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GOP Watch Keeping an Eye on Republicans for You - Page 1

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” ― Theodore Roosevelt Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you. The Republican Party is using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts and whataboutism to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. The GOP is a danger to America and Americans.

Story by Steve Benen

As Donald Trump’s first criminal trial drew closer, the former president lashed out at a variety of people across the legal system, including likely witnesses in his hush-money-to-a-porn-star case. With this in mind, Judge Juan Merchan imposed a gag order on the Republican in March.

The criminal defendant responded soon after by going after the judge’s daughter — publicly and repeatedly. The result, not surprisingly, was a revised gag order.

To put it mildly, Trump has not dealt well with the court-imposed restrictions. He clearly wants to go after key figures in his ongoing trial, but the former president also wants to avoid going to jail.

A solution to the former president's dilemma has come into focus in recent days: Trump is turning to GOP allies, whom he’s described as his “surrogates,” to peddle the talking points that he can’t say publicly.

Andrew Rice, a contributing editor at New York magazine, added on MSNBC yesterday that he saw Trump “editing” and “making notations” to quotes his partisan allies were poised to make to reporters.

It was against this backdrop that Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who joined the partisan parade at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Monday, shed some additional light on his own motivations for the gesture. The Daily Beast reported:

Story by Khaleda Rahman

A conservative plan to execute every person on federal death row if former President Donald Trump returns to the White House has sparked alarm and outrage.

Thirteen prisoners were put to death in the final months of the first Trump administration in an unprecedented run of federal executions.

President Joe Biden has not kept a promise to abolish the federal death penalty, although his Justice Department announced a moratorium on federal executions in 2021—a pause that could end if Trump wins in November.

Much of the planning for a possible second Trump term has been unofficially outsourced to Project 2025, a coalition of conservative organizations, The Washington Post reported in November.

In April 2023, Project 2025 released a 900-page report called "Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise," which lays out policy proposals to thoroughly reshape the federal government in the event of a GOP win in the 2024 presidential election.

More than 500 pages into the report, Gene Hamilton, a former Trump administration official, wrote in a chapter on the Department of Justice that the next conservative administration should "do everything possible to obtain finality for the 44 prisoners currently on federal death row."

Ken Tran | USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Conservative firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said on Wednesday she's calling up a vote next week to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., setting up a high-stakes clash inside her own party and where Democrats are vowing to help avoid another lengthy vacancy in the job that is second in line of succession to the presidency.

Greene's move is unlikely to succeed but still is certain to roil internal GOP tension as she continues to target Johnson, the most powerful elected Republican in the country.

Johnson has been defiant in the face of the existential threat to his speakership, saying he has no intention of resigning from his post as a vast majority of his conference backs him. House Democrats on Tuesday promised to kill any effort from Greene to oust him from his speakership.

Story by Lee Moran

Sarah Matthews, a former press aide in Donald Trump’s White House, has called out Republicans who slammed the former president but have now come crawling back to him with their endorsements.

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Inside With Jen Psaki,” Matthews ripped former Trump White House Attorney General Bill Barr in particular.

Barr became a fierce critic of Trump following the latter’s 2020 election defeat to President Joe Biden. But last week Barr said Biden and presumptive GOP nominee Trump were “two bad choices” and revealed he’d vote for the Republican ticket because of conservative values and policies.

Republicans put party before country

GOP Group Torches 'Deranged' Republicans Who Support Trump In Mock PSA
Story by Ed Mazza

A Republican organization opposed to Donald Trump slammed conservative figures who recognize the danger posed by the former president but plan to vote for him anyway.

The video from Republican Voters Against Trump is an update of a 2022 spot from the organization that resembles the old ASPCA ads featuring singer Sarah McLachlan.

Instead of urging viewers to help save animals, the spokesperson here warns of prominent Trump supporters suffering from “partisan derangement syndrome.”

That list includes former Attorney General Bill Barr, who has called Trump a “horror show,” dismissed his claims of election fraud as “bullshit” and said he grew “detached from reality” after losing in 2020.

Trump led a ‘violent insurrection’ but I’ll still vote for him, says McConnell
Story by John Bowden

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will vote for the man he holds personally responsible for leading a “violent insurrection” at his workplace, the US Capitol, Congress’s senior Republican declared on Sunday.

It was an affirmation of both previous statements the senator has made as well as the modern state of the GOP: utterly loyal to the man who, three years ago, he and others were roundly denouncing after a violent assault on the seat of American democracy left dozens of cops wounded and several dead including members of law enforcement and rioters.

The statement was also a fitting end to the career of Mr McConnell, 82, who will be replaced as head of the Senate Republican caucus in the months ahead after he steps down in November. A persistent ideological check to the former president within the Republican Party, the Senate GOP leader has like his colleagues been forced to continue publicly supporting a candidate now facing 88 felony counts and set to be the first nominee of a major party to be under threat of prison time.

During an interview with Meet the Press, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not say whether he regrets voting to acquit former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial after the January 6 Capitol attack.

Story by Alex Bollinger

This past Friday, the Department of Education (DOE) unveiled new rules to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination in schools under Title IX.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) responded to the news by posting pictures with a collection of bizarre and fringe anti-LGBTQ+ activists, who she referred to as “champions.”

“The Biden admin is changing the definition of ‘sex’ to mean gender identity taking effect Aug 1,” she incorrectly stated on X. She is referring to new Title IX rules announced by the DOE that ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ students. Title IX bans discrimination “on the basis of sex,” and several courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – have already accepted the legal argument that such wording can include anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination because it’s impossible to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people without taking sex into account.

“This is the sign I keep outside my office in Cannon in DC,” she said, sharing a picture of a transphobic sign she put up in response to a Democrat flying a trans flag outside of her office over three years ago. “I’ve had it since 2021!”

“Whether it’s sex of [sic] gender, there are only TWO! MALE and FEMALE! A few champions who agree.”

Story by Sally Reed

Disinformation and controversy swirled as U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene proposed an amendment to crucial aid for Ukraine that critics say aligns suspiciously with Russian talking points.

MTG Proposes Controversial Ukraine Amendment
Marjorie Taylor Greene stunned observers by proposing an amendment to strip funding from Ukraine unless the country lifts restrictions on the Hungarian minority's language rights.

The controversial amendment specifically cites the Hungarian population in Transcarpathia, a region in western Ukraine.

Criticism of Ukraine's Education Law
Hungarians make up 12.1% of Transcarpathia's population and have criticized Ukraine's 2017 education law requiring Ukrainian as the language of instruction in state schools.

Greene's amendment echoes the complaints of Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has sought to expand his influence over ethnic Hungarians living outside Hungary's borders.

Story by Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY

Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-N.Y., accused his fellow Republican lawmaker, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., of holding Congress "hostage" after she called to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

Greene last month introduced what’s known as a “motion to vacate,” which, if passed, would boot Johnson from the speakership. The effort picked up steam this week after Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., announced he supports it, calling out Johnson shortly after he unveiled a plan to deliver foreign aid to U.S. allies.

But Greene's push drew condemnation from many Republican lawmakers, especially after the House was frozen for weeks after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted last year.

Molinaro was asked during an interview with CNN on Wednesday about the consequences of Republican infighting, particularly for GOP lawmakers facing tough reelection battles.

Story by David Badash

A sitting Republican Congressman is harshly criticizing far-right House Republicans over their apparent support of Russia.

“I guess their reasoning is they want Russia to win so badly that they want to oust the Speaker over it. I mean that’s a strange position to take,” U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a three-term Texas Republican rated a hard-core conservative told CNN’s Manu Raju, in video posted Thursday. “I think they want to be in the minority too. I think that’s an obvious reality.”

Congressman Crenshaw was referring to the movement led by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), now joined by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), over the Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s decision to finally put legislation on the floor to provide funding to Ukraine to support that sovereign nation in its fight against Russia.

“I’m still trying to process all the b*llsh*t,” Crenshaw added.

Crenshaw on Thursday also commented on Speaker Johnson’s remarks, stating he will hold the Ukraine funding vote regardless of attempts to oust him over it.

Mark Alesia, Investigative Reporter

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is spreading the propaganda of American adversaries on social media, knowing those countries will amplify her messages for impact they wouldn’t otherwise have, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former assistant director for counterintelligence.

In Monday’s debut of The Defiant Podcast with Brooklyn Dad Defiant, shared in advance with Raw Story, Frank Figliuzzi tells host Majid Padellan, “What we’ve caught Russia and China doing … is they’ll take a statement from Marjorie Taylor Green — or someone like her, someone who doesn’t deserve a particular amount of attention — and then those foreign intelligence services amplify it across social media.

“So she has immediate amplifying support out there. She knows when she spouts something ridiculous there’s going to be foreign adversaries who blow up her message so we can’t avoid it.”

Story by Matthew Impelli

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced criticism on Tuesday over comments he made during a case focused on the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.

"In oral argument today, Justice Thomas is minimizing the severity of the 1/6 insurrection at the Capitol. Perhaps that's because his wife was part of the conspiracy. What a disgrace that he's sitting on this case," lawyer and former CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Thomas made comments on Tuesday as the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case relating to the Capitol riot following the 2020 presidential election with defendant, Joseph Fischer, arguing that the court should dismiss a charge against him of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Sounds like Trump's lie

Story by Travis Gettys

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) grew up quite a bit wealthier than she has let on since entering politics, according to a new investigative report.

The New York Republican contrasted herself against her Democratic rival in 2014 as a scrappy underdog running against a "multimillionaire," but The Daily Beast found that the Harvard graduate came from a much more comfortable background than she has let on.

