Former President Donald Trump and the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence praised House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s lengthy speech on the House floor that stretched from Thursday night into the early hours of Friday, the Associated Press reported.
McCarthy spoke for more than eight hours, stalling the passage of President Joe Biden’s sweeping domestic policy bill while decrying the state of the nation and his Democratic political opponents.
Though McCarthy’s address sparked ridicule from some, others lauded the effort. Trump said in a statement issued Friday that McCarthy had done a “great job” in “setting a record by going over eight hours of speaking on the House Floor in order to properly oppose Communism.”
“We must never forget what the Democrats have done, at the highest level of evil,” Trump’s statement said.
The former president also took a jab at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying that if the Kentucky lawmaker “had fought, you would have a different Republican President right now.”
Greg Pence, a Republican representative from Indiana, also backed McCarthy’s speech.
“Loved it,” Greg Pence said. “This is a historical moment for Kevin, for sure.”
Dozens of Republicans present during the speech urged on McCarthy, while some Democrats booed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously held the record for the longest speech in the lower chamber, said that “I didn’t even pay attention” to it.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Far from the “happy conservative” he claimed to be, the California Republican debuted a new role: angry heir to the Donald Trump legacy, picking up where the former president left off, mercilessly attacking his political opponents and their ideas with a ferocity that is rare even for the divided halls of Congress. The speech was a fact-checker’s bonanza.
“If I sound angry, I am,” he said as the speech began.
“I’m just getting geared up, go just sit,” he said several hours later. At another point, he said, “I know you don’t like me, but that’s OK.”
The drawn-out speech provided a politically pained capstone to an extremely tense week in what has been one of the more divisive and dangerous years in Congress.
Monday started with celebration, a rare bipartisan achievement, as Biden signed the related $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. By midweek the House censured one of its own, Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), for posting a graphic video depicting violence against fellow elected officials. And as Friday began, McCarthy was deep into his stemwinder, shutting down business as usual.
Overheated rhetoric is nothing new in politics, but the post-Trump era has set the bar for a troubling new normal, a climate that has allowed fiery speeches to quickly devolve into more dangerous terrain—like the former president’s own rally cry that sparked the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol trying to overturn Biden’s election victory.
McCarthy’s speech began as almost any other during the final debate on Biden’s bill. Democrats were laboring to wrap up work on the package of social services and climate change programs, shelving their own differences to deliver on the president’s domestic priorities.
Typically, floor speeches last one minute during the debate, but McCarthy used the prerogative granted party leaders to speak as long as they wish. As the minutes stretched to hours it was clear McCarthy’s speech was becoming something else—a moment.
He tore into Biden’s package as reckless overspending, chided Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s running of the House and swerved from topic to topic—inflation, immigration, the threat of a rising China, his childhood in California, the Lincoln presidency, the Jim Crow era, even the influence of the movie “Red Dawn” on his politics—all while stabbing the air, scowling across the aisle, his voice cracking at times.
McCarthy called on a few Democrats to join the Republicans in opposing Biden’s package, trying to deny the party the votes it will need for passage. There appeared to be no takers.
Tweeted Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the Intelligence Committee chairman: “If you took the worst orator in the world/Gave him the worst speech in the world/And made him read it for the longest time in the world/That would be a lot like listening to Kevin McCarthy tonight. Except, probably better.”
Democratic Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota said Friday it was “sad” to see the GOP leader portray such a dismal view of America. “Fear, fear, fear, ugliness, hate division, mean spiritedness…everything that is so different than what I see when I go back home,” he said.
It’s no secret Democrats are facing a potentially tough midterm election next fall that has put their slim majority at risk. If Republicans take control, McCarthy is in line to become speaker, a job he tried, and failed, to attain before, only to bow out when it was clear he would not have the support of his Republican peers.
McCarthy’s overnight performance could be seen as an audition of sorts, an appeal to the Republican colleagues who denied him the job last time.
It could also be seen as a performance for another audience—of one. Earlier Thursday, McCarthy said he had received a phone call from Trump. McCarthy would not disclose what was said, just that they talked.
Theirs has been a rocky relationship at times, even though McCarthy had been among the first in Congress to support Trump’s 2016 campaign and enjoyed special status from the former president as “My Kevin.”
Republicans in the House have stayed close to the former president, emulating his style. The House Republican campaign committee recently held a fundraiser with Trump, and the party has determined that his support will be vital if they hope to win back control of Congress.
