Watch GOP congressman fail to explain bonkers Trump assassination claim

After lying that President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice conspired to assassinate Donald Trump during a 2022 raid of Mar-a-Lago, Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida is refusing to walk back his claims. 

During an interview on CNN Thursday night, Donalds repeatedly tried to change the subject when pressed by host Abby Phillip

Donalds wrote on social media, “Newly-released court documents reveal that Joe Biden's DOJ authorized the use of DEADLY FORCE in its raid of President Trump's home.” 

The FBI called this claim “patently false.” 

The language in the search warrant regarding the use of deadly force “is part of the standard operations plan for searches,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters during a press conference Thursday. “In fact, it was even used in the consensual search of President Biden's home.” 

When asked whether or not he will acknowledge the falsehood of his conspiracy claim, Donalds provided a series of nonanswers, including offensive remarks about Biden and claims that he’s using the DOJ as political ammunition against Trump.

“I’m telling you, we are witnessing a weaponization of the Department of Justice against a political rival,” he said. 

“It’s a simple question of whether the raid was carried out in a way that was standard operating procedure for the FBI,” Phillip said. “Why would you insinuate that that was some kind of attempt at former President Trump’s life?”

In response, Donalds calls back to a super timely GOP talking point: Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Like many Republicans, Donald Trump has tried to sidestep the issue of abortion and reproductive rights. But he stumbled during an interview with a CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh this week, promising an “interesting” new policy that would let states restrict contraception..

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Watch Stephen Colbert’s hilarious take on GOP’s latest impeachment fail

The Republican Party’s attempted impeachment fiasco and beleaguered House Speaker Mike Johnson were the subjects of late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue Wednesday night. Colbert observed that while the House Republicans targeting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “never identified a specific high crime or misdemeanor for the impeachment, which is usually kind of a thing,” the event was still historic.

It's only the second time in America that a Cabinet member has been impeached. The first was Secretary of War William Belknap back in 1876, which Congress accused of ‘prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain.’ 

[In Trump voice singing Bette Midler song] Did you ever know that you're my hero …

Colbert then laid it on thick, claiming that his entire show would be dedicated to covering the Senate’s impeachment trial of Mayorkas, before someone off camera told him the Senate immediately voted to dismiss the articles of impeachment. 

“That was quick,” said a stunned Colbert. “So, what do you guys want to talk about?”

Colbert then pivoted to the precarious position GOP Speaker Mike Johnson finds himself in, even though “they just got rid of the last guy six months ago.”

Republican speaker of the House has joined the list of least secure jobs, just below No. 2 leader of ISIS; World's Oldest Man; and Rupert Murdoch fiancée.

Colbert: Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, seen here in his profile pic on HammerYourOwnPenis.com.

After playing a clip of Johnson telling Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo that Trump is "100% with me," Colbert threw to a clip of Trump being asked whether he will support Johnson.

Trump: Well, we'll see what happens with that.

Colbert: That is a dose of classic Trump loyalty. He's got your back ... so he can push you under a bus.

Zachary Mueller is the senior research director for America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund. He brings his expertise on immigration politics to talk about how much money the GOP is using to promote its racist immigration campaigns.

Watch yet another House GOP hearing go totally off the rails

A House Oversight Committee hearing into China’s “political warfare” against the United States went off the rails Wednesday when Republican Rep. James Comer interrupted Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin to push attacks on President Joe Biden and his family.

Raskin was using his allotted time to point out that the “smoking gun” whistleblower who Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan were hanging their entire impeachment case on was in fact a Russian mole.  

“That's just simply not true,” Comer interrupted. “But go ahead.”

It is true and the two did go ahead, in an argument that escalated and went on for more than five minutes. 

Of course, Raskin had the benefit of facts and reality on his side. When Comer, who chairs the Oversight Committee, tried to repeat a thoroughly discredited claim that Biden received money from Chinese interests, Raskin reminded him that it was then-President Donald Trump who actually received millions of dollars from China.

Raskin then called Comer’s bluff and asked him to put up or shut up on impeaching Biden, something fellow Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz has previously attempted. That led to this exchange:

Raskin: Where is your impeachment investigation? If Joe Biden took a $9 million bribe from China, why aren't you impeaching him for that?

Comer: Well, who says we're not?

Raskin: I can invite Mr. Moskowitz to come back in. Do you want to move for impeachment today? Because I thought that that was your main agenda item. You said it was the paramount priority of the committee?

