Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday at an event commemorating President Ronald Reagan, and he devoted part of his address to the opioid epidemic. It was pretty standard Sessions stuff: hyping the danger of marijuana use (“We are not going to pretend that there is not a law against marijuana, or that it’s not bad for you.”), plus the totally unfounded claim that the problem with the drug war is it hasn’t been...
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Pennsylvania Republicans and election officials are growing increasingly furious with Donald Trump over his attacks on the vote-counting in the exceedingly close GOP Senate primary race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
With election results from last Tuesday likely headed to a recount, the former president has raged at the state while urging Oz, whom he endorsed, to just declare victory and move on.
In one blast since election day, the former president has raged on his Trtuth Social social media platform, "The Pennsylvania Oz race is ridiculous. How long does it take to count votes. France, same day all paper, had VERIFIED numbers in evening. U.S. is a laughingstock on Elections. Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?”
That has Republicans in the state shaking their heads and worrying that he will also interfere with the vote counts in November causing even more headaches for them.
According to the Post Gazette, "In the too-close-to-call Republican Senate primary race in Pennsylvania, the aura of former President Donald Trump and his claims of election legitimacy, once again hang over the state," adding, "The dynamic reflects how, following the precedent set in 2020, close elections may face scrutiny and doubt even when there is no evidence to support wrongdoing or error. Election officials in Pennsylvania are girding for similar complaints in November but fear there are few ways to combat deliberate misinformation and rising political toxicity."
After noting, "Republicans in Pennsylvania have recoiled at language from Mr. Trump that they say could undermine the legitimacy of the party’s nominee in the November vote," the Post Gazette's Colby Itkowitz and Rosalind Helderman spoke with Seth Bluestein, a Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia who expressed dismay with Trump's meddling.
“It’s concerning because it’s statements like that that lead to threats against election officials. It’s the same game plan he used in 2020, so I’m not surprised,” he explained. “The most important thing we can do is be as transparent as possible, continue to build those relationships so there is a degree of trust between us and the people observing the election.”
Jackie Kulback, chairwoman of the Cambria County Republicans, admitted that she thought there was some "mischief" in the 2020 presidential election vote counting but that she sees no problem with R Tuesday's primary election.
“All I can say is from my vantage point, I could not have been prouder of my election board and every person who was working. I saw a group of people who were truly diligent and trying to do what was right,” she confessed.
Dave Ball, chairman of the Washington County Republicans, was less circumspect when addressing Trump's complaints.
“I’m flabbergasted. When somebody who advocates that everybody needs to get their votes out and their opponents are cheating, and now he is talking about his own party?” he complained.“When the president says let’s cut it off here because I like the number here, so let’s stop, I don’t understand the point of making statements like that.”
You can read more here.
Trump, Jr. winds up in felony poaching scandal in Utah after killing a bear baited with pastries: report
Second-generation New York real estate heir Donald Trump, Jr. is caught up in yet another hunting scandal.
Utah hunting guide Wade Lemon is facing five years in prison for baiting a bear that was killed by Trump, Jr. on May 18, 2018, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.
But the New York developer may not have been familiar enough with western hunting to know about the felony poaching.
"Trump Jr. is not named in a recent filing against Lemon, but the DNR confirmed his identity as the person named in the felony complaint as Lemon’s “client” on the hunt. Prosecutors have indicated there was no evidence showing Trump Jr. would have known about the alleged baiting that went on during the hunt," the newspaper reported. "Without naming Trump Jr., Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said the hunter in the case 'was actually a victim and a now a possible witness in a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation.'"
Trump, Jr. posted pictures of his hunting trip to Instagram.
