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Jacob Pramuk

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a proposed bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package Tuesday amid months of congressional inaction on curbing the economic damage from the outbreak. The Kentucky Republican, who has supported about $500 billion in new aid spending, said he wants to pass what he called a “targeted relief bill” this year. McConnell said he spoke to White House officials about what President Donald Trump would sign into law. He plans to offer potential solutions to GOP senators and get their feedback.

“We just don’t have time to waste time,” he told reporters in response to the roughly $908 billion plan put together by bipartisan members of the GOP-controlled Senate and Democratic-held House. McConnell said a must-pass spending bill and pandemic relief provisions will “all likely come in one package.” Congress needs to approve funding legislation by Dec. 11 to avoid a government shutdown. more...

Xeni Jardin

Breaking news from CNN late on Tuesday: "The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to a court record unsealed on Tuesday by the chief judge of the DC District Court." more...

By Travis Fain, WRAL statehouse reporter

Spokespeople for a North Carolina investor facing more than 7 years prison on a federal bribery conviction declined comment Friday on a national report that he may seek a presidential pardon in the coming days. Greg Lindberg was once North Carolina's largest political donor, but he was convicted earlier this year of trying to bribe the state's insurance commissioner. He began serving that sentence last month in an Alabama prison camp. more...

This came hours after the attorney general said there was no evidence of widespread, election-changing fraud in the 2020 race.
Justin Baragona

Fox Business Network host and top Donald Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs was absolutely beside himself on Tuesday over the news that Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the election results. Dobbs even accused Trump’s loyal A.G. of being part of the “deep state” and “perhaps compromised.” The pro-Trump TV personality, who has been one of the loudest boosters of the president’s baseless “rigged” election narrative, kicked off his program Tuesday evening by erupting at the attorney general for admitting the Justice Department has been unable to find any proof to back Trump’s claims that President-elect Joe Biden “stole” the election.

Grumbling that Barr has “been absent for weeks,” Dobbs insisted that the president’s legal team is “making advances” in the “battle for the White House” while reassuring his viewers that the campaign’s beyond-longshot lawsuits will “bolster President Trump’s charge that there has been clear electoral fraud.” Dobbs went on to complain that while the president’s “progress” in his quest to claim victory in the election has put him at odds with “insidious RINOs” and the “deep state,” a member of Trump’s “own cabinet appeared to join in with the radical Dems and the deep state and the resistance.”

Seething at Barr’s remarks about the lack of evidence of voter fraud, Dobbs—who also serves as an informal Trump adviser—blasted the attorney general in an extremely personal manner. “For the attorney general of the United States to make that statement, he is either a liar or a fool or both,” he exclaimed. “He may be, um, perhaps compromised. He may be simply unprincipled. Or he may be personally distraught or ill!” The Fox Business host would go on to cite the various conspiracies and unfounded allegations that Trump and his legal team have peddled, despite the fact that the president’s legal challenges have repeatedly been laughed out of court and states continue to certify their votes. more...

Dan Mangan

A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to issue an emergency order that would block his state from taking further action to certify its election results showing a win for President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Rep. Mike Kelly’s request comes after Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf certified that the Democratic former vice president won the state and its 20 Electoral College votes.

Given that, Kelly asked the Supreme Court to “nullify” Wolf’s certification and all other actions that would legally confirm Biden’s victory. His filing Tuesday also asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of his challenge to a change in mail-in ballot rules in the state. The request is related to an earlier case filed in state courts, where Kelly claimed that the Pennsylvania legislature violated the state’s constitution when it allowed no-excuse absentee voting in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected that claim earlier this week. Biden is currently projected to win 306 votes in the Electoral College, 36 more than he needs to clinch a victory in the White House race. more...

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) The Justice Department is investigating a potential crime related to funneling money to the White House or related political committee in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to court records unsealed Tuesday in federal court. The case is the latest legal twist in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration after several of his top advisers have been convicted of federal criminal charges and as the possibility rises of Trump giving pardons to those who've been loyal to him.

