House Subcommittee: Trump Politicized the Pandemic

“The Select Subcommittee’s investigation has shown that the previous administration engaged in an unprecedented campaign of political interference in the federal government’s pandemic response, which undermined public health to benefit the former president’s political goals. As today’s report shows, President Trump and his top aides repeatedly attacked CDC scientists, compromised the agency’s public health guidance, and suppressed scientific reports in an effort to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus. This prioritization of politics, contempt for science, and refusal to follow the advice of public health experts harmed the nation’s ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus crisis and put Americans at risk. As we continue to recover from the coronavirus crisis, we must also continue to work to safeguard scientific integrity and restore the American people’s trust in our public health institutions.”

Read the report

FBI Raid at Mar-a-Loco

Trump benefits from announcing raid on his home, can paint himself as the ‘victim’.

  • The FBI searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, sparking a firestorm.
  • Sources told The Washington Post the FBI searched as officials believed Trump withheld documents.
  • PR and political experts say Trump benefits from announcing the raid because he can paint himself as a “victim.”

Business Insider

Group of State Department Officials Call for Consultations on Trump’s Removal

Second dissent cable directed at Pompeo also rebukes the secretary of state for not forcefully condemning the president.

The cable rebuked Pompeo for his “failure to issue a statement unequivocally acknowledging that President-Elect Biden won the 2020 election” and protested the “President’s incitement of insurrectionist violence against the United States.” Foreign Policy could not independently corroborate the number of officials who signed the cable, but one of the officials who signed it, speaking on condition of anonymity, said around 175 State Department officials, primarily lawyers, had signed on. 

Read the cable! (ForeignPolicy.com)

The Big Legal Threats Trump Will Face If He Loses the Election

Bloomberg outlines the big legal actions that might be brought against Trump if he loses:

Obstruction of justice, Campaign finance violations, Federal tax charges, State tax charges, Real-estate fraud, Emoluments cases, Congressional tax and financial records cases, Multi-Level marketing fraud, Mary Trump’s fraud suit, E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, Summer Zervos’s defamataion suit

Third Justice Dept. Prosecutor Publicly Denounces Barr

A 36-year veteran of the Justice Department this week accused Attorney General William P. Barr of abusing his power to sway the election for President Trump and said he was quitting, making him the third sitting prosecutor to issue a rare public rebuke of the attorney general.

“Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will,” Phillip Halpern, a federal prosecutor in San Diego, said in a letter published Wednesday in The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.”

NY Times

Commentary: I won’t work in Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department any longer

Unfortunately, over the last year, Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will in his selective meddling with the criminal justice system in the Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases. In each of these cases, Barr overruled career prosecutors in order to assist the president’s associates and/or friends, who potentially harbor incriminating information. This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.

San Diego Union-Tribune

Ethics experts see national security concern in Trump’s debt

Revelations that President Donald Trump is personally liable for more than $400 million in debt are casting a shadow over his presidency that ethics experts say raises national security concerns he could be manipulated to sway U.S. policy by organizations or individuals he’s indebted to.

New scrutiny of Trump, who claims great success as a private businessman, comes after The New York Times reported that tax records show he is personally carrying a staggering amount of debt — including more than $300 million in loans that will come due in the next four years.

AP

Religious data platform ‘targets mentally ill, vulnerable people’

So somebody brought a whole bunch of evidence about who Cambridge Analytica collaborated with in the United States other than the Trump campaign.
It turned out to be far-right-wing churches, conservative churches in the US. And they’ve built a platform that targets mentally ill or vulnerable people in order to draw them into church, to monetize them through donations. That’s the short-term goal. To help them is the facade for it, but ultimately the aim is to convert them to the politics of the far right.

What initially happened is that a Koch brothers-funded charity commissioned Cambridge Analytica, along with a software company called Glue, to build a software platform that could be used by churches in order to target vulnerable people.

And these are people who are suffering from addiction, financial distress, who might be struggling with opioid dependence or they might be dealing with bipolar issues. And all of these options are available in the software that has been deployed to the churches. And once those people are identified, they can target them with social media. And once brought into the church, they can also be recruited into the politics of the far right.

It was initially rolled out as a marriage program to save marriages at 16 major campuses, and some of those are megachurches. Some of them are as small as village churches, now that it’s available to pretty much everybody, and across all faiths: Catholic, Protestant, but mainly evangelical and dominion Catholics.

DW.com

The documentary People You May Know