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White House reporters baffled after they’re abruptly summoned to the Cabinet room – then dismissed

December 18, 2020 in Blogs

By Eric W. Dolan

The White House media pool was summoned to gather in the Cabinet room for an event on Friday, only to be told that the event was canceled.

Several White House reporters expressed bafflement at the abrupt turnabout.


Axios had reported that President Donald Trump planned to issue “a wave of pardons” on Friday, leading some reporters to believe he was about to make the announcement.

“This could be it folks,” remarked Daily Caller White House correspondent Christian Datoc on Twitter.

“Lol sike, cancelled,” he added moments later, after the event was called off.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Reporter details why Rudy Giuliani may have just perjured himself

December 18, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Rudy Giuliani was once of the face of New York City after 9/11; now, he’s the face of President Donald Trump’s campaign following the 2020 election. The Trump attorney and former New York City mayor has been going to great lengths to convince the courts that Trump was the victim of widespread voter fraud — although he hasn’t been able to prove his allegations — and according to Mother Jones’ David Corn, Giuliani “arguably provided false testimony several times” when he testified via Zoom at a Missouri legislative hearing on December 14.

Giuliani wasn’t challenging the election results in Missouri, a state that Trump won. Rather, Corn writes, he was the “star witness” for Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives who were making a “show of fealty to the defeated Trump” by “pushing a non-binding resolution declaring that they have ‘no faith’ in election results in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.”

Corn offers some examples of possible “false testimony” from Giuliani.

Describing the Missouri hearing, Corn recalls, “Asked if any of the cases filed on behalf of Trump were decided on the merits, Giuliani stated, ‘There’s been no case that’s been decided on the merits at all.’ But days earlier, in Wisconsin, a Trump-appointed federal judge named Brett Ludwig tossed out a suit filed by Trump that asked for the state’s results to be thrown out. Ludwig ruled that Trump had standing to file the case but that his legal arguments ‘fail on their merits.’”

Other cases decided on the merits in Wisconsin, Nevada and Michigan, Corn argues, contradict what Giuliani said during the Missouri hearing.

Corn notes that Giuliani also promoted debunked claims about Georgia.

“Through his testimony, Giuliani referred to an Election Night video recording of vote-counting employees in Fulton County, Georgia as proof of fraud,” Corn explains. “He maintained this footage ‘shows demonstrably the theft of about 40,000 ballots in front of your eyes.’ It does not.”

Corn continues, Georgia officials have found no wrongdoing related to this video…. Yet there was Giuliani, who had vowed by signing the witness form to present information that was ‘true and correct,’ pushing a discredited and false story.”

Although Corn believes that a perjury charge for Giuliani is “unlikely,” the Mother Jones reporter believes that Giuliani’s testimony during the Missouri hearing reflects badly on his credibility.

“It is unlikely that Trump’s consigliere will wind up in the hoosegow …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Georgia runoffs' turnout could be record-breaking — as the GOP's voter suppression tactics fail

December 18, 2020 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld

Across Georgia, turnout in the opening week of early voting for two U.S. Senate runoffs has been robust and may even set records, despite ongoing Republican efforts to disqualify voters — efforts that courts keep rejecting.

On Thursday, two federal courts dismissed GOP lawsuits to challenge the state’s processing of returned absentee ballots. The suits, filed by local and national GOP organizations, attacked procedures that had been created by Georgia’s elected Republican officeholders, who have overseen Georgia’s elections for years.

The voter suppression efforts continue as the local Republicans are seeking to challenge 16,000 voter registrations in Cobb County, outside Atlanta, by citing porous data — the Postal Service’s change of addresses. That database would generate false positives, voter registration experts said, because it only named heads of households and addresses, while state voter files list all registered voters. (Local officials are likely to reject the challenges, although they fit a pattern of seeking to impede voters and the process until the GOP wins.)

Meanwhile, across Georgia, early voting — called “advance voting” in the state — began on Monday, December 14, for the Senate runoffs and a seat on the Public Service Commission. That runoff is a locally important race as that body regulates utility rates and issues such as rural broadband. While the partisan jousting in the Senate runoffs has continued and become increasingly personal, more voters than typically participate in runoffs appear to be engaged and turning out.

