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GOP Watch Keeping an Eye on Republicans for You - Page 6

“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 Brad Reed

Aleaked audio recording obtained by The Tennessee Holler reveals furious infighting among Tennessee Republicans as they took criticism for the ouster of Black Democratic State Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.

The audio begins with Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary ripping into Democrats for accusing him of being a racist, while also calling out fellow State Rep. Jody Barrett for apparently flip-flopping on voting to expel Democratic State Rep. Gloria Johnson, the one white Democrat who was targeted for expulsion.

"You straight-up came to me and said you were 100 percent where I was!" Zachary charged to Barrett. "And you went on the House floor and you did the opposite. Man, you hung us out to dry!"

Barrett, however, shot back and argued that the resolution to expel Johnson was "poorly drafted" and he said he could not support something that "was going to be in the annals of history as being wrong."

Marjorie Taylor Greene always side with coup plotters, traitors, insurrectionist, seditionist and Putin instead of America

Story by Olafimihan Oshin

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) slammed Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) over her comments defending Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, who was arrested Thursday for his alleged role in leaking Pentagon files. “McCarthy’s top lieutenant is siding with one of the biggest traitors America has seen,” Swalwell wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

“I’m sorry, Marge, being white, male, and Christian is not license to betray your country and put the lives of thousands at risk,” he added. “But this wouldn’t be the first time she sided with traitors.” Swalwell’s remarks come in response to Greene’s own comments on the arrest of Teixeira. “Jake Teixeira is white, male, christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime,” Greene wrote in a Twitter post. “Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young low level national guardsmen? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-NATO nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?”

Story by Meaghan Ellis

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner recently aired bombshell recordings that featured Rudy Giuliani and a former campaign official for then-President Donald Trump admitting to Fox News that they lacked substantial evidence to support all of their claims of widespread voter fraud.

According to Mediaite, the damning recordings were presented to a judge as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the conservative news network. According to Mediaite, the damning recordings were presented to a judge as part of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against the conservative news network.

Story by Gideon Rubin • 1h ago

A Florida Republican on Wednesday doubled down on a controversial anti-drag bill. State Rep. Randy Fine, a proponent of SB 1438, the so-called “Protection of Children Act” that would ban anyone under 18 years of age from attending a drag show, argued during a debate on the House floor that "if it means erasing a community, because you have to target children, then damn right we outta do it." Fine didn’t identify the community he supports “erasing,” but SB 1438 targets Florida’s LGBTQ community, The New Republic reports.

Story by Heather Digby Parton

The last few years have seen a new round of vigilante killings in America, the likes of which we haven't seen since the civil rights movement. And under a new interpretation of the meaning of self-defense, many are getting away with it.

Recall a few years back when an armed man named George Zimmerman down in Florida thought a young Black kid named Trayvon Martin looked suspicious so he jumped him and when the startled teenager fought back, Zimmerman shot and killed the boy. He said he felt threatened and was only defending himself. The jury acquitted him.

More recently, a young white man named Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murder charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin when he waded into a protest armed with an AR-15 and killed two unarmed men, wounding a third. Rittenhouse may have been the one armed with a semi-automatic rifle but he said he felt threatened by the protesters so he opened fire. The jury found that to be a reasonable reaction.

Has Tim Scott lost his mind

Opinion by Ed Kilgore

It’s not easy being a Black Republican senator from the U.S.’s all-time career-champion jurisdiction for white racism, South Carolina. But Tim Scott has the additional burden of running for president in a national Republican Party where the belief that white Christians are now prime victims of systemic discrimination is virtually an article of faith.

By undertaking the “soft launch” of announcing a presidential exploratory committee on Wednesday, Scott has signaled that he’s serious about a 2024 run. His racial identity and up-from-poverty biography are unavoidably central to his ability to distinguish himself from all of the other MAGA-tinged loud-and-proud conservatives already in or considering the race. And in the proto-stump-speech he has used in Iowa and elsewhere this year, Scott has made his personal story proof positive that the U.S. is now free of conservative white racism while accusing Joe Biden and “the radical left” of seeking to subjugate Black people via bad “government schools” (Scott is a big-time private-school-voucher proponent), high crime, inflation, and so on.