Comer: No, this is a hearing on China. And you all have an obsession with Russia and Trump. It's disturbing.

Raskin: We can talk about China and Trump, or Russia and Trump --

Comer: --You need therapy, Mr. Raskin.

Raskin: No, no, you need therapy. You're the one who's involved with the deranged politician, not me. Okay? I've divorced myself from Donald Trump a long time ago. You're the one who needs to disentangle from that situation. 

And I will tell you this: If you believe that it would have been illegal for Joe Biden to take $5 million from Ukraine, it certainly would have been. What do you think about Donald Trump taking more than $5 million from the Chinese government while he was president?

At one point, when Comer claimed that the ongoing GOP investigations into the Biden family didn’t cost many millions of taxpayer dollars, Raskin snarked, "Oh, it's been for free? Okay. All right. Well, you know what, then? We get what we paid for it because you got nothing. You got nothing on Joe Biden."

When Comer tried to continue on with a new speaker and dismiss “Mr. Raskins,” Raskin vociferously demanded his time back—but not before putting Comer’s disrespect on notice:

Let me start with this. My last name is Raskin. Okay? We've sat next to each other for more than a year. You don't have to add the S. Number two, I would like my time restored. Number three, you have not identified a single crime. What is the crime that you want to impeach Joe Biden for and keep this nonsense going? Why? Well, what is the crime? Tell America right now.

You can watch the full exchange in the video below.

Zachary Mueller is the senior research director for America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund. He brings his expertise on immigration politics to talk about how much money the GOP is using to promote its racist immigration campaigns.

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GOP impeachment inquiry pronounced dead and ‘dunzo’ after latest hearing flops

On Wednesday, the Republican Party attempted, once again, to slander President Joe Biden. Using their control over the House Oversight Committee to hold yet another stunt hearing, ostensibly in their investigation of the president for possible impeachment. The hearing went so poorly that many are calling the evidence-free impeachment shenanigans officially dead. 

The fact that Florida Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz wore a Vladimir Putin Halloween mask to the committee hearing, in a playful bit of political theater, illustrated how absurd this farce has become. Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz pointed out that even Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Donald Trump’s bestest buddy, chose to bury the hearing on his nightly show. If you can’t get the same bozos who ran your evidence-free propaganda to run it anymore … them’s the breaks. 

Rep. Eric Swalwell used his time to pronounce the sham inquiry “Dunzo. Bye bye. Rigor mortis. Lights out. Curtain drop. Mic drop. Peace. Adios. Sayonara. Au revoir. Or a language that you all understand, ‘Do svidaniya.’” 

Swalwell even put a time on the death of the impeachment!

Like previous Republican-led hearings on the matter, this latest hearing was one Democratic representatives pulled no punches. Rep. Jasmine Crockett took her time to remind everyone that Hunter Biden testified for hours, and the GOP got nothing out of it. Crockett pointed out that the only person Republicans seem to be unwilling to subpoena is the person who generated the “evidence” they claim they are investigating: Rudy Giuliani. 

“But, you know, kind of like when we were trying to get his cell phone, they shut it down, right?” Crockett said. “Like, they don't want the facts.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin allowed former Trump aide Lev Parnas to give some of the most damning testimony, casting absolute doubt on Giuliani’s “fact-finding” mission in Ukraine, and highlighting the complicity of right-wing propaganda operators like Sean Hannity in spreading misinformation.

The GOP “case” against the Biden family has consisted of disappointing "bombshell" evidence and star witnesses who contradict the Republican narrative. Last week, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee brought in former special counsel Robert Hur in an attempt to characterize the president as mentally unfit for office. It went poorly. Democratic members of Congress put together not one, not two, but three supercuts showing how bizarre Donald Trump is, once again making Biden’s competency as a world leader that much more striking.

Thoughts and prayers.

The president of the Center for American Progress, Patrick Gaspard, joins us to give his thoughts on what the Republican Party’s actual message is.

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Watch GOP congressman get absolutely stumped trying to defend his Biden lies

Republican Rep. Tim Burchett spoke with CNN’s Boris Sanchez on Wednesday in an attempt to defend the House GOP’s bogus “investigations” into President Joe Biden and his family. Unfortunately for Burchett, Sanchez decided to be a big stickler about facts.

