FBI Forwaded Tip Line Complaints About Kavanaugh To White House Counsel Without Investigation

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FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 08/04/22. One of the most interesting moments in the hearing, especially for Supreme Court enthusiasts like Yours Truly, came during the questioning by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI). Senator Whitehouse’s questions focused on the supplemental background investigation (B.I.), the FBI conducted on then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a topic that has been the subject of much speculation on social media.

Senator Whitehouse has been in a battle with FBI Director Wray since 2019, trying to get to the bottom of whether the FBI thoroughly investigated the numerous tips it received from the public regarding then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

This intro by Senator Whitehouse is important for establishing the context for the ensuing questioning: “As you know, we are now entering the fourth year of a frustrating saga that began with an August 2019 letter from me and Senator Coons, regarding the Kavanaugh supplemental background investigation, and I’d like to try to get that matter wrapped up.”

Senator Whitehouse(video at 0:23): “First, is it true that after [Justice] Kavanaugh-related tips were separated from the regular tip line traffic, they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?”

Director Wray(0:47): “When it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure that the White House had all the information we have, so when the hundreds of calls started coming in, we gathered those up, reviewed them, and provided them to the White House.”

At that point Senator Whitehouse interjected, “Without investigation”, to which Director Wray responded, “We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House.”

Sen. Whitehouse:“You reviewed them for the purposes of separating them from the tip line traffic, but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?”

Director Wray:“Correct.”

Senator Whitehouse: “Is it also true that in that supplemental B.I., the FBI took directions from the White House as to whom the FBI would question, and even what questions the FBI could ask?”

Director Wray:“It is true that consistent with the longstanding process that we have had going all the way back to at least the Bush administration, the Obama administration, the Trump administration, and continue to follow currently under the Biden administration, that in a limited supplemental B.I., we take direction from the requesting entity which in this case, was the White House, as to what follow up they want. That’s the direction we followed, that’s the direction we’ve consistently followed throughout the decades, frankly.”

Director Wray went on to add, “It is true as to the ‘who’, I’m not sure as I sit here, whether it’s also true as to the ‘what questions’, but it is true as to the ‘who’ we interviewed.” In other words Director Wray agreed that in a supplemental B.I., it is true that the White House tells the FBI who to question, he’s just not sure yet, whether the White House also tells the FBI what questions to ask the people they question.

Senator Whitehouse:“By the way, is it true that even today we have not been provided by the FBI, it’s written tip line procedures?”

Director Wray: “Senator, I know that we have provided a lot of information to the committee and to you. I would have to check on that specific item. I know there is some information that you have requested that is not our call to provide, that has to do with interaction, communication with the White House.”

There’s no other way to interpret Director Wray’s responses to Senator Whitehouse’s questions other than (I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), during the highly contentious Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, the complaints the FBI received through its tip line regarding Kavanaugh, were not investigated by the FBI, but instead, forwarded to the White House Counsel. The White House Counsel then told the FBI who among the complainants, the FBI was to question, and possibly, even what questions to ask them.

Folks, no reasonable person presented with this information can ever conclude that the supplemental background investigation into Kavanaugh was “thorough”, as had been portrayed by Senate Republicans during his confirmation hearings. Director Wray argues that this is the same supplemental B.I. process the FBI has used for decades, but as we all know, none of Kavanaugh’s predecessors faced as many serious complaints about their character, requiring a thorough independent investigation. So, while Director Wray raises a valid point regarding consistent FBI practice, reasonable people will agree that Kavanaugh’s case was markedly different, and called for a thorough investigation by the FBI.

Bottom line folks, we’ll wait for Senator Whitehouse’s final report on this issue. As he indicated to Director Wray, he’ll give the FBI one more month to comply with his information requests, after which he will produce a final report on the Kavanaugh supplemental B.I. saga. One only hopes that if Senator Whitehouse’s investigation reveals that there were serious credible allegations against Kavanaugh that went uninvestigated, then an independent investigation will be launched into them immediately.

