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Federal Child Pornography Investigation Infiltrates Telegram App, Results in More than a Dozen Arrests
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Operation Swipe Left resulted in criminal charges against more than a dozen people involved in a “cross-country network of people sexually exploiting children,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

A federal judge called some of the allegations “horrific.” Allegations include livestreamed abuse, kidnapping threats, and production of child pornography.

“When agents raided one suspect’s home, video depicting the sexual abuse of an infant was allegedly playing on screen.”

“This is not a victimless crime,” Cook County Circuit Judge Mary Marubio stressed. Victims, four of whom were rescued in “real time,” range in age from six months to 17 years.

Arrests in the sweep include Norris “Nick” Stauffer, 27, of Chicago and at least 16 others. Charges were brought in Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., California, and South Africa. Nine have already been sentenced to prison time, per the Sun-Times’ reporting.

Stauffer’s attorney, Kevin Bolger, denies that his client produced child pornography and denies that his case has to do with Telegram.

Former Trump administration official and former Turning Point USA employee Adam Hageman is among the defendants, Ars Technica reported. Following Hageman’s arrest and guilty plea in 2020 for receiving child sexual abuse materials, he granted investigators access to his Telegram group chats. That access, in turn, led to charges filed against a dozen others.

Ars Technica says Homeland Security Investigations verified the accuracy of all the Sun-Times’ statements.

Ruben Verastigui, a former RNC staffer, is also on the list of defendants.

Defendants reportedly include include a youth soccer coach, a grocery store employee, an amusement park employee, and the son of a police officer.

Others charged include Raymond Glover, Sebastian Protel, Zachary Marsh, Devin Parrish, Tyler Ehredt, Jesus Jimenez-Cornejo, Ryan Hoberg, Edgar Martinez, Shawn Grenier, Ryan Showell, Marthinus Gerhardus Lourens, and Quentin Joseph Carbajal.

The investigation began June 12, 2020, after Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered a child sexual abuse video with embedded geographic data that pointed to Arizona. The Sun-Times’ reporting was based on “recently unsealed” Cook County court documents, per Ars Technica.

The sweep, dubbed Operation Swipe Left, was the work of Homeland Security Investigations, the Sun-Times reported.

HSI is the “principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” The agency’s mission is to “investigate, disrupt and dismantle terrorist, transnational and other criminal organizations.” Child exploitation is listed among the wide array of transnational crimes HSI is tasked with investigating.

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Read 5 Comments
  • Lacey says:

    Friggen pigs. Hells gates have been left wide open. Pedophiles run rampant , schools are obsessed with sex and then look at the Grammys it’s like wtf is going on ?

  • Brian says:

    time for a mass castration event ….

  • PAULETTE B says:

    We are worse the Sodom and Gamorrah

  • Threelies One says:

    That’s it? A dozen?

    Utterly pathetic.

  • Lace says:

    They’ll get whats coming to them in prison…I say hang em all!!!

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    Trump Suggests Manhattan DA Bragg ‘Dropped’ Case Against Him

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    Former President Donald Trump is now suggesting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg may have dropped his case against him, about a week after he claimed he would be arrested.

    After a rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, Trump told reporters on his plane, “I think they’ve already dropped the case … they have absolutely nothing.” Trump did not provide evidence for his assertion Saturday.

    “It’s a fake case. Some fake cases, they have absolutely nothing,” the former president said. Trump also reiterated his criticism of Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer who has testified against him in the Manhattan grand jury case and previously served time in federal prison on tax fraud and other charges.

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    Over the past week, Bragg’s office has issued one public statement on the case, and that came in response to a House Republican letter seeking testimony and information about the DA’s case or whether his office would arrest Trump. A letter sent by his general counsel said that it was Trump who created a “false expectation” he would be indicted last week, although he provided no other details.

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    During the Waco rally, Trump declared that his “enemies are desperate to stop us” and that “our opponents have done everything they can to crush our spirit and to break our will,” and that the Manhattan district attorney was investigating him “for something that is not a crime, not a misdemeanor, not an affair.”

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    Trump Campaign Blackballs DeSantis Staffers

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    Former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is blackballing anyone who works for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to a new report.

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    A “top Trump ally,” meanwhile, said the prohibition would apply to more than just junior aides who set up folding chairs and hung banners at DeSantis events.

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    DeSantis Looks to Revamp Strategy Amid Signs of Political Strain

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is recalibrating his strategy and messaging amid signs that his presidential ambitions may be faltering before his campaign even gets off the ground.

    DeSantis began the year with clear momentum in the nascent GOP presidential primary, topping former President Trump in head-to-head polling and drawing unparalleled interest from Republican voters and operatives eager to see a fresh face at the helm of the party.

    But there are signs that his momentum may be stalling: he’s faced weeks of relentless attacks from Trump and his allies, fellow Republicans have criticized him for dubbing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “a territorial dispute” and some recent polls have shown his support in a hypothetical GOP primary slipping.

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    To some degree, that already appears to be happening.

    In an interview this week with the British television personality Piers Morgan, DeSantis took several swipes at Trump, raising questions about the former president’s character and brushing off one of Trump’s nicknames for him, “Ron DeSanctimonious.” The comments were some of his sharpest criticisms of Trump yet, signaling a new willingness by the Florida governor to confront his one-time political benefactor more directly.

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    “I think he’s got grand ambitions. I think he’s hostile to the United States,” DeSantis said of Putin. “But I think the thing that we’ve seen is he doesn’t have the conventional capability to realize his ambitions. And so he’s basically a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons.”

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    “The fact is, Ron is an average Governor, but the best by far in the Country in one category, Public Relations, where he easily ranks Number One — But it is all a Mirage, just look at the facts and figures, they don’t lie — And we don’t want Ron as our President!” Trump said in one statement this week.

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    Likewise, a Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday showed Trump leading DeSantis 41 percent to 27 percent, continuing a months-long slide for the Florida governor.

