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Newly Uncovered Evidence Suggests Congressional Republicans Played A Direct Role In Jan. 6

While it’s been clear for months that former President Donald Trump was directly involved in fomenting the violence that took place on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol, reporting from The New York Times suggests that some Republicans in Congress also played a role in the efforts to subvert the 2020 election and keep power through a violent uprising.

Specifically, the Times reveals that notes taken by a top deputy to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen point directly to a coordinated effort between Trump and members of Congress. Those notes, which were handwritten by deputy AG Richard Donoghue, report what Trump told Rosen:

“Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”

That, many legal experts said after reading the Times report, is a literal smoking gun, and it means that several Republicans in Congress are facing subpoenas for their testimony before the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

Philip Bump of The Washington Post focused in on the notation from Donoghue:

“What Donoghue’s notes suggest is that Trump had fully bought into the effort that would eventually become his Alamo: having Republican legislators block the electoral-vote counting due to take place at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”

Failing to certify counting of the electoral votes would have resulted in a Constitutional crisis. The added chaos of a riot at the Capitol would have provided the perfect opportunity for Trump to declare a national emergency and refuse to hand over the reins of power to Joe Biden. It also would have provided an “excuse” for a coup d’etat. And it would have even had the blessing of a faction in Congress.

Once again, quoting Philip Bump:

“Some congressional Republicans clearly did their best to aid Trump’s effort. On the morning of Jan. 6, (Rep Mo) Brooks spoke before Trump at a rally outside the White House. It was time, he said, to ‘start taking down names and kicking ass.’ It’s not clear if any of those in attendance did the former, but some clearly did the latter.”

Brooks, along with Reps. Jim Jordan, Jim Banks, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kevin McCarthy (and perhaps others) should be compelled to testify before the 1/6 committee. If they aren’t, expect a repeat of what we saw in January to take place in 2024. And if that happens, it will be the end of the American experiment with democracy and self-rule and the beginning of fascism.


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Recent Moves By The Justice Department Should Make Trump Very Nervous: Report

From a legal perspective, this has not been a good week for failed, one-term former President Donald Trump, and a decision made by the Justice Department could prove to be especially troubling for the ex-president.

The Washington Post editorial board notes that Attorney General Merrick Garland is making it clear the current DOJ won’t allow itself to be used as a shield for the actions of federal officials who took part in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol:

“The Justice Department this week threw its weight behind a simple principle: Inciting an insurrection doesn’t fall within a member of Congress’s duties. Obvious as the declaration may seem, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s support for it is essential to a functioning democracy.”

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who spoke at the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot, had argued that the DOJ should have to defend him in court because he had been performing his official duties when he gave his speech.

The Justice Department, however, said Brooks was mistaken and is not going to be his attorney against pending civil suits that have been filed against him and others for their role in the events of Jan.6:

“The administration’s primary contention is somewhat technical, homing in on the distinction between a representative’s professional and political activities, including campaigning or electioneering. It argues that Mr. Brooks’s words at the Jan. 6 rally fall into the latter category, which is not protected within the scope of a lawmaker’s employment.”

Brooks (and others who gave raucous speeches that same day, including ex-President Trump) were involved in a political activity, according to the DOJ, not their official duties as officeholders. As such, they have to foot the bill for their defense, not the taxpayers.

All of this op-ed concludes, is a warning to Trump:

“Mr. Garland has spent his tenure so far picking through a political and institutional thicket: tasked on the one hand with holding the previous administration accountable for any legal wrongs and on the other with ensuring that prosecutorial decisions aren’t based on partisan considerations. Too much concern about this second point, his critics on the left have warned, could result in his department overcorrecting by not pursuing prosecutable cases, or by defending indefensible ones, in an effort to avoid any appearance of bias.

“The attorney general has signaled he doesn’t plan to fall into that trap. Mr. Trump, who insists he has ‘complete immunity’ for his role in the winter’s riot, may want to worry about his own footing.”

Bill Barr is no longer attorney general and cannot protect Trump. Merrick Garland, on the other hand, just made it crystal clear that Donald is all on his own, and the wolves are at the door.


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Gaetz Says He’s Worried The Jan. 6 Commission Will Make Criminal Referrals To DOJ

During an appearance on Newsmax Monday morning, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sounded incredibly worried what the House Select Committee on the January 6 Capitol insurrection will find that might result in criminal charges being brought against GOP members of Congress.

Gaetz said he believes the real purpose of the committee is to gather evidence for criminal referrals to the Justice Department:

“I think the entire purpose of the Jan. 6 committee is to create a series of criminal referrals to the Biden Justice Department. And I think [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy is the lead target, unfortunately.”

