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Weekly News Bites #029 | Trump indicted...again & Biden White House censors conservative media
All of the top stories 📰 of the week in small bites.
It’s FRIDAY, August 4! YAY
Some of the stories this week!
Trump Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges Over Jan. 6 Incident, Remains Republican Front-Runner for 2024 Election Despite Legal Struggles
2011 Biden Letter Refutes Claims of Ignorance About Hunter's Business Activities
Former US Capitol Police Chief Alleges January 6th Riot 'Cover-Up' in Unaired Tucker Carlson Interview
Biden Administration Accused of Pressuring Facebook to Censor Conservative Voices: Legal Action Considered by Daily Wire and Tomi Lahren
China Accused of Exploiting Uyghur Diaspora as Unwilling Informants Amid Claims of Transnational Repression
→ DOJ indicts Trump over Jan. 6. Because modern-day U.S. politics is never boring, former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging his plot to orchestrate the overturning of his 2020 election defeat. The indictment, filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith, accuses Trump and his allies of promoting false claims about election fraud, pressuring officials to alter results, and forming fraudulent elector slates. Facing four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and to obstruct an official proceeding, Trump could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. His legal battles have seemingly done little to diminish his political standing, as he remains the front-runner for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential campaign. However, a recent poll suggests a felony conviction could deter half of Republican voters. Amid these legal troubles, Trump continues to assert that these allegations are part of a "witch hunt" designed to undermine his run for the presidency.
A Debate on Trump’s Jan 6 Indictment
The following are summaries of each article. I recommend visiting each article for full context. The authors are responding to the National Review’s Editors’ response to Trump’s Jan 6 indictment.
The recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Ciminelli v. United States plays a significant role here. Justice Clarence Thomas clarified that federal fraud statutes are meant to address schemes depriving people of traditional property interests, specifically citing the 2000 decision in Cleveland v. United States. This implies that fraud entails obtaining money or tangible property through false or fraudulent means. However, the election-interference indictment against Trump appears to stray from this framework and meddles with the presidential election process, disregarding recent Supreme Court precedents. Furthermore, the obstruction charges rely on a dubious legal theory, while the civil-rights charge seems detached from its original intent during the post-Civil War era. Although Trump's actions may qualify as crimes, I believe prosecuting him based on questionable legal grounds could impinge on higher public interests.
January 6 Was a Crime, Noah Rothman
The National Review’s editorial team has erred in their claim that the charges against former President Donald Trump for his conduct leading up to the January 6 riots are an attempt to criminalize free speech and disrupt law and order, according to a counter-argument. The argument maintains that Trump's misconduct, though initially treated as a political crime, should not preclude examination of potential criminal acts. Differing from the Review’s assertion that fraud in federal criminal law pertains only to financial swindling, it cites historical legal precedents that extend the scope of fraud to include obstructing the efficiency and operation of government. The indictment against Trump assembles significant evidence suggesting that his repeated claims of election fraud had no rational basis and that he privately acknowledged the untruthfulness of his public assertions. The counter-argument maintains that Trump’s actions, including organizing false elector slates, were attempts to obstruct the government and influence the election results, adding that the charges merit a thorough hearing.
→ Joe Biden's 2011 letter contradicts claims of ignorance about Hunter's business dealings. During Tucker Carlson’s Part 1 interview with Devon Archer, former BFF and business partner of Hunter Biden, an interesting letter from the year 2011 penned by Joe Biden himself made an appearance and incited ripples of contradiction. In the letter, Joe Biden expressed regret for not being able to take with Archer during a luncheon because he was preoccupied with President Hu, the former president of China.
“I apologize for not getting a chance to talk to you at the luncheon yesterday. I was having trouble getting away from hosting President Hu,” Biden told Archer in the letter dated Jan. 20, 2011.
“I hope I get a chance to see you again soon with Hunter. I hope you enjoyed lunch. Thanks for coming,”
This letter grates against the narrative Joe Biden has perpetuated - his ignorance of and non-participation in Hunter's commercial exploits.
The interview follows Archer taking the stand in Congress, recounting tales of Hunter Biden's frequent calls to his father in the midst of commercial meetings, a ploy to leverage the prestige of the Biden "brand."
