“A vote today to make the architect of a nationwide abortion ban, a vocal election denier and an insurrection insider to the Speaker of this house would be a terrible message to the country and our allies,” Aguilar said, speaking of Jordan.
“Mr. Speaker, it would send an even more troubling message to our enemies, that the very people who would seek to undermine democracy are rewarded with positions of immense power,” he continued.
He ripped the GOP’s Speaker nominee for putting the country’s national security at risk, for his role in not certifying the 2020 election results and for launching “baseless investigations.” Jordan has been a leading figure in House impeachment probes into President Biden and his son Hunter.
“We’re talking about someone who has spent his entire career trying to hold our country back, putting our national security in danger, attempting government shutdown after government shutdown, wasting taxpayer dollars on baseless investigations with dead ends, authoring the very bill that would ban abortion nationwide without exceptions and inciting violence on this chamber,” Aguilar said.
“Even leaders of his own party have called him a legislative terrorist,” he added.
That monicker was once used by former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to describe Jordan.
Aguilar also took aim at Jordan for voting no on a series of legislative action, including approving natural disaster relief in states after they were ravaged by hurricanes and wildfires. When listing out examples of what legislative action Jordan opposed, some Democrats appeared to join in chorus, saying “he said no” along with Aguilar.
“When the Mississippi River floods devastated the south and communities across state lines needed Congress to act, he said no,” he said. “When our veterans were suffering from disease and dying as a result of their service to our country and Congress passed a bipartisan solution, he said no.”
The California Democrat criticized the House for considering electing a member “who has not passed a single bill in 16 years.”
Aguilar called on the House to find a bipartisan way forward, accusing Republicans of throwing the House into “chaos” by failing to come to a consensus on a new Speaker. He said that they are gathered to vote on a new leader because “this hallowed chamber has been led to a breaking point by two dangerous forces — extremism and partisanship.”
He also urged those on both sides of the aisle to vote for Jeffries.
“Only Hakeem Jeffries can be trusted to keep his word. Only Hakeem Jeffries can lead us out of the chaos and towards the path of governance. It brings me immense pride to nominate our friend the Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries as Speaker,” he said.
Jordan, who narrowly secured the GOP nomination for Speaker in an internal vote last week, failed to clinch the 217 votes necessary on the first ballot. The vote was 200 for Jordan, 212 for Jeffries and 20 for other members. It’s unclear when a second vote might be held.
ATLANTA — Former president Donald Trump and 18 others were criminally charged in Georgia on Monday in connection with efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the state, according to an indictment made public late Monday night.
Trump was charged with 13 counts, including violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree and conspiring to file false documents.
The historic indictment, the latest to implicate the former president, follows a 2½-year investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D). The probe was launched after audio leaked from a January 2021 phone call during which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to question the validity of thousands of ballots, especially in the heavily Democratic Atlanta area, and said he wanted to “find” the votes to erase his 2020 loss in the state.
Among those named in the 98-page indictment, charged under Georgia’s anti-racketeering law, are Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who served as Trump’s personal attorney after the election; Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; and several Trump advisers, including attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, architects of a scheme to create slates of alternate Trump electors.
Also indicted were two Georgia-based lawyers advocating on Trump’s behalf, Ray S. Smith II, and Robert Cheeley; a senior campaign adviser, Mike Roman, who helped plan the elector meeting; and two prominent Georgia Republicans who served as electors: former GOP chairman David Shafer and former GOP finance chairman Shawn Still.
Several lesser known players who participated in efforts to reverse Trump’s defeat in Georgia were also indicted, including three people accused of harassing Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman. They are Stephen Cliffgard Lee, Harrison Floyd and Trevian Kutti. The latter is a former publicist for R. Kelly and associate of Kanye West.
A final group of individuals charged in the indictment allegedly participated in an effort to steal election-equipment data in rural Coffee County, Ga. They are former Coffee County elections supervisor Misty Hampton, former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham and Georgia businessman Scott Hall.
Trump was indicted in Washington, D.C., earlier this month in a separate Justice Department probe into his various attempts to keep his grip on power during the chaotic aftermath of his 2020 defeat. Some aspects of that four-count federal case, led by special counsel Jack Smith, overlaps with Willis’s sprawling probe, which accuses Trump and his associates of a broad, criminal enterprise to reverse Joe Biden’s election victory in Georgia.
But the Fulton County indictment, issued by a grand jury and made public Monday night, is far more encompassing and detailed than Smith’s ongoing federal investigation.
Prosecutors brought charges around five separate subject areas, including false statements by Trump allies, including Giuliani, to the Georgia legislature; the breach of voting data in Coffee County, Ga.; calls Trump made to state officials including Raffensperger seeking to overturn Biden’s victory; the harassment of election workers and the creation of a slate of alternate electors to undermine the legitimate vote. Those charged in the case were implicated in certain parts of what prosecutors presented as a larger conspiracy to undermine the election
Willis had signaled for months that she planned to use Georgia’s expansive anti-racketeering statutes that allow prosecutors not only to charge in-state wrongdoing but to use activities in other states to prove criminal intent in Georgia. Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute is one of the most expansive in the country and is broader than federal law in how prosecutors can define a criminal enterprise or conspiracy.
In January 2022, Willis requested an unusual special purpose grand jury be convened to continue the probe, citing the reluctance of witnesses who would not speak to prosecutors without a subpoena. The investigative body of 23 jurors and three alternates picked from a pool of residents from Atlanta and its suburbs was given full subpoena power for documents and the ability to call witnesses — though it could not issue indictments, only recommendations in the case.
