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Tag: Joe Biden

FBI Warns of Armed Protests Planned at All 50 State Capitols Ahead of Inauguration

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI bulletin warns that armed protesters are planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol in the run-up to Inauguration Day.

The bureau also is aware of a group urging protesters to storm local, state and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings if President Trump is ousted from officer before President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. 

“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin, obtained by ABC News, states. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”

Local police agencies have been advised to boost security at state capitols following the siege at the U.S. Capitol. 

Democrats are calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment. In the U.S. House, Democrats are pledging to impeach Trump if he’s not removed by his Cabinet. 

In the meantime, the FBI is investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and has received about 45,000 digital media tips. 

The storming of the Capitol led to the deaths of at least five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. 

Secret Service Changing Presidential Detail Amid Concerns about Trump Loyalty

By Steve Neavling

Some Secret Service agents who previously worked with President-elect Joe Biden when he was vice president will return to the White House to serve in his presidential detail in the coming weeks, The Washington Post reports.

Such staffing changes aren’t unusual when a new administration assumes office, but allies of Biden have expressed concerns that some Secret Service agents may align themselves with President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede defeat in the election. 

Trump continues make unfounded allegations about widespread election fraud, a position that courts have repeatedly rejected. 

Some Secret Service agents also have come under fire for defying COVID-19 guidelines to wear a mask, parroting Trump’s reckless behavior during the pandemic. 

More than 150 Secret Service officers and agents tasked with protecting Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have either been infected with COVID-19 or have been quarantined. 

“That is smart to give the incoming president the comfort of the familiar,” said one former Secret Service executive, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel changes. “You want him to be with people he knows and trusts, and who also know how he operates.”

Jones, Garland Emerge As Biden’s Top Picks for Attorney General

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden appears to have two leading contenders for attorney general: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, The Associated Press reports, citing three people familiar with the matter.

But sources have emphasized that no final decision has been made, and the top picks could change. Sally Gates ,the former deputy attorney general, was long believed to be a top potential pick. 

Jones, who was defeated in the November election, has emerged as the top choice, according to NBC News.

President Clinton appointed Jones in 1997 to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He emerged as champion for civil rights, successfully prosecuting two former KKK members for a 1963 bombing that killed four Black girls at a church in Birmingham. 

Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

His relationship with Biden dates back to at least 1998, when he helped Biden on his first presidential campaign in 1998. 

Garland, whom Obama nominated to fill a vacant U.S. Supreme Court seat in 2016, served as special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti during the Carter administration from 1979 to 1981. Garland became U.S. attorney general in Washington D.C. in 1989 and then deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in 1993. 

In 1997, the Senate confirmed Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In 2013, he became the chief judge of the D.C. Circuit. 

Biden Picks Mayorkas to Become First Hispanic, Immigrant to Lead Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden tapped Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead the Department of Homeland Security. 

Mayorkas, 61, served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama. A former U.S. attorney in California, Mayorkas also served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during Obama’s first term. 

Born in Cuba, Mayorkas and her family arrived as refugees in the 1960s, settling in Southern California. His mother was a Holocaust survivor. Mayorkas graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School. 

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge,” Mayorkas tweeted. “Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.”

Four Potential Homeland Security Secretaries Under President-Elect Biden

Joe Biden, via Shutterstock.com.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden with be tasked with reforming the Department of Homeland Security and that will begin with picking a new leader. 

Axios has identified four potential picks for Biden’s Homeland Security secretary.

One is Alejandro Mayorkas, the former deputy secretary and the architect of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A former U.S. attorney who emigrated to Cuba as a child, Mayorkas is currently a partner at the law firm WilmerHale. 

A second candidate is California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a son of Mexican immigrants who has opposed Trump’s immigration policies. Becerra also served in Congress from 1993 to 2017, representing downtown Los Angeles. 

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat from Florida’s 10th Congressional District, is a third potential pick. Although Demings has less immigration experience than the other candidates, she did work in law enforcement for three decades. For four years, she served as Orlando’s first female police chief. 

A four potential pick is Lisa Monaco, who served as Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism advisor. Monaco also has ties to Biden, serving as his aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 1990s and working with him recently as a member of his Public Health Advisory Committee that is hammering out a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Contenders for AG, Homeland Security Director Under Biden

Joe Biden, via Shutterstock.com.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden will be responsible for choosing new leaders of the Justice Department and Homeland Security. 

Who are the potential contenders? The New York Times takes a look at the possible picks.

Under President Trump, the Homeland Security Department has been a revolving door of leaders. Biden hopes to change that. One contender is Val Demings, a member of Congress from Florida and a former Orlando police chief with 27 years of experience in law enforcement. 

Another potential pick is Alejandro Mayorkas a Cuban American lawyer who ran Citizenship and Immigration Services under President Obama. 

A contender to replace Attorney General William Barr is Xavier Becerra, a former congressman and current California attorney general. 

Another potential pick is Sen. Dough Jones, D-Alabama. He’s a former prosecutor and lost his bid for reelection to the Senate. 

Biden also could choose Tom Prez, the Democratic Party chairman who previously served as secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for civil rights. 

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates under Obama is another possibility. President Trump fired her after she served 10 days as acting attorney general. 

Secret Service Ramps Up Protection for Joe Biden Ahead of Potential Victory

By Steve Neavling

As Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gets closer to the 270 electoral college votes needed to clinch the election, the Secret Service is sending more protection to Wilmington, Del.

The Secret Service deployed additional agents for added protection around the Wilmington convention center, which the former Vice President plans to continue using for at least another day, The Washington Post reports, adding that Biden is preparing for a potentially major speech Friday. 

Biden has already been receiving security from dozens of Secret Service agents. 

Despite the influx of new agents, Biden still doesn’t have the full protective detail he’d receive as president-elect. In the past, protection is ramped up after a candidate gives a victory speech, and the opponent concedes defeat. 

As of Friday morning, Biden held razor-thin leads in Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona. President Trump’s lead is narrowing in Pennsylvania, where thousands of votes have yet to be counted in Democratic strongholds. 

But it doesn’t appear Trump plans to concede the election anytime soon, claiming widespread fraud without any evidence Thursday. Even Republicans have acknowledged there’s no evidence of widespread fraud. 

Under agency protocol, Biden would be treated as president-elect after he electoral college gathers in mid-December to certify the election results. 

Trump Lambasts FBI Investigation of His Supporters Surrounding Biden Bus

President Trump at a recent rally. Screen grab via Trump campaign.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating President Trump supporters who surrounded a Joe Biden campaign bus on a Texas highway over the weekend and smashed into one car, prompting officials from the campaign to cancel a rally.

Trump, who often trumpets “law and order,” said his supporters “did nothing wrong” and criticized the FBI for investigating.  

“FBI San Antonio is aware of the incident and investigating,” the bureau’s San Antonio Field Office confirmed on Twitter. “No further information is available at this time.”

Biden campaign officials said the Trump supporters, who aggressively surrounded the bus in trucks and cars with large flags flapping in the wind, tried to run the bus off the road. 

Biden was not on the bus, his campaign said. 

Trump responded to the caravan, tweeting, “I LOVE TEXAS!”

In another tweet Sunday, Trump suggested the FBI should stop investigating the incident.  

“In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong,” Trump tweeted. “Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!”