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    Biden Issues Emergency Declaration as Crews Dig Through Storm Wreckage

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    President Joe Biden declared a major emergency in Mississippi and made federal aid available to the state early Sunday morning after it was devastated by deadly tornadoes on Friday.

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    Assistance available to those affected includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs that may help individuals and business owners recover from the destruction.

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    “Jill and I are praying for those who have lost loved ones in the devastating tornadoes in Mississippi and those whose loved ones are missing. I spoke with @tatereeves, @SenatorWicker, @SenHydeSmith, and @BennieGThompson to express my condolences and offer full federal support,” the president wrote.

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    Biden FAA Nominee Withdraws After Criticism Over Lack of Aviation Safety Experience

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    President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reportedly withdrawn his name from consideration after strong Republican criticism that he lacked experience in aviation safety.

    Phil Washington, the CEO of Denver International Airport and former CEO of the Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority, was nominated by Biden last July. On Saturday night, Reuters reported his nomination was withdrawn because he did not have enough votes to get out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. A statement from the White House confirmed that Washington withdrew his name.

    “Unfortunately, an onslaught of unfounded Republican attacks on Mr. Washington’s service and experience irresponsibly delayed this process, threatened unnecessary procedural hurdles on the Senate floor, and ultimately have led him to withdraw his nomination today,” Abdullah Hassan, a White House spokesman, told The New York Times on Saturday.

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    During committee hearings in early March, Republicans didn’t hold back in pointing out Washington’s employment history. North Carolina Republican Senator Ted Budd said, “The FAA can’t afford to be led by someone who needs on-the-job training.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued Washington’s “record is woefully lacking,” adding, “in fact, you have zero aviation safety experience.”

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    Transgender Woman Left in Tears After TSA Agent Hits ‘Her’ Testicles at JFK Airport

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    A transgender woman who claimed he was punched in the testicles by a TSA agent who then reportedly yelled at ‘her’ for having a penis has demanded the removal of airport TSA screenings, the Daily Mail reported.

    After the incident, the trans woman shared a now-deleted selfie of himself crying in a bathroom stall and saying ‘her’ “balls still hurt so bad.”

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    Daily Mail reported:

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    Army Pulls Jonathan Major Ad After ‘Creed’ Actor Is Arrested for Assault, Strangulation

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    The U.S. Army is severing ties with actor Jonathan Majors for the time being, after the “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” star was arrested in connection to a domestic dispute on Saturday.

    “The U.S. Army is aware of the arrest of Jonathan Majors and we are deeply concerned by the allegations surrounding his arrest,” said Laura DeFrancisco, spokesperson for the Army Enterprise Marketing Office to the Army Times.

    Majors’ narrates and appears on-camera during an advertisement from the “Be All You Can Be” campaign, airing during the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament or March Madness.

    “While Mr. Majors is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete.” DeFrancisco added.

    Priya Chaudhry, Majors’ criminal defense lawyer, told Fox News Digital on Sunday that she expected the charges to be dropped.

    “Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is provably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows. We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently. This evidence includes video footage from the vehicle where this episode took place, witness testimony from the driver and others who both saw and heard the episode, and most importantly, two written statements from the woman recanting these allegations,” the statement read.

    “All the evidence proves that Mr. Majors is entirely innocent and did not assault her whatsoever. Unfortunately, this incident came about because this woman was having an emotional crisis, for which she was taken to a hospital yesterday. The NYPD is required to make an arrest in these situations, and this is the only reason Mr. Majors was arrested. We expect these charges to be dropped soon,” it concluded.

    According to a police report obtained by Fox News Digital, Majors was taken into custody without incident on Saturday and was charged with strangulation, assault and harassment. An NYPD Detective told Fox News Digital that the “Creed III” star was taken to Manhattan Central Booking.

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    “The victim informed police she was assaulted,” an NYPD DCPI spokesperson said. “The victim sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition.”

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    Wealthy Republican Donors Get Cold Feet — Want DeSantis to Wait Until 2028

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s donors and supporters are beginning to question if the potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate should run in the next election cycle — a bid that would put him against former President Donald Trump — or wait until 2028, according to reports.

    According to a report from NBC News, donors and supporters of DeSantis are having second thoughts on the prospect of the governor’s potential presidential bid. Per the report, one main issue seems to be the governor’s ability to take Trump — who has been criticizing the governor for months — head on.

    Per the report:

    At a Sunday luncheon following the annual Red Cross ball in Palm Beach, Florida, a group of 16 prominent Republicans, described by one attendee as a mix of DeSantis backers and Trump “skeptics,” discussed misgivings about the governor’s standing for the future if he tussles with the former president.

    One attendee told the outlet that these individuals believe that DeSantis’s future is better secured without facing Trump directly this election cycle.

    “He will get scarred up” by the former president, according to the attendee.

    The report also highlighted the newfound hesitancy among some of DeSantis’s backers, including what NBC News described as “conservative billionaire shipping goods magnate Richard Uihlein” and his wife, who gave roughly half a million in contributions to DeSantis’s reelection campaign. NBC News, citing someone “familiar with the strategy” around their spending, said, “The brakes are pumped,” in part, due to DeSantis’s waning status in recent surveys. And, indeed, Trump has continued to grow in survey after survey, even garnering 50 percent or more as DeSantis appears to lose momentum, particularly following the news of Trump’s forthcoming indictment and what some conservatives view as the governor’s insufficient response. On Monday, two days after Trump initially announced his suspicion of a coming arrest, DeSantis told reporters that his administration is “not going to be involved” with a “manufactured circus by some Soros [backed] DA,” essentially dismissing it as a nonissue.

    Meanwhile, recent polls demonstrate a boost for Trump as DeSantis’s figures drop or remain stagnant. For instance, a Harvard/Harris survey released this week found Trump leading the hypothetical 2024 GOP primary field by 26 points over DeSantis. This week’s Morning Consult survey told a similar story, with Trump expanding his lead over DeSantis to +28 percent in the last week alone. DeSantis, however, has infamously said that he does not base his governing or approach on fickle polls.

