Comer jokes special counsel ‘plagiarized’ notes on Biden but put in Trump’s name

In an interview on Fox News in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s third indictment, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) said he feels like the charges Trump is now facing mirror his committee’s own observations about President Joe Biden.

“I feel like someone broke into our notes on the Oversight Committee and plagiarized them, only they put them down for Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden,” the Kentucky congressman said. 

Comer went on to say Biden has damaged the American “system of government” and is causing a loss of trust in multiple government institutions like the FBI and Department of Justice. He said Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland are using the investigations for their own “self-preservation,”

“That's the ultimate goal for the deep state bureaucracy in Washington D.C.,” Comer said. 

Democrat calls for footage of Republican’s tirade against pages to be released

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) on Tuesday called for the release of security footage of his fellow Wisconsin Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R), who cursed out teenage Senate pages last week.

Pocan wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that he wants “greater transparency” around the incident, which occurred early Thursday morning. Pocan also included a letter he wrote asking Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Committee on Administration, for the footage.

According to a transcript obtained by The Hill, Van Orden called the pages resting in the rotunda “jackasses” and “little s----," and he told them they were “defiling the space.”

“If widely shared reports are accurate, Representative Van Orden’s behavior towards the pages was completely unacceptable and further calls into question his fitness for office,” Pocan said in the letter. “It is critical that members of the public, including his constituents in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, know the truth of what happened that evening.”

Van Orden defended his actions in the wake of the incident, saying he thought the pages were disrespecting the space. In a statement to The Hill, he said the rotunda’s history contributed to his reaction. 

“The history of the United States Capitol Rotunda, that during the Civil War it was used as a field hospital and countless Union soldiers died on that floor, and they died because they were fighting the Civil War to end slavery. And I think that place should be treated with a tremendous amount of respect for the dead,” Van Orden said. 

Democrats balk at Alito assertion that Congress has ‘no authority’ over Supreme Court

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s recent interview with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in which he stated “no provision” in the Constitution allows Congress to regulate the Supreme Court.

“I know this is a controversial view, but I’m willing to say it,” Alito said Friday, referencing Congressional Democrats’ recent efforts to mandate stronger ethics rules. “No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period.”

"I don’t know that any of my colleagues have spoken about it publicly ... But I think it is something we have all thought about," he told the Journal.

His remarks sparked pushback from a slew of House Democrats.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) argued Congress would always have regulation power over the high court.

"Dear Justice Alito: You’re on the Supreme Court in part because Congress expanded the Court to 9 Justices,” Lieu posted Friday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "Congress can impeach Justices and can in many cases strip the Court of jurisdiction."

"Congress has always regulated you and will continue to do so," he added. "You are not above the law."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) claimed the Supreme Court should be the "most scrutinized" because of its power.

“What a surprise, guy who is supposed to enforce checks and balances thinks checks shouldn’t apply to him," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "Corruption and abuse of power must be stopped, no matter the source," she added. "In fact, the court should be *most* subject to scrutiny, bc it is unelected & life appointed."

“Alito’s next opinion piece in the WSJ is about to be ‘I am a little king, actually. The Constitution doesn’t explicitly say I’m not,’” she added in a separate post.

Both California Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff also responded to the justice's remarks, calling his view "controversial."

“This view is more than controversial; it’s incorrect,” Porter said on X.  “This is coming from a justice who tried to hide the fact that he accepted luxury vacations on private jets. As a government official, I welcome the American people holding me accountable—why doesn’t Justice Alito?”

Schiff, referring to the ProPublica report that revealed an undisclosed Alaskan fishing trip the justice accepted in 2008 that was paid for by a conservative donor, said Alito's view shows why an "enforceable code of ethics" is needed. The investigation — paired with another that revealed Justice Clarence Thomas received financial gifts without disclosing them — ultimately led to lawmakers' push for the ethics review.

“Let’s translate these statements from Justice Alito, real quick: What we do and how we do it, who pays for our trips and our vacations, or a family member’s tuition, is none of your damn business,” Schiff posted on X. “So buzz off. They need an enforceable code of ethics. Now.” 

