At Least Six Major Security Failures at Trump Rally Leave More Questions for Investigators

Thomas Matthew Crooks

Less than five days after the failed assassination attempt on GOP nominee and former President Donald Trump, several questions still remain about how and why the shooter – Thomas Matthew Crooks – was able to gain access to the rooftop with an unobstructed view over the rally and the crowd. Six of the biggest security failures that reportedly occurred at the event raise even more questions for investigators.

The investigation into the assassination attempt that left one attendee dead, and three injured including Trump, is being led by the FBI. However, the bureau has remained relatively quiet on its probe, publishing only one update so far on Monday, July 15.

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DOJ Wants to Hide Why It Spied on Congressional Staff, Whistleblower Groups Fight Back

Jason Foster

Several major whistleblower groups are fighting the Justice Department’s efforts in federal court to permanently hide why it spied on congressional investigators by obtaining their phone records during a leaks investigation years ago.

The whistleblower group, Empower Oversight, whose founder Jason Foster was one of the investigators whose phone records were taken when he was still in a top Senate staffer, had asked a federal judge to unseal the underlying documents that allowed DOJ to acquire the records in 2017.

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Censorship Noose Tightens Across West with Biden White House, Trudeau’s Canada, EU Bureaucrat Moves

Joe Biden

When the Supreme Court reversed a preliminary injunction against several federal agencies and officials for “coerc[ing] or significantly encourag[ing] a platform’s content-moderation decisions,” the ideologically hybrid majority concluded that well-documented federal pressure to censor government-disfavored narratives was unlikely to recur.

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, scolded his colleagues for their perceived credulity. The high court just provided “an attractive model for future officials who want to control what the people say, hear, and think,” he wrote.

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Attempted Trump Assassin Thomas Crooks Reportedly Diagnosed with ‘Major Depressive Disorder,’ Hinted at Attack on Gaming Platform

Thomas Matthew Crooks

Thomas Matthew Crooks, who was killed by a Secret Service counter-sniper during his failed assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump last Saturday, was reportedly diagnosed with major depressive disorder prior to his death.

It was also reported that Thomas Matthew Crooks foreshadowed his attack, which claimed the life Trump supporter Corey Comperatore and injured two others in addition to piercing the former president’s right ear, on the popular video game storefront and platform Steam.

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President Biden Considering SCOTUS Reforms According to Report

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is considering formally supporting reforms to the Supreme Court, including the introduction of term limits for justices and an enforceable ethics code, the Washington Post reported.

Such reforms reflect increasing frustration among Democrats and Joe Biden’s supporters regarding recent controversies involving Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, as well as landmark rulings by the court’s conservative majority. 

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Brother of Suspected Laken Riley Killer Pleads Guilty to Using Fake Green Card

Diego Ibarra

The brother of the illegal migrant accused of killing Georgia nursing student Laken Riley pleaded guilty on Monday to using a fraudulent green card, according to the Department of Justice.

Diego Ibarra — a 28-year-old Venezuelan national and brother of Jose Ibarra, the man who has been arrested for the killing of Riley — pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a fraudulent document, according to a press release from the Justice Department’s Middle District of Georgia. Ibarra faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine per count.

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Arizona Court Shoots Down Border Ballot Measure Lawsuit

Illegal Immigrants

The ‘Secure the Border Act’ will make it onto the November ballot for Arizonans after the Maricopa County Superior Court shot down a lawsuit from activist groups challenging its legality.

The proposition would make it a state crime to cross into Arizona through an illegal point of entry, as well as other provisions to crack down on the high levels of migrant crossings and the fentanyl crisis.

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Kari Lake Appeals to Arizona Supreme Court over Denial of Her Lawsuit That Provided New Evidence from Tabulator Log Files

Kari Lake filed an opening brief with the Arizona Supreme Court last week, appealing the Arizona Court of Appeals’ denial of her second election lawsuit, a Rule 60(b) challenge containing new evidence. A significant part of it emphasized that over 275,000 signatures were not verified on early ballot envelope affidavits. Rule 60(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure allows a court to “relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding” based on certain factors, such as new evidence or wrongdoing.

