Wrongful death lawsuit upheld after 100-hour search to serve Rittenhouse

Kyle Rittenhouse, who skyrocketed to fame in right-wing circles after shooting and killing two protesters during a social rights march in 2020, is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim's father, according to PBS.

The lawsuit was filed by John Huber, the father of one of the two victims, and also includes city officials and police officers. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman dismissed motions from the city officials, police officers and Rittenhouse to dismiss the civil rights case in its entirety.

Huber's lawsuit states that Rittenhouse conspired with police officers to intentionally cause harm to the protesters who were marching in reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was injured by a Wisconsin police officer.

Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, drove to the demonstrations in Wisconsin and was a minor at age 17 at the time.

In the ruling Adelman said Huber's death "could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the government defendants. Huber was killed after Rittenhouse was running after he shot and killed his first victim in the parking lot of a car dealership and Huber hit Rittenhouse with a skateboard to disarm him. After falling to the ground Rittenhouse fatally shot Huber and wounded another protester Gaige Grosskreutz, who also has filed a civil lawsuit against Rittenhouse.

Huber's lawyers and private investigators needed over 100 hours to locate Rittenhouse to serve him with the civil lawsuit paperwork, eventually serving him at his sister's house. Rittenhouse's lawyers tried to argue the case should be dismissed because he was not properly served. The judge dismissed that claim.

Rittenhouse has become a popular Republican right-wing speaker at public events and has nearly 1 million followers on Twitter.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Jacob Blake was shot and injured, but not killed, as originally reported.

'Potential cover-up': House Dems ask for probe into Bill Barr and John Durham

Just when the Department of Justice's (DOJ) investigation into former President Donald Trump's dealings with Russia and the 2016 election seemed to be over, two Democrats from the House of Representatives are now requesting the DOJ's independent inspector general to begin an investigation of the entire Russia inquiry.

Ted Lieu (D-California) and Dan Goldman (D-New York) have initiated the request, stating that new information they have learned from a New York Times article has detailed multiple possible ethic and legal violations, including abuse of power, prosecutorial misconduct and even possible financial crimes.

The duo penned an open letter to Michael Horowitz in the Office of the Inspector General, citing both former Attorney General William Barr and Special Counsel John Durham with possible misconduct. The letter also details the two prosecutors who resigned in protest and alleged abuse of the grand jury process.

In the letter the two Representatives stated that the New York Times investigation reals, "possible prosecutorial misconduct, abuse of power, ethical transgressions, and a potential cover-up of an allegation of a financial crime committed by the former President."

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Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) has already publicly commented that he would host oversight hearings into Durham's inquiry and the Trump administration's interactions with DOJ.

The New York Times article detailed Durham's access to Russian intelligence memos to target Democratic supporter George Soros, a well-known enemy of Republicans and Russian state media.

Durbin along with Lieu and Goldman in their letter, accuse Trump of "weaponizing" the DOJ.

'Absurdity and vindictiveness': GOP ripped over their hypocritical treatment of Ilhan Omar

The newly Republican-controlled House of Representatives showed its power by quickly removing Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) from her committee assignments, because of her past controversial comments that were deemed antisemitic.

According to New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait, the GOP's sudden hard-line stance on antisemitic comments and behavior is shocking when it is compared to their previous stance of looking the other way when party superstar Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) has made much more direct and derogatory antisemitic statements.

"The absurdity and vindictiveness of the Omar decision is thrown into the starkest relief when you consider it in conjunction with the treatment of Greene.Greene was immediately restored back to her committee privileges with the GOP control of the House," Chait wrote in an op-ed.

Omar's been attacked from the right mainly for a 2019 statement where she said that U.S. support of Israel is financially motivated, and drew heavy criticism from both political parties. The House of Representatives even specifically denounced Omar's comments in a formal resolution.

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In direct contrast, Greene has made a series of highly publicized comments steeped in antisemitism without any reprimand from the Republic party.