"If Stefanik was supposed to remember where she came from, she seems to have forgotten — to the point of making blatantly misleading statements, beginning in her first congressional campaign — how her family’s wealth has given her a leg up, from providing her with an expensive private-school education to her parents buying her a $1.2 million D.C. townhouse when she was just 26," wrote William Bredderman and Jake Lahut for the website.

Baila Eve Zisman

Ben Rhodes, the former Deputy National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama, has raised concerns about Jared Kushner’s alleged corruption in his $3 billion investment fund, predominantly financed by foreign sources.

Kushner’s firm received a $2 billion investment from a Saudi sovereign wealth fund shortly after he departed from the White House, serving as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, Donald Trump.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, Rhodes expressed his unease, “This is just putting a price tag on American foreign policy… This is a level of corruption that we’ve just never seen, and it’s hiding in plain sight.”

Story by Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

More than 8 million people die from air pollution and fine particulate matter globally every year, according to the BMJ, a peer reviewed medical journal. Of that number, over 5.13 million people die from ambient air pollution resulting from fossil fuels use. Experts say that deaths from air pollution are also on the rise, and are currently expected to double by 2050. In the U.S. alone “350,000 may die annually from pollution produced by the burning of fossil fuels.” According to the American Lung Association (ALA) more than one-fourth of Americans live with “air pollution that can hurt their health and shorten their lives.” Of course, risk and exposure are themselves not borne equally; cities in the western U.S., along with communities of color, disproportionately bear the brunt of air pollution’s public health harms.

These numbers would likely be much higher if not for the Clean Air Act (CAA), which has proven both enormously popular and successful in saving hundreds of thousands of lives since its passage in 1970. In 2020 alone, the CAA was projected to prevent 230,000 premature deaths in the US, according to the EPA.

Republican Attorneys General, and their industry backers, want to gut it.

Story by Nick Mordowanec

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday said that Russia is "protecting Christianity" more than Ukraine, as part of what she described as a broader war against the religion.

Greene, the two-term GOP lawmaker out of Georgia, has been one of the more outspoken members of her party's conference over not providing continuous domestic aid to Ukraine in its two-plus year conflict with Russia since it was invaded on February 24, 2022.

A strong supporter of wanting Congress to devote funding towards the southern border and against illegal immigration, Greene has also vocally attacked Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson. She has introduced a motion to vacate against him after he pushed through a $1.2 trillion spending bill that avoided a partial shutdown. While using rhetoric pegging the Speaker as a Democrat, Greene has also publicly questioned Johnson's Christian faith on multiple occasions.

Story by Sky Palma

After Donald Trump attended the wake of a slain NYPD police officer who was shot and killed during a traffic stop this week, Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan took to X and praised the former president for what he sees as his unparalleled support for law enforcement.

"No one Backs The Blue more than President Trump," Jordan wrote while sharing a video of Trump's press conference at the wake of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, who was shot and killed earlier this week after he approached two suspects whose vehicle was parked illegally.

"We have to stop it. We have to stop it," Trump told reporters in video shared by ABC News. "We have to get back to law and order. We have to do a lot of things differently, because this is not working."

In the comment thread beneath Jordan's post, his critics pointed out that Trump's relationship with law enforcement is inconsistent at best.

Story by David Badash

Last year House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer acknowledged former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House advisor Jared Kushner had “crossed the line” when he accepted $2 billion in foreign investment funds from the government of Saudi Arabia as he started up a private investment firm just months after leaving the White House.

Now, Chairman Comer says he will not open an investigation into any possible wrongdoing, Huffpost reports, despite top Democrats alleging Kushner engaged in “apparent influence peddling and quid pro quo deals.”

On Tuesday, the top Democrat on Comer’s Oversight Committee, Ranking Member Jamie Raskin, and Democrat Robert Garcia, the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, formally requested Comer “convene a hearing regarding Jared Kushner’s apparent influence peddling and quid pro quo deals involving investments in exchange for official actions and to examine the resulting threats to our national security.”

Story by Gerren Keith Gaynor

“Mark Robinson’s hateful rhetoric – including his comments toward the Black community – jeopardizes companies’ desire to be in our state and, consequently, our state’s economy,” Josh Stein, Robinson’s gubernatorial opponent, told theGrio.

Controversial North Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson, who continues to grab headlines for his comments on race, women, and the LGBTQ+ community, could potentially cost economic growth in the state, particularly for Black residents.

After Democrats in Connecticut indicated that they are eyeing businesses to attract away from North Carolina since Robinson’s primary election win made him the GOP nominee for governor, there is some concern about his rhetoric’s impact on the state’s economy and, more specifically, the state’s Black economy.

Story by Tony Bonnani

A recent budget proposal by a significant group of House Republicans has stirred controversy, as it calls for raising the retirement age for Social Security and restructuring Medicare. These proposals, while unlikely to pass into law this year, offer insights into the governance strategies Republicans may pursue if successful in the 2024 elections. President Joe Biden has seized upon this development as fodder for a contentious battle with former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as he campaigns for re-election.

Republicans’ Social Security Plan Unveiled
The Republican Study Committee, comprising over 170 representatives, unveiled its budget proposal, which includes plans to adjust the retirement age for future Social Security recipients, among other measures. While the proposal emphasizes that adjustments would not immediately affect current retirees, it suggests modest alterations to address increases in life expectancy. Additionally, it proposes reducing benefits for higher-earning beneficiaries.

The Math Behind the Proposal
Raising the retirement age would have significant financial implications for future retirees. For example, if the retirement age were raised from 67 to 70, individuals would lose out on thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits. To be more exact, in three years, people would lose $63,720 on average. This move, touted as a means to bolster the program’s financial stability, effectively translates into substantial cuts for retirees.

Addressing Funding Concerns
While the proposal acknowledges that Social Security funding could be shored up by raising taxes, it expresses opposition to taxing higher-income earners. Instead, it advocates against burdening individuals and the broader economy with increased taxes, citing the potential negative impact on economic growth.

Story by Jacob Miller

The specter of changes to Social Security and Medicare is once again ruffling feathers across the political spectrum. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), an influential faction of the House Republicans comprising over 170 members, has put forth a budget blueprint that has sparked a maelstrom of debate and concern. At the heart of the controversy are proposals that, if realized, would substantially overhaul two of the nation’s most cherished social safety net programs.

For Social Security, the RSC’s budget plan calls for “modest adjustments to the retirement age for future retirees to account for increases in life expectancy,” a move that would effectively push back when individuals can claim full retirement benefits. Moreover, the plan suggests decreasing benefits for higher-earning beneficiaries, with the assurance that “The RSC Budget does not cut or delay retirement benefits for any senior in or near retirement.”

But the proposals go further, envisioning a fundamental restructuring of Medicare. Echoing a proposal once championed by Republican former Speaker Paul Ryan, the RSC suggests converting Medicare into a “premium support model.” This model would pit traditional Medicare against private plans, offering beneficiaries subsidies to purchase insurance in a competitive market. The proposal resonates with a similar policy play from the 2012 elections, which was met with fierce opposition from Democrats who argued it would “end Medicare as we know it.”

Story by Claude Wooten

Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) led the House Oversight Committee hearing yesterday where witness Lev Parnas testified that MAGA majordomo Rudy Giuliani sent him to “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and that Giuliani did so at the behest of President Donald Trump.

Democrats on the Committee including Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) continue to mock Comer and fellow MAGA congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) for allowing the impeachment inquiry to drag on for more than a year without providing evidence that President Biden committed a crime. (Moskowitz recently wore his “funeral shoes” to a hearing to express his belief that the inquiry was dead.)

At the hearing yesterday Moskowitz taunted Comer and told him to go ahead and impeach the President of the United States. “I’ll make the motion, Mr. Chairman. I want to help you out. You can second it, right?”

Story by Thomas G. Moukawsher

It is a supreme irony that with urban Democratic leaders easing ill-advised restrictions on police, Republicans in Congress have managed the only successful federal attempt to defund the police. And not just any police. The GOP has bitten a sizable chunk out of the FBI's budget.

Republicans criticized the Bureau for investigating the more than 100 contacts ultimately found insufficiently collusive between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia during that country's interference with our presidential election. Republicans in Congress also blamed the FBI for not making more out of the Hillary Clinton emails, many of which were exposed by the Russians, and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine—despite the most serious claims coming from a now arrested source with extensive Russian connections. They opposed FBI action against those who attacked the Capitol in 2021 and castigated it for investigating former President Donald Trump's role in the attack and his violation of laws concerning classified documents.

Story by Jordy Meiselas

Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett tweeted out an article from RT, which is Russian State TV and often promotes anti-American propaganda. After being called out on it, Burchett quickly deleted the tweet, but, as you know, the internet is forever.

Jared Kushner received $2 billion from Saudi Arabia where is the GOP outcry?

By Rachel Dobkin | newsweek

Jared Kushner was accused of "corruption" by Representative Robert Garcia, a California Democrat, after news broke of Kushner's new foreign real estate deals.

Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump who was a senior White House official in the Trump administration and worked on policy for the Middle East, posted pictures of "early design images" for his new development projects in Albania and Serbia on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday. The proposed projects include luxury buildings off the coast of Albania and in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

"We are very excited," Kushner told The New York Times on Friday. "We have not finalized these deals, so they might not happen, but we have been working hard and are pretty close."

The deals would be made through Kushner's investment firm, Affinity Partners, which he started after he left the White House. The firm received $2 billion from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). However, his company told the newspaper it has not yet determined if Saudi funds for the project would be used.

