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AP Top Stories February 19 A posted at 10:20:29


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 AP Top Stories February 19 A

Here’s the latest for Friday February 19th: Senator Ted Cruz says Mexico trip was a mistake; Millions in Texas get power back; Weather disrupts COVID vaccination efforts; US to allow some asylum seekers to cross border from Mexico.

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Pelosi predicts vote on Biden $1.9T rescue plan next week – New York Post posted at 09:05:03 UTC


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 Pelosi predicts vote on Biden $1.9T rescue plan next week – New York Post

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  1. Pelosi predicts vote on Biden $1.9T rescue plan next week  New York Post
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  3. New $1,400 stimulus checks could be coming. What we know about how soon they may arrive  CNBC
  4. How the minimum wage will hold workers back in the labor market | TheHill  The Hill
  5. Op-ed: An easy win for Biden — don’t send stimulus checks to dead people  CNBC
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

“We must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi said.

February 16, 2021, 5:59 AM

• 6 min read

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Monday that Congress will move to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, similar to the one set up in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Now, as always, security is the order of the day: the security of our country, the security of our Capitol which is the temple of our democracy, and the security of our Members,” Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The events of Jan. 6 occurred after then-President Donald Trump and his allies held a rally earlier that day in Washington, D.C., urging Congress not to certify the results of the November presidential election, in which Trump lost to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Trump vowed to “never concede” and urged his supporters “to fight,” as he continued to push baseless claims of election fraud.

Crowds of people then made their way to the Capitol steps, pushing through barricades, officers in riot gear and other security measures that were put in place in anticipation of the protest. An angry mob breached the Capitol building, forcing a lockdown with members of Congress and their staff holed up inside. It took hours for law enforcement to clear the building and establish a perimeter around the area. Five people, including a police officer, died during the rampage.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with House impeachment managers, speaks to the press afte…Read MoreRead More

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore was appointed to examine security on Capitol Hill following the insurrection. Meanwhile, the Senate acquitted Trump on Saturday in his second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting the Capitol rioters.

“For the past few weeks, General Honore has been assessing our security needs by reviewing what happened on January 6 and how we must ensure that it does not happen again,” Pelosi said in her letter. “He has been working with Committees of Jurisdiction and will continue to make proposals.”

“It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” she continued. “To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex… and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.'”

Supporters of President Donald Trump protest outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

The so-called 9/11 Commission was convened by congressional legislation that was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush in November 2002. After a 20-month-long investigation into the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attacks and how to prevent a similar attack, the bipartisan panel concluded in its final report that U.S. government intelligence agencies had failed to adequately assess the threat posed by al-Qaeda, among other things.

A growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Capitol siege. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who crossed party lines and voted alongside six other Republicans to convict Trump, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Sunday on “This Week” that he supports a full investigation into the events of Jan. 6. In interviews following Cassidy, House impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said they would support the creation of a 9/11 Commission-style independent inquiry into the Capitol siege.

In her letter, Pelosi said Congress must also allocate additional funding “to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol.”

“We will be forever grateful to the Capitol Police for their life-saving courage and heroism in securing the Capitol and protecting Members,” she said.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

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Audio Post – The Tip Of An Iceberg: Sexual Misconduct Within The FBI Is Exposed by AP! Investigate The Investigators who are nothing more and nothing less than a bunch of psychopaths, perverts, and child abusers. Abolish the FBI and put the criminal FBI agents in prison where they belong! The present crisis in America is the direct result of the FBI stupidity, treacherous incompetence and malfeasance.


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The Tip Of An Iceberg: Sexual Misconduct Within The FBI Is Exposed by AP! Investigate The Investigators who are nothing more and nothing less than a bunch of psychopaths, perverts, and child abusers. Abolish the FBI and put the criminal FBI agents in prison where they belong! The present crisis in America is the direct result of the FBI stupidity, treacherous incompetence and malfeasance

The involvement of the “assistant director of the Insider Threat Office, a division at Washington headquarters tasked with rooting out leakers and safeguarding national security information” in theses issues is especially troubling and this might be an indication that this problem might be more significant and more complex and complicated than it appears to be at a first glance. 

