aren’t Sure – But Say He’s Not Guilty

 

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