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Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk claims the Capitol rioter he led on a tour was simply taking a photo of a 'golden eagle sconce' light fixture

Bryan Metzger
Wed, June 15, 2022, 5:52 PM
 
 
A man who made threatening statements towards Democratic lawmakers outside the Capitol on January 6 photographs a basement stairwell in Longworth House Office Building as Rep. Barry Loudermilk led him on a tour on January 5, 2021.
 
A man who made threatening statements towards Democratic lawmakers outside the Capitol on January 6 photographs a basement stairwell in Longworth House Office Building as Rep. Barry Loudermilk led him on a tour on January 5, 2021.Screenshot / January 6 Committee footage
  • The Jan. 6 committee released footage showing Rep. Barry Loudermilk giving a Capitol rioter a tour on Jan. 5, 2021.

  • Loudermilk gave a lengthy explanation of the video to reporters outside his office on Wednesday.

  • He claimed that the man, who was shown photographing a stairwell, was taking a photo of a golden eagle sconce.

Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia sought to explain himself to reporters on Wednesday after the January 6 committee released security camera footage of him giving an unofficial tour of House office buildings the day before the Capitol riot.

One man who was on that tour, according to the committee, was at the Capitol the following day hurling deadly threats against Democratic lawmakers.

"Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints," said committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi in a letter sent to Loudermilk on Wednesday. "The behavior of these individuals during the January 5, 2021 tour raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex."

According to the committee, the same man shown photographing a stairwell in the basement level of the Longworth House Office Building later posted a video of a man carrying a flagpole "appearing to have a sharpened end" as he declared: "That's for somebody special, somebody special." The man is also heard saying, "There's no escape, Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler. We're coming for you."

Speaking to reporters outside his office on Wednesday afternoon, Loudermilk said the man was simply photographing a light fixture on the wall.

"If you go to that stairwell, there's a golden eagle sconce that's on the wall," said Loudermilk. "That's what he was taking a picture of."

The Architect of the Capitol's website includes an image of a sconce similar to the one that the man may have been seeking to photograph.

Loudermilk also said that tour attendees who took photographs at security checkpoints in the Rayburn and Cannon House Office Buildings were simply looking at trains that lawmakers take to votes and artifacts housed for display. The Capitol was closed to members of the public at the time because of COVID-19 restrictions.

"I mean, these are folks who have never been to Washington, DC," he said. "And they were here to visit their congressman. And they were excited."

Asked about the man's threats against Democratic lawmakers — which included threatening to tear House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's hair out — Loudermilk condemned the rhetoric and claimed not to recognize the man's voice.

"Obviously, I do not support anything he said, but nobody in that group talked or spoke that way," said Loudermilk.

The Georgia Republican also took issue with the release of the footage and the work of the January 6 committee, claiming that the media had access to the letter before him and that the committee is attempting to create a "narrative" so that the media "will run with it."

"If somebody wants to talk to me, I'll talk to them, but they avoid me on the floor," said Loudermilk, arguing that the committee isn't actually interested in hearing from him. The release of the footage came with a letter reiterating a request for the Georgia Republican to speak to the committee that was originally sent nearly four weeks ago.

Loudermilk also referenced a letter from US Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger released by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois on Tuesday that said the police force did not "consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious."

"The Capitol Police looked at it, said there was nothing suspicious, because the Capitol Police know when visitors come, they take pictures," he said.

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5 hours ago, DBP66 said:

Tucker is a star on Russian propaganda T.V...you and him should feel proud how much he is loved in mother Russia!...it can't be his fault...he's too smart....just like you!...🤡

I see what you’re doing here, testing my resolve to make sure I’ve got what it takes to be on the winning team.  I can assure you I can be as narrowly focused, close minded, and hypocritical as is necessary to hang with the big dogs like you at Left Supremacists of America. 
So boss, can I assist you with anything?  Maybe I can send out applications for the Jan 6 Committee fan club, maybe download notifications on inflammatory content from Tuckerwatch, or check on your tee shirt order with your slogan “Orange man can’t make me fight, but I’ll loot and burn for Pelosi, Schumer, and Waters”

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2 hours ago, On2whls said:

I see what you’re doing here, testing my resolve to make sure I’ve got what it takes to be on the winning team.  I can assure you I can be as narrowly focused, close minded, and hypocritical as is necessary to hang with the big dogs like you at Left Supremacists of America. 
So boss, can I assist you with anything?  Maybe I can send out applications for the Jan 6 Committee fan club, maybe download notifications on inflammatory content from Tuckerwatch, or check on your tee shirt order with your slogan “Orange man can’t make me fight, but I’ll loot and burn for Pelosi, Schumer, and Waters”

you can act like a real American....not like a Trump clown....that would work Champ! Do you think the election was stolen?

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Trump is a ‘clear and present danger to American democracy,’ former judge tells Jan. 6 panel

Jon Ward
Jon Ward
·Chief National Correspondent
Thu, June 16, 2022, 5:21 PM
 
 

WASHINGTON — A preeminent conservative lawyer and former federal judge said Thursday that the theories pushed by his former law clerk, John Eastman, to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results were baseless in every way, accused former President Trump of trying to “steal America’s democracy” and said Trump remains a “clear and present danger to American democracy.”

“I would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the vice president overturn the 2020 election,” said J. Michael Luttig, in testimony to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

Luttig served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 15 years, and prior to that worked as a lawyer for Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. During his time on the federal bench, Luttig mentored numerous clerks who went on to positions of prominence in conservative legal circles and in Republican politics.

Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge, testifies at the Capitol.
 
Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge, testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol on June 16. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, clerked for Luttig and once described the judge as “like a father to me.” Another lawyer who clerked for Luttig was John Eastman, who went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and became the dean of Chapman University Law School in Orange, Calif.

Eastman, after the 2020 election, became a legal adviser to Trump and was the chief advocate of the legal theory that Trump’s vice president, Pence, had the constitutional authority to reject and overturn the 2020 election results, or return them to the states so that Trump could remain in power.

Luttig, who gave Pence legal advice at the time, was one of only two people to testify before the committee on Thursday. The roughly three-hour hearing delved in great detail into the legal arguments Eastman made. The other witness was Greg Jacobs, Pence’s top White House lawyer during the period, who engaged most directly with Eastman.

“There was no basis in the Constitution, or the laws of the United States — at all — for the theory espoused by Mr. Eastman, at all. None,” Luttig told the committee.

Luttig called Eastman’s attempts to convince Pence to overturn the results “constitutional mischief.”

Jacobs detailed the many conversations and meetings between himself, Eastman and others in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection by Trump supporters. The portrait that emerged from Jacobs’s testimony portrayed Eastman as desperate to come up with some rationalization — anything — to justify a naked grab for power by Trump.

Jacobs made clear that although Eastman knew his legal arguments had no merit, he continued to insist on them on the night of Jan. 6, even after rioters had been cleared from the Capitol.

A picture of of John Eastman is projected above the House select committee.
 
An image of John Eastman is projected above the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as it holds its third public hearing June 16. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Luttig’s written statement to the committee cast the situation in unflinching terms.

“A stake was driven through the heart of American democracy on January 6, 2021, and our democracy today is on a knife’s edge,” he wrote in the first line of a 12-page letter.

