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A man indicted on six federal charges in the US for his involvement in the Capitol riots on January 6 was paid thousands of dollars from the ABC for his footage of the siege.

Remittance advice from the national broadcaster shows taxpayers spent $2375 to buy footage from disgraced Capitol Hill rioter and anti-Trump activist John Sullivan. Sullivan was captured on camera encouraging rioters to “we gotta get this s—t burned.” Sky News host Andrew Bolt said there were “very serious questions” for the ABC after the documents revealled the public broadcaster paid Mr Sullivan after he was charged.

Mr Sullivan was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on six charges including obstruction of a civil proceeding, civil disorder, and disorderly conduct. Federal police also accused the self-described anti-Trump activist of actively encouraging the siege.

The ABC’s flagship current affairs program Four Corners last week ran a report on protesters rioting at the US Capitol. “The reporter, Sarah Ferguson, was clear that this was all the work of wicked right wingers,” Mr Bolt said. Mr Bolt approached the ABC to respond on the issue, but the public broadcaster has not replied. The ABC was not alone in bankrolling the rioter with US media companies CNN and NBC paying $35,000 for the footage.

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Capitol riot

Angry Trump partisans facing major obstacles in effort to oust Murkowski after impeachment vote

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With fellow Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) facing pushback and censure in their home states for voting to convict Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection in his just-concluded impeachment trial, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) may get flack, but she has far fewer worries about losing her seat if she runs for re-election.

Murkowski is the only one of the dissident Republicans facing a referendum on her vote in the form of facing voters in the coming midterm election, but recent election law changes in Alaska make the probability of a pro-Trump insurgent nominee from the right unseating her as a nominee highly unlikely.

According to the National Review’s John McCormack, Alaska enacted new voting rules in the just concluded election that switched the state’s primary to an open one and not divided by parties.

As McCormack writes, “First, Alaska got rid of partisan primaries and established an open primary in which the top four primary candidates will compete in the general election.” Add to that, Alaska will be implementing ranked-choice voting that will create another obstacle.

According to Ballotpedia, “A candidate needs a simple majority of the vote (50%+1) to be declared the winner of an election. If no candidate wins a simple majority of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated. People who voted for that candidate as their first choice would have their votes redistributed to their second choice.”

McCormack also notes that this will not be the first time that Murkowski has drawn the ire of far-right Republicans. In 2010 she lost the primary to arch-conservative candidate Joe Miller, only to defeat him in the general election by successfully running a write-in campaign.

Since 2016, Murkowski has bucked her party on a number of issues. She declined to vote for Trump or the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 (just as she had done in 2016),” before adding, “It’s been a delicate dance for Murkowski, but if she simply finishes first or second place in the first round of balloting in 2022, she’ll very likely keep her seat.”
(Raw story media)

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Why was Capitol police chief’s request for National Guard denied ahead of riot? Republicans ask Nancy Pelosi

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House GOP seeking to learn why the National Guard wasn’t in place to prevent the January 6 Capitol riot and what took them so long to arrive are blaming Speaker Nancy Pelosi for denying them access to evidence.

Even though then-chief of the Capitol Police Steve Sund requested the troops on January 4, he was denied by Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and told it would be bad “optics,” according to an open letter four GOP ranking members of House committees sent to Pelosi on Monday.

Irving took an hour to approve Sund’s request for National Guard backup on January 6, as a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the building, the Republicans noted, asking if the delay was due to him having to consult Pelosi.

The California Democrat proceeded to fire both Irving and Sund, and appointed a retired Army general to conduct a security review – without so much as informing the minority, the letter says.

When Republicans attempted to obtain more information about what happened, they were met with “obstruction and inability to produce and preserve information” by House staff appointed by Pelosi. Worse yet, some of the material the Republicans requested was recently provided only to House Judiciary Democrats, the letter added.

This is unacceptable, Madam Speaker, that direction could have only come from you.

The letter calls on Pelosi to end the “political charade” of looking for enemies inside the Capitol and imposing rules she isn’t following herself. It was signed by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of the Judiciary, Devin Nunes (R-California) of Intelligence, James Comer (R-Kentucky) of Oversight & Reform and Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), of the House Administration committee.

Democrats have presented the events of January 6 as an “insurrection against our democracy” and blamed it on Trump and the Republicans. They impeached Trump in the House and sought to convict him in the Senate, but failed on Saturday as they lacked the votes.

