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The convictions of two Oath Keepers leaders on seditious conspiracy charges puts new pressure on the Department of Justice to indict Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and his lieutenant Kelly Meggs were found guilty this week for their roles in the U.S. Capitol assault, and other militia members were convicted on other charges, and Woodward told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" those cases would weigh on attorney general Merrick Garland and newly appointed special counsel Jack Smith.
"It gives them a strong basis," Woodward said. "I think we are now at this point that the Justice Department, the new special counsel is going to have to indict Trump or explain why they are not indicting him. Now, that's certainly possible that they won't -- prosecutors have discretion, but the case of the violation -- I'm sorry, it's technical 18 U.S.C. 371 -- conspiring, working to subvert a lawful function of government is right there in plain sight."
Garland responded to the Oath Keepers convictions by pledging to hold others accountable for trying to overturn the 2020 election, and the House Select Committee will decide soon whether to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department against the former president.
"In a way, they're interesting fodder for us to discuss," Woodward said, "but I really think if you get, you know, Garland is there talking about the dedication and efforts that people have made in doing this investigation. Dedication and effort is wonderful. What is most wonderful is evidence, and they have compelling evidence."
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'Loser' Ronna McDaniel is still the best RNC chair given the 'MAGA maniac' alternative: former Ted Cruz spokeswoman
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Ronna McDaniel has not exactly run up a stellar track record of electoral success during her tenure, but former Ted Cruz campaign spokeswoman Amanda Carpenter nonetheless believes that she's the best the GOP has to offer.
Even though the Republicans lost control of the House, Senate, and White House under McDaniel's watch, and even though the GOP gained a historically low number of seats in last month's midterm elections despite having an environment with high inflation and gas prices, McDaniel is still likely to hang on to power.
One reason, Carpenter explains in a new column at The Bulwark, is that the GOP has no plausible challengers outside of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Additionally, Carpenter believes that the party cannot possibly change until it acknowledges that its perpetual obedience to former President Donald Trump and its willingness to back his failed hand-picked candidates are preventing it from decisively winning elections.
As evidence, she cites a prophetic statement made by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about poor candidate quality earlier this year that has since been buried for fear of offending the former president and his allies.
"Back in August, McConnell lowered expectations and warned about 'candidate quality,'" she writes. "And then he disappeared behind the curtain. Forget any discussion about how the roster of MAGA maniacs came to have standing in the party. Too touchy! Can’t be too specific; can’t name Trump; might offend his voters!"
Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with Apple chief Tim Cook on Wednesday and "resolved the misunderstanding" that prompted him to declare war on the iPhone maker's App Store.
"Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store," Musk tweeted.
"Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so."
Musk also tweeted a video clip of "Apple's beautiful HQ" in Cupertino, California, noting that he had had a "good conversation" with Cook.
Apple did not reply to AFP requests for comment.
The world's richest person opened fire on the planet's most valuable company early this week over fees and rules at the App Store, saying Apple had threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.
The billionaire CEO had tweeted that Apple "threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why."
Apple, which has not issued a public statement on the matter, typically tells developers if fixes need to be implemented in apps to conform to App Store policies.
Analysts told AFP the clash may have came down to money, with Musk irked that the App Store takes a commission on transactions such as subscriptions.
Musk has delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription tier intended to have users pay for perks such as account verification check marks.
Twitter rolled out Blue early in November, but pulled the plug after impersonators paid for check marks to appear legitimate in what former head of safety and security Yoel Roth referred to as "a disaster."
Both Apple and Google also require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content.
But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter's workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have quit.
He has also reinstated previously banned accounts, including that of former president Donald Trump.
Describing himself as a "free speech absolutist," Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and has described his actions as a "revolution against online censorship in America."
© 2022 AFP