World

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Federal investigators seeking cooperation from former Gaetz girlfriend, second key witness

Federal investigators scrutinizing Rep. Matt Gaetz are seeking the cooperation of a former Capitol Hill intern who was once a girlfriend of the Florida Republican, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Investigators could also soon gain the formal cooperation of a second key witness, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is approaching a deadline this week to strike a plea agreement with the government on more than two dozen charges he's facing. The pursuit of the cooperation comes as investigators are nearly finished collecting evidence, one source said.

Frank Luntz

Donald Trump's 'Big Lie' is working, may cost GOP votes

Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022. Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.

RAGA

GOP attorneys general group in turmoil after Jan. 6 Trump rally

The chairman of the top outside group dedicated to electing Republican attorneys general has resigned his position in the wake of a show of force by rivals from other states, months after it supported a rally with then-President Trump that turned into an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol.

George Floyd trial

Cicil rights: Will the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict change policing in America?

The jury’s guilty verdict on the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd signaled the conclusion of a historic police brutality trial and a key moment for policing and for the battle for racial equality in America. Observers have talked about this case being so significant that it will stand as a watershed between the way law enforcement was held to account in the US before George Floyd was pinned by the neck under Chauvin’s knee, and after.

Brian Sicknick

Capitol Officer died of strokes after the insurrection, D.C. medical examiner rules

US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick suffered strokes and died of natural causes one day after responding to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, Washington DC's chief medical examiner has determined. The medical examiner, Francisco Diaz, didn't note any evidence that Sicknick had an allergic reaction to chemical spray or list any internal or external injuries, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the ruling. Still, Diaz told the newspaper that "all that transpired" on January 6 "played a role in his condition."

Paul Manafort

There was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder

It’s official: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia. In an explosive development, the Biden administration confirmed that a Russian government agent with close connections to Donald Trump’s top 2016 campaign official “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and [Trump] campaign strategy.”

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Ex-girlfriend feared alleged sex-trafficking victim taped call for feds

Matt Gaetz’s former girlfriend has told friends she’s worried that the woman who is key to the federal government’s sex-crimes investigation tried to get her to incriminate the Florida lawmaker on a recorded call. The revelation raises the possibility that federal prosecutors have two top cooperating witnesses: the woman who was an alleged sex-trafficking victim when she was a minor and the Gaetz associate already indicted for that crime, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg.

The far right conspiracy

Tommy Robinson asked wealthy US backers to help him claim asylum

The anti-immigration activist Tommy Robinson asked wealthy American backers to help him claim asylum in the US, the Guardian has learned, while his team approached the Republican senator Ted Cruz’s office about securing a visa. Court documents released in the US show the English Defence League founder discussed moving his family to Texas in 2019, where he would earn money by speaking at venues “including evangelical churches”.

"On the House"

John Boehner finally calls it as he sees it

Ted Cruz is a “reckless asshole” and Michele Bachmann a “lunatic.” Conservative pundits like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are residents of “Looneyville.” And Donald Trump, pushing a “bullshit” lie that the election was stolen, incited the “bloody insurrection” on Jan. 6 “for nothing more than selfish reasons.”

Hunter Biden

The scandal that wasn’t: Republicans deflated as nation shrugs at revelations

Where’s Hunter?
The rhetorical question about Joe Biden’s troubled son was posed time and again by Donald Trump during last year’s US presidential election but never caught fire in the way “Lock her up!” did against Hillary Clinton. Still, when it emerged that Hunter would publish a memoir about his struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse, and give TV interviews to promote it, some foresaw a ticking time bomb under the first 100 days of the Biden administration. It has not turned out that way.

Voters Rights

How Republicans are trying to prevent people from voting after ‘stop the steal’

At campaign rallies, Donald Trump specialized in crafting political slogans whose catchiness obscured the lack of actual policy behind them: lock her up, America First, build the wall, drain the swamp. But there was one Trump slogan that turned out to have a shocking amount of policy behind it – hundreds of pieces of legislation nationwide in just the last three months, in fact, constituting the most coordinated, organized and determined Republican push on any political issue in recent memory.

Republicans

Matt Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP

In four years on Capitol Hill Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has experienced a meteoric rise to national prominence — one fueled by a close alliance with former President Trump, a penchant for political theatrics and a no-apologies brand of conservatism that’s made him a darling of the right-wing cable outlets.

Matt Gaetz

Investigation: Republican allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old 'woman"

On Tuesday night The New York Times reported that Congressman Matt Gaetz is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice concerning the possibility that he had sex with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, which would be a violation of federal sex trafficking laws, among other things. The investigation was opened last year under attorney general William Barr. This is extremely bad news for the Florida representative, considering that  “a variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money".