Unlike the Senate, which is known for its lengthy filibuster-style speeches, such addresses in the House are rare. Pelosi had held a modern-day record, having dug in with her own eight-hour floor speech in 2018 in support of immigration law changes, reading heartfelt letters from immigrants, some seeking protection from deportation.
McCarthy had been preparing for months, according to a Republican familiar with the planning and granted anonymity to discuss it. Knowing Democrats would be on the verge of a history-making moment, the Republican leader wanted a comparable defining moment, the person said.
McCarthy broke Pelosi’s speechmaking record just before 5 a.m. Friday. He ended around 5:10 a.m.
The House returned after dawn Friday and swiftly passed the Biden package, with just one Democrat who had previously announced their opposition the night before voting no, sending the bill to the Senate.
Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who is part of the vote-counting whip team, said it did not appear that McCarthy’s speech changed any support for Biden’s bill.
“I think Kevin is also trying to show his conference that he’s a tough guy,” said Jackson Lee. “And he has the right to do that. And when I was in there, I showed him the respect that a person on the floor deserves. But, frankly, there are desperate people in my district who need every single aspect of this bill.”
Woman passenger from UK tests Covid positive at Hyderabad airport
Hyderabad: A 35-year-old international passenger who reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday has tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test at the airport itself. The woman passenger had traveled from the United Kingdom, which has been categorised as an ‘At Risk Country’.
The passenger has been admitted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) and samples were collected and sent for genetic sequencing. Officials said she did not have any symptoms and that her health condition was being monitored closely.
According to officials, the woman hails from Rangareddy district and was on a visit to UK from Hyderabad. Though her close relatives tested negative, their health condition is also being monitored.
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Revealed: how Sidney Powell could be disbarred for lying in court for Trump | US elections 2020
Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump who filed lawsuits across America for the former president, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, has on several occasions represented to federal courts that people were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases without seeking their permission to do so, the Guardian has learned.
Some of these individuals say that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.
During this same period of time, Powell also named several other lawyers – with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played virtually no role whatsoever in bringing or litigating those cases.
Both Powell’s naming of other people as plaintiffs or co-counsel without their consent and representing that other attorneys were central to her cases when, in fact, their roles were nominal or nonexistent, constitute serious potential violations of the American Bar Association model rules for professional conduct, top legal ethicists told the Guardian.
Powell’s misrepresentations to the courts in those particular instances often aided fundraising for her nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Powell had told prospective donors that the attorneys were integral members of an “elite strike force” who had played outsized roles in her cases – when in fact they were barely involved if at all.
Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone, email, and over social media.
The State Bar of Texas is already investigating Powell for making other allegedly false and misleading statements to federal courts by propagating increasingly implausible conspiracy theories to federal courts that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate.
The Texas bar held its first closed-door hearing regarding the allegations about Powell on 4 November. Investigations by state bar associations are ordinarily conducted behind closed doors and thus largely opaque to the public.
A federal grand jury has also been separately investigating Powell, Defending the Republic, as well as a political action committee that goes by the same name, for fundraising fraud, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.
Among those who have alleged that Powell falsely named them as co-counsel is attorney Linn Wood, who brought and litigated with Powell many of her lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the election with her, including in the hotly contested state of Michigan.
The Michigan case was a futile attempt by Powell to erase Joe Biden’s victory in that state and name Trump as the winner. On 25 August, federal district court Judge Linda Parker, of Michigan, sanctioned Powell and nine other attorneys who worked with her for having engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in bringing the case in the first place. Powell’s claims of election fraud, Parker asserted, had no basis in law and were solely based on “speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion”.
Parker further concluded that the conduct of Powell, Wood, and the eight other attorneys who they worked with, warranted a “referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for each state … in which each attorney is admitted”.
Wood told the court in the Michigan case that Powell had wrongly named him as one of her co-counsel in the Michigan case. During a hearing in the case to determine whether to sanction Wood, his defense largely rested on his claim that he had not been involved in the case at all. Powell, Wood told the court, had put his name on the lawsuit without her even telling him.
Wood said: “I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint … In this case obviously my name was included. My experience or my skills apparently were never needed, so I didn’t have any involvement with it.”
Wood’s attorney, Paul Stablein, was also categorical in asserting that his client had nothing to do with the case, telling the Guardian in an interview: “He didn’t draft the complaint. He didn’t sign it. He did not authorize anyone to put his name on it.”
