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Tag: politics

Republicans Warn That a DOJ Investigation of Trump’s Actions on Jan. 6 Could Backfire

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

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department risks a messy political battle if it decides to pursue charges against former President Trump, Republican lawmakers warned, The Hill reports.

The warning comes as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol could make a case for prosecution. 

If the committee recommends charges, GOP lawmakers and strategists say, Trump could become more popular within in the Republican Party, and the Justice Department would be accused of being “politically motivated.” 

If the House makes a criminal referral, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said it “would probably have as much political taint as you can get.”

“To me, it’s clearly politically driven,” he said. 

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., added, “Everybody is going to perceive the referral as a conviction on one side and they’re going to view it as the continuation of a witch hunt on the other side. The bar that the House committee has is far lower than anything that would ultimately result in moving forward with a federal investigation and a conviction.” 

Trump Told Giuliani to Call Homeland Security to Seize Voting Machines

President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump asked Rudolph Giuliani to call the Department of Homeland Security and ask if officials there could seize voting machines in battleground states in an attempt to overturn the election, The New York Times reports.

The request came six days after the election. Giuliani called the department’s acting deputy secretary, who informed him that Homeland Security did not have the authority to take control of the machines. 

CNN also reported that Trump advisers drafted an executive order that would have directed the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense to seize voting machines. The idea came from retired Col. Phil Waldron and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to CNN’s sources. 

In a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump also asked Attorney General William Barr about the prospect of the Justice Department seizing the machines. But Barr shot down the suggestion. 

Retired FBI Agent Vies for State Senate Seat in Texas

Retired FBI Agent Tim Reid. Photo: Campaign

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent is running for a seat on the state Senate in Texas. 

Tim Reid, a Republican, is vying to replace retiring Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, The Amarillo Pioneer reports.

Reid worked as an FBI agent in Amarillo from 1986 to 2005, according to his press release. He now serves as director of athletics and campus safety at Ascension Academy in Amarillo, where he also teaches geopolitics, geography, and crime scene forensics. 

Reid previously served as a member of the Canyon ISD Board of Trustees. 

The primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2022. 

FBI Investigating Postmaster General DeJoy Over Campaign Fundraising Activity

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has launched an investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s campaign fundraising activity while he was working in the private sector. 

The Washington Post first reported that FBI agents have interviewed current and former DeJoy and New Breed Logistics employees about their political contributions and have issued a subpoena to DeJoy.

“Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector,” DeJoy spokesman Mark Corallo told The Post. “He has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them.”

DeJoy is a prominent GOP fundraiser who was selected by former President Trump to lead the U.S. Postal Service last May.

The Post reported in September that DeJoy, when he led New Breed Logistics from 2000 to 2014, was accused of pressuring employees to donate or attend fundraisers for Republican candidates and then reimbursing the employees using company bonuses.

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.”

70+ National Security Officials Pledge to Vote for Biden, Saying Trump Is ‘Unfit to Serve’

Flie photo

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 70 former Republican national security officials, including an ex-FBI director and former members of President Trump’s administration, plan to vote for Joe Biden.

In a letter, signed by a group called “Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden,” the 73 officials said President Trump is corrupt and unfit to serve.

“We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump,” the letter reads. “Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.”

Those who signed the letter include former FBI Director William Webster; John Negroponte, the first director of National Intelligence; Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center; and Michael Heyden, former CIA director.

The letter provides 10 reasons the officials don’t believe Trump is fit to be president. They say Trump is “unfit to lead during a national crisis,” “solicited foreign influence,” “aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for American values,” “disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats,” “undermined the rule of law,” “dishonored the office of the presidency,” “divided our nation,” “attacked and vilified immigrants” and “imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team.”

“We have concluded that Donald Trump has failed our country and that Vice President Joe Biden should be elected the next President of the United States,” the letter reads.

Trump Pressured Intelligence Agencies to Quash Report about Russia’s Election Interference

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump pressured intelligence agencies to quash part of classified report that revealed Russia was trying to help him win the 2020 election, according to The New York Times Magazine.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) compiled the report, known as a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which concluded that Russia sought to interfere in the election.

As the ODNI was finishing the report, Trump staffers attempted to remove the section about Russia interfering in the election.

“I can affirm that one of my staffers who was aware of the controversy requested that I modify that assessment,” former director of national intelligence Dan Coats tell The Times. “But I said, ‘No, we need to stick to what the analysts have said.'”

Soon after, Trump forced Coats to retire early.

Without Coates at the helm, the NIE soft-peddled the conclusion, stating, “Russian leaders probably assess that chances to improve relations with the US will diminish under a different US president.”

Numerous federal agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but Trump downplayed the reports.

AG Barr Defends Use of Force by Federal Officers in Portland at Testy Hearing

Attorney General William Barr testifying Tuesday.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr defended the use of force by federal law enforcement in Portland during a combative hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

After nearly two weeks of clashes between protesters and camouflage-clad federal officers outside a courthouse in Portland, Barr said the demonstrations devolved into riots that were “an assault on the government of the United States.”

“Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform,” Barr said in a prepared statement. “Nor could such brazen acts of lawlessness plausibly be justified by a concern that police officers in Minnesota or elsewhere defied the law.”

Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., accused Barr of using federal officers as an election ploy for President Trump.

“Real leadership would entail de-escalation, collaboration and looking for ways to peacefully resolve our differences,” Nadler said.

Barr countered “we cannot just stand aside and watch the federal court be destroyed.”

Last week, Homeland Security’s first secretary, Republican Tom Ridge, criticized the use of federal officers in cities without the consent of state and local officials, saying DHS was not “designed for that purpose.”

Barr also insisted systemic racism doesn’t exist within law enforcement, drawing criticism from Democrats.

“I don’t agree there is systemic racism in police departments generally in this country,” Barr said.