Trump Foe Liz Cheney Has Not Ruled out 2024 US Presidential Run

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a rising Republican until she stood firmly in opposition to President Donald Trump, says she has not ruled out a presidential run in 2024.

“I’ll make a decision about ’24 down the road,” she told ABC’s “This Week.” “The single most important thing is protecting the nation from Donald Trump.”

Cheney was one of just 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach the former president for incitement of an alleged insurrection Jan. 6, 2021.

The 55-year-old is now vice chair of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating whether Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol, as he sought Congress to debate the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College votes in key battleground states.

“A man as dangerous as Donald Trump can absolutely never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again,” Cheney said, telling ABC she thinks her Republican Party “can’t survive” if the real estate mogul wins the nomination again in 2024.

“Those of us who believe in Republican principles and ideals have a responsibility to try to lead the party back to what it can be,” she said.

Trump, who still holds outsize influence in the Republican Party, has discussed a potential new candidacy with increasing openness, with some outlets reporting he could announce his campaign by the end of July.

Even as Cheney – daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney – mulls a White House bid she is fighting for her political life in Wyoming, where a Trump-backed rival is challenging her in the state’s Republican primary, to be held next month ahead of November’s midterm elections.

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Rep. Comer: Bidens’ Business Dealings Probed If GOP Wins Midterms

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., says the recently released 2018 voicemail between Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden is “further proof” the president knew about his son’s foreign business dealings — despite publicly claiming otherwise through the years.

If Republicans overtake the House in the November midterm elections, Comer promises the American people will get “answers about the Biden family’s pattern of placing profit over country.”

For that 2018 voicemail, which was provided to The Daily Mail, Joe referenced a New York Times story about Hunter’s foreign dealings — presumably involving the Chinese oil giant CEFC — and then said Hunter “was good.”

Assuming the recording is genuine, it would run in contrast to previous statements from then-candidate Joe, who in the wake of the FBI seizing Hunter’s infamous laptop three years ago, has repeatedly stated he never talks business with his son.

But Comer, who’s primed to lead the House Republicans’ investigations in January — if they’re the majority party — would like to challenge the Bidens’ previous statements, under oath.

“Evidence continues to mount that Joe Biden is the ‘Big Guy’ and received a cut from his family’s suspicious foreign business deals,” Comer told The Daily Mail on Wednesday, in a statement.

“We’ve uncovered evidence revealing the co-mingling of Hunter and Joe Biden’s finances and the voicemail unearthed recently is just further proof Joe Biden knew about his son’s wheeling and dealing with foreign adversaries.” 

Comer continued: “We will continue to investigate the Biden family’s shady business deals as more facts emerge. If Americans entrust Republicans with the majority, we will use the power of the gavel to get answers about the Biden family’s pattern of placing profit over country to determine if President Biden is compromised by these deals.”

Various media outlets have covered the hard-drive contents of Hunter Biden’s seized laptop.

  • The Daily Mail previously disclosed that Hunter Biden used his family connections to land a million-dollar deal with a Chinese energy company.
  • A New York Times story from 2018 revealed that CEFC’s chairman (Ye Jianming) had been arrested in China, and his top lieutenant (Patrick Ho) had been convicted in the U.S. for bribing African officials to help Iran skirt oil sanctions. During that time, it was also revealed that Ye met with Hunter at a Miami hotel in 2017 to discuss “a partnership to invest in American infrastructure and energy deals.”

That second story, which connected Hunter to his Chinese business partners, apparently prompted Joe to leave the following message on Hunter’s phone in 2018, via voicemail.

“Hey, pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you.

“I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And, anyway, if you get a chance give me a call. I love you.”

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Over 90 House Reps. Call on Mayorkas to Take ‘Urgent Action to Combat Antisemitism’

Over 90 members in the House of Representatives are calling on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to take urgent steps in curbing antisemitic incidents, which reached an all-time high last year in the United States.

In a letter dictated by Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., the members of Congress call on Mayorkas to press President Joe Biden to prioritize the establishment of “an inter-agency strategy to overcome the threat of antisemitism.”

Such a strategy, the group says, should comprise a whole-of-government approach to “address the growing problem of domestic antisemitism.”