Matthew Chapman

Donald Trump's installation of loyalists at the Republican National Committee and the subsequent staffer purge served as a trial run for what the former president plans to do next, says GOP strategist and Republican Accountability Project leader Sarah Longwell.

Longwell appeared on MSNBC Tuesday night to discuss with host Chris Hayes Trump's plans for the civil service if reelected to the White House in 2025 one day after a reported RNC "bloodbath" saw 60 officials get the ax.

"I always feel like we've taken the final step in Trump's complete takeover of the Republican Party, but there is always another step," said Longwell. "Because he is formally taking over the Republican Party apparatus here. You know, so it started with the resignation of Jeff Flake and it ends with Lara Trump controlling the RNC."

Story by Jacob Miller

In what appears to be a recurring pattern of partisan stalemates within the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Republican commissioners have declined to vote in favor of investigating allegations against former President Donald Trump and his committees—despite recommendations for probes from nonpartisan staff attorneys. This obstruction by the GOP commissioners has effectively granted Trump a shield against accountability for potential violations of campaign finance laws.

The FEC, a six-member body meant to enforce campaign finance regulations, requires a minimum of four votes to approve any investigative action. Given that the agency is structured so that no more than three commissioners can be from the same political party, this setup has allowed the Republican commissioners to wield a veto power over enforcement actions, paralyzing the commission in matters involving Trump.

Story by Matt Shuham

The new team of Trump loyalists in charge of the Republican Party have spent years promoting the former president’s lies about the 2020 election. With the 2024 election around the corner, they’re set to pursue an agenda built on false claims of election fraud.

As dozens of Republican Party staffers have been purged in recent days and an incoming team takes power, much of the media attention has focused on new party co-chair Lara Trump ― who has said of Joe Biden’s presidency, “I don’t think he won it fair” ― and Christina Bobb, the far-right news anchor with a history of rejecting the 2020 election results, and who is now the party’s senior counsel for election integrity.

But the culture of election denialism starts at the top. Michael Whatley, the new Trump-endorsed chair of the party, is the former GOP general counsel and chair of the North Carolina GOP. He falsely claimed immediately after the 2020 election that there had been “massive fraud” nationwide.

“We do know that there was massive fraud that took place,” he said during a late-November radio interview, CNNand CBS News reported last month. “We know that it took place in places like Milwaukee and Detroit and Philadelphia.”

Story by Steve Benen

About a month after the Jan. 6 attack, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson scoffed at those alarmed by the riot. “This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me,” the Wisconsin senator said. “I mean ‘armed,’ when you hear ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms?”

In the months and years that followed, GOP lawmakers such as Arizona’s Paul Gosar and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene also questioned whether the insurrectionists had guns.

As recently as last week, Donald Trump himself used his social media platform to insist, while responding to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, “The so-called ‘Insurrectionists’ that he talks about had no guns. They only had a Rigged Election.”

Such rhetoric has long been foolish, but the GOP voices who’ve questioned whether the rioters were armed looked quite a bit worse late last week. NBC News reported on John Emanuel Banuelos, who allegedly fired two gunshots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and who was arrested by federal authorities on Friday.

NBC News’ report added, “While numerous rioters were armed with guns on Jan. 6, none were known to have actually fired their weapons; Banuelos is the first to be charged with doing so.”

Story by Martin Pengelly in Washington

Kansas Republicans were condemned as “vile and wrong” after attendees at a fundraising event beat and kicked a martial arts dummy wearing a Joe Biden mask.

Dinah Sykes, the Democratic minority leader in the state Senate, told the Kansas Reflector, a nonprofit news site: “Political violence of any kind is vile and wrong, and we cannot afford to brush it under the rug when others encourage it.”

Footage posted to social media showed attendees at the Johnson county Republican event kicking and beating the dummy, which was wearing a Biden mask and a T-shirt displaying the slogan “Let’s Go Brandon”, a rightwing meme mean to disparage Biden.

Sykes called for state Republican leaders to take action against those responsible.

Mike Brown, the Kansas Republican party chair, told the Kansas City Star he was not at the event, which was not organised by the state party, though he sent emails to promote it.

Story by Anna Skinner

Several Republican senators on Thursday voted against a bill that would extend compensatory benefits for nuclear radiation victims.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, sponsored the legislation to extend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act's (RECA) expiration date and claims filing deadline while also allowing residents in four new states to become eligible for compensation if they developed specific health conditions from living in communities affected by waste from the Manhattan Project. In the 1940s, that government program produced the first atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On Thursday, the bill passed the Senate, with 69 senators voting in favor and 30 voting against. One senator refrained from voting.

Currently, RECA covers 12 states, and eligibility changes based on location. The states covered by RECA are Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas and Nevada. The bill says that parts of Missouri (including St. Louis), Tennessee, Alaska and Kentucky will be included in RECA.

Bucks County Beacon

Approximately 100 right-wing organizations have signed onto Project 2025 , an expansive plan for controlling (and in some cases dismantling) federal agencies in the event that Trump or another Republican wins the presidential election this year. Many of these organizations are led by Christian fundamentalist political operatives, suggesting that they may use the plan to force all Americans to submit to their extreme religious beliefs.

The Bucks County Beacon has just found explosive new evidence that seems to validate this concern.

The Beacon’s discovery follows an earlier report by Politico journalist Heidi Przybyla, which tied the Center for Renewing America (CFRA), an official Project 2025 partner, to an internal memo expressly listing “Christian Nationalism” as a priority for a second Trump term.

Przybyla further reported that CFRA founder Russ Vought, a Project 2025 co-author, had stated last year on X (formerly Twitter) that he’s “proud” to work with William Wolfe, a former Trump official and Visiting Fellow with CFRA, “on scoping out a sound Christian Nationalism.” In a social media post , Wolfe had called for an end to no-fault divorce and abortion and for reduced access to contraception. (Link to archived tweet .) Wolfe, who has attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , has also called himself a “Christian Nationalist.”

Story by Jacob Miller

In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Arizona has emerged as a focal point of scrutiny regarding attempts to overturn the election results. Arizona’s Attorney General, Democrat Kris Mayes, has issued grand jury subpoenas to individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign as part of a criminal investigation into these efforts. The looming question now is whether key figures tied to the former president, including some who posed as fake electors, will face criminal charges.

The investigation extends beyond Arizona’s borders; similar probes in Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada have already led to charges against individuals for their roles in the fake elector scheme. Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro have been mentioned in connection with the Arizona inquiry. Chesebro, in particular, has been highlighted in a recent document release from a lawsuit settlement, showcasing the lengths he went to in search of ways to undermine the 2020 election results.

Story by BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers walked out of a Kentucky committee hearing Thursday when the GOP-led panel took up a bill to expand access to prebirth and newborn services for pregnant women carrying nonviable fetuses that are expected to die before or soon after birth, in a state that bans abortion in such cases.

The three Democrats didn't return to the committee room until after Republicans on the House Health Services Committee approved the bill dealing with perinatal palliative care.

“This is not about comforting bereaved parents, as it should be,” Democratic state Rep. Lindsey Burke said afterward. “It’s about making a political statement, and they’re not going to do that on my back.”

Supporters of the bill said it would increase access to compassionate, comprehensive care and support services for families dealing with the devastation of a life-limiting diagnosis for their unborn child. When an infant is expected to live only a short time after birth, it gives parents precious moments to spend time with the child, said Addia Wuchner, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life.

“No matter how extreme an anomaly can be, sometimes just to say hello by holding your child means everything,” she said. “And families should have that opportunity to make those choices.”

Did he forget Trump interfered in the 2020 election, attempted a coup and broke the law?

Story by Nick Robertson

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) filed a complaint with the Department of Justice inspector general on Wednesday, accusing special counsel Jack Smith of election interference by resisting attempts to delay his criminal prosecution of former President Trump.

Smith has pushed federal judges not to delay his case against Trump, which alleges that the former president attempted to overturn the 2020 election. Trump’s attorneys have invoked the Supreme Court over whether Trump can be prosecuted at all, possibly pushing back trial past the 2024 general election.

Gaetz claims Smith’s work is intended to influence the election, violating DOJ policy.

“The witch hunt against President Trump by Attorney General Garland and Special Counsel Smith is a partisan exercise, and the American people know it,” Gaetz said in a statement. “The actions of the Special Counsel Smith to speed up the trial against President Trump violate the DOJ’s rules and the law.”

Story by bmetzger@insider.com (Bryan Metzger)

On Wednesday, 83 House Republicans voted against a roughly $460 billion package of bills to fund large swaths of the federal government.

Forty of them did so despite requesting — and securing — millions of dollars in federal funding for a variety of projects in their districts.

Take Rep. Lauren Boebert for example. The Colorado Republican announced on Wednesday that she would vote against what she dubbed the "Swamp Omnibus," slamming the bill as a "monstrosity" that "funds the Green New Deal."

That's despite the bill including more than $20 million that she herself had requested for projects across the state's 3rd congressional district, which she recently abandoned to seek reelection in a safer district on the other side of the state.

That included $5 million to develop a water reservoir in Wolf Creek, $2.2 million for water infrastructure in Craig, and millions more for highway improvements in the district that she jointly requested with Democratic Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper.

Story by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

Republican Sen. Rick Scott said Friday that he is "seriously considering" a bid to succeed Sen. Mitch McConnell as leader of the Senate GOP caucus, an announcement that brought renewed attention to his previous support for sunsetting all federal programs every five years—including Social Security and Medicare.

Scott (R-Fla.), who lost a challenge to McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2022, said in an appearance on "The Charlie Kirk Show" that McConnell's decision to step down as Republican leader at the end of the year represents "a big opportunity."

