Joe Rogan Attacks Gay and Transgender People

Joe Rogan seems to have cracked the cancel culture code — claiming that members of the LGBTQ+ community are the “most vicious” champions of ostracizing others because “they’ve been bullied” and are seeking revenge.

Rogan made the comments to comedian Shane Gillis, who was fired from Saturday Night Live in 2019 for past remarks many deemed offensive and homophobic.

“You know what the thing that’s going on with the left — a lot of it is, they’re being bullies and a lot of the people that are progressive, that are really like open-minded, unfortunately, there is a lot of people on the left that were bullied by assholes when they were young,” Rogan said on the July 21 episode of his podcast.

Gillis agreed with the assessment, claiming that he was a bully himself, but “not a mean one.”

“It’s also people that — they don’t have a lot of love in their life,” Rogan continued. “If they do have love, it’s like, very conditional and it’s very precarious.”

Rogan went on to say that those on the left are relentlessly trying to get people fired — adding that “most of those people have experienced deep pain in their life.”

“The most vicious shit is coming from like transgender people or gay people,” Rogan continued — prompting Gillis to add, “Yeah, they’re all fired up. What are they all fired up about?”

“They’ve been bullied,” Rogan said to the comedian, who himself has been called out for insensitive remarks towards the LGBTQ+ community. “They’re angry. They’ve been picked on. So, when something happens — they come for you.”

At no point did either comedian try to reason why those being canceled, or held accountable for their actions, have made jokes at the expense of others in the first place.

‘You’re all f—ed’ up’: Trump exploded after his officials warned against using military troops to end George Floyd protests, according to new book

After George Floyd was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police in May 2020, millions of Americans poured into the streets to protest his death and call attention to racial injustice.

In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, Trump summoned Gen. Mark Milley, Defense secretary Mark Esper, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and other advisors to find a way to end the protests.

The president was incensed by a New York Times report that he had been taken to a bunker as protests near the White House turned violent, thinking the news “made him appear scared and weak,” according to a newly-released book by the Washington Post reporters Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

To blunt the continued protests, Trump insisted that active-duty troops be used, which Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Esper sought to eliminate as an option.

When Trump mentioned the 1960s race riots to justify the use of troops to restore order, Milley threw cold water on the suggestion, part of a longer discussion that resulted in the president cursing out his top military advisors, which Leonnig and Rucker detailed in “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”

“Mr. President, it doesn’t compare anywhere to the summer of sixty-eight,” Milley said, according to the book. “It’s not even close.”

After senior advisor Stephen Miller chimed in to declare the protests as “an insurrection,” Milley pointed to a portrait of former President Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through the American Civil War.

“Mr. President, that guy had an insurrection,” Milley said, according to the book. “You don’t have an insurrection. When guys show up in gray and start bombing Fort Sumter, you’ll have an insurrection.”

Trump entertained the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, which would let him deploy troops across the country to quell any civil disorder or insurrection, but Milley and Esper continued to fight against the idea.

On June 1, Trump had grown angrier over the press coverage of the protests, urging governors and law enforcement to “dominate” the nationwide unrest.

“How do you think this looks to hostile countries?” Trump said, according to the book. “They see we can’t even control our own capital city and the space around the White House!”

After once again calling for troops, Esper said that the National Guard remained the best option to stop any unrest, but the president proceeded to slam on the Resolute Desk and told the Defense secretary that he wasn’t done enough to solve the problem, according to the book.

Trump sought to make Milley the leader of an operation to restore order, but after the general reiterated that he wasn’t in an operational role, the president lost it.

“You’re all f—ed up,” Trump said, according to the book. “Every one of you is f—ed up.”

Trump then looked at Vice President Mike Pence, who had been a quiet observer, and directed his ire toward his No. 2.

“Including you!” the president said, according to the book.

Later that day, Trump, along with Milley, Esper, and several other advisors, walked from the White House complex to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church.

The now-infamous photo op, which showed the president holding a bible in front of the church after protestors were violently cleared from Lafayette Park, immediately attracted criticism. However, the inspector general for the Interior Department determined in June 2021 that the US Park Police and Secret Service did not clear the park for Trump’s photoshoot, but to install anti-scale fencing.

Man Beheads Girlfriend Because She Tried to Break Up with Him While on Their Way to Court

A criminal complaint filed Friday in the alleged decapitation murder of a Minnesota woman says that the defendant confessed to the police that he beheaded his girlfriend because she tried to break up with him while traveling with him to a court appearance in an earlier case.

According to the police and prosecutors, America Mafalda Thayer, 55, of Shakopee, died Wednesday afternoon when her boyfriend, Alexis Saborit, 42, also of Shakopee, cut her head off with a knife and fled. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. and was recorded on video by at least one witness, the police confirmed earlier in the week.

Prosecutors filed a single charge of second-degree murder against Saborit on Friday in Scott County, Minn.

The eight-page charging document says a reporting party “observed a male throw a headless body out of a car at the intersection” of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street. From the complaint:

Officers arrived at the scene and observed a female, naked from the waist up, lying with her feet towards the curb and her shoulders near an open car door. The woman had been decapitated and her head was lying approximately one foot away from her body. There were large amounts of blood on the ground and in the passenger side of the vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s vehicle was parked nearby.

The document continued by relating the story of the killing as given to the police by several witnesses.

Witness 1 stated he was driving westbound on 4th Avenue and stopped at the intersection with Spencer Street. Witness 1 saw a dark colored vehicle stop heading southbound. Witness 1 saw the driver of the vehicle by the passenger side swinging an object in the air and bringing it downward repeatedly. Witness 1 said the object was black and looked like a police baton. Witness 1 continued on 4th Avenue and returned southbound on Spencer Street where he saw a body lying on the ground.

Witness 2 stated she was driving southbound on Spencer Street. There was a vehicle several cars in front of her that she thought was maybe having mechanical issues. A vehicle in front of her drove around the stopped vehicle and another made a U-turn. Witness 2 could then see the driver of the stopped vehicle standing by the passenger side making a hitting motion. The driver threw an unknown object into a yard and then dragged something out of the car that looked like a body. The driver then grabbed an object which Witness 2 eventually realized was a human head with blonde hair. Witness 2 could see blood on the head. Witness 2 said the driver left, walking eastbound down the alley.

The criminal complaint also notes that a witness recorded a cell phone video of “part of the murder.” The brutally gruesome and disgustingly graphic video has been shared widely online — much to the irritation of the police. The complaint describes in summary fashion, however, what is sure to be Exhibit A at the defendant’s trial:

The video was taken from inside a residence. Through a window, the suspect can be seen pulling Victim’s body out of the vehicle. The suspect picks up Victim’s head and moves it away from the body. At the end of the video, the suspect is seen reaching into the back seat of the vehicle.

Officers located “an empty, black sheath that appeared to be for a machete-style knife” in a grassy area “a few feet from the crime scene,” the document goes on to indicate. And then they found a few pieces of other key evidence:

In an alley approximately one and a half blocks east of the crime scene, officers found a white shirt, white shoes, and a knife in a recycling bin. The white shoes and white shirt both appear to have blood-like substance on them.

According to the criminal complaint, both the victim and the defendant were known to the police.

Some officers at the crime scene were familiar with Victim and knew her to have a boyfriend—ALEXIS SABORIT, born 3/30/1979 and Defendant herein. The Defendant matched the description of the suspect.

During the search for the suspect, officers observed the Defendant in the area of Shenandoah Parkway and Highway 101. While officers waited for more backup to arrive, the Defendant appeared to notice them watching him. The Defendant changed course and walked north into the Murphy’s Landing parking lot. Officers approached the Defendant and took him into custody.

At the time, the Defendant was wearing black pants which appear to be the same as seen in the video taken at the crime scene. The red underneath his pants was determined to be shorts. The Defendant was wearing a black hoodie.

A third witness told the authorities that he was with both the victim and the defendant at a park about 15 minutes before the slaying occurred.

Witness 3 stated he was with Victim and the Defendant at Memorial Park around approximately 2:15 p.m. that day. He said Victim was trying to convince the Defendant to go to court, so he did not get into trouble. Witness 3 said Victim was upset that the Defendant may get into trouble for missing court, but things seemed fine between the two of them. Witness 3 mentioned that Victim told him the Defendant often carries a machete on him.

The defendant allegedly confessed to the police after they read him his rights. According to the complaint, Saborit said Thayer tried to dump him while he was on his way to to the courthouse for an earlier legal matter that is not fully described in the charging documents. And, despite his own legal history of abuse, Saborit tried to blame Thayer for abusing him. Again, from the court record:

In a post-Miranda statement, the Defendant stated that he and Victim had been dating for several years. The Defendant said they were together earlier in the day and went to the park. The Defendant said they were going to go to his court appearance together. On the way to court, Victim told the Defendant she wanted to get rid of the Defendant and end her relationship with him. The Defendant said he used a knife to kill Victim because she had “gone too far” in her abuse of him and in her comments about ending their relationship.

Another witness eventually came forward to help the police find the alleged murder weapon:

On July 29th, 2021, a known woman, Witness 4 herein, called to report that her dog had found a knife in a garden near the intersection of Spencer Street and 4th Avenue. Officers responded to the area and observed a black handle sticking up from the ground, concealed in a bush. The knife was almost entirely concealed and difficult to see. It appeared as though it had been plunged into the dirt somehow. The knife was a black machete with a partially serrated edge. The blade was covered with blood-like substance and there appeared to be strands of hair on the blade. The knife appears to fit the sheath found at the crime scene.

A second-degree murder conviction in Minnesota carries a possible prison sentence of up to 40 years.

[Image of America Thayer via Facebook, Alexis Saborit via Scott County, Minn. jail booking photo]

The post Man Admits He Beheaded His Girlfriend Because She Tried to Break Up with Him While on Their Way to Court: Prosecutors first appeared on Law & Crime.

British ‘Cat-Killer’ Stabs At Least 16 Pets

A string of horrific crimes has resulted in the sentencing of 54-year-old Steven Bouquet of Brighton, England.

Known as the “Brighton cat killer,” Bouquet was accused of stabbing 16 cats—nine of which were killed—between October 2018 and June 2019, reported BBC News. According to the news outlet, he denied all 16 of the criminal damage charges leveled against him but was found guilty regardless and sentenced to five years in prison.

The U.K. has several laws in place to protect animals against abuse and cruelty, including the expansive Animal Welfare Act of 2006. However, as explained by the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS], in instances where the defendant is accused of killing or injuring a pet that does not belong to them, they will frequently be charged with “criminal damage,” as Bouquet was. In those cases, the pet “may…be classed as property capable of being ‘damaged or destroyed’ under the terms of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.”

When the cats’ deaths were first reported in 2018, the Sussex Police began to investigate potential foul play. Explained Detective Inspector Chris Thompson in a report on the case: “We needed to determine whether there was human involvement in these cases and submitted two cats for post mortem examinations by a specialist vet at the Royal Veterinary College. It was found that one of the cats had been stabbed by a sharp implement deliberately, but the other had too much surgical intervention to make a definite conclusion.”

“However, there were no witnesses to the savage acts and there was no indication as to who was responsible,” added Thompson.

The case’s “breakthrough” came in May 2019, when Bouquet was eventually caught on camera committing one of his crimes. Stewart Montgomery, whose kitten, Hendrix, was murdered, reportedly spotted a CCTV camera overlooking a trail of blood near his home, left over from the crime. His neighbor had placed the camera there after their cat had been killed the year prior.

The footage is said to show Bouquet petting the cat before allegedly taking something out of his backpack and making a “sudden jerk.” “This is the moment we say that the defendant stabs Hendrix with some force,” explained prosecutor Rowan Jenkins, reported The Guardian.

Additional evidence included a knife with both feline blood and Bouquet’s DNA on it, location tracking that matched his cell phone data with the time and place of several stabbings, and a picture of a dead cat on his phone. The Sussex Police added that “his laptop computer showed that he had repeatedly accessed a website in relation to lost cats in the city, paying particular attention to a cat that was killed.”

Judge Jeremy Gold QC called the killings “cruel,” noting that Bouquet’s spree “was sustained and…struck at the very heart of family life.”

Traumatized pet owners, meanwhile, were glad Bouquet will no longer be able to harm helpless animals.

“I’m pleased his trial is over but I really hope that while he’s serving his time, he is made to get psychiatric help so he never hurts an animal or human for the rest of his life,” explained actor Terry Mynott to The Guardian. “I’ve already lost so it is hard to feel anything toward him. The worst that could happen happened.”

Stateside, similar cases have made headlines in recent weeks. In June, ex-animal rescuer Michelline Toulouse was accused of hoarding at least 50 cats, 10 of which were found already dead, in cruel, unlivable conditions.

Saving Sage Animal Rescue, which was Toulouse’s former employer, took in the cats rescued from her care. Said their president, Gina Vlasek: “It was just the most horrific thing that you could ever imagine. No food, there was urine in the water bowls and at least one of the cats died within the last 12 hours and was eaten halfway down.”

She added: “She had every opportunity not to do this to the animals that she claimed that she loved. This isn’t love, this is selfish.”

3 People Murdered Execution-Style After Stealing $600

Wisconsin authorities investigating a triple-homicide last week in Hamilton have taken two men into custody, and believe a dispute over $600 preceded the fatal violence.