Jan. 6, Luttig wrote, was “the final fateful day for the execution of a well-developed plan by the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election at any cost, so that he could cling to power that the American People had decided to confer upon his successor.”

“Knowing full well that he had lost the 2020 presidential election, the former president and his allies and supporters falsely claimed and proclaimed to the nation that he had won the election, and then he and they set about to overturn the election that he and they knew the former president had lost,” Luttig wrote. “The treacherous plan was no less ambitious than to steal America’s democracy.”

Luttig was halting in his personal testimony before the committee, speaking painstakingly and slowly, with long pauses. He looked down at the table, his expression pained.

His written testimony, however, was blistering, and included this assessment of the legal advice that Eastman, his former clerk, had provided to Trump: “Those efforts, by the former president, were the product of the most reckless, insidious, and calamitous failures in both legal and political judgment in American history.”

“Had the Vice President of the United States obeyed the President of the United States, America would immediately have been plunged into what would have been tantamount to a revolution within a paralyzing constitutional crisis,” Luttig wrote.

Luttig also addressed, indirectly, Trump’s taunts of Pence as too weak to do what was required.

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
 
Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a campaign event for Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on May 23, in Kennesaw, Ga. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“There were many cowards on the battlefield on January 6. The Vice President was not among them,” Luttig wrote.

As the hearing wrapped up, Luttig was asked about his comments in his written testimony about the ongoing threat to democracy posed by Trump’s continued insistence — despite the lack of any evidence — that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

“Donald Trump and his allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy,” Luttig said. “To this very day, the former president, his allies and supporters, pledge that in the presidential election of 2024, if the former president or his anointed successor ... were to lose that election, that they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election.

“I don't speak those words lightly,” Luttig said. “I would have never uttered one single one of those words unless the former president and his allies were candidly and proudly speaking those exact words to America.”

In his written testimony, Luttig called on the leadership of the Republican Party to take the first step in charting a new course for the United States.

“In order to end these wars that are draining the lifeblood from our country, a critical mass of our two parties’ political leaders is needed,” he wrote. “This number needs to include a critical mass of leaders from the former president’s political party."

Luttig called on these Republican leaders, saying they "need to go first,” laying aside their partisan grievances and prioritizing the preservation of democracy.

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Trump was 'extremely disciplined in grifting' and trying to use the presidency to make money, expert on fascism says

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Trump was 'extremely disciplined in grifting' and trying to use the presidency to make money, expert on fascism says
 
Erin Snodgrass,Charles R. Davis
Wed, June 15, 2022, 9:07 PM
 
 
Trump
 
Donald Trump waving to supporters on January 20, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Florida.Michael Reaves/Getty Images
  • The Jan. 6 committee recently drew attention to Donald Trump's postelection fundraising efforts.

  • Analyzing Trump's presidency, a fascism expert argues he tried to use the office to make money.

  • The historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat described Trump to Insider as a "dedicated" and talented "grifter."

When looking back on former President Donald Trump's time in office, Ruth Ben-Ghiat sees someone who pursued a unique goal among his predecessors, one requiring extreme discipline and dedication from the unlikely leader.

"Trump's aims as president were totally different from any other president, Republican or Democrat," Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University who is an expert on fascism, told Insider. "His aims were autocratic in that he wanted to turn public office into a vessel of making money for himself — to have private profit off of public office."

 

With the House committee hearings over the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot prompting renewed scrutiny over Trump's final days in office, Ben-Ghiat spoke with Insider's Charles R. Davis about the insurrection, its ongoing aftermath, and the divisive former president at the center of it all.

This week, in the congressional committee's second televised hearing, lawmakers focused on Trump's massive fundraising efforts following the 2020 US presidential election, in which his campaign sent emails to millions of supporters claiming "the left wing mob" was threatening the integrity of the election and encouraging people to "step up" and "fight back" by donating.

Investigators say Trump's lies about voter fraud ultimately resulted in $250 million in donations from Trump supporters following Joe Biden's victory. Most of the money raised ended up in a PAC that made significant contributions to pro-Trump organizations and businesses, the panel said.

"So there was this grift going on," Ben-Ghiat said. "He was extremely disciplined in grifting and in trying to use the presidency to make money."

But Ben-Ghiat said the millions of dollars that Trump was able to pull in from small-level donors shouldn't be all that surprising.

"The sad thing is that autocrats can be very loved by their followers, and people genuinely love Trump. He has a real personality cult," she said. "But they despise their followers and they use them. And that's where him grifting off of his followers — because he is not grifting off of Democrats, he's grifting off of his followers, he's bilking his own followers."

Ethics experts, journalists, and others have long noted evidence that Trump had a presidential penchant for moneymaking. The Washington Post found in December 2019 that Trump spent nearly a third of his days in his first three years as president at a Trump-branded property.

Trump's business practices have been under scrutiny since before he won the presidency. While campaigning the first time, Trump was facing three lawsuits accusing him of defrauding students of his real-estate training program Trump University; after winning the presidency, he settled the claims for $25 million.

Ben-Ghiat described grifting as Trump's "model."

"And so if someone who is authoritarian-minded comes into power, the economy — our daily life is — is not advantaged," she said. "It's disadvantaged because they are not there for the public welfare. They're not there for public well-being. They're there to get rich for themselves and their clan."

Ben-Ghiat said Trump behaved like an autocrat in other ways, describing him as a "superbly disciplined and capable" propagandist.

"He was tweeting over 120 times a day," she said, adding that when it came to things "autocrats care about, Trump was extremely disciplined at doing those things."

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34 minutes ago, DBP66 said:

you can act like a real American....not like a Trump clown....that would work Champ! Do you think the election was stolen?

Remember, I’m on your side now.  Several people, especially election commissioners have said the 2020 US presidential election was the cleanest in US history so it must be true.  The most recent Russian election was also the cleanest in their history.  The world is really getting their shit together huh boss?

Now to be a good left supremacist it seems like you need a few obsessions. Seem like a lot of the team have adopted Trump, Tucker, and guns already and I want to be more original.  What do you think about DeSantis, Jordan, and Hawley?  Solid choices to obsess over?

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2 minutes ago, On2whls said:

Remember, I’m on your side now.  Several people, especially election commissioners have said the 2020 US presidential election was the cleanest in US history so it must be true.  The most recent Russian election was also the cleanest in their history.  The world is really getting their shit together huh boss?

Now to be a good left supremacist it seems like you need a few obsessions. Seem like a lot of the team have adopted Trump, Tucker, and guns already and I want to be more original.  What do you think about DeSantis, Jordan, and Hawley?  Solid choices to obsess over?

This dude 66 is gonna lose his shit whenever DeSantis gets in office lol

 

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49 minutes ago, On2whls said:

Remember, I’m on your side now.  Several people, especially election commissioners have said the 2020 US presidential election was the cleanest in US history so it must be true.  The most recent Russian election was also the cleanest in their history.  The world is really getting their shit together huh boss?

Now to be a good left supremacist it seems like you need a few obsessions. Seem like a lot of the team have adopted Trump, Tucker, and guns already and I want to be more original.  What do you think about DeSantis, Jordan, and Hawley?  Solid choices to obsess over?