“I feel more comfortable voting in person. There was so much controversy over the mail ballots, that we just wanted to come and vote,” said Toni Kennelly, who was waiting in line with her husband on a brisk morning outside a library in Milton, a northeast Atlanta suburb in Fulton County.

“It happened to be a good day to come,” said Shannon Kennelly, who has voted in every presidential election since 1964. “We took some Covid tests and both were negative… We figured we wouldn’t stand in line very long.”

The couple’s dutiful and low-key approach was a frequent sight. More than 900,000 voters cast ballots in the first four days of early voting. The runoffs are seen as high-stakes elections, said voters, poll workers and party observers.

“When people understand how high the stakes are, people show up,” said …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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New report finds Trump is still furious with Georgia Republicans — and may leave them in the lurch

December 18, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

The White House’s post-Trump era will begin only a month from Sunday when Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the United States. One of President Donald Trump’s activities during his final weeks in office will be campaigning for two GOP senators in runoff elections in Georgia, but according to New York Times reporters Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman, Trump isn’t overly enthusiastic about that task — and is only using the runoffs to promote his own fundraising.

“Mr. Trump had been tentatively planning to go to Georgia on Saturday, according to a senior Republican official, to support the two Republicans in Senate runoff races there,” Goldmacher and Haberman explain. “But he is still angry at the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state for accepting the election result, and simply doesn’t want to make the trip. There is some discussion about him going after the Christmas holiday, but it’s not clear he will be in a more magnanimous mood by then.”

The two Georgia Republicans hoping to stay in the U.S. Senate in 2021 are Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue. Loeffler is competing with Democrat Raphael Warnock, and Perdue is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff. The outcome of these races will determine whether the Senate is controlled by Republicans or Democrats during Biden’s presidency — and whether Sen. Mitch McConnell is Senate majority leader or Senate minority leader.

Goldmacher and Haberman point out that even though e-mails and text messages from Trump have been urging Georgia residents to vote for Loeffler and Perdue, none of those solicitations are putting money directly into their campaigns.

“Even as he displays indifference toward the Georgia races, the Trump political apparatus has taken advantage of the grass-roots energy and excitement over the two runoffs to juice its own fundraising,” the Times reporters note. “E-mail and text solicitations have pitched Trump supporters to give to a ‘Georgia Election Fund,’ even though no funds go directly to either Republican senator on the ballot, irritating some Senate GOP strategists. Instead, the fine print shows 75% of the donations to the Georgia fund go to Mr. Trump’s new PAC, called Save America, with 25% to the Republican National Committee.”

<div …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump now has real reason to be worried

December 18, 2020 in Blogs

By Heather Digby Parton

I have been chronicling the atrocities of the Trump era almost daily for five years and I’m exhausted. I don’t think I’m alone. One of Trump’s most insidious talents is to dominate the spotlight to such an extent that you can’t look away even if you want to. He’s everywhere. There is just so much, more than we can fully absorb, so we just keep watching, waiting for the spectacle to end, paralyzed and psychically drained.

And now it’s almost over.

Aside from some short appearances in the press room to declare himself the winner, a couple of desultory interviews with friendly cable news hosts, one low energy rally in Georgia and the extended, puerile whine of his Twitter account, Donald Trump has been blessedly out of sight for most of the past five weeks. There’s been no chopper talk, no televised Cabinet meetings with sycophantic tributes to his greatness, no crude insults toward reporters, nothing.

If one didn’t know better, one might assume that the president is ashamed because he lost the election and doesn’t want to face the public. But that would be wrong. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that Donald Trump has no shame.

We don’t know if Trump will fire more people, pardon himself and his family, start a war or simply continue to sit in the White House raging against his enemies and tweeting out lies about the election but the fact is that this long national acid trip is winding down at long last. Unfortunately, the hangover is going to be titanic. Unless the nation sobers up quickly and takes action, we may never recover.

The good news is that we are seeing signs of life in the U.S. Congress in this regard.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, gave notice this week that his committee intends to pursue the subpoena of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. You will recall that McGahn was not allowed to testify before Congress on the basis of a novel legal concept called “absolute immunity” which, if allowed to stand, would render congressional oversight practically impotent.

So while Democrats continue to pursue the subpoena as a means to push back against a legal principle that attempts to usurp their oversight powers, they will undoubtedly follow up on just what happened with all of that obstruction of justice Trump committed. They may not be …read more

Source: ALTERNET