Workers in St. Louis were removing a controversial Confederate monument when they discovered a 102-year-old time capsule buried inside its base. Mark Trout, executive director of the Missouri Civil War Museum, knew of the copper time capsule’s existence from historical documents and determined that it was placed in the bottom center of the monument around one…
Wendy Davis, others sue law enforcement and Trump supporters over 'Trump Train' harassing Biden bus in Texas
Former state Sen. Wendy Davis and others who were traveling on a campaign bus for President Joe Biden last fall when it was surrounded and followed by former President Donald Trump's supporters on a Texas highway have filed multiple lawsuits over the events that transpired that day. The suits target people who were allegedly following and harassing the bus, as well as local law enforcement for not helping after assistance was requested, according to those on the bus.
The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday against at least seven members of the so-called "Trump Train," who followed the bus, claims the group violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and Texas law by organizing a "politically-motivated conspiracy to disrupt the campaign and intimidate its supporters."
The Klan Act prevents groups from joining together to obstruct free and fair federal elections by intimidating and injuring voters, or denying them the ability to engage in political speech.
The second lawsuit was filed against law enforcement who "turned a blind eye to the attack — despite pleas for help — and failed to provide the bus a police escort," according to Protect Democracy, the group of lawyers representing the plaintiffs. The second lawsuit was filed against Chase Stapp, the head of San Marcos' director of public safety, and the San Marcos City Marshal's Department.
The lawsuit against the Trump supporters claims the defendants violated that law when they followed the bus, yelling death threats and streaming their activities on social media and "bragging about their aggressive driving."
The plaintiffs in both suits include Davis, David Gins, a then-campaign staffer who now serves as deputy director for operations for Vice President Kamala Harris, Eric Cervini, another campaign volunteer, and the bus driver, Timothy Holloway. The lawsuit also states that the plaintiffs continue to suffer psychological and emotional injury from the event. The bus driver, Holloway, has been unable to drive a bus following the experience.
"Not knowing whether the police would show up to help us was terrifying," said Holloway in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
They are asking for compensatory, and punitive damages and for legal fees to be covered in both lawsuits.
"What Defendants cannot do under the law is use force, intimidation, or threats against those with whom they disagree politically. Yet that is precisely what Defendants did by conspiring to use their vehicles as weapons to interfere with the constitutional rights of those who supported the Biden-Harris Campaign," the lawsuit reads. "The Constitution's guarantee of free speech, association, and assembly is empty if those rights cannot be freely exercised. And where groups are permitted to terrorize those with whom they disagree into forgoing their constitutional rights, the functioning of our democracy demands accountability."
The individuals named in the lawsuit could not immediately be reached for comment. The city of San Marcos declined to comment due to pending litigation.
The confrontation, captured on video in late October, made national news in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election. It featured at least one minor collision and led to Texas Democrats canceling three scheduled campaign events in Central Texas, citing "safety concerns." The plaintiffs argue the forced cancellation due to these intimidation tactics also infringed on their First Amendment rights. The FBI continues to investigate the incident, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.
A group of Trump supporters, who documented their progress on social media, had followed the group throughout the Texas campaign. On Oct. 30, a social media user using the hashtag #TrumpTrainTexas posted on Twitter, "Trolling is FUN." The user called for other Trump supporters to "escort the Biden [bus] coming through San Antonio."
Once they left San Antonio, dozens of trucks with Trump and American flags surrounded the bus, shouting and honking at it, and tried to slow it down. The campaign canceled an event in San Marcos and continued on to an event in Austin. But plaintiffs said they struggled to get police to respond as they continued north on Interstate 35.
Many of the defendants who are named in the filing were linked by their social media posts of the incident in which their license plate numbers are visible. According to the filing, the defendants include Steve and Randi Ceh, who were apparent leaders of the Trump Train in New Braunfels, and their daughter, Hannah. The filing states that Hannah posted several videos that showed her license plate number. Eliazar Cisneros, who appeared to participate in the Alamo City Trump Train, also posted videos with his license plate visible, the filing states. The filing also said according to social media posts, Steve and Randi Ceh were also pictured at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
In an interview with the Tribune in January after the insurrection, Davis said she saw a direct link between the two events. She also she didn't think law enforcement had taken the situation on I-35 seriously enough. She said in San Antonio, police responded to a request for assistance, pushing the trucks with Trump flags back. But once they left San Antonio, the caravan once again surrounded the bus. Davis said they called 911 again in San Marcos but they could not get an officer to respond.
"They just kept saying, 'Where are you now? Where are you now,'" Davis said in January. "We kept giving them landmark after landmark, mile marker after mile marker. … Never were we able to get anyone to come out. It was unbelievable."
A San Marcos spokesperson said in October that police received a call from the Biden campaign bus requesting a police escort but due to traffic weren't able to catch up to the bus before it exited the city.
According to the filing, the San Marcos Police Department told the plaintiffs, "they would not respond unless the Biden-Harris Campaign was 'reporting a crime,' explaining: 'we can't help you.'" the filing reads. "Despite being told the bus was driving through San Marcos, and despite the fact that Plaintiffs had already tried calling 911, an officer from the San Marcos City Marshal's Department made similar excuses, saying: 'we don't know if the bus is in our jurisdiction' and 'call 911 if there's a problem.'"
