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‘Horrendous’: US military confirms bayonets were issued to troops responding to George Floyd protests

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A man raises his fist during a memorial for George Floyd (Kerem Yucel:AFP)

“It is insane to issue bayonets to soldiers for crowd control.”

“Are they supposed to stab protesters?”

That was Rep. Ted Lieu’s (D-Calif.) response Thursday to a letter by the highest-ranking military officer in the United States confirming that troops deployed to the nation’s capital last month to confront demonstrators protesting the police killing of George Floyd were issued bayonets.

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“It is difficult for us to imagine a circumstance which could necessitate or justify the deployment of bayonets against American civilians.”
—Reps. Ted Lieu and Raja Krishnamoorthi

Faced with questions from Lieu and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley admitted that members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment were given bayonets for their June 2 deployment to Washington, D.C.

The solidiers were told that the weapons could not enter the capital “without clear orders and only after nonlethal options were first reviewed,” according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of Milley’s letter.

Krishnamoorthi and Lieu thanked Milley for his response but voiced concern over the general’s refusal to commit to banning the potentially deadly practice in the future.

“It is difficult for us to imagine a circumstance which could necessitate or justify the deployment of bayonets against American civilians,” the Democratic lawmakers said in a statement.

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In a letter (pdf) to Milley last month, Krishnamoorthi and Lieu demanded answers following a June 2 AP report which noted that soldiers deployed to D.C. in response to mass demonstrations “are armed and have riot gear as well as bayonets.”

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“The prospect of troops deployed with bayonets in response to demonstrations, regardless of anyone’s intentions, raises the alarming specter of past demonstrations that have escalated and left unarmed protesters wounded,” the lawmakers wrote. “While the tragic events in 1970 at Kent State University are most remembered for four students killed by National Guardsmen, the escalation and violence leading up to and following those killings included those same troops meeting peaceful demonstrators with bayonets and leaving several wounded.”

“Less than a week later at University of New Mexico,” Krishnamoorthi and Lieu continued, “demonstrations in response to Kent State escalated after protesters were met with Guardsmen who no longer carried live ammunition but instead wounded 11 people with bayonets, including a bystander and a local news photographer.”

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Former federal prosecutor says judge could void Trump’s pardon for Flynn — here’s how

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Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner responded to President Donald Trump's pardon of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn by saying that it's entirely possible that the judge in Flynn's case could nullify the pardon.

"Just as Judge Emmet Sullivan refused to grant Barr’s corrupt motion to dismiss, I hope Judge [Emmet] Sullivan sets a hearing on whether this pardon is corrupt & hence illegal/void," said Kirschner.

https://twitter.com/glennkirschner2/status/1331713173171343368

Civil Rights attorney Andrew Laufer agreed, saying that he too wants to see how Judge Sullivan deals with the development.

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Reporter busts Trump with damning list of times he previously claimed Flynn was guilty

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump decided to issue a full pardon of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI in the course of the Russia investigation — despite Flynn's attempt to take back his plea and Attorney General William Barr's efforts to shut down the prosecution.

Although Trump and his supporters for years have painted Flynn as a hero, that was not always the sentiment, however. As BuzzFeed News' Jason Leopold noted in a lengthy Twitter thread, Trump previously was enraged with Flynn's criminal conduct, and publicly declared him a liar.

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Nicolle Wallace bashes ‘two-bit criminal’ Trump for ‘skivvy’ tweet pardoning Michael Flynn

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Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn admitted his guilt to Judge Emmett Sullivan, but President Donald Trump announced that the former director of national intelligence would never see jail time. After issuing a pardon to Flynn the day before Thanksgiving, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace attacked the manner in which Trump announced the pardon: by tweet.

"Of all the sordid tales of Trump's presidency, this one might take the cake," said Wallace. "We knew this might be coming. We know Donald Trump likes the power to pardon. There's some reporting he's looking at a pardon for lots of other people. I wonder what your sense is about what else Donald Trump has up his sleeve?"

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