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Al Gore Says This Should Be A Moment Of Global Epiphany Re Climate Change

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Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore appeared on ABC’s This Week show (07/24/22) to discuss the growing problems caused by climate change. Gore, you’ll remember was already warning about this problem way back in 2006, through his popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. With almost all the predictions in his documentary realized, Gore now says this “should be a moment for a global epiphany” re climate change.

Al Gore told host Jonathan Karl(video at 0:53): “Scientists have predicted these extraordinary and catastrophic events for going on decades now, and the fact that they were dead right, maybe a little  conservative even in their projections, should cause us to pay more careful attention to what they are warning us about now. They are saying that if we don’t stop using our atmosphere as an open sewer, and if we don’t stop these heat-trapping emissions, things are going to get a lot worse. More people will be killed, the survival of our civilization is at stake.”

Gore then dropped a major bombshell telling host Jonathan Karl(1:35): “Behind me you see a picture from the International Space Station, that shows how thin the atmosphere is. We’re putting another 162 million tons into it every day, using it as an open sewer, and the accumulated amount now traps as much extra heat as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs. That’s why the heat records are being broken all the time now, that’s why the storms are stronger, why the ice is melting, and the sea level is rising, and why the droughts and fires are hitting us so hard, and so many other consequences, and they are predicting now, up to a billion climate refugees crossing international borders in this century. We have got to act.”

Asked whether President Biden should declare a climate emergency, the former VP punted, adding that there are other things the Biden administration can do via the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). He said the EPA can limit emissions from power plants and vehicles, adding that the recent Supreme Court decision “did not take all their power away.” Gore added that the Biden administration could stop allowing drilling for oil and gas on public lands, and that President Biden could appoint a new head of the World Bank to replace “the climate denier that leads it now, appointed by his predecessor [Trump].”

Another very notable thing former VP Gore said was(4:26):“The International Energy Agency(IEA) has said that we should have zero new drilling for oil and gas reserves. We’ve already got enough to incinerate the planet. We’re seeing this global emergency play out, and it’s getting worse more quickly than was predicted. We have got to step up. This should be a moment for a global epiphany.”

Interestingly, Gore, who knows a thing or two about election outcome controversy, was asked about the ongoing January 6th investigation. Gore said(5:31):“I would like to say the[Reps]Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, and every single member of that Committee have performed an amazing service to our democracy. I think these hearings have been the most persuasive and effective since the Watergate hearings so long ago, and I think we’re seeing a huge impact on public opinion in our country too. They’ve done an incredible job.”

Bottom line folks, Al Gore is the classic example as to why leadership matters. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree as to whether he really lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush. The can be no disagreement however, that with Gore as President, America would have tackled the climate crisis with the urgency it deserved, saving many lives and livelihoods in the process.

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Rep Veronica Escobar Slams Gov Abbott For Creating “Wild West” Environment That Enabled Uvalde Shooting

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Rep Veronica Escobar(D-TX) appeared on MSNBC Reports w/Andrea Mitchell (07/18/22) to discuss the recently released report by the Texas Senate on the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Rep Escobar made a very important point on the show, telling host Andrea Mitchell that the deadly “wild west” environment created by Texas elected officials, beginning with Governor Greg Abbott, is partly to blame for the horrific shooting in Uvalde.

This point is largely missed by the mainstream media when reporting about the mass shooting in Uvalde, but it cannot be restated enough.

Rep Escobar(video at 1:00):“I think the report is important, but I also think we need to zoom out a little bit because the leadership void goes far beyond law enforcement. And what the report did not touch on[are]2 things, (1) the Governor, who is the highest ranking elected official, the chief elected official of the state and (2) the state legislature that makes open carry the law of the land in Texas so that anyone can get access to a gun without any training and really a loosening of gun laws that was historic. It is so important that these reports and that this analysis look at what happened on the ground that day, but we also have to look at the context in Texas, the environment that has been created by Republicans, who want to create a wild west sort of environment  in a state, that has led us to be…one of the most deadliest states for mass shootings.”