Lake’s opening brief, drafted by attorneys Jennifer Wright and Tim LaSota, emphasized “new information showing that, contrary to Maricopa’s claims of an ‘Election Day hiccup,’ nearly two-thirds of Maricopa’s 446 vote center tabulators failed on a massive scale — averaging over 7,000 ballot rejections every thirty minutes shortly after polls opened to polls closing.”

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University in Kentucky Suspends Instructor After ‘Offensive’ Trump Shooting Post

John James

A college in Louisville has placed an instructor on unpaid leave after posting on social media he wished the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump succeeded.

“If you’re gonna shoot, man, don’t miss,” John James wrote in all caps on a post discovered Sunday by Libsoftiktok. The statement was made above a screenshot of a news story on the Saturday shooting during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania that left the former president and current Republican nominee injured after a bullet grazed his ear.

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Sen. Blackburn Confronts Stonewalling Secret Service Director at the RNC over Trump Assassination Attempt Coverup

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and John Barrasso (R-WY) on Wednesday confronted U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle on the floor of the Republican National Convention (RNC) over the Secret Service actions that preceded the Saturday assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

The Tennessee Star confirmed the confrontation happened at the Fiserv Forum in Mulwaukee, Wisconsin where the RNC is being held. Blackburn and Barrasso confronted Cheatle upstairs in a luxury suite just prior to 9 p.m., just minutes before Blackburn uploaded video to the social media platform X with the caption, “[t]he American people deserve answers from the Secret Service.”

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Mike Johnson Says He’ll Call for Secret Service Director’s Resignation After Trump Assassination Attempt

Mike Johnson and Kimberly Cheetle (composite image)

House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday he is going to urge Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to resign following the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

Cheatle said Monday that she would not be stepping down from her position after her agency received backlash over potential security failures that led to Trump being wounded by a snipper’s bullet on Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania. Johnson on “America’s Newsroom” said he plans to call for Cheatle’s resignation because of the incident itself as well as her answers when facing questions from the media.

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U.S. Senators Prohibited from Asking Questions in Secret Service Conference Call After Attempted Trump Assassination

Senators and Secret Service

A source familiar with the conversation confirmed to The Tennessee Star that multiple members of the U.S. Senate were prohibited from asking questions during a Wednesday conference call with the U.S. Secret Service in the wake of the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

The allegation surfaced after U.S. Senator Mike Lee revealed the Secret Service was “briefing senators” about the attempted assassination “on a conference call,” during which he claimed the federal agency provided “details that aren’t all helpful” and little information about “the failures that led to this tragedy.”

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Local Police Sniper Photographed Attempted Trump Assassin, Who Held Laser Rangefinder Prior to Shooting

Thomas Crooks

A sniper from one of the local law enforcement agencies providing assistance at former President Donald Trump’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on July 14 saw Thomas Matthew Crooks, the 20-year-old shooter who was killed at the scene, and photographed the would-be assassin immediately prior to his attack, a Wednesday report claims.

The Pennsylvania publication Beaver Countian first reported on Monday it was a Beaver County police officer who warned his superiors of a man with a rangefinder, which is used to calculate distance when using a weapon, citing multiple local law enforcement sources who told the outlet “extremely poor planning” and a lack of manpower allowed the attempt on Trump’s life.

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Former CIA and White House Official Indicted for Allegedly Acting as South Korea Agent

Sue Mi Terry

A former Central Intelligence Agency and White House National Security Council official has been indicted for allegedly working for a South Korean intelligence officials in exchange for luxury gifts, according to the Justice Department.

The indictment, which was filed on Monday in a New York federal court and made public Tuesday, charges Sue Mi Terry, who worked for the U.S. government from 2001 to 2011, for providing confidential information to South Korea’s government.

