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The Michigan State Police’s nine-month sexual assault and financial misconduct investigation into former House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) has concluded and has been turned over to Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Chatfield, who was Michigan’s youngest-ever House speaker when he was elected to the position in 2018, served until 2020. He is accused of sexually assaulting his sister-in-law for more than a decade starting when she was a child, but has denied the allegations, characterizing the relationship as a consensual “affair.”
The Michigan State Police (MSP) has been investigating the complaint since December 2021, when it was filed with the Lansing Police Department. The MSP wrapped most of that probe in May, submitting a preliminary report to Nessel, then offering additional information in August.
“MSP is no longer investigating this matter as it has been turned over to the AG’s investigators for completion,” MSP spokesperson Shanon Banner said in an email Monday. “Any further information or updates will come from the AG’s Office.”
The MSP has not made recommendations on charges, but has presented all evidence to Nessel for her office to potentially file them. It is working in partnership with the AG to help conclude her end of the investigation, according to the Detroit News.
That portion of the investigation looks into allegations of campaign funds directed to family members and legislative staffers, hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded bonuses given to Chatfield’s staffers and more financial improprieties.
Police searched the home of two of Lee Chatfield’s former top staffers in February.
Chatfield’s attorney, Mary Chartier, did not respond to a request for comment.
Nessel’s office is reportedly still continuing its part of the investigation into allegations involving financial improprieties when Chatfield was speaker. A spokesperson for Nessel did not immediately respond for comment.
Rebekah Chatfield, now 26, alleged last year that the assaults began when she was about 14 or 15 as a student at Burt Lake’s Northern Michigan Christian Academy and continued until about July 2021. Lee Chatfield was a teacher, coach and athletic director at the school before taking office in 2014. He is married with five children.
Rebekah Chatfield is married to Lee Chatfield’s brother, Aaron Chatfield, who has supported her in the allegations.
The MSP’s report included interviews and search warrants from late winter through early spring. Among the interviews are those with Rebekah Chatfield; Aaron Chatfield; Lee Chatfield’s brother, Paul; and Lee Chatfield’s wife, Stephanie. Lee Chatfield reportedly declined to interview with the police but his lawyer responded via email to some questions from investigators.
Search warrants detailed in the report include preservation notices sent to Snapchat, several phone seizures, three school computers, warrants at Northern Michigan Christian Academy, yearbooks and student records.
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Longtime Trump ally and right-wing dirty trickster Roger Stone may take center stage at the next House Select Committee hearing on the January 6th Capitol riots.
The Washington Post reports that the Jan. 6 Committee has obtained incriminating footage of Stone shot by a Danish documentary film crew that includes him predicting Trump would try to stay in power even if he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden.
"Stone, a longtime friend and adviser of Donald Trump, predicted violent clashes with left-wing activists and forecast months before the 2020 vote that the then-president would use armed guards and loyal judges to stay in power," reports the Post.
Although the plans for the video clips aired have not yet been finalized, the Post's sources say that the committee wants to focus on how Trump allies, including both Stone and Steve Bannon, predicted that Trump would declare victory and attempt to remain in power no matter the result of the election.
Video of Bannon unearthed earlier this year, for instance, showed the Trump ally boldly predicting the former president would use extra-legal means to stay in the White House.
"What Trump's going to do, is just declare victory," said Bannon in a video that was taken in October 2020. "That doesn't mean he's a winner. He's just going to say he's a winner."
Christoffer Guldbrandsen, the director of the documentary, tells the Post in an interview that he's come to see just how dangerous Stone is after spending years following him around.
"Being with Roger Stone and people around him for nearly three years, we realized what we saw after the 2020 election and Jan. 6 was not the culmination but the beginning of an antidemocratic movement in the United States," he said.
A clip of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis misconstruing facts surrounding the history of slavery, abolition and the American Revolution has gone viral online in recent days. At the time, he argued that it was the "American revolution that caused people to question slavery."
Here's a look at the remarks in question from DeSantis at a speaking event Tuesday, September 20th:
'DeSantis clearly has not done the reading for class': Historians weigh in on FL governor's remarks | RawStory.TV'DeSantis clearly has not done the reading for class': Historians weigh in on FL governor's remarks | RawStory.T
The Republican governor tried to downplay a lawsuit over his oppressive "Stop WOKE Act," a law designed to restrict educators’ ability to teach about American social ills. DeSantis has criticized teachers in his state who have sought to educate students on facts about racial and gender inequality.
After making his speech, DeSantis posted a portion of it via Twitter and it quickly surpassed 900,000 views. However, it also attracted heavy criticism. Speaking to Newsweek, historians weighed in with critical assessments of the Florida governor's remarks.
Professor Karin Wulf, who focuses on the study of eighteenth-century British American history at Brown University, said, "On at least three levels this is wrong. The idea of natural rights didn't originate with the American revolutionaries; they were reflecting ideas that were widespread among political thinkers…Most egregiously, the idea that 'no one' questioned slavery erases enslaved people themselves who were active in resisting slavery both as individuals and collectively and in refusing the logic and legality of their enslavement."
Seth Rockman, an associate professor at Brown who has written extensively about the economics of slavery, accused DeSantis of ignoring Black Americans as part of a strategy linked with white nationalism.
Rockman said, "DeSantis clearly has not done the reading for class, but his error here goes beyond ignorance of the last several decades of research on anti-slavery thinking and organizing over the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. What DeSantis does here is more pernicious because it places Black people outside the category of 'we' and 'Americans'— a move that can only be understood as part of DeSantis's strategy to ride white nationalism to higher office."
"This statement is yet another deliberate DeSantis move to 'trigger' or 'own the libs,' but let's think about the implications of DeSantis's statement here: When DeSantis says 'no one' he pretends that enslaved African and African-descended people aren't worth taking seriously as people whose opinions about slavery might matter, then or now. The slaves who staged massive revolts in New York, South Carolina, and other mainland colonies throughout the colonial era, were they not questioning slavery?"
Professor Sarah Pearsall also explained why she disagrees with DeSantis' claims. "The claim by DeSantis is completely incorrect. Plenty of people had questioned slavery before the American Revolution. Of course enslaved people had resisted the system since its inception, but there were also tracts by colonists, such as Samuel Sewell's The Selling of Joseph, published in Boston in 1700, which argued that the institution was unacceptable."
"Early abolitionists on both sides of the Atlantic included Quakers; their efforts in some cases predated the outbreak of the American Revolution. Since DeSantis also states of history that 'It's gotta be accurate,' he might want to practice what he preaches."