Texas Launches Operation to Combat Drug, People Smuggling at Southern Border

Migrant families wait for their bus at a bus station in Brownsville, Texas before traveling to meet relatives or sponsors on March 2, 2021. (Sergio Flores/AFP/Getty Images)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday launched a program that would deploy state national guard troops and other agencies to respond to the burgeoning crisis at the southern border.

Abbott announced that his office has launched Operation Lone Star, which will deploy air, ground, and marine, and tactical border security assets to prevent Mexican criminal organizations from smuggling drugs and people into Texas. The operation will be launched in collaboration with the state’s Department of Public Safety.

“Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans,” Abbott said in a statement to media outlets on Saturday.

“We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”

This comes as the number of illegal crossings at the southern border continue their steadily rise since October last year. The number of encounters at the southwest border between October 2020 and January 2021 was 296,259, which is up from 164,932 during the same period in 2019 and 2020, according to data from the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol (CBP), representing a 79.6 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Reuters has reported, citing anonymous sources, that the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by U.S. border agents spiked even further for the month of February at nearly 100,000 migrants detained. CBP has yet to release its February data.

Since taking office Biden has reversed several Trump-era border security measures that were aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigration at the southern border and increasing America’s public security.

The increased number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border in recent weeks has seen the Biden administration open more overflow shelters to handle the influx. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas added on Monday that instead of “expelling young children” to Mexico while processing their asylum claims, as was done under the Trump administration, DHS is working to release minors to relatives or sponsors in the United States if the minors are from Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador.

Some of the immigration policies that Biden implemented include temporarily ending former President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols that sent illegal immigrations back into Mexico while their cases are decided. He has also reversed Trump’s ban on travel from terror-prone countries, halted the remaining construction of the border wall, and has issued a sweeping immigration package to Congress that offers a legalization pathway to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

These actions have drawn widespread criticism, in particular, from Trump.

“Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden,” Trump wrote in a statement released on March 5 through an intermediary.

“Our great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked by the Biden Administration,” Trump added, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute. Many have criminal records, and many others have and are spreading covid,” he wrote, referring to COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Earlier this month, a large group of migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border held a demonstration in Mexico, calling for Biden to let them into the United States.

Biden has not yet acknowledged the crisis or announced any concrete plan to address the growing numbers of illegal crossings. When asked by a reporter this week whether there is a crisis at the border, Biden replied, “No, we’ll be able to handle it.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Biden on Friday requesting a meeting to address the issue, saying that he has “great concern” about how his administration is handling the border crisis.

“We must acknowledge the border crisis, develop a plan, and, in no uncertain terms, strongly discourage individuals from Mexico and Central America from ever making the dangerous journey to our southern border,” McCarthy wrote (pdf).

Source: Texas Launches Operation to Combat Drug, People Smuggling at Southern Border

Key Things You Need to Know About HR 1, the For the People Act of 2021

Residents drop mail-in ballots in a ballot box outside of the Tippecanoe branch library in Milwaukee, Wis., on Oct. 20, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Democrats in the House passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, which was introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.). The election reform package, if passed by the Senate, would transfer authority over how elections are administered from states to the federal government, subject private citizens, to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, and make permanent many voting rules that opponents say lead to voter fraud.

The 791 page-long H.R. 1 legislation package, which was marked up by members of the 116th Congress, was adopted without much debate. Some provisions, like ensuring that all voting machines used in U.S. elections are also manufactured in the United States or increasing access for voters with disabilities, are supported by both sides, but most other provisions are contentious.

The sweeping election reform package is divided into three major sections; the second section is the main body of the legislation, with three subsections: a) Voting, b) Campaign Finance, and c) Ethics. Section three is the Findings of General Constitutional Authority and section four is the Standards for Judicial Review.

These are some of the key changes to election laws in H.R. 1:

  1. Gives the federal government authority to administer elections: Although the U.S. Constitution gives states the authority to run their elections as they see fit, Democrats have interpreted the Constitution in their favor, stating in H.R. 1, “Congress finds that it has broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections under the Elections Clause of the Constitution, Article I, section 4.”
  2. Limits a plaintiff’s access to federal courts when challenging H.R. 1: It would mandate that any lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of H.R. 1 could only be filed in the District Court for the District of Columbia and all plaintiffs would be required “to file joint papers or to be represented by a single attorney at oral argument.”
  3. Mandates automatic voter registration (AVR) in all 50 states (19 states currently have AVR): Democrats call this “modernizing” elections, meaning automatically registering any person that has given information to designated government agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, a public university, or a social service agency would be registered. It mandates same-day and online registration.
  4. Mandates no-fault absentee ballots: This provision would do away with witness signature or notarization requirements for absentee ballots. Additionally, it would force states to accept absentee ballots received up to 10 days after Election Day.
  5. Prevents election officials from removing ineligible voters from registries or confirming the eligibility and qualifications of voters: The bill would make it illegal to verify the address of registered voters, cross-checking voter registration lists to find individuals registered in multiple states, or ever removing registrants no matter how much time has elapsed.
  6. Restores the Voting Rights Act: This provision would require states to obtain approval from the federal government before implementing any voting rules changes. H.R. 1 would add a provision criminalizing “hindering, interfering, or preventing” anyone from registering or voting.
  7. Bans state voter ID laws: It would force states to allow individuals to vote without an ID and instead they could merely sign a statement in which they claim they are who they say they are.
  8. Ensures illegal immigrants can vote: The bill would shield non-citizens from prosecution if they are registered to vote automatically and agencies are not required to keep records of who declined to affirm their citizenship.
  9. Allows same-day voter registration: “Each State shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting, including early voting, is permitted for a Federal election—to register to vote in such election at the polling place … [and] to cast a vote in such election.” The section includes a clause that requires same-day voter registration to be implemented in time for the upcoming elections in 2022.
  10. Requires registration for those under 18: “States to carry out a plan to increase the involvement of individuals under 18 years of age in public election activities in the State.”
  11. Prohibits the publication of “misleading information” about elections: The bill makes it a federal crime to “communicate or cause to be communicated information” that is knowingly false, and designed to discourage voting, carrying with it a sentence of up to five years.
  12. Allows felons to vote: It limits federal dollars to prisons of those states who do not register ex-convicts to vote. The provision is called the “Democracy Restoration Act.” The bill says that all felons can vote unless they are “serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election.”
  13. Mandates early voting: “Each State shall allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office during an early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.”
  14. Legalizes nationwide vote-by-mail, without photo ID: States are required to provide for absentee vote-by-mail in elections for Federal offices and “may not require an individual to provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot.” A witness signature will not be required.
  15. Promotes ballot harvesting: The bill says states “shall permit a voter to designate any person to return a voted and sealed absentee ballot to the post office, a ballot drop-off location, tribally designated building, or election office so long as the person designated to return the ballot does not receive any form of compensation based on the number of ballots” and ” may not put any limit on how many voted and sealed absentee ballots any designated person can return.”
  16. Requires states to accept ballots 10 days after Election Day: The bill requires states to accept any mailed ballots postmarked before, or on, Election Day if they arrive within 10 days of the election. It allows states to expand that deadline.
  17. Prohibits state election officials from campaigning in federal elections: The bill bans “a chief State election administration official to take an active part in political management or in a political campaign with respect to any election for Federal office over which such official has supervisory authority.”
  18. Requires “Campus Vote Coordinators” at higher institutes of learning: The bill would require colleges and universities to hire an official whose responsibility would be to inform students about elections and encourage voter registration. It would incentivize voter registration by giving grants to institutions that have a high registration rate.
  19. Mandates that states make absentee voter boxes available for 45 days within an election: “In each county in the State, each State shall provide in-person, secured, and clearly labeled drop boxes at which individuals may, at any time during the period described in subsection (b), drop off voted absentee ballots in an election for Federal office.” These boxes should be “available to all voters on a non-discriminatory basis” and “during all hours of the day.”
  20. Requires curbside voting: States may not “prohibit any jurisdiction administering an election for Federal office in the State from utilizing curbside voting as a method by which individuals may cast ballots in the election.”
  21. Urges D.C. statehood and representation for territories: The bill complains that D.C. is not yet a state, adding, “The United States is the only democratic country that denies both voting representation in the national legislature and local self-government to the residents of its Nation’s capital.” The bill also appoints a commission that would advocate for congressional representation and presidential votes.
  22. Requires that “independent” congressional district commissions be set up: Taking power away from the state legislature, but evidence shows that “independent” redistricting commissions are in truth run by Democrats for their advantage.
  23. Creates a “National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions.”: The commission would study elections and produce a report after 18 months with recommendations for improving elections but would consist of 10 members, only four of whom would be selected by the minority party, giving the majority (Democrat) party control.
  24. Mandates new disclosure for corporations: The bill codifies the Democrats’ DISCLOSE Act, to restrict corporate participation in elections. Democrats say this provision will shed light on dark money. Republicans counter that the legislation’s transparency requirements would violate free speech rights.
  25. Oversight of online political advertising: The provision called the “Stand By Every Ad Act” would stop campaign dollars from covering any form of advertising over the Internet. Opponents say this would increase the cost of campaigning.
  26. Weakens the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, calling it “erroneous”: “The Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Constitution to empower monied interests at the expense of the American people in elections has seriously eroded over 100 years of congressional action to promote fairness and protect elections from the toxic influence of money.” It goes further to suggest “the Constitution should be amended so that Congress and the States may regulate and set limits on the raising and spending of money.”
  27. Allows politicians to use campaign funds for personal use: Under a provision called the “Help America Run Act,” the bill legalizes the use of campaign donations for personal expenses such as child care.
  28. Changes the composition of the FEC: The bill would decrease the number of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) members from six to five. Four members can be associated with a particular political party, making the fifth member “independent” but who would be nominated by a president associated with a party. Former FEC members have written to Congress, warning about this change and other related provisions.
  29. Changes rules “around conflicts of interest” for the president and vice president: It would require the president or vice president to divest all financial interests that could pose a conflict of interest for them, their families, or anyone with whom they are negotiating or who is seeking employment in their administration.
  30. Changes FEC rules to require presidential candidates to provide their tax returns: The bill states, “Not later than the date that is 15 days after the date on which an individual becomes a covered candidate, the individual shall submit to the Federal Election Commission a copy of the individual’s income tax returns for the 10 most recent taxable years for which a return has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service.”

Source: Key Things You Need to Know About HR 1, the For the People Act of 2021

A New Zealander’s 9 ‘Starter Steps’ to Save America From Socialism

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”

Commentary

Though I’m a New Zealander, I know America and its people well. I’ve travelled to every state in the Lower 48 and have addressed more than 500 audiences across this amazing nation. My message has always been the same: The United States is heading toward a brutally tyrannical socialist revolution—and if America goes down, every free country follows.

Well, now it’s here, people, unfolding before our very eyes.

So, what can be done? Can the Republic be saved? Honestly, I don’t know.

However, I can suggest some steps that would at least give this country a fighting chance.

1. Face Reality

Millions of Americans are still in complete denial. Many think the military is secretly in control—that it’s only a matter of time until justice is done and President Donald Trump is restored. There’s a “secret plan”—just “have faith.” The truth is that Trump was outmaneuvered by an alliance of communists, globalists, and even traitors in his own party. The “deep state” is now almost fully in control.

Trump isn’t coming back into office any time before 2024—if we still have meaningful elections by then.

To make sure they can never be voted out of office, the Democrats plan to enfranchise 22 million illegal immigrants, abolish the electoral college, gain at least four more far-left senators through Puerto Rican and D.C. statehood, and flood the country with tens of millions more third-world refugees and illegal immigrants. They also plan to nationally introduce voting “reforms,” i.e., mass mail-in balloting, abolition of ID requirements, etc. that will guarantee eternal Democratic Party control.

If the Democrats can abolish the Senate filibuster and place at least four more leftist “Justices” on the Supreme Court, there’ll be virtually no way to stop any of this if we rely on traditional political methods.

We’re undergoing a Marxist-Leninist revolution driven by China—right now, in real time.

The military can’t save us, nor can Trump. On the contrary, it’s up to patriots to protect Trump and the Armed Services from unrelenting Democrat/communist attacks.

When enough Americans face the unpleasant truth, then, and only then, can we talk about hope.

2. Stop All Violent Rhetoric

Violence will not save America. The harsh reality is that President Barack Obama had eight years to replace patriotic generals with left-leaning political appointees. He did a great job. If violence breaks out (God forbid) the military will stand with the government, not the insurgents.

Does anyone think Russia and China, and Cuba and North Korea and Iran would stand idly by while their Democrat friends are being defeated by a patriotic uprising? They would undoubtedly use the opportunity to finish off their “main enemy” once and for all.

Beware anyone inciting violence online, at a public gathering, or in a private meeting. Distance yourself fast. They will be at best hopelessly naive, at worst government provocateurs.

The left is praying for “right wing” violence. It will give them an excuse for a massive crackdown on patriotic Americans. This country will be saved peacefully or not at all. If significant violence breaks out, it’s over.

Having said that, the Second Amendment must be preserved all costs. An armed populace is at least some check on tyranny, even if useless in the face of biological warfare or nuclear attack. Americans should keep their guns and work every day to ensure they never have to use them against their own people.

3. Restore Election Integrity in All Red States

If voter trust isn’t restored within months, the Republican Party is doomed. Democrats will continue to vote. Large numbers of Republican voters will stay home. They won’t trust the elections and will refuse to participate. We’ve already seen this play out in the Georgia Senate elections.

Thirty states are currently led by Republican legislatures. Some are already holding enquiries into fixing deficient electoral procedures. Most will be whitewashes unless the public gets heavily involved. If the resulting recommendations don’t include the elimination of electronic voting machines and heavy penalties for organized voter fraud, it’s likely to be a window dressing exercise. Be alert.

Patriots must work to restore voting integrity first in the red states, then the red counties of the blue states—then after 2022, the whole nation.

Get involved in this process. It’s a top priority.

4. Close the Republican Primaries Immediately

This should be a no-brainer, but no one is talking about it. Only five U.S. states have truly closed Republican primaries. This means that in most states Democrats and Independents (even communists) can vote in Republican primaries—and they do. All over the country, the GOP’s enemies vote in Republican primaries to pick the weakest, most wimpy candidate they can.

That’s why the Republican base is super patriotic but most of their elected representatives in most states vote like “progressive” Democrats.

Close the primaries, Republican patriots. It will transform your party.

5. Organize a Compact of Free States

MAGA folk need to build a “nation within a nation.” This doesn’t mean secession—Russia and China would be quick to exploit such division. What’s needed is a re-affirmation of 10th Amendment rights as already outlined in the U.S. Constitution. The already out-of-control federal government is about to go on a rampage against every form of independence left in the country. Every red state with the courage to do so must immediately begin working toward a formal compact to collectively oppose all forms of federal overreach.

Such a formal alliance should start with Florida and Texas, then grow by inviting Oklahoma, the Plains states, most of the Southern states, New Hampshire, the free Midwestern states, and the Republican-led Northern and Western states.

Such an alliance, stretching from the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico all the way to the Great Lakes and the Canadian border and even Alaska, would bisect the entire country.

Adding the red counties of the blue states such as Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California, would create a voting and economic bloc that Washington would find exceedingly difficult to challenge.

When the Biden administration recently suggested that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis close all restaurants in his state to slow the CCP virus pandemic, the governor politely refused—citing the ineffectiveness and horrendous economic consequences of mass lockdowns.

