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Biden urges Americans to ‘stand together’ even as he backs partisan impeachment effort

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-16 01:31, modified at 04:43

President-elect Joe Biden made a plea this week for Americans to “stand together as a nation” while, in the same breath, giving his official stamp of approval to the impeachment of an outgoing president who has just days left in office.

According to the New York Post, Biden issued a statement Wednesday calling on the Senate to hold President Donald Trump “accountable” after the House voted to do the same earlier that day.

Biden’s latest blunder

House Democrats impeached Trump 232–197 for the second time just one week before Biden is set to be sworn in, thanks in part to the support of 10 Republicans, the Los Angeles Times noted. Under the circumstances, an impeachment trial in the Senate will not conclude before Trump’s term is over.

In his statement, Biden applauded the House for its “bipartisan” decision and condemned Trump for having incited “an armed insurrection” by his supporters at the Capitol last week.

“Today, the members of the House of Representatives exercised the powers granted to them under our Constitution and voted to impeach and hold the president accountable,” Biden said. “It was a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience.”

The president-elect capped off this indignant message with a rather jarring appeal to unity.

“I have often said that there is nothing we can’t do, if we do it together,” he said. “And it has never been more critical for us to stand together as a nation than right now.”

“Other urgent business”

Notably, about half of Americans, and the vast majority of Republicans, oppose impeaching Trump again, as NBC News reports. Many observers have said that the move contradicts Biden’s messaging.

At the same time, Biden and his allies are reportedly concerned that a Senate trial could overshadow the start of his presidency.

Close Biden ally Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has suggested a 100-day pause on the impeachment proceedings so that Biden can get moving, while Biden has implored the Senate to make time for both.

In his Wednesday statement, Biden asked the Senate to “find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment” concurrently with “other urgent business,” such as addressing the coronavirus pandemic and confirming his Cabinet appointments.

“From confirmations to key posts such as Secretaries for Homeland Security, State, Defense, Treasury, and Director of National Intelligence, to getting our vaccine program on track, and to getting our economy going again,” he wrote. “Too many of our fellow Americans have suffered for too long over the past year to delay this urgent work.”

The post Biden urges Americans to ‘stand together’ even as he backs partisan impeachment effort first appeared on Conservative Institute.


‘Not going anywhere’: Rep. Cheney responds to GOP calls for her resignation over vote to impeach

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-15 01:30, modified at 04:43

Following the mayhem caused last week by a violent mob on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump has faced mounting efforts to see him removed from office before the end of his term in the White House.

Now, one of his biggest critics in the GOP is facing her own backlash, as several Republican lawmakers push an effort to see Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI) resign from her party leadership post, Axios reports.

“Vote of conscience”

Specifically, five House Republicans want Cheney to give up her position as House Republican Conference leader over her vote to impeach Trump along with her rhetoric regarding the president’s supposed role in inciting the violent breach of the Capitol building.

Cheney was one of the 10 GOP members who joined Democrats in the House on Wednesday in voting to impeach the president for a second time. For her part, however, the Wisconsin Republican is taking the intraparty backlash in stride.

According to Newsweek, she called her decision to support impeachment a “vote of conscience,” asserting that she is “not going anywhere” despite the calls for her to resign.

Nevertheless, GOP colleagues who remain closely aligned with the president insist Cheney does not represent the current identity of the party.

That case is at the crux of the effort to oust her by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), as the Washington Examiner reports.

“Supporting this political witch-hunt”

In Biggs’ assessment, Cheney is “not representing the Republican ideals,” an echo of Greene’s remarks describing her as out of touch.

“She doesn’t represent Republican voters by supporting this political witch-hunt impeachment of President Trump,” Greene said of Cheney. “She is not connected to the base and is voting for a hurtful lie.”

With a vote to impeach the president coming just one week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the GOP appears deeply divided between Trump loyalists and establishment Republicans.

But Cheney does not appear to be alone among the Republican Party’s top leaders in her desire to see Trump impeached. Reports indicate that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the top Senate Republican, is in favor of the Democratic Party-led action.

Still, Gaetz is among those making it clear that Cheney does not speak for her entire party, declaring: “We see an unprecedented cooperation between big tech, big media and big corporations to silence those of us who believe in the America First agenda. If we’re going to fight back, it cannot be with Liz Cheney as the Republican Conference chair.”