History

Donald Trump is losing the war over his legacy

On Sunday evening, CNN aired a special featuring interviews with the senior officials involved in the early coronavirus pandemic response under president Donald Trump. No longer operating under the Trump political umbrella, they offered assessments of the past year that lacked any soothing veneer.

FOR THE PEOPLE ACT

Mitch McConnell is shocked the GOP gets accused of voter suppression

Republicans in almost every state in the country have proposed more than 250 bills that would make it harder for people to vote. One, in Arizona, would even allow a state legislature to throw out any election result it doesn’t like — like, for instance, a Joe Biden victory over Donald Trump. Some in the GOP have even been explicit about the reasoning behind the blitz of legislation: If some of the bills go through, one county-level election official in Georgia said at a GOP meeting in January, Republicans “at least have a shot at winning.”

Betsy DeVos

Watchdog says DeVos made nine figures in outside income during Trump years

Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos earned an estimated nine figures in outside income while serving in the Trump administration, according to a Washington, D.C., watchdog. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in a report released Tuesday that DeVos made at least $225 million and possibly more than $414 million in outside income while she worked as Education secretary.

New York governor

Cuomo hasn't resigned because he still has support from Democratic voters

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is fighting to stay in office. He's resisting calls from several Democrats to resign after multiple women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment. While Cuomo may eventually be impeached and removed from office, he's unlikely to step down if his poll numbers continue to look anything like they do now.

Republican Party

Trump seeks personal political brand as he grips Republican base

Days after being acquitted in his second impeachment trial last month, Donald Trump issued a statement lashing out against one of the very Republican senators who made that acquittal possible. “The Republican party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Senator Mitch McConnell at its helm,” the former president said in a statement, after the Republican leader criticized him for inciting the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol. Trump added: “Mitch is a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”

Q unmasked

QAnon's mysterious leader Q is named as Ron Watkins, the son of 8Chan owner

Into The Storm is airing on HBO Max on March 21. Its filmmakers name Watkins, the son of 8Chan founder Jim Watkins, as Q, the head of the right-wing, pro-Trump conspiracy theory group. Ron Watkins is interviewed as part of the series as his father and other members of the group. It's unclear why filmmaker Cullen Hoback thinks he is Q. Holback says he spent three years studying the right-wing group. Ron is the administrator of 8Chan (now known as 8Kun), an online message board where QAnon sprouted roots in 2017 and gained followers. It exploded in the final months of Donald Trump's presidency, bolstered by the unproven theory that widespread voter fraud won the election for Biden.

Washington Post

Correction to report on Trump call with Georgia elections investigator

The Washington Post has added a lengthy correction to a bombshell report from early January that had said then-President Trump told Georgia's top elections investigator during a phone call to "find the fraud" and that they would be "a national hero" if they did so.

Border

Biden struggles to unravel web of Trump immigration rules

President Biden is finding it increasingly difficult to unwind his predecessor’s immigration regulations as the administration grapples with a surge of migrants at the southern border. Trump officials put in place some 1,000 different immigration measures, according to figures compiled by the Immigration Policy Tracking Project, creating a complex and lengthy process for an administration that is seeking to turn the page on the Trump era.

Alex Jones

Infowar chief threatened Trump rally planner to throw her off stage

Police in Washington, DC, are investigating an allegation that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones threatened to push a pro-Trump political organizer off of an event stage in December, according to people familiar with the incident. The allegation was filed with DC police by Kylie Jane Kremer, executive director of the organization Women for America First, a group that helped organize a series of post-election rallies, including one in a park south of the White House that preceded the Capitol riot on January 6. Kremer told police that on December 11 someone "threatened to shove her off the stage at her event" scheduled for the following day, according to a police incident report.

Shortnews

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Jim Jordan told to ‘shut your mouth’ after ranting endlessly

During a meeting of the House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee on Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had to intervene in a shouting match between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci by telling Jordan to “shut your mouth.” Jordan ranted at Fauci for several minutes, demanding the doc provide definite answers on when the pandemic will end, when public health mandates will be lifted, and when Americans will have their “liberties” back.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci

Jim Jordan told to ‘shut your mouth’ after ranting endlessly

During a meeting of the House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee on Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had to intervene in a shouting match between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci by telling Jordan to “shut your mouth.” Jordan ranted at Fauci for several minutes, demanding the doc provide definite answers on when the pandemic will end, when public health mandates will be lifted, and when Americans will have their “liberties” back.

“You’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to hospital,” Fauci said, adding that life will return to normal when people get vaccinated.

