Efforts to hold a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have been prevented as "Republicans rewrite history" of the event, The New York Times reported Thursday.
"Four months after supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol in a deadly riot, a growing number of Republicans in Congress are mounting a wholesale effort to rewrite the history of what happened on Jan. 6, downplaying or outright denying the violence and deflecting efforts to investigate it," the newspaper reported. "Their denialism — which has intensified for weeks and was on vivid display this week at a pair of congressional hearings — is one reason that lawmakers have been unable to agree on forming an independent commission to scrutinize the assault on the Capitol. Republicans have insisted that any inquiry include an examination of violence by antifa, a loose collective of antifascist activists, and Black Lives Matter. It also reflects an embrace of misinformation that has become a hallmark of the Republican Party in the age of Mr. Trump."
Republicans made a mockery of a hearing on the insurrection.
"A House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the riot on Wednesday underlined the Republican strategy. Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, the chairman of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, used his time to show video of mob violence purportedly by antifa that had unfolded 2,800 miles away in Portland, Ore," the newspaper explained. "His fellow Freedom Caucus member, Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina, used his turn to question whether rioters involved in the Capitol attack had actually been Trump supporters — despite their Trump shirts, hats and flags, "Make America Great Again" paraphernalia, and pro-Trump chants and social media posts.
There has been a stark change among Republicans in the months since the insurrection.
"Immediately after the attack, many Republicans joined Democrats in condemning the violent takeover of the building known as the citadel of American democracy. But in the weeks that followed, Mr. Trump, abetted by right-wing news outlets and a few members of Congress, pushed the fiction that it had been carried out by antifa and Black Lives Matter, a claim that the federal authorities have repeatedly debunked. Now, a much broader group of Republican lawmakers have settled on a more subtle effort to cloud and distort what happened," The Times reported. "The approach has hampered the creation of an independent commission, modeled after the one that delved into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to look into the Capitol riot, its roots and the government's response. Ms. Pelosi said discussions had stalled given Republicans' insistence on including unrelated groups and events, and that Democrats might be forced to undertake their own inquiry through existing House committees if the G.O.P. would not drop the demand."
Read the full report.
Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley has resigned after a scandal involving victims of a 1985 bombing at the hands of Philadelphia police.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer explained, 11 people, including five children were killed with the PPD attempted to serve a search warrant on the group MOVE, the Christian Movement for Life 36 years ago today. Police attempted to forcibly remove people the building, water and electricity was shut off, a 2015 NPR report recalled. Police opened fire and a bomb was ultimately dropped into the house by a police helicopter, bowing it up and setting fire to that side of the street.
The bodies of the 11 were recovered and given to their families to be buried, or so they thought. As it turns out, the bodies sat in the Philadelphia medical examiner's office for over three decades. When Farley found out about it, he made the executive decision to cremate the remains of the victims and throw them out. None of the remains were identified or returned to their families.
"Instead of fully identifying those remains and returning them to the family, he made a decision to cremate and dispose of them," said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. "This action lacked empathy for the victims, their family, and the deep pain that the MOVE bombing has brought to our city for nearly four decades."
He went on to say that he asked for Farley's resignation Thursday.
Shocking reports from the Inquirer's Abdul-Aliy Muhammad followed the story after it was discovered that the Penn Museum and Princetown kept the remains of at least one child from the bombing.
Inquirer colleague Abraham Gutman was furious about the actions of the city, not merely from this recent revelation, but actions dating back to nearly 40 years ago.
"What is going on?!?!?" he asked on Twitter. "Who's remains?! How can something like this happen!? Was there a box in the medical examiner's office that just said 'MOVE' and one day Farley was like, 'too much clutter here, I'll just cremate these 'remains of human beings Philadelphia bombed to death*?!?!'"
So apparently, over the past 36 years, the remains of Black people and children that this city *murdered* have been… https://t.co/8HIdBIfh1T— Abraham Gutman🔥 (@Abraham Gutman🔥) 1620936149.0
Was there a box in the medical examiner's office that just said "MOVE" and one day Farley was like "too much clutte… https://t.co/7sUcNqHrdv— Abraham Gutman🔥 (@Abraham Gutman🔥) 1620936791.0
Undercover operatives waged sting operation against ‘Deep State’ officials on Trump’s enemies list: NYT
Undercover operatives from right wing Project Veritas worked with a former British spy trained by Betsy DeVos' brother Erik Prince to wage a smear and sting operation to discredit "deep state" federal government officials on President Donald Trump's enemies list while he was in office, including the National Security Advisor and FBI agents.
The New York Times broke the bombshell story, reporting that the "campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump's national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau's ranks."
"The campaign," the Times reports, "shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump's allies had about a shadowy 'deep state' trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president."
"Central to the effort, according to interviews, was Richard Seddon, a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets. He ran field operations for Project Veritas until mid-2018."
Last year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Seddon ran an expansive effort to gain access to the unions and campaigns and led a hiring effort that nearly tripled the number of the group's operatives, according to interviews and deposition testimony. He trained operatives at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming.
The Times' extensive reporting, which runs about 2700 words, does not reveal who initiated or who bankrolled the campaign.
The Times reports the operation was run out of a house that rented for $10,000 a month, and that it is not known if President Trump or his closest advisors, including family members, were aware of the operation or had anything to do with it.
"The operation against Mr. McMaster was hatched not long after an article appeared in BuzzFeed News about a private dinner in 2017. Exactly what happened during the dinner is in dispute, but the article said that Mr. McMaster had disparaged Mr. Trump by calling him an 'idiot' with the intelligence of a 'kindergartner.'"
Those allegations were never proven, although they echo what some others inside the administration, like first Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had allegedly stated.
In the end, McMaster resigned amid far right-wing attacks, but no recordings of him calling Trump an "idiot."
Read the entire New York Times investigation here.
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