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the sponsor of a bill to reform Supreme Court ethics standards and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also shared on social media that the Journal author of the interview with Alito is the lawyer for Leonard Leo, a prominent conservative legal activist who reportedly organized the fishing trip to Alaska that Alito attended alongside Paul Singer, a hedge fund manager whose plane they took.

“The lawyer who ‘wrote’ this is also the lawyer blocking our investigation into Leonard Leo’s Supreme Court freebies,” Whitehouse tweeted. “Shows how small and shallow the pool of operatives is around this captured Court — same folks keep popping up wearing new hats.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) claimed that Alito’s comments seemed “escalatory” and were meant to provoke a response.

“This seems escalatory, and nudges even reluctant court watchers and skeptics of statutory reforms towards doing something,” Schatz said. “I mean, this is a fancy way of telling everyone to pound sand because he’s untouchable.”

Other Democrats who offered their criticism of the Supreme Court justice's words include Rep. Ritchie Torres (N.Y.), Sen. Tina Smith (Minn.), Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) and former Rep. Mondaire Jones (N.Y.).

GOP Rep. John James slams DeSantis for curriculum comments on slavery: ‘You’ve gone too far’

Rep. John James (R-Mich.) criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday for his response to Republican lawmakers who called him out on his state’s new Black history education standards Friday.

“@RonDeSantis, #1: slavery was not CTE!” James posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Nothing about that 400 years of evil was a ‘net benefit’ to my ancestors. #2: there are only five black Republicans in Congress and you’re attacking two of them.”

Both Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) have criticized the new standards, which indicate that American slavery helped enslaved people develop “skills” that benefited them, in the past few days.

Scott rebuked the language during a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday, claiming "there is no silver lining in slavery."

“Slavery was really about separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives," he said. "It was just devastating."

DeSantis responded to the lawmakers by saying they were falling in line with Vice President Kamala Harris, who called the guidelines "propaganda."

“They dare to push propaganda to our children,” Harris said earlier this week in Jacksonville, Fla. “Adults know what slavery really involved. It involved rape. It involved torture. It involved taking a baby from their mother.”

James pleaded with DeSantis to change course.

“My brother in Christ… if you find yourself in a deep hole put the shovel down,” he wrote. “You are now so far from the Party of Lincoln that your Ed. board is re-writing history and you’re personally attacking conservatives like [Scott] and [Donalds] on the topic of slavery."

"You’ve gone too far. Stop," he added.

Rep. Glenn Ivey says any impeachment articles against Biden would be ‘dead ends’

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) said impeachment articles targeted at President Joe Biden and other administration officials would lead to “dead ends” during a TV appearance Friday.

Ivey, a House Judiciary Committee member, said Republicans’ efforts to impeach Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas “damaging” to their party. During his appearance on "The Hill" on NewsNation, Ivey said he sees “no case” against the current president and that Republicans are unclear in what they think his wrongdoing is.

“I think they’re heading in the wrong direction,” Ivey said.

Ivey, also said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has given “way too much ground” to Freedom Caucus members. He said he thinks they “definitely” want "one or maybe all three" administration members impeached.

“I think the Speaker's struggling to give them enough to keep them on board, but without destroying the party as a whole in the upcoming elections,” Ivey said.

Schiff says classified documents case against Trump ‘a lot stronger’ after new indictment

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) argued Thursday that the classified documents case against former President Trump is now "a lot stronger," after the Justice Department (DOJ) announced new new charges in the case.

“Trump apparently asked for Mar-a-Lago security footage to be deleted. After getting a subpoena to produce it, no less,” Schiff tweeted Thursday. “The case against him for illegally retaining classified information and for obstruction just got stronger. A lot stronger.”

In Thursday's superseding indictment, the DOJ accused Trump of attempting to delete surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. The new charges claim the former president acted with a new co-conspirator, Carlos De Oliveira — the property manager of the Mar-a-Lago hotel — and aide Walt Nauta, who has already been charged in the case, to try and get rid of the footage.