When Jordan complained that no one was allowed to criticize Fauci, he shot back: “You’re making this a personal thing.” Jordan claimed he wasn’t but Fauci said, “You are, that’s exactly what you’re doing.” Jordan kept ranting after his time expired, prompting Waters to yell, “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth!” Jordan’s home state of Ohio is experiencing a nearly 25 percent surge in new cases, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Dan Crenshaw

Texas Republican will be temporarily blind

Rep. Dan Crenshaw will be "effectively blind" for about a month and “off the grid” for the coming weeks after emergency eye surgery, the Texas Republican announced Saturday. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan, which also caused “extensive damage” to his other retina. Within the past few days, Crenshaw said he had begun to experience “dark, blurry spots” that were affecting his sight, after which he went Thursday to an ophthalmologist, where he learned that his retina was in the process of detaching. Crenshaw said the news was “terrifying” and the prognosis “very bad.”

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Dan Crenshaw

Texas Republican will be temporarily blind

Rep. Dan Crenshaw will be "effectively blind" for about a month and “off the grid” for the coming weeks after emergency eye surgery, the Texas Republican announced Saturday. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan, which also caused “extensive damage” to his other retina. Within the past few days, Crenshaw said he had begun to experience “dark, blurry spots” that were affecting his sight, after which he went Thursday to an ophthalmologist, where he learned that his retina was in the process of detaching. Crenshaw said the news was “terrifying” and the prognosis “very bad.”

“Anyone who knows the history of my injuries knows that I don’t have a ‘good eye,’ but half a good eye,” Crenshaw said in a statement. “It was always a possibility that the effects of the damage to my retina would resurface, and it appears that is exactly what has happened.”

Crenshaw said he’ll be resting face-down for about a week, unable to see anything, after getting a “gas bubble” put in place to serve as a “bandage” for the retina in emergency surgery Friday at a VA clinic in Houston.

Crenshaw won’t be doing any interviews or posting on social media, he said, save for health updates. His offices will still be working.

“I have gotten through worse before, and I will get through this,” Crenshaw added.

Hillary Clinton

Supreme Court rebuffs bid for deposition about emails

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a bid by a right-wing government watchdog group to require former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to face a deposition over her use of personal email while she served as secretary of State. In an unsigned order issued without comment, the justices declined an appeal from Judicial Watch that followed a ruling last August by a federal appeals court panel which said Clinton could not be compelled to sit for a deposition.

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Hillary Clinton

Supreme Court rebuffs bid for deposition about emails

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a bid by a right-wing government watchdog group to require former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to face a deposition over her use of personal email while she served as secretary of State. In an unsigned order issued without comment, the justices declined an appeal from Judicial Watch that followed a ruling last August by a federal appeals court panel which said Clinton could not be compelled to sit for a deposition.

Judicial Watch had sought to depose Clinton and aide Cheryl Mills over Clinton’s use of a personal email server in connection to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Clinton’s emails were subject to numerous investigations including by the FBI, which declined to charge her with violating federal records-keeping requirements or other crimes.

The issue of Clinton’s emails figured as a major political issue in her unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign against former President Trump.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement in response to the court's move.

"Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement," he said. "For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice."

Donald Trump

Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat'

Donald Trump has defended some of his supporters who rioted at the US Capitol on 6 January, saying they posed “zero threat” to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the electoral college vote that confirmed Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump complained to Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was “persecuting” the Capitol rioters, while “nothing happens” to leftwing protesters. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riot.

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Donald Trump

Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat'

Donald Trump has defended some of his supporters who rioted at the US Capitol on 6 January, saying they posed “zero threat” to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the electoral college vote that confirmed Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump complained to Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was “persecuting” the Capitol rioters, while “nothing happens” to leftwing protesters. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riot.

Trump acknowledged that those who stormed the Capitol “went in and they shouldn’t have done it”. But he added: “Some of them went in and they’re, they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards. You know, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in and then they walked in and they walked out.”

More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the riot. Authorities have said they believe at least 100 more could face charges.

The attack followed a fiery Trump rally outside the White House in which he urged a group of his supporters to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol. A week later, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time, but the Senate eventually acquitted him of inciting the attack.

During the interview on Fox News, Trump also criticised Dr Anthony Fauci, the US infectious disease expert. “I frankly didn’t listen to him too much,” he said.

Fauci was one of Trump’s key advisers at the start of the pandemic, but later fell out with the former president over the handling of the crisis. In January Fauci described the “liberating feeling” of being able to speak scientific truth about the coronavirus without fear of “repercussions” from Trump.

Tom Reed

New York Republican accused of sexual misconduct won’t seek re-election

Tom Reed, a Republican congressman from western New York who was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday and announced he will not run for re-election next year. Reed, 49, said the incident involving Nicolette Davis occurred “at a time in my life in which I was struggling”. He said he entered treatment that year as he was “powerless over alcohol”. Reed apologized to his wife and children and to Davis and said he planned “to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions”.