    NBC News continued, noting it spoke with several GOP strategists and donors, inquiring if they believe it is possible for DeSantis to make a comeback.

    One individual described as a “Republican campaign operative who speaks to donors regularly” said it is possible DeSantis has peaked and added that the governor’s response to Trump’s possible indictment “was really telling about how far behind the eight-ball” he is.

    “DeSantis is doing a book tour. He’s barnstorming the country, and his polls are going down,” another strategist stated, noting that Trump, who is potentially set to be indicted, is going up in the polls.

    “It’s just not a good look for DeSantis,” the individual added.

    Another donor told the outlet he does not believe DeSantis can “ignore” Trump too much longer. However, DeSantis, who routinely avoids overtly criticizing Trump publicly, did highlight some issues with Trump during his recent interview with Piers Morgan, criticizing aspects of his leadership style but continuing to dismiss Trump’s critiques as “noise” as the former president has upped his attacks.

    “Now that Ron DeSanctimonious is finally admitting he’s in the Race by beginning to fight back, and now that his Polls have crashed so he has no other choice, let me explain the facts,” Trump began in a Truth Social thread this week:

    DeSantis, however, has yet to announce a presidential bid, and according to rumors, he would not do so until Florida’s legislative session is over.

    Via NBC News:

    “The pending candidacy of Ron DeSantis is absolutely keeping people out,” said one Republican strategist who, like others, requested anonymity to speak candidly about presidential contenders. If DeSantis gets in and shows himself to be a strong candidate, “that probably holds.”

    “And if he’s not successful — and that’s an arbitrary assessment to some degree; what’s successful? — then you could see others continue to look at it or eventually get in the race,” this person added.

    While some still have positive feelings about the prospect of a DeSantis 2024 bid, Republican advisers are skeptical.

    “We were always convinced that DeSantis was going to be very disciplined,” one said. “Disciplined, disciplined, disciplined.”

    “And he kind of proved this week that he’s not. This was a guy who would not talk about Trump, and here he is taking shots nearly a year before Republicans start actually voting,” the individual added, as other operatives expressed that DeSantis missed a prime opportunity after Trump announced what has appeared to be a forthcoming arrest.

    “What DeSantis should have done is immediately respond and say, ‘Under no circumstances will the free state of Florida allow this political prosecution to take place,’” one operative told the outlet.

    “What that would have done is present DeSantis as the alpha and Trump as the beta. He could have set himself up to look like the protector of Trump, which would have driven Trump crazy,” the individual added.

    DeSantis has continued to remain coy about his political future but told Piers Morgan during this week’s interview that he is technically not running against anybody “quite yet.”

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    Trump Slams Manhattan DA’s Probe, Attacks DeSantis During Rally in Waco

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    Former President Donald Trump insists Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has ‘nothing’ on him, slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Stormy Daniels during the first mega-rally of his 2024 campaign.

    Trump chose Waco, Texas – and flew in on ‘Trump Force One,’ which circled the thousands of MAGA supporters awaiting his arrival on the tarmac.

    ‘They have nothing!’ Trump exclaimed in reference to the probe, saying Bragg’s office was ‘stocked with D.C. operatives.’

    Some audience members held Trump 2024 signs that read ‘Witch Hunt’ and waved them behind the ex-president’s podium.

    Trump called the hush-money case ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and said it was ‘worse than ballot stuffing, or media manipulation by the FBI working together with Twitter, Facebook and the rest.’

    ‘It probably makes me the most innocent man in the history of our country. Friends of mine say that,’ Trump said. ‘They persecuted us yet Joe Biden is a stone cold criminal, caught dead to rights and nothing happens.

    He then turned his attention to Daniels, who claims she was told to keep quiet about a 2006 affair with Trump. The former president used his familiar nickname for the porn star.

    ‘I never liked horseface… that wouldn’t be the one. There is no one. We have a great first lady!’

    Trump also took a crack at – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will likely launch a 2024 presidential bid against the ex-president.

    Trump knocked Ron ‘DeSanctimonious,’ saying that he ‘shut down’ Florida over COVID-19 and said that now that people are realizing it, ‘he’s dropping like a rock.’

    He then recounted how he felt DeSantis begged Trump for his endorsement in his 2018 run for governor.

    ‘He’s at almost nothing, he’s got no cash,’ Trump said, then described DeSantis as telling him: ‘If you endorse, I’ll win, please sir, please endorse me.’

    ‘I said lets give it a shot Ron, I endorsed him and he became like a rocket ship.’

    He then boasted that ‘Florida has been successful for decades. Probably as or more successful as it is now,’ minimizing DeSantis’ contributions to the state.

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    Cuomo Picks a Side in Bragg’s Possible Trump Indictment — and It’s Not Who You’d Expect

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    Former Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over his focus on potentially prosecuting former President Donald Trump and suggested the move is politically motivated.

    “I don’t understand why Bragg is putting such emphasis on this case,” the former governor told WABC Radio on Friday night.

    “A person breaks the law I get it, but on the state side this is a misdemeanor case. It’s really a federal case because he needs it to be a campaign finance fraud case which is a federal case and that’s what Bragg is going to have to do to get a felony out of this.”

    Cuomo said that the public is generally “cynical” and “when they see prosecutors bringing these political cases” it just “affirms everybody’s cynicism.”

    “I think it’s all politics and that’s what I think the people of this country are saying,” Cuomo continued. “It just feeds that anger and that cynicism and the partisanship. It’s a coincidence that Bragg goes after Trump and Tish James goes after Trump and Georgia goes after Trump? That’s all a coincidence? I think it feeds the cynicism and that’s the cancer in our body politic right now.”

    Despite the comments about Bragg’s motivation, Cuomo says he does believe an indictment will be handed down next week while bringing up the old adage that district attorneys can “indict a ham sandwich” if they want to.

    “I’m sure they’ll get an indictment,” Cuomo said.

    Bragg has been widely criticized by Republicans for attempting to indict Trump in connection with the alleged “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 that many legal experts have concluded is a weak and politically motivated case.