In America Governors do not decide who is on the board of a company, in Florida and 3rd world countries it may work that way but not America.

Story by ggoodwin@businessinsider.com (Grace Eliza Goodwin,Kimberly Leonard)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' hand-picked board overseeing Walt Disney World is trying to claw back "superior authority" after the previous board hamstrung its power, according to a new proposal. The action from the board is the latest move in the closely watched power struggle over who controls Disney's land.

The DeSantis-Disney feud began last year, after Disney executives publicly opposed the Parental Rights in Education Act, the legislation LGBTQ rights groups and Democrats have derided as "Don't Say Gay," because it limits classroom instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation. DeSantis responded by signing a new law that allowed him to appoint board members to oversee Disney's land.

Story by Gideon Rubin

The expulsion of two Tennessee House of Representatives last over a gun violence protest on the House floor last week showcased what most assumed to be part of America’s troubled past. But far from being an outlier, the case that shocked the conscience of those who care about democracy around the world is part of a growing trend, according to a report that aired Tuesday night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes.

Guest host Ali Velshi cited calls to impeach newly elected Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz among several examples of far-right groups with autocratic tendencies flexing their growing political muscle in state government throughout the country. “There's no other way to put it. Authoritarianism is ascendant in the Republican Party and state legislatures are leading that charge,” Velshi said.

Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones, who was reinstated Monday after being expelled last week over the gun violence protest, issued a warning before his colleagues voted to oust him. “It will signal to the nation that if it could happen here in Tennessee, it's coming to your state next and that is why the nation is watching us, what we do here,” he said. It may already be happening in a statehouse near you.

Story by Jessica Washington

It’s no secret that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a contentious relationship with Black Americans. And the Republican Governor certainly didn’t help his case when he went on a tirade against African American studies. But some of his more public moves aside, it’s what he’s done to voting rights in the state that has got Black Floridians on edge.

Since entering office, DeSantis has waged an unprecedented attack on Black voters and Black political power in Florida.The accusations against DeSantis include allegations that he gerrymandered Black voting power into oblivion and pushed through voting restrictions in an attempt to scare and confuse Black voters into staying home.

Let’s start with his gerrymandering strategy. We now have ample reporting from ProPublica and The Guardian that DeSantis was deeply involved in redrawing the new congressional district maps last year. According to reporting from The Guardian, DeSantis’s new map not only heavily favored Republicans, but it also cut the number of districts where Black voters had a chance to elect a candidate in half.

Story by Nina Golgowski

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to transform the New College of Florida into a conservative beacon are being compared to fascism by the school’s director of the applied data science program, who issued a scathing rebuke recently while announcing his resignation.

Aaron Hillegass, in a letter shared on social media Saturday, tore into the Republican governor’s recent appointment of six conservatives to the public school’s Board of Trustees and the ousting of the school’s president in favor of a conservative career politician.

He further ripped a DeSantis official’s expressed desire to turn the small liberal arts school into a conservative “Hillsdale College of the South.” One newly appointed trustee said this could inspire other conservative state legislators to “reconquer public institutions all over the United States.”

Story by Brad Reed

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Wednesday roasted Republicans in the House of Representatives who have been historically unproductive in passing any kind of legislative agenda. In contrast to the 1990s majority led by Newt Gingrich -- which passed tax cuts, welfare reform, and other key priorities in its first 100 days -- the Republican Party under House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has so far passed nothing of substance.

"Think about this: They ran saying the Democrats were only focused on marginal issues, that they needed to care about inflation, they needed to care about immigration, they needed to care about crime," he said. "And yet, you look at the clown show that you put on, they're going and they're celebrating convicts, holding field hearings in prison, to praise convicts, who stormed the United States Capitol!"

Scarborough said he was particularly shocked that the GOP still hadn't passed any kind of immigration legislation given that gaining control of the United States-Mexico border is the top animating issue among Republican base voters.

Story by Branko Marcetic

A bombshell new report reveals just how extensively Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas has allowed billionaire interests to buy him favors. But he’s far from the only one on the powerful court that’s happy to be showered in favors from the ultrarich.