A claim by Joe Biden puts forth a denial of any monetary gain made by either father or son in the East. Yet Hunter, with the courtroom as his stage last week, divulged that he had spawned a company in 2017 alongside a Chinese partner and had pocketed $664,000 courtesy of a Chinese investment corporation.
Such revelations draw a stark line of contradiction against Joe Biden's steadfast proclamations of ignorance and innocence in relation to Hunter's international business ventures.
→ Senator Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress at age 90, has relinquished power of attorney to her daughter Katherine Feinstein. This move comes amid mounting concerns about her cognitive faculties, particularly after a prolonged absence due to shingles, which left her visibly frail and befuddled upon her return to Congress. The power of attorney transfer is partly to aid with legal disputes over Feinstein's late husband Richard Blum's estate between Katherine and Blum's daughters. Senator Feinstein insists on the dire necessity of Blum's life insurance funds to meet her escalating medical expenses. Despite announcing she will not seek reelection in 2024, Feinstein continues to serve in Congress. However, her colleagues can't help but express growing concern over her diminishing mental acumen.
→ A fresh survey has shed light on a surprising conservative shift amongst high school senior boys. The pendulum has swung, with these boys being nearly twofold as likely to identify as conservative vs. liberal. A stark departure from the late 2000s, an era when the liberal boy was a more common sight than his conservative counterpart. High school senior girls, on the other hand, are a different story, with a surge from 19% in 2012 to 30% in 2022, choosing to align with the left. Overall, Generation Z as a whole has a notable tilt to the left, powered principally by the leftward drift of young women. Despite this drift towards conservatism, a sizable faction of high school boys, over 40% to be precise, abstain from political classification, an act of side-stepping the partisan divide.
→ Vice President Kamala Harris cast aside an invitation extended by Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis, an invitation to cross swords in a debate. The subject in question was Florida's new and “controversial” African American studies curriculum, containing verbiage pointing out slaves’ "skills" were later used for their "personal benefit." Harris, with her rejection, labeled DeSantis a fanatic, one who sought to cleave the nation into disparate halves, and vehemently stated the stark absence of any redeeming aspects to the institution of slavery. The quarrel started last month when Harris, while visiting Florida, launched a denouncement of the curriculum by misrepresenting the curriculum as “revisionist history.” In response, DeSantis extended an olive branch in the form of an invitation to a public debate, a gesture that Harris spurned. The curriculum has faced backlash from some black Republicans as well, but DeSantis claims it has been misrepresented.
→ President Biden has at last acknowledged the existence of Navy Joan Roberts, his four-year-old granddaughter. The little girl is the daughter of Hunter Biden and Lunden Roberts and has finally been acknowledged publicly by Papa Joe. Previously, Biden had made claims to only 6 grandchildren, making Navy Joan notably absent. The grand festive White House Christmas celebrations bore no trace of her presence, inciting criticism and accusations of cruel exclusion. (But hey, at least they hung stocking for their bite-prone dogs.) The confirmation of Hunter's paternity came to light in the year 2019, but he has fought in court against the passing of the Biden name to his daughter. This overdue acknowledgment came at a time he is being scrutinized over Hunter's dismissed plea deal and the looming threat of impeachment from the Republicans. Amidst calls for civility, the President’s public remarks remained void of any mention of Navy Joan.
→ Leaked interview alleges Capitol riot “cover-up. Newly leaked footage from an interview between Tucker Carlson and former US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund reveals controversial claims of a potential "cover-up" related to the Capitol riots of January 6, 2021. Sund, with unwavering audacity, makes claims of a potential "cover-up," pointing accusatory fingers at none other than former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley. Despite this foreknowledge, Sund contends that he was given neither advance support from the National Guard nor any assistance during the attack's first 71 minutes. This seeming neglect of duty has prompted Sund and others to question whether the unfolding events were, in fact, a deliberate ploy. The interview's unearthing by The National Pulse follows allegations that Fox News refused to broadcast it, intensifying the narrative of a concealed truth. The outlet also teases further revelations in the days to come.
→ Credit scorekeepers at Fitch have demoted the U.S. credit score rating from the coveted AAA credit rating to a notch below AA+. Why? Because of deteriorating fiscal standards and recurring turbulence around the nation's debt ceiling. This sets Fitch as the second custodian of financial trust, post the initial wound inflicted by S&P in 2011 to rob the U.S. of its highest grading.