    Top House Republicans have demanded in the form of a letter that Bragg testify to Congress about the indictment and turn over documents related to the case warning that the indictment could “erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the court of the 2024 presidential election.”

    Bragg’s office responded defiantly to that letter saying that “we will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law.”

    Bragg sent a letter to the Republicans saying that their inquiry was “an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty.”

    Republicans pushed back on that letter with another letter on Saturday arguing that their actions have a legislative purpose and noting that Bragg did not deny their accusations that the case is politically motivated.

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    Even Disgraced Former Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti Raises Doubt About Trump Indictment

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    Former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti raised doubts about the Manhattan district attorney’s case against former President Donald Trump.

    A staunch critic of Trump, Avenatti highlighted the unreliability of star witness Michael Cohen. He argued that the former president’s legal team will tear through his testimony in a hypothetical trial and likely put any indictment reliant on Cohen in jeopardy.

    “I have been consistent for 5 yrs: NEVER underestimate the ability of Michael Cohen to screw something up by engaging in stupidity, lies, and sheer f***ery. NEVER. #zeronothero,” Avenatti tweeted.

    “Rule: If you have to meet with a witness over 20 times to get to the alleged ‘facts’ and the ‘truth,’ RUN!!! Because you’ve got yourself a terrible witness who can’t be trusted and might just crater your career and your reputation,” he added.

    Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer from 2006 to 2018. During the tail-end of the 2016 election cycle, Cohen took out a home equity line of credit and then wired $130,000 via a shell company named Essential Consultants LLC to Daniels’s attorney, according to court records. Daniels is also known as Stephanie Gregory Clifford.

    The money was transferred in exchange for Daniels’s agreement to sign a nondisclosure agreement to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump roughly a decade prior.

    In March 2018, Avenatti worked on a lawsuit on behalf of Daniels against Trump and Essential Consultants LLC to nix the NDA. He waged a massive public relations campaign, railing against both Trump and Cohen in a flurry of TV interviews to great fanfare at the time by Trump critics. About a month later in April, the FBI raided Cohen’s home and office.

    By August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to a litany of federal charges, including campaign finance violations connected to the Daniels payment. Later that month, reports indicated that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was investigating the case and was scrutinizing Trump’s business empire in connection with the Daniels payment.

    Recently, numerous reports have indicated that Manhattan DA is mulling charges against Trump for falsification of documents related to the reimbursement of Cohen paired with a campaign finance violation. Several legal experts told the Washington Examiner that the rumored case against Trump is novel and untested.

    Avenatti previously cast aspersions on the case.

    “There are many critical facts and pieces of evidence (texts, emails, etc.) relating to the hush money scandal that have yet to see the light of day. And they will unfortunately be very damaging to the prosecution if Trump stands trial. At this point, you simply can’t build a case on the testimony of Cohen & Daniels,” he tweeted.

    In March 2019, Daniels cut ties with Avenatti. She later recalled how she “began witnessing his lies and dishonesty until I realized I too became his victim.”

    Avenatti was sentenced to four years behind bars for defrauding Daniels in June 2022. Avenatti was also slapped with prison time over a guilty plea for embezzling millions from several clients, bringing his total sentencing to over 20 years in prison.

    Both Cohen and Avenatti were disbarred in New York. Avenatti was also disbarred in California.

    Cohen has reportedly met with prosecutors and a special grand jury in the case multiple times. Daniels has met with investigators as well. He has publicly maintained that Trump directed him to pay Daniels. Trump has heartily denied wrongdoing in the case.

    Earlier this week, the special grand jury reportedly heard from lawyer Robert Costello, who consulted with Cohen before his guilty plea. Costello dubbed Cohen a “serial liar” and drew attention to his guilty plea to perjury for lying before Congress in 2018.

    “Atty Joe Tacopina is no Rudy Giuliani/Sydney Powell. The guy knows his way around a criminal courtroom. He will destroy Michael ‘Dumb as a Box of Rocks’ Cohen on the stand, esp. seeing as Cohen publicly lied for 15 mos. and now won’t stop talking on TV. #terriblewitness,” Avenatti added.

    Trump’s attorney in the case, Joe Tacopina, had prior communications with Daniels that were subsequently turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and could complicate his ability to represent Trump and cross-examine Daniels, CNN reported. Precise details of those communications remain somewhat murky, but Tacopina has insisted it’s not a conflict.

    Trump dubiously claimed that he would be “arrested on Tuesday” of this week, but that never came to fruition. His campaign enjoyed a fundraising boom amid speculation that an arrest was imminent. The special grand jury in the case has been meeting Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, per CBS.

    Should an indictment come down, it will mark the first time in U.S. history a former president is indicted. President Ulysses S. Grant was arrested in 1872 for speeding.

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    McConnell Released from Inpatient Therapy Weeks After Concussion

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    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been released home after completing inpatient physical therapy at a rehabilitation facility, following a concussion he suffered earlier this month.

    The 81-year-old senator had a fall at a private dinner for the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, on March 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington. After the fall, McConnell was admitted to hospital where he was treated for a concussion and a minor rib fracture.

    He was discharged from the hospital on March 13 and subsequently attended a separate facility for inpatient physical therapy at the advice of his physician.

    “I want to sincerely thank everyone for all the kind wishes,” McConnell said in a statement on Saturday. “I’m happy to say I finished inpatient physical therapy earlier today and I’m glad to be home.

    It marked the first statement McConnell issued himself since he fell.

    “I’m going to follow the advice of my physical therapists and spend the next few days working for Kentuckians and the Republican Conference from home,” he added. “I’m in frequent touch with my Senate colleagues and my staff. I look forward to returning in person to the Senate soon.”

    McConnell, who earlier this year became the Senate’s longest-serving GOP leader, didn’t specify when exactly he would return to the chamber.

    He spoke with members of his leadership team earlier this week. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said they spoke to McConnell in a brief phone call.