Rep Escobar went on to specifically address Gov Abbott’s failures:“He’s been pretty silent. He’s very eager to point the finger at others, really on any situation including Uvalde and he, as the highest-ranking elected official in the state of Texas, I have yet to hear the Governor accept any responsibility, or bring forward any ideas for meaningful change. He is literally someone who has only used his position to make Texas less safe for its citizens and uses our resources for political stunts.”

She went on to add that the political stunt Gov Abbott is pulling at the southern border aka “Operation Lone Star” has siphoned much needed funds away from mental health services and public schools, both of which are still poorly funded in Texas compared to other states.

Bottom line folks, Texas is, and has been a solid red state for quite some time now. It is important however for people who don’t live in the Lone Star state, or keep up with its politics, to know that none of Governor Abbott’s Republican predecessors created the deadly gun violence environment in the state like Gov Abbott and his allies have. Rep Escobar is absolutely spot on, that any meaningful discussion of gun violence in the Lone Star state has to take into account the “wild west” environment created by Gov Abbott and his Texas Republican allies.

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Senator Chris Murphy Wants U.S. Led Probe Into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

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Senator Chris Murphy(D-CT) appeared on MSNBC Prime(07/13/22) to discuss President Biden’s trip to the Middle East, and especially his trip to Saudi Arabia which has drawn condemnation, given Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s implication in Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder. During his interview , Senator Murphy also delved into another controversial topic, and that is, the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli troops.

An investigation conducted by the Israel government into Akleh’s killing concluded that IDF troops shot her by accident. Naturally, this conclusion has generated a lot of criticism from around the globe, and especially from press freedom advocates. Senator Murphy is calling for an independent U.S. led investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s death.

Asked by host Ali Velshi why it was important for the U.S. to conduct an independent investigation, Senator Murphy responded(video at 4:57):“Senator Murphy told host Ali Velshi(video at ):”First and foremost, any time an American dies overseas, we should apply the highest degree of scrutiny to make sure we get to the bottom of the story as to how an American citizen was killed, and in this case, given that it might have come at the hands of foreign security forces, that inquiry is even more important. We are simply asking that we do a thorough review that we are not confident the Israeli authorities have done themselves. So I think it’s important to get to the bottom of this even if the bottom involves some unsavory truths about what an important ally of the United States may have done, or elements of their security forces may have done to contribute to this American’s death.”

Bottom line folks, Israel has been, and remains America’s closest and dearest foreign ally. Ordinarily, Yours Truly would be inclined to accept Israel’s explanation of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death at face value but where, as here, the death in question is of a U.S. citizen, Yours Truly has no choice but to agree with Senator Murphy, that the United States needs to conduct its independent investigation. however unpleasant the results may be. Israel and the United States will forever remain close friends, so there’s no harm in finding out the truth behind Shireen Abu Akleh’s death. The Biden administration owes her family the truth regarding the circumstances of her death overseas.

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NY Governor Kathy Hochul Slams SCOTUS Decision Knocking Down Her State’s Gun Law

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In a fiery speech delivered minutes after the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision knocking down her state’s concealed gun law, New York Governor kathy Hochul slammed the decision, calling the high court, “a politicized Supreme Court.”

Governor Hochul specifically said:“We are not powerless in this situation. We are not going to cede our rights that easily, despite the best efforts of the politicized Supreme Court of the United States of America…Apparently, the Supreme Court has now decided, with this far-reaching decision, that the two step standard that had been in place since Heller vs McDonald, where they analyze the 2nd amendment where it combines history…but also means and scrutiny–does the means of the restriction justify the infringement, and most people would say, yes we have a right to protect people from gun violence…They[Supreme Court]have now said, that the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. That’s it. No longer can we strike the balance.”

