One of Donald Trump's last actions as president -- before heading off to Florida -- was to spike his administration's ethics rules banning former aides from lobbying on behalf of foreign interests.
With his last night revocation of the rex striction, the president opened the door for close associates to cash in by seeking work from contacts they made during the four years the now ex-president was in power.
As Politico's Theodoric Meyer put it, "With those restrictions gone, former Trump administration officials will be free to represent foreign powers — exactly the kind of swamp-like behavior Trump had promised to eradicate in his 2016 campaign."
Trump made the promise of a 'lifetime" ban on foreign lobbying a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign, saying it was part of his "drain the swamp" strategy to clean up the government.
Now no such ban would restrict former White House officials -- including son-in-law Jared Kushner -- from profiting off relationships developed while representing the interests of the U.S.
According to Michael McKenna, a former lobbyist who worked in Trump's White House, e he won't take advantage of it, but, "I'm pretty confident that a bunch of people would absolutely love to represent Monaco, France, the United Arab Emirates."
Public Citizen president Robert Weissman concurred, saying, "He is undoing really the only example of policy that was supposed to evidence his commitment to drain the swamp."
Citing former Trump officials Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, the Politico report states, "The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires those who lobby for foreign governments and political parties — along with some other foreign interests — to disclose their work with the Justice Department. Several prominent Trump allies failed to do so, ensnaring them in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and other federal investigations," before adding, "There's nothing illegal or even unethical about lobbying for foreign governments, but many lobbyists try to avoid representing countries that have tense relationships with Washington or troubled human rights records."
You can read more here.
A video posted to Twitter shows controversial conservative Pastor Artur Pawlowski being arrested Monday at the airport in Calgary. He spent four months in the United States speaking to conservative media and spreading lies about the COVID-19 vaccine in speeches, reported Canadian Global News.
"Artur's lawyer Sarah Miller confirmed her client was taken into custody and charged with contempt of court for an alleged offense on June 5. She said she did not have details about the alleged incident," said the report.
Both Mr. Pawlowski and his brother were arrested after holding an illegal gathering in May and they were both found guilty in June.
"At a sentencing hearing earlier this month, Alberta Health Services asked that Artur be jailed for 21 days and Dawid be sentenced to 10 days. The court was asked to fine Artur $2,000 and impose $15,000 in costs," said the report.
See the video below:
Ex-prosecutor wants new language added to oath of office to help stop future GOP corruption — would it help?
Former 30-year federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner has a proposal for all elected leaders across the United States.
Americans learned this week that former President Donald Trump wanted his officials to lie about anything involving Russia, the U.S. and Mexico border and white supremacy. Kirschner suggested that it's time to add the following words to the oath of office: "... and that I will faithfully report corruption, crime and abuse in government of which I become aware..."
Brian Murphy, the former principal deputy undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security, revealed that Americans were facing threats from white supremacists and the Russians, while playing up threats from the border.
This isn't the first discovery of corruption in the Trump government. Several Cabinet-level secretaries were forced to resign after it was revealed they were using their offices for personal, political or financial gain, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported ahead of Trump's final days.
The effort may be his way to stem future Republican corruption, but many political analysts say that the oath of office was ignored throughout the Trump administration. Currently, the oath states that all elected officials must "solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote at the time, it became clear in the first impeachment how many were willing to breach the oath.
"Perhaps then we should not be surprised that arguably the most morally bankrupt Republicans and some of the most principled Democrats ever to serve make up this Congress," she wrote.
After Jan. 6, more began asking the same question, wondering if any Republicans would be held accountable for attempting to stop the constitutional process of accepting the electoral college votes.
"They also swore on a Bible to uphold the Constitution, and that's where they really are stepping outside and being in dereliction of duty," said former Republican New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. "They swore to uphold the Constitution against all our enemies, foreign or domestic, and they are ignoring that."
See Kirschner's video below:
Trump's de facto "All-Of-Government" Corruption Policy Exposed by Republican DHS Whistle Blower www.youtube.com
Republicans are so desperate in Texas they drew a 'terrible' congressional map to maintain power: strategist
Texas has been a reliably Republican state since 1994, when Democrats won several state-wide offices. The state hasn't voted for a Democratic president, however, since President Jimmy Carter in 1976. Democratic groups have argued that Texas is at a tipping point where investment and effort can flip things for the Democrats.
While many have poo-pooed the idea, Republicans appear to have bought into the shift, if their congressional gerrymandering and voter suppression laws are any indications.
Sunday evening, "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver explained the desperate attempts Republicans made trying to restrict voting access for people of color. In Harris County, 56 percent of people of color voted using drop boxes. In 2020, 53 percent also voted from the safety of their cars, with election officials bringing them the ballots and accepting them when finished. Republicans moved to ban both of those things.
Now, the congressional maps are coming out from the Texas Republicans who are so desperate to hold onto power. They have isolated one Democratic district that will now run from the Mexico border to just south of Austin, Texas. The district would then flip to a Republican, Axios reported.
He said that such a "terrible" map would likely lead to litigation.
"The congressional map confirms what we knew Texas Republicans would do: decrease the number of competitive seats, ignore the growth and influence of communities of color and gerrymander for power," said National Democratic Redistricting Committee President Kelly Ward Burton.
This isn't the first time Republicans have done this. John Oliver went viral when he did an expose that outed some of the most egregious GOP districts drawn in the United States.
Read the full report from Axios and see the Oliver video below:
Gerrymandering: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) www.youtube.com
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