Biden then reportedly hinted at an unconstitutional ban on air and road travel to and from Florida. This threat might work against Florida alone. It wouldn’t work against Florida plus Texas and Oklahoma and 10 to 25 other states.

The United States is technically a federation of free and independent states. It’s time to fully realize that ideal.

Southern states will soon be reeling under a massive new wave of illegal immigration. The federal government will do nothing to prevent it. Texas, Florida, Arizona, and the free counties of New Mexico and California need to be preparing to defend their borders now. This is not an immigration issue that is the Constitutional preserve of the federal government—this is a state public welfare issue.

Of course, the Biden-Harris administration plans to pack the Supreme Court with more left-wing justices to make virtually anything they want “constitutional.” But this shouldn’t even need to go the courts. State governments already have the power under the 10th Amendment to nullify Federal overreach. They simply have to band together to put Washington back into its constitutionally tiny box.

The Republic will be saved through the courageous application of the First Amendment (free speech) and the 10th Amendment (state sovereignty).

6. Republic Review

Every free state should immediately embark on the adoption of the “Republic Review” process. There’s a small but growing movement in some Western and Northern states to review their engagement with the federal government to eliminate or nullify all unconstitutional relationships.

Under the Constitution, the states are technically superior to the federal government. They’re sovereign under the “equal footing” doctrine and have the legal power to refuse to engage in unconstitutional programs.

For instance, most states only get about 10 percent of their education budget from the feds—but are almost completely subservient to Department of Education dictates. Why not forgo the measly 10 percent in exchange for a return to local control over all public education? America is losing its youth in the public schools. Every patriotic parent knows that.

This would give parents more control over their children’s education and restore citizen’s control over their own government. Is this worth 10 percent of your state’s education budget?

If the free states are willing to stand against federal government overreach they must also be prepared to forgo unconstitutional federal money.

A thorough Republic Review audit would soon return power to the state legislatures—where it belongs.

7. Form a Multi-State ‘America First’ Popular Alliance

The left has “Our Revolution,” a nationwide alliance of 600 groups operating both inside and outside of the Democratic Party. Operated by Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party USA, Our Revolution works in the Democratic primaries to elect far-left candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) into office. Our Revolution is not subject to Democratic Party discipline, but it does get to choose Democratic candidates.

We need an “America First” umbrella group to operate both outside and inside the Republican Party—even possibly within the Democratic Party in some areas.

This organization should be all about pushing the MAGA/America First agenda at every level of government, in every state of the union.

Such a movement could harness the energy of 70 million to 80 million Trump voters without being under Republican Party control.

America First could unite the Tea Party and MAGA movements, grassroots Republicans, patriotic Democrats, and Independents to mobilize tens of millions of voters to transform the GOP into the truly populist, patriotic MAGA party it should always have been.

Take that Mitch McConnell!

Trump is already vetting candidates to stand against the Republican congressmembers and senators who betrayed their own base after the 2020 election.

America Firsters should register Republican by the millions to primary out dozens of Republican sell-outs in 2022. The America First/MAGA movement could “own” every level of the GOP by 2024. The GOP needs the MAGA movement way more than the MAGA movement needs the Republican brand.

Meanwhile, there are almost 70 far-left Democratic congressmembers in red states. Just restoring voter integrity alone could defeat several of them in 2022.

Running MAGA candidates backed by Trump in every one of those races could flip many more. It would be more than feasible to take back the House in 2022 to make Biden a “lame duck” president.

8. Boycott/Buycott Bigtime

Patriots should be abandoning Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. for more honest platforms. They should also enthusiastically support efforts by DeSantis to heavily fine Big Tech operators who “cancel” patriots. If 25 or 30 free states did the same, “Big Tech” would soon be little tech.

Patriots need to organize nationwide boycotts of unpatriotic companies and buycotts for loyal American companies like My Pillow and Goya Foods.

Already, local groups are drawing up lists of “unfriendly” local companies and friendly alternatives so patriots can stop supporting their opponents and spend more with their fellow MAGA supporters.

It would also be smart to sequentially target vulnerable unpatriotic companies.

Imagine if 80 million MAGA patriots resolved to begin a nationwide boycott of one such company starting now. The boycott would go on indefinitely until the target company was broke, or it apologized for “cancelling” patriots. If applicable, every MAGA family could simultaneously commit to buying at least one of the cancelled person’s products this year.

On April 1, another disloyal company could be targeted, then another on May 1, another on June 1, etc.

After two or three companies had collapsed or apologized, we would soon see large companies start to back away from the “Cancel Culture.”

Patriots have spending power in this country, people. We need to starve our enemies and feed our friends.

Again, patriots need to build a nation within a nation.

It should be also a given that every American patriot boycotts all communist Chinese goods wherever possible. Check those labels! Buying Chinese communist products in 2021 is like buying Nazi products in 1939. It’s immoral and it’s suicidal.

The Chinese Communist Party just crippled the U.S. economy with the CCP virus. Then, pro-China communists instigated mass Black Lives Matter rioting. Then the same people worked to influence the 2020 election.

It’s about time Americans stop funding their number one enemy—the CCP.

