FORTH WORTH, Texas — Whole Woman’s Health is shuttering its four clinics in Texas, including two in North Texas, and working to move to New Mexico to offer abortion services. The abortion provider has in clinics Fort Worth, McKinney, Austin and McAllen, but after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court last month, abortion services are mostly unavailable in the state. Whole Woman’s Health has launched a GoFundMe to raise money to move to New Mexico, where abortion laws are less restrictive, according to a news release. There, it will provide first and second trimester abortions. “...
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Former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann explained to MSNBC that one of Donald Trump's biggest problems is finding a set of lawyers willing to help him with a solid legal strategy to deal with all of his slate of legal cases that all seem to be culminating together in recent weeks.
Speaking to MSNBC on Wednesday, hours after Rudy Giuliani walked into the Atlanta courthouse after being told he was a target in a probe, Weissmann explained that Trump's lawyers have had a rough go of it lately.
"The thing that is notable, [is] that this is not the traditional 'a' team that you would see representing a president or a former president," he said of Trump's legal advisers. "And it's just striking. Usually, this is an honor. And you have people like David Kendall for instance, who everyone in the legal profession knows is one of the preeminent lawyers. And that's who you expect to see. And I think one of the reasons you're not seeing that is if you look at the track record for some of the former president's lawyers."
Weissmann, who was one of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top deputies, named Roy Cohn, who was ultimately disbarred, but who served for Trump's father and was a kind of mentor to the younger Donald. Giuliani is another one, but he has just be told he's the target in a serious case in Georgia. He's already been disbarred in New York. Former lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted of several crimes. Sidney Powell is facing civil lawsuits and complaints calling for her to be disbarred.
"So the kinds of pressures that you're put under — if you're representing somebody like Donald Trump, are ones that if you're at the top of your field, you really can think to yourself, I don't need this," said Weissmann.
Trump can't find a lawyer youtu.be
In 2022, Republicans have nominated well-known celebrities rather than established politicians in three different U.S. Senate races: Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance in Ohio, and football star Herschel Walker in Georgia. GOP strategists have been using a “these-aren’t-career-politicians” pitch to voters in all three races. But reporter Adam Gabbatt, in an article published by The Guardian on August 16, emphasizes that none of those Republicans have been performing well in recent polls.
“In Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker and J.D. Vance, the Republican Party has three celebrities running for Senate in November,” Gabbatt explains. “The only problem? At the moment, each of them looks as though they might lose. Oz, a television stalwart better known as Dr. Oz to millions of Americans, is trailing his opponent in Pennsylvania by double digits. Vance, a bestselling author and conservative commentator, is behind in his race in Ohio, an increasingly red state that many expected Republicans to win. So far, the most notable point of his campaign was when Vance appeared to suggest women should stay in violent marriages.”
Gabbatt continues, “In Georgia, Walker, a former NFL running back, is running close against Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Democrat. But Walker’s campaign has been characterized by a series of gaffes, and this week, more seriously, his ex-wife recalled in a campaign ad how he once held a gun to her head. The three men’s travails spell out a problem in selecting outsider, celebrity candidates. Each brings name recognition, but in some cases, have been unexposed to the media’s glare.”
Some polls released in late July or early August showed Georgia’s Senate race to be close. Walker was trailing the Rev. Warnock by only 3 percent in polls from Insider Advantage, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Research Affiliates, although a SurveyUSA poll showed Warnock ahead by 9 percent.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee, had an 11 percent lead over Oz in a Fox News poll released in late July. And in Ohio, the Democratic nominee, Rep. Tim Ryan, was ahead of Vance by 3 percent in a late July poll conducted by Impact Research, although SurveyMoney’s polling in early August showed Ryan ahead by 11 percent. Ryan also had an 11 percent lead in a Center Street PAC poll from early August.
“The Pennsylvania Senate race is looking particularly dire for Republicans,” Gabbatt observes. “According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, John Fetterman, the Democratic lieutenant governor, holds an 11 percent lead over Oz. Among Republicans in Pennsylvania, just 35 percent say they are ‘enthusiastic’ about Oz’s candidacy, according to a Fox News poll in July, and 45 percent of Republicans say they ‘have reservations’ about the physician. Oz’s struggles are significant enough that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is considering diverting money away from Oz’s campaign ‘to seats that we feel we can win,’ Politico reported in July — a dramatic move given the Senate seat was previously held by a Republican.”
