Ex-police chief who stormed the Capitol used his tax-exempt charity to promote violence and spread conspiracy theories: feds
Former California police chief Alan Hostetter who has been charged with rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 formed a charity that he presented to the IRS last year as a organization meant to defend "human and civil rights" and educate the public about vaccines.
But NBC News reports that court papers say his charity was actually a platform to "oppose Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, protest that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and advocate for violence against political opponents."
Alan Hostetter has already been charged with conspiracy to stop the certification of Joe Biden's presidency, but he could also be charged with violating IRS rules regarding tax-exempt nonprofits.
Hostetter led La Habra Police Department in Southern California for eight months before taking a medical retirement in 2010.
In his application to the IRS for tax-exempt status last year, Hostetter wrote that the American Phoenix Project would not directly or indirectly engage in political campaigns. But as NBC News points out, Hostetter's charity, American Phoenix Project, hosted a "Stop the Steal" rally in Huntington Beach, California, in December where Hostetter gave a speech in which he said said Donald Trump must be sworn in for a second term.
"There must be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup," Hostetter said, according to his June 9 indictment. Speaking to NBC News, Loyola University tax law professor Samuel Brunson said that the indictment appears to connect Hostetter's use of his taxpayer-subsidized charity to his Jan. 6-related crimes.
"I think it's fair to say and fairly objective to say we don't want taxpayer money to fund illegality," Brunson said.
Read the full report over at NBC News.
A supporter of former President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury after he fired multiple shots into a car filled with Black girls last year.
Local news station KCCI reports that 26-year-old Michael McKinney is now admitting to "causing the occupants to fear serious injury from my action" and also seriously injuring a 15-year-old girl whom he shot in the leg.
McKinney shot into the car while attending a pro-Trump rally at the Iowa Capitol building in December, exactly one month before the deadly January 6th pro-Trump riot that took place at the United States Capitol building.
"McKinney was wearing body armor and heavily armed when he participated in a pro-Trump parade of slow-moving vehicles through Des Moines on Dec. 6," reports KCCI. "Police say he had a pistol, another firearm in his vehicle and was carrying two loaded magazines."
Witnesses say that the girls' car was surrounded by Trump supporters after they drove by and began taunting them. The car's driver put the vehicle in reverse to escape the Trump supporters and struck a pickup truck, at which point McKinney drew his weapon and started firing at them.
McKinney faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for both charges he's pleading guilty to, although in exchange prosecutors are dropping the more serious charge of attempted murder.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continued his opposition to anything in President Joe Biden's agenda, including the compromise proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on the voting rights legislation, Axios reported Thursday.
McConnell infamously announced, "One hundred percent of my focus is standing up to this administration. What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country."
Manchin said that he refused to support any legislation that isn't bipartisan, but even he doesn't seem to be able to achieve bipartisan legislation with what has become known as "the party of no."
"Senate Democrats seem to have reached a so-called 'compromise' election takeover among themselves. In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise," McConnell said.
Abrams told NPR's Morning Edition Thursday that she supports literally any legislation that supports making voting easier for all Americans.
"It still subverts the First Amendment to supercharge cancel culture and the left's name-and-shame campaign model," McConnell said with no real explanation of what he was talking about. "It takes redistricting away from state legislatures and hands it over to computers."
The Democratic bill, which enjoys support from voters on the left and right, would require dark money groups to disclose their donors and would remove partisan lawmakers on the left and the right from gerrymandering congressional districts. McConnell feels both would mean Republicans would lose power because so many districts have been drawn by the GOP to ensure they stay in power. The partisan gerrymandering has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
A leaked conference call with right-wing groups and a McConnell policy adviser revealed that the GOP is losing the war against voting rights.
"In private, they concede their own polling shows that no message they can devise effectively counters the argument that billionaires should be prevented from buying elections," said The New Yorker in a May report.
"When presented with a very neutral description" of the bill, "people were generally supportive," McKenzie said, adding that "the most worrisome part . . . is that conservatives were actually as supportive as the general public was when they read the neutral description," said Kyle McKenzie, the research director for the Koch Brothers-funded group Stand Together.
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