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Trump should be indicted for violating the Insurrection Act -- or seditious conspiracy: ex-DHS secretary
Donald Trump should be prosecuted for violating the Insurrection Act, according to former Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson.
The former DHS secretary appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he discussed the deletion of communications across several federal agencies at the end of the Trump presidency, which he said appeared to be a violation of the Federal Records Act, and he said the former president also appeared to have broken federal law.
"Legally, it seems to me, everything I know publicly and most notably on the Jan. 6 hearings that Donald Trump personally is well within what an aggressive federal prosecutor would be willing to take on in in terms of a prosecution," Johnson said. "Whether it's seditious conspiracy or whether it's violation of the Insurrection Act, Jan. 6 was, in my judgment, the very definition of an insurrection, and the insurrection statute punishes those who incite the insurrection and those who give aid and comfort thereto."
"There are various theories of fraud swirling around, fraud on those who contributed to overturn the election when everyone knew it was a fake effort," Johnson added. "So I think at this point he's within the ambit of potential liability here. It's also apparent to me that the Department of Justice is scrambling a bit to catch up after the Jan. 6 hearings, [which] were such high profile and choreographed effectively. This story is not over yet, and I suspect we'll see evidence will get closer and closer to Donald Trump as things progress."
"If for some reason he is not indicted," Johnson concluded, "I think this Department of Justice will have to have a good explanation as to why that is the case."
Watch the video below or at this link.
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Parts of Australia's beleaguered Great Barrier Reef now have the highest levels of coral cover seen in decades, a government report said Thursday, suggesting the aquatic wonder could survive given the chance.
Portions of the vast UNESCO heritage site showed a marked increase in coral cover in the last year, reaching levels not seen in 36 years of monitoring, the Australian Institute of Marine Science said.
Scientists surveying 87 sites said northern and central parts of the reef had bounced back from damage more quickly than some had expected, thanks mainly to fast-growing Acropora -- a branching coral that supports thousands of marine species.
"These latest results demonstrate the reef can still recover in periods free of intense disturbances," said the Australian Institute of Marine Science's CEO Paul Hardisty.
But far from declaring victory, Hardisty warned the gains could easily be reversed by cyclones, new bleaching events or crown-of-thorns outbreaks.
He pointed to a reversal in fortunes for the southern portion of the reef, which a year ago had appeared to be on the mend, but was now in decline again.
"This shows how vulnerable the reef is to the continued acute and severe disturbances that are occurring more often, and are longer-lasting," he said.
Coral coverage has increased by 36 percent across sites monitored in the northern part of the reef, up from 27 percent in 2021.
But the picture was less encouraging as the scientists moved south, with a smaller increase in cover in the reef's central belt and a marked decrease in coral cover in the south.
The spread of coral-killing crown-of-thorns starfish has also taken a toll.
Only fierce lobbying by the Australian government stopped the reef from being labelled "in danger" by UNESCO -- a potentially devastating blow to the country's multi-billion-dollar tourism industry.
Many fear that the speeding rate of damage could cause the reef to be destroyed entirely.
Marine scientist Terry Hughes said it was "good news" that coral was regrowing, but warned the species driving the recovery were very vulnerable to ocean heating.
He added that replacing large, old, slow-growing corals that had defined the reef was likely "no longer possible. Instead we're seeing partial reassembly of fast-growing, weedy corals before the next disturbance."
Zoe Richards a researcher at the Coral Conservation and Research Group at Curtin University also cautioned against over-optimism.
"This recovery trend is driven by a handful of Acropora species which often grow in a boom-and-bust pattern," she said. "This means that the next thermal stress event could easily decimate these coral communities once again."
"We are already finding evidence that each mass bleaching event leads to local extinctions of rarer species, so the short-term success of a handful of fast-growing coral species masks the full story about the largely hidden losses of biodiversity."
© 2022 AFP
A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to a misdemeanor charge of engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct for his role in the January 6th Capitol riots is now pointing the finger at former President Donald Trump.
CBS News' Scott MacFarlane flags a new court filing in which convicted MAGA rioter Benjamin Larocca pleaded for leniency for his crimes by blaming Trump's decision to hold a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington D.C. on January 6th, 2021.
"I deeply regret and apologize to the law enforcement personnel, congress, and their staff's family members," he wrote. "Their family members have suffered tremendously ever since the January 6th, 2021, Trump rally happened. If the Trump rally never happened, then the officers, faculty, and their family members would never have to suffer."
Larocca is not the first Capitol rioter to implicate Trump for the deadly riots, as multiple rioters have said that they stormed the Capitol because they believed it was what Trump wanted them to do.
Earlier this week, family members of convicted MAGA rioter Guy Reffitt said that Trump deserved to be thrown in prison for inciting his followers to attack the Capitol.