In a week that saw the unprecedented indictment of a former president and the surreal image of his appearance in a courtroom, the chaotic fun house of American politics somehow found room to fit another bombshell. Last Wednesday, ProPublica reported that Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas — the most right-wing justice on the most right-wing court in generations — has for decades been secretly taking luxury trips and other lavish gifts paid for by billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow, all without disclosure, unambiguously breaking the law in the process.

It’s worth reading the whole piece to drink in the full, scandalous details. Those include a photorealistic painting of Thomas and Crow at the latter’s opulent lakeside resort, depicting the two hanging out together with, among others, longtime Federalist Society bigwig Leonard Leo, maybe the leading architect of the court’s hard-right turn.

Story by Sky Palma

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is suing House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) in a move to block House Republicans from interfering in his criminal case against former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.

Story by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

House Bill 1069, also known as the "Don't Say Period" bill, which passed in Florida's Republican-controlled House at the end of March, means what you think it means.

The bill proposes banning any form of health education until sixth grade and would prohibit students from asking questions about menstruation, including about their own first periods, which frequently occur before the sixth grade. If passed by Florida's Senate and signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the ban will be effective July 1.

In response, much has been written about the harms of depriving young people of information about their own changing bodies, and howin such a void, schools will instead be teaching a culture of shame. It's a dizzying moment.

Story by Chief Editor

Though they may pretend to be thick skinned and in favor of the Constitution, the ultraconservative Right is on a culture crusade to cancel everything they disagree with. First it was a Woman's right to an abortion. Then came the attack on LGBTQI+. Then teaching objective history in schools. Then how women legislators dress (how modern!). Now, they are beginning to buy cases of Budweiser beer and shoot them for social media solidarity against temporary gay inclusive labeling. This past week, they are even evicting elected legislators they disagree with for using their First Amendment rights. These days it seems like guns are the only things they don't want to legislate against. They hardly ever seem to raise their voices against the number one killer of kids in America.

What about this has anything to do with the dominant American values we hold and share? What about this will make America great? They allege to be anti-woke cancel culture, but the far-right is quick to use legislation to cancel everything in their path. That is, only things that suit their belief system which is wildly incompatible with the Bill of Rights and personal freedom. Today's Republicans are suffering from what Chris Rock called in his recent special for Netflix: "selective outrage".

Their expulsion is a petty act of revenge from Republicans who refuse to accept the will of the voters

Between climate strikes and gun safety demonstrations, we are living in the heyday of children's protests, in ways unseen since Mother Jones led an army of children to protest child labor at the beginning of the 20th century. While it's been drowned out by the coverage of Donald Trump's Manhattan arrest, protests in Nashville, Tennessee in recent days have been eye-popping in both their intensity and the age of the participants. A sea of children, some elementary school age, have repeatedly flooded the Capitol to demand better gun safety laws after a recent school shooting left six people murdered, three of whom were small children. Gun deaths of children have climbed 50% in the past two years, making it the number one cause of death for people under 18.

Alex Henderson

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — overturning, in a 6-3 ruling, Roe v. Wade and, along with it, 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and paving the way for individual states to outlaw abortion.

In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled. The authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Under the Dobbs ruling, millions of women in the United States will lose access to legal abortion. But the implications of Dobbs go way beyond abortion rights, and Justice Clarence Thomas himself is saying so. Thomas, one of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe, is now saying that the U.S. Supreme Court should reevaluate right-to-privacy decisions protecting gay rights and access to contraception.

Story by Andrew Solender

The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee on Monday announced plans to hold a field hearing in Manhattan focused on violent crime in the borough.

Why it matters: It's the panel's latest effort to undermine Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as he prosecutes former President Donald Trump for criminal charges related to several hush money payments around the 2016 election.

Driving the news: The panel will hold an April 17 hearing at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in downtown Manhattan entitled, "Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan."

The hearing "will examine how Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents," according to an advisory sent out by the committee, which is led by Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Committee spokesperson Russell Dye said members of both parties are welcome to attend but it's unclear if Democrats would accept the invitation.