Gov Hochul then read directly from the text of the Supreme Court decision:“Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition, may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the 2nd amendment’s unqualified command”, to which she responded, “Shocking, absolutely shocking, that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions. We can have restrictions on speech, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there is no restrictions allowed on the 2nd amendment? This is New York, we don’t back down, we fight back…I’m sorry this dark day has come. We are supposed to go back to what was in place since 1788 when the constitution of the United States of America was ratified. And I would like to point out to Supreme Court Justices that the only weapons at that time were muskets. I’m prepared to go back to muskets. I don’t think they envisioned the high-capacity assault weapon magazines intended for battlefields, as being covered. I guess we’re just going to have to disagree.”

Governor Hochul has since convened an extraordinary session of the New York legislature to address issues raised by this Supreme Court decision–leadership matters, folks!!

Bottom line folks, given the recent horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, it’s not hard to understand Governor Hochul’s frustration with this Supreme Court decision, which reasonable people will agree, curtails efforts by states to institute common sense gun control measures.

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Senator Jeanne Shaheen Introduces Additions To The HAVANA Act Of 2021

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President Biden signing the HAVANA Act on 10/08/2021

There were some interesting developments this week in the directed energy weapons front, the biggest one being news that Senator Jeanne Shaheen(D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has introduced additions to the HAVANA Act of 2021, seeking to make it easier for victims of the attacks to get the medical care they deserve. Details of Sen Shaheen’s additions are included in this 06/16/22 press release sent out by her office.

Senator Shaheen said this about her additions:“No American injured in the line of duty should be forced to fight for or justify their need for medical attention. That’s why I’ve worked across the aisle for years to secure medical benefits for those suffering from ailments as a result of directed-energy attacks. I appreciate the desire from members on both sides of the aisle to make this a priority in the fiscal year 2023 defense legislation cleared by the committee, which will provide substantial funding to investigate the nature of these injuries so we can better care for those afflicted. I also appreciate the inclusion of my provision requiring the Pentagon to produce a report on anomalous health incidents to inform and improve our military’s ability to respond to the threat of AHIs. We need to have confidence in the safety we provide to U.S. personnel and their loved ones when we station them around the globe, which is why it is paramount that we get to the bottom of these attacks to prevent future instances and ensure care to those recovery.” 

The press release from Senator Shaheen’s office comes on the heels of news reports that a piece of legislation introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, seeks to impose criminal penalties on the harmful use of drones. The lawmakers involved are Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Peter Meijer (R-Mich). Among the harmful conduct the bill seeks to penalize, is weaponizing drones with firearms and electromagnetic pulse devices or using them to interfere with aircraft, cars and boats.

This of course raises a whole host of interesting questions, chief among them, whether members of Congress have known all along, that drones armed with electromagnetic pulse devices, could be used to assault civilians? Or are these weaponized drones only used to assault government employees? Hmm, certainly a line of inquiry that the mainstream media could pursue further.

Another interesting development this week, was the unsurprising revelation by a leading national security lawyer, Mark Zaid, that the CIA is not helping out very much with the effort to get to the bottom of directed energy attacks. This prompted the frustrated Zaid to send out a tweet asking, ” What is the CIA hiding?”. Zaid has previously asserted, and backed up his assertions with a document bearing an NSA letterhead, that the agency has been aware of microwave attacks on political dissidents, way before the attack on our diplomats in Cuba.

Bottom line folks, any news that efforts are being made to get to the bottom of directed energy weapons attacks, like we got this week from Sen Shaheen’s office, is welcome news. It cannot be left unsaid however, that there are serious questions among members of the public, as to whether the Pentagon in particular, and our national security establishment generally, are totally clueless about directed energy weapons, and who may be using them for nefarious purposes. It would be very helpful if the government, to the extent possible given classification issues, would level with the public about some of these concerns. Another issue the government seriously needs to level with the public about, is whether regular civilians(not government employees) have also been victims of directed energy weapons attacks, and who’s behind such attacks. Radio silence on this issue is not helpful at all, and is instead spawning wild conspiracy theories.