Did Trump try to steal the election champ? Obsess??..LOL...these hearings about Trump's attempt to take over the country are historical...for all the wrong reasons...you need to pay attention Grasshopper!...🤡

the 3 guys you like are all clowns...the only real Republicans I'd vote for are Mitt and Ben Sasse. They are real men who don't worship at the Trump alter.

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2 hours ago, DBP66 said:

Did Trump try to steal the election champ?

Albeit the election was the CLEANEST EVER, there were some situations that fans of a properly functioning democratic election system might want to at least investigate.  Since all of these situations were fully vetted out by 100% stone cold non-partisan evaluation, one can conclude that the election results were correct.  Still it would be wholly un-American if we didn’t allow candidates to challenge the results.  Let’s not forget Gore, Abrahams, and the less effeminate Clinton all screamed foul when there was no factual basis for their challenges.  Still, they had the right to challenge the results in their losses.

I’m really liking this left supremacist club.  Hey, you wanna watch some reruns of the Waco massacre?  Although the ATF agents disobeyed orders and shot first, they likely saved us all from likely being over-run by those evil Branch Davidians.  Imagine the nerve of those folks, to have an alternate viewpoint and weapons too. We really dodged a bullet with that one. They very nearly took over the country.

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On 6/16/2022 at 10:10 PM, On2whls said:

Albeit the election was the CLEANEST EVER, there were some situations that fans of a properly functioning democratic election system might want to at least investigate.  Since all of these situations were fully vetted out by 100% stone cold non-partisan evaluation, one can conclude that the election results were correct. Still it would be wholly un-American if we didn’t allow candidates to challenge the results.  Let’s not forget Gore, Abrahams, and the less effeminate Clinton all screamed foul when there was no factual basis for their challenges.  Still, they had the right to challenge the results in their losses. Nothing wrong with a challenge...even if every one in your orbit told you that you lost and 60 lost law suits also tells you that you got nothing...but what came next??...the BIG lie...something you seem to have fallen for despite zero proof...the Italian CIA using satellites to change the voting machines???..LOL..there was so much BS slung around it was amazing how the Trump clowns wanted to believe it all....and now we know with 100% certainly he lost the election...yet 2/3 of the Republican party believes he won?!?!...what does that tell you champ....they've been brainwashed by a professional liar. Looks like he got you too...😪

I’m really liking this left supremacist club.  Hey, you wanna watch some reruns of the Waco massacre?  Although the ATF agents disobeyed orders and shot first, they likely saved us all from likely being over-run by those evil Branch Davidians.  Imagine the nerve of those folks, to have an alternate viewpoint and weapons too. We really dodged a bullet with that one. They very nearly took over the country.?? so it looks like your a anti-gov't righty huh...the wacko Waco crew were a good group of misunderstood righties?..if you say so.

 

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The New York Times

For Mike Pence, Jan. 6 Began Like Many Days. It Ended Like No Other.

 
 
Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman
Fri, June 17, 2022, 8:03 AM
 
 
A photograph of former Vice President Mike Pence looking at a tweet by former President Donald Trump while he and his staff took shelter in an undisclosed location is displayed during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
 
A photograph of former Vice President Mike Pence looking at a tweet by former President Donald Trump while he and his staff took shelter in an undisclosed location is displayed during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol at the Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — He started the day with a prayer.

Vice President Mike Pence, preparing to withstand the final stage of a relentless campaign by President Donald Trump to force him to illegally try to overturn the results of the 2020 election, began Jan. 6, 2021, surrounded by aides at his official residence at the Naval Observatory, asking God for guidance.

The group was expecting a difficult day. But what followed over the next 12 hours was more harrowing than they imagined.

 

An angry mob with baseball bats and pepper spray chanting “hang Mike Pence” came within 40 feet of the vice president. Pence’s Secret Service detail had to hustle him to safety and hold him for nearly five hours in the bowels of the Capitol. Trump called Pence a “wimp” and worse in a coarse and abusive call that morning from the Oval Office, Trump’s daughter and former White House aides testified.

 

And a confidential witness who traveled to Washington with the Proud Boys, the most prominent of the far-right groups that helped lead the assault on the Capitol, later told investigators the group would have killed Pence — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — if they got the chance.

Those were among the extraordinary new details that emerged during the third public hearing held Thursday by the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.

Pence’s day dawned as it often did. The vice president, whose evangelical faith was a selling point for adding him to the presidential ticket in 2016 but often a source of skepticism for Trump, was joined by three people in prayer: his chief counsel, Greg Jacob; his chief of staff, Marc Short; and his director of legislative affairs, Chris Hodgson.

Pence and the team had been subjected to a barrage of demands from Trump that the vice president refuse to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in a joint session of Congress — an unconstitutional action never before taken in the 2 1/2 centuries since the nation’s founding.

“We just asked for guidance and wisdom, knowing the day was going to be a challenging one,” Short said in videotaped testimony played by the committee.

While Pence was at the Naval Observatory, Trump was in the Oval Office with aides and family members trickling in and out, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Ivanka Trump. He had already sent two Twitter posts further pressuring Pence, the first at 1 a.m. The second, at 8 a.m., concluded, “Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!”

At 11:20 a.m., Trump called Pence, who stepped away from his aides to take the call.

The group in the Oval Office could hear Trump’s side of the call but paid little attention to what seemed to start as a routine conversation. But as Trump became increasingly heated that Pence was holding firm in his refusal to give in, the call became hard to ignore.

“I remember hearing the word ‘wimp,’” Nick Luna, an aide to Trump, said in videotaped testimony. “‘Wimp’ is the word I remember.”

Ivanka Trump, the president’s older daughter and a former top White House adviser, said in her videotaped testimony that “it was a different tone than I heard him take with the vice president before.”

Ivanka Trump’s chief of staff, Julie Radford, appeared in videotaped testimony to say that Ivanka Trump told her shortly after the call that Donald Trump had an “upsetting” conversation with Pence. The president, Radford said, used “the P word.” (The New York Times reported previously that Trump had told Pence, “You can either go down in history as a patriot or you can go down in history as a pussy,” according to two people briefed on the conversation.)

Over at the Naval Observatory, Pence returned to the room after taking the call looking “steely,” “determined” and “grim,” Jacob told the committee.

Trump in the meantime revised a speech that he delivered later that day to throngs of supporters on the Ellipse. An early draft of the speech, the committee said, included no mention of Pence. But after the call, the president included language that video footage showed riled up the mob.

“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing,” Trump said in his speech. “I hope so. I hope so. Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win.”

“All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to recertify, and we become president, and you are the happiest people,” Trump continued, referring to one of his demands that Pence send the election results back to the states, a delaying tactic that he hoped would ultimately keep him in office. If Pence failed to comply, Trump told the crowd, “that will be a sad day for our country.’’

He added, “So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to,” using the term for “Republicans in name only.”

Trump directed his supporters to march to the Capitol and make themselves heard.

By the time Pence arrived at the Capitol with his wife, Karen Pence, and their daughter Charlotte, an angry mob was already massing outside.

Inside, as the joint session began, Mike Pence’s aides released a memo to the public laying out the vice president’s view that he did not have the power over the certification that Trump and his lawyer, John Eastman, insisted he did.