Nya Kou Thao, 33, and Khamthaneth Rattanasack, 41, are accused in the execution-style shootings of Trevor Maloney, 23, and Nemo Yang and Peng Lor, both 24.

The two men were apprehended at separate locations, and at this time, no formal charges have been filed against them.

They are due in court later today.

All three victims were found on July 23, at the entrance to a quarry in Hamilton.

According to La Crosse County Sheriff Jeff Wolf, who addressed the media Thursday, the arrests were the result of the “excellent work of numerous investigators” from multiple jurisdictions.a man looking at the camera: Khamthanet Rattanasack and Nya Thao © La Crosse County Jail Khamthanet Rattanasack and Nya Thao

“Investigators worked tirelessly to bring resolution and arrests in the case,” Wolf said. “The agencies cannot be commended enough for the great work they have done and the work yet to take place.”

A witness approached detectives the day after the killings.

criminal complaint, obtained by the La Crosse Tribune, alleges the witness told police she pulled into the Holiday Inn in Onalaska and briefly went inside. When she returned, Thao entered her vehicle, sitting in the back seat on the driver’s side. Yang sat in the front passenger seat, she said.

She was told to follow Rattanasack, who was driving a Mercedes. Upon arriving at the quarry, the witness said Rattanasack ordered the three victims to get on their knees and crawl toward the gate. She said Rattanasack then handed a gun to Thao, who shot all three men multiple times.

She said Rattanasack and Thao left in their vehicles after allowing her to return to her car and leave.

Investigators do not know why the witness’ life was spared.

Police also received what they described as a reliable tip from another witness, who said Rattanasack accused Yang of stealing $600 from him — by using his credit card.

It was unclear Friday if either defendant had a lawyer.

Will Trump Testify about January 6?

Rep. Liz Cheney told an attentive hearing room Tuesday that the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection vows to uncover “every minute” of what happened at the White House that day. 

“Every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack,” Cheney explained. 

A change in Justice Department policy this week may help them do just that.

After the department announced Monday it wouldn’t block testimony from former government officials, legal experts said the committee will have a strong case to compel testimony about who organized the attack, who financed it and how the government responded.

But even as the chairman of the House committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., moves briskly to issue subpoenas, legal experts caution that former administration officials could fight them in court for years.

“As soon as the subpoenas are served, they will be challenged,” said Jimmy Gurulé, a University of Notre Dame law professor and former Justice official. “I would expect this to be litigated for some time on a range of issues, from claims that the subpoenas are too broad or unduly burdensome for the testimony or documents being sought.”

Part of the investigation will focus on what former President Donald Trump was doing as rioters violently breached the Capitol and ransacked offices on live television. Lawmakers urged Trump to call off the mob.

Potential witnesses include lawmakers and the officials they contacted at the White House, Pentagon or other federal agencies.

Five people died from the melee – including a woman shot by police while trying to enter the House chamber – and about 140 police officers were injured. Other committees stitched together timelines, but found discrepancies such as a three-hour gap between the request and arrival of National Guard reinforcements.

Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s top Republican, said the American people deserve the full and open testimony of everyone who knows about the planning and participation for the attack.

“We must know what happened here at the Capitol,” Cheney said at the committee’s first hearing with four police officers who defended the building. “We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House.”

Who could testify?

Lawmakers have already called for testimony from Trump, who exhorted the crowd and diminished the seriousness of the attack; former Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was threatened by rioters and who called Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller for help; House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. McCarthy and Jordan spoke with Trump that day as the building was under siege.

Thompson said he would begin issuing subpoenas because starting with letters seeking voluntary testimony would take too long. The committee would like to know who participated, financed, encouraged and orchestrated the attack, he said.

“The investigation is going to go wherever it may lead,” Cheney said. “Obviously the events at the White House are the focus of what went on.”

McCarthy and Jordan each spoke with Trump on Jan. 6. Each has said they would testify, but McCarthy has said his call with Trump won’t answer why the Capitol was unprepared for the attack.

“When I called the president, I was telling about what was happening in the Capitol because none of you would know unless you were in the Capitol,” McCarthy, who wanted resources brought as fast as possible, said Thursday.

“If they call me, I got nothing to hide,” Jordan told CNN.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he called Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter and senior adviser, during the attack.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has said he spoke to Trump to notify him that Pence had been evacuated. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said he called White House officials.

Lawmakers have also sought answers about the preparation for and response to the attack by Trump’s Cabinet secretaries such as Miller at Defense and Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of Homeland Security.