    “We just kind of checked in and touched gloves. He wanted to convey his appreciation for the way we’ve been working with his staff,” Thune told reporters at the time.

    “He’s chomping at the bit. Can’t wait to get back. I said, ‘Well, don’t be in a big hurry, ’cause we’re not doing anything here,’” Cornyn told reporters of the call.

    Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said at the time they had been texting McConnell and expressed that he was well.

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    Meteorologist Nearly Breaks Down as He Prays for People in Tornado’s Path on Live TV

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    This is the dramatic moment a Mississippi meteorologist began to pray as he watched a mile-wide tornado crash into a small town.

    WTVA’s Matt Laubhan, of Tupelo, grew emotional as he was reporting on the tornado that was heading straight toward Amory – 100 miles West of Birmingham – shortly before 11pm on Friday.

    ‘Here’s the thing about this, y’all trust me too much,’ he said on the newscast. ‘I tell you where it’s going to go and some of you guys are like: “That’s where it’s gonna go.” The reality of this, this could be changing direction. So, Amory, we need to be in our safe place.’

    The Kansas-born meteorologist barely looked up at the camera as he kept a close eye on the radar. When a ‘new scan’ came into the news station, Laubhan, a father-of-two, turned more distressed as he leaned down on the table for support.

    ‘Oh man, North side of Amory, this is coming in’ he said. ‘Oh, man. Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.’

    The Emmy-winning weatherman went on to say it would hit Highway 6, which leads into the center of town, within ’20 seconds.’

    Twenty-three people died in the state from the tornado, including several in Monroe County – where Amory is located – among them a father and his daughter who were sheltering at home. His wife and other two children survived, but were hospitalized, according to NBC News.

    Rolling Fork suffered from 13 weather-related deaths.

    ‘The damage is tremendous,’ Sharkey County Coroner Angelia Eason told NBC News. ‘It’s awful.’

    In Amory, a gas station was left heavily damaged and large planks of wood scattered across the ground and debris littered the area.

    Heavy flooding also took place in the area, as well as many downed tree limbs blocking roadways and littering roadsides.

    At least 24 tornadoes including at least one monster one-mile-wide 135mph tornado tore through the region Friday night, obliterating neighborhoods, ripping roofs off homes and downing power lines – leaving victims trapped under rubble and thousands without power.

    Over 30 million people were under a tornado warning through the evening and were being warned to brace for the killer storms which brought golf ball-sized hail.

    Authorities warned those in its path to brace for a ‘life-threatening situation’ and on Saturday morning deployed search-and-rescue teams to several counties in the region.

    A tornado confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS) struck the towns of Silver City and Rolling Fork, the latter of which was described as ‘obliterated’ by one resident.

    ‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ Brandy Showah told CNN. ‘This was a very great small town, and now it’s gone.’

    So far, recorded deaths include 13 roughly 60 miles northwest of Jackson in Sharkey County, home to Rolling Fork, according to county coroner Angelia Easton.

    Three others were killed and at least two in a critical condition in Humphreys County, emergency management director Royce Steed told the outlet early Saturday morning.

    In Carroll County, three people died in one home, coroner Mark Stiles said adding that it appears they were killed in a tornado.

    Meanwhile, two people were killed in Monroe County in northeastern Mississippi, coroner Alan Gurley said.

    The tornado has left a trail of destruction and storm debris at least 100 miles long, and is reportedly already battering Alabama.

    The storms knocked out power for more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee as of 5.45 am ET, with more than 70,000 outages reported in Tennessee alone, according to PowerOutage.us.

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    As Multiple Banks Implode, Insurance Deposit Limit Receives Renewed Scrutiny

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    Lawmakers created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, also known as the FDIC, in the first years of the Great Depression in order to prevent bank runs and restore faith in the financial system. Some lawmakers are considering revisions to the present deposit insurance limit of $250,000 as the economy grapples with the second-largest bank failure in American history.

    Silicon Valley Bank provided services to half of venture-backed technology and healthcare firms in the United States; the vast majority of customers therefore maintained deposits well above the $250,000 threshold backed by the FDIC, since businesses generally require larger sums of liquid assets to conduct operations and compensate employees.

    When the FDIC was forced to take over the company on March 10, however, officials guaranteed deposits both above and below the $250,000 threshold in order to prevent bank runs at other financial institutions. Signature Bank, another company with a substantial majority of large depositors, collapsed on March 12 and was likewise taken over by the FDIC.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) have each suggested in recent days that the $250,000 limit should be reexamined. Lawmakers have indeed raised the deposit insurance threshold over the years: the FDIC only offered $2,500 of deposit insurance in 1934, a threshold which gradually increased to $100,000 in 1980 before reaching $250,000 with the financial reforms that occurred amid the Great Recession in 2008. The FDIC funds deposit insurance through fees on covered banks rather than taxpayer dollars.

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has sent mixed signals about whether officials would continue to support both insured and uninsured deposits, prompting unease among some investors.

    David Bahnsen, the founder of Manhattan-based wealth management firm The Bahnsen Group, told The Daily Wire that he expects authorities to maintain assumptions that there is an “implicit” unlimited amount of FDIC coverage available while leaving the codified $250,000 threshold intact. Such an approach, however, would “improperly price risk and protection, and create a moral hazard for depositors, and indeed the broader financial system.”

    He added that the creation of an explicit system centered around unlimited FDIC coverage would require congressional approval, which regulators “clearly want to avoid,” as well as increased payments from the “low-margin banking system.”

    Silicon Valley Bank fulfilled withdrawal requests by selling a long-term bond portfolio that had declined in value amid Federal Reserve actions over the past year to hike interest rates, moves which followed excessive monetary stimulus in response to the lockdown-induced recession. Assets in the overall banking system are now $2 trillion lower than their book value, according to a study from analysts at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Bahnsen noted that the fractional reserve banking system, under which financial institutions only maintain a portion of deposits immediately available since account holders generally do not need instant access to all of their funds, will always carry some degree of bank run risk. He asserted that actions from the Federal Reserve nevertheless prompted the current volatility.