Lisa Prewitt, a former San Marcos council member who was running for a county commissioner seat at the time, also told the Tribune in the days after the skirmish she had flagged the event to local law enforcement 24 hours in advance and mentioned safety concerns. Prewitt said she had called Stapp, and alerted him the bus was 30 minutes away from the event location in San Marcos and was being followed by 50 or more vehicles with Trump flags.
"I let [Stapp] know what was going on and [asked] if we were going to be receiving San Marcos [Police Department] backup, and I was reassured once again that would happen," she said in October. "We never did see any law enforcement from the county nor the city show up to assist the Biden bus."
Last year, Stapp denied that Prewitt specifically requested a police escort or mentioned the ""Trump Train" was causing issues, but did not respond to follow up questions at the time.
"With the exception of the two phone calls to me from Ms. Prewitt, at no time did anyone from the campaign request assistance from the San Marcos Police Department in advance of the event so that the request could be evaluated and prepared for," Stapp said in a statement to the Tribune last year.
The incident garnered praise from Republican lawmakers at the time. Trump tweeted a video of the Trump supporters following the Biden bus saying, "I LOVE TEXAS!" and claimed inaccurately that the supporters were "protecting" the bus.
Rudy Giuliani faced an expletive-laced tirade as Trump campaign lawyer explained Georgia recount rules
Excerpts from Michael Bender's new book Frankly, We Did Win This Election reveal some profanity-laced rants between Rudy Giuliani and former President Donald Trump's campaign legal team.
The Daily Mail revealed the excerpt Thursday, though the book isn't going to be released until August. Bender's book cites 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien and campaign lawyer Justin Clark, who walked Trump through the legal options. Giuliani, however, was "blowing it up," the book describes, "pushing his way further into the Oval Office."
Trump asked Clark into the Oval Office on Nov. 13 with Giuliani on speakerphone, saying that the campaign is being too slow to protest the Georgia election results.
"Clark explained that state law required results to be certified before a recount could be requested, which hadn't yet happened," the book recalls.
"'They're lying to you, sir!' Giuliani shouted," the book continues. But Clark refuted Giuliani's claim. It then devolved into a shouting match that was so loud those waiting outside the Oval Office could hear and were a little startled.
"You're a f*cking as*hole, Rudy!" Clark said.
Clark had been with the campaign for a year, going through state and national party rulebooks to ensure the campaign was prepared for challenges. Before that he was a White House aide.
"Now, after one phone call from Giuliani, the president was entertaining nonsensical attacks on his ability to read Georgia election code and to give an honest answer to a simple question to the president he'd spent four years trying to reelect," the book continues. "Clark stopped going to the White House."
That's when Giuliani took over. He now faces legal sanctions for lying in court about the 2020 election. He's been suspended from practicing law until the court makes a ruling on his fitness.
Arizona Republican demolished for being ‘solely responsible’ for conspiracy theory risking mass violence
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann was blasted on Thursday after OAN broadcast contributor Pearson Sharp called for mass executions of Americans who rejected Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud.
"We now approach the end game of Arizona's election audit which – in some minds, at least – is not just about exposing the (supposed) conspiracy to overthrow Donald Trump. Next up: Mass executions," Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts wrote on Monday.
"The Daily Beast reports a news personality from One America News Network is calling for the execution of potentially 'tens of thousands' of 'radical Democrats' he claims were involved in stealing the election in Arizona and elsewhere. This, from the far-right media outlet that is working as the official broadcast sponsor of the Arizona Senate's audit," she noted.
Roberts traced the threats of violence back to Arizona's state Senate leader pushing for the widely-condemned Arizona audit of votes in Maricopa County.
"It's bad enough that Senate President Karen Fann's 'unbiased, independent' auditors have teamed up with a fringe media outlet that has led the charge in peddling conspiracy theories, one whose reporter, Christina Bobb, is a former Trump administration official who is now raising money to help fund the audit. Now Arizona's audit partner, OAN, is airing a report telling us that potentially tens of thousands of 'radical Democrats' should be executed once the evidence of a 'coup' is unearthed in Arizona and in other audits that will follow," she explained. "Gee, and here I thought Fann told us the audit was simply about determining if Arizona's election laws need to be tightened."
Roberts declared Fann "solely responsible" for the situation.
"The nation of sane people, meanwhile, should be questioning just what it is that Fann has unleashed upon America. She, alone, is responsible for ordering an election audit despite no evidence of a problem here. She, alone, is responsible for turning Arizona into a laughingstock and for giving hope to Trump that he's going to be reinstated," Roberts wrote. "And now, for supplying oxygen to QAnon whack jobs who fantasize about summary executions of deep staters who organized the supposed coup. It's getting crazier and crazier across the country and it all starts with Arizona."
I came across the clip because QAnon people are see it as proof that the mass executions are right around the corne… https://t.co/CfkPEwQLVD— Will Sommer (@Will Sommer) 1624511268.0
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