Shortly after 2:10 p.m., the proceedings were interrupted by loud noises. The mob was swarming into the building. At 2:24 p.m. — when Democrats on the committee said Trump was aware that the Capitol had been breached — the president posted to Twitter that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what was necessary.”

At that point, the Secret Service had moved Pence from the Senate chamber to his office across the hall. His advisers said the noise from the rioters had become audible, leading them to assume they had entered the building. Yet there was not yet a pervasive sense of alarm.

Once in his office, Pence sat with his family, including his brother, Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., and top aides as Short ducked downstairs to grab some food. Karen Pence drew the curtains to keep the rioters from looking in.

Short made his way back to the office. By then, Tim Giebels, the lead Secret Service agent for Mike Pence, had made a few attempts to nudge Pence and his family to move to a different location. But soon he was no longer making a suggestion. Pence, he said, had to get to safety.

The entourage began to make its way down a stairway toward an underground loading dock — the point at which they came within 40 feet of the rioters. Pence and his aides did not know at the time just how close they were to the mob, some of whom were threatening to kill him.

“I could hear the din of the rioters in the building,” Jacob said Thursday at the hearing. “I don’t think I was aware they were as close as that.”

From the loading dock, Pence handled calls to congressional leaders who had been evacuated from the Capitol complex and ordered the Pentagon to send in the National Guard. The Secret Service directed him to get into a car and evacuate, but he refused to leave the building.

“The vice president did not want to take any chance that the world would see the vice president of the United States fleeing the United States Capitol,” Jacob said Thursday, noting that Pence did not want to give the rioters the satisfaction of disrupting the proceedings more than they had already done. “He was determined that we would complete the work that we had set out to do that day.”

One person he never spoke with again that day was Trump, who did not call to check on Pence’s safety. Neither did the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

Just after 8 p.m., the Senate chamber opened again, after the rioters had been cleared from the complex.

“Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol,” Pence said as the proceedings began again. He was greeted with applause when he said, “Let’s get back to work.”

Back at the White House, egged on by some of his advisers, Trump told aides he wanted to bar Short from entering the West Wing from then on.

At 3:42 in the morning, it was all over. Biden’s victory had been certified.

At 3:50 a.m., as Pence and Short went their separate ways, Short texted his boss a passage from the Bible.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” the message read.

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Jan. 6 witnesses push Trump stalwarts back to rabbit hole

  • In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, an exhibit shows Ivanka Trump, former White House senior adviser, during a video interview with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the hearing Thursday, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (House Select Committee via AP)
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    Capitol Riot Disinformation

    In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, an exhibit shows Ivanka Trump, former White House senior adviser, during a video interview with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the hearing Thursday, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (House Select Committee via AP)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • A Tweet from former President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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    Capitol Riot Disinformation

    A Tweet from former President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Capitol Riot Disinformation

    The dais is prepared ahead of the start of the hearing as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol continues to present its findings at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, an exhibit shows Ivanka Trump, former White House senior adviser, during a video interview with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the hearing Thursday, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (House Select Committee via AP) A Tweet from former President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) The dais is prepared ahead of the start of the hearing as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol continues to present its findings at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Instead of convincing Donald Trump's most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reinforce their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
 
DAVID KLEPPER
Sat, June 18, 2022, 12:16 AM
 
 

One by one, several of Donald Trump's former top advisers have told a special House committee investigating his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection that they didn't believe his lies about the 2020 election, and that the former president knew he lost to Joe Biden.

But instead of convincing Trump's most stalwart supporters, testimony from former attorney general Bill Barr and Trump's daughter Ivanka about the election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol is prompting many of them to simply reassert their views that the former president was correct in his false claim of victory.

Barr's testimony that Trump was repeatedly told there was no election fraud? He was paid off by a voting machine company, according to one false claim that went viral this week. Ivanka Trump saying she didn't believe Trump either? It's all part of Trump's grand plan to confuse his enemies and save America.

The claims again demonstrate how deeply rooted Trump's false narrative about the election has become.

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“It's cognitive dissonance,” said Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a Syracuse University professor who has studied how Trump used social media and advertising to mobilize his base. “If you believe what Trump says, and now Bill Barr and Trump's own daughter are saying these other things, it creates a crack, and people have to fill it."

The lawmakers leading the hearings into the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol said one of their goals is to show how Trump repeatedly lied to his supporters in an effort to hold onto power and subvert American democracy.

“President Trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false, and convincing millions of Americans that the election was corrupt and he was the true president,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel's vice chair. “As you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on January 6th.”

For those who accept Trump’s baseless claims, Barr’s testimony was especially jarring. In his interview with investigators, he detailed Trump’s many absurd allegations about the election 2020, calling them “bogus” and “idiotic.”

Barr told the committee when he talked with Trump, “there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”

“He’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff,” Barr said.

Following his testimony, many Trump supporters using sites like Reddit, GETTR and Telegram blasted Barr as a turncoat and noted that he’s disputed Trump's election claims before.

But many others began grasping for alternative explanations for this testimony.

“I’m still hoping Barr is playing a role,” one poster said on a Telegram channel popular with Trump supporters.

One post that spread widely this week suggested Barr was paid by Dominion Voting Systems, a company targeted by Trump and his supporters with baseless claims of vote rigging. “From 2009 to 2018, DOMINION PAID BARR $1.2 million in cash and granted him another $1.1 million in stock awards, according to SEC filings. (No wonder Barr can’t find any voter fraud!),” the post read.

Wrong Dominion. Barr was paid by Dominion Energy, a publicly traded company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, that provides power and heat to customers in several mid-Atlantic states.

Unlike Barr, Ivanka Trump has remained intensely popular with many Trump supporters and is seen by many as her father's potential successor. That may be why so many had to find an an alternative explanation for why she told Congress she didn't accept her father's claims.

Jordan Sather, a leading proponent of the QAnon theory, claims both Barr and Ivanka Trump lied during their testimony on Trump’s orders, part of an elaborate scheme to defeat Trump’s enemies by confusing Congress and the American public.

“I can just imagine Donald Trump telling Ivanka: ’Hey, go to this hearing, say these things. Screw with their heads,'” Sather said last week on his online show.

Some Trump supporters dismissed Ivanka Trump's testimony entirely by questioning whether any of it was real. That's another common refrain seen on far-right message boards. Many posters say they don't even believe the hearings are happening, but are a Hollywood production starring stand-ins for the former president's daughter and others.

“She looks different in a big way," one poster asked on Telegram. "CGI?”

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The ‘big rip-off’: how Trump exploited his fans with ‘election defense’ fund

c410accdc0e847608ab8488b4da3c1e0
 
Ed Pilkington
Sat, June 18, 2022, 3:00 AM
 
 

At 8.38pm on 4 November 2020, the day after America had gone to the polls to elect its next president, Donald Trump sent out a message to hundreds of thousands of his supporters from the email address contact@victory.donaldtrump.com.

By then it was already clear that not only was victory eluding Trump, but that he was heading towards defeat. A couple of hours earlier, Associated Press had called Michigan and Wisconsin for Joe Biden, putting the Democratic candidate just six electoral college votes away from the White House.

Not that you would have known it from Trump’s email.