The post ‘Not going anywhere’: Rep. Cheney responds to GOP calls for her resignation over vote to impeach first appeared on Conservative Institute.


Bodycam footage from Duncan Lemp shooting short on answers

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-14 01:31, modified at 02:54

Body camera footage from the scene of the police shooting of Duncan Lemp has been released, but it doesn’t provide many answers.

Judicial Watch, which shared the tapes Tuesday after a dogged pursuit, said that they raise “additional questions” about how a fatal March raid on Lemp’s home unfolded.

Bodycam footage released

Lemp, 21, was shot dead by SWAT officers during an early morning no-knock raid at his Potomac, Maryland home. The officer who shot him was cleared in December after an investigation.

The family says that Lemp was sleeping when he was shot, but the authorities have said that he was killed during a tense standoff after ignoring police commands.

More than seven minutes of footage show police surveying Lemp’s home after the shooting. Police are seen walking through Lemp’s bedroom, where his body is lying on the ground, and make note of several firearms as well as a trip-wired door rigged to a shotgun shell.

“These videos comprise the totality of any body worn camera footage in existence from this event,” an attorney for Montgomery County told Judicial Watch.

There is no video of the shooting itself because the SWAT officers in the department are not required to wear bodycams.

Questions linger

The authorities have been accused of lacking transparency by the family and others following the case, including Judicial Watch and critics at Reason and American Conservative, who say that getting video has been like pulling teeth and that police have given contradictory accounts.

“It took a lawsuit and almost a year to release the after the fact video which revealed a murder scene not preserved, Duncan’s body had been moved and evidence was not in its original location. We must have transparency and truth in policing,” Rene Sandler, an attorney for the family, told Bethesda Beat.

The authorities have said that they conducted the raid because Lemp followed the anti-government boogaloo movement and was suspected to be in possession of illegal weapons.

Judicial Watch said the tapes fail to clear up serious questions about the shooting.

“It shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit and nine months to get these limited videos of the aftermath of the shooting death of Duncan Lemp,” Tom Fitton, the group’s president, said. “The videos may raise additional questions for the public while settling others.”

The post Bodycam footage from Duncan Lemp shooting short on answers first appeared on Conservative Institute.


GOP Sen. Toomey: Trump should resign ‘as soon as possible,’ is ‘disqualified’ from future office

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-13 01:30, modified at 04:07

Several prominent Democrats came out in support of efforts that would force President Donald Trump out of office in the final days of his term after violent protests took place on Capitol Hill last week.

The movement has even attracted the support of a few Republicans — including Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who expressed his position in an NBC News interview on Sunday.

“The president has disqualified himself”

Toomey told anchor Chuck Todd that he believed the president should “go away as soon as possible,” specifically referencing his desire to see Trump resign from office.

He said that “the best way” to achieve the ultimate goal of ending the Trump administration would be “for the president to resign.”

For their part, House Democrats are already moving forward with a second impeachment attempt following the breach of the U.S. Capitol building by Trump supporters on Wednesday. Five people died in the mayhem.

In any case, Toomey is in agreement with other Trump critics in his belief that the president should be effectively barred from ever serving in public office.

“I think the president has disqualified himself from ever certainly serving in office again,” he added. “I don’t think he is electable in any way.”

“Unlikely to touch it again”

Although Toomey has gone farther with his rhetoric than most others in the GOP, he is not alone in his criticism.

Many Republicans have spoken out against not only Trump but others in their party — such as Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — who have publicly defended the president’s election-related grievances.

The party remains ambivalent about the issue of impeachment, however, warning that the pursuit would lead to even deeper divisions across America in the final days of Trump’s first term.

For Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the events of the past week appear to have served as an effective deterrent for the president, declaring Trump “touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again.”

Trump remained unambiguous in his denunciation of ongoing efforts to remove him from office, declaring on Tuesday: “It’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous, it’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger.”

The post GOP Sen. Toomey: Trump should resign ‘as soon as possible,’ is ‘disqualified’ from future office first appeared on Conservative Institute.


Biden Homeland Security pick made millions as Big Tech lawyer: Report

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-12 01:31, modified at 04:04

Amid an alarming crackdown on President Donald Trump and his supporters by Big Tech, his successor’s administration is shaping up to be rather cozy with the censors.