While he was at it, Gaetz also said he believes that McCarthy should remove Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) from the committees they serve on now that they’ve agreed to be members of the 1/6 panel.

However, Gaetz then circled back to the idea of criminal referrals to the DOJ, as if laying the groundwork for charges that may be forthcoming against him and others in the GOP:

“I really do believe that the end goal of the Jan. 6 committee is to create a series of criminal referrals. And remember during the Russia hoax, a lot of the criminal process occurred not as a result of any underlying federal criminal law but instead as a result of these process crimes.

“Kevin McCarthy better hope he never deleted an email or forwarded something to where it wasn’t saved,. Otherwise, there’s going to be an effort to use process crimes to try to jam up the Republican leadership.”

What Gaetz neglected to say is that so-called “process crimes” are still crimes and should be treated as such. Maybe they aren’t as serious as allegedly being involved in the sexual trafficking of a minor, but then again few things are as disgusting as what Gaetz is accused of doing with young girls over the years.

If none of the Republicans did anything wrong in connection with the Capitol riots, why do they sound so worried about getting to the truth? It’s almost as if they have something to hide.

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AG Merrick Garland Is Being Urged To Charge Trump And Barr With Crimes Detailed In The Mueller Report

While he’s been unfairly blamed by some progressives for not going after failed, one-term former President Donald Trump as his first order of business since being sworn in as attorney general, rest assured that Merrick Garland and prosecutors with the Justice Department are indeed taking a close look at possible federal crimes Trump can be charged with.

And now we have a former top DOJ official laying out a roadmap for Garland the Department of Justice to follow as it relates to the Mueller investigation and possible crimes detailed within the Mueller report.

Noah Bookbinder is a former prosecutor in the Department Of Justice’s Public Integrity Division. He currently works as executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW). And he has written a brilliant column published in USA Today that makes clear there’s plenty of fire where we see smoke as it relates to the Russia investigation.

In his op-ed, Bookbinder urges AG Garland to take another look at the Mueller investigation:

“Many of us have long suspected that Barr deliberately set out to spin the contents of the Mueller report and manufacture bogus legal analysis in order to protect Trump from facing consequences for the crimes laid out in the report. We now have proof that Barr did exactly that.”

Bookbinder also quotes a letter signed by 1,000 former federal prosecutors which reads in part:

“The conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

But the most powerful portion of Bookbinder’s piece is saved for the conclusion. He writes:

“There is vast evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes. Time, and litigation, have removed both the legal protection he had as president and the illusory claims of exoneration spun by Barr. Now is the moment for America to see equal justice in action. It’s time to finish what Mueller started.”

Those among you who may have given up on Merrick Garland need to cut him some slack. He’s a good man who believes in the rule of law. And that alone is very bad news for lifetime crooks like Donald Trump and his handpicked puppet, Bill Barr.

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Barr And Sessions Are Lying About Not Knowing The DOJ Spied On Congressional Democrats: Report

Within a few hours of the blockbuster report from the New York Times that the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump spied on reporters, Democratic members of Congress and their families, the two men who served as attorney general during the Trump administration — William Barr and Jeff Sessions — denied they had any knowledge of the plan.

Barr said that while he was AG, he was “not aware of any congressman’s records being sought in a leak case.”

But could it possibly be true that the two men didn’t have a clue what was taking place? Not according to former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, who said Sunday on MSNBC that there was no way Barr and Sessions were left in the dark:

“In my opinion, no, and let me tell you why. First of all, we had [Osmar] Benvenuto, who was brought in at the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney from New Jersey, who was put in by Barr to replace the New York attorney who he was pushing out. He recommended Benvenuto who came in, and Benvenuto has said — in a recording, that he briefed Barr at least every other week. So, it is not credible.”

Wine-Banks added that if Barr didn’t know, then that means he’s incompetent:

“If Barr didn’t know about this, then Barr is the worst manager, the worst Attorney General ever, because that is his job. The Department of Justice policy requires that there be notice and approval from a higher source. So, it’s not something that you can just subpoena a member of Congress’ records or a reporter’s records without something much more. So, it doesn’t pass what I call the ‘red face test.’ It’s like, could I stand up before a jury and say this in front of them without blushing or giggling? The answer is, no, I couldn’t.”

Fortunately, the Inspector General of the Justice Department is investigating what took place at the DOJ while Trump was in office. Congress has also indicted they will hold hearings. Before those investigations are over with, it seems likely both Barr and Sessions will be forced to testify under oath.

Here’s Jill Wine-Banks on MSNBC: