We were reminded again yesterday of the growing threat domestic terrorism poses. From the AP:
A failed Republican state legislative candidate who authorities say was angry over losing the election last November and made baseless claims that the election was “rigged” against him was arrested Monday in connection with a series of drive-by shootings targeting the homes of Democratic lawmakers in New Mexico’s largest city.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina held a news conference Monday evening hours after SWAT officers arrested Solomon Pena at his home.
The AP also noted:
Police said Pena, an election denier, had approached county and state lawmakers after his loss claiming the contest had been rigged against him despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud in New Mexico in 2020 or 2022. The shootings began shortly after those conversations.
The shootings began Dec. 4, when eight rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Days later, state Rep. Javier Martinez’s home was targeted. On Dec. 11, more than a dozen rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, police said.
The final related shooting, targeting state Sen. Linda Lopez’s home, unfolded in the midnight hour of Jan. 3. Police said more than a dozen shots were fired, including three that Lopez said passed through the bedroom of her sleeping 10-year-old daughter.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the shootings, but four families have been traumatized, or perhaps I should say four more as they are hardly alone.
Given the controversy surrounding the discovery of retained classified documents at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence, you’d think that when Joe Biden people discovered documents at his former office in November last year that they’d have done everything to ensure their response would be impeccable.
Apparently, that’s not the case, and Biden has now handed the Republicans even more toys to play with. It turns out that there wasn’t just one set of documents, or even two, as a third document has now been discovered. The first batch came from his University of Pennsylvania office, the second and third from his Wilmington, Deleware home. The problem is, it took them 48 days after the first discovery to either look for or report finding the 2nd one, and another 23 days for the third. While nothing about the delays appears to be potentially criminal, it doesn’t look good.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I expected trump would be demanding searches at Pres. Biden’s home over news that documents had been found in a locked closet in an office he used from 2017-2019, and according to The Hill, he’s fired his first salvo:
Trump himself sounded a similar theme on social media.
“When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House?,” he asked on Truth Social.
In the same article, The Hill also notes that the House of Representatives has formed an investigatory committee on the “Weaponization of the FBI” and predict that it will be used to investigate the Biden document situation as well.
The panel, which is in essence looking into what Trump calls “the Deep State” and what his critics say is a conspiratorial fiction, was created on a straight party-line vote. The panel is sure to probe deeper into the Biden documents.
I’m beginning to wonder if George Santos, the Pinocchio of the House of Representatives, has ever been caught doing or saying anything honest.
According to CNBC, one of his fund-raising tactics for both his 2020 and 2022 Congressional campaigns was to have someone from his staff call wealthy donors and impersonate Dan Meyer, who is Kevin McCarthy’s Cheif of Staff.
CNBC also reported that the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan watchdog group, has filed a complaint with the FEC with questions about how Santos was able to loan his own campaign $705,000 when he only has a middle-class income. Among the CLC’s concerns are the possibilities that he
…violated federal campaign finance laws by engaging in a straw donor scheme to knowingly and willfully conceal the true sources of $705,000 that Santos purported to loan to his campaign; deliberately reporting false disbursement figures on FEC disclosure reports, among many other reporting violations; and illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, including rent on a house that Santos lived in during the campaign.
In addition, there are concerns that because he has been concealing the sources of his donations that he may have taken donations from corporations or foreign nationals, both of which are illegal for Federal candidates.
Given the sheer number of other lies Santos has told, it’s appropriate that his finances should be given a very close look, as it seems that politicians lie about money more than anything, except maybe sex.
As you’ve likely heard by now, former President Trump has been under investigation for having removed several classified documents from the White House as he was leaving in 2020 and may be facing serious legal consequences because of them.
He was asked to return them by the National Archives and, when he failed to return all of them, the FBI searched his home at Mar-a-Lago to try to find the rest. He has spent the last several months bitterly complaining that the documents are his (they aren’t) and must be returned immediately (they won’t be.) He’s said that he declassified them (but left no record of his having told anyone about it, which is an important step.) He also filed a suit to try to stop the investigation, but the suit was dismissed by the District Court.
If you’ve been awake at all this week, you’ve almost certainly heard about the colossal mess the Republicans have made of the House Speaker election. Sadly, this photo from earlier this evening, showing Rep. Hudson (R-NC) pulling Rep. Rogers (R-AL) back from Rep. Gaetz (R-FL), is about as good of a representation as any of what we can expect from the 118th Congress.
After 15 rounds of voting, the House appears to have finally elected a Speaker of the House, and – surprise! (not) – it’s Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has been super transparent about his desire to be Speaker for at least the last 2 years, if not longer, and the Freedom Caucus of the House has used that desperation to great effect. pushing McCarty to make a large number of often significant concessions to buy their votes. Unfortunately, it’s not just McCarthy who will be paying that bill. It may be a bit before we know exactly how much he’s truly given up and how much it will cost us, but it’s not going to be cheap.
Now, let’s see if they can get a rules package passed so they can actually start doing things.