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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 04:15 PM
Number of posts: 30,392

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McConnell congratulates Joe Biden on becoming president-elect

Source: Axios

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) officially addressed Joe Biden as president-elect on Tuesday, saying in a speech on the Senate floor: "The Electoral College has spoken."

Why it matters: McConnell is the most prominent Republican to concede that President Trump lost the November election and congratulate Biden on his victory.

Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have refused to acknowledge that Biden had won given Trump's extended legal battle contesting the elections results.

But after Biden officially secured 270 electoral votes in Monday's meeting of the Electoral College, a growing number of GOP lawmakers are conceding that Trump lost and preparing for the next administration.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/mcconnell-biden-electoral-college-1f38ad08-3138-497a-8dc8-e5da0f7318a8.html?stream=politics&utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts_politics

This Newly Released Letter Details The Criminal Referral On Donald Trump Over His Ukraine Phone Call

Source: BuzzFeed News

Nearly one year after the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump, the federal government has released the criminal referral alleging Trump committed crimes related to his phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, a conversation that sparked the historic proceedings.

The document, obtained by BuzzFeed News from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, is a letter dated September 4, 2019, and signed by Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community. It was sent to Stacey Moy, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Moy’s involvement in the Ukraine matter has not been previously disclosed.

The inspector general “is formally referring allegations received from an individual regarding, among other things, alleged violations of law related to a telephone call on July 25, 2019, between President Donald J. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky,” Atkinson wrote. “This referral is a follow-up to my secure telephone call on August 27, 2019, with FBI Director Christopher A. Wray’s Chief of Staff, Paul B. Murphy, during which I provided to Mr. Murphy a summary of the Complainant’s allegations.”

On Aug. 12, 2019, an anonymous CIA official had filed a formal whistleblower complaint with the House and Senate Intelligence committees and Atkinson, the inspector general, alleging Trump pressured Zelensky to publicly announce investigations into his political rivals while withholding $400 million in military aid. Trump wanted Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, then the Democratic presidential frontrunner, and his son Hunter related to unsubstantiated claims that Biden had pressured Ukraine’s prosecutor to drop an investigation into the Ukrainian gas company his son, Hunter, sat on the board of.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jasonleopold/criminal-referral-on-trump-ukraine


Voting Machine Manufacturer Demands Retractions From Conservative News Networks Over Fraud Claims

Source: Forbes

TOPLINE Smartmatic—one of two voting machine manufacturers that’s been attacked by President Trump and his allies (without evidence) for supposedly rigging the 2020 election—announced Monday that it is demanding retractions and delivering legal notices to three conservative networks that promoted the conspiracy theories.

The demand letters, according to an announcement from the company, will be sent to Fox News, as well as two of the president’s new favorite right-wing networks: Newsmax and One America News Network.

Inside, the letters outline “dozens of factually inaccurate statements” made by each organization as part of what Smartmatic describes as a “disinformation campaign” to harm the voting machine company and discredit the 2020 election.

“These organizations could have easily discovered the falsity of the statements and implications made about Smartmatic by investigating their statements before publishing them to millions of viewers and readers,” wrote Smartmatic.

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/12/14/voting-machine-manufacturer-demands-retractions-from-conservative-news-networks-over-fraud-claims/?sh=778379e7c9a8

White House Official Recovers From Severe Covid-19, Friend Says

Source: Bloomberg

A White House official who fell ill with Covid-19 in September is recovering after three months in the hospital, though he lost his right foot and lower leg in his battle against the virus, according to a friend.

Crede Bailey, the director of the White House security office, was the most severely ill among dozens of Covid-19 cases known to be connected to the White House. Bailey’s family has asked the White House not to publicize his condition, and President Donald Trump has never publicly acknowledged his illness.

Bailey’s friends have raised more than $30,000 for his rehabilitation through a GoFundMe account. The White House declined to say whether Trump has contributed to the effort.

“Crede beat COVID-19 but it came at a significant cost: his big toe on his left foot as well as his right foot and lower leg had to be amputated,” Dawn McCrobie, who organized the GoFundMe effort for Bailey, wrote Dec. 7.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-14/white-house-official-recovers-from-severe-covid-19-friend-says

Biden Captures Electoral Votes From All States Trump Contested

Source: Bloomberg

Electoral College members in all six battleground states where President Donald Trump most fiercely contested the results cast their ballots for Democrat Joe Biden on Monday, effectively cutting off the president’s path to overturning the election.

The vote marks the watershed moment some Republican lawmakers have said would signal the end of their support for attempts to overturn the Nov. 3 election.

The 16 electors in Michigan voted for Biden, following the 63 votes cast for him earlier in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden will have enough electoral votes to be officially declared president-elect when members have cast 270 ballots, which is expected after California votes. Congress will officially count the votes on Jan. 6.