"We could actually have somebody that actually believes in this country and believes in solving the problems of this country running the Senate when we get a majority in November," said Scott, who is up for reelection this year. "We could make big change."

Two years ago, Scott—then serving as head of the Senate GOP's campaign committee—released an agenda under which "all federal legislation" would lapse and require reauthorization by Congress every five years. Critics were quick to note that Scott's plan would entail sunsetting Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other key laws.


While on the campaign trail over the weekend in North Carolina and Virginia, Donald Trump made several public gaffes. The Morning Joe panel discusses.

Ana Faguy Forbes Staff

Former President Donald Trump appeared to confuse former President Barack Obama with President Joe Biden during a rally Saturday night, the latest in a series of gaffes from Trump as the age and mental well-being of both top presidential candidates remains a concern for voters.

The gaffe came when Trump was discussing Vladimir Putin and said the Russian president “has so little respect for Obama that he’s starting to throw around the nuclear word.”

Video of the event shows the crowd going silent after Trump’s reference to Obama, before Trump then names Biden, and calls him “a fool.”

In at least seven other instances, Trump has seemed to confuse Obama with Biden.

Last week, when referencing Putin at the Conservative Political Action Conference Trump made another Putin-related gaffe, saying he agreed with the Russian President that he’d rather see Biden as president.

Donald Trump has been criticized for making a string of gaffes during two weekend campaign speeches.

The Republican presidential candidate addressed crowds on Saturday in Richmond, Virginia, and Greensboro, North Carolina, ahead of Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states will vote in Republican primaries.

Ron Filipkowski, a Trump critic and the editor-in-chief of the independent news network MeidasTouch, posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, that compiled 32 incidents in both speeches in which, Filipkowski said, the Republican "mispronounced words, got confused, mixed up names, forgot names, and babbled insane nonsense."

Hunter Biden pointed out Republicans’ apparent indifference about Jared Kushner’s foreign business dealings.
The New Republic

Hunter Biden brilliantly exposed Republican hypocrisy during his closed-door deposition on Wednesday with one simple question.

“How come they’re not curious about the $2 billion Jared Kushner got from the Saudis?” the younger Biden reportedly asked House lawmakers.

Democratic Representative Dan Goldman explained during a break in testimony that Biden was highlighting the difference “between what he has done in a business world with independent businessmen, versus foreign governments, which he did not do any business with—unlike Jared Kushner.”

Representative Jamie Raskin also said the questioning was largely cordial Wednesday morning, but Hunter Biden became more “assertive” when discussing the Kushner double standard.

“He may be a little bit frustrated by some of the double standards relating to Jared Kushner and money that’s just been openly pocketed by Donald Trump in office,” Raskin said. “And Jared Kushner of course brought back $2 billion from Saudi Arabia. And all of that has been a part of the conversation, and he was assertive about that.”

Story by Benjamin Lynch

Over 100 Republican lawmakers voted against a short-term funding bill that passed Congress on February 29, avoiding a partial government shutdown.

A total of 13 Republican Senators and 97 members of the House voted against the deal, but it passed both chambers with bipartisan support. Two Democrats in the House, Massachusetts Rep. Jake Auchincloss and Illinois Rep, Mike Quigley, voted against the resolution as well. President Joe Biden has said he will sign the legislation.

The Republican Party under Trump is now the party of Putin and Russia. The right wing is now the Putin wing. Are we living in an episode of The Americans?

Story by Jacob Miller

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict persists, the voices of former President Donald Trump’s base are becoming increasingly entwined with the rhetoric of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump voters have started to question the animosity towards Russia, with NBC correspondents encountering remarks such as “Russia is not our enemy,” signaling a potential shift in the traditional Republican foreign policy stance.

This perceived sympathy towards Russia from Trump’s voter base comes amid broader concerns over America’s role on the global stage, and whether a resurgent “America First” policy could lead to a more isolationist approach. There is historical precedence for this sentiment; echoes of the pre-World War II isolationism resonate in the recent comments from Trump and his allies against further military aid to Ukraine.

The pivot in outlook is not just a matter of historical comparison; it’s reflected in contemporary polling data. A Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey found that 53% of Republicans favor the U.S. staying out of world affairs, a first in the survey’s 49-year history. This inward turn is more pronounced when it comes to Ukraine, where a Pew Research Center survey highlighted that 48% of Republicans believe the U.S. is providing too much support to Kyiv.

What about Trump's cognitive decline?

Story by Zeleb.es

Former President Donald Trump forgot the name of his wife and possibly confused her with one of his former staffers during a recent speech according to some media reports. What happened and what it means may surprise you.

The Conservative Political Action Conference
While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24th, the former president appeared to forget the name of his wife Melania while introducing her and then moments later called her Mercedes.

The comments everyone is arguing over
"Well look, my wife, our great first lady, she was great... people love her," Trump told the crowd before later going on to say: "Oh look at that, wow. Mercedes, that's pretty good!" It was a gaffe that quickly went viral online.

Is Trump suffering cognitive decline?
Newsweek noted that people clipped the speech and published a version of the gaffe on Twitter. Political analysts like Luke Beasley used Trump’s comment to accuse the former president of suffering from cognitive decline.

Story by Rohan M.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Jack Posobiec announced the imminent “end of democracy” — and received cheers from the audience.

Predicting doom
“Welcome to the end of democracy,” Posobiec said to open the annual event. “We are here to overthrow it completely.”

Explicit action
“We didn’t get all the way there on January 6,” Posobiec admitted, “but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this right here,” he said. He then raised his fist.

Call to action
“All glory is not to government,” Posobiec continued. “All glory to God!” The audience responded with cheers.

By Malik Graystone

Former CIA director John Brennan issued a stark warning, cautioning that Russian intelligence viewed Republican lawmakers as “tools” for their “exploitation.”

The conversation centered around the recent indictment of Alexander Smirnov, a former FBI informant charged with making false statements and fabricating records related to the Biden family’s Ukraine dealings.

Involvement of GOP Lawmakers
Republican representatives James Comer and Jim Jordan had spearheaded inquiries into President Joe Biden’s alleged connections to his son’s business dealings, drawing skepticism from Brennan and others.

Story by Cynthia Paul

A prominent Texas newspaper said that endorsing Texas Governor Greg Abbott ten years ago was “wrong,” calling him out for “spewing lies and half-truths” and attacking fellow Republicans for opposing his school vouchers program.

Abbott on the Campaign Trail
In addition to taking the lead on topics like illegal immigration, Abbott, who was elected in 2015, has been out on the campaign trail backing statewide candidates from Texas who are challenging 16 Republican lawmakers who voted against his voucher initiative last year, which would have allowed some students to attend private schools with public funds.

The Then-Texas Attorney General Was a Man of Good Character
Twenty-one Republicans voted against the proposal in the Texas Legislature last year. The Daily Sentinel, which has published editorials since 1899, states that it “endorsed Greg Abbott ten years ago,” saying the “then-Texas Attorney General was a man of good character who had the respect necessary to govern our state…Our opinion of what makes a good governor hasn’t changed, but Abbott has. He’s become the Disrespecter-in-Chief of Texas.”

Abbott No Longer Respects the Rural Voters
“After listening to Abbott stoop to fear mongering, spewing lies and half-truths and twisting logic in contradictory and baffling ways, we believe he no longer respects the rural voters who have sent him to Austin for three terms.”

Story by Alex Griffing

Benjamin Goggin, NBC News’s deputy tech editor, defended his report on Nazis receiving a “friendly reception” at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference after CPAC publicly called it “false, misleading, and grossly manipulative.”

Goggin noted in his report that CPAC has long had to deal with far-right extremists trying to infiltrate the conference, but in past years would quickly eject those with explicit ties to neo-Nazis, like Nick Fuentes.

“But this year, racist conspiracy theorists didn’t meet any perceptible resistance at the conference where Donald Trump has been the keynote speaker since 2017,” Goggin wrote, adding:

At the Young Republican mixer Friday evening, a group of Nazis who openly identified as national socialists mingled with mainstream conservative personalities, including some from Turning Point USA, and discussed so-called “race science” and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Goggin also reported on other easily identifiable figures with ties to neo-Nazis he saw at CPAC, including one “with an official badge” from the event.

Former President Trump during a Tuesday Fox News town hall essentially admitted to killing the border deal in order to hurt Democrats.

Story by Malik Graystone

Donald Trump’s recent rally in Michigan has sparked concerns about his mental acuity as he made a series of blunders, including misremembering crucial dates and admitting ignorance on key terms.

Michigan Primary Mishap
America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018 — Photo by gints.ivuskans
During the rally, Trump mistakenly reminded voters of the Michigan state primary, getting the date wrong, fueling concerns about his attention to detail amidst his presidential ambitions.

Confusion Over “Indictment”
arrives for Working dinner, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018) — Photo by gints.ivuskans
In a surprising admission, Trump confessed to not understanding the term “indictment” for most of his life, raising eyebrows given his current legal entanglements.

Fumbling on Electric Vehicles
Trump’s stance on electric vehicles appeared muddled during the rally, adding to the perception of inconsistency in his messaging.

Questions on Mental State
Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has questioned Trump’s mental state, suggesting it could impact his ability to lead if he returns to the White House.

Story by Brandi Buchman

Background: This artist sketch depicts the scene in the Supreme Court as the justices — Justice Clarence Thomas fourth from left — hear arguments about the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that former President Donald Trump should be removed from the primary ballot on Feb. 8, 2024 (Dana Verkouteren via AP). Inset: Justice Clarence Thomas during the Presidential Inauguration ceremony for Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on January 20, 2017.

