LANSING, Mich. — The Republican-led state Legislature plans to step in as the defendant in a case challenging the constitutionality of Michigan's abortion ban after Attorney General Dana Nessel said neither she nor anyone in her office would defend the state law. In a Monday night filing, the Legislature said its interest in defending state statutes is "overwhelming," especially when the executive branch responsible for defending Michigan laws "refuses to do so from the onset." Nessel has taken no legal position on the Legislature's planned intervention, though she's said publicly that the Leg...
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Dr. Mary Trump, the niece of former President Donald Trump, told MSNBC she's fairly certain her uncle never anticipated Attorney General Merrick Garland would do what he did on Thursday.
Trump bemoaned the FBI and Justice Department this week after a search warrant was executed at his golf club in Palm Beach, Florida for classified documents that they'd tried to get back from Trump for the past several months. While Trump was given a copy of the search warrant, he has refused to publish it, insisting that it isn't up to him to be transparent. So, Garland announced he'd move forward with releasing it.
Speaking at the Justice Department on Thursday, Garland made it clear that he was calling Trump's bluff.
"He's probably having a very difficult time processing this because, you know, Donald is a coward and a bully," Dr. Trump, who is a psychologist, told host Ari Melber. "He only attacks if he believes there will be no counterattack. He's been tripped up by two things here. As Neal said earlier, Garland is playing chess. Donald can only play checkers. So, he's being outmaneuvered. He's also gotten tripped up. It never occurred to Donald that somebody who looks like Merrick Garland and talks like Merrick Garland is actually a ninja."
See the conversation below or at this link
Donald Didn't think Garland was a ninja www.youtube.com
On Thursday, USA TODAY reported that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is slamming members of her party for going after the FBI over the search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
"'I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search. These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk,' Cheney tweeted on Thursday, shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke at the Justice Department about the search," reported Katie Wadington.
"Since the law enforcement action at Mar-a-Lago, right-wing Republicans have called for the defunding of the FBI, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who tweeted 'DEFUND THE FBI' on Monday night," the report noted. "At the recent CPAC meeting in Dallas, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said he wanted to strip funding from both the FBI and Justice Department over their roles in Jan. 6 Capitol attack investigations, according to reports from Vice and MSNBC."
The investigation centers on classified documents that were removed improperly as Trump and his allies were leaving the White House, although it remains unclear exactly what the FBI was looking for or what crimes they are pursuing.
At Garland's speech on Thursday, he announced the DOJ will move to unseal the warrant against Trump, potentially revealing new details of the investigation. It remains unclear whether Trump and his lawyers will try to keep it from being unsealed.
Cheney, a consistent critic of Trump from the right and one of two Republicans who have worked on the House Select Committee on January 6, is a significant underdog in her primary, where Harriet Hageman is challenging her with Trump's endorsement.
ALSO IN THE NEWS: Ohio FBI gunman may have been at U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6: NYT
A Texas elections administrator from Tarrant County told the committee there was a social media call to “hang him when convicted for fraud and let his lifeless body hang in public until maggots drip out of his mouth.” The official’s home address was leaked and he received messages threatening his children, including one that said “I think we should end your bloodline.”
That official, Heider Garcia, was the target of a smear campaign by allies of former President Donald Trump and prominent right-wing media personalities, purporting a falsehood that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him due to widespread voter fraud. The claim of widespread voter fraud in the election has been repeatedly debunked, and several of Trump’s own aides have stated that the election was fair.
“To this day, not a single person or entity has been held accountable for the impact this whole situation had on my family and myself,” Garcia wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year.
The threats against the Texas official were one of many outlined in the report from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which analyzed intimidation against election workers in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Ohio. The report added that misinformation about the integrity of the 2020 election has been worsened by legislation pushed by Republican state legislators to bolster election security.
There have been more than 1,000 “hostile contacts” reported by election workers over the past year, and the American public’s faith in election integrity is decreasing. One in five election workers said in a survey earlier this year that they are likely to leave their posts before the 2024 election.
“For the past two years, election misinformation in the United States has often followed a feedback loop that produces more false information, heightens threats and pressures on election administrators, and increases the possibility of election subversion,” the report said. “The spread of misinformation about the 2020 election placed extraordinary pressure on election administrators, who are now besieged by coordinated campaigns of records requests and bad faith inquiries.”
Remi Garza, the president of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, told the committee that debate in the state Legislature on changes to election law “frequently included broad generalizations of alleged fraud” and “repeated misleading information about actions taken by the Harris County clerk responsible for the November 2020 election.”
After the November 2020 election, an official in the Texas secretary of state’s office told lawmakers the election was “smooth and secure.” An audit of Texas’ top four largest counties’ 2020 election results also did not find evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Garza told the committee that elections officials in Texas continue to “face harassment, forensic audits, new civil and criminal penalties, threats, and unsubstantiated accusations of fraud” ahead of this year’s midterms.
The state Legislature passed Senate Bill 1 last year, which significantly curtails counties’ abilities to expand voting options. The legislation also further tightened rules on mail-in voting and set new rules and penalties for voter assistance.
The House report said the Texas Legislature required electronic voting machines to produce a paper record “without providing the necessary funds” for the changes.
The Republican Party of Texas earlier this year said protecting elections was one of its priorities for next year’s legislative session. The party wants to restore felony penalties for election code violations and reduce the amount of time allowed for early voting, among other proposed changes.
“The risk of subversion of future elections remains high. Local election officials are on the frontlines of this crisis,” the report said. “Now more than ever, they need the resources and support that only the federal government can provide. A federal whole-of-government response to this growing crisis is an urgent necessity.”
Disclosure: Texas Secretary of State has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/08/11/texas-election-fraud-misinformation-threats/.
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