Proud Boy lawyer questions whether Congress certifying the presidential election counts as an 'official proceeding'
Many of the perpetrators of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol have been charged with the federal crime of "obstructing an official proceeding" of Congress because their attack was intended to disrupt the counting of electors to confirm the victory of President Joe Biden.
But according to the Seattle Times, the attorney for one of the attackers, Seattle-area Proud Boy Ethan Nordean, is trying a novel approach by questioning whether the counting of electors really counts as an "official proceeding."
"During a nearly two-hour hearing Tuesday before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a lawyer for Ethan Nordean argued to Judge Timothy J. Kelly that government prosecutors have misapplied criminal charges against Nordean and three co-defendants under a part of federal criminal law aimed to protect 'official proceedings' from interference," reported Lewis Kamb. "Congress's act to certify Electoral College votes from a presidential election doesn't qualify as an 'official proceeding,' attorney Nicholas Smith argued, because a bevy of case law has defined such proceedings as events involving an investigative purpose or truth-finding inquiry."
Kelly was not convinced by this argument, noting that an official proceeding can be anything "where you have a presiding official gaveling in," the houses of Congress.
Nordean, who was placed under house arrest earlier this year after allegedly leading a swarm of Proud Boys through Washington, D.C. to the Capitol, has reportedly been reduced to raising money online as he struggles "making ends meet."
The Proud Boys, a self-styled "Western Chauvinist" group with ties to white supremacy, played a key role in the Capitol riot, with several members being charged for their involvement.
The Capitol riot committee now has a clear roadmap for subpoenas: Pulitzer Prize-winning Post reporter
There's a clear roadmap for the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter explained on MSNBC on Tuesday.
MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Carol Leonnig as Politico is reporting the select committee is poised to begin issuing subpoenas.
The process was explained by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, was the lead impeachment manager during Donald Trump's first trial, and is a member of the select committee.
"In some cases, we're making requests we think will be complied with," Schiff said. "In other cases, we're going straight to subpoenas where we think we're dealing with recalcitrant witnesses."
Wallace asked Leonnig about a tweet by Miles Taylor, a former Trump administration official who served as chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security.
"I firmly believe Trump provoked the attack on the Capitol so he could declare martial law. For years he talked in private about the Insurrection Act & his 'magical powers' to deploy the military on to the streets. The January 6th select committee needs to investigate this," Taylor tweeted.
I firmly believe Trump provoked the attack on the Capitol so he could declare martial law. For years he talked in… https://t.co/uVCJurSJby— Miles Taylor (@Miles Taylor) 1632227888.0
Leonnig explained that "the most central unanswered questions sort of circle around the drain that Miles Taylor is smartly focusing on. And that is, the days before January 6th."
"This is why, to me, subpoena power is so powerful and I wish as a journalist I had it," she explained. "We need to know about the conversations that Republican lawmakers, Donald Trump, and White House staff had with each other and with organizers of the protest. We need to know those conversations in detail -- their communications about what they plan to do."
"We already know from very good reporting that — unfortunately, not with a subpoena — that there were protest members who were warning the senior White House folks that there was going to be a likely storming/march on the capitol," she continued. "So, the White House should have been on alert."
Republicans in Congress are also under scrutiny.
"There was also a crucial meeting in late December between the president and other lawmakers in that special caucus that wanted to stop the certification of the vote. They were all sort of fist-bumping after that meeting where they were going to discuss how they would stop the steal, how they would stop the certification. We need to know what they discussed and we need to know what White House staff notes were taken," she explained.
The meeting was announced on Twitter by then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Several members of Congress just finished a meeting in the Oval Office with President @realDonaldTrump, preparing t… https://t.co/QjZGsxNSnh— Mark Meadows (@Mark Meadows) 1608591796.0
Reuters reported that the meeting was attended by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mo Brooks (R-AL).
"We need to know the degree to which then President Trump was aware of the likelihood and potential for violence," Leonnig said.
subpoena roadmap www.youtube.com
Anti-vax nurses' threats of mass resignations over mandates look like a gigantic bust in Maine: report
Nurses and other health care workers opposed to getting vaccinated against the novel coronavirus have threatened a mass resignation campaign if their institutions implement vaccine mandates.
However, the Maine Beacon reports that this threat has been mostly hot air so far in the Pine Tree State.
"Employment data shows that very few Maine health care workers have quit their jobs over the recent statewide COVID vaccine mandate, despite a number of lawsuits and ongoing protests organized by anti-vaccine activists," the publication writes.
The Maine Beacon specifically pointed to Northern Light, the second-largest health care provider in Maine, which said recently that only 20 of its 10,000-plus staff members had quit in protest of Maine Gov. Janet Mills's vaccine mandate for health care workers.
And Maine Health, the largest in-state health care provider, said that only 45 staff members out of its 23,000-plus staff resigned due to the vaccine mandate.
In fact, the combined resignations of staff members is just a fraction of the number of Maine residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19, as more than 200 Mainers are currently receiving treatment at a hospital for the disease.
The Maine Beacon notes that Republicans in the state have been pushing back against the Mills mandates, although so far it seems as though the mandates are not having dire impacts on health care staffing at major providers.
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