Monday News: False accusations on trial


MCCRORY TEAM FACING LAWSUIT OVER VOTER FRAUD CLAIMS: The lawsuit targets the Washington, D.C., law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky and its lawyers who worked on McCrory’s post-election push. Also being sued are McCrory’s legal defense fund — which records show has just $2,000 left in the bank — that allowed him to raise and spend money on the complaints separately from his campaign fund, and William Clark Porter IV, a Republican official from Guilford County where most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit also live. The voters have said they will leave it up to a trial to determine exactly how much money they should be paid by the various defendants, but they believe it should be more than $25,000. Meanwhile, their accusers say there’s no proof they committed libel or engaged in any sort of conspiracy.

HOMELAND SECURITY AND ICE LEADERS HEADING FOR RALEIGH: The Trump administration’s leaders on immigration enforcement are traveling to North Carolina, where state Republican leaders and Democrats are at odds over inmate-holding policies by sheriffs. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matt Albence are expected in Raleigh on Monday. North Carolina GOP passed legislation that required county sheriffs to recognize ICE requests to detain jail inmates believed to be in the country illegally. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the measure, saying it was likely unconstitutional. The requests called detainers aren’t arrest warrants. Several sheriffs in urban counties have refused to honor them.

DAVID LEWIS FACES SECOND LAWSUIT OVER UNPAID BILLS: For the second time in a little over a week, Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) and his business have been hit with a lawsuit over unpaid debt. John Deere Financial and Deere & Company filed the suit Thursday in Harnett County. It states Lewis took out several loans dating back to 2014 for farm equipment but he has not yet paid them off. The loans are past due and in default. The lawsuit states the plaintiffs sent Lewis a demand letter Oct. 24 for a payment in full of what is owed, but he failed to pay. Lewis and his business owes a little over $1 million, plus interest, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are also asking for the defendants to pay attorneys fees for bringing the litigation, and for them to turn over the “collateral” farm equipment that was purchased with the loans. An agricultural supply company sued Lewis last week, his farming company and its partners for $1.5 million stating that they also tried to collect on a debt without success.

THE FIX IS IN: SECNAV FORCED OUT OVER DUBIOUS CLAIM, DISGRACED SEAL CAN RETIRE WITH RANK AND TRIDENT: "I need a formal order to act," Spencer said. He said of Trump’s tweets, "I don't interpret them as a formal order." But on Sunday, Esper said he had learned that Spencer had “privately” proposed to the White House that Gallagher be allowed to retire in his current rank and without losing his status as a SEAL. Esper said Spencer had not told him of the proposal to the White House, causing him to lose “trust and confidence.” A spokesperson for Spencer, Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, said Spencer had no immediate comment. The White House did not provide details of Spencer’s alleged private proposal regarding Gallagher. In yet another twist, Esper also directed on Sunday that Gallagher be allowed to retire at the end of this month, and that the Navy review board that was scheduled to hear his case starting Dec. 2 be cancelled. At Esper’s direction, Gallagher will be allowed to retire as a SEAL at his current rank. In a letter to Trump acknowledging “my termination,” Spencer said he had concluded that he and the president appear no longer to share the same understanding of “the key principle of good order and discipline.” “I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he wrote. He did not cite a specific order.

DOCUMENTS REVEAL WHITE HOUSE SCRAMBLED TO JUSTIFY WITHHOLDING UKRAINE AID: The hold on the military aid is at the heart of House Democrats’ investigation into whether the president should be removed from office for allegedly trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals in exchange for the U.S. support that President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately wanted in the face of Russian military aggression. In the early August email exchanges, Mulvaney asked acting OMB director Russell Vought for an update on the legal rationale for withholding the aid and how much longer it could be delayed. Trump had made the decision the prior month without an assessment of the reasoning or legal justification, according to two White House officials. Emails show Vought and OMB staffers arguing that withholding aid was legal, while officials at the National Security Council and State Department protested. OMB lawyers said that it was legal to withhold the aid, as long as they deemed it a “temporary” hold, according to people familiar with the review. The White House released the funding to Ukraine on Sept. 11. The timing has drawn scrutiny because it came two days after the House was formally alerted to a whistleblower complaint, who raised concerns about the call and whether the president was using his public office for personal political gain.



Another Trump lie goes on the (massive) pile

I don't believe for one minute that SecNav made any kind of "deal" with Trump over this SEAL thing. It just doesn't track. I think Trump just made that shit up, and SecDef used it as an excuse to fire Spencer.

What a frickin' mess...