Dozens of specialists from the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation are advising the Ukrainian government, a German newspaper reported Sunday. Citing unnamed German security sources, Bild am Sonntag said the CIA and FBI…
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) called for congressional action to hold former president Donald Trump and his administration accountable for their abuses of power.
The California Democrat, whose personal data was seized by Trump's Department of Justice, said the twice-impeached one-term president must face consequences for his abuses to ensure that future presidents aren't tempted to copy his playbook, just as Trump felt emboldened by Richard Nixon's pesidency.
"Trump always treated the idea of justice with contempt and his attorneys general as his personal fixers," Swalwell wrote in an op-ed published Monday by Yahoo News. "Just like his almost impeached predecessor and mentor, Richard Nixon, Trump sicced the power of government on his enemies with no regard for the rule of law. It appears he took away all the wrong lessons from Nixon's time in office."
The former president's corruption infected the executive branch and spread to his supporters, Swalwell said, and nearly proved fatal.
"Almost 50 years ago, John Dean warned of 'a cancer on the presidency,'" Swalwell wrote. "For the past four years, the cancer was the president. Donald Trump had no regard for our laws, our system of justice or our democracy itself, and he was fine with destroying all of them if it served his personal purposes."
The Justice Department's inspector general has launched an investigation of subpoenas targeting Trump's political enemies, but Swalwell said congressional action was needed to compel testimony from former administration officials such as William Barr, Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein.
"His weaponization of law enforcement was straight out of the playbooks of the dictators and despots he idolized, and it remains particularly concerning because he and his supporters believe he could become president again," Swalwell wrote. "Next time, Trump (or some other equally corrupt but more competent president) might not wait for a Justice Department investigation to yield evidence; he might just order that people be locked up, per his "lock her up" campaign mantra."
"And using the Justice Department to probe his political opponents is just one more abuse among many Trump perpetrated upon our nation," the lawmaker added. "He leveraged foreign aid to coerce another country into producing dirt with which to smear an electoral opponent. He refused to concede an election his own appointees had deemed free and fair, and he incited a resurrection against our democracy."
Italy said Monday it had recovered from a Belgian collector hundreds of illegally gathered archeological finds dating as far back as the sixth century BC, worth 11 million euros.
The nearly 800 pieces "of exceptional rarity and inestimable value", including stelae, amphorae and other works, came from clandestine excavations in Apulia in Italy's southeastern tip, according to the Carabinieri police in charge of cultural heritage.
The investigation began in 2017 after a state archaeology lab in Apulia noticed in European art catalogues that decorative elements from a Daunian funerary stele belonging to a "wealthy Belgian collector" resembled those found within a fragment in a southern Italian museum.
That flat stone slab from Daunia -- a historical region of Apulia -- in the collection of the Belgian collector was missing a piece in its centre.
An official within the restoration lab noticed that the piece in the museum's collection completed the design of a shield and a warrior on horseback that was missing on the stele.
"During the course of the search, a veritable 'archaeological treasure' was recovered, consisting of hundreds of Apulian figurative ceramic finds and other Daunian stelae, all illegally exported from Italy, which were then seized in Belgium," read a statement from police.
Italy was able to repatriate the works after all the legal appeals of the collector were dismissed, police said.
Besides stelae, the collection includes vases painted with red figures, amphorae, black glazed ceramics, and numerous terracotta figurines. The pieces date back to between the sixth and third centuries BC.
© 2021 AFP
An MSNBC "Morning Joe" panel that was discussing former Vice President Mike Pence being booed by Donald Trump fans during a conservative Christian conference over the weekend led to one regular contributor to point out that it was entirely possible Republicans could blow their chance at regaining power in the 2022 midterms.
Discussing what was described as Trump's "cult," regular Morning Joe contributor Donny Deutsch served up a warning to Republicans that they are at risk of engaging in a "cycle" of losing.
"A couple data points about the state of the Republican Party," Deutsch began. "Economist/YouGov came out with a poll where they were asking ratings of Joe Biden and Putin. Vladimir Putin's favorability rating with Trump voters is twice what Biden's is. What else do you need to know about the death of the Republican Party as we know it?"
"They [the Republican Party] have to wait for a couple of L's, a couple of losses," he continued. "These guys, it's simple, they want to keep their jobs. As we know, 20 percent of the fringe in the party votes in primaries and they'll get primaried out. Trump at this point is almost a concept, not a person."
"You know what Trump tweeted out over the weekend?" he reported. "Happy Father's Day to the losers, to the RINOs losers -- this is what their fearless leader is tweeting out. There is no concept, there are no issues."
Asking, "Where's the transformational figure, where can somebody stand up and tell it like it is," Deutsch warned, "Until there is a cycle or two of losing, although they are set up to win in 2022, the Republicans, I do believe as long as the Democrats do not go anywhere near defund the police, there might be a break in history and there might be a change in the midterms. Because there is nowhere to go and the suburban Republicans who moved to Biden will stay there. I think the answer is there has to be another cycle or two of losing until the Republicans, or any semblance of the Republican Party, can raise their heads again."
MSNBC 06 21 2021 06 40 49 youtu.be
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