Disney CEO Iger Says DeSantis Wrongly Sought to ‘Punish’ Company
Story by Tom Bemis

CEO says Disney was exercising a constitutional right in its position on “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Disney chairman Bob Iger has largely let the company’s lawyers do the talking in its dispute with Florida Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. After the company opposed a Florida law last year that came to be known as the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, DeSantis targeted Disney for being “woke.”

Story by Thomas Kika

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas "contradicted" the facts of recent allegations made against him in his own explanation, according to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat.

Thomas, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1991, is accused of taking numerous vacations with his wife, Ginni Thomas, over the past two decades paid for by billionaire Republican donor, Harlan Crow. The revelations, uncovered in an extensive report from ProPublica, prompted alarm from many observers that the gifts and payments from Crow violated Court rules and may have swayed the justice's rulings on some cases.

In a response to the report, Thomas said he had simply been taking trips with Crow as a close personal friend. He added that he was advised early in his time on the Court that the trips did not rise to the level at which he should have reported them, and further pledged that he would do so in the future.

Story by Weston Blasi

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has reportedly been accepting lavish gifts from Republican megadonor Harlan Crow for decades without disclosing those gifts, according to a report last Wednesday from ProPublica. Thomas, 74, has reportedly vacationed on Crow’s 162-foot superyacht, used Crow’s private plane and spent time at luxury retreats owned by the wealthy developer.

Thomas, who is viewed as one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, was nominated to the court by President George H. W. Bush in 1991. He is the longest-serving current justice. The following are four key facts about Harlan Crow.

Crow has given gifts to Justice Thomas and his wife
Thomas reportedly spends about a week each year at Topridge, Crow’s private lakeside estate in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. Flight records indicate Thomas has used Crow’s plane numerous times.

Crow also donated $500,000 to Thomas’s wife, Virginia, to help start Liberty Central, a now-defunct conservative group established in 2009, according to Politico. In addition, Crow’s foundation gave $105,000 to Yale Law School, Justice Thomas’s alma mater, to be directed to a fund for a portrait of Thomas, according to tax filings.

Story by Kathy Campbell Feeney

Isit across the exam room from a happy, healthy 16-year old boy. His voice cracks just a little as he tells me about the part-time job he just started. His mom and I laugh at his joke about needing stronger deodorant if he’s going to have to work so hard.

It’s hard to believe that this is the same dejected kid who, when I first met him, wouldn’t make eye contact or speak in sentences of more than three or four words. A few months of gender-affirming hormone therapy have placed this family firmly in the light at the end of the tunnel. And now I sit here, across the exam room, preparing to tell them that Indiana legislators are about to take it all away.

I live and work in Indiana, where our governor, Eric Holcomb, just signed SB 480. This bill bans all gender-affirming care for patients under the age of 18. Indiana’s SB 480, and similar bills in states like Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee, are based on misconceptions about what this care entails.

Story by Stephen Silver

Did Ron DeSantis bungle his war with Disney? After the Florida governor and probable presidential candidate tried to replace the governing council of Walt Disney World with a board of his own choosing, it appeared that Disney managed to outfox the governor. Does this bode poorly for DeSantis’ endless culture war, not to mention his presidential hopes?

What We Know: Ron DeSantis vs. Disney
Earlier this year, in retaliation for Disney’s decision to speak out against his “Don’t Say Gay” law, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the state control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District. This special district has long comprised Walt Disney World, and given the Walt Disney Co. an unusual amount of autonomy.

Story by Milla

"It's a vote against girls": Republicans Defeated The Bill To Ban Child Marriage In West Virginia
A bill that could have prevented child marriage was defeated in the West Virginia House. The Republican-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee denied the bill 9:8, a week after it passed the House of Delegates. Kayla Young Was The Bill’s Sponsor The bill’s primary sponsor, a Democrat, Kayla Young of Kanawha County, testified in front of the ...

Story by Giulia Carbonaro

The director of New College of Florida's applied data science program has offered his resignation in a letter that accused Governor Ron DeSantis of being a "fascist" over his conservative overhaul of the school.