Greene is a political colleague of known white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who has become a popular personality within some fringe GOP political circles. Greene also drew public ire when she compared COVID restrictions and the noting of vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees was similar to what Jewish people dealt with during the Holocaust. She initially apologized for her comments, but then withdrew her apology after pressure from the far-right.

Gunman in custody after rampage leaves DC Metro worker dead

An early morning shooting spree that ended at a Washington, D.C. metro train station has killed a metro worker and injured three other people, as reported by ABC News.

The shootings began around 9 a.m. after a confrontation on a public bus when the suspect shot a person in the leg. The next victim was shot close by at the Potomac Metro Avenue Station during the middle of a metro card transaction.

The final victim, the metro employee, was killed at a station platform after helping a woman that the suspect was possibly trying to rob.

"The fact that our citizens have to intervene with an armed gunman is disturbing to me," said Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police for Washington D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department. "The gunman is in custody but police haven't yet revealed a motive for attacks."

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The head of transit authority acknowledged that the shooting spree is part of a larger problem.

"We have a gun violence problem in America, and sometimes unfortunately that comes into Metro," said Randy Clarke, chief executive officer and general manager for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. "But this is not a Metro-specific safety issue. It's an American gun violence issue."

No motive for the shooting has been publicly announced.

Trump campaign 2024: The grift continues

The Donald J. Trump for President 2024, Inc. campaign has officially filed its year-end financials with the Federal Election Commission.

The filing lists the over 40,000 individuals who have donated to the campaign, as well as detailed filings on expenses.

The filing also lists the itemized expenses for the campaign — well over 100 transactions that total more than $750,000.

Nearly 10 percent of Trump's expenses have gone to two Trump entities --- the Trump International Golf Club and his Mar-a-Lago Golf Club for facility rental and catering services.

Exactly $68,987.88 of the Trump campaign's $760,394.47 of expenditures have been spent on the Trump entities. And it continues a years-long pattern of Trump's political committees spending donor dollars at Trump properties in a manner that directly benefits Trump's for-profit businesses.

More than 600 days ahead of the next election, Trump remains the Republican frontrunner, but his grip on the rank-and-file has loosened during his two years in the wilderness since exiting the Oval Office.

"Mr Trump's conduct since announcing his candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination has weakened his credibility within his party," Brookings Institution senior fellow William Galston said in a recent commentary.

The 76-year-old Trump has been unusually low-key since announcing his latest presidential run on November 15, cocooned at his Mar-a-Lago beach home in south Florida and declining to hold a single public event.

But he heads onto the stump facing simmering discontent over midterm elections that saw a series of extremist candidates he had backed rejected in crucial battleground states.

The former reality TV star also has riled establishment Republicans over a dinner he hosted in Florida with a notorious Holocaust denier and the anti-Semitic, Hitler-admiring rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

His continued election denialism and a call in December for the termination of the Constitution to reinstate him to office also sparked a chorus of opprobrium.

'Narrow path'

In Congress and around the country, some Republicans are openly suggesting the party is ready for a younger, fresher face -- someone who is less polarizing and unencumbered by the constant drip of scandal.

Two South Carolina Republicans in their 50s -- Senator Tim Scott and former governor Nikki Haley -- are believed to be eyeing potential presidential runs, and neither is expected to show up on Saturday.

Galston said while Trump still has a "narrow path" to victory in 2024, the former president was "increasingly seen as a loser -- and rightly so" after the midterms.

But the battle for the nomination could wind up a two-horse race between Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who would be unlikely to announce until after the Sunshine State's legislative session ends in May.

If DeSantis does run, he will be hoping for a more successful launch than Trump, who saw no polling bump after his November announcement.

Hush money

Mounting legal woes still appear however to be the biggest roadblock for Trump, whose company was convicted on 17 counts of tax fraud and related offenses the week before he announced his run.

He is facing criminal probes in Atlanta and New York over election interference allegations and a hush money payment to a porn star.

Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing his handling of misappropriated government secrets, his role in the 2021 assault on the US Capitol and his attempts to overturn his election defeat.