Michael Novakhov

_________________________________



By JIM MUSTIAN

2 hours ago
A former FBI analyst, who asked to be identified only as Becky, poses for a photo, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. Becky alleges in a new federal lawsuit that an FBI supervisory special agent licked her face and groped her at a colleague’s farewell party in 2017. She ended up leaving the FBI and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
WASHINGTON (AP) — An assistant FBI director retired after he was accused of drunkenly groping a female subordinate in a stairwell. Another senior FBI official left after he was found to have sexually harassed eight employees. Yet another high-ranking FBI agent retired after he was accused of blackmailing a young employee into sexual encounters.

An Associated Press investigation has identified at least six sexual misconduct allegations involving senior FBI officials over the past five years, including two new claims brought this week by women who say they were sexually assaulted by ranking agents.

Each of the accused FBI officials appears to have avoided discipline, the AP found, and several were quietly transferred or retired, keeping their full pensions and benefits even when probes substantiated the sexual misconduct claims against them.

Beyond that, federal law enforcement officials are afforded anonymity even after the disciplinary process runs its course, allowing them to land on their feet in the private sector or even remain in law enforcement.

“They’re sweeping it under the rug,” said a former FBI analyst who alleges in a new federal lawsuit that a supervisory special agent licked her face and groped her at a colleague’s farewell party in 2017. She ended up leaving the FBI and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“As the premier law enforcement organization that the FBI holds itself out to be, it’s very disheartening when they allow people they know are criminals to retire and pursue careers in law enforcement-related fields,” said the woman, who asked to be identified in this story only by her first name, Becky.

The AP’s count does not include the growing number of high-level FBI supervisors who have failed to report romantic relationships with subordinates in recent years — a pattern that has alarmed investigators with the Office of Inspector General and raised questions about bureau policy.

The recurring sexual misconduct has drawn the attention of Congress and advocacy groups, which have called for whistleblower protections for rank-and-file FBI employees and for an outside entity to review the bureau’s disciplinary cases.

“They need a #MeToo moment,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who has been critical of the treatment of women in the male-dominated FBI.

“It’s repugnant, and it underscores the fact that the FBI and many of our institutions are still good ol’-boy networks,” Speier said. “It doesn’t surprise me that, in terms of sexual assault and sexual harassment, they are still in the Dark Ages.”

In a statement, the FBI said it “maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment” and that claims against supervisors have resulted in them being removed from their positions while cases are investigated and adjudicated.

It added that severe cases can result in criminal charges and that the FBI’s internal disciplinary process assesses, among other factors, “the credibility of the allegations, the severity of the conduct, and the rank and position of the individuals involved.”

The AP review of court records, Office of Inspector General reports and interviews with federal law enforcement officials identified at least six allegations against senior officials, including an assistant director and special agents in charge of entire field offices, that ranged from unwanted touching and sexual advances to coercion.

None appears to have been disciplined, but another sexual misconduct allegation identified in the AP review of a rank-and-file agent resulted in him losing his security clearance.

The FBI, with more than 35,000 employees, keeps a notoriously tight lid on such allegations. The last time the Office of Inspector General did an extensive probe of sexual misconduct within the FBI, it tallied 343 “offenses” from fiscal years 2009 to 2012, including three instances of “videotaping undressed women without consent.”

The latest claims come months after a 17th woman joined a federal lawsuit alleging systemic sexual harassment at the FBI’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia. That class-action case claims male FBI instructors made “sexually charged” comments about women needing to “take their birth control to control their moods,” inviting women trainees over to their homes and openly disparaging them.

In one of the new lawsuits filed Wednesday, a former FBI employee identified only as “Jane Doe” alleged a special agent in charge in 2016 retired without discipline and opened a law firm even after he “imprisoned, tortured, harassed, blackmailed, stalked and manipulated” her into having several “non-consensual sexual encounters,” including one in which he forced himself on her in a car. The AP is withholding the name and location of the accused special agent to protect the woman’s identity.

“It is the policy and practice of the FBI and its OIG to allow senior executives accused of sexual assault to quietly retire with full benefits without prosecution,” the woman’s attorney, David J. Shaffer, alleges in the lawsuit.

One such case involved Roger C. Stanton, who before his abrupt retirement served as assistant director of the Insider Threat Office, a division at Washington headquarters tasked with rooting out leakers and safeguarding national security information.

