By Tobias Carroll In 2017, the Trump administration took a dramatic step regarding Bears Ears National Monument, located in southern Utah. As reported at the time, the then-president arrived in Utah and announced that the size of the national monument would be reduced by 83 percent. And while public sentiment was overwhelmingly opposed to this decision, the government’s plan went ahead — affecting both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. But what one administration can do, another can undo. Following the recommendation of Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Presiden...
On Tuesday, NBC4 Washington's Scott MacFarlane reported that Thomas Sibick is set to argue for pre-trial release — and that he has also previously volunteered for "solitary" to get away from other Capitol riot defendants, with whom he has experienced conflict.
STANDBY: Hearing in high-level Jan 6 case of Thomas Sibick begins in 15 mins. Sibick will argue for release from… https://t.co/guSXRhDNtn— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1635254040.0
A Trump supporter who traveled to D.C. from Buffalo, New York, Sibick has been accused of assaulting D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone and stealing his radio and badge, shortly after another rioter, Albuquerque Cosper Head, violently dragged Fanone into a crowd of rioters — an incident prosecutors have shown on a graphic video. Prosecutors say Sibick took the badge back home to Buffalo and buried it in his yard.
Sibick has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, not denying that he took Fanone's radio and badge but claiming that it was an "accident" and he was actually trying to pull Fanone to safety from the violent crowd.
Fanone has emerged as a key witness to the attack, testifying before Congress about what he experienced.
In his column for Intelligencer, political commentator Jonathan Chait asserts that the Republican leadership saw an opening to put distance between themselves and former president Donald Trump, came up with a plan -- and then watched it all fall apart.
So they have given up and accepted that they are stuck with him.
Presented with two impeachment trials where they could have helped Democrats oust the now-former president, Republicans took a pass fearing his ire and his use of the presidential bully pulpit.
As Chait points out, the Jan 6th capitol riot that the president not only inspired but reportedly cheered on, handed them the opportunity to shun Trump and move on with an eye on the future.
With that in mind, the columnist suggests Republicans bite the bullet and hope that Terry McAuliffe defeats Republican Glenn Youngkin for the Virginia governorship because it would prove that candidates backed by Trump are hindered in close elections.
But they are choosing to go all-in on Youngkin instead.
"It's not that mainstream Republicans are morons. They're perfectly aware of the stakes Trump has in the race," he explained.
Chait notes that this is just the latest opportunity Republicans have been handed, but once again they are balking.
"This is the basic choice the Republican Establishment has been making for more than half a dozen years now. The last time Republicans made it was during Trump's second impeachment," Chait recalled. "At first the insurrection so revolted them they briefly set out to make a permanent break that would prevent Trump from running again. Then they lost their nerve but told themselves they would isolate him from the party and eliminate his power without holding an impeachment vote. Then they simply gave up on that plan altogether."
The columnist notes that the party has been fractured by the former president which will continue to be a roadblock to reaching a consensus that they need to move on, and that Trump knows how to manipulate the GOP caucus to his benefit.
"Trump has a talent — it is one of his few positive attributes — for sniffing out human weakness. He grasped early on that while many Republicans objected to his behavior, few of them cared about it more than they cared about winning," he wrote, "... so he keeps giving them the choice of splitting with him and his base and risking political defeat, or sticking with him and having a chance to win. They consistently choose the latter."
Chait notes that, having given up trying to move past Trump, Republicans are now doing their best to purge his critics.
"After impeachment, remember, the Republican plan was to isolate Donald Trump to make it impossible for him to have a future in Republican politics. Now Republicans are carrying out this plan against the surviving anti-Trump Republicans," he wrote before concluding, "If Trump or his successors ever bring down American democracy, history will record that Republicans decided to cast their lot with him. Indeed, all the evidence we have is that they never even considered the alternative."
You can read the whole piece here.
Officer Michael Fanone rips right-wing Republicans who claim to ‘love police’ — but not the ones hurt on Jan. 6
Officer Michael Fanone bashed right-wing Republicans who align themselves with police but seem unconcerned with accountability for the Donald Trump supporters who harmed officers during the U.S. Capitol riot.
The Washington, D.C., metropolitan police officer appeared Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he condemned lawmakers who he believes are lying about the Jan. 6 insurrection and refusing to hold the former president and his allies accountable for stoking the violence with false claims about the election.
"It's interesting to see, obviously, the individuals who I guess were politically affiliated with the left kind of, well, they did demonize police officers, and I mean there were crimes perpetrating by law enforcement officers in this country that were outrageous, and there's a history of racism going back, you know, a long, long time in this country," Fanone said. "Unfortunately, historically speaking, law enforcement played a part in that, and I'm the first person who wants to be part of that conversation going forward. I don't believe that police officers are above reproach, but I also don't believe that all police officers are evil. In fact, I think it's one of the most honorable, selfless professions that a person can aspire to be a part of."
"At the same time, watching the right handle officers who responded to the Capitol and saying, 'Oh, we love police, we just don't love those police' -- I'm not stupid," Fanone added. "Like, I see it for what it is, and it's pandering, and I don't want to be pandered to. I want to have an honest conversation, and I think we're not engaging in an honest conversation in this country with regards to a lot of things, one of them being police reform. Policing and police reform, the conversation, I look at it kind of like a Rubik's cube. All of the stakeholders -- police officers, management, politicians, media and the communities -- all need to engage in that conversation honestly. Just like all sides of a Rubik's cube, if it doesn't all match and everybody is not all in, we're just verbally masturbating."
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