Former Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen told lawmakers at a May 12 hearing that he met Jan. 3 with Trump and didn’t speak with Trump on Jan. 6. But in response to questions about whether Trump pressed him to investigate election fraud, Rosen refused to describe the conversations.

Paul Rosenzweig, a former Whitewater senior counsel who investigated the Clinton administration, said he would like to know “all sorts of stuff about the White House response.”

“What did they say? I don’t know,” said Rosenzweig, founder of Red Branch Consulting.

Pete Aguilar, Adam Kinzinger, Bennie Thompson in a room: Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks with the media after the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 27, 2021.© Jose Luis Magana, AP Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., speaks with the media after the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 27, 2021.

Justice Department will allow testimony from Trump officials

The Justice Department announced Monday that former administration officials could testify, a stark change under Attorney General Merrick Garland from former Attorney General William Barr.

Without the department blocking testimony, as happened repeatedly during the impeachment investigations of Trump, former officials who defy their subpoenas will have to pay for their own court battles.

The department said it will not assert executive privilege for officials such as Rosen because the issues under investigation are “exceptional circumstances warranting an accommodation to Congress,” according to a letter from Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer.

“Congress has articulated compelling legislative interests in the matters being investigated, and the information the Committees have requested from you bears directly on Congress’s interest in understanding these extraordinary events: namely, the question whether President Trump sought to cause the Department to use its law enforcement and litigation authorities to advance his personal interests with respect to the results of the 2020 presidential election,” Weinsheimer’s letter said.

Kevin McCarthy et al. standing in front of a building: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., joined from left by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, holds a news conference before the start of a hearing by a select committee appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, on July 27, 2021.© Jacquelyn Martin, AP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., joined from left by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, holds a news conference before the start of a hearing by a select committee appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, on July 27, 2021.

Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration, said the decision represents “a piece of a larger effort making possible accountability for various misdeeds of the previous administration, including but not limited to the attempt to overturn the election and the conduct in instigating Jan. 6.”

Gurulé said Justice’s move to set aside the executive privilege protection removes a substantial legal obstacle.

“But the American people shouldn’t expect to see Trump officials to be sitting for testimony any time soon,” Gurulé said.

Thompson said Friday the department’s decision about access to witnesses would make the committee’s work “a little easier.” He said subpoenas would begin going out “soon,” but that depositions would not begin next week. “There’ll be quite a few,” he said of the subpoenas.

The House has clear legal authority to subpoena former Trump administration officials, who are now private citizens, and even its own members, according to legal experts.

“I don’t think there’s any question about their legal authority,” said Michael Stern, a former House senior counsel. “The practical matter is how do they enforce it.”

Takeaways from the first Jan. 6 hearing: Police accounts of Capitol attack made for an emotional day

If potential witnesses defy their subpoenas, the House could ask the courts to enforce the subpoenas through civil lawsuits or lawmakers could refer the cases to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution for contempt.

Stern said people in the private sector sometimes resist subpoenas, but that puts them in a position facing potential criminal prosecution.

“Unless they have a strong privilege claim, they are taking a big risk,” Stern said.

McGahn case illustrated disputes

Despite the Justice Department decisions, potential witnesses could still fight their subpoenas on their own. The Supreme Court has upheld a doctrine of executive privilege, which says presidents can keep communications confidential so they can receive candid advice.

Don McGahn, the former White House counsel for Trump, fought a House subpoena in federal courts for two years before negotiating a compromise to testify behind closed doors in May and a transcript was released days later.

His case illustrated the kinds of arguments that witnesses might make in the Jan. 6 investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee sought McGahn’s testimony in May 2019 because he was a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. McGahn described several episodes of possible obstruction by Trump as he sought to remove Mueller or curb his probe.

But McGahn defied the subpoena. The head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Steven Engel, told then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that McGahn and other advisers to the president cannot be compelled to testify under a theory they were protected by “absolute immunity.”

“The Department has long taken the position – across administrations of both political parties – that ‘the President and his immediate advisers are absolutely immune from testimonial compulsion by a Congressional committee,'” Cipollone wrote in May 2019.

Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., argued during Trump’s first impeachment trial in January 2020 that he waived claims to executive privilege by giving his side of contested conversations and that absolute immunity was a “ridiculous” assertion.

“He has claimed, instead, absolute immunity – a ridiculous doctrine that the president has absolute immunity from any questioning by the Congress or by anybody else. It is a claim rejected by every court that has ever considered it,” Nadler said.