He is also defending lawsuits in New York over a mid-1990s rape accusation and an alleged fraud that misled lenders, insurers and tax authorities over a period of years.

But counting out the perennial comeback kid could yet prove to be a mistake, say those who point to the success of Trump's brand as an insurgent who doesn't play by the rules.

Political scientist Jeff Broxmeyer told AFP that while the midterms had likely eroded Trump's mainstream support, his scandals had done him little harm among his base.

"Perpetual legal suits and coalition building with far-right figures are central features of Trump's appeal to Republican primary voters -- not obstacles to it," the University of Toledo professor said.

(With additional reporting from AFP)

Ohio man arrested after 40 dead and 80 starving dogs are found at his home

An Ohio man in Pike County has been charged with animal cruelty after being arrested with 40 dead dogs on his property as well another 80 dogs that were hunger stricken and victims of obvious neglect and malnourishment.

Wyndan Syke has been taken into custody after the Pike County Sheriff's successfully executed a search warrant after a neighbor filed an animal cruelty complaint. In addition to the over 100 dogs, there were several dead chickens on the property, along with a live pig.

The horrific scene included a dead dog that had been beaten and tied to a tractor.

Several local and regional animal control and animal welfare entities assisted in the removal of both the dead and living animals on the properties. According to the Pike County Sheriff's Office, two of the deceased animals are currently under autopsy review.

Skye was given a $40,000 bond and a court date of Feb. 6.

Republican governor makes a bold prediction about Trump

As the calendar has turned to 2023, the GOP field for the 2024 Republican nomination for President still sits at a list of one -- former President Donald Trump.

One of the possible centrist Republican candidates is former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who just finished a successful two-term stint as governor of the traditionally Democratic state, which just elected Democrat Wes Moore as Hogan's replacement.

Hogan has gone from vague references about possibly running for his party's nomination to straightforward real-time updates on his decision-making process.

"Well I am giving it very serious consideration," Hogan said during an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto. "We have been very successful 30 miles outside of Washington, D.C."

IN OTHER NEWS: GOP lawmaker fumes after Maxine Waters turns the tables on him at House hearing

Hogan openly rebuked worries about facing Trump during the GOP's primary election season.

"I don't think he is going to be the nominee," Hogan said. "We have lost three elections in a row. I don't think he is the strongest nominee to win in November. We have to find a candidate that can reach a larger group of people and attract swing voters or we won't be able to govern."

Hogan also noted Trump's decreasing rate of support.

"The latest poll that came out today shows Trump at 28 percent," said Hogan.

The former Maryland governor touted his own executive decision making experience including handling a $50 billion a year state budget while also dismissing the possibility of Trump running as an independent.

"I don't think that's the right thing to do," said Hogan. "He has a lot of support, but it won't be a coronation."

GOP lawmaker fumes after Maxine Waters turns the tables on him at House hearing

The House of Representatives Rules Committee hearing denouncing socialism was turned upside down when longtime Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), repurposed a line of questions from Representative Nick Langworthy (R-NY) about the prevalence and adoption of socialism in the United States.

"We will not have a cradle to grave dependency," Langworthy said in the hearing. "This country will not be all things to all people. We cannot create an expectation that government is all things to all people."

Langworthy then turned his questioning to Waters, who was testifying as a witness in the hearing.

"Do you agree with Donald Trump's statement in the 2019 State of the Union that America will never be a socialist country," Langworthy asked Waters.

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Waters then took control of the dialogue, first referencing the high level of debt spending that occurred during the Trump administration then questioning the validity of Langworthy and the Republican party's stance against socialism. Waters also spoke on the "Democratic spending myth."

"There are industries [Republicans] support, and now you think they are ripping people off," said Waters.

Waters then asked Langworthy if he believed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a socialist initiative, citing the number of Republicans in Congress who took funds from the PPP program. Langworthy said it was not a socialist initiative because it was done during "an extraordinary time when we shut down the government."

Langworthy then repeated if Waters agreed with Trump's 2019 State of the Union declaration about socialism.

