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Arizona Officials Warned Fake Electors Plan Could ‘Appear Treasonous’

Kelli Ward

Two Arizona Republicans recruited by allies of former President Donald J. Trump to join an effort to keep him in office after he lost the 2020 election grew so concerned about the plan that they told lawyers working on it that they feared their actions could be seen as treason, according to emails reviewed by The New York Times.

Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, and Kelly Townsend, a state senator, were both said to have expressed concerns to Mr. Trump’s lawyers in December 2020 about participating in a plan to sign on to a slate of electors claiming that Mr. Trump had won Arizona, even though Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won the state.

The scheme was part of a broader bid — one of the longest running and most complicated that Mr. Trump undertook as he sought to cling to power after losing the 2020 presidential election — to falsely manufacture a victory for him by creating fake slates of electors in battleground states who would claim that he had been the true winner.




Politics Presidential Motorcade Officer Details Trump's Behavior On Jan. 6

Trump motorcadeA former officer who was part of Donald Trump’s motorcade on Jan. 6, 2021, said Monday that Trump was “upset” at not being allowed to join his supporters attacking the Capitol.

Mark Robinson, a now retired D.C. police officer who was in the front car of Trump’s convoy on Jan. 6, told CNN that Trump was desperate to visit the Capitol grounds following his speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse.

“We’ve heard it several times while it was on the motorcade,” said Robinson, who is also a witness in the House Jan. 6 committee’s probe. “I think during the speech, shortly thereafter, he had finished the speech, that the president was getting into the motorcade and he was upset. And he adamantly wanted to go to the Capitol.”

He continued: “And even when we departed from the Ellipse, it was repeated again. ... It was a heated argument in the limo. And he wanted to definitely go to the Capitol.”


Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, flouting Chinese threats and Biden's concerns

Nancy Pelosi lands in TaiwanHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, a highly anticipated visit that came amid increasingly harsh warnings of Chinese retaliation and escalating Washington-Beijing tensions.

Pelosi, wearing a face mask, stepped off the plane around 10:50 p.m. local time and posed for photos with a contingent of Taiwan officials who greeted her on the tarmac.

Pelosi, who has a long record of tangling with Beijing over its human rights record, is the highest ranking American official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years.

The California Democrat's office would not confirm the travel in advance, citing security protocols, but her travel plans leaked amid rampant speculation about the fallout from such a visit.


DHS watchdog halted efforts to obtain missing text messages from Secret Service, Trump officials

Joseph Cuffari

The watchdog at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) abandoned efforts to recover missing text messages from across its various agencies deleted in the wake of Jan. 6 and minimized its criticism of those that failed to produce them, according to emails released by lawmakers.

The evidence, released Monday by the House committees on Oversight and Homeland Security, was accompanied by a renewed call for Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to step aside from his investigations into how DHS agencies responded to the Jan. 6 attack.

“These documents raise troubling new concerns that your office not only failed to notify Congress for more than a year that critical evidence in this investigation was missing, but your senior staff deliberately chose not to pursue that evidence and then appear to have taken steps to cover up these failures,” the committees wrote in a letter to Cuffari.


Texas militia member sentenced to more than 7 years in most severe punishment in Capitol riot case

Guy Rifitt sentenced to 7 yearsA Texas militia member was sentenced to slightly more than seven years in prison Monday, the most severe punishment issued in a case related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

The sentencing comes after a federal court jury in March delivered guilty verdicts on five criminal counts, including obstruction, against Guy Wesley Reffitt in the first jury trial to emerge from the government's far-reaching investigation of the attack.

In an eleventh-hour attempt at an apology, Reffitt, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, stepped before a courtroom podium and offered a rambling, expletive-filled statement.

"I really do hate what I did," he told U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich. "My mouth is my biggest enemy."

Before announcing the sentence, Friedrich described the former oil field worker's unusual expression of remorse as "awfully late."


US strike in Afghanistan kills top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri

US kills Ayman al-ZawahiriA U.S. strike in Afghanistan over the weekend killed top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The White House did not immediately confirm the strike. But President Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks Monday night to announce a successful counterterrorism operation against a "significant" al-Qaida target in Afghanistan.

Biden will speak at 7:30 p.m. ET, according to a last-minute update to the president's schedule, as he remains isolated in the White House battling a rebound case of COVID-19.

Over the weekend, the United States conducted "a counterterrorism operation against a significant" al-Qaida target in Afghanistan, an administration official said. "The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”

The announcement comes nearly one year after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending America's longest war amid the Taliban's return to power.


Two bodies found in burned vehicle in path of raging California wildfire

Burned bodies found in car in Ca. fires

Two people were found dead in the path of the a wildfire raging across northern California, as firefighters raced to contain the blaze amid searing temperatures and impending thunderstorms.

The McKinney fire in northern California, which has grown into California’s largest this year, is one of several large fires burning across the US west and one of several concurrent extreme weather events battering the region.

The fire exploded in size over the weekend in a largely unpopulated area in the Klamath national forest, just south of the Oregon state line. Flames had scorched more than 55,000 acres by Monday morning, according to officials.


New Zealand pornography producer pleads guilty to sex trafficking in US

Wolf brought sex trafficking to US

A New Zealand man who helped build a US-based pornography empire by coercing young women into filming adult videos has pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 40, admitted to his part in a scheme that recruited women to perform in videos for GirlsDoPorn, on the promise the films would not be shown in the US and would not be uploaded online. Wolfe is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in connection to the case.

The adult subscription service launched in 2006 by New Zealander Michael Pratt and was operated by Ruben Garcia and Wolfe, who moved to the US in 2011 to help Pratt. Pratt’s websites generated more than US$17m in revenue.


Arizona's Rusty Bowers Comes Out Against a 2024 Trump Bid

Rusty Bowers

Rusty Bowers, the Republican Arizona House speaker who testified before the Jan. 6 select committee about Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat in the state, said he would never again vote for the former president.

“My vote will never tarnish his name on a ballot,” Bowers, a lifelong Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week” in a pretaped interview that aired Sunday.

“I’ll never vote for him. But I won’t have to, because I think America’s tired, and there’s some absolutely forceful qualified morally defensible and upright people, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party and that’s what I want to see,” Bowers continued.


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