“Friend,” it began. “The Democrats are trying to STEAL the Election. I’ve activated the Official Election Defense Fund and I need EVERY PATRIOT, including YOU, to step up and make sure we have enough resources to PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTION.”

 

Over the next nine weeks Trump bombarded his loyal followers with a blitzkrieg of emails, sometimes 25 in a single day. Some of the emails were specific, like the one sent on 8 November calling for help in Michigan where Trump said “we have filed a lawsuit to halt counting” (the email didn’t say that a judge had already thrown out the complaint as baseless).

Some of the emails were general, pleading with Trump supporters to “defend our democracy” and prevent the “Radical Left” from “DESTROYING America”. They were sent under several different names – from Trump himself, his sons Don Jr and Eric, the former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, the current chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, and then vice-president Mike Pence.

Despite the nuances, all the millions of emails sent out from the @victory.donaldtrump.com address essentially said the same thing. They exhorted Trump supporters to back the “Official Election Defense Fund” with their hard-earned dollars.

“If EVERY Patriot chips in $5, President Trump will have what it takes to DEFEND the Election and WIN!” said the email that was transmitted on 10 November – three days after Biden’s victory had been sealed.

There was only one problem with this epic flurry of emails: the Official Election Defense Fund did not exist. As the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol revealed in a public hearing this week, Trump and his allies raised $250m from the emails by persuading loyal followers to donate to a chimera.

There was no fund dedicated to fighting election battles as part of Trump’s mendacious and ultimately vain “big lie” that the presidency had been stolen from him. Instead, the money went into Trump’s new fundraising entity Save America Pac, from where millions of dollars were distributed to pro-Trump organizations including his own hotel properties and the company that produced the Ellipse rally in Washington on January 6 just hours before the storming of the Capitol.

As Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the January 6 committee, put it: “The big lie was also a big rip off.”

David Becker, executive director of the non-partisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, said that the nonexistent “election defense fund” added a new layer to the January 6 investigation. On top of insurrection, sedition and an attempted coup, the American people were now learning about grift.

“We now know that Donald Trump was told repeatedly by his own family, cabinet and staff that his claims about a stolen election had no merit, and yet he continued to use those claims to raise money,” Becker said.

“He was selling false claims to his supporters. The money they gave was not even being used for what he said it would be used: fighting the election in court.”

Lofgren’s unveiling of “the big rip-off” is not the first time Trump has been accused of playing rough and loose when it comes to cash. In his book Uncovering Trump, the former Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold lays bare the sleight of hand the real estate developer practiced in his charitable dealings dating back to the 1980s.

During his first presidential run in 2016, Trump said he had given away “tens of millions” in charitable donations over his lifetime. Yet when Fahrenthold went looking for evidence of such benevolence, all he could find were records of $6m having been transferred to Trump’s charitable arm, the Trump Foundation, since 1987.

It was also unclear where most of that $6m had gone. The only hard evidence of philanthropic giving amounted to a few thousand dollars.

One such gift, for $20,000, turned out to have been used by Trump to buy a portrait of himself to give to his wife Melania.

Fahrenthold’s reporting at the Post uncovered other irregularities. Trump used more than a quarter of a million dollars from his charitable foundation to cover legal fees incurred in lawsuits relating to his profitable businesses.

The largest gift from the foundation, of $264,631, was used to repair a fountain on the grounds of the New York Plaza hotel, which Trump owned at the time.

If Trump’s claims about his philanthropic largesse raised questions, so too did his use of taxpayers’ money during his time in the White House. While in the presidency, he billed government departments for millions of dollars for use of his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and other hotel properties.

Trump has also come to the rescue of those who have been accused of defrauding unsuspecting conservative Americans by making false promises to them. Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, was pardoned by Trump on the last day of his presidency.

Bannon had been charged by federal prosecutors for allegedly defrauding donors after he and his co-conspirators had raised more than $25m ostensibly to build a stretch of wall along the Mexican border. All the cash raised by We Build the Wall was supposed to go towards construction, but prosecutors alleged $1m was spent on personal travel and luxury items including a Range Rover for Bannon.

Now Trump is facing his own accusations of defrauding his people. The allegation that he cheated his supporters out of millions of dollars by dangling in front of them a fictitious election defense fund could expose the former president to legal peril.

It remains unclear what impact, if any, the revelations will have on Trump’s loyal army of devotees. “The January 6 committee is doing what it can to introduce these people back to reality, by showing them that Trump’s claims were completely false,” Becker said.

But he added: “If you’ve been living in a fog of lies for a long time, I imagine it’s really hard to have people tell you that the sky is not polka-dotted, it’s blue. And that’s what we are dealing with.”

The final money-begging email from the contact@victory.donaldtrump.com address was sent at 1.23pm on January 6. That was 20 minutes after Pence had gaveled in the Senate at the start of the process to certify Biden as president, and 26 minutes before a riot was officially declared at the Capitol.

After that, the “Official Election Defense Fund” vanished from Trump begging requests. But the blitzkrieg of emails has continued unabated.

This week alone, Trump supporters were assailed with a slew of fundraising appeals, each one more exotic than the last. There was the invitation to sign Trump’s 76th birthday card – but only if you donated first.

Then there was the email that offered those of “My LOYAL, AMERICA FIRST Patriots” who donated at least $75 “a signed photo with their very own personalized message from yours truly”. (In fact, the offer was of a photocopy of the former president grinning at the camera with a facsimile of his signature printed on it in gold ink.)

Other emails promised donors a “Trump gold card”, or a seat on the “Trump advisory board”. The gold card is purely figurative, and what the board does – or whether it even exists – is a moot point.

But the greatest prize of all was reserved for only the staunchest of Trump supporters. They could apply to be crowned a “Great MAGA King” or, as a separate email sent out on Friday outlined, they could join the very first roster of “Official 2022 ULTRA MAGA MEMBERS”.

All at a price, of course.

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2 hours ago, DBP66 said:

The ‘big rip-off’: how Trump exploited his fans with ‘election defense’ fund

c410accdc0e847608ab8488b4da3c1e0
 
Ed Pilkington
Sat, June 18, 2022, 3:00 AM
 
 

At 8.38pm on 4 November 2020, the day after America had gone to the polls to elect its next president, Donald Trump sent out a message to hundreds of thousands of his supporters from the email address contact@victory.donaldtrump.com.

By then it was already clear that not only was victory eluding Trump, but that he was heading towards defeat. A couple of hours earlier, Associated Press had called Michigan and Wisconsin for Joe Biden, putting the Democratic candidate just six electoral college votes away from the White House.

Not that you would have known it from Trump’s email.

“Friend,” it began. “The Democrats are trying to STEAL the Election. I’ve activated the Official Election Defense Fund and I need EVERY PATRIOT, including YOU, to step up and make sure we have enough resources to PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTION.”

 

Over the next nine weeks Trump bombarded his loyal followers with a blitzkrieg of emails, sometimes 25 in a single day. Some of the emails were specific, like the one sent on 8 November calling for help in Michigan where Trump said “we have filed a lawsuit to halt counting” (the email didn’t say that a judge had already thrown out the complaint as baseless).

Some of the emails were general, pleading with Trump supporters to “defend our democracy” and prevent the “Radical Left” from “DESTROYING America”. They were sent under several different names – from Trump himself, his sons Don Jr and Eric, the former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, the current chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, and then vice-president Mike Pence.

