According to a report from CNN, former members of Donald Trump's administration panicked after hearing federal officials raided the home and offices of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani fearing that they could be next.
On Thursday, federal investigators armed with a warrant confiscated cell phones and computers belonging to Giuliani as part of an investigation into his dealings with Ukraine that one stunned Trump associate called "overkill."
News of the raid was greeted with dismay by former Trump administration officials as they have come to recognize that Attorney General Merrick Garland is allowing U.S. Attorneys under him to pursue former government officials, reports CNN.
One former Trump adviser, who wished to remain anonymous, told CNN, "This was a show of force that sent a strong message to a lot of people in Trump's world that other things may be coming down the pipeline."
According to the report from CNN's Gabby Orr, "According to the Trump adviser, the raid ignited a sense of fear inside the former President's orbit that Justice Department officials may be more willing to pursue investigations of the 45th president or his inner circle than many Trump allies had previously believed. Two other people close to the former President, who echoed these sentiments, declined to be quoted for this story."
Former Trump officials worry that Giuliani could implicate Trump or other administration officials as part of a plea deal, with one Trump insider saying, "Even the most loyal people have their breaking point," before adding it "wouldn't shock me at all" if the former U.S. Attorney flipped on the ex-president.
Added another, "I think we've seen some more surprising instances of things like that happening, especially with Michael Cohen."
As for Cohen, on Saturday morning he told an MSNBC host that Giuliani's phones and computers could contain a "treasure trove" of information that could be used to pursue former Attorney General Bill Barr, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner.
You can read more from CNN here.
'Like a mob': Report finds Public health workers are quitting ‘in droves’ over the public's mistreatment
Much has been written about the enormous stress that frontline health workers have been coping with during the COVID-19 pandemic. But journalist Abdullah Shihipar, this week in The Guardian, reports on another group that is feeling overwhelmed during the pandemic: those who work behind the scenes in public health departments.
"The results of a nationwide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) survey of public health workers, released this July, were revealing," Shihipar explains. "Of the more than 26,000 surveyed individuals working in public health departments across the United States, more than half reported recent symptoms of at least one major mental health condition. Their reported prevalence of PTSD was 10 to 20% higher than in frontline medical workers and the general public."
According to Shihipar, public health workers in the U.S. are "are at the receiving end of mounting resentment."
"Since last March," Shihipar notes, "threats against public health officials have increased. In a high-profile incident this past July, an angry crowd targeted Dr. Faisal Khan — the acting director of the St. Louis Department of Health — at a meeting on mask mandates. The disgruntled attendees lobbed racial epithets and surrounded Khan after the meeting like a mob."
Shihipar cites Dr. Morgan Philbin, an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Public Health, as an example of someone who has suffered "her share of vitriol" during the pandemic.
Philbin told The Guardian, "It's been so hard to watch people disparage our field and argue that we're not doing enough, or that we don't know what we're doing, when nothing could be further from the truth. We know exactly what to do. It's just that people are refusing to listen."
"Rey," a public health data analyst based in New York City, notes that public health workers have been leaving their jobs "in droves" during the pandemic.
"Rey," who was interviewed on the condition that her real name not be used in the article, told The Guardian, "I worry that the field is going to (keep losing) a lot of people — people who are nearing retirement age, but also, the people around my age…. They are already burned out and are leaving the workforce in droves."
MAGA rioter denied responsibility for breaking into Capitol -- and pointed the finger at Antifa instead: feds
Law & Crime reported Thursday that one of the Jan. 6 attackers on trial for breaking into the Capitol explained that it wasn't so much breaking into the Capitol as "breaking into the Capitol," with air quotes.
Alleged MAGA rioter Mick Chan told the court this week that he "called the FBI because he believed the Trump rally [at the Ellipse] was infiltrated and the breach of the Capitol was carried out by members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter."
Thus far no BLM or Antifa protesters have been arrested or indicted. Those who have bragged about participating in the insurrection and posted on their social media channels appear to have also been avid supporters of Donald Trump, according to many of the case file documents provided by the Justice Department and the FBI.
"Chan believed Antifa and BLM counter-protesters were masquerading as Trump supporters and noticed that there were people with camouflage backpacks who looked like members of the Oath Keepers but did not have Oath Keepers insignia," the indictment says.
The problem, however, is that it was a friend of Mick Chan's who turned him in along with his female friend and her mother. The person took screenshots of the Facebook posts.
That friend, "Person 1," was contacted, and admitted to being around the Capitol but not entering the building. One of Person 1's posts tagged Chan from Virginia. Another post from her that didn't tag Chan showed her position at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.
"CHAN told the FBI that he 'broke into, well, air quotes, broke into' the Capitol," the case files explain. "CHAN clarified that others had already forcefully breached the Capitol before he entered. CHAN saw a camera inside a doorway, which led to a staircase. CHAN noticed that about eight to ten police officers were at the doorway, attempting to lock it down. He claimed he left the area after a rioter attempted to rally others to break through the line of officers because he did not want to take part in any confrontation. CHAN walked around the Rotunda for about 15 minutes, taking pictures. CHAN saw people affected by tear gas and a line of police officers, and he heard some rioters say they had come from the Senate, where there were police officers with guns. CHAN estimated that he was inside the Capitol for about 30 minutes until being forced to leave. Most of the rioters were compliant with police officers' directions but some pushed and yelled obscenities. CHAN did not witness any violence but did hear rioters say things like, 'we backed the blue but next time we're coming with guns.'"
Chan ultimately told the FBI that because he didn't see any BLM or Antifa protesters that they then must be in disguise dressed as Trump supporters. Some of those planning to do a counter-protest on Jan. 6 decided not to go after hearing that there might be violence at the Capitol, Scott Dworkin said during a panel discussion.
Bombshell revelations about former President Donald Trump's attempts to steal the 2020 presidential election inspired conservative Washington Examiner columnist Quin Hillyer to examine why the American system was so vulnerable to what he described as a "ludicrous scheme" by the former president.
In Hillyer's opinion, the major reason Trump believed he could get Vice President Mike Pence to throw out certified electoral college votes from seven different states is because of ambiguities in the Electoral Count Act, which was first enacted in 1887.
In particular, he said that the ECA creates a "Rube Goldberg-like" legal mechanism that can be widely abused by opportunistic lawyers such as John Eastman, who encouraged Pence to reject the certified votes and then send the election back to state legislatures.
"The reason those remote possibilities existed even in Eastman's convoluted, theoretical form is that the ECA is so cumbersome and poorly written," argued Hillyer. "It is the ECA whose so-called "safe harbor" terms determined the disputed 2000 Bush-Gore presidential election, and it is the ECA that sets up a highly elaborate procedure describing how Congress should react if a dispute exists about the validity of each state's electoral slate. The Rube Goldberg-like interplay between the ECA and the 12th Amendment, and questions about the ECA's own constitutionality, are what create the muddle Eastman wanted to exploit."
Hillyer also elaborated the dire consequences that would occur if Pence had actually gone through with Trump and Eastman's plans.
"If Pence had acted upon the advice in the Eastman memo, the whole U.S. body politic might have come apart at the seams, creating weeks of Jan. 6-like riots instead of just one day," he wrote. "A single day was bad enough. The best way to avoid another like it is to write a law whose meaning we can count on."
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