2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 11:46 pm
N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat Feb 11, 2023 12:39 am
N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:58 amOops. I apologize for the error, and I thank you for the correction. I was confusing the two federal civil enforcement actions filed by the SEC against Paxton in 2016 and 2017, both of which were dismissed (the second time with prejudice), with the state criminal charges filed in 2015 against Paxton for the same conduct. Charges for which he has yet to go on trial, five years later.
Since this thread is still active for other reasons, I'll use it to note that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today reached a $3.3 million settlement with four former employees who had reported to the FBI about possible crimes that Paxton may have committed.
This seems a convenient place to follow-up on the tale of Ken Paxton.

Per the Associated Press report, "A Republican-led Texas House investigative committee that spent months looking into Attorney General Ken Paxton has recommended impeaching the fellow Republican after years of scandal. The state House could remove him soon as Friday." It was a unanimous recommendation. I'm not sure that what the AP says about Paxton being removed immediately upon impeachment (tomorrow?) is correct: it appears that in Texas, as in many other states (not to mention at the federal level), an impeached Attorney General gets a trial in the state senate. Curious to know more.

He would be only the third Texas official ever impeached.

Edited to add: I failed to note, earlier this week, that Paxton had called upon Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign for public drunkenness. I wonder if there's a connection.

Edited again to add a link to the committee's draft articles of impeachment -- twenty counts!
Last edited by N.E. Brigand on Fri May 26, 2023 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 6:19 pm
N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 5:34 pm ... Today a number of Oath Keepers are being sentenced for their actions on January 6th, some of whom were convicted for seditious conspiracy. ... in the course of today's sentencing, the judge in the case ruled that a terrorism enhancement applies to the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes. At least some of the January 6th attackers were indeed terrorists.

Edited to add: Stewart Rhodes was just sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment. The government had asked for 25 years. Even so, this is the longest sentence to date -- about four years longer than Peter Schwartz received for assaulting police officers -- in connection to the January 6th insurrection.
Remember: the Oath Keepers were officially in D.C. that day to provide security for Donald Trump's longtime associate, Roger Stone, who had been convicted in 2019 of lying to federal investigators about his knowledge of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, and whom Trump had pardoned for that crime just two weeks before January 6th.

Here's what the judge said before pronouncing the sentence: "I dare say, Mr. Rhodes, and I have never said this to anyone I have sentenced: You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, the republic and the very fabric of democracy."
N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 8:51 pm Judge Mehta has also determined that Oath Keeper member Kelly Meggs is a terrorist. Sentence to be announced shortly. The range is 15-20 years. The judge departed downward from that for Stewart Rhodes (whose range was 22-27 years, but he only got 18 years). My guess: 12 years.
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 9:49 pm Right on the money.
TPM has a fascinating look back at past reporting on the Oath Keepers, which was founded in 2009 and was seen as adjacent to the Tea Party movement. They also had connections to Glenn Beck and to Matt Schlapp's CPAC. Stewart Rhodes himself was a guest on Fox News's prime time programming in 2010. I also appreciate this point the author makes about something else that happened on the day of Rhodes's Fox appearance: a man flying a small plane carried out a suicide attack, 9/11 style, on an Austin building where the local IRS office was located. One IRS worker was killed. But everyone was reluctant to call it "terrorism," and I think perhaps we saw an echo of that tendency two years ago in this very thread. As the author writes:
(T)o put it bluntly, we collectively still don’t see these kinds of attacks as 'driven by ideology.' A 'maddening grudge,' as the NYT put it, is what exactly? If the attackers aren’t dark-skinned religious fundamentalists we put them in a different bucket. Stack was simply a man broken by the IRS, in the words of his wife’s stepfather: 'I knew Joe had a hang-up with the I.R.S. on account of them breaking him, taking his savings away,' said Jack Cook, the stepfather of Mr. Stack’s wife, in a telephone interview from his home in Oklahoma. 'And that’s undoubtedly the reason he flew the airplane against that building. Not to kill people, but just to damage the I.R.S.'
Two more members of the Oath Keepers are scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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8.5 years for Oathkeeper Jessica Watkins.

