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Former Republican Congressman David Rivera has finally been indicted over a probe into his $50 million contract with Venezuela's socialist government, a spokesperson in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami said in a statement.
According to NBC Miami, the former lawmaker was officially arrested in connection to the ongoing federal criminal investigation while in the Atlanta, Georgia airport. The indictment was handed down by the grand jury last month, said spokesperson Marlene Rodriguez. He paid bail on Monday afternoon after being processed.
The pressure was mounting over Rivera after the contract was revealed at a time President Nicolas Maduro was trying to curry favor with former President Donald Trump in the early days of the administration.
"Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting was sued in 2020 by PDV USA — a Delaware-based affiliate of Venezuelan-owned Citgo — alleging the former congressman performed no work as part of the contract he signed in 2017 for three months of 'strategic consulting' meant to build bridges with key U.S. stakeholders," said the Miami news outlet.
Rivera has said he's innocent in the past and has his own lawsuit claiming PDV USA breached their contract and failed to pay him $30 million he was owed.
He's already escaped "a host of state and federal criminal indictments, was finally charged in an alleged crime Rivera was a longtime friend of, enforcer for and co-homeowner with Marco Rubio, who was attacked over his pal in this 2016 ad by Donald Trump," reporter Marc Caputo tweeted with the ad Trump ran.
Caputo noted that there have been four times that Rivera was able to dodge accountability.
\u201cFormer Rep David Rivera, who escaped a host of state and federal criminal indictments, was finally charged in an alleged crime\n\nRivera was a longtime friend of, enforcer for & co-homeowner with Marco Rubio, who was attacked over his pal in this 2016 ad by Donald Trump\u201d— Marc Caputo (@Marc Caputo) 1670278184
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that key evangelical leaders are beginning to sour on former President Donald Trump, believing he lacks what it takes to help them win their cultural fight for America.
"Even in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned — thanks to conservative judges Donald Trump appointed — top evangelical leaders are distancing themselves from the former president, fearing he might not have what it takes to win in 2024 and growing tired of his persistent scandals and controversies, according to Semafor," reported Asta Hemenway.
"Evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the Family Leader, told Semafor other conservatives he’s spoken with like Trump but hope to move forward with 'a vision for the future versus a complaint or critique about the past,'" said the report. Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, the longtime pro-Trump leader of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, said that evangelicals "don't want a lot of drama" and are tired of Trump's constant complaints the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
These recent breaks from Trump come after a searing criticism of the former president by Texas-based Christian Zionist Mike Evans, who stated, “Donald Trump can’t save America. He can’t even save himself. He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us. I cannot do that anymore.”
Evangelical voters have long been one of Trump's most reliable voting blocs. Indeed, they were so devoted to Trump that there is evidence they changed entire parts of their worldview for the sake of showing loyalty to him; polls during the Trump years showed that evangelicals did a complete 180 on the question of whether a person immoral in their private life could be a moral leader, going from 60 percent No to 80 percent Yes.
Recently, however, doubts have been growing in some corners of the evangelical community. The movement appears to be shifting the foundations of evangelical politics, with some evangelical voters — particularly those of color — abandoning the right.
Ex-senator unleashes on 'criminal' Republicans like Trump who lied when they swore to uphold the Constitution
Former President Donald Trump went off on a tangent over the weekend that he believed the Constitution should be terminated. After backlash, Trump opened Monday claiming that it's all fake news and saying that he never said such a thing. The statement Trump posted on Truth Social hasn't been deleted.
Trump then made the case for why the rules and laws should be suspended and the 2020 election redone or he should be simply be handed to him.
Republicans were pressed over the question on the Sunday morning shows as many bobbed and dodged trying to admit they disagreed with the former president.
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Monday, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) called out Republicans for refusing to stand up for the Constitution, which they took an oath to uphold. GOP Trump foes were more than happy to come forward, however.
"Claire, that's how the deadly insurrection happened, Trump knew he lost, all the Republicans knew he lost," said Wallace. "They decide to let him cry it out like an 18-month-old. We knocked that out around 2 I think in the toddler book I read. He seeds disinformation. Stewart Rhodes says, I'm waiting for him to declare the Insurrection Act. Stewart Rhodes is on his way to jail. Donald Trump being allowed to cry it out is only possible when Republicans like Mr. Joyce and Mr. McCarthy do nothing. And when you look at the -- we talk about it here every day, the current threat of domestic violent extremism, it is linked to lies told by Trump and his allies in the media."
McCaskill said that looking at the lies, Trump has said, namely that he claimed he loved his "very special" supporters on Jan. 6 or that he cared about law enforcement or the military.
"He lied when he said he loved his country, and he lied when he said he loved the Constitution," McCaskill continued. "The biggest lie he told was the oath of office. He was lying as he had his hand on the Bible that he would uphold the Constitution. The only thing Donald Trump was ever interested in was any lie he needed to tell to get power and hold on to power so he could look himself in the mirror and convince himself that he's wonderful because deep down he knows he's not. And that kind of person is very dangerous with power."
Now that he has lost and his lawsuits are starting to stack up, she said that he's growing more desperate.
"The dinner with con Kanye and the white supremacist was desperate. This was desperate," she said. "And the idea you have a journalist had Kevin McCarthy on TV over the weekend and didn't even ask the future Speaker of the House whether or not it was okay that the president of his party said to get rid of the Constitution, I mean this crime is being committed all over the landscape of Republicans and Republican sycophants, including some on another network. And it is about time for somebody to be a leader here because if they are, you know what's going to happen? They're going to win. A leader right now in the Republican Party would win. But they're all too afraid. I've never seen anything like it."
Punch Bowl News co-founder Jake Sherman said that he doesn't understand why Republicans get so angry at reporters for asking about these statements. If Republicans would stand up against Trump, then it wouldn't be a story. Instead, over and over again, Trump does something insane and Republican leaders refuse to respond, which results in stories about how Republicans refuse to denounce Nazis or white supremacists or "terminating the Constitution."
Trump's claim that he never said that or it was fake news gives Republicans the out, Sherman said.
"They're going to try to get themselves off the hook here is they're going to say that Trump later walked back those statements and it's going to be kind of like what Joyce said here," he explained. "It's going to be like, well, he actually didn't mean it. It was out of context, which it wasn't. He said what he said and he believes it and that the larger issue, Nicolle, is just like the dinner with the Nazi. It gives permission -- a permission structure for people to say these crazy things and start to believe them among his base. People could say maybe the constitution isn't that great. Maybe it does need to be updated. Maybe there shouldn't be election laws. Trump saying it gives that permission structure to have that conversation which is obscene and absurd, just like it gives a permission structure to neo-Nazis, anti-semites and white supremacists in which they should be normalized."
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