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, made millions of dollars as a lawyer representing Big Tech oligarchs, Breitbart reported

Biden’s DHS pick

Recent financial disclosures show that Mayorkas earned over $3.3 million since 2019 working as a corporate attorney for companies like Uber, Airbnb, Northrop Grumman, T-Mobile, Cisco Systems, and Blackstone, Politico reported.

Mayorkas, who served as Obama’s second-in-command at the DHS, also worked for companies like Clorox, MGM Resorts International, and the engineering company Leidos.

His work included advising Uber on compliance with immigration laws for its drivers and representing AT&T in its merger with Sprint.

Big Tech in Biden’s Cabinet

The disclosures are the latest indication that Biden is tapping personnel with backgrounds in the Obama administration, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street.

Biden’s State Secretary nominee Antony Blinken worked for clients like Bank of America, Facebook, Uber, McKinsey & Company, pharma company Gilead, Boeing, AT&T, and LinkedIn at his consulting company WestExec Advisors, according to Politico. Blinken reportedly started the firm with other Obama alumni, including Biden’s pick to lead the intelligence community, Avril Haines. She consulted with data-mining company Palantir, according to her own records.

Biden’s Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen made more than $7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street clients including Citibank.

Alarming censorship

While Biden’s Cabinet has various Big Tech connections, he has already given jobs on his transition team to executives from companies like Facebook and Google, and Big Tech is actively lobbying for influence in his administration, according to Reuters.

Biden’s hires are especially alarming for conservatives amid unprecedented censorship. Twitter permanently banned Trump on Friday, and a host of platforms have followed suit.

Twitter’s decision has been criticized by world leaders including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the move “problematic.”

Meanwhile, Parler, a Twitter alternative dedicated to free speech, was shut down after bans from Amazon, Google, and Apple over the weekend, Breitbart reported. Wall Street is also striking back at Trump, with a number of major banks cutting off donations to politicians who support him, the outlet noted separately.

The post Biden Homeland Security pick made millions as Big Tech lawyer: Report first appeared on Conservative Institute.


FBI says it’s seen ‘no indication’ Antifa infiltrated Capitol riot; Gohmert says police were briefed on the possibility

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-11 01:31, modified on 2021-01-10 17:28

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) claimed without evidence on Thursday that U.S. Capitol Police had been briefed ahead of time about potential involvement by members of Antifa in the riots on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that left five dead, including one Capitol Police officer.

According to NBC News, FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono told reporters Friday that the bureau has seen “no indication” that Antifa activists infiltrated the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol. The statement from the FBI came after Republican congressmen including Gohmert and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) repeated the allegation online and in TV interviews.

Gaetz, for his part, cited on Wednesday evening “a poorly sourced and later-retracted report to claim [A]ntifa was ‘masquerading'” as supporters of President Donald Trump in an attempt to promote violence on the Hill, NBC reported.

Gohmert makes his claim

The next day, Gohmert said he’d spoken with Capitol Police, who allegedly told him they were expecting as much.

“I’ve got to say, two nights ago — the night before last, rather — I talk to Capitol Police a lot, they’ve got a lot of good people…and they told me, the night before last, that they had been briefed that Antifa, they were putting out the word [that] their folks were to come, to wear red, wear Trump stuff, wear [a] Trump hat, [a] MAGA hat, and try to blend in to confuse them as to who was whom,” Gohmert told One America News Network (OAN) on Thursday.

“And they were obviously well-trained,” the congressman added.

Gohmert also warned Thursday against “rushing to judgment to condemn Trump.”

“Every mainstream, including Fox News…they’re all rushing to judgment to condemn Trump. It may turn out that the real bad guys in all of this yesterday — it wasn’t conservatives, it wasn’t Trump supporters, it may turn out that they were all leftists that support Democrats’ bottom line,” Gohmert claimed. “So let’s reserve judgment, let’s get all the information in.”

The investigation continues

The unrest Wednesday came as members of Congress were meeting in a joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College. After the Capitol grounds were cleared late in the evening, Congress reconvened to finish the job, cementing a 306–232 win for the former vice president, over the objections of some Republicans.

In the days since, Democrats and even some in the GOP have called for those who they feel incited the Wednesday violence, including Rep. Gohmert and fellow Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, to face retribution — or even be forced to resign — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has promised to move forward with an attempt to impeach President Trump for his own alleged role, as NBC has reported separately.