ETA: While Judge Mehta did apply a terrorism enhancement he went way below the recommended sentence for her.

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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Fri May 26, 2023 5:21 pm 8.5 years for Oath Keeper Jessica Watkins.

ETA: While Judge Mehta did apply a terrorism enhancement, he went way below the recommended sentence for her.
And later this afternoon, Oath Keeper conspirator Kenneth Harrelson received a sentence of four years. (Edited to add: the judge did apply a terrorism enhancement, but said "I'm only going to add a single point" for that. That brought the recommended sentence range to 8-12 years. Some commentator yesterday said that, as a general matter, Judge Mehta just doesn't like the sentencing guidelines. It's not specific to these defendants or to January 6th cases generally.)

I believe that leaves one defendant from the first Oath Keepers trial, Thomas Caldwell, yet to be sentenced.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Caldwell's sentencing has been postponed indefinitely while Judge Mehta considers his motion for acquittal on the charge of obstructing an official proceeding, which was the most serious charge he was convicted off, since he was acquitted of seditious conspiracy.

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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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And in related news:

"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 11:57 pm
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Thu May 25, 2023 11:46 pm
N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat Feb 11, 2023 12:39 amSince this thread is still active for other reasons, I'll use it to note that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today reached a $3.3 million settlement with four former employees who had reported to the FBI about possible crimes that Paxton may have committed.
This seems a convenient place to follow-up on the tale of Ken Paxton.

Per the Associated Press report, "A Republican-led Texas House investigative committee that spent months looking into Attorney General Ken Paxton has recommended impeaching the fellow Republican after years of scandal. The state House could remove him soon as Friday." It was a unanimous recommendation. I'm not sure that what the AP says about Paxton being removed immediately upon impeachment (tomorrow?) is correct: it appears that in Texas, as in many other states (not to mention at the federal level), an impeached Attorney General gets a trial in the state senate. Curious to know more. He would be only the third Texas official ever impeached.

Edited to add: I failed to note, earlier this week, that Paxton had called upon Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan to resign for public drunkenness. I wonder if there's a connection.

Edited again to add a link to the committee's draft articles of impeachment -- twenty counts!
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, says that "What is happening to Ken Paxton is a travesty." Cruz claims that "special interests" in Austin object to efforts by Paxton, "the strongest conservative Attorney General," to rein in the "abuses" of President Biden's administration. Cruz says that everything described in the proposed articles of impeachment was already known to voters when they reelected Paxton for the second time last year (by a 10% margin). Apparently that's true, although much of it is new to me. I knew that Paxton had been indicted on state charges for securities fraud nearly eight years ago, in July 2015, in a case that has yet to go to trial, but not, for example, that:
Texas AG Ken Paxton wanted his mistress to have a job in Austin, which investigators say he obtained for her, so he would not have to drive back and forth to San Antonio to see her, Rep. Ann Johnson said, in setting forth investigative findings.
The impeachment investigation apparently began only after Texas's House Speaker, Dale Phelan, balked at authorizing additional funds to Paxton's office which have included a $3.3 million settlement to whistleblowers Paxton had fired.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump has also announced his opposition to Paxton's impeachment, praising Paxton's legal challenges to Joe Biden's 2020 electoral victory.

During the impeachment hearing today, Texas state Representative Charlie Geren, a Republican who is the Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House, said that Paxton has been calling House members today, while they're debating the articles, to threaten them with retribution should they vote to impeach him.

If Paxton is impeached, his case will be tried by the Texas state senate. One of the senators, Angela Paxton, is his wife.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Holy @#$%. I saw various reports earlier this afternoon suggesting that impeachment was unlikely: even one well-established Democrat in the Texas House was quoted as saying he opposed it because the process was rushed.

Ken Paxton was just impeached by a 121-23 vote in the Texas House. He'll be suspended from office until his trail in the Texas Senate is complete.

(There were also 2 "present" votes and 3 absences.)

So much for Donald Trump's threat to act against Republicans who voted to impeach.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 10:54 pm Holy @#$%. I saw various reports earlier this afternoon suggesting that impeachment was unlikely: even one well-established Democrat in the Texas House was quoted as saying he opposed it because the process was rushed.