""President Trump said a lot of things," said Waters. "He said he thought Hitler did some good things. For those of you who continue to embrace Trump and all that he did and said -- I reject all that. Trump has proven to be someone who is in line with dictators and admires them and claims to love them, so I reject any and everything Trump has to say."

Waters then took the time to question the GOP's position on socialism once again.

"Sometimes you like socialism, sometimes you act like you don't," Waters said.

Langworthy ended up ceding his time.

"We're talking about stuff you don't want to talk about," Waters said to end the discussion.

Watch video below or at this link.


Kari Lake advisor hit with $10 million lawsuit as Matt Schlapp legal drama grows

The sexual misconduct allegations against conservative operative Matt Schlapp have resulted in another lawsuit.

The second lawsuit is a defamation lawsuit for nearly $10 million filed against Caroline Wren, who recently headed Harmeet Dhillon's campaign for chair of the Republican National Committee. Wren also led Kari Lake's failed campaign for Governor of Arizona.

The lawsuit was filed in the Washington, D.C. district court, according to POLITICO. Schlapp is the chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC).

The lawsuit states that the alleged incident happened in October when Schlapp was stumping for Republican Senatorial candidate Herschel Walker. According to the first lawsuit filed on Jan. 17 the incident occurred on Oct. 19 after the plaintiff was driving Schlapp back from the Walker event.

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The plaintiff has accused Schlapp of "aggressively fondling" his "genital area in a sustained fashion" at which time the plaintiff was "frozen with fear and panic.

Wren is accused of publicly posting the plaintiff's name in tweets and damaging his career by stating that he had been fired from multiple jobs for lying and deceptive behavior. Wren ignored a Jan. 12 letter from the plaintiff's lawyer requesting her to retract the statements.

The plaintiff is seeking over $500,000 damages from Wren.

Kevin McCarthy may not have votes to block Ilhan Omar from committee

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy may not have the votes needed to boot Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

McCarthy's effort, designed to appease members of the far right-wing Freedom Caucus in the GOP, has already been presented as though it's effectively a done deal. But he may have to backtrack, Truthout reported.

With a Florida Republican currently on medical leave, all it would take is three opposing Republican votes to block McCarthy. It now seems likely he'll see that opposition.

Three House Republicans have verbally rejected McCarthy's plan to remove Omar: Ken Buck (Colorado), Nancy Mace (South Carolina) and Victoria Spartz (Indiana).

Earlier in the month McCarthy used his power as Speaker of the House to remove California Democrats Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee. To remove Omar from her standing Foreign Affairs Committee, McCarthy needs the majority vote from the entire House of Representatives.

Finders of Mar-a-Lago classified documents testify before grand jury

Two of the individuals who found classified documents in former President Donald Trump's storage unit in Florida have now officially testified before a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., according to CNN.

The federal grand jury is reviewing Trump's possession and possible distribution of national security records at the Florida Mar-a-Lago property, according to unnamed investigation sources. According to the same sources, both interviews took about three hours to complete and were held at separate times.

Both individuals searched Trump's Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, a Florida office and the Florida storage unit. The searches occurred months after the FBI completed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property.

Multiple sources report that the investigation is currently requesting to review laptop files from at least one staff member from the Mar-a-Lago property. Trump's defense attorneys have rejected subpoena requests. It is widely assumed that Trump's legal team purposely wants to keep investigators away from researching laptop and other electronic files.

Neither Trump's attorneys nor the Justice Department have released public statements on this particular aspect of the investigation.

Fleeing Florida? New state laws have LGBTQ families thinking about moving

While the state of California has experienced its first in loss in population since its entry into the union in 1831, one of the states that has been the direct beneficiary of those fleeing the Golden State is now feeling the negative pushback from its anti-LGBTQ legislation from the one demographic it is known for the most — families.

According to recent research from the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, nearly 60 percent of LGBTQ parents have publicly stated that they are actively considering leaving the Sunshine State due to the widespread legislation that targets their communities.

That same survey found that nearly 20 percent are even actively in the process of moving out of Florida.

