According to a report from the New York Times' Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, Republican lawmakers are already at each other's throats over Donald Trump re-election loss -- and the loss of control of the Senate -- with some GOP officials worried the internal war could spill out from behind closed doors and impact the 2022 midterm.
At issue are Republicans who are still loyal to the ousted Trump and those who want to put the past four years behind them after it culminated in the loss of the Senate and the White House to the Democrats.
The report notes that fans of the president who are still in office are working at ousting colleagues they feel were not loyal to Trump both after his election loss and then again after he was accused of inciting a riot at the Capitol that led to five deaths on January 6th.
According to the report, at the president's urging, pro-Trump lawmakers are attempting to undercut leadership Republicans including Sen. John Thune (SD) and Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) and may encourage primaries against the two among others.
"In Washington, Republicans are particularly concerned about a handful of extreme-right House members who could run for Senate in swing states, potentially tarnishing the party in some of the most politically important areas of the country," the report states. "The highest-profile tests of Mr. Trump's clout may come in two sparsely populated Western states, South Dakota and Wyoming, where the president has targeted a pair of G.O.P. leaders: John Thune, the second-ranking Senate Republican, and Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican."
Those seats, along with others held by Republicans in the House who voted for impeachment have some Republican officials worried a bruising primary could leave them with a candidate who is too extreme for the district, allowing the seat to flip to the Democrats.
"If Ms. Cheney is deposed, it could encourage primary challenges against other Republicans who supported impeachment or censure, including more moderate lawmakers like Representatives Peter Meijer and Fred Upton of Michigan and John Katko of New York, whose districts could slip away from Republicans if they nominated hard-line Trump loyalists," the Times reports. "But in a sign that Mr. Trump can't expect to fully dictate party affairs, Mr. McCarthy has indicated that he opposes calls to remove her from leadership"
Additionally, Republicans are worried about overly ambitious newly elected far-right lawmakers who may decide to run for higher office seats held by their Republican colleagues.
"Privately, Republican officials are concerned about possible campaigns for higher office by some of the high-profile backbenchers in the House who have railed against the election results and propagated fringe conspiracy theories. Among those figures are Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Andy Biggs of Arizona. All three states have Senate seats and governorships up for election in 2022," the report states.
According to Scott Reed, the former chief political strategist for the Chamber of Commerce, "In 2022, we'll be faced with the Trump pitchfork crowd, and there will need to be an effort to beat them back," he said before adding, "Hopefully they'll create multicandidate races where their influence will be diluted."
You can read more here.
‘Gaetz is in a terrible position and there’s a mountain of evidence’ if he’s implicated: Former US attorney
Harry Litman, former US Attorney and asst. deputy attorney general, explained that the extensive plea agreement of former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg isn't looking good for anyone implicated.
Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace with former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Monday, Litman explained that the 88-page document included "everything."
"If as all indications suggest, we're talking about Gaetz and that plea agreement said he also had -- that this woman — or girl really had sex with other men that he brought in and had drugs with her first and the like, Gaetz is in a terrible position and really there's a mountain of evidence already against him and they have shown it in this very document," said Litman. "All of which Greenberg signed off on and said in front of the court, which made a finding, that this is accurate and what would be proven if he went to trial."
McCaskill, who also served as a former prosecutor, explained that the prosecution of Greenberg has been put together with an eye toward another prosecution.
"The amount of specificity in this plea deal is unusual," she explained. "And you say, why did they need all that? What they're doing here is they're building up Greenberg's credibility. These two guys were arrogant punks that thought they could live this wild lifestyle, immoral, drugs, 17-year-old, underage women, paying women for sex and that they would never be accountable. [So, they used electronic devices. So, they have tied the facts here to electronic communications. So, Matt Gaetz is taking a page out of the Trump book say, 'What, me? I did something naughty' or 'That was just locker room talk.' They're going to be able to build up the credibility of the chief witness against him, which is Greenberg and in all likelihood that Gaetz was involved in the trafficking of this girl, paid for sex with her and I have a feeling Greenberg is not the only witness here."
She went on to call Gaetz "an idiot" for showing photos of nude women he said he'd slept with to his Congressional colleagues on the House floor.
"Now, where the hell are all the Republicans? The people who want to lecture us about women when we should have the ability to control our own bodies. Where are they today?" McCaskill continued. "Why aren't they speaking up against this guy? It is unbelievable the women in the Republican Party do not call this man out right now. They're going to end up looking stupid when he pleads guilty, which I predict he probably will or be found guilty by a jury."
Litman went on to say that the timeline will likely be accelerated in the coming days, and all of the evidence necessary is there. While there is the case of hiring an underage girl for sex, there's also a scandal involving a free trip to the Bahamas as well as a quid pro quo for medical marijuana contracts.
"He's in big, big trouble and I don't see how he wriggles out from this one main charge," said Litman.
While Greenberg can plead out and hang a larger fish, Gaetz doesn't have that luxury as he is the larger fish, allegedly.
McCaskill and Wallace went on to denounce the Republican Party for being unwilling to stand up against sex trafficking by a Republican tax collector in Florida because they were too preoccupied with ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
"Crickets, with an alleged sex trafficker," Wallace said of Gaetz and the GOP. "This is a big deal! It's a 10-year mandatory minimum federal sentence for sex trafficking a minor. Where does the Republican Party stand for any sort of morality anymore? I guess when you're pro big lie, morality isn't really on the table?"
Gaetz continues to deny any possible wrongdoing.
See the full discussion below:
'Gatez is in a terrible position and there's a mountain of evidence' if he's implicated www.youtube.com
In April, former President Donald Trump was ridiculed for accepting a "Champion of Freedom" award from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)
Sen. Rich Scott (R-FL) has now presented the award to controversial NBC News and MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt, who hosts a right-wing radio show on the Salem Radio Network.
Scott posted a photo of Hewitt accepting the award, presumably at a NRSC event.
"As a strong advocate and communicator for American values that make our country so great, Hugh is highly deserving of this award," Scott wrote.
"Officer Christopher Walls, who has been a member of the Long Branch Police Department for 19 years, was charged with producing, possessing and selling methamphetamine," said the report.
While awaiting trial he's also been suspended from the department without pay.
Police discovered the lab after "a domestic disturbance," and the responding officer was told there could be narcotics, resulting in a request for a hazmat team. Meth labs are highly volatile and can be extremely flamable.
"The officers in our agency risk their lives daily to protect and serve our residents. It is disappointing beyond measure that one of our officers could have risked the safety of his family and neighbors by engaging in such dangerous conduct," said Long Branch police's acting chief Frank Rizzuto. "This officer's actions do not reflect the moral compass of our officers or this agency."
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