January 31, 2023
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WASHINGTON. On Thursday, the committee released a transcript of an interview with former Defense Secretary Mark Esper that shows former President Trump was obsessed with Gov. Tim Walz’s response to protests over the killing of George Floyd and had to be dissuaded from using thousands of troops. to quell demonstrations in Washington, D.C.

On May 29, 2020, the day after Walz deployed the National Guard to stop violent protesters, Trump tweeted about “thugs” in Minnesota and warned, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

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Esper revealed two days later that he discussed the growing number of protests over Floyd’s death with Trump in the Oval Office. Also present at the meeting were former Attorney General William Barr, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. Esper said.

“My reaction was that the active duty troops are not the remedy for this problem,” Esper said. He said he told Trump that the job should be done by law enforcement and possibly National Guard troops if law enforcement isn’t enough.

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“Attorney General Barr and I discussed this issue several times until we were able to convince him that law enforcement is the best way forward with the support of the National Guard,” Esper said.

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Esper said Millie and Pence agreed with him. But he also said that the Law of Insurrection was being discussed, which would need to be invoked in order to use active military forces at home. It was determined that Barr would be responsible for any response to the violence during the protests.

However, after the meeting in the Oval Office, Trump held a conference call with some of the country’s governors about the growing number of demonstrations over Floyd’s death and said that Millie, whom he described as “a fighter, a warrior (with) many victories and no defeats,” was responsible for responding to protests. Trump also said he didn’t like the way they were treated in different states.

Esper said he called on governors to use the National Guard if necessary, and cited Waltz’s speech as an example. According to Esper, the governor of Minnesota “was able to calm the situation so that peaceful protesters could express their concerns without putting their lives and property at risk.”

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Esper also said he began asking neighboring states to send guards to the nation’s capital and planned to move troops from the 82 states.th Flew out to the city because he “felt we were on the verge of having the president order troops into D.C. to quell the protests.”

Later that day, Esper said he and Millie were called back to the White House for a meeting. But there was no meeting.

Instead, Trump asked them to accompany him on a walk through Lafayette Square, a small park across from the White House that had been cleared of demonstrators with tear gas, to a church where Trump posed with a Bible for a photo op.

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Drama at the end of the session

This is the last week of 117th The Congress had much more than the usual drama at the end of the session.

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As before, lawmakers teetered on the brink of war with the federal budget, preparing to vote on a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill just hours before the federal government was forced to shut down on Christmas Eve.

In addition to releasing dozens of transcripts of witness interviews, the committee held its final hearing on January 6 and sent its recommendation to the Justice Department to prosecute Trump on four insurrection-related criminal charges.

Charges: obstruction of official proceedings, conspiracy to deceive the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and conspiracy to deceive the United States by aiding, assisting, or comforting those involved in the rebellion. However, this does not mean that Trump will face charges. The Justice Department must decide if it has enough evidence to successfully prosecute.

The committee also referred to the House Ethics Committee several Republican lawmakers who refused to cooperate with the investigation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, along with Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona, could face possible sanctions for refusing to comply with the committee’s subpoena.

Among the body of information gathered by the committee was a log of phone conversations with former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows following the 2020 election from 34 members of Congress, many of which suggested ways to restore Trump to the presidency, including imposing martial law.

Rep. Tom Emmer’s phone number was on the list, but there were no details of the conversation with Emmer, R-6.th, might have with Meadows. Emmer’s office did not respond to a request for information.

In any event, Emmer did not vote against the election results. But 147 House Republicans did, including Rep. Michele Fischbach and former Rep. Jim Hagedorn.

The Committee also released its final report on the months-long investigation into the storming of the US Capitol on January 6. One man, Trump, was found to be responsible for the uprising.

“The main cause on January 6 was one man, former President Donald Trump, followed by many others,” the report says. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”

The report also made recommendations aimed at ensuring that the United States would never experience something like this again, including that Congress consider barring Trump from ever returning to office, citing the 14th Amendment. , which forbids those who “participated in rebellion” or offered “help and comfort to the enemies” of the Constitution.

This week also saw the surprise appearance of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who received a standing ovation from hundreds of MPs who attended a special joint session of Congress to hear Zelensky speak.

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trump taxes

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize the Internal Revenue Service to review the president’s tax returns annually.

The legislation, which was supported by all Democrats in the House of Representatives and opposed by all Republicans in the House of Representatives, would make the law the IRS policy to audit sitting presidents, a policy that the IRS violated when it did not audit former President Trump for two years – 2017 and 2018 in which he was. office.

The House Committee on Ways and Means voted on Tuesday to exempt Trump’s taxes, documents the committee has been seeking for years. The panel edits personal information from these documents, such as bank account numbers.

But what is now known about Trump’s taxes is that although the president made millions of dollars from his companies, he often paid little or no taxes thanks to deductions and losses, some of which were considered dubious. Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016. The following year, he again paid only $750. In 2020, he paid nothing.

Omnibus to speed up heating assistance program

The massive $1.7 trillion omnibus bill that will fund the federal government next year will jump-start Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, which pays for delinquent heating and water bills for low-income residents in the state.

The American Rescue Plan Act, one of the bills passed by Congress in response to the COVID pandemic, significantly increased the funding for the relief program, allowing the state to give more people more money to pay for their heating, be it electricity, natural gas, or coal. But that money is gone.

As such, low-income Minnesotans are facing a colder-than-average winter (which is already showing its brutality), much higher heating bills due to massive inflation in the energy sector, and much lower energy aid program payments.

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“There is a great need,” said Michael Schmitz, director of the Energy Assistance Program.

The cumulative bill would increase federal money for low-income heating assistance programs like the one Schmitz runs by about $1.2 billion. Schmitz said he did not know how much of that money would go to Minnesota, but suggested it would be “tens of millions”.

Minnesota Department of Commerce

Benefits of the Energy Assistance Program by County

This will allow it to increase the amount of heating assistance for those who qualify, and possibly extend the right to households with higher incomes.

“Depending on what we get, it’s an opportunity to help more people,” he said.

Right now, the average benefit is around $592. Approximately 103,000 Minnesota households have enrolled in the assistance program since the enrollment period began in October, and more are expected to enroll before the end of the program in May.

To request and apply, and find a local energy assistance provider to process this application, visit mn.govhome.

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