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Biden’s Secret Service ‘Created the Conditions’ for Trump Assassination Attempt and Truth Must Be ‘Devastating,’ Argues The Federalist Co-Founder

The U.S. Secret Service last Saturday “created the conditions” for 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks to climb onto the roof of a building and take aim at former President Donald Trump at his Butler, Pennsylvania rally “deliberately and with malice aforethought,” argued The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis, who led a series of criticisms against the agency on Tuesday.

Davis wrote in a Tuesday post to the social media platform X that the “security regime” created by President Joe Biden “deliberately and with malice aforethought created the conditions that led to an assassin shooting Donald Trump in the head.”

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Retired Sheriff Says Putting Men in Women’s Prisons is Causing ‘Unprecedented Rise in Violence’

Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Detective Sergeant Richard Valdemar

A retired California sheriff says in a newly-released documentary series that state and federal transgender inmate policies have led to an “unprecedented rise in violence” in women’s prisons.

In September 2020, Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act, which allowed women’s prisons to accept biological males as inmates if they identified as “transgender women.”Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Detective Sergeant Richard Valdemar claims that he has witnessed an “unprecedented rise in violence” in not just California prisons but around the country due to recent policy changes regarding inmates that identify as the opposite sex that have so far been obscured from the public in an episode of a new docuseries titled “Cruel and Unusual Punishment” by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Florida Report Finds Decrease in Number of Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Girl Sitting Alone

A new report from the Florida Legislature’s research arm found a significant decrease in the number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the Sunshine State, but some services still sorely need improvement.

The Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability published its annual report on the sexual exploitation of minors in Florida and the data shows there has been an 11% decrease overall since 2020 in child victims of exploitation.A new report from the Florida Legislature’s research arm found a significant decrease in the number of child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the Sunshine State, but some services still sorely need improvement.

The Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability published its annual report on the sexual exploitation of minors in Florida and the data shows there has been an 11% decrease overall since 2020 in child victims of exploitation.

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Potentially Dangerous Minnesota County Court Order Reversed Just Three Weeks After Being Issued

Judge Kerry Meyer

A recently enacted Hennepin County Court policy that could have had deadly or dangerous results for domestic abuse victims was suddenly reversed over the weekend.

In mid-June, Hennepin County District Court’s Chief Judge Kerry Meyer issued a Standing Order altering the pre-appearance release procedures and bail for some domestic abuse suspects. The order replaced a prior Standing Order that had been in place since 2019 that required suspects arrested on probable cause misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic assault charges to be held without bail until they were brought before a judge to have bail and/or conditions set, such as a no-contact order with the victim.

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Wisconsin MPS Recall Group Threatens Class Action Lawsuit

Learning

The group driving the Milwaukee school board recall is now looking to file a class-action lawsuit.

The MPS School Board Recall Collaborative said it has filed formal complaints against the city’s school board with the Wisconsin Board of Ethics, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Education against Milwaukee’s elected school board members. The group is alleging “malfeasance, illegal and unethical activities that cannot be denied by any of the Board members.”

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FBI Says It Has No Record of ‘Legacy Token’ Documents After FOIA Request

In response the a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it has no record of any documents containing the terms “legacy token” or “legacy tokens,” despite the fact that The Tennessee Star has such a document from the FBI in its possession. 

“Based on the information you provided, we conducted a main entity record search of the Central Records System (CRS) per our standard search policy,” the FBI said in response to the FOIA request. “However, we were unable to identify records subject to the FOIPA that are responsive to your request. Therefore, your request is being closed. If you have additional information pertaining to the subject of your request, please submit a new request providing the details, and we will conduct an additional search.”

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Mar-a-Lago Case Dismissal Could Spell the End of Smith’s D.C. Prosecution and Anti-Trump Lawfare

Mar-a-Lago Documents

After surviving an assassination attempt over the weekend, Trump began the week with good news in the form of Judge Aileen Cannon dismissing special counsel Jack Smith’s Mar-a-Lago case against him in a seismic ruling that could spell the end of his federal legal woes and build on his existing momentum in the national spotlight.

