House Republicans voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) from her leadership position on Wednesday, in a move that cemented the right’s unending fealty to former President Donald Trump. Cheney had refused to continue perpetuating Trump’s big lie that the election was stolen, which many Republicans viewed as a sort of betrayal of their values — though Cheney herself has been a loyal rank-and-file GOP member over the years, often pushing the worst elements of conservative ideology.
Politics & Elections Facebook Will Announce Tomorrow Whether Trump and His Fascist Posts Can Return Economy & Labor Mutual Aid Efforts Are Working to Fill the Gaps of Biden’s COVID Response Economy & Labor Amazon’s Anti-Union Bullying Shows Why We Need the PRO Act Economy & Labor Tax Dodgers Owe US Over $7 Trillion, Says Janet Yellen Politics & Elections Biden Picks Warren Ally to Oversee Student Aid, Signaling Shift on Student Debt Human Rights Over 10 Million People Could Become Homeless When Eviction Moratorium Ends Nearly six months after voting ended in the 2020 presidential election, Republicans are leading an effort in Arizona to throw undue doubt into President Joe Biden’s win in the state — and they’ve hired conspiracy theorists to help lead the charge. Republican legislators in the state, who hold a majority in the legislature, successfully subpoenaed 2.1 million ballots earlier this year. Senate Republicans demanded the ballots from election officials in Maricopa County, which put Biden over the top and then didn’t have anywhere to put the ballots once they got them. The GOP obtained the ballots with the goal of completing their own audit of the election results, despite the fact that the state’s own audits, as well as Maricopa County’s audit, found no evidence of voter fraud. Still, Republicans think that they can conduct a better audit — perhaps one with different results — and have hired a company with zero experience with elections to do so. As Judd Legum of Popular Information wrote, “The counting will continue until results improve.” The company Republicans have hired, for $150,000 of taxpayer money, is called Cyber Ninjas. Cyber Ninjas is a Florida-based cybersecurity company which has been described by its founder, Doug Logan, as a “Christian company.” Logan has espoused views supporting the conspiracy theories put forth by “Stop the Steal” groups and QAnon-affiliated Ron Watkins, who propagate the false claim that it was former President Donald Trump, not Biden, who truly won the election. Arizona is not Logan’s first rodeo in challenging election results. He was previously listed as an expert witness in a lawsuit in Michigan where the plaintiffs claimed that voting machines were rigged. Though the company has tried keeping their audit methodology under wraps, they’ve been ordered by a judge to disclose documents with procedures for the audit. The procedures “[don’t] make any sense, and I’ve seen a lot of audits,” Tammy Patrick, senior elections adviser for Democracy Fund and former Maricopa County elections worker, told USA Today. The documents detailing procedures for “forensics” are vague and unclear. One such procedure evidently being employed by Cyber Ninja is using UV lights to check for watermarks on the ballots. Arizona’s ballots don’t have watermarks, and the Brennan Center for Justice has warned that the lights could make the ballots deteriorate, but that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from believing that using the UV light might reveal a secret watermark. Observers and election experts have also caught the auditors making basic mistakes like using blue pens that might alter the vote on a ballot or not securing the area where ballots are being counted by locking the doors. Cyber Ninjas has also recruited former state lawmaker Anthony Kern to help validate ballots. Kern is a Trump supporter who was at the Capitol on January 6 with the mob trying to get the election results overturned. State Republicans are also evidently trying to raise funds beyond the $150,000 from the government for the audit effort, Legum reports. The Arizona Senate is soliciting donations to raise $2.8 million for the effort on a website, fundtheaudit.com, owned by an organization created by former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, also a known Trump supporter. Trump himself has been bragging about the audit, despite the fact that Arizona lawmakers don’t have the authority to overturn election results. Still, he’s been telling Mar-a-Lago guests that the audit will perhaps help reinstate him — although, even if the legislators could overturn the result of the state’s election, and if there were any evidence of fraud, the 11 electoral votes it would give the former president would still not be enough to give him the win he wants. So then why are Republicans still chugging along to overturn Arizona’s results? It’s unclear, but the audit is already likely having harmful effects. Most Republican voters still believe that the election was rigged; and the very fact that Republicans are conducting an audit may indicate, to some, that there are legitimate reasons to believe that there was fraud, no matter how spurious the real reasons for the audit are. Political observers warn that the results of the audit, even if they’re falsified or based on flawed methodology, could end up adding fuel to the Republicans’ voter suppression fire in Arizona and across the country. “The idea, obviously, is to create a new truth for Republicans,” wrote MSNBC’s Steve Benen, “at which point pro-Trump forces can exploit the lie to justify new voter-suppression efforts and perhaps even related efforts in other states, where Republicans can hire Cyber Ninjas of their own.” Copyright © Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
The select committee in the House of Representatives examining the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building is contemplating whether to pursue White House call logs from that day. The call logs could reveal who communicated with former President Donald Trump on the day that a mob of his loyalists attacked the U.S. Capitol following an incendiary speech delivered by Trump.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has chosen five Republican members to serve on the select committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol on January 6 — and a majority of those chosen are people who voted to overturn the election on that day. Under the rules of the committee set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), McCarthy is allowed to choose five Republicans for the 13-member committee. This is similar to Pelosi’s original proposal to form the commission, with Democrats making up a majority of the group. A subsequent bipartisan proposal for the commission, meanwhile, had a 50-50 split between the parties but was blocked by Republicans, despite several concessions from the Democrats. McCarthy chose Republican Representatives Jim Banks (Indiana), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Illinois), Kelly Armstrong (North Dakota) and Troy Nehls (Texas) to serve on the committee. Of those picks, Banks, Jordan and Nehls were among the 147 Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying the electoral college results on the day that the deadly attack on the Capitol occured, encouraged by President Trump.