Despite the nuances, all the millions of emails sent out from the @victory.donaldtrump.com address essentially said the same thing. They exhorted Trump supporters to back the “Official Election Defense Fund” with their hard-earned dollars.

“If EVERY Patriot chips in $5, President Trump will have what it takes to DEFEND the Election and WIN!” said the email that was transmitted on 10 November – three days after Biden’s victory had been sealed.

There was only one problem with this epic flurry of emails: the Official Election Defense Fund did not exist. As the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol revealed in a public hearing this week, Trump and his allies raised $250m from the emails by persuading loyal followers to donate to a chimera.

There was no fund dedicated to fighting election battles as part of Trump’s mendacious and ultimately vain “big lie” that the presidency had been stolen from him. Instead, the money went into Trump’s new fundraising entity Save America Pac, from where millions of dollars were distributed to pro-Trump organizations including his own hotel properties and the company that produced the Ellipse rally in Washington on January 6 just hours before the storming of the Capitol.

As Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic member of the January 6 committee, put it: “The big lie was also a big rip off.”

David Becker, executive director of the non-partisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, said that the nonexistent “election defense fund” added a new layer to the January 6 investigation. On top of insurrection, sedition and an attempted coup, the American people were now learning about grift.

“We now know that Donald Trump was told repeatedly by his own family, cabinet and staff that his claims about a stolen election had no merit, and yet he continued to use those claims to raise money,” Becker said.

“He was selling false claims to his supporters. The money they gave was not even being used for what he said it would be used: fighting the election in court.”

Lofgren’s unveiling of “the big rip-off” is not the first time Trump has been accused of playing rough and loose when it comes to cash. In his book Uncovering Trump, the former Washington Post journalist David Fahrenthold lays bare the sleight of hand the real estate developer practiced in his charitable dealings dating back to the 1980s.

During his first presidential run in 2016, Trump said he had given away “tens of millions” in charitable donations over his lifetime. Yet when Fahrenthold went looking for evidence of such benevolence, all he could find were records of $6m having been transferred to Trump’s charitable arm, the Trump Foundation, since 1987.

It was also unclear where most of that $6m had gone. The only hard evidence of philanthropic giving amounted to a few thousand dollars.

One such gift, for $20,000, turned out to have been used by Trump to buy a portrait of himself to give to his wife Melania.

Fahrenthold’s reporting at the Post uncovered other irregularities. Trump used more than a quarter of a million dollars from his charitable foundation to cover legal fees incurred in lawsuits relating to his profitable businesses.

The largest gift from the foundation, of $264,631, was used to repair a fountain on the grounds of the New York Plaza hotel, which Trump owned at the time.

If Trump’s claims about his philanthropic largesse raised questions, so too did his use of taxpayers’ money during his time in the White House. While in the presidency, he billed government departments for millions of dollars for use of his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and other hotel properties.

Trump has also come to the rescue of those who have been accused of defrauding unsuspecting conservative Americans by making false promises to them. Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, was pardoned by Trump on the last day of his presidency.

Bannon had been charged by federal prosecutors for allegedly defrauding donors after he and his co-conspirators had raised more than $25m ostensibly to build a stretch of wall along the Mexican border. All the cash raised by We Build the Wall was supposed to go towards construction, but prosecutors alleged $1m was spent on personal travel and luxury items including a Range Rover for Bannon.

Now Trump is facing his own accusations of defrauding his people. The allegation that he cheated his supporters out of millions of dollars by dangling in front of them a fictitious election defense fund could expose the former president to legal peril.

It remains unclear what impact, if any, the revelations will have on Trump’s loyal army of devotees. “The January 6 committee is doing what it can to introduce these people back to reality, by showing them that Trump’s claims were completely false,” Becker said.

But he added: “If you’ve been living in a fog of lies for a long time, I imagine it’s really hard to have people tell you that the sky is not polka-dotted, it’s blue. And that’s what we are dealing with.”

The final money-begging email from the contact@victory.donaldtrump.com address was sent at 1.23pm on January 6. That was 20 minutes after Pence had gaveled in the Senate at the start of the process to certify Biden as president, and 26 minutes before a riot was officially declared at the Capitol.

After that, the “Official Election Defense Fund” vanished from Trump begging requests. But the blitzkrieg of emails has continued unabated.

This week alone, Trump supporters were assailed with a slew of fundraising appeals, each one more exotic than the last. There was the invitation to sign Trump’s 76th birthday card – but only if you donated first.

Then there was the email that offered those of “My LOYAL, AMERICA FIRST Patriots” who donated at least $75 “a signed photo with their very own personalized message from yours truly”. (In fact, the offer was of a photocopy of the former president grinning at the camera with a facsimile of his signature printed on it in gold ink.)

Other emails promised donors a “Trump gold card”, or a seat on the “Trump advisory board”. The gold card is purely figurative, and what the board does – or whether it even exists – is a moot point.

But the greatest prize of all was reserved for only the staunchest of Trump supporters. They could apply to be crowned a “Great MAGA King” or, as a separate email sent out on Friday outlined, they could join the very first roster of “Official 2022 ULTRA MAGA MEMBERS”.

All at a price, of course.

Excellent work as usual boss.  Who says there’s no such thing as a healthy addiction?  

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28 minutes ago, On2whls said:

Excellent work as usual boss.  Who says there’s no such thing as a healthy addiction?  

LOL....current events Grasshopper....did you sign the birthday card for Donny? Did you hear him go off against Mike Pence last night?...he was back to his brain-washing act....he continues to blame Pence for his loss??...he's bat-shit crazy and is a danger to this country.

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1 hour ago, DBP66 said:

LOL....current events Grasshopper....did you sign the birthday card for Donny? Did you hear him go off against Mike Pence last night?...he was back to his brain-washing act....he continues to blame Pence for his loss??...he's bat-shit crazy and is a danger to this country.

Remember, Trump is your obsession, not mine. I have never hung on his every move and word like you do.  Sounds like you might be a little scared of what could happen if he were to run again. Don’t worry though, the boogeyman is no longer in your bedroom, never to return.  There are more pressing concerns that need to be addressed.   

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9 hours ago, On2whls said:

Remember, Trump is your obsession, not mine. I have never hung on his every move and word like you do.  Sounds like you might be a little scared of what could happen if he were to run again. Don’t worry though, the boogeyman is no longer in your bedroom, never to return.  There are more pressing concerns that need to be addressed.   

the pressing need that still has not been addressed is the BIG lie that 2/3 of Republicans still believe that Trump is still pushing and people are still buying...Trump is still a danger to our country...the other problems will still be there Grasshopper.

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Trump 'Induced Murderous Rage' In Insurrection Mob, Says Former Justice Official

Mary Papenfuss
Sat, June 18, 2022, 11:57 PM
 
 

A former Department of Justice official said Saturday that Donald Trump “induced a murderous rage” in the mob that stormed the Capitol during the insurrection last year, and risked former Vice President Mike Pence’s life.

The mob was ready to “tear Pence limb from limb,” former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman noted on MSNBC Saturday. It was “as dark as it gets,” added Litman, who called it a “set up” by Trump.