Indeed, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejected the White House’s claims of absolute immunity in the McGahn case, saying the president “does not have the power” to prevent his aides from responding to congressional subpoenas. 

“Today, this Court adds that this conclusion is inescapable precisely because compulsory appearance by dint of a subpoena is a legal construct, not a political one, and per the Constitution, no one is above the law,” Jackson wrote. 

Don McGahn wearing a suit and tie: Former White House counsel Don McGahn arrives to answer questions behind closed doors from House Judiciary Committee investigators, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part of the probe into former President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 4, 2021.© J. Scott Applewhite, AP Former White House counsel Don McGahn arrives to answer questions behind closed doors from House Judiciary Committee investigators, two years after House Democrats originally sought his testimony as part of the probe into former President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 4, 2021.

Swalwell case against Brooks reveals how testimony could occur

A lawsuit between two House members over responsibility for the insurrection could shed light on how the Justice Department and the courts will deal with the unprecedented attack on the Capitol.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., sued Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Trump; the former president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr.; and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging they helped instigate the attack. Each of the defendants spoke at the Trump rally near the White House before the attack on the Capitol.

Brooks sought to have the case thrown out with the argument he was acting in his official capacity as a House member. The Constitution typically protects what lawmakers say under the speech-and-debate clause, so they can speak freely.

But the Justice Department filed a response in the case Tuesday that the protection doesn’t apply because Brooks was speaking in a personal capacity at a political rally rather than an official government function.

“The record indicates that Brooks’s appearance at the January 6 rally was campaign activity, and it is no part of the business of the United States to pick sides among candidates in federal elections,” Taheerah El-Amin, a Justice lawyer, said in the filing. “The conduct at issue here thus is not the kind a Member of Congress holds office to perform, or substantially within the authorized time and space limits, as required by governing law.”

Ayer said the same reasoning could eventually apply to Trump.

“The most important reason given by the government for that conclusion is that actions aimed at undermining the functioning of our government, including interference with the outcome of a free and fair election, are not within the scope of duty for any government employee,” Ayer said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lawmakers want to know about ‘every minute’ of Jan. 6: A DOJ policy change may help compel Trump officials to testify

The Terrifying Ice Box Murders

On June 23, 1965. a pair of Houston police officers forced their way into elderly couple Fred and Edwina Rogers’ house after they failed to answer their phone calls for days. Upon entering the home, they found nothing amiss.

That was until they opened the refrigerator door and were greeted with a grisly discovery. In the refrigerator, the officers who were called in to do a simple wellness check found what appears to be several cuts of washed, unwrapped hog meat sitting on the shelves. They still did not think much of the unusual contents until they found the couple’s heads in the vegetable drawer!!

An article from the local newspaper, the Amarillo Globe-Times, published the next day, described the scene. “On all the shelves and in the freezer compartment were their dismembered bodies, cut in unwrapped, washed off pieces smaller than individual joints. The officers realized what they were dealing with after opening the crisper to find two human heads.”

Investigators later concluded that Edwina had been shot in the head, while Fred had been beaten to death with a hammer before both were dragged to the master bathroom, drained of blood, chopped into pieces, and placed in the fridge. “Whoever did this apparently took their time and knew what they were doing,” the medical examiner on the case told the Globe-Times. “The dismembering was a fairly neat job.”

By the next morning, police had focused on just one suspect — the couple’s son, 43-year-old Charles Rogers, a recluse who only communicated with his parents via notes slipped under his bedroom door and was rarely seen by neighbors. The house had been carefully cleaned, but blood was discovered on the keyhole of his bedroom door.

But the police didn’t get the chance to speak with Charles, who, despite a nationwide manhunt, was never seen or heard from again. He was declared legally dead in absentia in 1975.

With Charles, the number one suspect, being declared dead, the case remains open to this day. In 1997 a Houston couple, Hugh and Martha Gardenier began reinvestigating the Ice Box Murders, as they became known—even self-publishing an e-book on the subject. They believe they’ve figured out who did it, and they agree with the original investigators on the case, Charles, of course.

But what was Charles’ motive to dispense of his parents in such a grisly way? The Gardeniers say that Charles was physically and emotionally abused by his parents well into adulthood and that at the end of their lives, they were defrauding him by forging his signature on deeds of land that he owned. 

It was Charles who actually owned the house they all lived in, not his parents, and Edwina had apparently taken out loans on it and pocketed the money. According to the authors, after the murders, Charles escaped to Central America, where he later died.

But the fact that his body was never found and there is not, nor has there ever been any confirmation of his death, means that the murderer disappeared and was free to kill again – and that is what really makes this true crime one of the scariest murders of all time!