Racial Justice MLK’s Family and Civil Rights Leaders Call for Voting Rights March on Washington Environment & Health Democrats Propose Medicare for a Few More Instead of Demanding Medicare for All Politics & Elections GOP Lawmaker Suing Pelosi Over House Mask Rules Contracts COVID Politics & Elections Republicans Balk at Infrastructure Adding to Deficit After Opposing Pay Fors Economy & Labor Predatory Banks at Walmarts Made Over 100 Percent of Profits From Overdraft Fees Economy & Labor COVID Relief Packages Dramatically Reduced Poverty. They Should Be Permanent. A journalist was forcibly removed from a press conference being held by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) on Thursday when the reporter asked the lawmaker why he still opposed a commission to investigate the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this year. The press conference, which took place in Florida, was addressing issues related to Cuba. McCarthy had just finished a response in which he said Cuban leaders had created tyranny for people in the island nation. Grant Stern, a radio broadcaster and executive director of the progressive organization Occupy Democrats, then asked McCarthy a question related to democratic freedoms. “Minority leader, you said that the … revolution created tyranny on the island of Cuba and I am asking you a question,” Stern asked. “It’s not a Democratic or Republican issue, so why do you oppose the January 6th commission, sir?” But midway through that question, Stern appeared to be forcibly removed from the press conference, as video posted by Stern showed on social media. According to Stern, four police officers, prompted by McCarthy’s staffers, physically lifted him out of the room as he was asking McCarthy his query. I tried to ask @GOPLeader McCarthy a question after he decried Cuban police pickup up people in the streets. Why does he oppose the bipartisan #January6thCommission? A Congressional staffer had four cops pick me up and drag me from the room. I still asked the question. pic.twitter.com/HDqrhvARaC — Grant Stern is fully vaccinated (@grantstern) August 5, 2021 In an email to The Independent, Stern said he couldn’t “understand why” McCarthy was discussing “freedom to hold elections in Cuba,” but was unable to discuss the January 6 attack on the Capitol by loyalists to former President Donald Trump, which was an attempt to disrupt the certification of the United States’ 2020 elections. The journalist also questioned why McCarthy didn’t stand up for Stern’s own democratic freedoms in the press conference itself. “When he saw me being dragged away, why didn’t he speak up and stop it?” Stern asked. McCarthy has taken a firm position against investigating the events of January 6, but he didn’t always hold this opinion. Days after the attack on the Capitol, in which five individuals lost their lives, the House Minority Leader, though opposed to impeaching Trump, said the president he played a role in the violence of that day. Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” McCarthy said in comments he made on the House floor. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” In the same speech, he also called for the formation of a “fact-finding commission” to investigate what happened, rather than taking steps to impeach Trump. In the months since those comments, however, McCarthy has drastically altered his position, opposing the formation of a commission at every turn. In May, for instance, McCarthy opposed a bipartisan plan to form a commission, which would have allowed for an equal number of Democrats and Republicans to take part. After that plan was blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster, McCarthy then opposed, through his various actions, the creation of a select committee formed by Democrats in the House. McCarthy has also peddled falsehoods and disinformation about the attack on the Capitol. In recent weeks, he has wrongly claimed that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is to blame for what happened that day, arguing she had not secured the Capitol well enough during the certification process. Pelosi is not in charge of the security of the Capitol building, as numerous media fact checks have noted. Copyright © Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.