9. Remove Malign Foreign Influence at State Level

DeSantis has unveiled legislation to massively curtail communist Chinese activity in Florida. The legislation also targets several other enemy states including Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela—all of which interfere in this country’s internal affairs.

In December 2020, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe revealed that the Chinese Communist Party was conducting a “massive influence campaign” targeting dozens of members of Congress and their aides, including through attempted blackmail and bribery.

Currently, thousands of foreign companies from hostile regimes are buying up land, food production facilities, technical companies, educational facilities, and infrastructure.

Tens of thousands of foreign agents are co-opting unpatriotic businessmen, unethical politicians, and sympathetic journalists in the interests of China and other malevolent states.

Under the Biden-Harris administration nothing will be done to stop these activities at a federal level—but much can still be done by the free states.

If every free state cracked down on foreign bribery, corruption. espionage, and subversion, this country would be transformed.

If hundreds of corrupt academics, journalists, businessmen, and politicians (from both parties) were exposed and punished, this country would soon be well on the way to moral, economic, and political recovery.

What Do You Think?

These steps alone will not save America—but I believe they would be a huge step in the right direction. I will be following up with further suggestions and plans. But for now, I’d love to see your comments, suggestions, and criticisms in the comments section.

Thank you for reading. From a grateful Kiwi, God bless America.

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Source: A New Zealander’s 9 ‘Starter Steps’ to Save America From Socialism

House Committee Reissues Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House to Joint Base Andrews en route to San Diego, Calif., on March 13, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee reissued its subpoena seeking to gain access to President Donald Trump’s financial records, according to a court filing.

The subpoena renews a request to Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA to hand over eight years of financial records involving the former president and his business as part of a probe into allegations about the president’s financial statements.

Trump went to the federal court to challenge the original subpoena to block its enforcement shortly after it was issued in April 2019. That subpoena expired in January when new lawmakers took office.

Attorneys for each party in the case informed the judge on Tuesday that the subpoena had been reissued by the new Oversight panel to Mazars on Feb. 25. They also submitted a schedule on how the parties would proceed with the case while asking the court to set a date for a hearing.

The subpoena shows a return deadline of noon on March 11, but the lawyers said the Oversight panel “agrees to voluntarily stay the return date of the subpoena pending this Court’s resolution of the subpoena’s enforceability.”

Lawyers for Trump and Mazar did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on the renewed subpoena.

Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a memo on Feb. 23 that the committee during the 117th Congress will continue targeting Trump for its investigation into presidential conflicts of interest, saying that his financial documents are crucial to “verify key facts and tailor legislative reforms to be as effective and efficient as possible.”

“Donald Trump’s unprecedented actions as President—including his refusal to divest from his ‘complex and opaque financial holdings’—have laid bare several apparent weaknesses and gaps in the laws and regulations governing presidential financial disclosure, conflicts of interest, and emoluments,” Maloney wrote.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigations seeking his financial records a continuation of a political “witch hunt,” while his lawyers and former Solicitor General Noel Francisco have raised questions in court about whether there are any legitimate legislative purposes for issuing the subpoenas. Instead, the lawyers said the House sought the records to harass the president, “expose personal matters and conduct law enforcement activities beyond its authority.”

The case relating to the oversight committee subpoena went through months of litigation before it arrived at the Supreme Court in 2020. It was combined with a separate case where Trump was challenging a different subpoena issued by the Financial Services and Intelligence committees seeking financial records from two of his banks.

In both cases, the district courts denied his requests to block the subpoenas, and the decisions were upheld on appeal. Trump then asked the Supreme Court to review the cases.

The top court in July 2020 sent the pair of cases back to the lower courts for another review because those courts had not taken into account the “special concerns regarding the separation of powers.”

Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, said the lower courts should “perform a careful analysis that takes adequate account of the separation of powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the ‘unique position’ of the President.”

The analysis should include considering whether the asserted legislative purpose justifies the need for the president’s information, whether the scope of the subpoena is limited enough so that it would still support the legislative objective, and looking at the evidence Congress has provided to “establish that a subpoena advances a valid legislative purpose,” Roberts said.

In a separate case, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has obtained Trump’s tax returns after the Supreme Court ruled that it wouldn’t block the documents from being released to Vance’s office. Vance had sought the documents as part of a criminal probe.

Source: House Committee Reissues Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records

Welcome to 1984, again

A New York Times story (accessible for subscribers only) on the cover of the Sun insert in the morning paper quoted a book writer as saying that “Trump sought to ‘remake reality through language’ during a tumultuous tenure. As she writes in her book, the former president ‘changed some of the deepest expectations about presidential language, not just when it comes to style, but also the relationship between words and reality.’

“Now officials in Biden’s administration are using Trump’s own tactics to adjust reality again, this time by erasing the words his predecessor used and by explicitly returning to ones that had been banished.”

Erasing words? Changing the meaning of words in order to change reality?

Oh come on. Will somebody come out and say it out loud?

OK, the Times writer did get around to it well down in the tale.

“It’s kind of Orwellian — that’s what it is, really,” the NYT quoted Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, as saying. “The war against the word ‘alien’ is a continuation of this effort to destigmatize illegal immigration that started in the mid-1970s. This is in a sense the culmination of that process.”