Other aspects of the partisan narrative about the Capitol riot have collapsed as well, as it emerged that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was not injured by the crowd, and his cause of death remains officially unknown. Of the four people who died that day, only one – Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt – was actually killed, by a Capitol Police officer who is unlikely to face any charges in the matter.

The razor wire fence around the Capitol set up after the attack remains in place, as do several thousand National Guard troops initially brought in to secure the inauguration of President Joe Biden and provide protection against unspecified threats during the impeachment.
(RT.com)

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US Republicans who voted to convict Donald Trump face swift political backlash

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Just one day after Donald Trump’s impeachment acquittal, Republicans who broke from their party by voting to convict the former US president are already facing backlash.

Seven Republicans voted for conviction in Mr Trump’s Senate trial on Saturday, the largest number of politicians to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty at impeachment proceedings.

While the 57-43 vote to find Mr Trump guilty fell well short of the two-thirds majority required, the seven GOP senators helped create a clear majority against him and provided a bipartisan chorus of condemnation of the former president.

These are the seven Republican Senators who voted to convict former US president Donald Trump.

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Richard Burr of North Carolina were openly criticised by party officials at home following the impeachment verdict.

In Louisiana, the executive committee of the state’s Republican Party condemned Senator Cassidy’s vote and voted unanimously to censure him.

Louisiana Attorney-General Jeff Landry on Twitter said the senator had “fallen into the trap laid by Democrats to have Republicans attack Republicans”.

Senator Toomey was also admonished over his vote, with Pennsylvania GOP chairman Lawrence Tabas saying he shared the disappointment “of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers”.

“The post-presidency impeachment proceeding was an unconstitutional theft of time and energy that did absolutely nothing to unify or help the American people,” Mr Tabas said in a statement.

In North Carolina, the chair of the state’s Republican Party Michael Whatley said Senator Burr had been sent to the US Senate to uphold the constitution, and his vote to convict was “shocking and disappointing”.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, told Fox News that Senator Burr had just made Lara Trump – Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law – “almost the certain nominee for the senate seat in North Carolina to replace him in she runs”.

Many of the Republicans who voted to convict Mr Trump issued statements or took to social media to justify their decision, with Senator Toomey saying “his betrayal of the constitution and his oath of office required conviction”.

Senator Burr in a statement said the former US president bore responsibility for the “tragic events” of 6 January, when rioters stormed the US Capitol.

“The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a co-equal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanours,” he said. “Therefore, I have voted to convict.

“I do not make this decision lightly, but I believe it is necessary.”

Senator Cassidy in an online video said “our constitution and our country is more important than any one person”.

“I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty,” the senator said.

The seven senators join 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr Trump in January and have also faced backlash, with the New York Times reporting that almost all of them faced censure votes or public scoldings from local party leaders.

Wyoming’s Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, quickly endured an effort by conservatives to remove her from her leadership post.

She survived it, but Mr Trump has vowed to throw his support behind a primary challenger to her.

Further, the Wyoming Republican Party last month overwhelmingly passed a motion censuring Ms Cheney – a move she shrugged off as “mistaken”.

“The oath that I took to the constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment and it doesn’t bend to partisanship,” Ms Cheney told “Fox News Sunday.” “It doesn’t bend to political pressure.”

When Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska – who also voted to convict Mr Trump on Saturday – was threatened with censure by his state party for criticising the former president, he suggested it was down to a cult of personality.

“Let’s be clear about why this is happening. It is because I still believe, as you used to, that politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude,” Senator Sasse said in a video addressed to the party leadership in Nebraska.

Dozens of former Republican officials, disillusioned by the party’s failure to stand up to Mr Trump, have held talks to form a new centre-right party, though multiple congressional Republicans rejected the idea.

Advisers say Mr Trump himself has talked about forming a breakaway Patriot Party, exacerbating Republican divisions.

But while Mr Trump maintains control over the party for now, several Republican senators said during his trial that the stain left by the deadly siege of the Capitol and Mr Trump’s months of false claims about widespread election fraud would cripple his chances of winning power again in 2024.

“After the American public sees the whole story laid out here … I don’t see how Donald Trump could be reelected to the presidency again,” Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who also voted for a conviction, told reporters during the trial.

Reuters/AFP.

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