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Rochelle Garza Discusses Her Historic Quest For Texas AG Job On MSNBC

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Rochelle Garza, the Democratic nominee for Texas Attorney General in this Fall’s election, appeared on MSNBC’s American Voices w/Alicia Menendez(06/04/22) to discuss her campaign against Republican incumbent Ken Paxton.

Rochelle Garza slammed as “very dangerous”,AG Paxton’s suggestion that we arm teachers in an effort to prevent another mass shooting like the one we witnessed in Uvalde, Texas. Garza said(video at 1:20):“We know that that is not the solution. Teachers are overworked and they are underpaid, and this is absolutely not their responsibility, so we need to have a special session where we could pass reasonable gun laws, safe gun laws like red flag laws, raising the age to 21 to purchase a firearm. There are real solutions that we can put on the table, and arming teachers is absolutely not one of those.”

Regarding expanding access to the ballot, Garza said(2:22):“Ken Paxton is dangerous for democracy, and he has undermined our right to vote at every turn. I envision having a fully funded civil rights division, where we are actually protecting civil rights, we’re protecting access to the ballot box, reproductive rights, and all of the hard fought civil rights. Voting access is absolutely critical, and in the state of Texas, we have a lot of folks who just don’t show up to vote because they are disenfranchised, mostly Black and Brown communities, and so we need to flip the script on that, and make sure that we have voter access, and that starts with a good Attorney General that is going to look out for the interests of the people of Texas, and that is exactly what I’m going to do.”

On the fight for reproductive rights, Garza said the role of Attorneys General across the country is going to be critical. She touted her previous work as an ACLU lawyer fighting for reproductive rights of detained migrants, something which makes her uniquely suited for the AG role at this time, given the attacks on reproductive rights by Republicans both in Texas and nationally.

Garza concluded by reiterating the importance of state AGs in the fight for democracy saying:“We need to pay attention to these races because this is going to be the last stand for the people of each state, and for the people of Texas specifically. If we can get Ken Paxton out of office, not only because he’s corrupt, but he’s harmful to our state and to democracy, we can have a real big change in Texas, and have better protections for voting rights, for reproductive rights, for all of the things that underpin healthy families. That is why I’m running for this office to fight for us, to fight for all Texans.”

Bottom line folks, AG Ken Paxton has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that he does not view his role as requiring him to represent all Texans, but rather, to please MAGA Trumpers. His felony indictments in 2015, which strangely have not resulted in a trial yet, also make him uniquely unsuited to be Texas AG. Maybe, just maybe, voters in the Lone Star state will put an end to the travesty that is AG Paxton in this Fall’s election, by electing Rochelle Garza as Texas AG, and making history in the process.

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Mike Collier Says Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Is At The Root Of All The State’s Gun Violence Problems

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Mike Collier, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, appeared on MSNBC(05/30/22) where he dropped a bombshell telling host Katy Tur, that the gun violence problem in Texas begins and ends with one person–Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Collier added that in his conversations with many state legislators, he has found out that there are many Republicans who are open to common sense gun reform laws, but are afraid to publicly support such measures for fear of reprisals by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, the most powerful politician in the state.

Mike Collier(video at 2:55):“The fundamental problem is that the political leaders that run this state, and I’m talking about Dan Patrick now, let me be very very clear. Dan Patrick who’s Lieutenant Governor in our constitution, the most powerful political leader in the state, has worked aggressively to block even the slighetst suggestion of gun laws in the state. Now, I know from talking to legislators, Democrats in the last session proposed reasonable gun laws, and Republicans actually were lining up behind them, until they heard from Dan Patrick who said, ‘You stop this, or I’m going to get even with you’, and they are afraid of him. The problem in Texas is Dan Patrick, and he’s got to go.”

Mike Collier added towards the end of the interview(video at 6:25):“I know from talking to Democrats and Republicans alike, that the[Texas]legislature wants to act on these problems. They don’t want to see children killed, but they can’t move forward because of one individual, Dan Patrick, and they all know that. That’s why he’s got to go.”