"On Sept. 3, 2020, The Utah Investigative Journalism Project requested files on closed investigations against Wade Lemon Hunting. The DNR provided files on cases dating back to 2009 except for the case on the 2018 Trump Jr. hunt. DNR had decided to reopen that case and denied the records request, stating the release would interfere with the now 'open' investigation," the newspaper reported. "DNR turned the case over to the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Utah Attorney General Reyes has close ties to Trump, having campaigned for him and even flying to Nevada to investigate the election results after Trump’s defeat at the polls and signed on to a lawsuit claiming 'unlawful election results.' The Attorney General’s Office reinvestigated the case for months, then handed it off to the Davis County Attorney’s Office to screen for filing of charges."
Trump, Jr.'s guided hunting trip resulted in kills of a black bear and mountain lion.
"Charging documents allege Lemon’s outfitters illegally used bait on the bear shot by Trump Jr. According to the document, a witness identified Lemon and his employees during the hunt in May 2018 and was able to identify Lemon over radio traffic, giving instructions to his employees," the newspaper reported. "The illegal bait, 'a pile of grain, oil and pastries' was discovered with a trail camera pointed right on it with 'WLH' (for Wade Lemon Hunting) written on the side and with Lemon’s own telephone number, according to court documents. The charging documents also include evidence from a subordinate confirming Lemon had him place the bait in the location several weeks before the hunt."
The guide Trump, Jr. hired for his hunt has been investigated before.
"Hunting guides who cater to the wealthy elite have a lot at stake in ensuring successful hunts. These companies employ hunters to scout woods, deserts, mountains and plains for the biggest game, to ensure these high-profile clients have the highest chance for a successful hunt. According to DNR, Wade Lemon Hunting has been investigated eight times for allegedly breaking the law to ensure a successful hunt, though he was not charged with a felony until Tuesday," the newspaper explained.
The vast majority of game taken in America is from hunters who do not require a hired guide.
The prospect that Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) will be the Republican nominee on the November ballot to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R) appears to be growing despite Donald Trump yanking his endorsement in mid-March, reports the New York Times.
Brooks initially received the former president's whole-hearted approval to run for the seat after making an appearance at the "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection on Jan 6th, but then fell out of favor when his campaign didn't catch fire with voters.
Now, the Times' Trip Gabriel writes, the GOP lawmaker is surging in a tight race with two other frontrunners batting for the nomination in what the Associated Press has labeled a 'bitter' fight to the end with one GOP consultant claiming "The gloves have come off," in the battle for supremacy.
Noting that Brooks' campaign was reportedly "imploding" just weeks ago, Gabriel now writes, "Under a rain of attack ads, polls showed him falling behind two rivals. Former President Donald J. Trump humiliated Mr. Brooks by rescinding an earlier endorsement. But Mr. Brooks has staged a compelling comeback, with recent polling putting him in a statistical tie for the lead in a tight three-candidate race ahead of the primary on Tuesday."
According to the report, Trump may have abandoned the controversial lawmaker who is also under investigation over his part in the Jan 6th riot, but so-called "Trump Republicans" are sticking with him despite the loss of the former president's backing.
As conservative talk show host Dale Jackson put it on Friday, "Brooks may be surging just at the right time."
"Mr. Brooks — who appeared at Mr. Trump’s Jan. 6 rally before the siege of the Capitol, where he goaded election deniers to start 'kicking ass' — has returned to contention not only despite Mr. Trump’s fickleness, but also in the face of opposition by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. A super PAC aligned with Mr. McConnell has funneled $2 million to a group attacking Mr. Brooks in television ads," Gabriel writes before adding, "A polling average by Real Clear Politics showed Katie Britt, a former aide to Mr. Shelby, in the lead with 34 percent, Mr. Brooks with 29 percent and Mike Durant, a military contractor and Army veteran, with 24 percent. If no candidate consolidates more than 50 percent on Tuesday, the top two advance to a runoff on June 21."
Gabriel also notes in his report that Brooks' surge is another sign, like the primary loss of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) this past week despite Trump's endorsement, that the former president's influence with voters may be subject to question by the GOP leadership and other candidates.
You can read more here.