Schiff, who served as the House impeachment manager during Trump's first impeachment trial, has faced retaliation from his Republican colleagues for his former role.

House Republicans voted to censure him late last month for “for misleading the American public and for conduct unbecoming of an elected Member of the House of Representatives.”

“Today, I wear this partisan vote as a badge of honor,” Schiff said at the time. “Knowing that I have lived my oath."

"Knowing that I have done my duty, to hold a dangerous and out of control president accountable," he continued. "And knowing that I would do so again — in a heartbeat — if the circumstances should ever require it."

Trump rips ‘weak, ineffective’ Cornyn, Romney

Former President Trump said Wednesday on Truth Social that GOP Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Mitt Romney (Utah) will not win their next elections.

Cornyn and Romney have criticized Trump and his actions on various issues, including his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent debt ceiling negotiations.

Romney, one of the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment, recently encouraged fellow Republicans donating to 2024 GOP presidential campaigns to pressure candidates who are not proving competitive to get out of the race so Trump doesn’t have to run against a larger field, which could give him an advantage in getting the party nomination.

“Who is a worse Senator, John 'The Stiff' Cornyn of Texas, or Mitt 'The Loser' Romney of Massachusetts (Utah?)?” Trump asked on Truth Social. “They are both weak, ineffective, and very bad for the Republican Party, and our Nation. With even modestly skilled opposition, they’ll lose their next Election. Who could ever forget Mitt proudly marching, with full mask, down a once proud Washington, D.C. street with BLM and Rioters? Likewise there’s Cornyn, always quick to surrender to the Dems, giving them anything they want?”

Trump last year strongly criticized Cornyn for negotiating bipartisan gun safety legislation, calling him a “RINO” — Republican in name only — and said he and other Republicans were helping facilitate the taking away of Americans' guns. 

Cornyn said in May he will support someone other than Trump in 2024.

“We need to come up with an alternative,” he said on a call with Texas reporters. “I think President Trump’s time has passed him by and what’s the most important thing to me is we have a candidate who can actually win.”

Billionaire Leon Black’s $158M payment to Jeffrey Epstein sparks Senate investigation

The Senate Finance Committee announced Tuesday that it is conducting an investigation into billionaire and Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black’s financial ties with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. 

The investigation’s findings allegedly include a “transaction Epstein devised to help Black avoid more than $1 billion in federal taxes raises.” The probe originally began as “part of a broader review of the means by which the ultra-wealthy avoid or evade federal taxes,” according to a statement from the panel.

“The committee’s investigation began in June 2022 and was prompted by inconsistencies in a report by the law firm Dechert LLP that Apollo’s board of directors commissioned to examine Black’s ties to Epstein,” the statement read. “The Dechert report found Black paid Epstein, who was neither a licensed tax attorney nor a certified public accountant, a total of $158 million in several installments between 2012 and 2017.”

According to the committee, Black, the former chairman and CEO of Apollo, has "refused to answer questions or provide any documents that could demonstrate how Epstein’s compensation for tax and estate planning services was determined or justified."

"Unfortunately, the inadequate responses you have provided the Committee only raise more questions than answers, and fail to address a number of tax issues my staff has uncovered over the course of this investigation," committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a letter to Black. "This includes understanding the amount by which you were overpaid income from assets placed in a trust while devising a scheme to ensure that those assets, worth billions of dollars, would remain outside your taxable estate. Additionally, you have refused to answer questions or provide documents related to payments you made to Epstein or substantiate how such payments were calculated or were compensation for services.

A woman filed a lawsuit in November accusing Black of raping her and accusing Epstein of having helped facilitate the attack. Black’s legal team denied the allegations at the time, and he stepped down from his positions at Apollo after they became public. 

Epstein was arrested in July 2019 in July 2019 on charges of abusing and trafficking minors but died by suicide in prison before trial. He was 66 at the time of his death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.