Orwell, who learned the propaganda trade during World War II while working for the BBC, was a prophet. The current wordsmanship is nothing new.

As I noted in 2009:

George Orwell recognized this phenomenon and invented in “1984” the word newspeak to describe it. Newspeak was Big Brother’s way of trying to prevent “thoughtcrime” — which is why we have laws against certain hate crimes. Never mind that the act itself is a crime but it is doubly so if you have a motive that offends the sensitive ones.

And offending someone, anyone, is now the ultimate offense.

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano doesn’t want to offend people who might want to blow us up by calling them by some offensive term like terrorist. Not she has now decided to call them the creators of man-caused disasters, like flying loaded passenger airliners into high-rise buildings.

Our one-worlder president doesn’t believe in fighting a global war against man-caused disasters. His Defense Department (They don’t call it the War Department anymore.) sent out a memo saying: “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”

That sounds so much better. I am relieved that the war on terror is over over there and here and everywhere.

If you subscribe to the morning paper you should be able to read the NYT account here.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” Orwell wrote in “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” “In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Welcome to 1984, again.
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Democrats should be careful what they ask for … they just might get it, good and hard

Wall Street Journal columnist Joel Zinberg today reminds us that in 2020 the Biden campaign in general and Kamala Harris specifically “maligned President Trump’s claims about the speed of vaccine development and questioned its safety and effectiveness. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast doubt on FDA evaluations of Covid-19 vaccines and said states should conduct their own reviews. An Aug. 27 letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking governors for help setting up vaccine distribution elicited a statement from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer questioning the safety of the vaccines in development. Media ‘fact checkers’ said rapid vaccine development would take a ‘miracle.’”

Coincidentallu, Between April and December, Zinberg noted, the share of Americans who told pollsters they were likely to consent to vaccination declined from 74 percent to 56 percent.

Reuters quoted Joe Biden back in September as saying, “Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. At this moment, the American people can’t either.”

In an editorial today the WSJ reported that on Monday two Democrat congressional representatives “sent letters pressing 12 cable and tech CEOs to drop contracts with right-of-center media outlets including Fox News. Two days later the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing about ‘disinformation and extremism’ in conservative media. The only notable extremism on display was the majority party’s appetite for regulating and policing the free press.”A Texas Democrat representative said at the hearing that he saw a tension between “the freedom of speech versus other peoples’ safety.”

Like what was said by Biden, Harris, Cuomo, Schumer and certain media fact checkers?

From Kimberley Strassel’s WSJ column today: “Right now, the greatest threat to free speech in this country is not any law passed by the government— the First Amendment stands as a bulwark,” says Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr. “The threat comes in the form of legislating by letterhead. Politicians have realized that they can silence the speech of those with different political viewpoints by public bullying.”

This observation came after Twitter, Facebook and others banned prominent conservatives, Twitter locked the account of the New York Post for reporting news about the Democratic presidential nominee’s son, Google and Apple dropped Parler from their app stores and Amazon banned a three-year-old book questioning transgenderism.

There is more than one way to skin a free speech cat.
http://dlvr.it/RtcSPH

Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks at the weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Republicans have criticized Democrats for continuing to push their pandemic stimulus package while accepting little to no Republican input. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday out of 286 amendments proposed by Republicans for the $1.9 trillion spending package, only two were accepted.

“Republicans offered 286 amendments to President Biden’s massive $1.9 TRILLION spending blowout. Democrats accepted 2 of them. So much for Biden’s calls for ‘unity,’” McCarthy said in a statement.

On Feb. 19, Democrats unveiled the full text of a 591-page bill (pdf) titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/495999748/American-Rescue-Plan-Act-of-2021

House Republicans held a press conference on Wednesday in which they voiced their opposition to the Democrats’ “rescue” package that includes many items that have little to do with pandemic relief.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who serves as the Republican Leader of the House Budget Committee, called the $1.9 trillion package a liberal “wish list” because so little of the total funds are going to fighting the effects of the pandemic.

“It’s very simple. We’re here today because Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden decided to use a pandemic to push forward a progressive wish list; items to reward political allies, friends, and donors at the expense of the American working class,” Smith said.

He said that less than 9 percent of the $1.9 trillion is allocated for COVID health spending and only 5 percent is marked to fund the extra needs at schools amid the pandemic.

“Why is it that this package spends more than 25%, according to the Congressional Budget Office, on items that kill millions of jobs,” he added.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill, released a fact-sheet on items “Democrats are hoping the public won’t find about [sic]” that are included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the RSC’s newly elected chairman, said in a memo sent to caucus members that Democrats have included items of “special interest pork and other liberal goodies” in the proposal.

“If that’s not bad enough, Nancy Pelosi plugged in a $200 million earmark for an underground tunnel in San Francisco for Silicone Valley employees,” Banks said. “This is a bailout to the special interest groups that gave them power.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said another reason why the GOP will oppose the package is because it does not help get kids back to school full time.

“That’s not what this $1.9 trillion liberal wish list, giveaway bill does and that’s why we’re strongly opposing it, and we’re also pushing to expose just what is really in this bill,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the $1.9 trillion package will provide “bold COVID relief to Americans nationwide” and criticized Republicans for obstructing Democrat efforts.

