MIAMI — The collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside introduced a new term to the non-condo dweller’s lexicon: 40-year recertification. Now, after the disaster in Surfside, everyone’s heard of them. And cities throughout Miami-Dade are in a frenzied rush to see which condo buildings within their boundaries are in line for the critical 40-year structural checkup that Champlain Towers South was about to undergo when it shockingly without warning fell — and which other Miami-area buildings are overdue. The Champlain collapse has raised questions about whether municipal authorit...
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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of the two Republicans on the House January 6 Committee, tore into former President Donald Trump, and his own party, for fomenting paranoia about the FBI in the wake of the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago — a chorus that has been accompanied by violent attacks and threats on FBI agents.
"Do you hold the former President Donald Trump responsible for inciting his supporters?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"Yeah, absolutely. 100 percent, Wolf," said Kinzinger. "I posted a thread somebody put up of a number of folks on TikTok that were putting out, you know, not just anti-government, but really threats to violence, pictures of their guns saying it is time, we're coming. I mean, this is ridiculous. I mean, it is ridiculous obviously for what the former president has done in terms of saying this is an attack on my home, I did nothing wrong, and of course the little bit that we do know it seems like there is certainly at least good reason for the FBI to have done what they did. But then members of Congress, senators, you know, any Republican elected official out there that rushes to be the first on television or the first to Twitter to basically condemn the FBI."
"I mean, look, I'll tell you, as a guy that grew up in the right and grew up as a Republican, there has always been a strain of people that believe that the government is, you know, out there to get them. That the FBI represents that part of the government that is out there to get people," Kinzinger added. "This stokes that. It's really dangerous, and I fear it could get worse unless people are way more responsible."
"The New York Times is reporting, Congressman, that former President Trump tried to pass a message along to the Attorney General Merrick Garland, saying, and I'm quoting now, 'The country is on fire, what can I do to reduce the heat?' Did you strike you as odd that the man that set the fire apparently tried to ask the attorney general to put it out?"
"It is a creepy message, to be honest with you," said Kinzinger. "Only Donald Trump in his own head knows what that means. But it does strike me as something like, you know, what you hear from the mafia. If you want your store to be secure, give us money. We'll make sure you're secure, when there was never a threat in the first place. I think, look, to every Republican out there that's knee-jerk reaction is to defend this guy, I know people are frustrated that Merrick Garland did not move faster on some of the January 6 stuff and I don't think he is a man to overreact and do it too quickly. It takes a lot information for him to do that and for him to approve a raid on Mar-a-Lago, to go after what appears to be classified information, there had to be good reason, and I encourage anybody in a position of authority to take some time to figure out what this is about you jump on the Donald Trump bandwagon on this."
Adam Kinzinger slams GOP for stoking FBI paranoia www.youtube.com
On Monday, The Daily Beast revealed new details about the personal life of Hadi Matar, the man accused of the brutal stabbing attack against Salman Rushdie at an event in Chautauqua, New York last week — and what he did in the hours beforehand.
"Three days before Hadi Matar allegedly rushed the stage at a literary event to brutally attack British-Indian author Salman Rushdie, the 24-year-old wrote a late-night email to his New Jersey gym to cancel his membership," reported Pilar Melendez. "'Hey this is Hadi,' Matar wrote in an Aug. 9 email to the State of Fitness Boxing Club at 1:31 a.m. 'I was going tk [sic] ask if you guys can disable autopay for me right now. As I won’t be able to make it back to the gym right now. Thanks.'"
"The email, obtained by The Daily Beast, also showcased Matar’s avatar: the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the former supreme leader of Iran who issued a call to all Muslims — or a fatwa — to kill Rushdie over three decades ago," said the report. "'I didn’t even think anything of it when I first saw the avatar,' the gym’s owner Rosaria Calabrese told The Daily Beast on Monday. 'Now it’s chilling, given what happened.'" She went on to add that Matar was a beginner at the gym, and that “He was friendly and nice but he wasn’t chatty or social. He just did his thing and then left.”
Rushdie, who attracted the wrath of the ayatollah over his book "The Satanic Verses," initially had to be put on a ventilator with severe damage to his eye, arm, and liver. He is now recovering, but is likely to lose an eye.