Over roughly eight months, the panel heard from 75 witnesses — including key Trump advisers including Giuliani, Meadows and U.S. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who waged a failed legal battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to block his subpoena before ultimately testifying.
The panel also heard from several key witnesses in the investigation, including Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who were on the other end of aggressive lobbying efforts by Trump and his associates to overturn Trump’s loss in the state.
In January, the special grand jury concluded its work and issued a final report on its investigation, which was largely kept under seal by the judge who oversaw the panel.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney cited “due process” concerns for “potential future defendants” as Willis considered charges in the case. But in February, McBurney released a five-page excerpt of the report — including a section in which the panel concluded that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony and recommended that charges be filed.
The panel’s forewoman later confirmed that the special grand jury had recommended multiple indictments — though she declined to say of who.
Trump’s attorneys later sought to disqualify Willis and her office from the case — citing Willis’s public comments about the investigation — and quash the final report and any evidence gathered by the special purpose grand jury. The motions were rejected by McBurney and the Georgia Supreme Court, which ruled that Trump had no legal standing to stop an investigation before charges were filed.
In the spring, amid security concerns, Willis took the unusual step of telling law enforcement that she planned to announce her charging decision in August. Because the special grand jury could not issue indictments, prosecutors presented their case to a regular grand jury sworn in last month, which began hearing the case Monday.
Trump’s attorneys are likely to immediately seek to have the case thrown out, reviving their complaints about Willis and the use of a special grand jury in the case.
Trump has intensified his attacks on Willis and other prosecutors examining his activities, describing them as “vicious, horrible people” and “mentally sick.” Trump has referred to Willis, who is Black, as the “racist DA from Atlanta.” His 2024 campaign included her in a recent video attacking prosecutors investigating Trump. Willis has generally declined to respond directly to Trump’s attacks, but in a rare exception, she said in an email last week sent to the entire district attorney’s office that Trump’s ad contained “derogatory and false information about me” and ordered her employees to ignore it.
“You may not comment in any way on the ad or any of the negativity that may be expressed against me, your colleagues, this office in coming days, weeks or months,” Willis wrote in the email, obtained by The Washington Post. “We have no personal feelings against those we investigate or prosecute and we should not express any. This is business, it will never be personal.”
Still, Willis has repeatedly raised concerns about security as her investigation has progressed, citing Trump’s “alarming” rhetoric and the racist threats she and her staff have received. Willis is often accompanied by armed guards at public appearances, and security at her office and her residence was increased even more in recent days ahead of the expected charging announcement, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive security matters.
VACAVILLE – A new group in Solano County that appears to be tied to a national extremist movement canceled an event with Douglas G. Frank, a former math and science teacher who has spread false claims about the 2020 election, a day after receiving questions about the event from the Vallejo Sun.
The “Solano Committee of Safety,” which intended to host Frank for a speaking engagement in Vacaville, also took down its website late Wednesday. It’s unclear who is behind the newly-formed group, which is not a registered organization with the state of California and identified its officers only by their first names. After the Sun inquired about their identities, the leadership’s photos were removed from the website and the group declined to provide their last names before the entire site was taken down. The website domain name was registered anonymously in March.
Frank has spread unsubstantiated, misleading and false theories about the 2020 election in a series of speaking engagements across the country and appears to be under investigation by the FBI after data was illegally taken from a local government office.Frank has worked for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, who has extensively spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
The Aug. 10 event with Frank at the Vacaville Veterans Hall would have been the group’s second event after an initial outreach event in July. The event was canceled Wednesday without explanation after the Sun asked about whether the group had any concerns that Frank’s rhetoric would inappropriately erode confidence in the county’s voting systems and about a recent incident when Frank appeared to call for violence.
The group also appears to be affiliated with the National Liberty Alliance, a group which encourages people to start local “Committees of Safety,” organize militias and seek commitments from local sheriffs to follow “constitutional sheriff” ideology — a fringe view that asserts that sheriffs have ultimate power in enforcing the U.S. Constitution. The Solano committee claimed on its website that Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara said that he subscribes to these views, which Ferrara has since disputed.
Frank has traveled the country speaking to small audiences and meeting with election officials. The Solano Committee of Safety said that Frank, who was formerly a math and science teacher in Ohio, has appeared at more than 300 speaking engagements over the last year.
His conclusions — including that an algorithm created by unknown conspirators determines the result of U.S. elections using large numbers of phantom voters — have been amplified by Lindell. Frank has also spoken at Trump rallies.
During a recent appearance in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Frank even seemed to incite violence. “If Antifa comes to town, what’s your instinct? Call the sheriff? Wrong,” he said. “If Antifa comes to town, you get your AR and you call your neighbors and you meet them on the street and you take care of business. You call the
He went on, “If you have a problem, you don’t call your legislator, you fix it. Maybe the legislature will fix it three years later. If you’re waiting for legislation you’re going to be waiting… nothing’s going to happen. You’re going to have to fix it.”
During the same talk in Pennsylvania, Frank claimed he was working with sheriffs across California and would soon expose massive voter fraud. He implied that if voter rolls increase faster than population growth, that suggests fraudulent voters have been added, despite that changes in demographics, successful registration drives or a popular election may boost registration. He also repeatedly falsely said that local election officials are not in charge of counting ballots.
Justin Grimmer, a political science professor at Stanford University, has extensively researched Frank’s claims and created a website that refutes Frank’s claims of fraud. Grimmer said that Frank often claims he has volunteers canvassing to find voter fraud, but that they have turned up nothing.
“I have spent a lot of time investigating his claims, and I have not seen a single individual case of voter fraud that he has surfaced,” Grimmer said. “He has claims but at no point has he ever shown that there is voter fraud.”