“Republican leaders are reportedly ‘maneuvering’ to get every single Republican member to oppose urgent, bold COVID relief. Every single one! Make no mistake: Democrats are working to quickly deliver the American Rescue Plan and big, bold COVID relief,” Schumer said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Democrat’s rescue package was not addressing the issues that would help reopen the economy.

“Only about 1% of the Democrats’ partisan plan goes to vaccines. Only about 5% of its K-12 funding would even go out this fiscal year. Democrats are not addressing the urgent needs of a re-opening America. They started with a preconceived liberal wish-list and worked backward,” McConnell said.

Source: Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

Judge Blocks Enforcement of Biden’s Moratorium on Most Deportations

The U.S.-Mexico border where the fence becomes a small barbed wire fence, west of Nogales, Ariz., on May 23, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

President Joe Biden’s administration cannot enforce a pause on most deportations until further notice, a federal judge ruled late Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, agreed to issue a preliminary injunction that was requested by the state of Texas.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske directed in a memorandum on Jan. 20 “an immediate pause on removals of any noncitizen with a final order of removal … for 100 days.” Texas officials sued, alleging the pause violated an agreement between the state and the federal government reached during the Trump administration, and that the Department of Homeland Security has a responsibility to promote the removal of illegal aliens.

Tipton said Tuesday that arguments by Texas officials that they would incur financial costs from having to detain immigrants who otherwise would have been deported and from an increase in unaccompanied children requiring public education were legitimate.

“The Court finds Texas has established by a preponderance of the evidence that it could reasonably expect a 100-day pause to lead to a significant number of criminal aliens and unaccompanied children moving freely within and into Texas who would otherwise be removed,” he wrote in the 105-page decision.

“The 100-day pause will lead to a significant number of criminal aliens moving freely within and into Texas who otherwise would have been removed. Criminal aliens and state offenders have a demonstrable propensity to recidivate. Therefore, the 100-day pause will cause Texas unanticipated detention facility costs,” he added.

A preliminary injunction blocks an order temporarily until the case at hand is resolved or until a superseding decision is issued.

Tipton expressed general opposition to nationwide injunctions but cited precedent in other cases. He, therefore, issued a nationwide injunction of the deportation pause.

https://www.scribd.com/document/495874680/Gov-Us-Court-Stx-Sd-1811836850

The stay of the pause will remain in place pending a final resolution of the case or until a further order from a federal court, such as an appeals court.

Tipton had twice blocked the order for two weeks at a time before making the new decision.

The Biden administration didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in January that the order halting deportations “will allow the administration to review and reset enforcement policies and ensure that resources are dedicated to the most pressing challenges, and that we have a fair and effective enforcement system rooted in responsibly managing the border and protecting our national security and public safety.”

Approximately 6,000 noncitizens subject to a final order of removal are currently detained nationwide, according to the government, which alleged only some of those would be released from custody during the pause. Many are detained by local authorities, who may or may not work with federal immigration officials.

Defendants had asked the judge not to issue the injunction, writing in a filing in mid-February that Pekoske’s memo did not violate federal law and that Texas lacked standing.

“Texas has failed to show it will be harmed by the temporary removal pause at all, let alone irreparably, as is required for injunctive relief,” government lawyers asserted. In addition, they said, “multiple statutory provisions expressly preclude review in district court, and over the substantive and procedural issues raised here.”

Source: Judge Blocks Enforcement of Biden’s Moratorium on Most Deportations

Exclusive: Former ICE Chief Says Immigration Law Becoming Meaningless

Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan speaks at an event for Angel families and sheriffs outside the Capitol building in Washington on Sept. 25, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the new administration’s steps to narrow the criteria for immigration enforcement are “just ridiculous.”

“It’s almost like it’s not illegal to be illegally in the United States anymore,” Tom Homan told The Epoch Times on Feb. 18.

Homan retired during the Trump administration, after directing the agency responsible for interior immigration enforcement and deportations as well as investigations into human trafficking and cross-border crime.

He’s concerned the Biden administration is rendering immigration law meaningless.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Feb. 18 announced new enforcement priorities that will focus on three groups of illegal immigrants: national security threats such as known or suspected terrorists; those who crossed the border illegally after Nov. 1, 2020; and public safety threats who are convicted of aggravated felonies.

Any ICE agent who encounters an illegal immigrant who falls outside of the three categories must get pre-approval from their field office before taking any action.

“They say it’s public safety, but it’s only the worst of the worst,” Homan said. “When it comes to assault, when it comes to robbery and burglary, and all these other crimes that they’ve taken off the table, they’ve pretty much sent a message to the rest of the world [that] it’s OK to enter the country illegally—as long as you don’t commit a few of the most serious crimes, you’re free to stay, because ICE isn’t looking for you.”

He argues that crimes such as driving under the influence should be considered a public safety issue.

“I was a police officer. I know what it’s like to run upon a scene of a deadly DUI—it’s terrible. And they’ve obviously never talked to an angel mom or angel dad whose child was killed by someone here illegally that was driving drunk,” Homan said.

A DHS official said the new guidelines for ICE are to help the agency focus its limited resources on “cases that the public cares about.”

The official said ICE arrests aren’t expected to drop under the new guidelines. “It’s just a question to us of reallocating resources to the cases that really, truly matter,” the official said.