Ken Paxton was just impeached by a 121-23 vote in the Texas House. He'll be suspended from office until his trail in the Texas Senate is complete (There were also 2 "present" votes and 3 absences.)

So much for Donald Trump's threat to act against Republicans who voted to impeach.
The 121 votes for impeachment were split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. That's normally described as "bipartisan," but I notice some of Paxton's supporters (responding to his statement in about the impeachment) complaining about a supposed "uniparty."
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 11:16 pm
N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 10:54 pm Holy @#$%. I saw various reports earlier this afternoon suggesting that impeachment was unlikely: even one well-established Democrat in the Texas House was quoted as saying he opposed it because the process was rushed. Ken Paxton was just impeached by a 121-23 vote in the Texas House. He'll be suspended from office until his trail in the Texas Senate is complete (There were also 2 "present" votes and 3 absences.) So much for Donald Trump's threat to act against Republicans who voted to impeach.
The 121 votes for impeachment were split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. That's normally described as "bipartisan," but I notice some of Paxton's supporters (responding to his statement in about the impeachment) complaining about a supposed "uniparty."
I apparently misunderstood the report about the Democrat representative in question, Harold Dutton, who says he opposed the impeachment (he voted "present") because removing Ken Paxton will help Republicans in the next election cycle.

Former president Donald Trump, who was aided in his insurrectionist efforts in 2020 by Paxton's legal shenanigans, says that Texas House Speaker Dale Phelan is a "RINO." Although the Speaker often doesn't vote on legislation, he did vote to impeach Paxton.

All five Republicans who represent Collin County (just northeast of Dallas), where Paxton is from, voted to impeach him. They subsequently issued a statement that acknowledged they consider Paxton a "longtime friend" and "effective warrior defending Texas against federal overreach," but they say the evidence was more than sufficient to move this to a Senate trial. (There is a sixth representative from Collin County, Rep. Mihaela Plesa, a Democrat, who also voted for impeachment.)

A Democratic legislator, Rep. Eddie Morales, has requested that the article of impeachment as transmitted to the Senate be amended to include charges of intimidation -- for his reported threats to members of the House today -- and jury tampering, because apparently he has also been in communication with members of the Senate. Remember: it was a top Republican who said, on the House floor, that Paxton had been threatening House members about their upcoming vote. Not sure the articles can be amended, but I imagine the House managers who present the case to the Senate can at least reference those communications.

Two-thirds will be needed in the Senate to convict. That threshold was easily met in the House, but we'll see.

Will Paxton's wife (1) vote to acquit, (2) vote to convict, (3) vote present, or (4) not vote? The allegations do concern, in part, Paxton having arranged for his mistress to get a job closer to where he works so they could get together more often.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Matt Schlapp.

Defended Ken Paxton today: "If you stand up to the whacko [sic] left you will be corruptly prosecuted."

Schlapp has been accused of sexual and financial misconduct.

Paxton has been impeached in part for abusing his official powers to enable an extramarital affair.

And as I had already forgotten: 121+23+2+3=149, so where was the 150th House member? That was Bryan Slaton, who resigned (after a committee recommended his expulsion) for getting his 19-year-old intern drunk and having sex with her.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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I usually apply this rule to narcissists, but it seems to apply here: Whatever they are accusing someone else of is what they are doing/have done. Deflection. Their thinking seems to be 'If I do this everyone is doing the same (or worse) so I'm not doing anything wrong.'
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Texas Monthly has a long article on Paxton. After you learn that Texas attorneys general have had a reputation for misbehavior -- the last Democrat to hold the job, Dan Morales (1991-1999) went to jail -- you read this:
What sets Paxton apart from his predecessors is the sheer width and breadth of his scoundrelhood. One of the problems of writing about Paxton is that there’s never quite enough space to lay out all the things he’s alleged to have done wrong. (The word “allegedly” is going to get a workout in this article.) That has helped him enormously. This stuff can be difficult to keep track of. It’s the scandal version of Montgomery Burns’s disease door: There’s so much that none of it seems to break through.
Paxton has apparently been mixed up in shady business since he was a Texas state representative (starting in 2003), at which time he was privately harshly criticized for his misdeed by the then-attorney general who is now governor, Greg Abbott. Paxton's indictments, which still haven't gone to trial, came in his first year as A.G. in 2015, but they are not the primary reason for his impeachment. And here's the conclusion:
As attorney general, Paxton has two responsibilities to perform for his party. He can take the fight to the Democrats in the White House and big Texas cities, and he can prosecute criminals to win positive headlines. But he’s extremely bad at both of those things. He can’t even keep the office of the attorney general staffed anymore. After he fired the whistleblowers, he had to bring in whomever would agree to work for him. As the AP reported, one of those B-team legal experts was quietly fired after he intentionally showed child pornography at a meeting.