Woman’s Body Mistaken as Mannequin – Put in Dumpster by Police

Police and firefighters in Quebec mistakenly threw a woman’s body into a dumpster after they believed her to be a mannequin.

The Sherbrooke Fire Department in Canada received a call from employees of a factory near Roy and Cabana streets on July 23. They reported to emergency services that a mannequin was on fire in a nearby wooded area, and smoke was visible to the factory workers, according to Radio-Canada.

Both police and firefighters responded to the bakery factory, and fire crews extinguished the fire. Officials on the scene thought the burnt woman was a silicon life-size doll or a store mannequin at the time.

“When they arrived, witnesses declared that someone had lit a silicone mannequin on fire,” Sherbrooke Police Chief Danny McConnell said at a Thursday press conference.

The emergency crews discussed briefly what to do with the woman’s body, which they believed at this point was a charred “dummy.” They took the body back to the police station and threw it in the dumpster, believing that to be the best way to dispose of it.

The dumpster was behind the police station and not accessible to the public, according to McConnell.

About four hours after the police responded to the fire, a missing person’s report was filed with the station by the partner of a woman who had disappeared. The police located the woman’s phone signal, which was later found in her car parked near the factory, according to police.

The police recognized the description of the woman in the missing person’s report and with the car being found by the fire, they decided to check the dumpster. The “mannequin” the police and firefighters had thrown into the department’s dumpster was discovered to be the woman’s body around 6:30 p.m.

“We are obviously sorry about this situation and rest assured the family is being advised about every key detail of this investigation,” McConnell said. “Our hearts are with the family, her partner and the kids in this very dramatic situation.”

The coroner has launched an investigation into how the woman died. The Crown Investigation Agency and the Independent Bureau of Investigators [BEI] are independently investigating the incident, while the Sherbrooke police are looking into the case as a suspicious death.

Details about the incident that occurred Friday were just made public nearly a week later, promoting the police and fire chiefs to address the public. Stéphane Simoneau, Sherbrook’s head of the fire department, wanted to clear the “lack of transparency.”

“I’m quite stunned by this news and I can say that my entire team, the entire department, as well as those who were there that day, are in shock,” Simoneau said. “People were overcome by certain emotions, so we have to manage that situation in order to stabilize our teams, psychologically, and that’s what we’ve been doing,”

Flowers were placed in the wooded area where the ground was charred and the woman’s body was first discovered.

Disturbing Details Discovered In Chadwick Boseman’s Autopsy Report

The 2020 death of actor Chadwick Boseman came as a shock to most of his fans and to much of Hollywood. Boseman died of colon cancer at the age of 43 on August 28, 2020. It had progressed from stage three to four.

He had been diagnosed with the illness four years earlier and never disclosed or made his condition known to the public. His quiet battle was a stunning revelation to many because during his initial diagnosis and treatment, Boseman took on some of the biggest roles of his career.

One of those was Marvel’s “Black Panther,” the high-grossing blockbuster film that earned the Marvel Cinematic Universe its first Oscar, per Entertainment Weekly. He also filmed his final movie, Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which earned him a posthumous Oscar nomination.

Despite a family statement confirming his cause of death and the length of time that he endured his sickness, there were conflicting reports that followed in the wake of his death. In September 2020, a claim from a now non-existent website called Toronto Today said that Boseman was poisoned and that his death was going to be investigated as a homicide, via IBTimes

A disturbing claim after Chadwick Boseman’s death

The disturbing claim was unfounded, reported Reuters. Many of Boseman’s fans had long speculated that he may have been battling an illness after a video of him last year showed him with a significant drop in weight. But after the public learned what led to his death, people knew that weight loss was just one of the many symptoms.

To date, no official autopsy report highlighting Boseman’s cause of death has ever been released or made public online (via Politifact). And there is also uncertainty if an autopsy was actually performed. What is true is that based on all reports, Boseman was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer in 2016, and at the time of his death, it had progressed to stage four, per The New York Times. According to WebMD, that particular stage is one of the final two levels of colon cancer and has a survival rate of only around 14% — a challenge even for a man who was a superhero.

What The Last 12 Months Of Chadwick Boseman’s Life Were Like

Chadwick Boseman, a highly regarded actor who had evidenced a remarkable range through the various roles in his body of work, died August 28 at home, surrounded by family, according to CNN. He was 43 years old. The cause of death was colon cancer.

