Alec Baldwin won an Emmy Sunday for his biting impersonation of Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" and, taking a fresh jab, reminded the president that he never won himself. "I suppose I should say, 'At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy," Baldwin said from the award stage, referring to Trump's frequent complaints that…
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'This could get ugly': Mitch McConnell and his allies are cautious while other Republicans escalate rhetoric against FBI
The FBI search warrant executed on Monday at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida has triggered an explosion of fury among Republican voters and elected leaders. Several, like Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), have called to defund or abolish the FBI, and many Trump supporters have been openly discussing civil war on social media.
But according to POLITICO, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his allies have remained cautious, wanting to wait and see where the FBI investigation goes — and fearful of the consequences of radicalizing the Republican Party against federal law enforcement.
"The starkest silence came from the Senate minority leader," said the report. "McConnell — who's said he'd back Trump in 2024 should the former president win the GOP nomination, but has otherwise kept his distance — declined to take a question on the Mar-a-Lago search Tuesday during a visit to flood-damaged areas in his home state." He did later issue a carefully measured statement on the matter, saying, "The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events of Monday."
Moreover, even some Republicans who are skeptical of the probe have qualified their criticisms. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said "the most important thing we can do is let it play out," and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) suggested it was an "overreach" — unless "there is a true national security threat."
According to the report, some Republicans in Congress fear that the growing rage among Trump supporters over the investigation could lead to violence.
"Some GOP lawmakers said privately that they're hearing panicked constituents suggest taking up arms after the Mar-a-Lago search," said the report. "'This could get ugly,' said one senior House Republican, who addressed the voter blowback on condition of anonymity. This GOP lawmaker said he hasn't seen pro-Trump conservative voters this mad since Jan. 6, 2021, when backers of the former president devolved into a violent riot in a bid to stop Congress from certifying his loss to President Joe Biden."
The investigation relates to Trump's removal of classified information when he and his staff were exiting the White House. According to the Wall Street Journal, FBI agents removed 10 boxes of documents from the premises during their search.
Experts call on Trump to release search warrant and inventory list as his supporters talk of 'civil war'
Legal experts and other experts are urging – or in some cases, daring – Donald Trump to publish a copy of the FBI’s search warrant and the inventory list of the ten cartons of classified documents removed from Mar-a-Lago’s basement Monday, as his supporters openly call for civil war in response to what the former president called a “raid.”
“After the search, the federal agents hauled away roughly 10 more boxes,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
That makes the total number of cartons the former president was storing at his Florida home approximately 25, based on reports that 15 cartons had to be retrieved by the National Archives earlier this year.
Almost immediately upon news breaking that the FBI had executed a search warrant, Trump supporters went wild. They formed a convoy outside Mar-a-Lago, and online countless threats of violence and “civil war” have been made.
Tuesday morning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph, noting the “big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.”
Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno posted an image of a large number of tweets that call for civil war and other related threats of violence, including: “I already bought my ammo,” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,” “Let’s do the war,” and “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”
And Tuesday afternoon NBC News reported, “After Mar-a-Lago search, users on pro-Trump forums agitate for ‘civil war’ — including a Jan. 6 rioter.”
Legal experts have made clear they believe FBI’s execution of a lawful federal search warrant is most likely in connection with a national security and counterintelligence operation, not a casual stroll into the private estate of a former U.S. president – and certainly not a political move, like Trump supporters are falsely claiming.
Former Dept. of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich, who is also a former Asst. U.S. Attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) notes that “Trump has the search warrant, specifying the crimes being investigated, and the inventory of the items seized.”
“He has chosen not to share those items publicly although he is free to do so,” Bromwich adds.
Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on MSNBC Tuesday morning:
“Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that…If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves.”
“By the way,” noted Richard Stengel, a former U.S. Under Secretary of State, “Trump now has the search warrant and the inventory of what was taken in his possession. If this raid was so egregious and unjustified, why not release them?”