Bottom line folks, if what Mike Collier said on MSNBC holds up, that there are indeed Texas Republicans who want sensible gun reforms but are scared of super Trumper Dan Patrick, then the blood of innocent school children at Santa Fe, Robb Elementary and elsewhere in Texas, are surely on his hands, and he has zero business holding public office in Texas any longer. I’m sure he can secure a cushy job at the NRA, where he belongs.

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Sen Whitehouse:”Supreme Court Is Not A Conservative Court, It’s A Captured Court”

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Senator Sheldon Whitehouse(D-RI) appeared on MSNBC’s Ayman show(05/28/22), where he dropped a bombshell, telling the host Ayman Mohyeldin that the U.S. Supreme Court is not a conservative court, but “a captured court”a court captured by special interest dark money groups. Senator Whitehouse added that the situation with Roberts Supreme Court is similar to what happened in the 19th century, when the railroads captured the railroad commissions, so that the commissions would rubber stamp whatever prices the railroads wanted to charge.

Senator Whitehouse(video at 2:55):“This is not a conservative court, this is a captured court in the same way that in the 19th century, railroads took over the railroad commissions so that railroad commissions would let them charge whatever prices they want. Private interests behind the Federalist Society have controlled the last three Republican appointees to the United States Supreme Court, and they had massive influence in the selection of Roberts and Alito, so that’s really five, and that’s a majority of the court that was put in place by this special interest operation, and they are now delivering for the benefit of those big interests who put them on the court. It is not a conservative court, it is a captured court, and it is captured by special interests.”

Sen Whitehouse said the Disclose Act currently languishing in the U.S. Senate, would rein in dark money’s corrupting influence on the Supreme Court, but like other important pieces of legislation,it has fallen victim to the filibuster road block, with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin(WV) and Kyrsten Sinema(AZ) refusing to budge on any exceptions to the filibuster rules(60 vote threshold to pass laws).

Bottom line folks, there is no question that dark money interests have taken over the U.S. Supreme Court, and we desperately need the Disclose Act to rein in the said dark money interests. Dems should not ease the pressure on Sens Sinema and Manchin re exceptions to the filibuster rules, however doomed such efforts might appear. Keep applying pressure on the Biden saboteurs all the way to the Fall elections!!

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Tulsi Gabbard Issues Cease And Desist Letters Against Senator Romney, Keith Olbermann

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Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show (04/20/22) where she revealed that she has issued cease and desist letters to Senator Mitt Romney(R-UT) and liberal media personality Keith Olbermann over treason accusations leveled at her by the two, for what they perceive as her support for Russia. Gabbard said treason is one of the most serious crimes in the United States, adding that the invocation of such a serious crime by Sen Romney and Olbermann, is only intended to scare her(and others), into silence–the so-called “chilling effect”. As you know, a cease and desist letter is a precursor to a lawsuit, so she’s basically telling Romney and Olbermann, “knock it off, or I’ll see you in federal court.”

Gabbard told host Tucker Carlson(video at 0:42): “As you mentioned, I still serve in the U.S. Army Reserves today, I’m a Lieutenant Colonel, and 19 years ago when I enlisted in the military, I took an oath to support and defend our constitution. I took that very same oath when I was elected to serve in Congress, where I served for 8 years. Senator Mitt Romney has taken that oath, as has every other member of Congress who has had the priviledge of serving, and if Mitt Romney had read the constitution, he would know that treason, the crime that he is accusing me of, that is punishable by death, is so serious, that our founders deemed it to be the only crime worthy of being defined in our constitution. So the situation we are facing here is a very serious one, not because its about me, but because it has a much bigger impact on our country. When powerful and influential people basically threaten and intimidate people into silence, as Mitt Romney, Keith Olbermann and others are doing, they are hoping to achieve that effect, that if anybody dare speak out against the government, that if anybody dares criticize whatever the permanent Washington establishment’s narrative is, then you’ll be smeared as a treasonous traitor”

So what do you think? Is Tulsi Gabbard right in standing up for freedom of speech, especially unpopular speech, or do you think the treason accusations are justified?

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