Tommy Tuberville May Yet Pay for His Antics, if House Dems Have Their Way

Tommy Tuberville May Yet Pay for His Antics, if House Dems Have Their Way

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Friday called for an investigation into Senator Tommy Tuberville’s blockade on military promotions.

Tuberville single-handedly blocked hundreds of military promotions for the majority of 2023, in protest over the Department of Defense’s policy of reimbursing costs for service members who had to travel for an abortion. Despite repeated warnings from military leadership that he was hurting military readiness, Tuberville persisted with his stunt for 10 months.

Ranking Oversight Member Jamie Raskin and Representative Robert Garcia have now asked the Government Accountability Office, an independent and nonpartisan federal agency that audits and investigates Congress, to look into Tuberville’s stunt.

“It is critical that Congress understand the full effects of the hold on military families,” Raskin and Garcia said in a letter, which was obtained by The New Republic.

The pair asked the GAO to look specifically at the effect Tuberville’s blockade had on military readiness, national security, and military families. They also asked the agency to evaluate the processes the Department of Defense uses “when military promotions are stalled for prolonged and indefinite periods.”

Tuberville single-handedly blocked more than 450 military promotions last year, throwing the entire U.S. military into disarray. He finally partially relented in December when he agreed to allow most of those promotions to go forward, with the exception of those for four-star generals. He subsequently dropped those remaining 11 holds, and the Senate promptly confirmed them at the end of December.

Over the course of his protest, Tuberville only managed to succeed at making everyone angry with him. Military leaders called him out by name, accusing him of “aiding and abetting Communist and other autocratic regimes.” Fellow Republicans criticized him, with one calling him “dumb” on the Senate floor.

If the GAO accepts Raskin and Garcia’s request, it will be the first probe into Tuberville’s actions, which hurt both military readiness and military families. Since people weren’t being promoted, leadership positions sat empty for months. When they were finally filled, chief officers often found themselves without deputies, doubling their workload.

In fact, the Marine Corps commandant suffered a heart attack in October.  While there is no indication that his extra workload—caused by Tuberville’s blockade—contributed to his heart attack, working two jobs definitely didn’t help.

Meanwhile, service members couldn’t move to their new locations, meaning their partners couldn’t search for new jobs and their children couldn’t start at new schools.

The GAO has not yet indicated if it will open a review of Tuberville’s actions. If it does, such probes are often precursors to congressional committee investigations.

While legal experts and the media debate the possibility of a criminal conviction for Donald Trump, one man appears near certain that he’ll get locked up: Trump himself.

Sources close to the former president say that in private, Trump is bracing for the very real possibility that he’ll serve time if the January 6 case comes to trial this spring. But should that be delayed, he faces the possibility of another conviction in the Stormy Daniels hush-money case in New York, sources close to Trump’s team told Axios.

With all those possibilities in mind, Trump has apparently been cooking up his own way to spin the tale in what might be the most unprecedented White House campaigning strategy of all time.

Trump believes he still has a shot at leading the nation if he can convince voters that the endeavor to hold him accountable is a political pile-on. To do so, he plans to attend most of his upcoming trials in person so that he can stage a series of courtroom dramas that rub away at the gravity of his charges, according to the outlet. That means more benchside tantrums and more raving rants outside of the courthouse.

“You can’t be defensive or never talk about it, because that just makes you look guilty,” a source told Axios. “Your only option is to play it up.”

It’s a never-before-seen reelection tactic that will see Trump attempt to sway jurors and swing voters simultaneously, capitalizing on headlines even as he sits hundreds of miles away from the well-worn campaign trail.

The January 6 trial, which was originally scheduled to begin on March 4, has since been removed entirely from the public court calendar after months of grandstanding and challenges by Trump’s legal team. While it’s unclear when the trial will be rescheduled, the appeals process could push it into late spring or summer—past the Republican nomination—or, if delays continue to mount, close to Election Day.

That would be the best-case scenario for Trump’s legal team, who are hoping that independent voters won’t condone the optics of a Democratic administration prosecuting the nation’s GOP nominee.

“When things shift to the general-election dynamic, with razor-thin margins, and you’re trying to convince people who are unhappy with President Biden but are deeply skeptical of Trump personally—a conviction doesn’t help persuade those people,” one source told Axios.

And if all else fails, Trump could still technically run for president from behind bars. There’s a precedent for it: In 1920, the Socialist Party nominee, Eugene V. Debs, garnered nearly a million votes while serving a 10-year sentence for urging U.S. citizens to resist the World War I draft.

Still, actually getting convicted could really throw a wrench into Trump’s plans. A Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll found that more than half of U.S. voters wouldn’t mark a ballot for Trump if he was convicted of a crime or sentenced to prison.

“If he really thought it was a good thing, he wouldn’t be so unhinged,” the source said.

Nikki Haley is having to defend herself after bizarrely saying she would let Texas secede if she were elected president.

Haley appeared on the Breakfast Club podcast Wednesday to discuss her previous comments on racism, which include insisting that the United States isn’t a racist country while also talking about the racism she endured as an Indian American child in South Carolina.

At one point, host Charlamagne tha God brought up Texas’s standoff with the federal government over the state’s decision to put razor wire along its border with Mexico. Charlamagne asked Haley if, as president, she would use force against Texas if it tried to secede from the country.

“If Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that,” Haley said. “If that whole state says, ‘We don’t want to be part of America anymore,’ I mean, that’s their decision to make.”

But “let’s talk about what’s reality. Texas isn’t going to secede,” Haley added.

Texas lawmakers have often joked about (or seriously discussed) the Lone Star State’s right to secede from the nation. But legally, states do not have the right to secede. The Union victory during the Civil War, and the confederate states’ readmission to the union, set that precedent. The illegality of secession was established by the Supreme Court in 1869.

After receiving backlash for her comments, Haley tried to reverse course. She argued that whether or not she allows a state to secede is irrelevant until a state actually indicates it wants to do so. (She also would need to be elected president first, which is not going so well for her thus far.)

“It’s not about secession,” she told Fox News.  » …
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