After Burchett lazily repeated the baseless accusations that Biden took millions of dollars for favors done on behalf of his son Hunter, Sanchez reminded the Tennessee congressman about the difference between legal and illegal.

There's a huge distinction between whether it's appropriate for the family of a president to make money off of his name and whether that's ethical. But the question is specifically about what Joe Biden did when he was in office in vice president. Whether he abused his power or whether he enriched his family members. And right now, there is zero evidence coming from the oversight committee that when he was vice president, he did either of those things.

Burchett responded by floating the mythical $20 million number that Republican House committee chairs like James Comer and Jim Jordan speak into microphones a lot, even though there is zero evidence that the Biden family received any such amount. Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer even testified that Joe Biden not only did not help his son’s new employers out, but he may have added more uncertainty to their business venture at the time.

Sanchez interrupted Burchett to say he had seen the banking records and there was no such evidence. Burchett bristled, saying, “Are you going to let me speak?” Sanchez responded, “I'm not going to let you say things that are untrue, sir.” Burchett then tried to reiterate … the exact same talking point again, so Sanchez took apart the $20 million claim. That led to this sweet exchange:

Burchett: So, listen, if you want to, you just do the interview. But you're asking me a question and I'm trying to give you an answer.

Sanchez: You're not giving me an honest answer, sir. You're repeating a talking point that has been debunked repeatedly.

What makes the GOP attacks on Biden and his family so remarkable is the utter lack of even the most tangentially circumstantial evidence. Every “star” witness has been a bust and every “bombshell” piece of evidence has not only been debunked, but frequently debunked in record time.

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Watch Jim Jordan try to explain his ‘facts’ that aren’t facts

Rep. Jim Jordan spoke briefly to the press on Wednesday and tried his mightiest to pretend it’s no big deal that an FBI informant has been charged with lying about Joe and Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian business ties. 

Alexander Smirnov was the source behind what many Republicans hoped would be smoking gun evidence that proved massive corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his family. But it turns out that one of the GOP’s star witnesses in the bogus push to impeach Biden is at best an indicted liar and at worst a Russian mole

After repeatedly insisting that the facts, as he sees them, are still the same (even if his biggest corroborating witness lied about everything), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee had this delightful exchange with one of the reporters.

Rep. Jim Jordan: So it doesn't change the fundamental facts.

Reporter: How does it not change the facts? Those are no longer facts. They aren’t true.

Jordan: The four things I just said are absolutely true. Did Hunter Biden get put on the board of Burisma? Yes. Was he paid $1,000,000 a year? Yes. Did Joe Biden condition the release of tax money for the firing of the prosecutor who was applying the pressure? Yes.

The first two things on Jordan’s list, which are true, are not against the law. You may not like them, but they’re not illegal—and Republican legislators are not racing to create laws that might curtail these potential conflicts of interest. On the other hand, we might want to do a teensy, tiny bit of investigation into Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the billions in Saudi money he’s received since leaving the White House. 

Jordan’s last “fact” rests on the assumption that by conveying the Obama administration’s conditions that Ukraine fire corrupt prosecutor Viktor Shokin before the United States would give the country aid, then-Vice President Biden was helping out his son’s new employer, Burisma. 

That’s a lie.

In fact, Hunter Biden’s former business partner and previous star witness for the GOP, Devon Archer, took all the air out of Jordan’s bag of bullshit when he testified that President Biden did not help his son’s standing on the Burisma board. In fact, Archer said Shokin’s ouster “was bad for Burisma” because the energy company “felt like they had Shokin under control” and he was unlikely to slap heavy sanctions or oversight on the company.

Unfortunately for Republicans trying their best to target Joe Biden and his family, there is no there there— and there never has been. At every stage of this political theater production, Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan have had to admit they have no actionable evidence. 

Watch as Jordan denies facts for a full five minutes in the clip below.

Democratic voters know Joe Biden is old and MAGA voters like to pretend that Trump isn't just as long in the tooth. Both men were old the last time we did this and the only thing that’s changed is Biden is now a successful incumbent, while Trump is busy juggling trials and indictments.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene asks if Republicans are ‘being bribed’ to oppose impeachment

Marjorie Taylor Greene gave a doozy of an interview with right-wing podcast host Charlie Kirk on Wednesday to commiserate about House Republicans’ failed impeachment vote Tuesday of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Greene has been big mad about the failed vote and, like many of her pro-impeachment colleagues, is looking for someone—anyone—to blame, including Democrats for trying “to throw us off on the numbers.” 