Smith had charged Trump in connection with his storage and retention of materials at his Mar-a-Lago estate, which the FBI raided in August of 2022. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith in late 2022 to pursue the case and he brought an initial indictment in 2023. Trump pleaded not guilty though Smith in July of that year brought a superseding indictment with additional charges. The former president has long maintained he was innocent of any wrongdoing and that the case was part of a broader political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 bid for the White House.

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Warning Signs About Secret Service Emerged Months Before Trump Assassination Attempt

Secret Service

Driving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris by an undetected bomb. Refusing extra resources for a presidential candidate. Admitting an agent on a White House detail assaulted her supervisor.

Long before the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump on Saturday night such focused a harsh light on the Secret Service, the presidential security agency was already facing difficult questions about its capability, training, recruitment and emphasis on diversity.

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Secret Service Claims 21-Officer Butler Township Police Department Responsible for Building Used by Would-be Trump Assassin

Anthony Guglielmi

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service on Sunday appeared to blame the Butler Township Police Department (BTPD) for failing to secure the building that would-be assassin Thomas Crooks used to shoot former President Donald Trump before Crooks was killed at the rally on Saturday.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Gugliemi claimed the agency was not responsible for securing the building, according to The New York Times, which reported it “was outside of the designated perimeter of the Trump rally, so it was secured by local law enforcement, not Secret Service agents.”

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Alaska Natives File Lawsuit Challenging Federal Overreach in Wake of SCOTUS ‘Chevron’ Ruling

Oil Drilling

Alaska Natives are fighting back against the Biden administration’s decision to shut down oil and gas development in northern Alaska, which they say is vital to the prosperity and well being of their communities. 

The Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat (VOICE), a nonprofit advocacy group for Native-American communities living on the state’s North Slope, filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland over the final BLM’s final rule blocking 13 million acres in their region to oil and gas development.

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Georgia’s Ex-Insurance Commissioner Faces Federal Prison Sentence

John W. Oxendine

A federal judge sentenced Georgia’s former state insurance commissioner to more than three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges that he participated in a health care fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones sentenced John W. Oxendine, 62, of Port St. Joe, Florida, to three years and six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The former elected official must also pay $760,175.34 in restitution and a fine of $25,000.

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Elon Musk Endorses Trump After Assassination Attempt, Leads Flood of Calls for Secret Service Resignations

Elon Musk, Donald Trump

Billionaire Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of the social media platform X, endorsed former President Donald Trump on Saturday after a gunman attempted to assassinate the former president during a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. Musk later called for Secret Service resignations in the wake of the shooting, which left one rally attendee dead and a second injured.

Musk posted a video of the attempted assassination in to X, where he received more than 55 million views at press time, and wrote, “I fully endorse President Trump and hope for his rapid recovery.”

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Federal Court Upholds Tennessee Policy Preventing Transgender Individuals from Changing Sex on Birth Certificate

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled 2-1 to uphold a decades-long Tennessee policy that prohibits changes to a person’s sex on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity instead of their biological sex at birth.

The policy treats the sex listed on a birth certificate as a historical fact unchangeable by an individual’s transition to a different gender identity.

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Comer Subpoenas Three White House Staffers for Allegedly Covering Biden Mental Decline

James Comer and Joe Biden

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed three White House staffers on Wednesday alleging they are “running interference” for President Joe Biden over his perceived mental decline.

Biden left many Democrats concerned over his performance at the first presidential debate last month, after he stumbled his way through his responses, which raised questions about his ability to serve as commander-in-chief for another four years.

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Group Funding Lawsuit by Georgia Realtor Vows to ‘Stop Cancel Culture’ by Helping Americans ‘Defend Themselves’

Doug Turpin

The founder of Coalition for Liberty, the organization funding a lawsuit brought by a Georgia realtor who was fired after making a public speech about sexually explicit materials in public libraries, told The Georgia Star News that cancel culture will be defeated when activists learn “everyday Americans” have the support of groups like his.

Coalition for Liberty is funding the lawsuit filed by Julie Mauck against LGBT activists and an activist organization, which she states made false claims about her July 2023 speech in opposition to the reading materials.