Aaron Hillegass has worked at New College—a public liberal arts institution in Sarasota, Florida—since November 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile. His role has been to recruit students and professors, help students find jobs after leaving school, and teach machine learning. On April 8, he offered his resignation, decrying alleged attempts to transform the school into the "Hillsdale of the South."

Story by Tom Boggioni

Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) relentless complaints that the 34 felony counts levied against Donald Trump by a Manhattan grand jury are based on nothing more than "bookkeeping errors" were brutally slapped aside by a former U.S. attorney in a column for MSNBC.

According to MSNBC legal analyst Barbara McQuade, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, who never passed the bar after graduating from law school, has a basic lack of knowledge of what constitutes white-collar crime and how often it is prosecuted. In her column, she explained that white-collar crime is a serious offense and historically has been treated as such.

"In reality, offenses committed by the business elite can be just as serious as those committed by street criminals," she wrote before adding. "In fact, I would argue that in some cases, white-collar crime is more egregious than crime committed by destitute people desperate for cash. These are crimes often motivated by greed, instead of need."

Story by Ray Hartmann

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) violated state law in New York with his threats to conduct a Congressional investigation of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg over the indictment of Donald Trump, legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Saturday on his “Justice Matters” podcast.

The comments by Kirschner were reported by Newsweek. Here’s part of its account: “Under our law, a person is guilty of Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree when that person intentionally...prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function by means of intimidation, physical force or interference," Kirschner told his audience. “That is precisely what Jim Jordan has done and is doing.”

Story by LGBTQNation

The Editorial Board of the Orlando Sentinel has published a scathing takedown of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for what it described as his “foolish, petty, and ultimately selfish political vendetta” against Disney. DeSantis has made it clear he is unwilling to relent in his feud with the entertainment company — which all began with Disney’s opposition to DeSantis’s Don’t Say Gay law. Disney outmaneuvered DeSantis, so now expensive lawyers are being hired to figure out what happened.

Most recently, DeSantis has called for an investigation into Disney after it out-maneuvered his attempt to strip the company of its special tax privileges as retaliation for speaking out against him. The Sentinel’s board skewered DeSantis for gearing up to expend even more effort on battling Disney, saying he wants to waste money “on a small army of very expensive attorneys” instead of actually serving the people of Florida.

Republicans claim they support States rights and the separation of the Federal government and States, once again Republicans are showing us they are liars.

Story by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

House Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has invited the Senior Counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to testify despite having no legitimate or constitutional authority to perform oversight of a county elected official’s actions.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is prosecuting Donald Trump for 34 felony violations. Jordan and the House GOP have been warned by Bragg to not interfere. Doing so, Bragg has said, could be illegal. Legal experts also have repeatedly made clear Jordan, and his counterpart on the House Oversight Committee, Jim Comer, have no authority to investigate any state officials.

“The attempt by conservative House Republicans to intimidate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is an abuse of power and antithetical to our federalist structure of government. Congress has no oversight authority over local district attorneys. Former President Donald Trump’s enablers are engaged in nothing but a shameful attempt to protect him from legal scrutiny,” wrote University of California, Berkeley School of Law dean and professor Erwin Chemerinsky, and Dennis Aftergut a former federal prosecutor who is currently of counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy just last week.

Story by Shirin Ali

Nestled in ProPublica’s investigation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ undisclosed all-expenses paid vacations, there is a custom portrait featuring Thomas alongside Republican billionaire Harlan Crow and other conservative operatives. The entire scene is truly something else. We were so fascinated with it, we asked an art historian to help us unpack it.

In said portrait, commissioned by Crow and painted by Sharif Tarabay, Thomas is lounging outside, sitting back on a wooden rocker, cigar in hand, surrounded by Crow and others. A statue of a Native American man with its arms outstretched sits behind the five men. The portrait captures a scene from about five years ago during a trip at Camp Topridge, a 105-acre remote enclave of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, owned by Crow.

I spoke with Heather Diack, associate professor of contemporary art and history of photography at the University of Miami, about what she sees in this painting. She’s also written multiple books analyzing the relationship of art and photography. Here’s our conversation, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

DeSantis is a dictator who wants to control what people and businesses say and how they should act in Florida.