"While one of Matar’s former high school classmates previously told The Daily Beast that he was shocked to hear that the 'very devout Muslim' could have engaged in such violence — his mother revealed on Sunday his spiral into extremism," said the report. "In a Sunday interview with The Daily Mail, Silvana Fardos said that while she was 'shell shocked' that her 'quiet' son could be accused of such an awful crime, she did note that her son changed after a 2018 month-long trip to Lebanon to visit his father. While she thought the trip would motivate him 'to complete school, to get his degree and a job,' Fardos admitted that instead Matar 'locked himself in the basement' and isolated himself from society. She added that her son would cook his own meals and live a nocturnal lifestyle."
Nathaniel Barone, the attorney representing Matar, declined to give much comment, saying, “It’s so early in the process at this point we are gathering information and trying to confirm the information we are given.”
Republicans employ 'defund the FBI' message in midterm campaigns — and other GOP candidates aren't happy
Republicans spent a year attacking Democrats saying that they wanted to "defund the police," following a series of police-involved shootings of unarmed people of color. Yet, in wake of the search warrant executed at Donald Trump's golf club in Palm Beach, Republicans have adopted their own "Defund the FBI" message.
Mere months ahead of the midterm elections, Axios reported that the slogan once called "radical" by the GOP is now being adopted. Fringe Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) even went so far as to develop a line of merchandise on her campaign website with the slogan.
Strategists told Axios that the slogan could cause problems for the GOP in November, but the problem is that it could also become a litmus test for Trump's support of Republican candidates.
Already, GOP candidates are rushing to demand cuts in funding to law enforcement. Dan Bolduc and Bruce Fenton, the top Republican senate candidates for the New Hampshire Senate race, prompted significantly reduced spending for the Department of Homeland Security and abolishing the FBI altogether.
The report cited Florida congressional Republican Anthony Sabatini, who tweeted last week that FBI agents should be arrested in Florida. He didn't cite a crime they'd be charged with, but he still wants them to be arrested. There are a number of federal crimes the FBI handles like terrorism, cyber crimes, organized crime, digital child exploitation and human trafficking, to name a few.
In an interview with CNN, Sabatini still maintained that he would demand their arrest on sight.
\u201cIt\u2019s time for us in the Florida Legislature to call an emergency legislative session & amend our laws regarding federal agencies\n\nSever all ties with DOJ immediately\n\nAny FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight\u201d— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@Rep. Anthony Sabatini) 1660006346
New Hampshire congressional candidate Tim Baxter advocated for the FBI to be abolished while fellow candidate Karoline Leavitt called to "investigate, litigate and incarcerate them." She also didn't cite the crimes committed.
In Ohio, congressional candidate J.R. Majewski shows on his website, "I will fight to abolish all unconstitutional three letter agencies," which includes the CIA.
North Carolina's Sandy Smith also wants to abolish the FBI.
\u201cThe Democrats have now weaponized the FBI and are now targeting innocent Americans with politically-motivated harassment including parents at school board meetings, President Trump & members of Congress.\n\nWe should (also comment with other options):\u201d— Sandy Smith NC (@Sandy Smith NC) 1660182265
“The antidote has to be not one more damn penny for this administrative state that has been weaponized against our people in a very fascist way,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). But when asked to elaborate on his defund the police message he changed his idea, saying that he doesn't want to defund them.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) Tweeted, “The FBI has proven time and again that it is corrupt to the core. At what point do we abolish the Bureau and start over?”
Sandy Smith, the GOP nominee in North Carolina’s 1st District, tweeted a poll with "Abolish the FBI" as one of the options.
Bo Hines, North Carolina's Trump-endorsed candidate for Congress, explained, "Well, I mean, we have to." But later when pressed on it by reporters, his spokesperson confirmed he "fully supports" the law enforcement agencies he said should be defunded.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) even promoted legislation Monday to eliminate the Espionage Act, because it was something the DOJ cited in their search warrant of Mar-a-Lago.
There are many more examples, and Democrats are already fundraising off of the GOP's attacks.
"While the other side wants to defund the FBI, we want to fund our kids' future," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said last week.
Axios revealed that Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) called the whole "defund the FBI" message "unserious" and that it made the GOP look bad. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) called the message "a mistake." Even far-right Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters isn't willing to go that far either, instead, saying he'd seek to reform but not defund the FBI.