Ahead of a significant meeting next month for members of the federal judiciary, a watchdog group hoisted another red flag over U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for what it says is a “30 year pattern” of cherry-picking his financial disclosures once he is raked in the press.

The renewed call for review of the long-embroiled justice comes exactly a month before the Judicial Conference of the United States convenes for its first of only two meetings this year. The group of federal judges, which is led by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, acts as a policymaking body for federal courts across the land and can also make recommendations to Congress. It is, as ProPublica has reported at length, a powerful but largely opaque body that polices itself.

Story by M.L. Nestel

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was slammed Tuesday for publicly demanding information his political opponents say he'd received weeks before, according to a new report. Jordan Tuesday subpoenaed Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and demanded case files for a number of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S.

"Since June 2023, the Committee has requested several HHS case files for criminal aliens charged with serious and violent crimes, including theft, brutal assault, and murder," the letter reads. "Following months of non-responsiveness... HHS finally provided a response that included a variety of baseless excuses to justify withholding the requested criminal alien case files."

The letter further accused HHS of committing "mismanagement of the placement of unaccompanied alien children," which Jordan argued likely resulted in these undocumented youths "committing heinous criminal acts against Americans." But in a statement to NBC News, an HHS spokesperson accused House Republicans of "offering a false pretense for a subpoena while still refusing to take action on immigration reform and border security."

Story by Malik Graystone

The Lincoln Project has launched a new ad campaign in Florida and South Carolina, targeting Donald Trump and Washington Republicans for their role in blocking a bill aimed at bolstering border security and providing aid to Israel and Ukraine. The one-minute ad, titled “Security,” takes aim at Trump’s immigration policies and accuses him of prioritizing chaos over national security.

Highlighting Trump's Opposition
The ad emphasizes President Joe Biden’s commitment to protecting America’s southern border but criticizes Trump for instructing Republicans to block what was deemed the toughest immigration bill in decades. It accuses Trump of fostering chaos to serve his political interests.

There’s only one problem: Donald Trump
“Joe Biden is ready to protect America’s southern border,” the ad says. “There’s only one problem: Donald Trump, (who) has ordered Republicans to block the toughest immigration bill in decades … because Donald Trump needs chaos to win.”

Cartels, Coyotes and…
The ad further says, “Donald Trump Doesn’t care if your family’s safety or the lives of law enforcement officers are in the balance. He’s on the side of the cartels, coyotes, and child [expletive deleted].” While this rhetoric relies on racist narratives, it is effective in driving a point.

Navalny was willing to take on Vladimir Putin and risk his life. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is so afraid of losing his speakership that he caves to Marjorie Taylor Greene
Eric Garcia

Upon the news of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, House Speaker Mike Johnson denounced Vladimir Putin.

“As Congress debates the best path forward to support Ukraine, the United States and our partners must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states,” he said in a statement.

Of course, Johnson’s words would hold much more weight if he had actually put through the aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan that the Senate passed on the floor of the House of Representatives. Indeed, as the Senate labored late into the night on Monday and into the wee hours of Tuesday to pass that aid bill, Johnson summarily killed the bill because it did not address immigration at the US-Mexico border.

This came after Johnson and the rest of House Republican leadership blew up a bipartisan agreement that would have included aggressive restrictions to immigration in exchange for aid to Israel and Ukraine. Johnson, like most of the Republican Party, did so in the service of Donald Trump after he came out in opposition to the deal — despite the fact it would give him sweeping authority to deport migrants if he became president again.

Story by Matthew Andrews

Former President Donald Trump and numerous Republicans are currently dealing with several legal challenges over their eligibility to hold office. These challenges are rooted in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s Insurrection Clause. This is happening across various states, including Colorado and Maine.

Colorado and Maine Lead the Charge
Colorado and Maine have become central to the legal confrontation over Donald Trump’s ballot eligibility. The use of the 14th Amendment’s Insurrection Clause in these states is a first for similar actions nationwide. To some political analysts, this reflects a growing trend in challenging the constitutional qualifications of elected officials.

Nationwide Republican Scrutiny
However, the legal questions are not confined to Donald Trump. According to some sources, many Republicans have faced similar challenges since the 2020 election. Reports suggest that over 100 Republicans have had their qualifications questioned, including the former President himself.

Limited Impact on Qualifications So Far
Despite the numerous challenges, the impact of disqualifying officeholders has been minimal. Couy Griffin, a former Commissioner for New Mexico and one of the founders of Cowboys for Trump, is a notable exception. She has been convicted on charges related to January 6th and is subsequently facing disqualification.

Story by Jo Shaw

A recent publication has highlighted the purported extent of racism and bigotry within Congress. Multiple Republican legislators have faced scrutiny for recent remarks that are deemed to transgress into racist and bigoted territory. Representative Torres recently asserted that “Trumpism serves to embolden extremism” and underscored recent incidents and statements from Republican lawmakers that are considered to have overstepped boundaries.

“Trumpism” Is Encouraging Racism in Congress
A recent article published by the New York Times has highlighted multiple instances where GOP lawmakers had made controversial comments about their Democratic counterparts. The article quotes a statement made by Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres: “The nature of Trumpism is to embolden extremism.”

Republicans Are Crossing Lines
Torres explained, “Whether it’s badgering an Asian witness about his ethnic loyalties, or dehumanizing a cabinet secretary, or accusing a Muslim woman of treason, or describing a Black man as a thug, Republican members of Congress are crossing lines that should never be crossed.”

Rep. Greene Insults Somalian Born Representative
Torres was responding to a series of events that were reportedly highlighting the level of racism that was occurring in Congress. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has recently been criticized for attacking her Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar over her Somali origins. In a mistranslation of a social media post, Greene accused Omar of supporting Somalia over the US.

Story by Chris Willman

Paramore, not surprisingly, is balking at the idea of singularly getting an honor from the Tennessee legislature celebrating the band's Grammy accomplishments, after the GOP-led House snubbed fellow winner Allison Russell for a similar resolution.

"The blatant racism of our state leadership is embarrassing and cruel," singer Hayley Williams as part of a lengthy statement. "Myself, as well as Paramore, will continue to encourage young people to show up to vote with equality in mind."

The actions of the Tennessee legislature made headlines and drew the attention of music fans nationwide after the two artists got different receptions, with many wondering aloud if the impetus behind the different treatment was evident just in the side-by-side photos of the two artists.

The band's statement to media, first published Friday by the Tennessean, began: "This week, Rep. Justin Jones put forth resolutions to honor my band, Paramore, and another local-to-Nashville artist, Allison Russell, on our recent Grammy wins (as far as I can tell these resolutions have no legal weight to them. They're like a big high five or when the whole restaurant joins in to sing you "Happy Birthday")."

Story by Kathleen Culliton

Speaker Mike Johnson was lambasted Friday by a columnist who argued he’s either a saboteur or cognitively challenged.

“If Johnson has not taken leave of his mental faculties, the alternative is worse,” writes Dana Milbank. “He is deliberately and knowingly sabotaging the functioning of the U.S. government because he thinks it in his interest.”

Milbank is critiquing Johnson’s own words regarding special counsel Robert Hur's report on Joe Biden that was supposed to be about classified documents, but evolved into a debate about the president’s mental health.

Story by Nikki McCann Ramirez

The Department of Justice has charged a former FBI informant - whose claims Republicans used to bolster allegations of a corrupt bribery scheme involving Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma - with two counts of making false statements to federal authorities.

The indictment, announced Thursday by Special Counsel David Weiss, alleges that Alexander Smirnov "falsely claimed" that during two business meetings in 2015 and/or 2016 "executives associated with Burisma, admitted to him that they hired [Hunter Biden] to ‘protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.'"

Smirnov added that the Burisma officials also said they had paid "$5 million each" to Joe and Hunter Biden, so that the then vice president's son would "‘take care of all those issues through his dad' referring to a criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General into Burisma."

Are Republicans trying to keep women barefoot and pregnant?

Story by Roseline Richards

The 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health naturally led to fears that access to contraception would be the far right’s next target. Given the GOP’s history, it’s not a concern without merit.

A Long-Standing Opposition to Contraception
According to Dana Singiser, cofounder of Contraceptive Access Initiative, the GOP has a “long history” of targeting contraception. Singiser also said that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for Republicans to conceal their “long-standing opposition” to it.

Griswold v. Connecticut
In his concurring opinion on Dobbs, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that the court should revisit the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case, which gave spouses the right to use contraceptives without government interference. “If that’s not a direct threat, I don’t know what is,” Singiser said.

Democrats, Abortion, and Contraception
Democrats have fiercely campaigned on ensuring access to abortion and contraception in recent years. President Biden even took to social media to accuse MAGA Republicans of “trying to stop women in America from getting safe and effective medication that has been approved by the FDA for over 20 years.”

Story by Ella Bennet

In Houston, state District Judge Andrea Beall has dismissed efforts by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to have his felony securities fraud charges dismissed. These allegations have been looming over the Republican politician for nearly ten years, and with this recent ruling, he is slated to face trial in April. Paxton is accused of defrauding investors in connection with a technology company and could face a maximum of 99 years in prison if convicted. Paxton, who asserts his innocence, has faced numerous delays in his trial since his 2015 indictment, leading his defense team to argue for dismissal on the grounds of a right to a swift trial.

The legal standoff has seen arguments regarding the trial location and payment for prosecutors, with the defense asserting that these delays are undermining Paxton’s legal rights. Still, prosecutors insist that Paxton’s own legal maneuvers are responsible for the prolonged timeline.