Litman angrily responded to a chilling video of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, in which one can be heard saying that “Pence just caved,” before adding that “we’re going to drag motherf**kers through the streets.”

Trump already knew by then that Pence had decided he would not aid his effort to overturn the 2020 election, noted Litman. Yet Trump still indicated to his supporters before they breached the Capitol building that Pence could be pressured into rejecting the electoral votes.

“Trump goes out to the crowd and pretends ... it’s all up to Pence,” Litman emphasized. “He knows that Pence has already decided, but keeping it open like that is designed to induce the murderous rage in the crowd when they do find out,” Litman added.

Once Trump’s supporters discovered Pence was not going to reject the electoral votes cast for Joe Biden in key states, the crowd became “absolutely inflamed,” he continued.

“We have testimony ... that it was no joke,” Litman said, referring to the hearings of the House select committee investigating the insurrection. “They were ready to tear him [Pence] limb from limb. So Trump plays this dishonestly in such a way to rev the crowd up to its maximum level of violence. Really sinister,” he added.

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Black woman Trump falsely accused of carrying ‘suitcases’ full of ballots to testify at Jan. 6 hearings

 
 
TheGrio Staff
Tue, June 21, 2022, 11:28 AM
 
 

Former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state of Georgia will take center stage Tuesday during the Jan. 6 hearings.

Actions surrounding former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state of Georgia will take center stage Tuesday during the January 6 hearings, which are set to include testimony from a Black woman accused of rigging ballots on election night.

Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were featured in a video that Trump ally and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called a “smoking gun” for voting fraud at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Moss is expected to tell the Jan. 6 committee in its hearings how the pair’s lives were turned upside down by bogus claims that they were carrying “suitcases” full of ballots for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition during their annual Road To Majority Policy Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images)
 
Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition during their annual Road To Majority Policy Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images)

State and federal investigators reviewed the video and conducted an investigation that found the two election workers had done nothing improper. Moss and Freeman have filed several lawsuits against right-wing news organizations and individuals due to the harassment. They have already settled one with One American News Network.

 

Also on Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top deputy, Gabriel Sterling, will testify on Capitol Hill about the infamous, widely heard phone call during which Trump demanded they “find” 11,780 votes, which would make him the winner of the election in that state.

“I think we can expect Raffensperger to talk about the devastating effect that call had on him and his impressions of Trump’s intent — that Trump clearly didn’t care about the truth,” Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The AJC. “This is the most important and challenging issue in any criminal case.”

Other particularly notable matters — like a plot to plant fake electors for Trump from the state — are also expected to be featured during Tuesday’s hearing. That issue is at the center of a state investigation of Georgia’s 2020 election.

“The hearing will give the criminal investigation of Fulton County DA Fani Willis even more impetus,” Eisen said. ‘She has strong facts because of the Jan. 2 smoking gun tape recording of Trump.”

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1 hour ago, DBP66 said:

Black woman Trump falsely accused of carrying ‘suitcases’ full of ballots to testify at Jan. 6 hearings

 
 
TheGrio Staff
Tue, June 21, 2022, 11:28 AM
 
 

Former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state of Georgia will take center stage Tuesday during the Jan. 6 hearings.

Actions surrounding former President Donald Trump’s loss in the state of Georgia will take center stage Tuesday during the January 6 hearings, which are set to include testimony from a Black woman accused of rigging ballots on election night.

Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were featured in a video that Trump ally and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani called a “smoking gun” for voting fraud at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Moss is expected to tell the Jan. 6 committee in its hearings how the pair’s lives were turned upside down by bogus claims that they were carrying “suitcases” full of ballots for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition during their annual Road To Majority Policy Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images)
 
Former President Donald Trump gives the keynote address Friday at the Faith & Freedom Coalition during their annual Road To Majority Policy Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images)

State and federal investigators reviewed the video and conducted an investigation that found the two election workers had done nothing improper. Moss and Freeman have filed several lawsuits against right-wing news organizations and individuals due to the harassment. They have already settled one with One American News Network.

 

Also on Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top deputy, Gabriel Sterling, will testify on Capitol Hill about the infamous, widely heard phone call during which Trump demanded they “find” 11,780 votes, which would make him the winner of the election in that state.

“I think we can expect Raffensperger to talk about the devastating effect that call had on him and his impressions of Trump’s intent — that Trump clearly didn’t care about the truth,” Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told The AJC. “This is the most important and challenging issue in any criminal case.”

Other particularly notable matters — like a plot to plant fake electors for Trump from the state — are also expected to be featured during Tuesday’s hearing. That issue is at the center of a state investigation of Georgia’s 2020 election.

“The hearing will give the criminal investigation of Fulton County DA Fani Willis even more impetus,” Eisen said. ‘She has strong facts because of the Jan. 2 smoking gun tape recording of Trump.”

 

This! This is the One - 

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Georgia election officials dismantle bogus Trump claim about secret suitcase of ballots

David Knowles
David Knowles
·Senior Editor
Tue, June 21, 2022, 4:50 PM
 
 

In her opening statement on Tuesday, Jan. 6 select committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that “we cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories.” The committee later heard testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling that debunked one of former President Donald Trump’s most pervasive election claims — that a suitcase of fraudulent ballots cost him victory in the state in 2020.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who played a central role in Trump’s impeachment hearings and also sits on the committee, handled the questioning of Raffensperger and Sterling, and laid out the essence of Trump’s conspiracy theory about the suitcase.

“This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night, election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga., kicked out poll observers. After the observers left, the story goes, these workers pulled out so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times,” Schiff said. “Completely without evidence, President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots, all for Joe Biden. None of this was true.”

Asserting that video of the counting of votes at State Farm Arena revealed the fraudulent processing of ballots, Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani pressured Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Raffensperger, Sterling and state lawmakers to declare the results invalid in that must-win swing state.

“What did the tape actually show?” Schiff asked Sterling.

Gabriel Sterling
 
Gabriel Sterling, COO of the office of Georgia's secretary of state, testifies before the Jan. 6 select committee on Tuesday. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“This conspiracy theory took on a life of its own, where they conflated a water main break that wasn’t a water main break and throwing observers out and a series of other things, when it actually showed was Fulton County election observers engaging in normal ballot processing,” Sterling responded. “One of the specific things, one of the things that was very frustrating, was the so-called suitcases of ballots from under the table.”

Sterling testified that, in fact, there was no suitcase shown on the video.

“They’re standard ballot carriers that allow for seals to be put on them so that they are tamper-proof,” he testified.

Raffensperger began his testimony by noting that “President Biden carried the state of Georgia by approximately 12,000 votes,” and that digital and hand recounts, as well as a forensic audit of the election, had confirmed that result.

“Three counts, all remarkably close, which showed that President Trump did come up short,” Raffensperger said.

In a December 2020 phone call played during Monday’s hearing, Raffensperger told the president that his theory about the suitcase of ballots was not true.

A still from the video presentation during the House select committee hearing on June 21, 2022. (House TV)
 
A still from the video presentation during the House select committee hearing on Tuesday. (House TV)

“We did an audit of that and proved conclusively that they were not scanned three times,” Raffensperger can be heard telling the president.

Schiff played video testimony about the so-called suitcase given to the committee that began with statements by former U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak, whom former Attorney General William Barr had instructed to investigate the claims.

