NEW YORK — Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not face criminal charges over two incidents in which he allegedly kissed women on the cheek in Westchester, the county’s district attorney said Tuesday. The Westchester County district attorney, Miriam Rocah, said in a statement that an investigation by the office found “credible evidence” confirming the allegations, but that he would not pursue criminal charges due to statutory legal requirements. Cuomo, 64, resigned from office in disgrace in August after a state attorney general’s report found he had sexually harassed 11 women. He is due in Albany C...
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Capitol rioter who sat in Pence's seat on Jan. 6 faces prison sentence after pleading to felony obstruction
A California man who was among the rioters occupying the U.S. Senate chambers during the January 6 has pleaded guilty to felony charges and faces substantial prison time.
Christian Alexander Secor, 23, of Costa Mesa, California, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to the Department of Justice. Secor, who is to be sentenced on October 7, faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
But under Secor’s plea agreement, the DOJ maintains the defendant should receive a prison sentence of 51-to-63 months, which if imposed would be among the longest handed out to date. But the agreement also states the Secor “does reserve the right to challenge that finding “solely on the grounds that his offense did not involve causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person or property damage.” If that position prevailed, Secor would face 21 to 27 months in prison under the guidelines.
The FBI alleged in its arrest documents that “at approximately 2:47 p.m., after another rioter had jumped over the railing in the Senate Gallery to the Senate Floor, (Secor) left the Gallery and went to the door of the Senate Floor on the second story of the building. The defendant then made his way to the Senate Dais and sat in the seat that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence approximately 30 minutes earlier.
“While the defendant occupied the seat at the Senate Dais-and while other rioters were present inside the Senate Chambers and the U.S. Capitol building---the joint session to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 Presidential Election could not continue.”
According to court documents, Secor sent a text message on November 3, 2020 – Election Day -- stating, “We’re gonna win bigly and if we don’t we’re taking this ship down in flames.”
“In preparation for the events of Jan. 6, he messaged another individual on Jan. 5, 2021, stating that he “brought a gas mask” to Washington and that he “Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives just storm the police and clobber antifa and the police but that’s wishful thinking.”
And Secor tweeted, "the facade of a free country are [sic] evaporating before our eyes. What an exciting time to be alive." And that "The institutional attacks on this demonstration are something out of the Arab Spring. More reason to go by any means necessary!"
On the evening of Jan. 6, Secor boasted about what took place that day on Twitter, saying, among other things, “One day accomplished more for conservatism than the last 30 years.”
You can read the criminal complaint here.
On Thursday, POLITICO reported that things got heated at a meeting between a policy committee of Republican senators and a Google executive, in an argument over Gmail's algorithm regarding political emails.
"The Senate Republican Steering Committee, the policy arm of the Senate GOP, had invited Google’s chief legal officer, Kent Walker, to discuss a recent study that found the company has disproportionately filtered Republican lawmakers’ emails into hidden spam folders compared to emails from Democratic lawmakers. Walker said there is no bias in how Google deals with spam," reported Emily Birnbaum and Marianne Levine. "The group lunch grew unusually tense, according to three people familiar with the meeting, granted anonymity to discuss private matters."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) alleged of the meeting, “The lunch was spirited. Google deflected, refused to provide any data, repeatedly refused to answer direct questions.”
"The researchers behind the North Carolina State University study have denied that Google’s filtering is related to political discrimination, concluding it has more to do with factors like past user behavior," noted the report. "Walker reiterated to senators that filtering bias is unrelated to political affiliation and pointed out that the North Carolina State researchers said the discrepancies likely have to do with Gmail’s weighing of 'past user behavior,' meaning Gmail marks emails as spam based on how users have marked emails before. The same study showed that Outlook and Yahoo disproportionately flagged Democrats’ emails as spam."
The confrontation is part of an ongoing claim on the right that tech platforms are being used to target and silence conservative opinions. This idea, circulated for years, is baseless and not supported by evidence — in fact, studies show Republicans have benefitted greatly from the way many social networks boost content, and Facebook even axed a planned algorithm update to reduce fake news out of fear it would reduce traffic to right-wing sites.
Nonetheless, this controversy has fueled bipartisan momentum for antitrust legislation to rein in the power of tech companies, with one major bill to do so passing the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.
Conservative pundit Charlie Sykes believes that Republicans have a weak spot that Democrats can exploit in the 2022 midterm elections.
Sykes was interviewed on Thursday by MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace one day after 203 Republicans voted against a bill targeting domestic terrorism.
Sykes said, "one of the seminal works of conservatism is ideas have consequences and I think it's inarguable that toxic, racist ideas often have consequences and they are fatal consequences. So this vote yesterday on the domestic terrorism legislation was fascinating to me this same or pretty much the same piece of legislation was passed unanimously by voice vote in 2020, so what's happened? What's changed? Why would the Republican Party make it a party line vote to say, we are not going to take domestic terrorism more seriously?"
He suggested Democrats should campaign on terrorism like Republicans did during the 2002 midterms following the 9/11 attack.
"This ought to be a major issue," he said. "Are we going to confront domestic terrorism? And take that to the Republicans, because this is the weak spot that, in fact, this is the party of law and order, this is a party that spent decades stressing that they were strong about terrorism, but who are the terrorists now? What is the threat? And I think what you saw yesterday was a tremendous reluctance to even acknowledge that this -- the reality of domestic terrorism and a certain, I don't know, maybe a guilty consciousness that if they took an aggressive position on this, that it might ensnare some of their allies and they might be held accountable for some of their own rhetoric."
"Yeah, their guilty conscience is showing," Wallace said.
Charlie Sykes www.youtube.com