A South Carolina native, Boseman was a graduate of Howard University, reported CBS News, and also had attended the British American Drama Academy at Oxford. After initial acting jobs in television, Boseman found national acclaim for his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42. He went on to star in such projects as Get on Up in 2014, 21 Bridges in 2019, and this year’s Stormin’ Norman. And while his performances are already hailed as iconic, particularly his turn as Robinson, he perhaps reached his widest audience portraying T’Challa, the Black Panther, in several Marvel Comics movies. The character first appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and went on to his own feature two years later.

The cancer diagnosis came in 2016 — it was already at Stage 3, reports People Magazine. He continued to work, even as he underwent treatments for his condition throughout much of his career, says Variety.

Portraying The Black Panther was ‘an honor’

The Mirror, based in the UK, states that Boseman “spent the last four years undergoing chemotherapy and surgery to treat the illness.” Through the course of his treatments, he would visit hospitalized children who were also receiving chemotherapy. He never spoke publicly about his own health challenges. Yet despite the exhaustion of cancer treatment, he managed one last performance, for Netflix’s production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which wrapped last summer.

He referred to his “Black Panther” role as an “honor.” When the film won Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Boseman addressed the assembled actors and entertainers. According to the Associated Press report, Boseman told the crowd, “We know what it’s like to be told there isn’t a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. … We know what’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day. We knew that we could create a world that exemplified a world we wanted to see. We knew that we had something to give.”

In a statement regarding his death, his family said, “Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much.” And he did persevere — through the treatments, through the pain — until the very end.

Smiling through struggle

Though Boseman’s struggle wasn’t made public, his commitment to working through the exhausting reality of chemotherapy can serve as a final message of inspiration for fans. The American Cancer Society cites a laundry list of common side effects of cancer treatment, including fatigue, digestive trouble, mood swings, trouble focusing, weight loss, nausea and a weakened immune system, among many more. For many undergoing chemo, getting out of bed is hard enough, but Boseman managed to film multiple blockbuster films, many of which required intense physical fitness, and participated in the ensuing media storm that comes with being a household name. Through it all, Boseman continued to hold the torch for those he represented without letting on what he was going through.

Still, fans became concerned for the star’s health after an April 2020 Instagram post commemorating Jackie Robinson Day. In the video, a noticeably gaunt Boseman announced a collaboration between former Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull and surgical scrubs manufacturer FIGS, dubbed “Operation 42,” in honor of Robinson, which included a $4.2 million donation of medical gear to Black communities heavily affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Speculation ranged from theories that Boseman had lost weight for an upcoming role to the conclusion that he was just naturally skinny, ultimately causing Boseman to archive the video. Due to the pandemic, Jackie Robinson Day was moved to August 28 — the same day Boseman’s death became public knowledge.

‘What an incredible mark he’s left for us’

In an emotional tribute, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler revealed that “wasn’t privy to the details of actor’s illness,” adding “…I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.”

When faced with death, Chadwick Boseman doubled down on life, through sickness and discomfort. His life ended tragically early, as always seems to be the case for those who truly inspire, but he shone as bright as any star could. 

Scientists Find “Complex Organic Matter” in Asteroid Belt

A team of astronomers have spotted two mysterious objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter that appear to be loaded with organic matter, possibly including the building blocks of life on Earth, The New York Times reports.

The two rocks, dubbed 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia, showed up as glowing red in astronomical observations, far redder than any other known object in the asteroid belt. Objects devoid of organic material reflect far more blue light, but ones that hold more organic materials show up as red in observations.

The two asteroids, 70 and 35 miles across, could offer us clues about the chaotic early days of our solar system, billions of years ago — not to mention a sign that our cosmic neighborhood is still full of astonishing discoveries.

Orbital Dance

The fact that the two asteroids showed up so red came as a surprise to the international team of researchers.

“In order to have these organics, you need to initially have a lot of ice at the surface,” MIT’s Michaël Marsset, a co-author of a paper about the research published in the The Astrophysical Journal Letters this week, told the NYT. “So they must have formed in a very cold environment. Then the solar irradiation of the ice creates those complex organics.”

If confirmed, the two objects could provide proof of the planetary migration occurring during the early stages of our solar system. One prevalent theory suggests that Saturn, Uranus and Neptune moved outwards as Jupiter moved inwards over hundreds of millions of years. This movement would send remaining bits of planets careening all over the solar system.

“It’s an exciting discovery with implications for the origins of life,” Karin Öberg from Harvard University, who was not involved in the new study, told the newspaper.

But before we can figure out once and for all where 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia came from, we’ll have to have a look for ourselves.

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