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Several congressional Republicans sent a letter Monday pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for answers about issues related to the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building.

In the letter to Pelosi, Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rodney Davis of Illinois, James Comer of Kentucky and Devin Nunes of California, say that “many important questions about your responsibility for the security of the Capitol remain unanswered” more than a month since the episode transpired.

“When then-Chief Sund made a request for national guard support on January 4th, why was that request denied?” the lawmakers asked Rep. Pelosi, a California Democrat. “Did Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving get permission or instruction from your staff on January 4th prior to denying Chief Sund’s request for the national guard?”

Among the other questions posed by the GOP congressmen, they asked, “What conversations and what guidance did you and your staff give the Sergeant at Arms leading up to January 6th specific to the security posture of the campus?”

According to Fox News, Pelosi’s office said, “It is the job of the Capitol Police Board, on which these three individuals sat, to properly plan and prepare for security threats facing the U.S. Capitol.”

“It has been reported that the House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving has said that he did not present to House leadership any request for the National Guard before Jan. 6,” the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said.

Sund wrote in a letter to Pelosi dated Feb. 1 that he had spoken to the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms to ask for National Guard assistance.

“I first spoke with the House Sergeant at Arms to request the National Guard,” Sund wrote. “Mr. Irving stated that he was concerned about the ‘optics’ and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it. He referred me to the Senate Sergeant at Arms (who is currently the Chair of the CPB) to get his thoughts on the request. I then spoke to [Michael] Stenger and again requested the National Guard. Instead of approving the use of the National Guard, however, Mr. Stenger suggested I ask them how quickly we could get support if needed and to ‘lean forward’ in case we had to request assistance on January 6.”

As a result of the riot, Stenger, Irving and Sund have all resigned from the positions they occupied on Jan. 6.

The letter from the four GOP legislators raised concerns about accessing information, stating that “we are very concerned by the obstruction and inability to procure and preserve information from your House Officers when requested.”

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“Preservation and production requests were sent to the SAA and the House Chief Administrative Officer, among other legislative agencies, requesting that such relevant information concerning the attack on the Capitol … be preserved and produced to the relevant committees,” they wrote. “In multiple cases, your appointees, acting on your behalf, have denied requests to produce this information …

“Even more troubling is despite your House Officers refusal to comply with the request we have recently learned that some of the same material we requested was provided to the House Judiciary Committee on a partisan basis. This is unacceptable. Madam Speaker, that direction could only have come from you.”

Hammill said that the Speaker of the House is focused on uncovering the issues surrounding the Jan. 6 episode.

“As the target of an assassination attempt, the Speaker knows all too well the importance of security at the Capitol and is focused on getting to the bottom of all issues facing the Capitol Complex and the events that led up to the insurrection,” Hammill said, according to Fox News.

Meanwhile, even as the speaker evades questions about her own role in the security lapses on Jan. 6, she is planning to impanel a new 9/11-style commission to further investigate the the breach of the Capitol Building by a disruptive mob.

“We must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi said in a statement issued Monday. “To protect 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.”

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Donald Trump

Trump website 45Office.com has been launched

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“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads.

The website of the office of former President Donald Trump has launched online and includes forms for people to submit correspondence, greeting requests, media inquiries and scheduling requests for Trump and former first lady Melania Trump.

“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads. “Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future. Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country – and for their right to live in safety, dignity, prosperity, and peace.”

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The website includes biographies of Trump and his wife. The beginning of the former president’s biography says that he “launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States.”

Trump announces his and Melania’s official website is up: https://t.co/760WlWlhV4 pic.twitter.com/VhxRssMH3C— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) March 29, 2021

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Crime

New Cuomo accuser alleges she was forcibly kissed, claims to have evidence

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The woman alleges governor kissed her in “a highly sexual manner.”

Aninth woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, alleging that the Democrat grabbed her face and kissed her without her consent.

But this allegation is different: The woman, Sherry Vill, a 55-year-old married mother of three, has photographic evidence.

Vill says the incident occurred while the governor was “touring her flood-damaged home in 2017 – saying he did so in a ‘highly sexual manner,’ ” The New York Post reported.

In a press conference Monday, Vill was accompanied by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, who displayed a photo of the kiss.

Vill, whose home was damaged by the flood, recounted the incident, saying she invited Cuomo in.

“That’s when the governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him,” Vill said. “He leaned down over me and kissed my cheek. I was holding my small dog in my arms in my arms and I thought he was going to pet my dog. But instead he went to squeeze between the dog … and kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”

Cuomo sought to explain himself, she said. “He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’ “Vill said. “I felt shocked, and didn’t understand what had just happened. But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about the kissing. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss.”

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On his way out, Cuomo “”stopped, he turned to me and said, ‘You are beautiful,’ ” Vill said.

Earlier this month, Anna Ruch, a former Biden 2020 campaign worker, told The New York Times that the governor made unwanted sexual advances toward her after they met at a wedding in New York City in 2019.

She also accused Cuomo, 63, of kissing her without her permission, even as she tried to pull away. Ruch said the encounter left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”

Another accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, alleges that the governor inquired about her sex life and asked her whether she would be amenable to a relationship with an older man.

And another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo “made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet,” the Associated Press reported.

Five more women have made similar allegations. The eighth woman to accuse Cuomo said the governor groped her last year at the Executive Mansion after she had called there to do some work. She said she was alone with the governor in the mansion when he “closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” a source told the Albany Times Union.

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