The Republican senator Gabbatt is referring to is Pat Toomey. Although arch-conservative, Toomey infuriated MAGA Republicans when he voted “guilty” in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate in 2021 — and the two-term senator decided not to seek a third term in 2022.
If Fetterman defeats Oz in November, Democrats will be flipping a U.S. Senate seat that has been mostly in Republican hands for decades. Before Toomey, the seat was held by the late Sen. Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican who got along well with Pennsylvania Democrats like former Pennsylvania Gov./ex-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. Near the end of his life, Specter became a Democrat, but he spent most of his years in the Senate as a Republican.
Presently, there is a 50/50 split in the U.S. Senate — 50 Democrats or allies of Democrats like independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and 50 Republicans — with Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast a tie-breaking vote. If Democrats are able to maintain all of the Senate seats they presently hold but flip the seats in Pennsylvania and Ohio, they would slightly increase their narrow majority but would still have to contend with the 60-vote requirement of the filibuster.
Newly revealed emails show Secret Service was warned about Jan. 6 threat to Pence — but failed to act
Newly revealed emails show the U.S. Secret Service received urgent warnings that vice president Mike Pence's life was in danger from right-wing extremists.
Communications obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington show that in the days before January 6, 2021, the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies were concerned that Donald Trump supporters planned to bring weapons to the U.S. Capitol with the intention of causing violence. But the watchdog group said the agency did not appear to take the threat seriously.
“It’s gonna get violent as we charge the federal buildings and drag out corrupt politicians dead or alive!” read one post shared with the Secret Services and other agencies before the insurrection, while another clearly specified their chief target: “F*ck pence sellout traitor we better see him coming out that building in handcuffs or were [sic] going in.”
The National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium circulated those threats in messages and during a January 4, 2021, conference call alerting the Secret Service, FBI, Capitol police and Metropolitan police department to the likelihood of violence surrounding pro-Trump demonstrations on the day Congress certified Joe Biden's election win.
The Secret Service was explicitly warned the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and III Percenters were threatening violence, along with neo-Nazi groups such as Atomwaffen and Storm Front, but they noted “there is no indication of civil disobedience."
"These documents show government law enforcement receiving clear warnings of the violence bound for DC on January 6," CREW wrote. "The Secret Service was fully aware that the Trump supporters coming posed a real threat of violence, particularly against Mike Pence, including the possibility of an assault on the Capitol. What they do not show is why the Secret Service downplayed the danger and threats of violence on January 6."
The Secret Service has faced growing pressure after it was revealed that the agency deleted agents' text messages sent during the January 6 attack.
Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, told Congress in July that his office had difficulties obtaining records from the Secret Service from January 5 and 6, 2021.
The messages could be crucial to the House of Representatives and Justice Department investigations into whether Trump and his close advisors encouraged the deadly insurrection by the former president's supporters at the US Capitol, which aimed to prevent the certification of Democratic rival Joe Biden as the winner of the November 2020 election.
Secret Service agents were with Trump during the day of the uprising, and were also with Pence, who went into hiding at the Capitol after pro-Trump rioters called for him to be hanged.
On June 29 a former White House staffer told the House January 6 investigation that Trump had attempted to force the Secret Service to take him to the Capitol to join his supporters on that day.
"The Department notified us that many US Secret Service (USSS) text messages, from January 5 and 6, 2021, were erased as part of a device replacement program," Cuffari wrote in the letter first reported by The Intercept and later published by Politico.
"The USSS erased those text messages after OIG requested records of electronic communications" for a review of January 6, he said, referring to the Office of the Inspector General.
In addition, he said, the department has stalled on providing other records to the OIG.
In a statement, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi rejected the inspector general's allegation.
He said the agents' phones were being wiped as part of a planned replacement program that began before the OIG requested the information six weeks after the insurrection.
With additional reporting by AFP