While only 113 LGBTQ parents were surveyed, the heightened tension across the state is obvious, in both forms of legislation, education policies and social debate. The survey focused on the comfort level of LGBTQ parents as Florida citizens before and after passed and proposed legislation.

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Florida has received nationwide attention for its conservative "Parental Rights in Education" law also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

The state's LGBTQ advocacy groups, organizations and clubs are publicly acknowledging the additional support they are having to give members and anticipate the departure of valued members.

Trump hits Bob Woodward with $50 million lawsuit for releasing audio of interviews

Former President Donald Trump has found a new foe in court -- the same journalist that broke the Richard Nixon Watergate scandal and who Trump talked to nearly two dozen times over eight months.

Trump is suing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward, who he collaborated on a book with, stating that he allowed Woodward to record their conversations for the sole purpose of being used only for the book, "Rage."

The lawsuit alleges that Woodward along with publishing company Simon & Schuster and parent company Paramount Global did not have the legal rights to use recordings from the interview for an audiobook, "The Trump Tapes," that was released in October 2022.

Trump's lawsuit states that Simon & Schuster and Paramount Global illegally profited from the tapes, and he is seeking nearly $50 million in damages. The figure comes from a future sales projection of 2 million audiobook copies being sold at $24.99.

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According to Bloomberg, Trump's interviews with Woodward began in 2016 when he was still a candidate for president. The two spoke in 19 designated interviews between December 2019 and August 2020. Trump claims that he never gave a verbal or written agreement to any of the recordings being shared with the public in any format or platform.

In the legal filings Trump's attorneys stated, "This case centers on Mr. Woodward's systematic usurpation, manipulation and exploitation of audio of President Trump."

Paramount Global or Simon & Schuster have not supplied public comment on the case.

Trump could soon face a rude awakening – according to this political insider

If former President Donald Trump or any representative on his election staff thought that he would enter the race with a soft landing spot, including early primary state New Hampshire, they have had a painful reality check as multiple leaders from the Granite State have questioned the long-term viability of Trump's 2024 campaign.

Former New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu recently discussed what he thought was a lack of energy in Trump's campaign in a CNN Interview.

Sununu's comments weren't looked necessarily as a move to promote himself for the GOP presidential nomination, but as a way to open the race even more to his more moderate wing of the Republican party.

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Not to be outdone, the former Attorney General for New Hampshire Tom Rath said he believes the days of Trump controlling the Republican party are over.

"He remains a dominant figure, but not in possession of the Republican Party anymore," Rath said in an interview with Bloomberg. "If he goes in there thinking he's going to do the same thing he did six years ago, I think he is going to be mistaken."

The publication noted that Rath has "advised several presidential campaigns."

Florida church vows to kick out members who refuse to sign 'anti-gay pledge'

The anti-LGBT sentiment from religious conservatives has reached a new high with a Jacksonville, Florida Baptist Church making members sign an oath of confirmation in anti-LGBT relationships as part of church membership.

First Baptist Church in Jacksonville's Senior Pastor Heath Lambert has been an outspoken proponent of 'traditional' family values and now the church has given members until March 19 to sign the 'Biblical Sexuality Agreement' oath or to immediately resign their membership. Lambert says he doesn't care what members do, and that real Christians do not have a problem with it.

According to Lambert, he did not make the decision on his own — that the entire congregation wanted to move forward with the agreement.

The First Baptist Church 'Biblical Sexuality Agreement' states:

"As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice," the Agreement continues. "I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression."

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The Agreement cites the Book of Genesis along with Corinthians, Matthew and Romans.

"It means to rule out all sorts of sexual sins," Lambert said in an interview with WJXX. "It means to rule out pornography and polygamy and fornication and adultery and homosexuality."

A decade ago the First Baptist Church made news in Jacksonville by publicly opposing a newly proposed city ordinance that protected the citizens of Jacksonville from being fired solely based on their sexual identity. The ordinance ended up passing years later.

The church sent shuttles of members to speak against the ordinance.