“Trump can release the search warrant and the inventory of what the FBI took. Why hasn’t he?” asked Marc Elias, the DNC’s top attorney who successfully fought more than 60 cases of alleged election fraud brought by the Trump team and his supporters.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, responding to a Fox News tweet with video of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that reads, “‘WE DESERVE ANSWERS NOW'” wrote: “Some of those questions could be answered if Trump released the search warrant as well as the inventory of items seized, which his team presumably has.”
Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeting his article titled, “Why the Trump search warrant is nothing like Hillary’s emails,” wrote: “One person who could clear most of it up? Trump. He has access to the inventory of records at Mar-a-Lago and likely received a copy of the search warrant. He would also know the nature of the classified documents at issue.”
'Culty as hell': Former Mormons unhappy with church's response to blockbuster child abuse investigation
Incestuous Mormon child abuser Paul Adams killed himself before going to trial but his story of how he confessed to a Mormon bishop that Adams was repeatedly raping his 5-year-old daughter probably has hellish immortality. Adams was in counseling with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop John Herrod (also the Adams family doctor) in 2010 when he confessed. Herrod never alerted police or any Arizona governmental agency. Herrod obeyed church guidelines and phoned the LDS abuse hotline. Another Mormon bishop told Herrod to remain silent. Adams continued counseling and raping his children. He posted video of the sexual abuse on the dark web where Homeland Security saw it and arrested him in 2017.
An Associated Press investigation of how the Mormon church’s approach to child abusers spotlighted Adams and other horrific cases. But according to ex-Mormon abuse victims comforting each other on Facebook and Reddit, sexual assault on children and the church’s silence have happened for years and will happen again.
Twitter fires were fueled by this week’s defensive official response from the Church of Latter Day Saints.
“The abuse of a child or any other individual is inexcusable,” the LDS statement reads. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes this, teaches this and dedicates tremendous resources and efforts to prevent, report and address abuse…The nature and the purpose of the Church’s helpline was seriously mischaracterized in a recent Associated Press article…When a leader calls the helpline, the conversation is about how to stop the abuse, care for the victim and ensure compliance with reporting obligations, even in cases when the law provides clergy-penitent privilege or restricts what can be shared from private ecclesiastical conversations.”
The statement notes that LDS can punish members who sexually abuse children with excommunication which invoked waves of angry tweets including one from @mediocremumsy: “Mormons really be out there thinking that excommunication is adequate justice for sexual assault. That is culty as hell.”
Several ex-Mormons responded, noting that excommunication isn’t always permanent. As Libby Potter Boss @libbyboss tweeted, “a few years later the guy is quietly rebaptized and no one but the bishop is ever the wiser.”
The lengthy LDS statement is ambiguous on whether its officials are required to report child abuse to police or children’s protective services. On Twitter, @mormon_satan had the pithiest response.
“Today in church, I hope you good faithful Mormons stare your bishop down and tell him that you expect him to report cases of child abuse to the authorities.”
Clergy-penitent privilege allows clergy to keep some confessions secret. In movies, it’s a plot device, the stalwart priest or pastor who won’t divulge a murderer’s confession to police. Herrod claims he thought Adams confession was privileged under Arizona law. He was wrong.
Incredibly, some state laws are unclear on whether it’s mandatory for clergy to report child abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that “privileged communications may be exempt from the requirement to report suspected abuse or neglect.” The abused child’s fate, to a scary extent, can depend on a state’s law.
The Mormon Child Abuse Awareness Facebook page posts articles about Mormon child abuse victims from all over America and postings about personal experiences that date back for years.
“I had a friend reach out to me today, one of many friends who has reached out to me since I shared my story,” says a November 2020 post. “A family member was sexually abused by a member of the church. (He) confessed to the bishop who did not turn the perpetrator in to the police…What do you believe is the right advice to give? From my experience, a police report must be filed…The perpetrator needs this step just as much as the victim. Rehabilitation is not offered by repentance alone. The legal system is needed…otherwise “repentance/confession” is just an empty promise forgotten when the perpetrator moves to a new ward or bishop is replaced.”
One posting was about an April arrest of a Utah bishop who, as part of his counseling sessions with female LDS teenagers, showed them dick pix and nude photos of himself.