According to an Inspector General’s report concluded this year and obtained by AP through a public records request, Stanton was accused of drunkenly driving a female subordinate home following an after-work happy hour. The woman told investigators that once inside a stairwell of her apartment building, Stanton wrapped his arm around her waist and “moved his hand down onto her bottom” before she was able to get away and hustle up the stairs.

After Stanton left, he called the woman 15 times on her FBI phone and sent her what investigators described as “garbled text” complaining that he could not find his vehicle. The heavily redacted report does not say when the incident happened.

Stanton disputed the woman’s account and told investigators he “did not intend to do anything” and only placed his arm around her because of the “narrowness” of the stairs. But Stanton acknowledged he was “very embarrassed by this event” and “assistant directors should not be putting themselves in these situations.”

Stanton retired in late 2018 after the investigation determined he sexually harassed the woman and sought an improper relationship. He did not respond to requests for comment from AP.

Earlier this year, the Inspector General found that the special agent in charge of the Albany, New York, office, James N. Hendricks, sexually harassed eight subordinates at the FBI.

Hendricks also was not named in the OIG report despite its findings. He was first identified in September by the Albany Times Union. One current and one former colleague of Hendricks confirmed his role in the case to AP.

Hendricks now writes a law enforcement blog in which he touts his FBI accolades but makes no mention of the misconduct allegations. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Becky, the former analyst, told AP she once believed FBI’s “organizational values and mission aligned with how I was raised.” But she was disabused of that notion after reporting to management that Charles Dick, a supervisory special agent at the FBI Training Academy at the time, sexually assaulted her at a farewell party.

Becky told AP her assailant had threatened her at least two times before. “Once while we were waiting for the director he said, ‘I’m going to touch your ass. You know it’s going to happen.’”

“His boorish behavior was well known,” she added. “He was getting away with everything.”

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Becky accused the former agent of wrapping his arm around her chest while posing for a photograph and “reaching under her and simulating” penetration of her “with his fingers through her jeans.”

Dick denied the charges and was acquitted in state court in Virginia by a judge who ruled it “wholly incredible” that Becky would “stand there and take it and not say anything,” according to a transcript of the proceeding. Dick retired from the FBI months before the Inspector General followed up on Becky’s internal complaint, Becky alleged in her lawsuit, adding she faced retaliation for coming forward.

“It’s much easier to suffer in isolation than it is to go public,” she told AP. “But if I don’t report it, I’m complicit in the cultural and institutionalized cover-up of this sort of behavior.”

___

AP reporter Eric Tucker contributed to this report.


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    JRL NEWSWATCH: “Protesters in Armenia besiege parliament, demand PM resigns” – AP/ Avet Demourian https://russialist.org/jrl-newswatch-protesters-in-armenia-besiege-parliament-demand-pm-resigns-ap-avet-demourian/ 

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    The President of the United States of America is calling for a coup. Outrageous. (& that so many elected “leaders” in our country are remaining silent in response to this attack on our democracy is deeply disappointing.) https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1336695746029121537

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    On this day in 1942, the Polish government-in-exile reveals to the international community shocking details about the mass extermination of Jews by the Nazis. The Raczyński’s Note represents the first official report of the Holocaust.

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    Northern Lights may be seen in New York this week https://trib.al/biinelm 

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    There have been over 40 COVID-19 cases in Donald Trump’s circle, so Joe Biden’s team plans to “thoroughly clean and disinfect” all the surfaces in the White House before moving in. https://trib.al/gS2zV2f 

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Biden: White supremacists are ‘the most dangerous people’ in America posted at 13:02:32 UTC


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Biden: White supremacists are ‘the most dangerous people’ in America

Biden’s Plan to Link Arms With Europe Against Russia and China Isn’t So Simple posted at 22:25:31 UTC – SharedNewsLinks℠ Review thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2021/02/bidens…

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Bill Gates says Texas governor was wrong to blame blackouts on frozen wind turbines trib.al/Mvap5Iu
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WASHINGTON — Two weeks after President Biden’s inauguration, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, spoke publicly about the importance of dialogue with Moscow, saying that Russia is a part of Europe that cannot simply be shunned and that Europe must be strong enough to defend its own interests.

On Dec. 30, just weeks before the inauguration, the European Union clinched an important investment agreement with China, days after a tweet by Mr. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, asking for “early consultations” with Europe on China and seeming to caution against a quick deal.