In the White House, this downgrade was met with discord. They berated the decision as unexpected, and a disconcerting surprise sprung upon investors, denouncing it as arbitrary. The alteration undeniably underscores the damage wrought by the persisting battle over the debt ceiling. Analysts say market impact may be limited as some contracts already adjusted wording after the previous downgrade.
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→ The Biden White House pressed Facebook to censor conservatives. The Biden White House pressured Facebook to change its algorithms to promote left-leaning outlets like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal while suppressing conservative voices like the Daily Wire and commentator Tomi Lahren. This was revealed in internal Facebook documents turned over to Congress.
Meetings in Spring 2021 between Biden aide Flaherty and Facebook focused on COVID vaccine misinformation. Flaherty asked if Facebook could reduce the reach of vaccine-skeptical conservatives. Lahren and Daily Wire's Shapiro condemned these revelations as disturbing free speech assaults. Shapiro said Daily Wire might sue, arguing the White House violated the First Amendment by pushing a private company to censor speech.
Experts said this nears unconstitutional censorship, with the White House using Facebook to restrict disfavored voices. Daily Wire and Lahren may sue both. In classic fashion, the authoritarian Biden regime revealed its true colors, desperately scheming with Silicon Valley to quash dissent and impose its narrative by any means.
→ Responding to the recent military coup in Niger, the U.S. State Department has mandated the evacuation of non-emergency personnel from its embassy. Despite this, the embassy remains operational with a core staff, providing limited emergency services to U.S. citizens. Western nations involved in a fight against Islamist insurgents in Niger have expressed concern over the political upheaval. There has been no announcement regarding troop withdrawal. The evacuation process will be managed using State Department-chartered flights, learning from past criticism regarding U.S. evacuation procedures in Sudan. U.S. travel to Niger is currently discouraged.
→ China appears to be flexing its influence to exploit Uyghurs dwelling abroad, turning them into unwilling informants for its cause. By wielding the threat of harm to their kin within the nation's borders, the Chinese regime, researchers suggest, cultivates an atmosphere of transnational repression. These tactics leverage the agonizing disconnect experienced by the Uyghur diaspora to ensure their cooperation, with video calls to loved ones dangled as a carrot in front of these distressed individuals. The technique has proven effective, creating ripples of discord within Uyghur communities in the U.K. and Turkey. The scope, however, extends beyond Uyghurs; China's audacious strategy has also targeted non-Uyghurs and foreign citizens, sparking an international outcry and legislative countermeasures, notably in the United States.
→ In a twist as surprising as her rise to fame, the Queen of Body Positivity herself, Lizzo, faces damning accusations from three dancers of hers. These once-loyal subjects, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, are now painting a chilling picture of their former employer, laden with sexual harassment allegations and hostile work environment claims. Lizzo, uncharacteristically on the defensive, took to Instagram to deny the accusations, insinuating a sour grapes scenario from disgruntled former employees. Not to be silenced, the dancers' legal counsel, Ron Zambrano, hit back, accusing Lizzo of adding insult to injury. The allegations are a shockwave in the narrative of Lizzo, who rocketed to stardom in 2019 on a platform of inclusivity and body positivity, quickly establishing a devoted following.
→ Paul Reubens, who portrayed the whimsical character Pee-wee Herman, has died at the age of 70, having conducted a discreet, years-long battle with cancer. With a legacy stretching from the stage of The Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles to the silver screen and beyond, Reubens wasn’t without his controversies, having been arrested for indecent exposure and child pornography possession. However, Reubens gifted his audiences with laughter and joy while imprinting Pee-wee's name on the annals of the comedic legend.
→ Sinéad O'Connor, the Irish singer renowned for her emotive take on "Nothing Compares 2 U", has died at the age of 56. As an autopsy awaits, police have been quick to allay fears of foul play surrounding her untimely end. Celebrities and fans alike have expressed their grief over the loss of a woman celebrated for her lyrical prowess and singular vocal charm, her life woven with intricate battles against addiction and mental health issues. Born amidst the turmoil of 1966 Dublin, O'Connor's life was as stark as her infamous 1992 "Saturday Night Live" performance that saw her shred an image of Pope John Paul II, an act that would leave an indelible mark on her career.