But with just 10 days left in Trump’s term, it’s unclear whether such an effort could be completed by the time Biden takes office, if it even garnered enough GOP support.

Meanwhile, investigations remain underway as authorities seek to identify and indict the individuals who wreaked havoc at the Capitol building. So far, more than 80 arrests have been made, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The post FBI says it’s seen ‘no indication’ Antifa infiltrated Capitol riot; Gohmert says police were briefed on the possibility first appeared on Conservative Institute.


Pelosi calls for President Trump to be prosecuted for Capitol Hill riot

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-10 01:31, modified at 02:13

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants President Donald Trump to be prosecuted for the riot at the Capitol building on Wednesday, Breitbart reported.

“Well, sadly, the person who’s running the executive branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president of the United States, and only a number of days until we can be protected from him,” Pelosi said in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, which will be broadcast on Sunday.

“But he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him,” she said, adding that “nothing is off the table.”

Censorship

Pelosi, other leaders in the Democratic Party, and even a number of Republicans have accused Trump of inciting violence during a speech in Washington on Wednesday as Congress was preparing to hold a joint session to certify the votes of the Electoral College.

But in his speech, the president stressed nonviolence: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard!” He also condemned the riot, both during and afterward.

Nevertheless, the narrative being pushed is that Trump is directly responsible for the violence, and Democrats are trying to capitalize on this narrative.

The president has been permanently banned from a number of social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Big Tech has claimed this is necessary to protect users from the violence incited by Trump’s social media messages.

However, considering their wild inconsistency on the matter, it’s clear Big Tech is just using this opportunity to censor their political opposition, namely Trump and his supporters.

Prosecution

Besides the censorship of the president, Democrats are now calling for his criminal prosecution.

Washington, D.C.’s Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin has refused to rule out prosecuting the president for what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday, Breitbart reported.

Democrats are also once again pushing to impeach Trump. In fact, impeachment articles could come as early as next week. As Pelosi said, “nothing is off the table.”

Democrats believe that they have Trump on the ropes, and they are looking to do whatever they can to remove him — their nemesis — permanently from the political scene.

The post Pelosi calls for President Trump to be prosecuted for Capitol Hill riot first appeared on Conservative Institute.


Ted Cruz faces calls to resign in wake of Capitol chaos

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-09 01:31, modified on 2021-01-08 19:34

The left’s reaction to the chaos on Capitol Hill on Wednesday has been swift and furious, with Democrats continuing to mount a pressure campaign to boot President Donald Trump and some of his top allies from office in the wake of rioting that left at least five dead.

Now, Texas Democrats Julian and Joaquin Castro have jumped in the fray, each calling for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) to resign after he objected to Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, Breitbart reports.

Dems double down

Cruz was one of several Republican senators who challenged the election results on Wednesday, the same day a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building and interrupted a Joint Session of Congress.

As chaos swept the Capitol grounds, Twitter temporarily locked Trump’s account, and Facebook has suspended him “indefinitely,” citing fears he would “provoke further violence,” according to the BBC. Meanwhile, Democrats have ramped up demands for the president’s immediate removal via the 25th Amendment or another impeachment effort.

Democrats have also said that Republicans who objected, like Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (MO), share responsibility for what happened with the president.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and his twin brother Julian, who mounted a failed presidential primary bid in early 2019, both called on Cruz to step down, with Joaquin accusing Cruz of pulling a dangerous political stunt.

“[Cruz] has conducted himself shamelessly, and I think he has done this because he believes it’s the only way, the only chance that he has to win the Republican nomination for president,” the congressman told a Texas newspaper Wednesday, according to Breitbart.

Cruz speaks out

For his part, Cruz has condemned the “terrorist attack” while laying the blame on Trump for encouraging it.

“The president’s rhetoric was irresponsible,” he said Thursday, according to KHOU 11 in Houston. “I think it was reckless and I don’t think it was remotely helpful. I think the calls for extreme action, things like the 25th Amendment, I don’t think that’s going to prove necessary.”

At the same time, Cruz is disowning any role of his own. “Not remotely,” he said, asked if he bears any responsibility.

“What I was doing and what the other senators were doing is what we were elected to do, which is debating matters of great import in the chamber of the United States Senate,” Cruz added, according to KHOU. “I joined with 11 other senators and we proposed to the Senate that Congress should appoint an electoral commission.”

Hawley, who was the first Republican senator to announce that he would object to Biden’s electoral win, is also facing pressure to resign, and publisher Simon & Schuster has announced they are dropping his upcoming book, The Tyranny of Big Tech, Fox News reports.

The post Ted Cruz faces calls to resign in wake of Capitol chaos first appeared on Conservative Institute.


4 dead, including Trump supporter fatally shot by police, after Capitol riots: Reports

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-08 01:30, modified at 04:17

A mob of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an apparent show of support for President Donald Trump’s election-related challenges.

By the end of the chaos that ensued, reports indicated that four people were dead, including one Trump supporter who was fatally shot by a police officer.

Three more dead of “medical emergencies”

The alarming series of events began as Congress convened to certify the Electoral College vote tally declaring Joe Biden the winner of November’s presidential election.

Rioters overwhelmed Capitol police and entered the building, resulting in the death of a woman identified as U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, according to Fox News.

The 35-year-old was shot dead by Capitol Police, authorities later confirmed.

Three others at the scene also died throughout the day due to unspecified “medical emergencies,” according to reports.

For several hours, the Capitol building was the scene of bedlam as rioters smashed windows and lawmakers inside were instructed to take cover, CBS News reported.

“I totally disagree with the outcome”

Separately, authorities in D.C. noted that they found explosive devices at the headquarters for both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee, according to a local Fox affiliate.

After the dust settled, critics on both sides of the aisle were calling for Trump to be removed from office despite his denunciation of the violence that took place. Some, even in the Republican Party, blamed the president for inciting the riot.

“Lies have consequences,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said, according to KTLA. “This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the president’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

As of Thursday, social media sites had announced suspensions of Trump’s accounts, with Twitter threatening a possible permanent ban from the platform. With just two weeks left until the end of his term, new calls for impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office are also gaining traction.

In any case, the president made his intentions clear in a statement on Thursday morning, according to the New York Post, explaining:

Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!

The post 4 dead, including Trump supporter fatally shot by police, after Capitol riots: Reports first appeared on Conservative Institute.


Thousands of Bills fans sign petition to ban Cuomo from game

Permalink - Posted on 2021-01-07 01:31, modified at 03:36

Thousands of Buffalo Bills fans have signed a petition to keep New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) from attending Saturday’s playoff game in Buffalo, Breitbart reported.

“This is OUR team! This is OUR home. We don’t want you here,” the petition’s organizer said.

Not happy with Cuomo

The governor has won the enmity of many New Yorkers with a coronavirus response that critics consider arbitrary and incompetent, especially over a nursing home scandal that led to the deaths of thousands of seniors.

When Cuomo announced that he planned to attend Saturday’s playoff game, critics called it just the latest hypocritical move from a tyrannical governor.

Many Bills fans are angry that Cuomo is attending because the health department is limiting attendance to just 6,700 COVID-free spectators. As of Wednesday, a petition to ban Cuomo from the game received more than 40,000 signatures.

The petition’s organizer, Jeffrey Dorenzo, criticized Cuomo for preventing many fans from being at their first home playoff in 25 years, while Cuomo reserves a seat for himself.

“So Cuomo is going to attend our playoff game after telling us that we can only attend at less than 10% capacity? If he thinks he has more right to a seat in that stadium over people who have waited over 20 years for this opportunity, then people better be there to protest his entry,” he said.

Backlash

Some of the petitioners called Cuomo a tyrant and a narcissist, and called on him to resign. “Give his ticket to someone who lost a loved one in his nursing home death scandal,” one said.

As Yardbarker points out, while Bills fans are angry at the crowd restrictions, others have slammed the governor for making an exception to onerous rules, just so he could be at the game.

Under Cuomo’s restrictions, businesses are languishing all over the state, and Bills’ fans were unable to attend games during the regular season.

Cuomo has rationalized his decision as a test-run for opening up the state.

“A football playoff game is outdoors, which is a much better situation from COVID spread,” Cuomo said. “We believe we are the first state in the nation to run this kind of pilot. We think it can be very instructive to us going forward.”

The post Thousands of Bills fans sign petition to ban Cuomo from game first appeared on Conservative Institute.