Story by kleonard@insider.com (Kimberly Leonard)

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has pledged he isn't done with trying to control Walt Disney World. During a book tour stop in Midland, Michigan, on Thursday, DeSantis acknowledged that Disney had "tried to pull a fast one on their way out the door" by quietly creating a loophole to retain power over its land. He pledged that the company, which had benefitted from a special carve-out for decades, would eventually pay its debts and taxes.

"All I can say is: That story's not over yet," DeSantis said. "Buckle up. There's going to be more coming down the pike." The governor expanded on his remarks on Thursday evening, in a separate event at conservative Hillsdale College. DeSantis said the legislature would void Disney's actions and also consider taxes on hotels, new tolls, and developing properties. He said even more actions would come over the next month or two.

Tennessee GOP lawmakers expelled the two Black Democrats but not the White Democrat

By Kerry Breen

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee voted on Thursday to expel two Democratic legislators who joined a protest on the House floor last week after a deadly school shooting in Nashville. On March 30, protesters gathered at the State Capitol, and Democratic Reps. Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson and Justin Pearson led a chant of "power to the people" from the House floor.

On Thursday, lawmakers first voted 72-25 to expel Jones, 27, one of the youngest members of the legislature. The resolution to expel Johnson failed by one vote, 65 to 30. But Pearson, 28, was also expelled, in a 69-26 vote. The GOP supermajority had accused the representatives of breaking house rules on conduct and decorum. "A state in which the Ku Klux Klan was founded is now attempting another power grab by silencing the two youngest Black representatives," Jones said after the votes.

By Tierney Sneed, CNN

CNN — Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, conservative activist Ginni Thomas, have gone on several luxury trips involving travel subsidized by and stays at properties owned by a GOP megadonor, according to a new bombshell ProPublica report published Thursday.

The hospitality was not disclosed on Thomas’ public financial filings with the Supreme Court, ProPublica said. The report of the connection between Thomas and conservative businessman Harlan Crow is already adding to calls that Congress investigate potential ethical lapses. Key Senate Democrats were previously mulling using this year’s funding legislation for the Supreme Court to pressure the justices to adopt some sort of ethics code.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement that the ProPublica report was “a call to action” and that “the Senate Judiciary Committee will act.”

The ProPublica report describes Thomas accepting travel hospitality from Crow that included lavish trips to Indonesia, New Zealand, California, Texas and Georgia. Some of these trips reportedly included travel on Crow’s super yacht or stays at properties owned by Crow or his company. ProPublica also identified what appear to be several trips taken by Thomas on Crow’s private jet that went undisclosed on his public ethics filings, though one Thomas trip on Crow’s jet was disclosed in 1997.

Story by Tom Boggioni

Appearing on CNN on Friday morning, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales expressed dismay that House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) chose to subpoena a former lawyer who worked in the Manhattan district attorney's office as part of his efforts to run interference for Donald Trump. On Thursday. the controversial Jordan subpoenaed former special assistant district attorney Mark Pomerantz who left his position over unhappiness with District Attorney Alvin Bragg's reluctance to indict the former president.

According to Gonzales, who served as attorney general under former President George W. Bush, if there are any problems with Bragg's case, they need to be handled at the state level without the House getting involved. Speaking with CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Gonzales explained that "I worry about it, quite frankly, because it really is an indirect attack on the investigation."

Story by Matthew Chapman

Award-winning children's book author Judy Blume tore into Gov. Ron DeSantis for his legislation censoring books in schools across Florida, reported The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

"'A governor who wants to control everything,' she told the crowd at a New York City luncheon hosted by Variety, 'starting with what kids can think, what they can know, what they can question, what they can learn, and now even what they can talk about,'" reported A.J. McDougall. "Blume recalled how she faced backlash from the religious right after publishing 1970’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, warning that 'this time' the threat of censorship is coming directly from the government."

“Lawmakers, drunk with power, with a need to control everything,” she continued in the speech. “Sure it’s still sexuality, but it’s gender, it’s LGBTQ+, it’s racism, it’s history itself that’s under fire.”