    “All levered finance means financial contagion risk is a very real thing when confidence falters, and faltering confidence is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy,” Bahnsen continued. “The two causes of the Silicon Valley Bank implosion were the Federal Reserve’s loose policy and the Federal Reserve’s tight policy. Fractional reserve banking was a problem for Silicon Valley Bank only after the Federal Reserve policies created a boom then created a bust.”

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    Brazil’s Lula Hospitalized, Cancels China Trip After Pneumonia Diagnosis

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    Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has canceled his trip to China after contracting pneumonia, the presidential palace said on Saturday.

    Lula, 77, was admitted to a hospital in the capital of Brasilia with flu-like symptoms and was diagnosed with “bacterial and viral bronchopneumonia due to influenza A,” the palace said in a statement, quoting a medical note signed by Dr. Ana Helena Germoglio.

    The leftist leader’s health was reassessed on Saturday and, despite improvement, he was advised to “postpone the trip to China until the cycle of viral transmission ends,” the medical note said. His press office later confirmed that the trip had been canceled.

    Chinese authorities have been informed, “with the reiteration of the desire to schedule the visit on a new date,” the palace said.

    Lula had been expected to leave for China on a multi-day visit on Friday or Saturday, but the trip was pushed back on Friday.

    A delegation composed of ministers, senators, lawmakers and hundreds of businessmen had been set to accompany Lula during his first state visit to Brazil’s biggest trade partner since taking office in January.

    The Brazilian president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet next Tuesday.

    Trade, investment and climate change were on the agenda and 20 bilateral agreements had been expected to be signed, according to a statement Thursday from the presidential palace.

    Lula, who rarely postpones or cancels trips due to health reasons, traveled to Argentina in January and the U.S. in February, marking a departure from Brazil’s foreign policy under former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who showed little interest in international affairs or travel abroad.

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    Mississippi Tornadoes Kill at Least 23, Injure Dozens — Entire Town Wiped Out

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    A powerful tornado cut a devastating path of at least 170 miles (274 kilometers) through parts of the Deep South on Friday night, killing at least 23 people in Mississippi and obliterating dozens of buildings as it stayed on the ground for more than an hour.

    The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said in a Twitter post that search and rescue teams from local and state agencies were deployed to help victims impacted by the tornadoes. The agency confirmed early Saturday that 23 people had died, four were missing and dozens were injured.

    A few minutes later, the agency warned the casualty toll could go higher, tweeting: “Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to change.”

    Throughout Saturday morning, people walked around dazed and in shock as they broke through debris and fallen trees with chain saws, searching for survivors. Power lines were pinned under decades-old oaks, their roots torn from the ground.

    Wonder Bolden was holding her granddaughter, Journey, while standing outside the remnants of her mother’s now-leveled mobile home in Rolling Fork on Saturday morning.

    “There’s nothing left,” the 44-year-old hospice worker said, looking out at the car that had landed on top of a diner that used to be 60 feet (18 meters) away from her driveway. “There’s just the breeze that’s running, going through — just nothing.”

    Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves tweeted Saturday that he was headed to the town, describing what happened as “a tragedy.”

    Video shot as daylight broke in the town showed houses reduced to piles of rubble, cars flipped on their sides and trees stripped of their branches. Occasionally, in the midst of the wreckage, a home would be spared, seemingly undamaged.

    The National Weather Service sent crews to survey the tornado, but preliminary information based on estimates from storm reports and radar data indicate that it was on the ground for more than an hour, said Lance Perrilloux, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Jackson, Mississippi, office.

    “That’s rare — very, very rare,” he said, attributing the wide path to widespread atmospheric instability. “All the ingredients were there.”

    Perrilloux said preliminary findings are that the tornado began its path of destruction just southwest of Rolling Fork before continuing northeast toward the rural communities of Midnight and Silver City before moving toward Tchula, Black Hawk and Winona.

    The National Weather Service issued an alert Friday night as the storm was hitting that didn’t mince words: “To protect your life, TAKE COVER NOW!”

    Sheddrick Bell, his partner and two daughters crouched in a closet of their Rolling Fork home for 15 minutes as the tornado barreled through. The family listened as the tornado winds tore through, bursting windows and toppling trees. His daughters wouldn’t stop crying. He could hear his partner praying out loud beside him.

    “I was just thinking, ‘If I can still open my eyes and move around, I’m good,’” he said.

    Cornel Knight told The Associated Press that he, his wife and their 3-year-old daughter were at a relative’s home in Rolling Fork when the tornado struck. He said the sky was dark but “you could see the direction from every transformer that blew.”

    Knight said he watched from a doorway until the tornado was, he estimated, less than a mile away. Then he told everyone in the house to take cover in a hallway. He said the tornado struck another relative’s home across a wide corn field from where he was. A wall in that home collapsed and trapped several people inside.

    Royce Steed, the emergency manager in Humphreys County, where Silver City is located, likened the damage to the deadly 2011 Tuscaloosa–Birmingham tornado and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    “It is almost complete devastation,” he said after crews switched finished searching buildings and switched to damage assessments. “This little old town, I don’t know what the population is, it is more or less wiped off the map.”

    In the town, the roof had torn off Noel Crook’s home, where he lives there with his wife.

    “Yesterday was yesterday and that’s gone – there’s nothing I can do about it,” Crook said. “Tomorrow is not here yet. You don’t have any control over it, so here I am today.”

    The tornado looked so powerful on radar as it neared the town of Amory, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Tupelo, that one Mississippi meteorologist paused to say a prayer after new radar information came in.

    “Oh man,” WTVA’s Matt Laubhan said on the live broadcast. “Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.”

    The damage in Rolling Fork was so widespread that several storm chasers — who follow severe weather and often put up livestreams showing dramatic funnel clouds — pleaded for search and rescue help. Others abandoned the chase to drive injured people to the hospitals themselves.

    The Sharkey-Issaquena Community Hospital on the west side of Rolling Fork was damaged, WAPT reported.