But Homan said ICE was already prioritizing public safety threats.

Ninety-two percent of the almost 186,000 individuals that ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations removed in fiscal 2020 had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, according to ICE’s end-of-year report.

ICE also conducted more than 103,000 interior arrests—just under 30 percent fewer than in fiscal 2019, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Approximately 90 percent of those arrested had a criminal conviction or charge, according to the report. Those arrested included aliens with criminal charges or convictions for 1,837 homicide offenses, 37,247 assault offenses, and 10,302 sexual assault or sex offenses.

“Every crime committed by an illegal alien is a preventable crime,” Homan said. “If we had true border security, true immigration enforcement—if we actually enforced immigration laws in this country and secured our border—thousands of crimes every day could be prevented because they’re not here.”

Part of ICE’s job is to track down and remove the 672,000 fugitives who have been ordered removed by a federal immigration judge but are still in the United States.

But the new DHS directive says ICE agents must first get clearance from supervisors if they encounter illegal immigrants who aren’t convicted criminals during operations.

The decision to then arrest the individual, or not, needs to take into account whether the person might be suffering from a serious physical or mental illness, a DHS official said.

“We want them [ICE] to think about ties to the community, whether the individual has family here in the United States, U.S. citizen family members, and other considerations,” the official said.

Homan said DHS is telling ICE agents to ignore removal orders from immigration judges.

“At what point can the executive branch tell the judicial branch that their legal orders are meaningless?” he said.

“It’s ridiculous for a law enforcement officer to have to call a supervisor for permission to enforce the law. The law is black and white. Name a state trooper that needs to get approval to write a speeding ticket.”

On Feb. 22, attorney general nominee Merrick Garland testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was asked whether he believed illegal entry into the United States should remain a crime. The immigration court system sits within the Department of Justice.

“I just haven’t thought about that question,” Garland said. “I think the president has made clear that we are a country with borders and with a concern about national security. I don’t know if a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to re-enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.”

President Joe Biden has undone several border security measures that the Trump administration had put into effect, including temporarily suspending deportations of illegal aliens, reversing President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from terror-prone countries, halting border wall construction, and issuing a sweeping immigration package to Congress that includes amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

Homan asserts that the Biden approach is “never going to solve the immigration crisis, and so the border will continue to be out of control.”

He expects an imminent humanitarian crisis at the border.

“During the last surge [in 2019], Border Patrol said 50 to 60 percent of their manpower is no longer on the border because they’re changing diapers, making hospital runs, taking care of families, [with] half or more [agents] no longer on the line,” he said.

“President Biden was vice president during the first surge in FY14 and ’15. How did we stop it? We stopped it by building detention facilities and detaining people until they saw a judge. So he forgot all the lessons learned and now he’s trying to stop detention.”

ICE detention facility capacity has been decreased from 52,000 to 15,000 illegal aliens.

Source: Exclusive: Former ICE Chief Says Immigration Law Becoming Meaningless

Trump Is Back in the ‘Political Arena,’ Says Sebastian Gorka

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before departing with his family from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday, in Washington on Nov. 21, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Former President Donald Trump is “back in the political arena” after going silent following Jan. 20, said his former political adviser, Sebastian Gorka.

In an interview with Sky News, Gorka remarked that following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, he believed Trump would disappear for months.

“This man has to disappear for a while … before he can get back in politics,” Gorka said. “But that all changed” when he was impeached in the House for allegedly inciting violence on Jan. 6, he added.

The impeachment, Gorka asserted, allowed Trump to move “back into the political arena” sooner.

He cited the establishment of Trump’s “Office of the 45th President,” his first political endorsement of Sarah Sanders for Arkansas governor, held interviews with media outlets about the passing of radio host Rush Limbaugh last week, and the move to speak at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend. Trump is slated to deliver a speech on Sunday, Feb. 28.

“Donald Trump is back and is the de facto conservative kingmaker,” he proclaimed, without elaborating on the former president’s next moves or whether he will run for office in 2024.

“None of the rising stars in the conservative movement” can generate the same interest as Trump, he argued.

sebastian gorka 2
Sebastian Gorka speaks at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit in Washington on July 25, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

According to a slew of recent polls, Republican voters view Trump quite favorably. Some polls have found that a significant number of GOP voters would be willing to join a Trump-backed political party if he breaks off from the Republican establishment.

Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach, convict, or took other actions against Trump in recent weeks have been censured or condemned by local Republican Party groups.

About a week ago, the former president issued a statement that strongly criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), calling on him to rescind his leadership position while saying that Republicans won’t take majorities in the Senate under his leadership. It came after McConnell suggested in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that Trump could face criminal prosecution for his Jan. 6 speech.

Trump also issued a lengthy statement via email criticizing the Supreme Court’s Monday decision not to block his taxes from being released to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

“The new phenomenon of ‘headhunting’ prosecutors and AGs—who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon—is a threat to the very foundation of our liberty,” he said. “That’s what is done in third world countries. Even worse are those who run for prosecutorial or attorney general offices in far-left states and jurisdictions pledging to take out a political opponent. That’s fascism, not justice—and that is exactly what they are trying to do with respect to me, except that the people of our country won’t stand for it.”

Source: Trump Is Back in the ‘Political Arena,’ Says Sebastian Gorka