Maybe that explains why he is helping Putin by refusing aide to Ukraine

by Aurora DeStefano in Daily Edition

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) refuses to let an emergency foreign aid bill — passed by the Senate with bipartisan support that included 22 Republican Senators — get a vote on the House floor.

President Joe Biden says the reason for Johnson’s reluctance is simple: “There’s no question that if the Senate bill was put on the floor in the House of Representatives, it would pass,” Biden said, “It would pass.”

Johnson doesn’t want that — and in a press conference today, the Speaker said it was because the “latest product” the Senate sent didn’t contain “one word” about securing “America’s border.” (For those paying attention, that’s because Johnson — vowing that it would be dead on arrival in the House — helped kill another bipartisan bill a week before that did include extensive border changes and billions to enact them.)

Story by By ED WHITE, Associated Press

A Republican lawmaker in Michigan lost his committee assignment and staff Monday, days after posting an image of a racist ideology on social media.

House Speaker Joe Tate, a Democrat who is Black, said he will not allow the House to be a forum for “racist, hateful and bigoted speech.”

State Rep. Josh Schriver, who is white, shared a post on X — formerly known as Twitter — that showed a map of the world with Black figures greatly outnumbering white figures, along with the phrase, “The great replacement!”

The conspiracy theory says there’s a plot to diminish the influence of white people.

Schriver, who represents portions of Oakland and Macomb counties, can vote on the House floor. But Tate removed him from a committee and told the House Business Office to oversee his staff members, who still can assist constituents.

Tom Cotton echoes fellow GOP senators, saying former president was ‘simply ringing the warning bell’
Martin Pengelly in Washington

A leading Republican senator said Donald Trump was “simply ringing the warning bell” when he caused global alarm by declaring he would encourage Russia to attack Nato allies who did not pay enough to maintain the alliance, as Trump’s party closed ranks behind its presumptive presidential nominee.

“Nato countries that don’t spend enough on defense, like Germany, are already encouraging Russian aggression and President Trump is simply ringing the warning bell,” Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a former soldier, told the New York Times.

“Strength, not weakness, deters aggression. Russia invaded Ukraine twice under Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but not under Donald Trump.” Cotton was referring to the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

As president between 2017 and 2021, Trump was widely held to have shown alarming favour, and arguably subservience, to Vladimir Putin. Trump made the controversial remarks at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday.

In remarks the Times said were not part of Trump’s planned speech but which did repeat a story he has often told, the former president said: “One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’

Opinion by Rex Huppke, USA TODAY
A quick message to the American people, from your always-hard-at-work Republican Party:

Some of you may have noticed that we, your Republican lawmakers in Congress, have not been doing a great deal of successful “governing” lately. For example, last week we killed the bipartisan Senate border bill that we had previously demanded, then we failed to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for…things, and then we failed to pass a standalone package that would provide aid to Israel.

We want to let our supporters know this intentional uselessness is all part of the plan. We will be doing nothing – zero, nada, zippo – between now and the November presidential election because our boss, the amazing and strong President Donald Trump, told us to ixnay on governing.

Story by Ace Vincent

Former President Donald Trump took to social media recently to share a voter poll from the Daily Mail, which depicted words associated with him and President Joe Biden in a potential second term.

The poll revealed that Trump’s word cloud featured terms like “revenge,” “power,” and “corruption,” whereas Biden’s included words like “nothing,” “economy,” and “peace.”

The Voter Poll Word Clouds
The Daily Mail published a voter poll in which participants were asked to describe the political goals of Trump and Biden in a second term using one word.

The resulting word clouds illustrated the contrasting perceptions of the two political figures.

Differences in Terms
While Biden’s cloud featured words related to policy and stability, Trump’s cloud highlighted terms associated with authority and negativity.

Story by Milla J.

Colorado Democrat Joe Neguse used the GOP lawmaker’s words against him. Mark Green, a Tenessee Republican, disagreed with his own op-ed because Neguse had set a trap.

The title
During a hearing regarding the GOP’s impeachment resolution against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Neguse read an excerpt from an article. The Colorado Democrat stated, “I’m going to enter it into the record. The title is, Americans are the victims of the impeachment inquiry.”

The subtitle
Neguse said, “The subtitle…is, ‘A lot of bipartisan legislation that enjoys support sits gathering dust while Congress focuses on the impeachment inquiry. ‘ ” He asked, “I assume you disagree with this?” Green responded, “I do.”

“Interesting” response
Neguse revealed, “It’s interesting. These are your words. This is an editorial that you wrote five years ago during the debate about the impeachment of former President Trump.” The Colorado lawmaker referred to Green’s November 2019 op-ed for The Tennessean.

Story by Rachel Dobkin

Senator Tommy Tuberville, an Alabama Republican, has received harsh criticism online for defending Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson aired an interview that he did with Putin earlier in the week on his website on Thursday evening. It was Putin's first interview with Western media since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Tuberville took to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday to share his thoughts about Carlson's sit-down with the Russian leader.

"Last night's @TuckerCarlson's interview with Putin shows that Russia is open to a peace agreement, while it is DC warmongers who want to prolong the war. That is why I'm voting to stop 60 BILLION MORE of our tax dollars to this conflict," the senator wrote.

Newsweek reached out to Tuberville's office via email.

During his interview with Carlson, Putin suggested that Russia was open to peace talks with Ukraine, but claimed that the United States was getting in the way.

"The President of Ukraine [Volodymyr Zelensky] has legislated a ban on negotiating with Russia," the Russian leader said. "He signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia. But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this?"

Republicans demanded a border deal now that one is one the table they don’t want it.

Republicans demanded a border crackdown but have rejected a bipartisan plan to impose one, underscoring the intractable politics of the issue in an election year.
By Annie Karni

Republicans in Congress who have spent months demanding that any aid to Ukraine be paired with a crackdown against migration into the United States got what they asked for when a bipartisan group of senators released a $118.3 billion agreement that would provide both.

On Monday, many of them rejected it anyway.

It was the latest indication that the political ground for any agreement on immigration — particularly in an election year when it is expected to be a central issue of the presidential campaign — has vanished.

With former President Donald J. Trump eager to attack President Biden’s record on the border and right-wing Republicans in Congress falling in line behind him, a compromise was always going to be a long shot. The long-awaited release on Sunday night of the text of the 370-page bill only served to inflame Republican divisions on an issue that once united them.

Even as Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader and a champion of funding for Ukraine, took to the floor to push for action on the bill, many of his fellow Republican leaders were savaging it. Speaker Mike Johnson denounced the measure as “even worse than we expected” and, in a joint statement with his leadership team, repeated what had become his mantra about the deal — that it would be “dead on arrival” in the House.

Party before country once again Republicans are helping Trump over America.

The striking turn of events comes as Donald Trump tells the GOP to sink the bill, arguing that it could take the political heat off Democrats ahead of an expected rematch with Joe Biden.
By Frank Thorp V, Sahil Kapur, Kate Santaliz and Syedah Asghar

WASHINGTON — In a striking turn of events, Senate Republicans threatened Monday to block a major bipartisan package of border security measures and asylum restrictions, just one day after their chief negotiator signed off on it.

GOP senators left a special closed-door meeting in the evening predicting that their party would not provide enough votes to move forward with the package Wednesday, saying they agreed they need more time to discuss changes to the bill in the form of amendments.

“I would anticipate Wednesday the cloture vote does not pass,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., the lead GOP negotiator in the border talks, told reporters after the meeting. “People are saying, 'Hey, I need a lot more time to be able to go through this.'”

The Republican uneasiness could be devastating to the package, which House Republican leaders have already said is "dead on arrival" in the lower chamber. Proponents hoped that strong bipartisan support in the Senate could force the House's hand.

Story by Sky Palma

A former business associate of Hunter Biden gave a closed-door deposition to House Republicans as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden — and poured cold water on accusations that Biden profited from the business dealings of his son, Axios reported.

“To be clear, President Biden — while in office or as a private citizen — was never involved in any of the business activities we pursued,” Rob Walker told the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees.

Story by Brad Reed

Voters are still having a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that the Republican Party is really going to nominate former President Donald Trump for the presidency again, according to an analyst.

Trump, who was impeached twice during his lone term in office and who is now facing 91 felony charges in four separate jurisdictions, is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, despite a better-than-average likelihood that he will be a convicted criminal by the time the election rolls around.

CNN reports that internal research from President Joe Biden's campaign shows that it's currently having trouble attracting undecided voters at the moment — simply because those voters don't really think Trump will once again be their sole major-party alternative.

The people, who attacked our capitol, attacked police officers and wanted to harm and kill people, they are neither hostages nor peaceful protesters; they are traitors, insurrectionist, seditionist and criminals.
A. B. Man III
Republicans and right wing media are lying to you when they call the insurrectionist and seditionist hostages or peaceful protesters. They are neither hostages nor peaceful protesters, call them what they are traitors, insurrectionist, seditionist, criminals. They are criminals who should be in jail for attacking our capitol, attacking police officers and wanting to harm or kill people they do not like or disagree with to help Trump stay in office.

Maybe Republicans and right wing media think you are stupid, if you do believe the January 6 attackers are hostages or peaceful protesters you are as stupid as Republicans and right wing media think you are.  Peaceful protesters do not attack police officers.  Peaceful protesters do not attack the capitol. Peaceful protesters do not build gallows. Peaceful protesters do not harm people nor do not want to hang people.

Story by Matthew Chapman

Former President Donald Trump has been set up for a high-profile legal battle over his ballot eligibility, with challenges under the Constitution's 14th Amendment's Insurrection Clause advancing in Colorado and Maine, and others in the pipeline in a number of other states.