Powell has denied she would have ever named Wood as a co-counsel without Wood’s permission.
But other people have since come forward to say that Powell has said that they were named as plaintiffs or lawyers in her election-related cases without their permission.
In a Wisconsin voting case, a former Republican candidate for Congress, Derrick Van Orden, said he only learned after the fact that he had been named as a plaintiff in one of Powell’s cases.
“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission,” Van Orden said in a statement he posted on Twitter, “To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”
Jason Shepherd, the Republican chairman of Georgia’s Cobb county, was similarly listed as a plaintiff in a Georgia election case without his approval.
In a 26 November 2020 statement, Shepherd said he had been talking to an associate of Powell’s prior to the case’s filing about the “Cobb GOP being a plaintiff” but said he first “needed more information to at least make sure the executive officers were in agreeing to us being a party in the suit”. The Cobb County Republican party later agreed to remain plaintiffs in the case instead of withdrawing.
Leslie Levin, a professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, said in an interview: “Misrepresentations to the court are very serious because lawyers are officers of the court. Bringing a lawsuit in someone’s name when they haven’t consented to being a party is a very serious misrepresentation and one for which a lawyer should expect to face serious discipline.”
Nora Freeman Engstrom, a law professor at Stanford University, says that Powell’s actions appear to violate Rule 3.3 of the ABA’s model rules of professional misconduct which hold that “a lawyer shall not knowingly … make a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal”.
Since election day last year, federal and state courts have dismissed more than 60 lawsuits alleging electoral fraud and irregularities by Powell, and other Trump allies.
Shortly after the election, Trump named Powell as a senior member of an “elite strike force” who would prove that Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential race because the election was stolen from him. But Trump refused to pay her for her services. To remedy this, Powell set up a new nonprofit called Defending the Republic; its stated purpose is to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”.
As a nonprofit, the group is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of “dark money” and donors are legally protected from the ordinary requirements to disclose their identities to the public. Powell warned supporters that for her to succeed, “millions of dollars must be raised”.
Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Powell told prospective donors that Defending the Republic had a vast team of experienced litigators.
Among the attorneys who Powell said made up this “taskforce” were Emily Newman, who had served Trump as the White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Newman had been a founding board member of Defending the Republic.
But facing sanctions in the Michigan case, some of the attorneys attempted to distance themselves from having played much of a meaningful role in her litigation.
Newman’s attorney told Parker, the judge, that Newman had “not played a role in the drafting of the complaint … My client was a contract lawyer working from home who spent maybe five hours on this matter. She really wasn’t involved … Her role was de minimis.”
To have standing to file her Michigan case, Powell was initially unable to find a local attorney to be co-counsel on her case but eventually attorney Gregory Rohl agreed to help out.
But when Rohl was sanctioned by Parker and referred to the Michigan attorney disciplinary board for further investigation, his defense was that he, too, was barely involved in the case. He claimed that he only received a copy of “the already prepared” 830-page initial complaint at the last minute, reviewed it for “well over an hour”, while then “making no additions, decisions or corrections” to the original.
As with Newman, Parker, found that Rohl violated ethics rules by making little, if any, effort to verify the facts of the claims in Powell’s filings.
In sanctioning Rohl, the judge wrote that “the court finds it exceedingly difficult to believe that Rohl read an 830-page complaint in just ‘well over an hour’ on the day he filed it. So, Rohl’s argument in and of itself reveals sanctionable conduct.”
Govt to introduce important Bill, Covid situation likely to be discussed
The government on Thursday will table ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Lok Sabha. A discussion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its various related aspects is also likely to take place in the lower House.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will move the ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill’ in the Lok Sabha to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.
Under rule 193, a discussion on Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it will likely take place. According to sources, the members may also raise their concern and ask for the government’s preparedness for the new Omicron variant. Under Rule 193, members can seek details about the new Covid variant. “Short duration discussion is likely to be held in the Lok Sabha on the Covid and its various aspects, including new Omicron variant,” sources said.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahlad Singh Patel, General V.K. Singh, Krishan Pal, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Rameshwar Teli and Kaushal Kishore will lay papers on the table. Reports and action reports of different standing committees will also be laid in the day.
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ART) by voice vote as the amendments moved by the DMK MP N.K. Prem Chandran, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated. The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
The opposition is likely to continue to raise its voices on price rise, unemployment and extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The opposition parties are also demanding a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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