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Wisconsin Father Accused of Fatally Stabbing His Two Children was in U.S. Illegally from Mexico

Victor Manuel Gomez Acosta

A man accused of fatally stabbing his two children and injuring his wife in a Wisconsin town was living in the United States illegally, Just the News confirmed  Thursday.

Victor Manuel Gomez Acosta has been charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and attempted homicide. His bond is set at $1 million and his first court date is scheduled for July 30.

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Over $1 Million in Fentanyl Pills Confiscated by Local Arizona Police

Mesa Fentanyl Seizure

Major fentanyl seizures are not exclusive to just border authorities, as $1.2 million worth of the deadly drug was confiscated by the Mesa Police Department on Independence Day.

The seizure of roughly 750,000 blue fentanyl pills weighed around 200 pounds and were put into nearly 60 “bundles” throughout a gold Cadillac. According to the news release, the police were flagged after a call of three people being in a car where ” the driver appeared to be unconscious.” 

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Audits Find Financial Issues with Some Florida Charter Schools

Classroom

The Florida Auditor General’s office has released two reports that detail significant issues and financial trends in the Sunshine State’s charter schools, charter technical career centers and district school boards.

There are 720 charter schools and charter technical career centers operating in Florida, with the majority in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. State law requires these schools to be annually audited by an independent certified public accountant.

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Montana Supreme Court Hears Appeal of Landmark Anti Fossil Fuel Case Won by Youth Climate Activists

Montana Supreme Court

The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in the state’s appeal of a case that is so far one of the only successful climate cases of dozens that activists, states, and local governments have filed against government agencies and oil companies.

The case, Held v. Montana, involves 16 young plaintiffs who were organized by the anti-fossil fuel nonprofit Our Children’s Trust to sue the state of Montana for allegedly violating the kids’ constitutional rights to a clean and healthy environment by permitting oil, gas and coal projects in the state without regard to their impacts on global warming.

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Covenant Killer’s Father Confirmed Vanderbilt University Medical Center ‘Didn’t Tell Us’ About Daughter’s Interest in Columbine

Audrey Hale

Ronald Hale, the father of Covenant School killer Audrey Elizabeth Hale, confirmed to investigators that Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) did not inform his daughter developed an interest in the April 20, 1999 shooting at the Columbine High School in Colorado, according to a transcript of a July 12, 2023 police interview obtained by The Tennessee Star. 

Police documents obtained by The Star previously established that Audrey Hale was a 22-year mental health patient at VUMC, and Ronald and Norma Hale confirmed their daughter was evaluated for commitment for mental health reasons during three separate incidents, including two at VUMC for suicidal ideation.

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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Won’t Appeal Court Loss in ‘Open Fields’ Doctrine Case

Hunter Hollingsworth

After losing an appeal in May, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has decided it will not take its case on the “open fields” doctrine to the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

The case began when Terry Rainwaters and Hunter Hollingsworth found hidden cameras on their property, placed there by TWRA, according to the Institute of Justice, which took on the case. 

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Georgia Realtor and Moms for Liberty Chair Smeared by LGBT Activists Targeted Again After Filing Lawsuit

Georgia realtor Julie Mauck was fired by her broker and accused by the Georgia Association of Realtors of engaging in discrimination after she claims a group of cancel culture activists made false claims about her remarks at a July 2023 open meeting at a public library, where she discussed the availability of sexually explicit reading materials for children.

Mauck eventually found a new broker and secured the backing of Coalition for Liberty, a nonprofit that partners with other organizations to help individuals respond to cancel culture, and successfully won an appeal to maintain her license.

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Ohio Representatives Vote to Save U.S. Attorney General Garland from Inherent Contempt of Congress

Dave Joyce and Mike Turner in front of US Capitol building (composite image)

Two House of Representatives from Ohio voted against a bill that would have imposed a $10,000 daily fine on Attorney General Merrick Garland for his refusal to provide audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Robert Hur.

Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH-14) and Mike Turner (R-OH-10), along with Tom McClintock (R-CA-05 ) and John Duarte (R-CA-13), voted against this bill.

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