But Trump is not alone in this — according to Newsweek, these challenges are popping up all over the Republican landscape. "Since the 2020 election, at least 134 Republicans, including Trump, have faced legal challenges questioning whether they are qualified to hold office," reported Andrew Stanton.

Story by Sky Palma

Lev Parnas, who was a central figure inthe 2019 Ukraine scandal that led to the impeachment of Donald Trump, is still telling his story — and is now revealing insights into "diplomatic impropriety" that he says is at the heart of current investigations targeting the Biden family.

It's a message Republicans are not eager to promote, The Palm Beach Post reports.

"The whole motive and the whole Biden stuff was never about getting justice, and getting to the bottom of Biden criminality or doing an investigation in Ukraine," Parnas said. "It was all about announcing an investigation and using that in the media to be able to destroy the Biden campaign and have Trump win."

Parnas, a henchman of Rudy Giuliani who was also connected to Trump, was a link between investigators and Ukranian figures attempting to dig up dirt on President Joe Biden's son, Hunter. He was convicted on several charges, including fraud and campaign finance violations.

Story by Matt Laslo, Raw Story

WASHINGTON – Republicans in Congress aren’t just doing all they can to impeach the Biden name – and possibly President Joe Biden himself – they’re also going to extraordinary lengths to protect two billionaire GOP megadonors who helped the party remake the Supreme Court in recent years.

For one, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) are trying to stymie Washington, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb’s investigation into Federalist Society co-chairman Leonard Leo.

Schwalb is looking into allegations that Leo is illegally profiting off non-profits. Jordan and Comer have responded by threatening to subpoena Schwalb.

Meanwhile on the other side of the U.S. Capitol, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee walked out en masse, boycotting Democrats’ effort to subpoena Leo and Republican jurisprudence sugar daddy Harlan Crow over the hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts he’s given to Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni over the decades, according to a ProPublica investigation.

Story by Aila Slisco

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was repeatedly urged to resign after celebrating Christmas on social media.

McDaniel, who has frequently faced criticism during her more than six years leading the RNC, wished her followers a "Merry Christmas" in a pair of Christianity-infused posts to X, formerly Twitter, on Monday.

"Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!" McDaniel wrote. "Let us rejoice and give thanks for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, whose birth gives us joy, hope, and new life."

"We pray for all those spending Christmas away from their loved ones, especially our troops overseas and first responders who are spending this season protecting our freedoms and families," she added. "God bless you all."

The seemingly innocuous posts from McDaniel, the niece of outgoing GOP Senator Mitt Romney, resulted in a furious backlash from conservatives on X, including a number of supporters of former President Donald Trump's MAGA movement.

Story by Peter Wade

Republicans, including former president Donald Trump, have targeted the Justice Department, accusing the agency and its staff of weaponizing the justice system, as well as individual judges. This type of rhetoric has contributed to "toxicity" and an "unprecedented rise" in threats against public officials, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

"On a weekly basis - sometimes more often - I am getting reports about threats to public officials, threats to our prosecutors, threats to law enforcement agents who work in the Justice Department, threats to judges," Monaco said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's This Week.

Monaco added that in this past week alone, the department has seen "cases involving threats to kill FBI agents, a Supreme Court justice and three presidential candidates."

Story by Kathleen Culliton

Public officials’ families should never benefit financially from that person’s political power, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said this week — and was immediately hit by a ferocious backlash. Jordan took to the airwaves to defend an impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden that has yet to uncover evidence of wrongdoing.

“When you do something that benefits your family financially and you’re a public official,” Jordan told Fox News viewers, “that’s not supposed to happen.” Replied Shelby Kent-Stewart on X, “Jared and Ivanka, 'advisors' to Trump during his administration would like a word.” Kent-Stewart was not the only viewer of Jordan’s problematic decree to take umbrage with his political allies’ financial forays.

Republicans are violating patience rights to privacy.

Cora Neas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Seattle Children’s Hospital filed a lawsuit in Travis County District Court on Dec. 7 against the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG), after that agency requested documents related to gender transition policies and any such care provided to Texas children.

However, hospital claims that the OAG lacks jurisdiction to demand such records from the hospital, and that Washington’s “Shield Law” protects it from requests made by states that “restrict or criminalize reproductive and gender-affirming care.”

“The Shield Law prohibits Washington-based entities such as Seattle Children’s from ‘[c]omply[ing] with subpoena, warrant, court order, or other civil or criminal legal process for records, information, facilities, or assistance related to protected health care services that are lawful in the state of Washington,'” the lawsuit stated.

Some Republicans lie like other people breath

Opinion by Max Burns, opinion contributor

Last week, a Washington, D.C., jury determined that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had defamed two former Georgia election workers, ultimately awarding the two women an eye-popping $148 million judgment. Concurrently, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was wrestling with the fallout from his $1.5 billion defamation lawsuit, with a last-ditch proposal of just $55 million over 10 years to the families of Sandy Hook.

Earlier in the year, right-wing media titan Fox News faced its first vulnerability in decades after Dominion Voting Systems successfully sued it for election-related lies. And former President Donald Trump earned his own mark of scorn in September after a federal judge found him liable for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll. It’s an expensive year to be a liar.

Republicans claim to be tough on crime they are not. Some republicans want to give coup plotters, insurrectionist and seditionist a pass that is not tough on crime that is protecting the criminals who attacked our capital and tried to destroy America. Coup plotters, insurrectionist and seditionist should not commit the crimes if they can’t do time.

Story by Savannah Kuchar, USA TODAY

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is moving to give the U.S. Supreme Court sole power to review presidential candidate qualifications after a controversial Colorado Supreme Court's decision said former President Donald Trump is disqualified from the presidency.

Colorado's highest court ruled Tuesday that Trump may not appear on the state's 2024 presidential primary ballot over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. The former president is expected to appeal the decision. The North Carolina senator is introducing legislation that would take away states' ability to make such decisions and give just the top federal court this jurisdiction.

“Regardless of whether you support or oppose former President Donald Trump, it is outrageous to see left-wing activists make a mockery of our political system by scheming with partisan state officials and pressuring judges to remove him from the ballot,” Tillis said in his press release Tuesday.

Why are some Republicans helping Putin against Ukraine, prompting Russian propaganda and supporting people who committed insurrection and sedition?

State media shows Russia is celebrating as lawmakers remain deadlocked over aid to Ukraine. CNN’s Erin Burnett reports.

Some Republicans lie like other people breath

J.D. Vance Said Republicans Aren't Trying to Limit Birth Control Access. Here's a List.
Story by Peter Wade

Senator J.D. Vance denied that Republicans are trying to restrict access to birth control, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The senator claimed he doesn't know "any Republican, at least not a Republican with a brain, that's trying to take those rights away from people."

The topic came up during Vance's appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union after host Jake Tapper asked about the Texas Supreme Court blocking a woman from obtaining an abortion even though her fetus has a fatal genetic condition. Vance said that the GOP has to "accept that people do not want blanket abortion bans. They just don't." He added that there should be exceptions "for the life of the mother, for rape, and so forth."

Vance did not say, however, whether the current situation in Texas would merit an exception. "I want to protect as many unborn babies as possible. I also think we have to win the trust back of the American people. And one of the ways to do that is to be the truly pro-family party. I think we are. We have got to carry that message forward and actually enact some public policy to that effect."

Why are some Republicans helping Putin against Ukraine, prompting Russian propaganda and supporting people who committed insurrection and sedition?

Story by Oleksandra Zimko

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's allies will hold a closed-door meeting with Republicans in Washington to seek an end to U.S. military support for Ukraine, reveals The Guardian.

Undersecretary of State in the Prime Minister's Office of the Political Director Marton Ugrosdy and leading pro-Orban academic Attila Demko, as well as staff from the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, DC, will begin a two-day event organized by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation on Monday, December 11.

The first day of the summit will feature panel discussions on the war in Ukraine, as well as topics such as the transatlantic culture wars. According to a Republican source, some of the participants, including Republican members of Congress, have been invited to participate in closed-door talks the following day.

The meeting will take place against the backdrop of intense debate in Washington over Ukraine's future. Last week, the White House warned that without congressional action, money to buy weapons and equipment for Kyiv would run out by the end of the year. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked an emergency spending bill to fund the war in Ukraine.

Story by By GABE STERN, Associated Press/Report for America

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada grand jury on Wednesday indicted six Republicans who submitted certificates to Congress falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election in their state, making Nevada the third to seek charges against so-called “fake electors.” “We cannot allow attacks on democracy to go unchallenged," Nevada's Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a statement Wednesday. "Today’s indictments are the product of a long and thorough investigation, and as we pursue this prosecution, I am confident that our judicial system will see justice done.”

The fake electors — involved in the state GOP or Clark County GOP — have been charged with offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged instrument. Those two categories of felonies have penalties that range from one year up to either four or five years in prison. The indictments in Nevada are just the latest to come out of investigations in several states into the activities of Republican electors. Michigan’s Attorney General filed felony charges in July against 16 Republican fake electors, who would face eight criminal charges including forgery and conspiracy to commit election forgery, though one had charges dropped after reaching a cooperation deal. The top charge carried a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Story by Areeba Shah

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., who is leading an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, mischaracterized evidence of payments from Hunter Biden to his father, suggesting purported business dealings with foreign entities, according to The Washington Post.

On Monday, the House Oversight Committee announced that Comer had obtained bank records of Hunter Biden’s legal firm, Owasco PC, making direct monthly payments to Joe Biden in between his time as vice president and president. In an email to reporters, a spokesperson for Comer claimed that the payments “are part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in and benefited from his family’s influence-peddling schemes.”