    The Sharkey County Sheriff’s Office in Rolling Fork reported gas leaks and people trapped in piles of rubble, according to the Vicksburg News. Some law enforcement units were unaccounted for in Sharkey, according to the the newspaper.

    According to poweroutage.us, 40,000 customers were without power in Tennessee; 15,000 customers were left without power in Mississippi; and 20,000 were without power in Alabama.

    Rolling Fork and the surrounding area has wide expanses of cotton, corn and soybean fields and catfish farming ponds. More than a half-dozen shelters were opened in the state by emergency officials.

    This was a supercell, the nasty type of storm that brews the deadliest tornado and most damaging hail in the United States, said Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Walker Ashley. What’s more, this one happened at nighttime, which is “the worst kind,” he said.

    Meteorologists saw a big tornado risk coming for the general region, not the specific area, as much as a week in advance, said Ashley, who was discussing it with his colleagues as early as March 17. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center put out a long-range alert for the area on March 19, he said.

    Tornado experts like Ashley have been warning about increased risk exposure in the region because of people building more.

    “You mix a particularly socioeconomically vulnerable landscape with a fast-moving, long-track nocturnal tornado, and, disaster will happen,” Ashley said in an email.

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    DeSantis Gives Direct Answer When Asked About Joining Trump Ticket

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    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis explained on Thursday that he is “more of an executive guy” in response to a question about whether or not he would join a potential ticket as former President Trump’s running mate come 2024.

    “I think I’m probably more of an executive guy,” the governor told Newsmax. “I think that you want to be able to do things. That’s part of the reason I got into this job is because we have action.”

    “We’re able to make things happen, and I think that’s probably what I am best suited for,” said DeSantis.

    The leader was also asked if he would want Trump as a vice president should he be the GOP nominee.

    DeSantis called it “interesting speculation.”

    “The whole party, regardless of any personalities or individuals, you have got to be looking at 2024 and saying, if the Biden regime continues, and they’re able to pick up 10-15 seats in the House and a Senate seat or two, this country is going to be in really, really bad shape,” he said.

    DeSantis’s comments come amid speculation regarding whether he is considering a run. The governor recently visited Iowa, throwing shade at both Trump and President Biden.

    The former president, as well as his son, has stepped up his shots at “Ron DeSanctimonious” in recent weeks, with DeSantis lobbing hits back.

    “Well, I would say if you look at some of the change from that … the major thing that’s happened that’s changed his tune was my re-election victory,” DeSantis told Fox Nation’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored” last week.

    Trump had previously endorsed DeSantis for his first run for governor in 2018, but the former president said earlier this month at he “probably” regrets endorsing DeSantis.

    He told Newsmax on Friday that any alliance with his potential primary challenger is “very unlikely.”

    Regardless of if DeSantis currently intends to take up the presidential mantle, his possible candidacy has the support of Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy.

    “I believe it’s time for a new generation of leadership. It’s time for younger, but proven, leadership to offer America eight solid years of transformational change. It’s time for Ron DeSantis to be President of the United States,” Roy said in a statement.

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    Thousands of Trump Supporters Line Up Hours Before He Is Due to Speak in Waco, Texas

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    Hours before Donald Trump is set to speak in Waco, Texas, his fans have already begun lining up to see their presidential candidate.

    The former president, 76, is set to hold a rally in Waco this afternoon, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the FBI raid on Branch Davidians formerly led by David Koresh.

    Thousands of Trump fans dressed in the Republican’s merchandise, from ‘Trump Girl’ shirts to Make America Great Again hats, lined up in droves as early as 7am.

    The event officially starts at 2pm and Trump is expected to give a 60 to 90-minute speech around 5pm. The Branch Davidians are said to be excited about Trump’s weekend rally in Waco.

    The Branch Davidians are said to consider the former president as ‘the battering ram that God is using to bring down the Deep State of Babylon.’

    The 1993 Waco siege was a 51-day standoff between the US government and the Branch Davidians.

    The FBI’s raid on the group’s compound, Mount Carmel, which the Branch Davidians view as a government overstep, is similar to what they claim happened to Trump.

    Trump’s holding of a rally in Waco is ‘a statement — that he was sieged by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago and that they were accusing him of different things that aren’t really true, just like David Koresh was accused by the FBI when they sieged him,’ Koresh’s successor, Pastor Charles Pace, told the New York Times.

    Trump’s campaign insisted the location and timing of the event had nothing to do with the Waco siege or anniversary. Instead, a spokesperson said the site was chosen because it was conveniently situated near four of the state’s biggest metropolitan areas — Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — and has the infrastructure to handle a sizable crowd.

    ‘This is the ideal location to have as many supporters from across the state and in neighboring states attend this historic rally,’ said Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung.

    The city is part of McLennan County, which Trump won in 2020 by more than 23 points. The airport where the rally is being held is 17 miles from the Branch Davidian compound.

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    Pentagon Pulls Radical Anti-White DEI Official from Key Post

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    A radical activist who has made anti-white comments is no longer in charge of “diversity” at the schools children of military members attend — though she hasn’t been fired or disciplined, the Pentagon said Thursday.

    Kelisa Wing, the former Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chief for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, made numerous comments such as: “I’m so exhausted at these white folx in these PD sessions this lady actually had the CAUdacity to say that black people can be racist too… I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS.”

    She wrote books with lines such as “If you are White you might feel bad about hurting others or you might feel afraid to lose this privilege” — as well as one called “What Does It Mean to Defund the Police.” She also said that people needed to “agitate, agitate, agitate” for “revolutionary” changes, and that “If another Karen tells me about her feelings … I might lose it.”

    In September, 22 members of Congress called for an internal investigation, writing that “we are concerned that Ms. Wing’s rhetoric is not in line with the values and standards of the DoD.” They asked “Has Ms. Wing’s radical ideology been integrated into the curriculum proposed by DoDEA?”