The truth of the matter is, nearly anyone the governor could appoint to replace Paxton would likely be better at the job than Paxton—every bit as conservative, but also cleaner and smarter, with more integrity. They’d go after Biden with more vigor, and they’d be better at making the party look good. In Texas it’s one thing to be corrupt: to be corrupt and useless is another matter. If anything, the state’s Democrats may look back with fondness on the Paxton era.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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This, in the above quote, made my head go wooga-wooga.
As the AP reported, one of those B-team legal experts was quietly fired after he intentionally showed child pornography at a meeting.
Intentionally? And quietly fired? Isn't even possessing a felony?

Also gotta love how the AG's job is to serve partisan interests and not something silly like law or justice.
If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Frelga wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 7:41 am This, in the above quote, made my head go wooga-wooga.
As the AP reported, one of those B-team legal experts was quietly fired after he intentionally showed child pornography at a meeting.
Intentionally? And quietly fired? Isn't even possessing a felony?

Also gotta love how the AG's job is to serve partisan interests and not something silly like law or justice.
Here's the relevant text from the September 2022 AP article:
An Associated Press investigation found Paxton and his deputies have sought to turn cases to political advantage or push a broader political agenda, including staff screenings of a debunked film questioning the 2020 election. Adding to the unrest was the secretive firing of a Paxton supporter less than two months into his job as an agency advisor after he tried to make a point by displaying child pornography in a meeting. ...

After the dramatic exit of Paxton’s top staff in 2020, those brought into senior roles included a California attorney who donated $10,000 to help Paxton fight his 2015 securities fraud indictment and Tom Kelly Gleason, a former ice cream company owner whose father gave $50,000 to the attorney general’s legal defense fund.

Gleason was fired less than two months into his new job as a law enforcement adviser. Paxton’s office has not disclosed why, but three people with knowledge of the matter said Gleason included child pornography in a work presentation at the agency’s Austin headquarters.

The people said Gleason displayed the video — which one of them described as showing a man raping a small child — in a misguided effort to underscore agency investigators difficult work. It was met with outrage and caused the meeting to quickly dissolve.

Afterward, Paxton’s top deputy, Brent Webster, told staff not to talk about what happened, according to one of the people.

Gleason, who began his career as a police officer in the late 1970s, did not respond to voicemails, text messages, emails and letters left at this home and business. A lawyer who has represented him also did not respond to an email seeking comment.
I think Gleason probably was showing his colleagues evidence from a case the Attorney General's office was already handling. That would presumably exempt him from being charged with possessing or sharing child pornography. But it was at least an very bad decision.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Thank you for that explanation. Still wtf bad, but not in the way it looked without context.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon May 04, 2020 1:59 amFrom historian Heather Cox Richardson (the best current commentator on U.S. affairs, by far, in my opinion; I highly recommend her daily newsletters posted on Facebook and elsewhere):
First up is the demand coming from the right, as well as from media outlets, to open former Vice President Joe Biden’s personal papers that have been donated to the University of Delaware to search for records that might mention Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her 27 years ago. Fox News Channel contributor Ari Fleischer has gone so far as to suggest that Biden should turn the files over to the FBI, the same FBI that is, at this moment, controlled by Trump loyalist Attorney General William Barr.

