By Jessie Pang and James Pomfret HONG KONG (Reuters) -A Hong Kong court found seven prominent democrats guilty of unauthorised assembly charges, including 82-year-old barrister Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 72, the latest blow to the city's beleaguered democracy movement. Lee, who helped launch the city's largest opposition Democratic Party in the 1990s and is often called the former British colony's "father of democracy," was accused of taking part in an unauthorised assembly on Aug. 18, 2019. The silver-haired Lee and the others, all in their 60s or older, sat impassively as distric...
'Absolutely obsessed' Trump hounded Bill Barr's replacement 'nearly every day' over voter fraud conspiracy theories
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that after Attorney General William Barr left his post, former President Donald Trump called up his acting replacement, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, "almost every day" to demand that he investigate his conspiracy theories that the election was in some way rigged against him or stolen.
"The personal pressure campaign, which has not been previously reported, involved repeated phone calls to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in which Trump raised various allegations he had heard about and asked what the Justice Department was doing about the issue," reported Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett. "Rosen told few people about the phone calls, even in his inner circle. But there are notes of some of the calls that were written by a top aide to Rosen, Richard Donoghue."
The notes on the calls could soon become very relevant to the House Select Committee on the January 6th Capitol riots.
"Rosen and Donoghue could be questioned about the conversations by congressional committees examining Trump's actions in the days after the election," continued the report. "The Justice Department recently notified Rosen, Donoghue and others who were serving there during the end of Trump's presidency that the agency would not seek to invoke executive privilege if they are asked about their contacts with the president during that period."
One of the Post's sources said that Trump was "absolutely obsessed" with overturning the election and wouldn't tolerate Rosen's attempts to change the subject away from election matters.
He has since tried to argue that he was an institutional check against Trump's efforts to do so, although experts have noted he in fact helped Trump advance his conspiracy theories in the weeks leading up to his departure.
GOP's Adam Kinzinger blasts his party for attacking Liz Cheney more than N-word-spewing Capitol rioters
On CNN Wednesday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of the only Republicans to serve on the House Select Committee on the January 6th Capitol riot, took a shot at members of his party who are more concerned with attacking Republican lawmakers on the committee than the actual people who stormed the Capitol.
"One of the police officers — and they were all heroic — Harry Dunn, offered an analogy during his testimony, sworn testimony before your committee, that a hitman, he says, goes to jail for killing someone, but so does the person who hired the hitman," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Is that now your mission, finding out who hired the so-called hitman?"
"Yes," said Kinzinger. "Because the mission is to find out what led to what happened on January 6th. Because the one thing we know is it wasn't a spontaneous, you know — we talk about the security posture and that's important to get to the bottom of, too, but an inadequate security posture is not like a vortex sucking protesters too far into the Capitol. That is an issue we need to get to the bottom of, but that's not what caused January 6. Yeah, there is a lot of questions. But I think we're going to get to the bottom of this."
"By the way, Officer Dunn's testimony about having racial slurs yelled at him, saying that was the first time in a uniform, broke my heart," added Kinzinger. "But I tell you, we should be spending, as a party, way more time denouncing those people that may claim to be Republicans than we should denouncing, I don't know, Liz Cheney, me and others that want to get to the truth."
Adam Kinzinger says his party is angrier at Liz Cheney than the Capitol rioters www.youtube.com
MAGA riot committee will create damning 'jigsaw puzzle' of Trump's actions during insurrection: former federal prosecutor
Former federal prosecutor Nick Ackerman explained on Wednesday that any official who worked with militias in the lead-up to January 6th should be worried.
Speaking to MSNBC's Ari Melber, Ackerman explained that he is "totally convinced" that if House members coordinated with the Three Percenters or Proud Boys online or on their phones that it will be found out and they will be prosecuted.
Indeed, those alleged terrorists who have not been convinced and haven't made a deal with prosecutors would have an opportunity to give up the Republican officials to save themselves. The only person that Republicans could "give up" for a deal would likely be Donald Trump.
Both Melber and Ackerman supported the Justice Department's decision not to defend Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) for his involvement in the January 6th rally that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Tuesday, the House of Representatives counsel also said that they wouldn't defend Brooks with taxpayer dollars.
"He used the word 'patriots' and he used the words 'kicking ass,'" recalled Ackerman. "Particularly when you put that in the context of what Donald Trump said and what Rudy Giuliani said about 'trial by combat.' I mean, this whole -- you put all of these people together in terms of what they were saying to this crowd, they were basically inciting them to go up to the Capitol and riot the place. It is exactly what they did. What they say is what you expected to be the end results."
Ackerman went on to say that it's just "common sense" that there was no way that the DOJ would defend anyone who attempted to overthrow the United States government.
"If someone came at you and tried to murder you and shot you in the arms, you are not going to fund his legal battle or not going to give him a lawyer so he can defend himself against you," he explained. "They stop the constitutional process of counting the votes for president because they didn't like who was elected. Under these circumstances, it would have been absolutely crazy and extreme for the Justice Department to represent Congressman Brooks."
Ackerman went on to explain that at the very least some of the officials and rally speakers will face depositions, including Trump -- and he predicted that the commission would use testimony and subpoenaed phone records to piece together a damning "jigsaw puzzle" of the former president's actions.
"And they don't really have much of a defense here," he said. "I think the more they can dig into the evidence showing that Trump and Rudy Giuliani and Brooks, knew these people had come up, and knew these people were looking for a fight — the more they can show what they were doing were inciting this riot. I am totally convinced once they start to dig into phone records, they find out who these people are meeting with. If Congressman Brooks was meeting with the Three Percenters or the Proud Boys — your duty as a congressman is not trying to overthrow the congress and stop their regular business. That's not going to fly well with the jury and the District of Columbia."
Melber called Brooks's demand that the DOJ represent him one of the "dumber things" he's heard.
"The Brooks defense is like someone accusing him of embezzling from his own bank and saying it is part of my duty," he said.
See the full conversation below:
Mo Brooks is screwed www.youtube.com
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