Friday, October 20, 2023

Last Call For Fani Makes A Deal, Or, One Grilled Chese Please

Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis keeps on winning, and this time she's gotten a felony plea along with state's evidence.

Kenneth Chesebro, a former lawyer for Donald Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty Friday to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia, a deal in which he will avoid jail time and agreed to provide evidence that implicates other co-defendants, including Trump himself.

Chesebro was the second former Trump lawyer to accept a plea deal in the sprawling conspiracy case in as many days. The plea came in just hours after jury selection began, ahead of an expected trial next month.

Chesebro pleaded guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to file false documents and accepted a sentence of three to five years of probation, a $1,000 fine, $5,000 in restitution to the state of Georgia, an apology letter, 100 hours of community service and a promise to testify truthfully against any other co-defendants in the case, should they go to trial.

In his plea deal, Chesebro implicated several of those co-defendants as being part of the conspiracy to file false documents: Trump, four other lawyers including Rudy Giuliani, and one campaign operative. The charge relates to Chesebro’s role organizing slates of pro-Trump electors to meet in seven states where Biden had won.

Chesebro’s guilty plea follows that of Sidney Powell on Thursday and makes him the third co-defendant to admit guilt in the criminal racketeering case, which alleges Trump and 18 allies broke Georgia law when they sought to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state. In addition to Powell, bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty earlier this month in the conspiracy — with all agreeing to testify against others in the case.

The plea is the latest legal victory for Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D), whose office is prosecuting the Georgia case. In addition to flipping one of the key members of the alleged conspiracy, prosecutors now avoid a trial in which they would have had to showcase much of their evidence against Trump and others, which might have offered lawyers for other defendants a legal advantage heading into their trials.

The potential for incriminating testimony from three of Trump’s co-defendants could have a far-reaching impact on the former president’s legal fortunes, as well as some of the other high-profile defendants, notably Giuliani, who is alleged to have known about Powell’s and Chesebro’s efforts to help overturn Trump’s loss. 
And the right-wing keeps yelling that these pleas are meaningless and that Willis doesn't have any case because she hasn't gotten anyone to cop to a RICO felony yet.

Don't worry, kids. That's coming. The Finding Out Phase is definitely here for Trump and fiends.

The House GOP Circus Of The Damned, Con't

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan is now a three-time loser in his quixotic flailing to try to become House Speaker, and he's still up for more getting face-punched.

Rep. Jim Jordan again defended his choice to continue running for speaker after 25 Republicans voted against him on the third ballot.

“Even Speaker McCarthy took a dip and then came back,” he said, when asked if it is time to get a new nominee. “You guys said we were going to lose 15 to 30. We lost a couple and we had a few people miss it,” he added.

Jordan continued, “We’re gonna go talk to conference right now, listen to our colleagues.”

Asked about several of his supporters saying it wasn’t looking good for him, Jordan replied, “we’ll find out.”
Oh yes, Jimmy boy, we're definitely in the Find Out Phase, and today he found out just how much he's hated by his own co-workers.

House Republicans are once again scrambling with no clear path to elect a new speaker after voting to push Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan out of the race, the latest sign of the chaos and divisions that have engulfed the majority party and left the chamber in a state of paralysis.

In a dramatic turn of events, the House GOP conference voted by secret ballot on Friday to drop Jordan as their speaker designee after he failed to win the gavel for the third time in a floor vote earlier in the day.

The House remains effectively frozen as long as there is no elected speaker. The paralysis has created a perilous situation as Congress faces the threat of a government shutdown next month and conflict unfolds abroad. The battle for the speakership has now dragged on for more than two weeks with no end in sight.

Jordan’s exit from the race now sets the stage for more speaker hopefuls to emerge. Republicans are expected to hold a candidate forum Monday evening. But it appears increasingly uncertain whether any lawmaker can get the 217 votes needed to win the gavel while Republicans control such a narrow majority.

With the GOP speakership now once again up for grabs, here’s a list of potential candidates and where they stand on getting in the race. They have until noon Sunday to file.

Confirmed candidates:
  • Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Republican Study Committee chair
  • Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia, who challenged Jordan last time
  • Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, a former general
  • Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Majority Whip
  • Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Freedom Caucus member
Considering running:
  • Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, Homeland Security Chair and Freedom Caucus member
  • Rep. Jodey Arrington of Texas, Budget chair
  • Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, vice conference chair
Things are now so bad at the Clown Show Big Top that Assistant Provisional Junior Ringmaster 3rd Class The Odious Patrick McHenry is now threatening to quit his post as punching bag.
In a closed-door meeting Thursday, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., told GOP colleagues he might resign as speaker pro tempore if Republicans push him to try to move legislation on the floor without an explicit vote to expand his powers, according to multiple lawmakers in the room.

“If you guys try to do that, you’ll figure out who the next person on Kevin’s list is,” McHenry told the room, three sources said, referring to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy's secret list of GOP lawmakers who would serve as temporary speaker in the event of a vacancy.

McHenry's comments underscore the quandary Republicans are in: They can't really do anything until they choose a new speaker, but they can't agree on someone who can get the votes to be that new speaker.

And McHenry is unwilling to set a precedent that would give future temporary speakers the full power of speakers who are elected on the House floor. It could mean that the House wouldn't need to elect speakers in the future.

It's an idea that McCarthy himself has been floating, and it was the subject of debate during Republicans' 3½-hour private meeting Thursday. During the discussion, some Republicans asked whether they could give McHenry more power "by acclamation" or whether they needed to take an internal vote in the room.

It's a different idea from the formal resolution proposed by Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, which would require a floor vote to empower McHenry to move legislation like spending bills and aid packages for Ukraine and Israel.

A GOP lawmaker described McHenry's remarks as an implicit threat of resignation. The lawmaker said McHenry had made the same suggestion to individual members before he spoke to the larger conference.

A second GOP lawmaker said that McHenry made the remarks “tongue in cheek” but that the message was clear: He questioned the constitutionality of such an option and said he did not want the greater authority unless Republicans agreed to grant it to him through a formal vote.

McHenry “will not act in a manner he interprets as unconstitutional” as speaker pro tem, a third member in the room said.
I mean, I wouldn't want the job either. Nobody likes a pitiable wretch with no power to actually do anything, and even worse, a clown with false power that will only come back to bite them in the ass.
McHenry wants actual power or he walks, and not even his own party wants to give it to him.
The Clown Show rolls on as the world burns, I guess.

The Out-Of-Tune Squad

I can understand not fully believing the Pentagon's assessment that a Hamas rocket fell short of Israel and crashed directly into a crowded hospital killing hundreds, unless the rockets Hamas are using have the power to level entire buildings (and if that's true, that's a much bigger problem.) But using that as an excuse to slag Biden from the Left like our old friends the Squad are doing is only making things worse.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, refused to apologize Wednesday for saying a day earlier that Israel is to blame for the hospital explosion that day in Gaza, despite evidence from the U.S. defense department that the blast was likely caused by an errant projectile from Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

A number officials in the US and around the world blasted Israel for what they believed was an attack on a civilian facility that left hundreds dead. But claims and evidence began to suggest that the Gaza hospital blast was likely caused by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that fell short of its target, two U.S. officials told ABC News. Still, what has happened has not conclusively been determined.

Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, have been among Israel's strongest critics, with Tlaib accusing Israel of "oppressive & racist policies" in 2019. In February 2019, a tweet from Omar in response to a tweet from journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared to be using a common way of referring to $100 bills -- which feature Benjamin Franklin -- to suggest that many members of Congress support Israel because they get campaign donations from pro-Israel groups and individuals, evoking historical stereotypes linking Jews to money and influence. She later apologized for the tweet.

Their comments have at times been alleged by colleagues and others in congressional leadership to be antisemitic. But they have defended their views as legitimate, free speech in defense of the Palestinian cause.

Some of the criticism leveled against Tlaib and Omar over past comments has also been criticized as including Islamophobic or racist rhetoric.

Tlaib on Wednesday joined thousands of protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza during a solidarity rally hosted by the left-leaning group Jewish Voice for Peace at the National Mall. She was visibly emotional, at time, pausing her speech to openly weep and criticizing lawmakers who have not backed a proposed ceasefire resolution in Congress.

"As an American, not just as a member of the United States Congress, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that they're saying, 'not yet. Maybe next week.' ... How many more have to die?" Tlaib said.

She also addressed the backlash, applauding attendees for the "courage it's taken to speak up."

"The American Jewish community in my district, and all of you here. I just know how much courage it's taken to speak up. Many of you have been targeted. You're being gas lit. Some people are losing their jobs. Folks are getting events canceled. Literally, their First Amendment right wiped away for standing up and saying that children deserve to live. It is literally inhumane for my colleagues to allow that to continue and say nothing," Tlaib said.
She could have stopped there. She did not.

Tlaib also slammed President Joe Biden for his support for Israel since the Hamas terrorist attack.

"To my president, to our president ... I want him to know, as a Palestinian American and somebody in Muslim faith, I'm not going to forget this. And I think a lot of people are not going to forget this," Tlaib said.
President Biden, not all Americans are with you on this one and you need to understand that. We are literally watching people commit genocide and killing the vast majority just like this, and we still stand by and say nothing. We will remember this," she warned.

Omar is also facing criticism from Republicans over similar comments Tuesday that Israel is to blame for the hospital explosion that day in Gaza as Israel denies fault. As information about the hospital blast was initially being reported, Tlaib tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, "Israel just bombed the Baptist Hospital killing 500 Palestinians (doctors, children, patients) just like that. @POTUS this is what happens when you refuse to facilitate a ceasefire & help de-escalate. Your war and destruction only approach has opened my eyes and many Palestinian Americans and Muslims Americans like me. We will remember where you stood."
Hey, so, Biden's $100 million in direct humanitarian aid, and for now, talking Bibi out of ethnically cleansing the hell out of everything Gaza City and north means nothing to you then? 

As usual with Reps. Tlaib and Omar, it's Biden's fault. I expect that from the GOP. I was foolish not to expect that from the Squad, too.

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