Story by Ken Meyer

On the eve of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment, Dan Abrams tore into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision-making and the political hyperventilating surrounding the indictment.

The NewsNation host and Mediaite founder dove into the indictment on Monday night by rebuking those who’ve attempted to politicize it for and against Trump. Since the indictment focuses on Trump’s falsification of business records in connection with the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal, Abrams reaffirmed his view that “this is a case that should not be brought.”

Not because Donald Trump did nothing wrong, as he claims, but because it’s an old case that both the previous local DA and the feds passed on prosecuting. It would be bringing what is basically a souped-up misdemeanor seven years after the fact. ‘Souped-up,’ meaning using a novel legal theory to try to get it to a felony. There will probably be a lot of counts of it, it’s against the former president of the United States. And to be clear, to those who say he was president for four of those years, so that explains why couldn’t be prosecuted during that time — it’s not true. The local DA absolutely could have brought a case under New York law, but didn’t.

Story by Ken Meyer

CNN’s Jim Acosta countered Ken Buck’s (R-CO) condemnation for the indictment of Donald Trump by reminding the congressman he wanted to see Hillary Clinton indicted.

Acosta interviewed Buck on Sunday, wherein the representative accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of overstepping his legal boundaries, and of bringing a politically-charged case against Trump. The former president is about to be arraigned for a multitude of reported charges for falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Acosta met Buck’s gripes by noting that “when the focus was on Hillary Clinton back in 2016, you and other prominent Republicans were taking it to the Democratic nominee.” The CNN anchor then brought up rally comments Buck gave in 2016 where he proclaimed “Lady Justice doesn’t see black or white. She doesn’t see male or female. She doesn’t see rich or poo. But soon, Lady Justice will see Hillary Clinton.”

“Setting aside the fact that Hillary Clinton was never charged with any wrongdoing,” Acosta said, “why not demand accountability in this Trump case, no matter who the prosecutor is?

Story by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

Many journalists and political commentators have been leveling strong criticism at “60 Minutes,” CBS News, and Lesley Stahl over their decision to air a “softball” interview with U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Sunday night, normalizing and mainstreaming the far-right Georgia Republican, but perhaps few have done so as expressively as retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Moe Davis.

During her conversation with Stahl, an Emmy-Award-winning journalist who has been at CBS News for more than 50 years, the conspiracy theorist Congresswoman baselessly defended calling Democrats the “party of pedophiles,” by saying, “they support grooming children.” When Stahl objected, Greene weaved a false, illogical comparison with gender-affirming treatment for transgender children – supported by every major medical organization – by saying, “sexualizing children is what pedophiles do.”

That was just one small part of their discussion, parts of which were filmed inside the U.S. Capitol, further serving to normalize the far-right wing Republican who even Stahl reminded has been called “Crazy, Q-clown, Looney Tune, unhinged, moron.”

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, tells "Face the Nation" that "it's a little bit rich" for former President Donald Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr to call the investigation "political."

Story by Maya Boddie

Republican House members want to defund the police over former President Donald Trump's Manhattan indictment. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who is also House Judiciary Committee Chair, during a Sunday Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo, said he and his congressional colleagues are considering cutting funds for agencies "engaging in egregious behavior."

More specifically, Axios reports the Ohio congressman and other "top House conservatives are targeting the budgets of federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as part of their scrutiny of the 'weaponization' of the federal government," and in response to the 2024 hopeful's upcoming arrest.

Story by Joe DePaolo

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is now joining what has become a growing movement among the far-right in Congress: Defund the FBI. Speaking with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures, the Ohio congressman and head of the subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government, denounced the indictment of former President Donald Trump and threaten to withhold funds from the DOJ and FBI as a result.

“We control the power of the purse” Jordan said. “And we’re gonna have to look at the appropriations process and limit funds going to some of these agencies, particularly the ones who are engaged in the most egregious behavior.” Bartiromo confirmed that Jordan was, in fact, talking about the Justice Department. “So the DOJ and the FBI?” Bartiromo said.

