Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is examining a series of previously unreported meetings that took place in 2017 in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, as part of its broader investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to two sources briefed on the investigation. ... Russia, Geneva and Cyprus in 2017. Others...
Enjoy good journalism?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.
We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.
Value Raw Story?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.
Republicans are still fighting against a panel to investigate Jan. 6 — Dems are crafting contingency plans
Nothing that Republicans do in the Jan. 6 commission will hand them a win, so they're continuing to fight against Democrats trying to hold an investigation into what happened during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
First, Republicans demanded that there be supporters of President Donald Trump on the panel. Then they demanded that the Jan. 6 commission investigate a ton of other things that happened outside of Jan. 6. Democrats want an independent commission, but it's going to be difficult to be independent after watching it unfold on live television, through the impeachment trial and in the over 377 arrests since the day.
The Washington Post reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still pushing for a compromise with Republicans. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won't say anything about it.
"Behind the scenes, Democrats are developing contingency plans. Pelosi acknowledged this week that one backup option is to appoint a select committee of House members to investigate events surrounding the riot, though she told USA Today that it was 'not my preference'," said the Post. Another would be to defer to congressional committees that are currently examining the failures in planning that left the Capitol vulnerable to attack, which Pelosi has called a potential 'resource' to a future commission, should one be established."
Republican demands to investigate everything other than Jan. 6 doesn't make sense because none of the other protests happened at federal buildings, attacked federal officials or the federal government. Still, Republicans want to build a narrative that the attack on the legislative branch of government is just as bad as burning down a Wendy's.
The whole thing puts Republicans in a difficult spot because they have to placate former President Donald Trump, who is still in control of the GOP.
"We have a real dilemma on our hands," said Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. "The political imperative at this point is to discredit any investigation, to deny any ties either to Donald Trump or to the members of Congress . . . who either helped to plan the [riot] or helped to incite it."
The problem is that Republicans fought against any of the Democratic proposals. If they had allowed their proposals to move forward, they could have easily claimed that the deck was stacked against Trump from the start. By negotiating, they're now stuck helping craft a commission that will ultimately find funds from the Trump campaign paid to put on the rally in which Trump called on his followers to march to the U.S. Capitol. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confessed that he thought Trump was guilty. He opposed impeachment on the so-called "technicality" that Trump was no longer president. He fought against holding the impeachment hearing until Trump was out of office.
Meanwhile, none of the House committee investigations or hearings have gathered conclusions about what allowed the Capitol to be attacked. In fact, the House Appropriations Committee is the only one to have held hearings with current and former law enforcement or Trump military officials who helped coordinate the security for Jan. 6.
"In recent weeks, public hearings held by the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees have devolved into shouting matches, as GOP members accuse Democrats of ignoring threats from the far left, while Democrats accuse them of equivocating to distract from the fact that far-right extremists have become an active force in the Republican Party," the Post noted.
With a Republican Party divided between being for Trump or against Trump, it'll be difficult to find an independent member of the GOP to appoint. In the 9/11 commission, it was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Richard Shelby (R-AL). All independent-minded Republican senators have been voted out or run out of office.
"Should the current Congress proceed along a similar timetable, Congress would not set up an independent Jan. 6 commission until next spring, when the 2022 midterm elections season will be heading into primaries where Trump has pledged to play a selective, but active, campaigning role," the Post also noted. "That alone threatens the prospects for achieving the compromise Pelosi has called for."
Republicans would be smart to get it over with because if they fight against it, the commission will reveal findings in time for the 2022 election. If they stop it from happening, it will be a key talking point of the 2022 midterms too.
In an interview with "60 Minutes" Sunday evening, Oath Keepers leader Jim Arroyo revealed that active-duty law enforcement is part of their movement and helping with militia training.
"Our guys are very experienced. We have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. We can blend in with our law enforcement," he said.
Javed Ali, Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, formerly served as a former NSC senior director and was a counterterrorism official at the FBI under the Trump administration. Speaking to CBS News, he explained that the Oath Keepers is "unique."
"Beyond the fact that they are a formal group with chapters all over the country, is that a large percentage have tactical training and operational experience in either the military or law enforcement," the domestic terrorism expert said. "That at least gives them a capability that a lot of other people in this far-right space don't have."
In August 2020, Michael German is a former FBI special agent who penned several reports on U.S. law enforcement failing to control the right-wing terrorists in their ranks. According to his findings, law enforcement officials are increasingly tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000. Updated research has revealed things are much worse.
His report explained that over the years, police had grown increasingly linked to militias and white supremacist groups in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
As Americans are growing increasingly concerned about police brutality and police shootings of unarmed people of color, the conversation about the white supremacists flocking to law enforcement are an even greater concern.
PBS reported in 2016 that ten years prior, the FBI warned of the problem. Since the, little has changed.
In Feb. the New Yorker reported on associate professor Vida B. Johnson, at Georgetown Law, who "authored a paper in 2019 that included a list of more than a hundred police departments in forty-nine states that have faced scandals over racist texts, e-mails, or public social-media posts by officers just since 2009. Johnson proposes that, if police officers have a history of racist speech or behavior, or are known to belong to hate groups, this information should, in cases that involve the testimony of those officers, be disclosed to the defense, under the Brady doctrine, which requires prosecutors to share information that might be exculpatory or show witness bias. The credibility of a known racist cop can, in some cases, be attacked on those grounds, as O. J. Simpson's defense team memorably showed."
Given police and sheriff's departments are governed largely by state, county and local communities, implementing national standards would likely be seen as a federal overreach. So, it leaves it up to local entities to police their police.
See the segment on "60 Minutes" below:
The Oath Keepers militia group's path to breaching the Capitol www.youtube.com
Former President Donald Trump has been falling in interest in the past several weeks as the press turns to report on the current administration and ignore the golf-playing ex-president. Now it appears Trump is deploying a whole different strategy: joining President Joe Biden's team.
In a release Sunday, Trump announced that he firmly supports Biden's withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, a policy that Trump attempted to implement but wasn't able to do before leaving office.
Calling it "a wonderful and positive thing to do," Trump's only complaint was the timeline. Trump said the U.S. "should get out earlier."
It flies in the face of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Trump pal, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), both of whom attacked Biden for saying he'd withdraw troops. Graham even called it a "disaster in the making."
Trump encouraged Biden to make the exit by May 1, a heavy lift for troops given the immense amount of equipment and supplies that must be packed up.
While still president, Trump told his supporters that he was already bringing troops home.
"A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm. Violence affecting Afghans is still rampant. The Taliban is not abiding by the conditions of the so-called peace deal," McConnell said of Trump's draw-down. "The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism. It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975."
Graham claimed that he was "for the idea of coming down" and found it acceptable if some troops would remain on the ground, noting that "2,500 may be the residual force that protects us from a collapse" in the war-torn country.
Even Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) blessed the Trump plan, saying in a 2020 statement, "Americans have been fighting in Afghanistan for more than 19 years … Sons and daughters are now patrolling their parents' old routes, and many of the U.S. service members in Afghanistan were not even born when the 9/11 attacks occurred."
Hawley, who never served in the military, agreed with Trump that Biden should pull out by May 1.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month