“We must ensure our federal, state, and local agencies are communicating with one another and have the necessary education, training, and resources to confront this threat,” they write.

“We must ensure every facet of our government is engaging with local community partners on the front lines. And we must ensure DHS and all its inter-agency partners are prioritizing this issue and tackling it with the urgency and coordination it warrants.”

The letter, according to The Hill, comes amidst the release of an audit conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which cited over 2,700 incidences of vandalism, harassment, and assault against Jewish individuals in the U.S. in 2021.

The level of violence marked a 34% increase from 2020, the highest number in one year since 1979, when antisemitic incidences were starting to be tracked by the ADL.

The House passed a measure last month condemning the rise of antisemitism in a 420-1 vote. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was the only congressman to vote against the resolution. Massie wrote in a tweet that it “promoted internet censorship and violations of the 1st amendment.”

But in their letter to Mayorkas, the lawmakers requested that “appropriate representatives” from departments within the U.S. government, extending to the Justice, State, Education, Labor, and Defense, “be included in the discussion.”

“Only by working together,” they add, “across all branches and levels of government, across our country and throughout our society, can we address the many facets of antisemitism and ensure the safety and security of the American Jewish community.

“Hate in all its forms is destructive and, unaddressed, risks fraying the fabric of our nation. We must continue to speak up and confront antisemitism head-on, whenever and wherever it arises.”

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Supreme Court Reinstates GOP-Drawn Maps of Louisiana House Districts

The Supreme Court will allow the state of Louisiana’s congressional district map to remain in place through the November midterm elections.

By a 6-3 count on Tuesday, the concurring opinions — crafted by Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh — essentially froze a lower court’s ruling in the case, with the high court determining it would wait to act on the merits of a similar legal dispute in Alabama before deciding on the Louisiana matter.

Regarding that dispute, back in February and by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court permitted a congressional map drawn by Alabama Republicans to remain intact, placing a temporary hold on the lower court’s ruling blocking the map. 

The arguments with the Alabama case begin Oct. 4.

In March, the Republican-controlled Louisiana Legislature overrode Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of Louisiana’s redistricting plan.

The now-accepted map had retained the GOP’s advantage in five of the state’s six congressional districts, keeping the 2nd District — which stretches from Baton Rouge to New Orleans — as the only majority-black district, and the only congressional area to favor Democrats.

On June 6, Judge Shelly Dick of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana ordered the state Legislature to add a second majority-black district — citing Louisiana’s “repugnant history” of racial discrimination.

A federal appeals court then scheduled expedited hearings for July 8; but that process never got off the ground.

Instead, shortly after the judge’s determination, Louisiana asked the Supreme Court to step in and resolve the situation.

By requesting that the high court freeze the lower court’s opinion, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, argued that the state’s congressional boundaries cannot be drawn to create two majority-black districts without “segregating the races for purposes of voting” in violation of court precedent.

Landry also reasoned that reconfiguring the maps would toss the state “into divisive electoral pandemonium” by throwing the election process into chaos, creating confusion statewide and undermining the “confidence in the integrity of upcoming congressional elections.”

“It is impossible to draw a map without prioritizing race as the predominant factor in order to generate a second majority-minority district, which federal courts have cautioned Louisiana not to do in the past,” Landry told the justices in court papers.

Lawyers for the Louisiana state conference of the NAACP dismissed the notion of not having enough time to reconstitute the maps.

Citing court papers. the NAACP echoed Judge Dick’s assertion that “a remedial congressional plan can be implemented in advance of the 2022 election without excessive difficult or risk of voter confusion.”

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Rep. Flores Says Pelosi Pushed Her Daughter During Photo Op

Newly elected Rep. Mayra Flores on Sunday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of pushing one of her young daughters during a photograph taken during her swearing-in ceremony last week.

“No child should be pushed to the side for a photo op. PERIOD!!” Flores, R-Texas, posted on Twitter Sunday night while retweeting a video clip posted by actor James Woods. “I am so proud of my strong, beautiful daughter for not allowing this to faze her. She continued to smile and pose for the picture like a Queen.”