Electors in 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia are voting for president and vice president in time-honored constitutional ceremonies that have drawn new attention this year after Trump refused to concede and insisted without evidence that the election was “rigged.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-14/biden-captures-electoral-votes-from-all-states-trump-contested?utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=business&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business&utm_source=twitter

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds Biden's win, rejects Trump lawsuit

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MADISON - The state Supreme Court upheld Democrat Joe Biden's Wisconsin win Monday, handing President Donald Trump a defeat less than an hour before the Electoral College was to meet.

The 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of dozens of losses for the president across the country as Republicans pursue last-gasp efforts to give Trump a second term.

Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/14/wisconsin-supreme-court-upholds-joe-bidens-win/6529642002/

In final years at Liberty, Falwell spent millions on pro-Trump causes

Source: Politico

After shocking many in the evangelical movement by endorsing Donald Trump over other Republicans for the 2016 presidential nomination, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. pumped millions of the nonprofit religious institution’s funds into Republican causes and efforts to promote the Trump administration, blurring the lines between education and politics.

The culmination of his efforts was the creation of a university-funded campus “think tank” — which has produced no peer-reviewed academic work and bears little relation to study centers at other universities — that ran pro-Trump ads, hired Trump allies including former adviser Sebastian Gorka and current Trump attorney Jenna Ellis to serve as fellows and, in recent weeks, has aggressively promoted Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

The think tank — called the Falkirk Center, a portmanteau of Falwell’s name and that of GOP activist Charlie Kirk, who co-founded it — purchased campaign-season ads on Facebook, at least $50,000's worth of which were designated by the network as political ads, that promoted Trump and other Republican candidates by name.

“Pray For Our President,” declared one, featuring a photo of Trump with his hands clasped in prayer.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/14/jerry-falwell-trump-liberty-university-444661

Michigan House punishes GOP Rep. Gary Eisen for hinting at Electoral College disruption

Source: Detroit Free Press

Michigan Republican legislative leaders pulled a GOP lawmaker from his committee assignments Monday after the lawmaker hinted he was part of a group that sought to disrupt or otherwise undermine the Electoral College vote slated to happen at the Capitol this afternoon.

Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, made the comments Monday morning during an interview with Port Huron-area radio station WPHM. He was asked about the Electoral College, set to meet Monday in the state Senate chamber to cast the state's 16 electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

Eisen made the comments in the context of he and others in Lansing having some sort of event, either at the Capitol or somewhere else. He said he could not rule out the possibility of violence.

Eisen also made reference to a threat he said was received regarding safety at the Capitol. He questioned the veracity of threat, however, calling it "convenient" and implying it would impede efforts for Trump supporters to contest the Electoral College proceedings.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/14/gary-eisen-michigan-electoral-college-radio-interview/6537175002/

EXCLUSIVE: Tennessee wastes millions on no-bid COVID contract with politically connected company

Source: News channel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's team wasted millions of dollars on COVID-19 testing promised by a politically connected company - and taxpayers got nothing for their money, an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has discovered.

Over the objections of career state employees, Tennessee Health Commission Lisa Piercey steered a $26.5 million, no-bid contract to a Utah company with no health care experience -- after a Republican political consultant pitched a contract to the governor's office.

In the end, just as the career state employees had warned, the deal collapsed -- and the Lee administration paid the company almost $6 million to get out of the contract.

"This is frankly worse than our worst fears," said state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, a Nashville Democrat who had expressed concerns in the early days of the coronavirus crisis about potentially unaccountable spending as state government responded

Read more: https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/exclusive-tennessee-wastes-millions-on-no-bid-covid-19-contract-with-politically-connected-company

White House staff members will be among the first to be vaccinated.

Source: NYT

White House staff members who work in close quarters with President Trump have been told they are scheduled to receive injections of the coronavirus vaccine soon, at a time when the first doses of the vaccine are being distributed only to high-risk health care workers, according to two sources familiar with the distribution plans.

The goal of distributing the vaccine inside the West Wing is to prevent additional government officials from falling ill in the final weeks of the Trump administration. The hope is to eventually distribute the vaccine to everyone who works in the White House, but will begin with some of the most senior people who work around the president, one of the people said.

It is not clear how many doses are being allocated to the White House, or how many are needed. While many Trump officials said they were eager to receive the vaccine and would take it if it were offered, others said they were concerned it would send the wrong message by making it look like Trump staff members were hopping the line in order to protect a president who already had the virus and has bragged that he is now “immune.”

The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine left a facility in Michigan early Sunday, with UPS and FedEx teaming up to ship them to all 50 states for distribution. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/13/world/white-house-staff-members-will-be-among-the-first-to-be-vaccinated.html
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