    The Pentagon said soon after that it would launch an investigation, but it did not follow up with a letter until three hours before a congressional hearing Thursday examining the impact of DEI policies on the military, according to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

    “The employee was speaking in a personal capacity… as a result, the Director, DoDEA took no disciplinary action,” the letter said. “The Director, DoDEA concluded that it was appropriate for the employee to continue working for DoDEA. Separately, as part of a headquarters restructuring, the employee was reassigned to another position that does not include diversity, equity, and inclusion,” it added.

    Despite taking six months to investigate, the letter’s author, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert R. Cisneros, seemed unfamiliar with the topic when Stefanik grilled him at the hearing.

    WATCH:

    He said he had “no idea” what “caudacity” meant, though he also said “I do agree that this is not acceptable. It is not condoned. It is not something that I condone. It is not condoned by DoDEA or the Department of Defense.”

    He would not commit to publicly sharing the results of the investigation, citing Wing’s privacy. He was unaware that Wing’s own books were in the libraries of the schools she oversaw.

    Stefanik retorted: “You should know, you are a DoD official … One reason you should know that is in her own presentation as a DoD employee at a DoDEA summit, she stated, ‘My passion work is dismantling disparate discipline systems, and I am hugely passionate about dismantling the school to prison pipeline, I have written a book [called] Promises and Possibilities Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline — shameless plug.’ That’s her words.”

    Stefanik said she suspects the “restructuring” was due to the public becoming aware of Wing’s true feelings. “She should have been fired completely, but she was at least moved somewhere else, not dealing with our kids’ educational systems,” she said.

    However, the comments that the DoD determined were merely “personal” were only one of the issues raised by OpenTheBooks.com, a leading government transparency organization. OpenTheBooks found that while working as a DOD employee, she also ran a consulting firm called Promises & Possibilities LLC that has collected tens of thousands of dollars from other sources.

    A FOIA request showed that New Jersey’s Cresskill School District paid Wing $26,200 simultaneous to her DOD job, before cancelling her contract following news of her offensive statements. “Despite a full-time job based in Virginia, Wing often spent time during the work week conducting virtual or in-person training sessions for Cresskill staff,” OpenTheBooks found. The DOD refused to fulfill OpenTheBooks’ FOIA request for timecards and conflict-of-interest disclosures that could show whether this amounted to misconduct. (Wing told the Military Times that “I disclose to my employer my private activities as required.”)

    OpenTheBooks founder Adam Andrzejewski told The Daily Wire Friday that “Wing had stated that her mission was to ‘… uproot, tear down, rip up and destroy inequitable spaces.’ In addition to her six-figure GS-14 government job, Wing was also collecting tens of thousands of dollars through her private consultancy, offering these diversity and equity materials to public schools at large. This included the same professional trainings for staff that she was giving teachers in DODEA schools.”

    “It took multiple investigations from us and multiple hearings from Congress to finally get some answers and some action from the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, there are still outstanding questions for the Pentagon, including whether they plan to eliminate the role or find a replacement for Wing. The DoD also should account for how much public money is being spent on DEI material and trainings all across the Defense Department,” he said.

    A DoDEA web page previously said “The DODEA DEI Division was established in 2021 to create equitable access to opportunities, resources, and support for students, employees, and families through examination of beliefs, policies, practices, and interactions to eliminate inequities and disparities. The DEI division will advance equity and cultural proficiency by interrupting systems of inequity in our policies, practices, and procedures by creating a climate that ensures diversity, equity and inclusivity for all students, staff and families.” Now, it redirects to a generic DODEA page.

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    Biden Unveils New Restrictions on Air Conditioners Despite Backlash Over Gas Stove Restrictions

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    Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm unveiled new climate and efficiency restrictions on air conditioners despite widespread criticism the Biden administration received after officials recently announced restrictions on gas stoves.

    The new energy efficiency standards, which will apply to room air conditioners and portable air cleaners, will enter into effect next year. The Energy Department contended that the new rules will assist with “tackling the climate crisis,” as well as save consumers $25 billion over the next three decades. Room air conditioners are more commonly called window air conditioners.

    “Today’s announcement builds on the historic actions President Biden took last year to strengthen outdated energy efficiency standards, which will help save on people’s energy bills and reduce our nation’s carbon footprint,” Granholm said in a press release. She added that the Energy Department will “continue to engage with our public and private sector partners to finalize additional proposals like today’s that lower household energy costs and deliver the safer, healthier communities that every American deserves.”

    The rules are the first federal standards for portable air cleaners. The Energy Department asserted that the regulations mark a consensus among “manufacturers, the manufacturing trade association, efficiency advocates, consumer advocacy groups, states, and utilities.”

    The policies come weeks after multiple senior officials in the Biden administration repeatedly backtracked on new energy efficiency standards for gas stoves amid mounting criticism. Controversy over the potential regulations emerged earlier this year when Consumer Product Safety Commission Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in an interview that gas stoves are a “hidden hazard” and declared that “any option is on the table” for a nationwide ban. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric later posted a statement asserting that neither he nor the agency planned to outlaw gas stoves.

    The Energy Department then unveiled forthcoming efficiency standards which would impact approximately “half of the total gas cooking top market.” Proposed regulations would introduce a new “maximum integrated annual energy consumption” standard for gas stoves, marking a change from previous regulations that prohibited constant burning pilot lights in gas stoves, but placed no limits on energy consumption. Officials noted that “products achieving these standard levels are already commercially available for all product classes covered by this proposal” and cited “important and robust” climate benefits in documents justifying the new rules.

    Some 38% of households in the United States use gas stoves for cooking, with the figure approaching 70% for states such as California and New Jersey, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Those who use gas stoves often cite the easier temperature control offered by the appliances relative to electric alternatives.

    Granholm defended the consideration of new efficiency standards for gas stoves during remarks this week before the House Appropriations Committee. “This does not impact the majority, and it certainly does not say that anybody who has a gas stove would have their gas stove taken away,” she told lawmakers. “There’s no ban on gas stoves. I have a gas stove. It is just about making the existing electric and gas stoves, and all the other appliances, more efficient.”

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