But Greene has plenty of disdain for the Republicans who voted against the bill too. When Kirk asked why Ken Buck of Colorado, Tom McClintock of California, and Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin voted against impeachment, Greene seemed flabbergasted—but didn’t rule out the possibility that “they’re being bribed.”

Kirk fed the Georgia congresswoman the utterly baseless idea, asking, “Do you think these people are being blackmailed by the intel agencies? They might have had relations with certain  people and pictures and compromised. Do you think that they're currently being blackmailed?”

And Greene took the bait.

You know, I have no proof of that, but again, I can't understand the vote. So, nothing surprises me in Washington, D.C. anymore, Charlie. Literally, nothing surprises me because—it doesn't make sense to anyone, right? Why would anyone vote no? Why would anyone protect Mayorkas unless they're being bribed, unless there's something going on, unless they're making a deal. You know, because you can't understand it. It makes no sense. And it's completely wrong to vote no on impeachment.

Greene also speculated that Buck, who is retiring, is “trying to get a job working for CNN like Adam Kinzinger.” She insisted that McClintock is clearly not a real “constitutionalist.” And after listing off all of Gallagher’s military intelligence and military bonafides, she concluded, “I can't understand why he made that vote. But he did.” 

Greene might not understand it, but that doesn’t mean these Republican congressmen haven’t been clear and open about their reasons for voting against the impeachment stunt. 

Gallagher explained his opposition in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Why I Voted Against the Alejandro Mayorkas Impeachment.” 

“Creating a new, lower standard for impeachment, one without any clear limiting principle, wouldn’t secure the border or hold Mr. Biden accountable,” he wrote. “It would only pry open the Pandora’s box of perpetual impeachment.”

McClintock also explained his opposition in a speech on the House floor before Tuesday’s vote.

“Cabinet secretaries can't serve two masters. They can be impeached for committing a crime related to their office but not for carrying out presidential policy,” he said. “I'm afraid that stunts like this don't help."

On Wednesday, McClintock appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” to again defend his vote, and responded to Greene saying McClintock needs to “read the room.

“I suggest she read the Constitution that she took an oath to support and defend,” he said. “That Constitution very clearly lays out the grounds for impeachment,” he said. “This dumbs down those grounds dramatically and would set a precedent that could be turned against the conservatives on the Supreme Court or a future Republican administration the moment the Democrats take control of the Congress.”

Nevertheless, Greene “can’t understand” why her Republican colleagues weren’t on board with her impeachment aspirations. It must be a conspiracy.  

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Rep. Matt Gaetz wants to force House GOP to take a Trump loyalty test

On Tuesday, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and honorary “Florida man” Rep. Elise Stefanik, and 64 House Republicans presented a resolution to declare that Donald Trump “did not engage in insurrection or rebellion” related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Gaetz began the press conference by saying “We are here today to authoritatively express that President Trump did not commit an insurrection,”

More importantly, Gaetz made it clear that he plans to use this as a MAGA purity test. After thanking Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio for filing a companion bill in the Senate, Gaetz said, “And now it's time for members of the House and Senate to show where they stand on this question.” And just like that, Gaetz’s remarks were followed by a series of Republicans praising dear leader Trump and saying how the insurrection on Jan. 6 was a concoction by “leftists.” 

“[What] we have seen is mass hysteria caused by you, the reckless leftist media,” said Rep. Andy Biggs. “That's what we've seen.”

Stefanik flanked Gaetz during the press conference, suggesting they’ve patched things up since the two spent October bickering at one another’s expense. Gaetz’s resolution reads in its entirety

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that former President Donald J. Trump did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or give aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

You can flip the paper over if you don’t believe me.

The idea that after hundreds of arrests, convictions, and prison sentences—as well as a congressional investigation that left very little to the imagination about how very much Trump and his allies orchestrated the insurrection—the horrors of Jan. 6 should be forgotten with a single-sentence resolution is almost hallucinogenic! It also signals how Trump and his supporters expect the GOP to fall in line. Those who sign on to Gaetz’s resolution will be on a list that Trump can point to and threaten Republican officials with for however long he lives.

As of now, two names are conspicuously absent from the list of sponsors of the bill: Reps. Jim Jordan and James Comer, both of whom have been doing Trump’s dirty work as chairs of House oversight committees.

