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White House-USAID Liaison Fired After Series of Anti-LGBTQ Tweets

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On Monday, the deputy White House Liasion to the U.S. Agency for International Development was fired after a series of scathing comments and tweets about LGBTQ rights and gay marriage.

What We Know:

  • In a series of tweets Monday, which have since been deleted, the liaison, Merritt Corrigan, wrote, “for too long, I’ve remained silent as the media has attacked me for my Christian beliefs, which are shared by the majority of Americans. Let me clear: Gay marriage isn’t marriage, Men aren’t women,  US-funded Tunisian LGBT soap operas aren’t America First.”
  • Corrigan took her made her previously private account public late in the morning on Monday and blasted USAID, congressional Democrats, and the media in her series of tweets. She referred to the LGBTQ identity as “sexual deviancy,” claimed there was “rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID,” and that top democrats, representative Eliot Engel and senator Robert Menendez, “engaged in a corrupt campaign” to remove her from USAID.
  • Sources close to the agency said the USAID’s acting administrator, John Barsa, fired Corrigan after she began posting her tweets on Monday. Barsa received no pushback from the White House when he informed them of the decision to let her go as he repeatedly said he will hold people at the agency accountable for inappropriate behavior regardless of their hiring category.
  • During her tweetstorm, Corrigan announced she planned to host a news conference on Thursday “to discuss the rampant anti-Christian sentiment at USAID.” Corrigan shared that Jacob Wohl and Jack Burman would be joining her at this conference. Wohl and Burman are conservative activists who have a long history of creating false conspiracy theories and fabricating sexual assault allegations about the political opponents of President Trump.
  • By Monday afternoon, USAID confirmed that Corrigan no longer works at the agency. “USAID takes any claim of discrimination seriously, and we will investigate any complaints of anti-Christian bias Ms. Corrigan has raised during her tenure at the Agency,” Pooja Jhunjhunwala, acting USAID spokesperson, said in a statement. Jhunjhunwala did not answer questions if Corrigan was fired, saying that USAID does not comment on the specific basis in which an employee leaves the agency.
  • USAID’s mission statement reads, “USAID’s vision is a world in which the human rights of LGBT persons are respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.” Critics of Corrigan said that her views did not match up with the organization’s and therefore she shouldn’t be working at the agency, writing in a letter to Barsa that Corrigan held positions “in direct opposition to the work USAID supports.”
  • In June, twenty House Democrats demanded Corrigan’s resignation for “her record of public remarks, including disparaging LGBTQ people and those who express support for them, women in positions of leadership, and immigrants.” The letter to Barsa also shared that Corrigan had previously stated her desire to “restore the patriarchy”, arguing against the “false pretense of [women’s] equality with men.” Corrigan had a history of sharing similar ideas, she once wrote an op-ed article that called for women to assume traditional gender roles of mother, wife, and homemaker.
  • Once the news of Corrigan’s departure became public, Representative Joaquin Castro tweeted his support for the decision, saying hate shouldn’t be promoted in the government. He also called for the removal of another problematic appointee at USAID who has shared homophobic and Islamophobic opinions.

Corrigan was a Trump appointee at USAID. She did not comment on her departure from the agency, and it is unclear what her next step will be.

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Crime

Eric Trump to Comply with New York AG’s Subpoena Only after Election Day

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Eric Trump. (Pete Marovich/The New York Times)
Eric Trump. (Pete Marovich/The New York Times)

The president’s son, Eric Trump, has come out and said he will finally be willing to comply with a subpoena from the New York Attorney General’s office’s probe of the Trump Organization issued by Attorney General Letitia James. The only condition is that it would have to be done after the U.S general election.

What We Know:

  • According to a Thursday court filing, the chosen timeframe after the upcoming presidential election aims to avoid “any appearance of politicizing” the process. Eric Trump’s attorneys also explained that he is willing to appear and gave several dates to proceed after the Nov. 3rd election. They noted that one of the main reasons was simply because of Eric Trump’s “extreme travel schedule and related unavailability”.

“In this regard, we note that the OAG investigation has been ongoing for approximately 18 months and that additional examinations are scheduled in October 2020 for certain other individuals,” stated the filing.

  • To confirm Eric’s claims, the filing elaborated how “given all the circumstances and the fact that counsel’s requested dates are, for all practical purposes, just 30 days after other scheduled depositions, and given the importance of avoiding any appearance of politicizing the investigatory process”.
  • Just last month, James reportedly urged a judge to force Eric Trump, along with the Trump Organization, to comply with subpoenas in an effort to carry on with the office’s investigation of President Trump. A related investigation is looking into alleged illegal inflation of his assets to reap loans and appeal to investors. “No one is above the law, period,” responded James to the Thursday filing.

  • That same month, James also accused Eric Trump of refusing to comply with a subpoena for his testimony. According to NBC News, she alleged that the Trump Organization and its lawyers were setting a motion that would “shield thousands of documents from investigators”.
  • The attorney general went on to say in a statement that “we cannot comment on the particular steps we’re taking on specific litigation,” but she made it clear that they wouldn’t allow any outside force control have the investigation moves forward or allow anyone to “evade a lawful subpoena”.

The related investigation opened by the New York attorney general last year followed President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who testified to Congress that the president tampered with financial statements in order to benefit from better insurance rates, loans, and tax breaks.

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Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Joins Black Women in Governor’s Race

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Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is joined by his family as he sets to kick-off his campaign for governor Saturday morning at the Old Court House in Fairfax, Va. (ABC7/Justin Hinton)
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is joined by his family as he sets to kick-off his campaign for governor Saturday morning at the Old Court House in Fairfax, Va. (ABC7/Justin Hinton)

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax announced last Thursday that he formally kicked off his campaign for governor and events over the past weekend. This comes only a year after facing two high profile allegations of sexual assault.

What We Know:

  • Fairfax delivered a campaign speech at the Old Court House in Fairfax, Virginia, and has been encouraging his followers to head to early voting. There are currently three Black Democrats seeking the party’s 2021 nomination to the governor’s house, which includes Fairfax. The other two are Jennifer McClellan, an experienced Black politician who is serving her first term in the state Senate, and Jennifer Carroll Foy, another Black woman serving her second term in the state House.

  • With this roster of candidates in the mix for the nomination, it should be interesting to see who ultimately wins the gubernatorial race in November 2021. Regardless of who wins, that candidate will be the second Black governor in Virginia’s history.
  • The person would also be the third Black person ever elected governor in U.S. history, a title Stacey Abrams could have held years earlier but lost to the current governor of Georgia Brian Kemp. Should Foy or McClellan win in Virginia, they would be the first Black woman to do so in American history.
  • