Pa. AG sues to block subpoena in 2020 election probe

PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 2: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro at a Stand Against Hate rally at Independence Mall on March 2, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 11:46 AM PT – Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pennsylvania’s attorney general has sued to stop a subpoena from being enforced in the Republican-backed probe of the state’s 2020 presidential election results. In the lawsuit filed on Thursday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) asked a court to block a subpoena to election officials, which request voter information as part of an investigation into the election.

In the filing, Shapiro claimed the subpoena has no legitimate legislative purpose. Shapiro also claimed requests for information on voters is “illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable.”

“We plan to argue in court that these subpoenas violate those rights without any justifiable legislative purpose,” said Shapiro.

This comes as state GOP lawmakers have contended Shapiro is trying to stop them conducting oversight of the executive branch. Republican leaders have argued the subpoenas are necessary in order to delve deeper into their investigation and to ensure fairness in future elections.

MORE NEWS: Biden Won’t Use Executive Privilege To Block Jan. 6 Commission Requests For Trump-Era Records





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Mayorkas Vows to Make Public Results of Probe Into Border Patrol Agents on Horseback Confronting Illegal Immigrants

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that a probe into the actions of mounted Border Patrol agents confronting mostly Haitian asylum-seekers who crossed the southern border illegally would conclude quickly and be made public.

Mayorkas made the comments at a Sept. 24 White House press briefing, in which he said the agents involved in the incident had been reassigned to administrative duties and horse patrols have been suspended in the area.

Photographs and video surfaced earlier in the week showing Border Patrol officers on horseback riding close to and grabbing at illegal immigrants in the Del Rio, Texas, region.

Commenting on the incident, Mayorkas said the “entire nation saw horrifying images that do not reflect who we are, who we aspire to be, or the integrity and values of our truly heroic personnel in the Department of Homeland Security,” adding that “the department does not tolerate any mistreatment of any migrant and will not tolerate any violation of its values, principles, and ethics.”

At the same time, Mayorkas said he would not “prejudge the facts” nor “impair the integrity of the investigative process,” which will take its course and produce results that would be made public.

A top Border Patrol union official, Brandon Judd, told The Epoch Times this week that agents were not whipping their reins at the illegal immigrants, a claim made by some of those commenting on the images.

“Agents have to keep the migrants away from the horses for their own protection. And so they will use the reins, to twirl the reins, so that they will stay away from the horses. But they do not use those reins to lash out, to try to strike people. Those agents did not use those reins in any way, shape, or form to try to strike anybody,” he said, adding that horses are used as a “deterrent technique” to prevent people from entering the country illegally.

A photographer who captured images of Border Patrol agents on horseback near an influx of Haitians who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border said he didn’t see the agents whip anyone.

“Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses,” photographer Paul Ratje told local station KTSM, explaining the situation. “I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” he said. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”

A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian illegal alien from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19, 2021. (Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images)

Nearly 30,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered in the Del Rio area since Sept. 9, with the highest number at one time reaching around 15,000, with many camping out under an international bridge near the border, Mayorkas said.

The DHS chief said that the camp has now been cleared and officials continue to expel individuals who entered the United States illegally under Title 42 authority. So far, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has carried out 17 expulsion flights to Haiti, involving around 2,000 individuals, according to Mayorkas.

Asked about what happened to the 15,000 or so individuals camped out under the bridge, Mayorkas said some have been returned to Haiti, others have been moved to processing facilities along the border, where “many” will be returned to Haiti. While he did not provide detailed figures, Mayorkas said some of the individuals who qualify for asylum on grounds of fleeing persecution from their home country would not be returned to Haiti but would be placed in immigration enforcement proceedings.

President Joe Biden said Friday he takes full responsibility for the chaos at the U.S. southern border and vowed the border patrol officers photographed dispersing illegal immigrants while on horseback “will pay.”

“Of course, I take responsibility, I’m president,” said Biden while taking questions from reporters Friday. “It was horrible what you saw, to see people treated like they did, horses nearly running them over, people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. They will be—an investigation underway now and there will be consequences.”

Regarding comments made by White House officials, Judd told The Epoch Times that Border Patrol officials feel abandoned in the wake of a burgeoning crisis.

Charlotte Cuthbertson, Katabella Roberts, and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Tom Ozimek

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Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he’s ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: ‘Hit your target’ and ‘leave the best for last.’



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Trump allies Bannon, Meadows subpoenaed in Congress’ probe of Capitol riot

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol has subpoenaed four former members of Donald Trump’s administration, including Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon, the panel’s chairman said on Thursday.

Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino and former Defense Department official Kash Patel were also subpoenaed and instructed to produce materials and appear for depositions, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement.

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Meadows, a former congressman, served as Trump’s White House chief of staff. Bannon was a White House adviser to Trump.

A representative for Meadows said he declined to comment. Bannon, Scavino and Patel could not be reached for immediate comment.

A mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress was meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, delaying that process for several hours as then-Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress, staff and journalists fled from rioters.

Nearly 600 people have been arrested on charges tied to the attack. It was the worst violence at the seat of the U.S. government since the British invasion during the War of 1812.

Thompson said Meadows reportedly communicated with state and federal officials as part of an effort to overturn the 2020 election or prevent Biden’s certification. Meadows was also reportedly in communication with organizers of the Jan. 6 rally, Thompson said.

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‘ALL HELL IS GOING TO BREAK LOOSE’

In a letter to Bannon, Thompson noted that he had been involved with multiple conversations about persuading members of Congress to block certification of Trump’s election defeat.

“You are quoted as stating, on Jan. 5, 2021, that ‘all hell is going to break loose tomorrow,’” Thompson wrote. “Accordingly, the select committee seeks both documents and your deposition testimony.”

Bannon was fired by Trump August 2017 but they later mended fences and stayed in contact. Trump pardoned Bannon after he was charged with swindling the president’s own supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build a border wall.

Meadows and Scavino have been instructed to appear for depositions on Oct. 15 and Bannon and Patel on Oct. 14.

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Thompson said in his letter to Scavino that he was a witness to Trump’s activities on the day of the riot. “You may also have materials relevant to (Trump’s) videotaping and tweeting messages on January 6,” Thompson said.

Patel, who served as chief of staff to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, reportedly spoke repeatedly to Meadows on the day of the riot.

House Democrats formed the committee over objections from Trump’s fellow Republicans in the House. Two Republicans are on the committee, Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinziger.

They are among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting the violence in a fiery speech repeating his false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud. The Senate later acquitted him.

“We will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds,” Trump said in a statement. (Reporting by Eric Beech; additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Scott Malone and Michael Perry)

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Brian Stelter Calls Durham Probe A ‘Bust,’ Despite Ample Evidence Of Incompetence In The Industry He’s Paid To Cover

CNN darling Brian Stelter told his viewers last week that the indictments that resulted from Special Counsel John Durham’s probe and the attention it received from conservative media outlets were “a total bust,” further modeling the complicity of outlets like CNN in the attempt to smear former President Donald Trump.

“Take the latest news about the Durham probe. That’s the investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe. In and around Fox News-land, the Durham probe is a very big deal. Guys like Sean Hannity have been hyping it for years, promising it would knock the socks off the deep state. But it’s basically been a total bust. Poor Sean,” Stelter said.

Stelter claimed that “the pro-Trump fan base was misled.” The host also indicted Fox News and other right-leaning media outlets for “calling the Russia collusion stuff a hoax.

“Lie, rinse, and repeat,” Stelter said.

Stelter’s rant comes shortly after Democrat attorney Michael Sussmann was charged with lying to the FBI about his relationship with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. At the time in 2016, Sussman fed the U.S. intelligence agency information about alleged communications between former President Trump and a Russian bank.

CNN, and many other corporate media outlets such as the New York Times and MSNBC, were complicit in spreading and promoting false information about Trump and his ties to Russia. Instead of addressing their own mistakes, however, many like Stelter are spinning the narrative on its head to blame Fox News and conservative media for pointing out the flaws and lies in the corporate coverage of the Russia collusion hoax.

MSNBC legal analyst Barbara McQuade hinted that the Durham probe was the true hoax.

“It may be that Durham is using this indictment as a vehicle to disseminate what he has found to the public so that Trump and his allies can paint a false equivalence between the conduct of the Trump and Clinton campaigns,” she wrote.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.





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House Democrats Use Obscure Rule to Stifle GOP’s Kabul Probe, Say GOP Reps

House Rules Committee Democrats quietly extended a rule earlier this week in the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that effectively bars Republicans from obtaining information on President Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, say GOP representatives.

The provision was adopted during the Rules panel’s Sept. 20 hearing on the defense bill, and it includes a continuing resolution on spending and a measure designed to nullify state laws limiting abortion access at any time during a pregnancy.

The provision, which has been extended by Democrats multiple times since the original adoption, reads as follows:

“24. Provides that House Resolution 188, agreed to March 8, 2021 (as most recently amended by H. Res. 555, agreed to July 27, 2021), is amended by striking ‘September 22, 2021’ each place it appears and inserting (in each instance) ‘October 27, 2021.’”

The provision continues one of the chief tools House Democrats have used in the rules adopted in January for the 117th Congress to frustrate the ability of Republicans to demand and receive information from the Biden White House and the executive branch using the resolution of inquiry (ROI).

The wording of ROIs “will vary depending on the person to whom the resolution is directed. The House traditionally ‘requests’ the President and ‘directs’ the heads of executive departments to furnish information,” according to the House parliamentary procedures manual.

The Rules panel’s action comes as Republicans on the House Foreign Relations Committee seek an investigation of the administration’s actions in the Afghanistan withdrawal.

The ROI is an effective investigative tool because it puts the authority of a congressional committee behind a legislative request rather than causing representatives of the minority party to rely on letters and telephone calls seeking needed information and data.

It’s much more difficult for executive branch officials to ignore a request backed by an ROI, while telephone calls aren’t returned and letters from lawmakers are easily and often ignored.

The ROI is also more difficult for the majority to defeat because House rules require such a measure to be marked up within two weeks of its introduction or it becomes a privileged motion for the whole House. If the resolution is approved, the ROI then becomes a request of the House, not just a committee.

Rules committee member Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) offered a motion on Sept. 21 to end the ROI ban, saying that “in light of President Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal and evacuation, it is absolutely imperative that we restore this tool to get to the bottom of this administration’s avoidable debacle.”

Reschenthaler said he was “concerned that the majority maintains this provision simply to shield the administration from addressing the very real concerns that members on both sides of the aisle have” on the Afghanistan situation.

Rules member Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), spoke in favor of Reschenthaler’s motion, telling the panel the ROI ban should be terminated because “we can’t get phone calls answered from the administrative state. This is not right and it needs to change. … I urge the majority to restore minority rights” under the ROI process.

Burgess also seeks the passage of an ROI concerning the Biden administration’s treatment of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children coming across the U.S. border from Mexico.

Reschenthaler’s motion was defeated 9–4, marking the fifth time Democrats, led by Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), have rejected efforts to restore ROIs. ROIs were first adopted in 1879.

A spokesman for the Rules panel majority didn’t immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

During debate on a previous attempt, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the panel’s ranking Republican, said: “The speaker and the Democratic majority have ruled with an iron fist, beginning in earnest at the start of the 117th Congress. In one fell swoop, they eliminated two critical minority tools, motions to recommit and the use of resolutions of inquiry.”

Besides the ROI, Cole was referring to limits during the 117th Congress on the minority’s ability on the House floor to offer motions to recommit bills to committees with instructions to change them rather than having votes on final passage.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Foreign Relations Committee, told The Epoch Times the ROI ban has prevented effective legislative oversight on multiple issues.

“Democratic Leadership has suspended a centuries-old House rule that allows for more congressional oversight—all to protect President Biden from scrutiny for the multiple disasters his failed leadership has caused,” McCaul said.

“Whether it’s the deadly catastrophe in Afghanistan or the crisis at our southern border, the American people expect Congress to hold the Executive Branch accountable for their mistakes. The majority needs to lift this indefinite ban on resolutions of inquiry and allow for vigorous oversight.”

Republicans on the foreign relations panel have been frustrated by having to depend on letters to gain needed oversight information on the Biden administration’s lax administration of congressionally mandated sanctions against, for example, Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Europe.

The Biden administration didn’t answer questions posed by House Republicans in a March 5 letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Questions also went unanswered from an April 22 letter from McCaul to Blinken concerning Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal.

In the April letter, McCaul predicted the withdrawal would “hand the Taliban an undeserved victory, damage U.S. credibility as a counterterrorism partner, and gravely endanger the lives of Americans and Afghans alike.”

Mark Tapscott

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Whistleblower group seeks probe into whether VA announcement leaked to ‘enable insider trading’

A whistleblower group is calling for further investigation into whether information about a Department of Veterans Affairs plan last year to prevent veterans from using G.I. benefits at some for-profit schools was either mishandled or intentionally leaked to “enable insider trading.”

The agency announced its intentions in a March 2020 press release, but the uptick in investor activities ahead of the public announcement is raising concerns for the watchdog group Empower Oversight and others.  

“Based on stock price, volume, and data on short selling (betting that a stock price will fall), it appears that some in the market may have traded on that inside information in the weeks leading up to the VA’s official public announcement,” says nonprofit, nonpartisan Empower Oversight.

The group says a major concern is the release “appears to have leaked in advance to select groups before the general public,” based on its own whistleblower contacts as well as those with Congress and Executive Branch authorities, in addition to public reports and documents.

“Because some of the schools were operated by publicly traded companies with substantial veteran student enrollments, anyone with advanced knowledge of the VA announcement could have profited handsomely at the expense of average investors by trading on that information before the news became public,” also argues the group, led by Jason Foster, who was chief investigative counsel Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley when chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“During the relevant period, one company lost 58%, or $800 million, of its market capitalization, before the VA decided to reverse its initial announcement.”

The matter has been the subject of news reports, a federal FOIA lawsuit and congressional oversight letters. It has also been addressed by the VA Inspector General, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, Empower Oversight says its analysis of the facts suggests that further investigation by the proper authorities is necessary to:

  • confirm whether the VA’s selective release of information enabled insider trading;
  • hold accountable any officials who improperly released information early;
  • improve the VA’s procedures for handling market moving information to ensure fair and equal access for all investors.  



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Congress urged to revive State probe of COVID-19 origin, Chinese bio-weapons push

Congress should require a new investigation by the State Department’s arms compliance office into the possible role of China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by two former State Department officials says.

The Biden administration earlier this year canceled a probe begun under President Trump into the virus’s origins by State’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, known as AVC, that also investigated Chinese violations of a treaty banning biological arms, said former State Department arms control leaders Thomas DiNanno and Paula A. DeSutter.

“The Biden administration’s ‘don’t ask, don’t act’ policy serves only to empower our enemies, and the State Department bureaucracy has raised the bar so high above the criminal ‘reasonable doubt’ standard that holding our adversaries accountable is now nearly impossible,” Mr. DiNanno and Ms. DeSutter wrote in a new report published by the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

“In the case of the WIV, the preponderance of circumstantial evidence is compelling and cannot be ignored,” the report stated.

China engaged in “blatant violations” of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations and acted in suspicious and opaque ways regarding the terms of the Biological Weapons Convention’s (BWC) peaceful-purposes clause,” the report said. As a result China gave up a leadership position on the world stage and within organizations such as the WHO and the BWC and “needs to be held to account.”

China has rejected charges that the COVID virus originated in the Wuhan lab and leaked into the general public in late 2019, setting off a global pandemic that has killed millions. Researchers are divided over the origins of COVID-19, with many contending it occurred naturally and passed from an animal host to humans. 

Mr. DiNanno is currently a professional staff member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and took part in the canceled probe as acting assistant secretary of state for the AVC bureau during the Trump administration. Ms. DeSutter held the same position at the State Department under President George W. Bush, and also served as a professional staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The report was published prior to a joint U.S. intelligence community assessment into the virus origin that revealed spy agencies divided over how the pandemic began and were unable to say conclusively whether the pandemic started from a virus that escaped from a Chinese laboratory or emerged naturally from infected animals.

The Defense Intelligence Agency, according to U.S. officials, believes the virus most likely began from an accident or other type of mishap in a Chinese lab. Other spy other agencies believe the virus emerged from an animal host to infect humans, an unclassified summary of the intelligence assessment concluded.

The virus has killed an estimated 4.5 million people worldwide, including over 660,000 Americans.

Critics say China’s government has sought to conceal its mishandling of the disease’s outbreak that began in November 2019. Beijing officials have denied the virus came from one of its laboratories, despite published research indicating extensive work on making bat coronaviruses, like the viruses behind COVID, more infectious to humans.

The canceled AVC investigation was launched by the State Department under then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019 and sought to answer the question of what role the Chinese government virus research program played in Beijing’s biological weapons program.

The investigation also sought to determine if China’s virus research program and the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, represented violations of China’s commitment to the Biological Weapons Convention, which bans research and development of germ weapons.

Mr. DiNanno and Ms. DeSutter said Congress should request that AVC resume its investigation into the origin of the virus that was interrupted by Mr. Biden’s order in May that intelligence agencies should conduct a three-month review.

“In contrast to the U.S. [intelligence community], the [AVC’s] sole function is to assess other nations’ compliance with their international arms control obligations and, moreover, has the legal mandate to do so,” they stated.

Additionally, AVC should make public all information and intelligence on the COVID-19 origin to better assess Chinese compliance with its arms control commitments.

The American intelligence community, according to the report, largely adhered to the theory that the virus originated from animals.

“This may partly be the result of briefings to [intelligence agency] elements conducted by experts promulgating and advocating that the origin of SARS-CoV-2 was the result of a zoonotic origin,” the report said.

Chinese civilian and military biological research is a “complex web” reflecting Beijing’s civil-military “fusion” approach, one that calls for sharing all civilian research with the People’s Liberation Army.

“In fact, it would be difficult to say if such a thing as a civilian program as we understand it exists in today’s China,” the report said.

In the fall of 2020, the AVC bureau investigated whether China’s dual-use activities potentially violated the biological weapons agreement.

As a result, the annual State Department arms compliance report stated that “available information shows China engaged in activities that raise concerns with regard to its obligations under Article I of the BWC, which requires States Party ‘never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain …[m]icrobial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.’”

The report also notes that the most recent compliance report produced by the Biden administration mentions concerns about China’s toxin work but omitted earlier report language on concerns about virus research.

“This omission serves as a signal to China and other adversaries and to our allies that the United States is not concerned about the potentially dangerous dual-use research that was being conducted at the WIV and its affiliated facilities,” the report said.

The AVC bureau “must determine the extent of potential Chinese weaponization of viruses,” the report notes.

The report notes that career officials at the State Department dismissed the 2019 AVC investigation as potentially “opening a can of worms” by pursuing question about Chinese arms compliance “when troubling facts began to emerge in [U.S. intelligence] reporting that SARS-CoV-2 may have in fact emanated from the WIV,” the report says.

By shutting down the inquiry earlier this year, the question of Chinese violations of the Biological Weapons Convention is still unanswered, the report says.

A State Department fact sheet on WIV made public in January disclosed the existence of secret military programs inside the WIV.

Additionally, statements by Chinese officials in the past have referred to the pursuit of offensive biological capabilities.

“For example, in 2015, then-president of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences He Fuchu argued that biotechnology would become the new ‘strategic commanding heights’ of national defense, ranging from biomaterials to ‘brain control’ weapons,” the report says.

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe also has said that U.S. intelligence information has revealed China “conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities.”

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Cheney Family BFF Tapped As Top Investigator On Cheney’s Jan. 6 Probe

If the House’s January 6 Committee wasn’t already the Liz Cheney show, it is now.

On Friday, the partisan probe drew its latest recruitment with former U.S. Attorney John F. Wood, a close friend of the Cheney family, to serve as the investigation’s top legal adviser.

“Mr. Wood has an impressive track record working inside and outside of government, and his expertise will enhance our efforts to investigate the events surrounding January 6th and understand what led to the attack against the U.S. Capitol that day,” wrote Democrat Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Tennessee with Cheney in a joint statement. “Furthermore, his addition to the Committee staff underscores the nonpartisan nature of our work.”

It would if the nature of the committee was actually non-partisan. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney are the only two Republicans who serve on the committee, a far cry from a truly bipartisan investigation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed the pair of NeverTrumpers to sit on the panel after another slate of other Republicans sent by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California which included Ohio’s Jim Jordan and Indiana’s Jim Banks were kicked off.

Wood’s close affiliation with the vindictive NeverTrump caucus marks the probe’s escalation as a weaponized committee to go after the Democrats’ political enemies, i.e., former President Donald Trump and Trump’s supporters. A former official in the Bush administration, Wood worked under former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the Department of Justice, and was chief of staff for Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In 2016, Chertoff endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president, and has remained an ardent anti-Trumper ever since with an endorsement for President Joe Biden last fall claiming the GOP had been “hijacked.” While Wood worked for Chertoff, Cheney’s husband, Philip Perry, was general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Through her efforts to escalate a long-running feud with former President Trump and the Republican base, Cheney has championed the polarizing Jan. 6 Commission as a hallmark of her legacy in the lower chamber. She gave the commission’s opening remarks at its first show-trial hearing in June.

“Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814,” Cheney said when presented the gig by Pelosi. Forget about the 1954 raid by Puerto Rican nationalists who shot five congressmen, the 1983 Senate bombing by left-wing militants granted clemency by Democrats, the al-Qaeda terrorists who flew a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11, or the summer of rage last year that perpetuated political violence in the nation’s capital in routine fashion.

In May, the House Republican Conference stripped the third-term representative of her number three role in leadership as she continued to antagonize Republican voters by waging an inner-party civil war that now threatens to kick Cheney out of Congress altogether.

“Liz Cheney betrayed Wyoming. She betrayed all of us, including me,” said former Cheney-ally turned Trump-endorsed primary challenger Harriet Hageman before a crowd of supporters in the state capital of Cheyenne when declaring her candidacy this month. “When she ran for Congress the first time, she asked me to introduce her at the Republican state convention. Had I known what she would do five years later, and side with Nancy Pelosi and the radical left, I would have never answered her first phone call.”

Cheney’s animosity towards Trump in the state that voted for the president in the widest margin of any in the nation last fall was a key theme in Hageman’s kick-off speech, who spoke to a crowd whose disillusionment from their incumbent representative was cast by Cheney’s futile crusade to corral Republican support for Trump’s January impeachment.

“Liz Cheney’s agenda is simple, and right now it is to destroy President Trump,” Hageman said.

Cheney, who was a lead propagandist for the fake Russian bounties news story last summer, ultimately ended up one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote for Trump’s impeachment. Several lawmakers had already announced their intent to vote in favor of Trump’s guilt, raising questions about Cheney’s real influence. This commission is the congresswoman’s vehicle to keep digging at the former president and his supporters, further exposed by its membership.





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Facebook Accuses Critics of ‘Cherry-Picking’ After Leaks Spark Outrage, Senate Probe

Facebook accused critics of mischaracterizing its policies Saturday, following an investigation of leaked internal documents by The Wall Street Journal that prompted outrage and congressional scrutiny.

“At the heart of this series is an allegation that is just plain false: that Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, wrote in a Saturday blog post.

Clegg’s comments come in response to the WSJ investigation revealing Facebook’s knowledge of how its platform negatively affects users.

Clegg argued that the investigation was framed to portray Facebook as attempting to conceal controversial or unpopular research findings and practices and that the WSJ’s reporting “conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”

“It’s a claim which could only be made by cherry-picking selective quotes from individual pieces of leaked material in a way that presents complex and nuanced issues as if there is only ever one right answer,” Clegg wrote.

Trending:

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The WSJ’s investigation unearthed a number of controversial policies, including the existence of a system that exempts popular or celebrity accounts from moderation protocols.

The investigation also found that Facebook is aware its newsfeed algorithm promotes incendiary and often misleading content and that the platform is frequently exploited by drug cartels and human traffickers to facilitate crimes.

One article published Tuesday by the WSJ detailed Facebook’s knowledge of the harmful impacts its subsidiary Instagram has on users, especially teen girls.

The investigation found Facebook researched how Instagram contributed to feelings of ugliness and unworthiness in users, as well as feelings of addiction and body image issues.

Do Big Tech companies like Facebook have too much power?

In response to the article Tuesday, Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut announced a bipartisan investigation into Facebook’s knowledge of how its platform negatively impacts the self-esteem of teenage users.

The senators said that they were in touch with a Facebook whistleblower and were examining the tech giant’s actions taken to address Instagram’s effects on young users.

“It is clear that Facebook is incapable of holding itself accountable. The Wall Street Journal’s reporting reveals Facebook’s leadership to be focused on a growth-at-all-costs mindset that valued profits over the health and lives of children and teens,” the senators said.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, along with Democratic Reps. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts and Kathy Castor of Florida, sent a letter to Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg last week demanding that Facebook abandon plans to develop a version of Instagram geared toward children.

“Children and teens are uniquely vulnerable populations online, and these findings paint a clear and devastating picture of Instagram as an app that poses significant threats to young people’s well-being,” the lawmakers wrote.

Related:

Internet Watchdog Says Ex-Intelligence Community Officials Are Echoing Big Tech Talking Points

Republican Rep. Ken Buck compared the tech giant to the tobacco industry in a tweet Saturday, saying “they are harming our kids for profit.”

Clegg disputed the lawmakers’ characterization that Facebook ignores its own research for the sake of profit, arguing the company is committed to finding the correct solutions to address its platform’s problems.

“With any research, there will be ideas for improvement that are effective to pursue and ideas where the tradeoffs against other important considerations are worse than the proposed fix,” Clegg wrote.

“At the same time, none of these issues can be solved by technology companies alone, which is why we work in close partnership with researchers, regulators, policymakers and others.”

The WSJ’s investigation follows months of White House pressure on Facebook over the tech giant’s handling of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

President Joe Biden declared the social media company was “killing people” in July, while press secretary Jen Psaki announced the White House was flagging posts it deems misleading for Facebook to remove.

Facebook was also under fire in August for its perceived lack of transparency regarding what content is most popular on its platform, delaying the release of a transparency report and refusing to hand over data to the White House’s coronavirus team.

Content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of the DCNF’s original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.





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U.S. NTSB to probe fatal Tesla crash in Florida

The logo of Tesla cars logo is seen during the presentation of the new charge system in the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

September 17, 2021

By David Shepardson and Hyunjoo Jin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Friday it will send a team to investigate a Tesla vehicle crash this week that killed two people in Coral Gables, Florida.

Coral Gables police have said it is unclear whether the Tesla Model 3 involved in the crash in a residential area on Monday evening was using the electric vehicle company’s driver-assistance system, called Autopilot. The two people killed were badly burned and have not yet been positively identified.

The NTSB, which makes safety recommendations but does not regulate automakers, said its investigation will focus on the operation of the vehicle and the post-crash fire that consumed it after it struck a tree. The agency said three NTSB investigators will arrive in the area on Monday.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NTSB has previously investigated three fatal Tesla crashes in which Autopilot was involved. Autopilot handles some driving tasks such as steering, braking and acceleration and allows drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel at times but Tesla has said drivers must still actively supervise the vehicle when using the system.

Tesla vehicles have large battery packs that sometimes have been involved in lengthy fires after crashes.

The NTSB is also investigating an April Tesla crash in Texas that killed two people. Local police have said they believe that crash occurred with no one in the driver’s seat.

Another federal agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has said it is gathering information about the Coral Gables crash but has not decided whether to send a crash investigation team.

The NHTSA in August opened a formal safety probe into 765,000 Tesla vehicles and Autopilot after 11 crashes involving first-responders such as police or fire vehicles.

The agency also has opened 33 individual investigations into Tesla crashes involving 11 deaths since 2016 in which use of advanced driver assistance systems was suspected. NHTSA has ruled out Autopilot use in three of those crashes that were non-fatal.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Will Dunham and Leslie Adler)





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