Biden has called for a thorough search of the National Archives, where such records would be stored, for any materials relating to Reade's claim. But she has now said that any complaint she made did not mention a sexual assault, and she has cancelled a scheduled appearance tomorrow on Chris Wallace’s show on the Fox News Channel. Yet the call to open the University of Delaware files, which are currently scheduled to open two years after Biden leaves public life, continues. Those demanding such action say there might be staff memos in the papers about Reade’s complaint, which contain transcripts of his speeches, records of private conversations with world leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, daily schedules, and staff memos from his years as a Senator from 1973 to 2009.

But a senator’s papers would not include any personnel files which would mention an assault claim; personnel files are part of a completely different storage system. And it is 100% normal to close the files of elected officials (and other people, too) for a period of time before they can be examined, and archivists take that charge very seriously indeed because of the ethics involved. ...

[... some good points by Richardson about the press demanding of Joe Biden what they had given up demanding of Donald Trump ...]

Please follow me here: I am not speaking of the claims of Ms. Reade, which are a separate conversation. I am talking about the use of her story to control our political narrative. The attempt to get Biden to jump through hoops Trump ignores is classic gaslighting. It keeps Biden on the defensive and makes sure he is reinforcing Trump’s narrative, thus strengthening Trump even as Biden tries to carve out his own campaign. It is precisely what the Trump campaign, abetted by the media, did in 2016.
That post, from the other 2020 Presidential Election thread, appears to be the last reference on these forums to Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of having sexually assaulted her in 1993. As you may recall, while it does appear that something happened to Reade when she worked in Biden's office that year (she is known to have told at least two people at the time and others in the years between then and Biden's 2008 election as Vice President), (1) her story changed dramatically over the years, even between 2019, when she accused Biden of having made remarks that made her feel uncomfortable and having touched her inappropriately but not sexually ("this is not a story about sexual misconduct"), and 2020, when she flat out accused him of raping her in a public corridor in the Capitol (what she specifically alleged is what a New York jury recently found Donald Trump liable for having done to E. Jean Carroll in 1996 -- and like Carroll, Reade could not recall the exact date of the alleged attack); (2) an audio recording of her mother anonymously calling into Larry King's radio show around the time of the alleged incident makes it sound like someone else harassed Reade (in part because Reade's mother says her daughter didn't want to go to police "out of respect" for the unnamed Biden) -- and her mother said "harassed" not "assaulted" (that said, people aren't always consistent about terminology); (3) one of the only other people besides her mother that Reade says she confided in at the time told a reporter in 2020 that "it wasn't that bad. He never tried to kiss her directly. He never went for one of those touches. It was one of those, 'sorry you took it that way.' ... What was creepy was that it was always in front of people" (mind you, even that, if true, doesn't reflect well on Biden); (4) on more than one occasion, the lawyers that Reade retained to represent her in this matter soon backed out, including Douglas Wigdor, a Donald Trump supporter who had represented some of Harvey Weinstein's victims: a week after V posted above, Wigdor announced that was representing her pro bono, but two weeks after that, he had withdrawn; and (5) Reade was revealed to have fabricated parts of her life story and even to have made false statements under oath in another matter.

And also, starting in 2018, some of her public writing showed a weird affinity for Vladimir Putin.

Again, none of the above disproves Reade's allegations. Neither does this:

Today, it was announced on Russian state media that Tara Reade has moved to Russia because she fears that the Biden administration will try to have her jailed or killed. She was advised in this decision by Maria Butina, the Russian spy who infiltrated the National Rifle Association.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Funny how things work out. The Paxton story was only vaguely connected to this thread. But ...