The disclosure is in 20 pages of partially redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon. The records show Chief Judge Beryl Howell's review in August of a request from prosecutors to access documents obtained in a search as part of a bribery-for-pardon investigation. The filings don't reveal a timeline of the alleged scheme, or any names of people potentially involved, except that communications between people including at least one lawyer were seized from an office that was raided sometime before the end of this summer. more...

Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger

The U.S. Department of Justice has not found evidence of large-scale ballot fraud that would reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s projected win over President Donald Trump in the election, Attorney General William Barr said in a new interview Tuesday. Barr’s statement to the Associated Press undercuts claims by Trump, his lawyers and many of his political allies that he was the victim of a massive voting fraud that swindled him out of a win.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr told the AP. Barr, who is head of the DOJ, told the news wire service that federal prosecutors and FBI agents have looked into complaints they have received about possible fraud, but found no evidence that would reverse Biden’s victory, the AP reported. “Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations and. And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.” more...

Governor says secretary of state 'cannot be overridden by executive order'
By Brooke Singman | Fox News

President Trump on Tuesday told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to "do something" to overrule state election officials, claiming he would find a "gold mine" of fraud, as the governor's office maintained that Georgia law "prohibits" him from "interfering in elections." "You allowed your state to be scammed," Trump tweeted to Kemp Tuesday. "We must check signatures and count signed envelopes against ballots. Then call off election. It won’t be needed. We will all WIN!"

"Why won't Governor @BrianKempGA, the hapless Governor of Georgia, use his emergency powers, which can be easily done, to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State, and do a match of signatures on envelopes," Trump tweeted Monday. "It will be a 'goldmine' of fraud, and we will easily WIN the state." The president added that Kemp should “quickly check the number of envelopes versus the number of ballots.” “You may just find that there are many more ballots than there are envelopes,” Trump continued. “So simple, and so easy to do. Georgia Republicans are angry, all Republicans are angry.” He added: “Get it done!” more...

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Washington (CNN) Georgia's Republican lieutenant governor on Tuesday joined a growing list of GOP officials in the state who are publicly rejecting President Donald Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud, saying the misinformation spread by the President and his allies is "alarming" and could jeopardize the party in upcoming Senate runoff elections. Asked by CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" about a falsehood spread by Trump that election officials in Georgia were "making deals," Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan flatly replied, "certainly not."

"What is alarming is the amount of misinformation that continues to flow. It's alarming to me," Duncan continued. "It's certainly disheartening to watch folks willing to kind of put their character and their morals out there just so they can spread a half truth or a lie in the efforts to maybe to flip an election. ... That's not what democracy is all about." Duncan, along with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, are among the highest-ranking Republican officials who are disputing Trump's claims of voter fraud despite the President's continuing grip on much of the party. The comments by Georgia officials are particularly notable, as the January runoff election could determine the balance of power in the US Senate. more...

"I've got an exceptional team of lawyers that win in court, and I think they're probably going to be busy,” he said.
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Christopher Krebs, who was recently fired by President Donald Trump as the head of the federal government's election cybersecurity efforts, suggested Tuesday that he might take legal action against one of Trump’s lawyers who said that Krebs should be shot. In an interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show, host Savannah Guthrie asked Krebs how concerned he is about the comments made by Trump campaign lawyer Joe DiGenova in an interview Monday in which he said that Krebs “is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”

“It's certainly more dangerous language, more dangerous behavior," Krebs responded. "And the way I look at it is that we are a nation of laws, and I plan to take advantage of those laws. I've got an exceptional team of lawyers that win in court, and I think they're probably going to be busy.” Asked if there may be legal action taken as a result of those comments, Krebs said his team is looking at their “available opportunities.” DiGenova made the comment during an interview with conservative radio talk show host Howie Carr, whose show is also aired on Newsmax, one of the president’s preferred media outlets. more...

Jacob Pramuk

Bipartisan lawmakers unveiled a coronavirus stimulus package Tuesday after months of congressional inaction on curbing the economic damage from the outbreak. The roughly $908 billion proposal includes $288 billion in small business aid such as Paycheck Protection Program loans, $160 billion in state and local government relief and $180 billion to fund a $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March, according to a draft framework. It would put $16 billion into vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing, funnel $82 billion into education, put $45 billion into transportation and allocate funds for rental assistance, child care and broadband.