By Ewan Palmer

Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been criticized for requesting federal aid in the wake of the tornadoes that ripped through the state despite previously speaking out against the "meddling hand of big government." Sanders' plea for help has led to accusations of hypocrisy. During her gubernatorial campaign, she said she was running to defend the "right to be free of socialism and tyranny."

A spokesperson for the governor hit back at her critics, telling Newsweek they were using "a time of tragedy to score political points." On Saturday, Sanders' office said the governor had spoken with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell to discuss the state and federal response to the tornadoes. FEMA has since confirmed that Criswell will be traveling to Arkansas on Sunday to survey the tornado damage.

Story by Jose Pagliery

Anton Lazzaro, a wannabe playboy on Instagram who used his riches to pump up the Minnesota Republican Party and recruit teenage girls for sex, was convicted by a Minnesota jury Friday of sex trafficking minors. At trial, prosecutors laid out how Lazzaro preyed on “broken” girls—to which his defense lawyer countered were simply girls he was trying to “fix.” The victims testified that Lazzaro would take them to his swanky Minneapolis condo, where he’d ply them with Everclear, the strongest liquor on the market.

Lazzaro paid tens of thousands of dollars to have sex with high school students, and even used one as a recruiter. Days after his arrest in August 2021, the feds caught up with that associate, Gisela Castro Medina, and eventually turned her into a witness against him. Lazzaro remained defiant from jail, borrowing a lame conservative talking point and chalking up the case to a political prosecution for his ties to the GOP.

Story by Tom Boggioni

During an appearance on MSNBC early Saturday morning, attorney Lanny Davis, who is representing former Donald Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen, targeted House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) for attempting to run interference for the former president. Speaking with host Katie Phang, Davis claimed Jordan's so-called "weaponization" hearings should be looking into the actions of Trump's Department of Justice.

"This is probably the ultimate hypocrisy and that is to have Congressman Jordan, of all people, talking about the weaponization of the Justice Department when he was silent when Trump's Justice Department, according to the U.S. attorney that he appointed, Jeffrey Berman, was intervening in Michael Cohen's case in order to erase the record of Donald Trump being accused by his own prosecutors of directing Michael Cohen to pay the hush money," he told the MSNBC host.

Story by Arthur Delaney

WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday night that a Democratic prosecutor’s criminal charges against former President Donald Trump represent nothing less than an assault on the United States of America. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “has irreparably damaged our country” in an effort to tilt the 2024 presidential election in favor of Democrats, according to the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill.

“As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump,” McCarthy said in a prepared statement. “The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.” McCarthy was one of several Republicans not just criticizing Bragg’s charges, which remain under seal, but suggesting that Trump should not be prosecuted by a Democrat for violating the law under any circumstances.

Story by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement

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

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

It clearly states Bragg is drawing a red line: “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.” The letter also accuses the trio of “an improper and dangerous usurpation” and “attempted interference with an ongoing state criminal investigation.” And it warns them against “unlawful political interference.”

Story by Mark Joseph Stern

Following their successful effort to nullify the District of Columbia’s revised criminal code earlier this month, House Republicans set their sights on a new target: a set of modest reforms designed to increase accountability and transparency in D.C. law enforcement. Republicans were clearly hoping for a do-over of the criminal code debacle, forcing a difficult vote that would divide the Democratic Party and subject moderates to “soft-on-crime” smears.

It appears that they badly miscalculated. A Wednesday hearing on the GOP bill went disastrously for Republicans as white GOP congressmen lobbed blatantly racist insults at the District (whose population is majority-minority). Just one day later, after intense lobbying from the Congressional Black Caucus, President Joe Biden declared that he would veto the override bill if it reached his desk. The Democrats’ united front provides a night-and-day contrast to their treatment of the criminal code nullification bill. It’s a sign that the party is shifting back to its previous support for D.C. autonomy. It’s also evidence that Biden hasn’t abandoned support for police reform despite his tough-on-crime rhetoric earlier this month. And just as importantly, it’s proof that even as he shifts right in advance of 2024, the president will still stand up to a belligerent police union that will pillory his position as an attack on cops.

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