In the video, Pelosi is shown waving to someone when she glanced down at Flores’ daughter, who was standing next to her, and extended her elbow when the girl moved closer to her, reports Fox News.

The photo was taken while Pelosi welcomed Flores, 30, to the House of Representatives, after she was sworn in as the first Mexican-born representative to Congress.

Pelosi thanked Flores for her “courage to run for office” and said she was “grateful for her leadership and her beautiful family who is here today.”

Flores, born in Burgos Tamaulipas, Mexico, came legally to the United States at the age of 6 and became a naturalized American citizen. She has lived most of her life in Texas, growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, San Benito, and Memphis areas.

The new congresswoman spoke out last week to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, saying on social media that it is “clear that the Constitution never created a right to abortion, and this ruling rightly returns the authority to regulate abortion back to the people and their elected representatives in the states. All life is precious, and today, life won.”

She faces another election in November against Democratic nominee Vicente Gonzalez.

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U.S. House Passes Gun-Safety Legislation, Sends to Biden

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed significant gun-safety legislation for the first time in three decades, sending it to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

The House voted 234-193 for the bill, one day after a Supreme Court ruling broadly expanded gun rights. No Democrats were opposed, while 14 Republicans backed the measure, a rare defeat for U.S. gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association.

House action followed a late Thursday Senate vote of 65-33 to pass the bill, with 15 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in favor.

Gun control has long been a divisive issue in the United States with multiple attempts to place new controls on gun sales failing time after time until Friday.

Passage of what some Democrats characterized as a modest, first-step bill followed mass murders last month at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Senate Passes Landmark Bipartisan Gun Reform Legislation, Passing It to House

 The Senate on Thursday easily approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable just a month ago, clearing the way for final congressional approval of what will be lawmakers’ most far-reaching response in decades to the nation’s run of brutal mass shootings.

After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed Democratic efforts to curb firearms, Democrats and some Republicans decided that congressional inaction was untenable after last month’s rampages in New York and Texas. It took weeks of closed-door talks but a group of senators from both parties emerged with a compromise embodying incremental but impactful movement to curb bloodshed that has come to regularly shock — yet no longer surprise — the nation.

The $13 billion measure would toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states put in place red flag laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged dangerous. It would also fund local programs for school safety, mental health and violence prevention.

The election-year package fell far short of more robust gun restrictions Democrats have sought for years, including bans on the assault-type weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the slayings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Yet the accord let leaders of both parties declare victory and demonstrate to voters that they know how to compromise and make government work, while also leaving room for each side to appeal to its core supporters.

“This is not a cure-all for the all the ways gun violence affects our nation,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., whose party has made gun restrictions a goal for decades. “But it is a long overdue step in the right direction. Passing this gun safety bill is truly significant, and it’s going to save lives.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a nod to the Second Amendment right to bear arms that drives many conservative voters, said “the American people want their constitutional rights protected and their kids to be safe in school.” He said “they want both of those things at once, and that is just what the bill before the Senate will have accomplished.”

The day proved bittersweet for advocates of curtailing gun violence. Underscoring the enduring potency of conservative cIout, the right-leaning Supreme Court issued a decision expanding the right of Americans to carry arms in public. The justices struck down a New York law that has required people to prove a need for carrying a weapon before they get a license to do so.

The vote on final passage was 65-33.

Hours earlier, senators voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative GOP senators. That was five more than the 60-vote threshold needed. The House planned to vote on the measure Friday and approval seemed certain.

On that vote, 15 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, including their two allied independents, in voting to move ahead on the legislation.

Yet that vote highlighted the risks Republicans face by defying the party’s pro-gun voters and firearms groups like the National Rifle Association. Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two of the 15 up for reelection this fall. Of the rest, four are retiring and eight don’t face voters until 2026.

Tellingly, GOP senators voting “no” included potential 2024 presidential contenders like Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Some of the party’s most conservative members voted “no” as well, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

While the Senate measure was a clear breakthrough, the outlook for continued congressional movement on gun curbs is dim.

Less than one-third of the Senate’s 50 GOP senators backed the measure and solid Republican opposition is certain in the House. Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from the No. 2 GOP leader, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, that called the bill “an effort to slowly chip away at law-abiding citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights.”

