MINNEAPOLIS — A man charged with arson at the Minneapolis police 3rd Precinct building made a brief appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court.Branden M. Wolfe, 23, admitted to authorities that he was involved in the fire that heavily damaged the 3rd Precinct building following the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody, according to a criminal complaint. It says Wolfe also said he stole equipment from the building, some of which was recovered from his person and his apartment. Thus far, he is charged only with aiding and abetting arson.U.S. Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer found th...
Fox News' Sean Hannity was no match for economist Austin Goolsbee on Friday night.
Hannity repeatedly tried to attack president Joe Biden over energy production and gas prices, only to be fact-checked by Goolsbee, a professor at the University of Chicago.
"He inherited energy independence, and we were a net exporter of energy, and now he's begging OPEC," Hannity said of Biden at the beginning of the clip.
"He inherited an economic downturn bordering on catastrophe and in times like that, the price of oil tends to go way down, that's for sure," Goolsbee responded.
"We need to focus," Hannity said. "Did he or did he not inherit — well, three vaccines and monoclonal antibodies — did he also inherit that we were a net exporter of energy, and did he cut energy production by 40 percent? The answer is yes."
"No, he did not cut energy production by 40 percent," Goolsbee responded. "Energy production fell because we were in an economic catastrophe — (a) catastrophic downturn."
"No, he fired Keystone XL pipeline workers," Hannity insisted.
"The Keystone pipeline wasn't built yet, Sean," Goolsbee said flatly. "That had no effect on energy production."
"Then why is he begging OPEC?" Hannity said of Biden. "Donald Trump didn't beg OPEC. Why is he begging OPEC?"
"He's not begging OPEC," Goolsbee said. "He convinced OPEC, and OPEC is increasing their production."
"They keep rejecting him," Hannity claimed.
"They didn't reject him. They said they're increasing production," Goolsbee said. "Why are you complaining about that, Sean? You're all over the map here. You were saying you didn't like to pay high gas prices. I told you gas prices went down and Biden convinced OPEC to increase production, and then you said, 'Why is he asking them to increase production?'"
On Friday, CNN published an analysis of how Alex Jones, the infamous conspiracy theorist behind the far-right webcast Infowars, gave Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes a platform to spread anti-government extremism.
"Jones, who has built a staggering online following around his Infowars empire, has given Rhodes a platform to reach a wider audience -- from the day Rhodes plugged the Oath Keepers' first public meeting to the weeks surrounding the invasion of the US Capitol," reported Zachary Cohen and Curt Devine. "At the same time, Rhodes' Oath Keepers protected Jones at multiple 'Stop the Steal' rallies. The heady mix of access and influence came to a boil on January 6, 2021, with the Oath Keepers tasked with providing a personal security detail for Jones and Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander before the pro-Trump rally culminated with the deadly riot at the Capitol."
On Infowars, Rhodes pushed violent rhetoric for years.
"In 2012, Rhodes appeared on Jones' show and drew a comparison to the American Revolution during a conversation about alleged government abuse of power," said the report.
Rhodes said, "Just the same as the founders did, they exhausted all their peaceful means, but they also rallied more people to the cause, won more people over and steeled them up and hardened them, got them ready for the confrontation. That's what we have to do."
Rhodes and several other Oath Keepers are being charged with seditious conspiracy for their role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Jones, meanwhile, is a subject of the House committee investigation into the attacks, and is currently suing the committee to block them from obtaining his phone records.
Reacting to the Rhodes indictment on Friday, Jones said, “If what they say about Stewart Rhodes is half true, I’m personally pissed. If things went off the way he wanted them to, if he wanted a bloody civil war to be triggered there, there might be millions dead, so this is a big problem folks.”
Diabolical, but brilliant.
That's how MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos is describing federal prosecutors' decision to target Matt Gaetz's ex-girlfriend as they investigate whether the Florida GOP congressman sex-trafficked a minor.
Earlier this week, NBC News reported that Gaetz's ex-girlfriend testified before a grand jury as part of a possible immunity deal in the case, calling it "a major development that suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting him."
On Friday, Cevallos wrote that while we don't know details about the testimony of Gaetz's ex-girlfriend, "we do know ... that if the target of a federal investigation is going to be romantically involved, prosecutors would prefer it be with a girlfriend rather than a wife."
"And they’d always prefer to deal with an ex-girlfriend than a current girlfriend," Cevallos wrote.
He explained that federal courts recognize two important marital privileges.
"Either spouse may assert the confidential marital communications privilege to prevent the other one from testifying about private discussions they have during the marriage," Cevallos wrote. "Additionally, the spousal testimonial privilege permits one spouse to refuse to testify against the other during the marriage."
But the privileges — which have their roots in "medieval" views that didn't recognize women as separate entities from their husbands — don't apply to girlfriends.
"It doesn’t matter if the girlfriend has lived with the boyfriend for years," Cevallos wrote. "It doesn’t matter if they have kids together. A girlfriend is not a wife — but she is a potential gold mine for prosecutors."
According to Cevallos, the only thing prosecutors like more than a cooperating girlfriend is a cooperating ex-girlfriend — but that preference is based on "human nature" and not "rules of evidence."
"An ex-girlfriend usually ex-likes the ex-boyfriend being investigated," he wrote. "Even better for the investigators, sometimes the ex-girlfriend hates the ex-boyfriend with a seething passion. It’s a lot easier for a witness to incriminate someone if they already hate their guts."