“I listened to the tapes and reviewed the videotapes myself [and found] that there was nothing there. Giuliani was wrong,” Pak said of the suitcase theory.

“The Fulton County allegations had no merit,” Barr testified before the committee.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue also testified about a phone conversation he had with Trump about the suitcases.

Election officials count votes for Fulton County, Ga.
 
Election officials count votes for Fulton County, Ga., on Jan. 6, 2021. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

“He kept fixating on the suitcase that supposedly had fraudulent ballots and that the suitcase was rolled out from under the table, and I said, ‘No, sir, there is no suitcase. You can watch that video over and over. There is no suitcase. There is a wheeled bin...”

During his call with Raffensperger, Trump proposed other conspiracy theories that he said explained his election loss to Biden, including a rumor that 5,000 dead people had voted in Georgia. Like the suitcase, the accusation about dead people turned out to be more fiction than fact.

“We had many allegations, and we investigated every single one of them,” Raffensperger told the committee.

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Jan. 6 House probe shows Trump was involved in fake elector plot to overturn 2020 loss

Tom LoBianco
Tom LoBianco
·Reporter
Tue, June 21, 2022, 5:59 PM
 
 

Former President Donald Trump played a central role in the coordinated effort to send slates of fake electors to Washington as part of his attempt to hold onto power after his 2020 election loss, House investigators revealed Tuesday.

Trump and one of the lawyers who led his push to overturn the 2020 election result, Rudy Giuliani, told Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, that the goal of their effort was to have him replace electors for Joe Biden, who had won the state, with electors for Trump, despite having no evidence to back up their claims of voter fraud, according to Bowers’s testimony.

In a phone call shortly after the election, Trump and Giuliani asked Bowers for a special hearing of the Arizona House of Representatives to remove Biden’s electors, Bowers testified Tuesday.

“We have heard by an official high up in the Republican Legislature that there is a legal theory or a legal ability in Arizona, that you can remove the electors of President Biden and replace them. And we would like to have the legitimate opportunity for the committee to come to that end and remove that,” Bowers said Trump and Giuliani told him.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
 
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at the House select committee hearing on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
A slide shown during the House select committee hearing
 
An enlargement of an email shown during the committee hearing. (House TV)

Bowers said he repeatedly asked Trump’s lawyers for the evidence of dead people voting, which they repeatedly claimed to have but never provided. Eventually, Giuliani admitted to him they had no evidence, Bowers said.

“We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,” Bowers said Giuliani told him.

In his personal diary for the month of December 2020, Bowers wrote, “I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I have pledged allegiance to.”

Later that month, Trump called Bowers again to pressure him to overturn his election loss, and a few days later one of the other leaders of Trump’s election effort, John Eastman, called Bowers and asked him to flatly decertify the electors for Biden.

After Bowers said it would violate his oath to uphold the Constitution, Eastman told him, “Just do it and let the courts sort it out.”

Trump’s attempts to send fake electors — people who would illegally cast ballots for him in Washington in a drive to overturn his 2020 election loss — formed the centerpiece of the House Jan. 6 committee’s fourth hearing on what members of that panel have dubbed Trump’s attempted coup on Jan. 6, 2021.

A slide shown during the House select committee hearing
 
Text communication between Sean Riley, an aide to Sen. Ron Johnson, and Chris Hodgson, former legislative director for then Vice President Mike Pence, displayed at the committee hearing. (House TV)

And members of the committee, as they have in the three previous hearings, again tied the efforts to overturn the election results back to Trump himself — arguing that he was aware what he was doing was illegal but did it anyway.

“President Trump and his campaign were directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace legitimate Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led Tuesday’s hearing.

According to a video shown by the committee, Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified that Meadows, Giuliani and members of Congress whose names she didn’t remember had been involved in meetings around Thanksgiving 2020 to submit fake electors.

Hutchinson also testified that the then White House counsel’s office told the same group that attempting the scheme would not be “legally sound.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, center, with House select committee Chair Bennie Thompson.
 
Schiff with House select committee Chair Bennie Thompson. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, a longtime Trump ally, testified that Trump called her and then handed the phone to Eastman, who requested that the RNC help collect names of fake electors for submission in case Trump won.

The RNC’s role was “more just helping them reach out and assemble them, but my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them,” McDaniel testified.

Former Trump deputy campaign manager Justin Clark and former Vice President Mike Pence's longtime counsel Matt Morgan also testified that they told another Trump lawyer coordinating the fake elector scheme, Kenneth Chesebro, that they wanted nothing to do with the effort.

And one of the fake electors, former Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt, testified that he and others had been guaranteed by Trump’s legal team that their signed forms would be submitted only if courts sided with Trump — which they did not.

“That would have been using our electors in ways we were not told about and we wouldn’t have supported,” Hitt said in video testimony.

In one stunning anecdote, former Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox recounted how a group of Trump’s fake electors in Michigan debated hiding overnight in the Michigan Capitol “so that they could fulfill the role of casting their vote, per law, in the Michigan chambers.”

John Eastman
 
John Eastman, a former lawyer for Trump, appears on screen during the hearing. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

“I told [fake elector Robert Norton] in no uncertain terms that was insane and inappropriate,” Cox said.

Groups of fake electors met in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in December 2020 and later submitted falsified slates of electors, which committee staff said they were urged to do by the Trump campaign.

In an email obtained by the committee, Eastman claimed that “the fact that we have multiple slates of electors demonstrates the uncertainty of either. That should be enough.” In previous hearings, Trump aides and others testified that a central goal of Eastman’s tactic was to cause enough confusion to delay formal certification of Biden’s victory — thereby throwing the transition of power into chaos. Shortly before Pence presided over the Jan. 6 certification of Biden’s win, as rioters were descending on the Capitol, a staffer for Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., attempted to hand-deliver fake certificates of electors to Pence.

“Johnson needs to hand something to VPOTUS please advise,” Johnson aide Sean Riley texted Pence’s former director of legislative affairs, Chris Hodgson, according to evidence shown by the committee.

Hodgson replied, “What is it?”

“Alternate slate of electors for MI and WI because archivist didn’t receive them,” Riley said.

Hodgson replied, “Do not give that to him.”

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9 hours ago, DBP66 said:

“This story falsely alleges that sometime during election night, election workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga., kicked out poll observers. After the observers left, the story goes, these workers pulled out so-called suitcases of ballots from under a table and ran those ballots through counting machines multiple times,” Schiff said. “Completely without evidence, President Trump and his allies claimed that these suitcases contained as many as 18,000 ballots, all for Joe Biden. None of this was true.”

First of all, who in the world would ever believe a single word that comes out of pencil-necked geek Adam Schiff, after all of his lies about Russian Collusion?

Secondly, I like how the explanation races right past the fact that they told all the pool watchers that they were done counting for the night, and as soon as they were gone, they pulled out those ballots hidden under the table and what did they do???...Come on, you can say it, everybody knows...that's right, they started counting again.

Third, what the hell difference does it make whether they were suitcases, or "wheeled bins," or motorized trash cans...they contained hidden ballots that DID get counted AFTER the poll watchers had been sent home because there was to be no more counting done that night.

Trump didn't have to tell us the election was stolen...We all have eyes and ears, and we know what we saw. 

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