Showing posts with label FBI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FBI. Show all posts

July 14, 2023

Double Take on seeing that the House Ethics Committee reaching out to witnesses in revived Matt Gaetz probe. Did I read this right?


Middle: Rep. Michael Guest

By Hal Brown

This news came after Matt Gaetz's attempt to make FBI Director Christopher Wray look like a ciminal who is trying to protect a nefarious crime family: see 

Rep. Matt Gaetz Grills FBI Director About Hunter "Shakedown" Message: "Are You Protecting The Bidens?"

Links to article, not to Twitter

I did a double take when I saw that the House, the GOP House and home not only to Gaetz but the Freedom (to be Conspicacy Spinning Lunatics) Caucus which he's a member of, was reviving the ethics probe of Gaetz which began when the Democrats were in control.

From the CNN article:

Now chaired by Republican Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi, the panel quietly restarted its investigation earlier this year without publicly laying out its targets anew. The decision to begin reaching out to witnesses, made by Guest and ranking Democratic member, Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, is the first formal step the committee has taken since the ethics investigation resumed. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told CNN this week he doesn’t “know anything about” the investigation, noting that he’s barred by House rules from discussing it with committee members. The Republican-led investigation into Gaetz comes as the Florida congressman finds himself repeatedly at odds with his party’s leadership. 

“I never know anything on (the) Ethics Committee,” McCarthy told CNN. “I don’t know what investigations they have. I don’t know anything about it.” 

Asked to comment on whether he thinks the investigation should move forward, McCarthy declined to do so and referred questions to the committee.

I'd never heard of Rep. Michael Guest so, of course, I checked him out on Wikipedia (here).

He was born in the Woodbury, New Jersey which is in the southern part of the state and a suburb of Philadelphia. I don't know how he ended up living in Mississippi although his official website tells us that he graduated from high school there and went to college and law school in the state:

Congressman Guest is a Rankin County resident and a graduate of Brandon High School. He and his family are members of Brandon Baptist Church, where Congressman Guest serves as a Sunday school teacher for young men in high school. He received a degree in accounting from Mississippi State University and his law degree from The University of Mississippi. Congressman Guest is a member of the Rankin County Bar Association and the Mississippi Bar Association. He is married to the former Haley Kennedy of Brandon, and they have two sons, Kennedy and Patton. The Guests' newest family addition is their dog, Winston Churchill.

What may be the most relevant aspect of his chairing this committee as it investigates Gaetz may be in the second paragraph (highlighted) about his tenure in the House (below from Wikipedia):

In December 2020, Guest was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated[9] Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.[10][11][12]

On May 19, 2021, Guest was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6, 2021 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[13]

In June 2022, after a leaked decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to revoke the right to abortion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, Guest wrote to the Department of Homeland Security to demand action in the wake of attacks by Jane's Revenge, which Guest called an "anarchist extremist group" that targets crisis pregnancy centers and other anti-abortionorganizations.[14]

In August 2022, Guest was named ranking member of the House Ethics Committee upon the death of former ranking member Jackie Walorski.[15]

Guest was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[16]

Considering that there are 222 GOP members of the House being one of 35 crossing the aisle in this controversial vote may prove to be an indication he is will to put poltics aside and risk retribrition from hard right members of the House GOP who consider Gaetz to be one of their own.

As far as justice prevailing, Trump is a giant orange rockfish and Gaetz is a baby shrimp. 

Even so, frying him with a finding that he violated House ethics would barely whet the appetite for holding people accountable, but it would be satisfying to see that something came of it. 

February 1, 2023

The Documents cases: When taking your work home for good reasons can be a bad thing

 The main blog story today is here:

 ...While we wait for justice to catch up to Trump, let's see that Bill Barr gets his just rewards...

The Documents cases: When taking your work home for good reasons can be a bad thing
By Hal Brown

In learning about the FBI was searching yet another Biden residence (update: none were found) it occurred to me that another huge difference between the reasons Trump took confidential documents home and why Biden and Pence did hasn't been reported on, at least not that I've seen.

This is that both Biden and Pence, I am quite sure, took documents home to work on them. As public servants working overtime, whether from home or at the office, this is frequently considered part of the job. Except for Trump who probably never worked a 40 hour week unless you consider golfing and frittering his time away watching TV and tweeting as work, public servants often work in excess of the time they are getting paid for.

Most people, with the possible exception of the spouses of those who feel their husbands or wives are workaholics and are both taking time away from family activities and/or jeordailzing their mental or physical health, consider this to be an admirable example of dedication to their job.

Some people do this for money. I visited a high school friend in New York who was a top executive at a major investment company who not only worked from the office but was up in the wee hours of the night working from his home office following stock market exchanges around the world. This earned him a Park Avenue apartment but I don't know what it did to his personal life.

Others do it as a public service.

Biden and Pence took documents home as a public service. There was just not enough time spent physically in the office to do their job. There's no time clock for senators, vice presidents, and presidents to log in and out on.

Nobody know why Trump took documents home, secret or otherwise. What we can be sure of with a high degree of confidence is that the notoriously lazy, ill-informed, and reading adverse president didn't take documents to any of his residents to actually work on them.

I believe that the motivations for Biden and Pence taking secret documents home to work on were laudable, but to put it bluntly were worse than ill-considered. They were, to use a three letter word, bad. 

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