Both chambers — now narrowly controlled by Democrats — could well be run by the GOP after November’s midterm elections.

In a statement, President Joe Biden said Uvalde residents told him when he visited that Washington had to act. “Our kids in schools and our communities will be safer because of this legislation. I call on Congress to finish the job and get this bill to my desk,” Biden said.

Senate action came one month after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde. Just days before that, a white man was accused of being motivated by racism as he killed 10 Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo. Both shooters were 18 years old, a youthful profile shared by many mass shooters, and the close timing of the two slaughters and victims with whom many could identify stirred a demand by voters for action, lawmakers of both parties said.

The talks were led by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. Murphy represented Newtown, Connecticut, when an assailant killed 20 students and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, while Cornyn has been involved in past gun talks following mass shootings in his state and is close to McConnell.

Murphy said the measure would save thousands of lives and was a chance to “prove to a weary American public that democracy is not so broken that it is unable to rise to the moment.”

“I don’t believe in doing nothing in the face of what we saw in Uvalde” and elsewhere, Cornyn said.

The bill would make the local juvenile records of people age 18 to 20 available during required federal background checks when they attempt to buy guns. Those examinations, currently limited to three days, would last up to a maximum of 10 days to give federal and local officials time to search records.

People convicted of domestic abuse who are current or former romantic partners of the victim would be prohibited from acquiring firearms, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

That ban currently only applies to people married to, living with or who have had children with the victim. The compromise bill would extend that to those considered to have had “a continuing serious relationship.”

There would be money to help states enforce red flag laws and for other states without them that for violence prevention programs. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have such laws.

The measure expands the use of background checks by rewriting the definition of the federally licensed gun dealers required to conduct them. Penalties for gun trafficking are strengthened, billions of dollars are provided for behavioral health clinics and school mental health programs and there’s money for school safety initiatives, though not for personnel to use a “dangerous weapon.”

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Pelosi Declines Full Support of President Biden’s Gas Tax Holiday Proposal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to fully support President Joe Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday on Wednesday, saying the Democratic Party leadership would need time to gauge support for the initiative.

“We will see where the consensus lies on a path forward for the President’s proposal in the House and the Senate, building on the strong bills to lower prices at the pump already passed by House Democrats including the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act and the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Some might interpret Pelosi’s response as lukewarm to the gas tax holiday, given her reputation for publicly supporting most of the White House’s proposals. 

Others might view it as a way of tempering expectations for an idea that sounds solid on paper, but might not yield a major impact at the pump.

A case in point: Earlier Wednesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm called the proposed reduction of 18 cents per gallon a “modest amount.”

Shortly thereafter, at the same media lectern, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the 18-cent-per-gallon reduction “is going to go a long way.”

And Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, had a few questions about the structure of President Biden’s proposal.

“The challenge on the gas tax is: Is the savings really going to flow to the consumer? Or is it going to be pocketed by the oil companies?” Neal wondered. “Those are legitimate questions.”

Pelosi’s legislative references from earlier centered on a pair of bills designed to reduce  gasoline prices — one by curbing price gouging, and the other by promoting homegrown biofuels.

Both measures have passed in the House in recent weeks, but there might be a different result in the Senate.

Democratic leaders have previously considered gas tax holidays, including one proposal that Pelosi rejected outright in March.

“The [proposal] is very showbiz. ‘OK, let’s just do something, there it is.’ But it is not necessarily landing in the pocket of the consumer,” Pelosi said then.

While promoting his proposal Wednesday, Biden said the gas tax holiday would help struggling families through the summer travel season.

He urged Congress to suspend the federal tax, and also called on states to suspend their own fuel taxes, which average 26 cents per gallon, according to the American Petroleum Institute.  

Anticipating a pushback, Biden also pressed oil companies to pass the savings on to drivers.

“There’s no time now for profiteering,” Biden said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is skeptical that a gas tax holiday would be effective in the long term.

“What I’m not sure of is that, in fact, that will have the effect, the intended effect, in terms of the retail price — whether in fact it will save consumers money,” he said.

