MIAMI — A row of federal agents and prosecutors stood Wednesday behind tables displaying dozens of recently seized military-grade sniper rifles, belt-fed machine guns and semi-automatic pistols — all originally destined for Haiti. Their message: Firearms smuggling from South Florida to Haiti has spun into “an alarming trend” and the feds need the public’s help to plug the pipeline of illegal weapons exports to the violence-stricken Caribbean nation. Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said at a news conference that both the number of weapons and the ...
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Andy Campbell, a senior editor at The Huffington Post who is the author of the book We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism has said that The Proud Boys and other far-right vigilante groups will likely commit violence during the next two upcoming elections.
In a recent interview, Campell noted the Proud Boys were founded by right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes to fight in ways that other straight-laced Republicans wouldn't.
Campbell also noted former President Donald Trump's ominous command for the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" during his final September 2020 debate against now-President Joe Biden.
Several Proud Boys members are currently on trial for sedition for their involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
"I think we might learn some bombshells about their connection to Trump’s inner circle," Campbell said. "And the fact that several top-level Proud Boys have already agreed to testify against their own means we may learn a lot."
Trump also recently said that the nation would face “problems ... the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted for taking classified documents after leaving office. His comment was widely seen as a call for his followers to commit violence if he's ever criminally charged.
"I think Trump knows that everybody is going to react violently to this," Campbell said. "The pipeline between the rhetoric and the violence in the street is so short now. How many hours was it between the time he was complaining about the FBI going through Mar-a-Lago and somebody showing up with a gun to an FBI field office? He knows he has people waiting to mobilize."
Campbell added, "There will absolutely be Proud Boys violence in 2024 and I think in the 2022 election, too," noting that Arizona Republicans have called for vigilante justice around ballot boxes.
"I think they are absolutely going to show up in force for Trump’s election regardless of what happens. I think we have to realize that the violence has trickled out to everyday Americans. It’s not just extremist groups anymore. Trump pointing to the back and calling the press the enemy, Trump glorifying Jan. 6 rioters,… that has come full circle."
He concluded, "I think the spirit of January 6 is still here. All of the groups involved are still here, and everyday Americans have joined them... It’s going to be scary."
During his four years in the White House, Donald Trump — with the help of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — appointed not only three U.S. Supreme Court Justices (Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch), but also, a long list lower federal court judges. One of them was U.S. Circuit Judge James C. Ho, who, according to Reuters, is now boycotting Yale Law School clerks because of “cancel culture.”
During a Federalist Society speech in Kentucky on Thursday, September 29, Ho claimed that Yale “not only tolerates the cancellation of views — it actively practices it.” And Ho, stressing that he is no longer hiring law clerks from Yale, encouraged other right-wing judges to boycott Yale as well.
Ho said of Yale, “Cancellations and disruptions seem to occur with special frequency.”
One of the incidents Ho cited involved Kristen Waggoner, who now heads the far-right Christian fundamentalist legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The Southern Poverty Law Center considers ADF, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, an anti-gay hate group.
During a March 2022 appearance at Yale, Waggoner was disrupted by pro-gay law students.
Ho told Reuters, “I don't want to cancel Yale. I want Yale to stop cancelling people like me."
Ho, born in Taiwan in 1973, has lived in the United States since childhood and is well-known in right-wing legal circles. The judge has had his critics on the libertarian right, but he is popular among social conservatives and Christian fundamentalists and was once a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas. Known for being a major culture-warrior, Ho has been active in the Federalist Society since the 1990s and has also worked with the First Liberty Institute (a right-wing Christian fundamentalist legal group). After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in 2020, Trump considered nominating Ho for the Supreme Court but ending up picking Barrett instead.
Mike Lindell, the far-right extremist and conspiracy theorist who is also CEO of My Pillow, is continuing his inexplicable battle against Democracy and voting machines by telling fellow Republicans not to vote early in the upcoming midterm elections.
Lindell made his comments while speaking to Steve Bannon, former advisor to ex-President Donald Trump, on Bannon's broadcast on the right-wing media outlet Real America's Voice. Bannon asked Lindell what Republicans could do to ensure that they win the midterm elections and that the elections aren't "stolen" from them. Both Bannon and Lindell have repeatedly pushed Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" through an unprecedented, nationwide voter fraud conspiracy that hasn't been proved in any courts or publicly exposed in the media.
"Well, the number one thing that everyone should do is vote day of," Lindell said, adding that voters can defy "lying" pollsters by voting only on Election Day. "We can overrun the algorithms. Everybody has to get out and vote — everybody you know — and same day. Don't vote two days early, don't vote one day early, vote same day."
"It's a lot harder for them when they don't have days to pull names from the voter rolls with these machines and computers that are done the same day," he continued. "And know, if we all get out and vote and overrun the algorithms, and even the ones we don't, we are watching this time. We are watching everything."
It's not entirely clear what Lindell is talking about, though it seems he believes that computer algorithms use early voting counts to help decide which votes to throw out, even though voting machines don't actually make such determinations.
Since the 2020 presidential elections, Lindell, a longtime supporter of Trump, has used his public platform to accuse various election officials of wrongdoing. He now faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for his repeated claims that their machinery played a role in "stealing" the 2020 election from Trump. He also held a televised 3-day-long cyber symposium last year that he said would prove fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential elections — it didn't.
Steve Bannon, Bannon co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the "We Build the Wall" campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.