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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Tue May 30, 2023 10:11 pm That post, from the other 2020 Presidential Election thread, appears to be the last reference on these forums to Tara Reade, the woman who accused Joe Biden of having sexually assaulted her in 1993. As you may recall, while it does appear that something happened to Reade when she worked in Biden's office that year (she is known to have told at least two people at the time and others in the years between then and Biden's 2008 election as Vice President), (1) her story changed dramatically over the years, even between 2019, when she accused Biden of having made remarks that made her feel uncomfortable and having touched her inappropriately but not sexually ("this is not a story about sexual misconduct"), and 2020, when she flat out accused him of raping her in a public corridor in the Capitol (what she specifically alleged is what a New York jury recently found Donald Trump liable for having done to E. Jean Carroll in 1996 -- and like Carroll, Reade could not recall the exact date of the alleged attack); (2) an audio recording of her mother anonymously calling into Larry King's radio show around the time of the alleged incident makes it sound like someone else harassed Reade (in part because Reade's mother says her daughter didn't want to go to police "out of respect" for the unnamed Biden) -- and her mother said "harassed" not "assaulted" (that said, people aren't always consistent about terminology); (3) one of the only other people besides her mother that Reade says she confided in at the time told a reporter in 2020 that "it wasn't that bad. He never tried to kiss her directly. He never went for one of those touches. It was one of those, 'sorry you took it that way.' ... What was creepy was that it was always in front of people" (mind you, even that, if true, doesn't reflect well on Biden); (4) on more than one occasion, the lawyers that Reade retained to represent her in this matter soon backed out, including Douglas Wigdor, a Donald Trump supporter who had represented some of Harvey Weinstein's victims: a week after V posted above, Wigdor announced that was representing her pro bono, but two weeks after that, he had withdrawn; and (5) Reade was revealed to have fabricated parts of her life story and even to have made false statements under oath in another matter.

And also, starting in 2018, some of her public writing showed a weird affinity for Vladimir Putin.

Again, none of the above disproves Reade's allegations. Neither does this:

Today, it was announced on Russian state media that Tara Reade has moved to Russia because she fears that the Biden administration will try to have her jailed or killed. She was advised in this decision by Maria Butina, the Russian spy who infiltrated the National Rifle Association.
Hmm. I don't think I saw that tweet posted three weeks ago by Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, in which he writes that he and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, "had the opportunity to interview Tara Reade. I found her to be one of the most credible witnesses I have ever interviewed in the practice of law or during my time in Congress. Rep. Greene and I are sending a demand for records to the Secretary of the Senate because we believe that Tara Reade’s employment records will further corroborate the claims she has made."

Once these members have those records, will they take them to Reade in Moscow? Can we trade Gaetz and Greene to Russia in exchange for improperly jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich?
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 11:18 pm Donald Trump just shared a further message reading just: "Unprecedented fraud requires unprecedented cure!"

It is possible, as Marcy Wheeler suggested earlier today, that what's really driving Trump's heated calls today to throw out the U.S. Constitution is not last night's "news" about Twitter and Hunter Biden but the implications of former White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin having testified yesterday, presumably about what Trump said and did before, during, and after the events of January 6th.

Edit: That said, some on the right are certainly taking the story about Twitter as their cue to call for violence. A former Minnesota political candidate who unsuccessfully vied to be the Republican nominee challenging Rep. Ilhan Omar this year responded on Twitter to Taibbi's publication by saying it showed that Democrats had to be defeated by "bullets" rather than "ballots". After she was criticized for that comment, the Republican former candidate, Shukri Abdirahman, said "It's no secret that our Founders would've taken up arms and put to use the real purpose of the 2nd Amendment to take out this tyrannical government."

(People who claim that the 2nd Amendment was intended to allow the populace to overthrow the U.S. government if necessary never reckon with the fact that President George Washington led an army to western Massachusetts to put down a rebellion of farmers who refused to pay their taxes.)
Just using this reference to Philbin to note that in an entirely unrelated matter, he is representing former Fox News and current CBS journalist Catherine Herridge against a lawsuit brought by a Yanping Chen, a scientist who runs a graduate research program in Virginia who is suing the FBI, Dept. of Justice, and Dept. of Homeland Security for violating her privacy in 2017 because, after they closed a six-year counterintelligence investigation into her activities (they suspected her of working for the Chinese government), personal information about Chen from their investigation was leaked to Herridge who reported it on Fox. Chen wants a judge to force Herridge to reveal her source.

I don't care at all for Herridge, who regularly carries water for Donald Trump and Republicans, but I'm actually on her side here, although the law may not be, and although Philbin himself in the past took a hard line against leaks when he defended Donald Trump in the former president's first impeachment trial in January 2020. At that time, Philbin complained that Congressional Democrats "selectively leaked" testimony about Trump's actions "to a compliant media to establish a false narrative about the president," and he noted that such leaks if they had been of testimony to a grand jury "would have been a criminal violation."
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