Maybe they are too busy not finding evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden to sign on to a bill as ludicrous as this one. But as former Rep. Liz Cheney knows, Jordan will surely sign on to any bill pretending that Jan. 6, 2021, never happened.

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Even Lou Dobbs seems tired of the Hunter Biden investigation

The Republican Party’s evidence-less investigation of Hunter Biden’s business affairs continues to reveal … nothing new or criminal on the part of President Joe Biden. Rep. Andy Biggs is on the Republican Hunter Biden fishing expedition committee, which is chaired by Rep. James Comer. Biggs went on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discuss all of the nothing he has been able to find on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Biggs tells Dobbs that while they think Hunter Biden is guilty of something, they clearly do not have enough evidence to do anything legal about it. Dobbs, whose painting of Howdy Doody in the attic must look ancient by now, seems pretty fed up with it all.

Congressman, I have to say to you, it sounds to me like we're right where we were six months ago. It really does. I don't see any advancement in this, and a progress toward incriminating evidence for the president. I mean, what we're talking about is a stasis. It's as if everything is frozen right there in time, waiting for either contradiction, invalidation of these statements by people, that I think everyone would assume common sense tells you that they're lying through their teeth and trying to protect someone. But that's insufficient.

It’s hard to argue against the fact that every witness Comer and others have claimed would provide the smoking gun evidence against President Joe Biden has fallen flat or had it blow up in their faces. In fact, these witnesses have ended up supporting the idea that Biden didn’t do anything wrong in regards to supporting his wayward son. 

Oversight Democrats, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, have continued to point out that real issues of oversight remain untouched by the Republican-led committees in the House. Issues like the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, last year. GOP leaders like Donald Trump were quick to blame Joe Biden and fundraise a lot of cash on the tragedy, but were unwilling to lift a finger to investigate what could be done to mitigate such disasters in the future. 

Republicans and their propaganda outlets have been screeching about how much of a crisis there is on the border, and how badly we need security. Instead of working out a deal, House Republicans begin a constitutionally dubious impeachment stunt against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Then when Senate Democrats worked out a deal with Senate Republicans—a deal that is in no way progressive but might at least help fulfill some of our promised foreign aid obligations—Republicans turned around and tried to kill it.

The Republican Party is a depressingly dangerous political theater troupe at this point. The only thing they seem able to do now is demand action, create committee witch hunts, and when Democratic lawmakers and Joe Biden call them on their bluster, become impotently angry. Whether Dobbs’ seeming exhaustion is indicative of a meaningful trend among any of the people who still pay attention to him remains to be seen.

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It is primary season, and Donald Trump seems pretty low energy these days. Kerry and Markos talk about the chances of Trump stumbling through the election season and the need to press our advantage and make gains in the House and Senate. Meanwhile, the right-wing media world is losing its collective minds about Taylor Swift registering younger Americans to vote!

Nikki Haley suddenly has a problem with Trump’s love of dictators

With the South Carolina Republican primary approaching, Nikki Haley is revving up her attacks on presumptive nominee Donald Trump. 

On Monday, Haley repeatedly referred to Trump as a “New York City liberal” who donated to Kamala Harris. She followed that up by posting a clip of Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartoromo where he effused about China’s President Xi Jinping, with this bold take: “Praising dictators is not normal. Make America normal again.”

Newsflash: Trump has something of a preoccupation with dictators. Maybe you think you didn’t read that right. Yes, the twice-impeached former president goes all fanboy for dictators and his history of praising tyrants like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte goes way back. 

There was the time Trump described himself as a “big fan” of Turkey’s strongman autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Trump has called Hungarian Prime Minister (and authoritarian racist) Viktor Orban “his friend.” In fact, Trump has been throwing around Orban’s name so much that he’s mixed him up with Erdoğan.

Even when Trump’s Fox News buddy Sean Hannity attempted to help Trump walk back his praise of dictators like Vladimir Putin, Trump couldn’t help but to boast about how well he gets along with authoritarian monsters.

The good news here is that while Haley isn’t going to beat Trump and there is very little in the way of facts or logic that can seemingly penetrate the MAGA-brainscape these days, she can continue to remind independent voters of why they don’t want another round of Trump as president.

Enjoy Trump going gaga over China’s Xi Jinping.

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