The proposal would not include another direct payment to most Americans. It also would offer temporary federal protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits — a provision Democrats have opposed — while states determine their own laws. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a member of the congressional group that has discussed a new relief plan, earlier called it an “interim package” to provide support until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. more...

Patrick Marley, Molly Beck Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON – President Donald Trump sued Wisconsin officials Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to reclaim a state he lost by about 20,700 votes. The Republican president filed his suit against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and election officials a day after the governor and the head of the state Elections Commission certified Joe Biden had won the state’s 10 Electoral College votes. Trump has made little headway with lawsuits in other states and he faces an extraordinarily difficult path in Wisconsin. Time is running short. Under the federal "safe harbor" law, the results determined by the state will be respected if challenges to the outcome are resolved by Dec. 8. The Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and Congress is to count the electoral votes on Jan. 6. more...

Martin Pengelly in New York

Joe Biden’s nominee for a key economic post has deleted more than a thousand of her own tweets, some of which were critical of senators who now hold her fate in their hands. The Daily Beast first reported the steps by Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress (CAP) thinktank who Biden has nominated to lead the federal Office of Management and Budget. “Can people on here please focus their ire on [Senate majority leader Mitch] McConnell and the GOP senators who are up [for re-election] this cycle who enable him,” Tanden wrote in June 2019, in a tweet recovered by the Beast.

Tanden named those “enablers” as Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, John Cornyn, David Perdue, Thom Tillis “and many more”. A tweet calling McConnell “#MoscowMitch”, a common nickname for the majority leader among liberals during the investigation of Donald Trump’s links to Russia, was also among those deleted. Tanden’s fate may hinge on two runoff elections in Georgia in January. If Democrats win both seats – one held by Perdue – they will control the Senate via Kamala Harris’s casting vote as vice-president. That would make Tanden’s confirmation achievable – if party discipline held. more...

Joe DiGenova condemned for ‘mob attorney’ remark made on podcast shown on conservative Newsmax TV
Martin Pengell - Ernst/Reuters

A former head of US election security who said Donald Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden was not subject to voter fraud should be “taken out at dawn and shot”, a Trump campaign lawyer said. Condemnation of Joe DiGenova’s remark about Chris Krebs was swift, including calls for his disbarment and the charge that he was behaving like a “mob attorney”. Krebs was fired as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) on 17 November, not long after he said the election, contrary to Trump’s claims, “was the most secure in American history”.

Krebs also used Twitter to publicly debunk Trump’s conspiracy theories. DiGenova defended the president in the Russia investigation and is now involved in attempts to overturn results in battleground states. The Trump campaign has won one lawsuit – and lost 39. DiGenova made the remark about Krebs on The Howie Carr Show, a podcast shown on YouTube and the Trump-allied Newsmax TV, on Monday. “Anybody who thinks the election went well,” he said, “like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity, that guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.” more...

Wisconsin certification comes after partial recount expanded Biden’s margin, as president continues to fight results
David Smith in Washington and agencies

Joe Biden’s victories in the US presidential election battlegrounds of Arizona and Wisconsin were officially recognised on Monday, handing Donald Trump six defeats out of six in his bid to stop states certifying their results. The finalised vote counts took Biden a step closer to the White House and dealt yet another blow to Trump’s longshot efforts to undermine the outcome. The certification in Wisconsin followed a partial recount that only added to Biden’s nearly 20,700-vote margin over Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results.

“Today I carried out my duty to certify the November 3rd election,” Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, said in a statement. “I want to thank our clerks, election administrators, and poll workers across our state for working tirelessly to ensure we had a safe, fair, and efficient election. Thank you for all your good work.” Trump is mounting a desperate campaign to overturn the results by disqualifying as many as 238,000 ballots in the state, and his attorneys have alleged without evidence that there was widespread fraud and illegal activity.

Trump paid $3m for recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the two largest Democratic counties in Wisconsin, but the recount ended up increasing Biden’s lead by 74 votes. Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul, said in a statement on Monday: “There’s no basis at all for any assertion that there was widespread fraud that would have affected the results.” more...

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