Hoyer also speculated on the gas tax holiday’s viability in the House chamber.

“I don’t know whether we have the votes,” Hoyer said, even though the Democrats control the House, Senate and the White House. “We haven’t counted.”

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Report: Democrats Using Jan. 6 Hearings to Solicit More Grassroots Donors

Democratic Party leaders are apparently using the House select committee’s hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, unrest at the Capitol to boost small-dollar donations, according to an Axios report.

Citing the Axios piece, records show party leaders are primarily focused on building up the Democrats’ grassroots fundraising programs, through the promotion of the televised Jan. 6 investigations.

The party’s top objectives:

— Axios says a “handful” of Democratic Party committees are including the Jan. 6 investigations into digital ads and fundraising appeals.

— Also, the delivery of fundraising appeals have been synced up with the hearings.

Citing the Axios report, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) have already begun peppering party supporters with ads and emails about the hearings.

For example:

  • “Jan. 6 panel announces eight hearings to be held in June,” declared one DSCC email subject line. The message polled recipients about whether they’d watch the hearings, then directed readers to a fundraising page.
  • The DCCC permitted its organizing chair, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who’s also a Jan. 6 panel member, to headline the fundraising appeals. The emails and ads reportedly tie donation appeals to the investigation.
  • State-level committees such as the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State also produced fundraising emails tied to the Jan. 6 investigation.

The House panel is comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans — Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.

According to a New York Times report, the Democrats hope “the committee’s findings, collected from 1,000 witnesses and over 140,000 documents, will do most of the messaging work for them.”

The Times also quoted Raskin’s promise that the hearings will “blow the roof off the House.”

Raskin’s colorful prediction aligns with the bold language used by Democrat-affiliated fundraisers.

VoteVets, a veteran-focused Democrat group, which touts the Jan. 6 hearings in fundraising appeals, told Axios it’s been a successful partnership to date.

“Our base of progressive military veterans, families and their supporters click through our emails at an especially high rate when we’re promoting our work to hold insurrectionists accountable, and beat back disinformation, like ‘The Big Lie,'” said Paul Eaton, a retired Army major general and a senior adviser to the group.

Eaton continued, “… they still take the rule of law, and our Constitution, incredibly seriously and realize we’re at a defining moment. We strongly believe that the majority of voters also realize this, which is why we’re not going to shy away from this issue in 2022.”

Only time will tell if the Jan. 6 hearings lead to sustained Democratic Party success during the November midterms elections. In the meantime, the investigations serve as a unifying fundraising source.

“The primary purpose of it is going to be fundraising for a lot of the Democratic Party institutions and establishments,” said Murshed Zaheed, a veteran Democrat digital strategist.

Zaheed added, “It’s unclear how much of it will actually move the needle in holding Trump accountable,” but it will “give lots of content for the email programs.”

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Report: Jan. 6 Panel Blocking DOJ on 1,000 Witness Transcripts

The Department pf Justice asserts that the House Jan. 6 Select Committee is withholding 1,000 witness transcripts, repeating a request that the panel had been rejected last month.

“The Select Committee’s failure to grant the department access to these transcripts complicates the department’s ability to investigate and prosecute those who engaged in criminal conduct in relation to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol,” a DOJ letter signed by Criminal Division chief Kenneth Polite Jr., National Security Division head Matthew Olsen and U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves read Wednesday, Politico reported.

The letter called it “critical” that the committee provide “copies of the transcripts of all its witness interviews.”

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., rejected that request a month ago, but now says he will help DOJ unless the committee completes its congressional report.

“My understanding is they want to have access to our work product, and we told them, ‘No, we’re not giving that to anybody,'” Thompson said in May.

The letter is the first public assertion that the committee is undermining investigative efforts surrounding the events of Jan. 6, 2021, according to Politico.

“We’re in the midst of conducting our hearing,” Thompson told Politico. “We have a report to do. So, we’re not going to stop what we’re doing to share information that we’ve gotten so far with the Department of Justice.

“We will eventually cooperate with them.”

In related news, an August trial of Proud Boys leaders might be delayed until December, as transcripts from the House committee’s work might not be delivered until early September, which could affect a trial that would be underway.

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