The House investigation of the Jan. 6 riot has thrust a long-simmering CIA feud into the public eye.
David Buckley, who's now the top Democratic staffer on the select committee, ruffled feathers as the spy agency's inspector general 11 years ago, when he aggressively tried to root out alleged wrongdoing, and his reputed hostility to whistleblowers may prevent potential witnesses from coming forward in the House probe, reported Politico.
"I as a whistleblower attorney would definitely need to weigh the costs and benefits of recommending to a client that they go to this committee while David Buckley is the staff director," said attorney Kel McClanahan, who represents national security whistleblowers. "Especially if those clients are of the type that don't have strong whistleblower protections, like Capitol police or Intelligence community employees."
Buckley investigated a case as inspector general involving $3 million and numerous meals at Hooters, and one of his investigators there, Andrew Bakaj, accused him of retaliation after he was blamed for providing information and assistance to another probe.
Bakaj is now a whistleblower attorney who represented two of the four law enforcement officers who testified at the panel's first hearing, and his attorney Mark Zaid -- who represented the whistleblower who trigged Donald Trump's first impeachment -- said he would be hesitant to bring whistleblowers before the panel.
"The committee's defense of Buckley embarrassingly reveals that the Democrats' support of the [intelligence community] whistleblower, who Andrew and I represented, was just a partisan exercise to get Trump," Zaid said. "Once a whistleblower issue conflicts with their political agenda, the whistleblower apparently gets sacrificed. Given this position, the committee is continuing the illegal reprisal against Andrew."
A spokesman for the panel's Democratic majority defended Buckley reputation.
"The years-old situation conveniently resurfacing now dealt with possibly unlawful handling of information that could have jeopardized one of the CIA IG's most important and sensitive investigations in recent years," said spokesman Tim Mulvey. "Mr. Buckley did his job to protect the integrity of that effort, and since these events unfolded, a federal court has ruled that the precise sort of action he took does not constitute retaliation."
The court ruling didn't involved Bakaj's case, and Republicans, for now, don't appear to be interested in turning Buckley into a political liability.
On CNN Monday, reporter Nick Valencia slammed Pastor Greg Locke of the Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, following a fiery sermon in which he proclaimed "You will not wear a mask in this church," demanded his congregants not take the vaccine, and promoted former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the election was stolen.
"In a state like Tennessee where have you less than half the population vaccinated and infection rates climbing, this could have serious implications for the people who look to Locke as a leader," said anchor Brianna Keilar.
"It already has, and the pastor has been on a crusade of misinformation, calling COVID-19 a fake pandemic, saying that the vaccines are a scam," said Valencia. "His crusade continued over the weekend when he ordered his congregants not to wear masks and get the COVID vaccine — this, after some of his congregants already died — and saying that the president's days, quote, 'are numbered.'"
"In May, a CNN crew was sent to interview Locke, but just 20 minutes before that interview was scheduled to happen he canceled, later sending CNN a statement saying when he arrived to the interview, he was nauseous, saying God told him to cancel the interview, later calling the crew of three women 'diabolical Jezebels.' But the fact that he's getting applause and the fact that his congregation has grown, it's sobering to know that people out there still exist during this pandemic, despite the data-driven evidence."
Nick Valencia slams Pastor Greg Locke for COVID lies www.youtube.com
History provides a roadmap for forcing Jim Jordan to answer questions about the Jan 6th insurrection: columnist
In a column for the Guardian, Sidney Blumenthal -- a former senior White House adviser under President Bill Clinton -- explained that there is no legal reason why the House select committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection can't call upon Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) or any other lawmaker to testify in public.
With members of the committee reportedly making up a list of witnesses they would like to subpoena in order to get to the bottom of how the riot began and who was complicit in inciting it, there have been questions whether members of the House can compel some of their colleagues to appear and answer questions about their conversations with ex-president Donald Trump on that day.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that committee members are weighing what could "...lead to an unprecedented legal and political showdown over how to force members of Congress to take the witness stand."
As Blumenthal explained in his Guardian column, there is a legal precedent if the committee wants to call Jordan or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to the stand based upon another violent insurrection that occurred in 1859.
Quoting Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claiming, "I don't know what the precedent is, to be honest," Blumenthal added, "There is one."
"After a bloody insurrection was quelled, a congressional committee was created to investigate the organization of the insurrection, sources of funding, and the connections of the insurrectionists to members of Congress who were indeed called to testify. And did," Blumenthal wrote before citing abolitionist John Brown's attack on Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1859.
After the trial of Brown, Blumenthal wrote, "the Senate created the Select Committee to Inquire into the Late Invasion and Seizure of the Public Property at Harpers Ferry. Senator James M Mason of Virginia, the sponsor of the Fugitive Slave Act, was chairman. He appointed as chief prosecutor Jefferson Davis of Mississippi. Davis was particularly intent on questioning Senator William H Seward of New York, the likely Republican candidate for president."
According to Blumenthal, lawmakers had been alerted that Brown might be planning something including Henry Wilson, a Republican from Massachusetts who later served as Ulysses S. Grant's vice-president. The columnist then added that both Seward and Wilson were called before the investigating committee and that they complied.
Adding "Other witnesses were subpoenaed and warrants were issued for the arrest of those who failed to appear," Blumenthal explained that the committee in their final report -- written by Jefferson Davis -- cited the Constitution when explaining their justification for getting their colleagues to testify.
"The Senate committee concluded its report citing the fourth section of article four of the constitution: 'The United States shall guaranty to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and, on the application of the legislature or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened,) against domestic violence,'" Blumenthal wrote before noting that Davis himself, just eight months later, "...assumed command of the greatest insurrection against the United States in its history, sworn in as president of the Confederacy."
You read all of the historical details here.
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