Comer also claimed in a video that “this wasn’t a payment from Hunter Biden’s personal account but an account for his corporation that received payments from China and other shady corners of the world.” But documents reviewed by The Post indicate that $1,380 payments made by Hunter Biden, which occurred in September, October and November 2018, were made to repay his father for a truck payment that he couldn't finance himself. Hunter Biden’s credit was low at the time and he “was in the depths of addiction” when Joe Biden signed for the truck and had it in his name, a source close to the Bidens told The Post.

Story by Arthur Delaney

WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Tuesday that Republicans are blurring faces in security footage from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to protect rioters from prosecution. “We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson said at a press conference.

The Department of Justice has long had access to the footage and has used it in some of the roughly 1,200 criminal cases against people linked to the riot, which saw participants fight police and storm the Capitol building. Johnson’s comment is a remarkable statement of sympathy for supporters of then-President Donald Trump who illegally entered a restricted federal building as part of a violent attack on Congress.

Though prosecutors already have the video, blurring people’s faces could prevent amateur investigators from sending tips to the FBI. Online sleuths have previously used social media and facial recognition software to help the government track down a number of suspects.

Story by David Edwards

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) curbed a line of questioning on Tuesday after a Department of Justice official informed him that an investigation into Elon Musk's SpaceX was opened during former President Donald Trump's administration.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Jordan asked Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke about a civil rights investigation into SpaceX. The DOJ's lawsuit accused the company of refusing to hire asylum recipients and refugees. "Did Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter have anything to do with the Justice Department's decision to file that lawsuit against SpaceX?" Jordan demanded to know.

But Clarke reminded Jordan that the investigation was started under Trump's administration. "The investigation into SpaceX was open during the last administration, and we filed an administrative action under the Immigration and Nationality Act, an important law passed by this body with bipartisan support and signed into law by President Reagan," she explained.

Story by Rebecca Shabad and Kate Santaliz and Frank Thorp V and Sarah Mimms

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., announced Tuesday that he is dropping the bulk of his months-long hold on hundreds of military nominations. Tuberville told reporters that he has lifted his hold on all military promotions three-star and below, amounting to over 400 promotions.

“I’m releasing everybody. I still got a hold on I think 11 four-star generals. Everybody else is completely released from me.” Tuberville told reporters. “But other than that, it’s over.” The Alabama Republican had been holding up military nominations for months in protest of the Defense Department's policy that allows servicemembers to get reimbursements for travel related to getting an abortion.

Story by Bevan Hurley

The chair of the Florida Republican Party has been accused of raping a woman who he and his wife, the co-founder of “parent’s rights” group Moms for Liberty, were reportedly in a long-term consensual relationship with. Christian Ziegler is under investigation for alleged sexual battery, according to a heavily-redacted report provided to The Independent by the Sarasota Police Department.

The complaint does not name Mr Ziegler, but his attorney Derek Byrd confirmed to The Independent that the high-ranking Republican official and ally of Governor Ron DeSantis was cooperating with the police investigation and expected to be fully exonerated. The female complainant had been in a long-term consensual relationship with Mr Ziegler and his wife Bridget, according to the investigative journalism site the Florida Center for Government Accountability, which was first to report on the story.

Citing police sources, the site stated that the incident occurred when Mr Ziegler and the complainant were at the woman’s home on 2 October without Ms Ziegler present. The words “rape” and “had been sexual battered…on 10/02/2023” were among the few words visible on the redacted police report.

By Aaron Navarro

Florida Republican Party chair Christian Ziegler is being investigated by the Sarasota Police Department, Ziegler's attorney, Derek Byrd, confirmed.

Byrd did not say what the allegations were, but in response to a CBS News question about the charges, the Sarasota Police Department sent a heavily redacted police report that mentions an accusation of rape and sexual battery that allegedly took place on Oct. 2 in Sarasota.

Late Thursday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on Ziegler to resign as state party chair.

"I don't see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing, given the gravity of those situations," DeSantis told reporters in Alpharetta, Georgia, after his televised debate with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "And so I think that he should, I think he should step aside."

Congressman, who has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal fraud charges, becomes only sixth member ever expelled from US House
Martin Pengelly in Washington

The New York Republican, fabulist and accused fraudster George Santos has been expelled from Congress. The vote to expel Santos, the second since his election last year, required a two-thirds majority of those present. The final tally on Friday was 311-114, with two members recorded present and eight absent.

Santos therefore becomes only the sixth member ever expelled from the US House. The first three fought for the Confederacy in the civil war. The other two were expelled after being convicted of crimes. Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal fraud charges but has not been tried. A previous expulsion attempt, mounted by members of his own party, failed in part because senior Democrats voted no, citing the dangers of expelling members without convictions secured.

Story by David Edwards

Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) called out Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Thursday for ignoring Donald Trump's plans to use the federal government to exact revenge on his enemies if he becomes president again. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the weaponization of the government, Plaskett opened by wondering why Chairman Jordan had turned a blind eye to Trump's threats. Plaskett accused Republicans of wanting to "ramp up their own misinformation campaign before the 2024 election."

"They want to distract from the actual threat of the weaponization of government on the American people. That is Donald Trump," she explained. "He has vowed to use the Department of Justice to investigate his political enemies. He has said that those who oppose him should be executed for treason. He has called his political opponents cockroaches, vermin, said that immigrants are poisoning American society."

Story by Jennifer Bendery

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee had full-blown meltdowns on Thursday after Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) held votes on two of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees without allowing debate on them, saying he was simply following the “new precedent” established by Republicans when they did the same thing to Democrats, twice.

Durbin appeared to completely blindside Republicans by moving straight to votes on two U.S. District Court nominees, Mustafa Kasubhai and Eumi Lee, without opening up the floor for discussions on them. Both nominees had two previous hearings and had been debated. But typically the panel would still allow for more discussion in what was their confirmation hearing.

Not Thursday. Durbin went straight to their votes, saying senators already had two chances to debate their nominations. And GOP reactions went from confusion to anger to the kinds of high-octane tantrums familiar to anyone with children under the age of 5. “Are we going to have an opportunity to speak?” asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I would also like to speak on the nomination,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). “I understand what you’d like to do, but I’m saying, in fairness, we’ve debated these nominees twice,” Durbin said. “I ask the clerk to call the roll.”

“After years building up to this climactic moment—the opportunity to grill Hunter Biden under oath in front of the country—Republicans retreated from their own battle. This has to be the most humiliating loss for James Comer yet,” says Chris Hayes

Story by Rachel Weiner, Spencer Hsu, Devlin Barrett

On Dec. 30, 2020, Jeffrey Clark was nervous. He had just been told that Donald Trump was “very happy” with him. “I’m praying,” the Justice Department official told Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who less than two weeks earlier had arranged for Clark to meet the president. “And wonder if I’m worthy or ready.” “You are the man. I have confirmed it,” Perry replied. “God does what he does for a reason.”

The text exchange, briefly made public as part of a court dispute over special counsel prosecutors’ access to Perry’s phone, illuminates the extent of Perry’s involvement in the machinations that have led to criminal charges against both Clark and Trump over their attempts to prevent President Biden from taking office. The U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit said that a district court judge needed to individually review roughly 2,000 communications to decide which ones were “speech or debate” — falling under a clause that grants members of Congress immunity from criminal investigation in their official capacities. But the same appellate panel on Wednesday exposed many of those messages by unsealing that lower court judge’s 51-page opinion, previously available only with heavy redactions.

Story by Kate Plummer

Marjorie Taylor Greene has triggered a backlash after posting Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, the Georgia representative, who has consistently been critical of aid to Ukraine since the war began in February 2022, posted an article originally published by The Islander, a self-professed geopolitical analysis site, and reposted by the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF) and wrote: "Anyone who votes to fund Ukraine is funding the most corrupt money scheme of any foreign war in our country's history.

"And forcing the American people to pay for it." The article claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's closest associates bought two yachts worth a combined total of $75 million in October and speculated they may have used Western aid to do so. But a community note added by other X users said: "Rep. Greene is reposting content from the Strategic Culture Foundation, a Russian state propaganda outlet sanctioned for spreading disinformation and interfering in U.S. elections," alongside links to information about the foundation.

Story by Gabriel Roman

Donald Trump’s team is stirring the pot with their latest strategy in Nevada’s primary elections, raising eyebrows and tempers. A recent report suggests there may be more going on behind the scenes than voters are aware of. As we explore the details, both sides of the argument present compelling points.

Primary Process Under Scrutiny
The recent actions of Donald Trump’s team are placing the Nevada primary process under a microscope. Insiders suggest that these changes could dramatically shift the outcome of the 2024 Republican presidential primary. With the fairness of the election in question, there’s a rising chorus of voices demanding clarity and an even playing field for all candidates.

Trump’s Accusations Turn Ironic
Donald Trump’s history of calling the 2020 election as “rigged” strikes a contrast to his current silence. His silence becomes all the more pronounced when the so-called “rigging” appears to swing in his favor, casting a shadow on his previous fervent claims of election fraud. This prompts some to wonder about the genuineness of Trump’s crusade for electoral integrity.

Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana was confronted about the high firearms death rate in his home state during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence.

So far in 2023, over 39,000 people have been killed by firearms in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks shootings. There have been at least 619 mass shootings and 33 mass murders this year, prompting calls for Congress to strengthen national gun laws, as gun control remains a tensely divided matter in the United States.

Proponents of gun control say limiting the ability of individuals to buy some weapons, such as assault rifles, would mitigate the number of shootings. Others, however, say stronger gun laws would impede the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

Donald J. Trump:

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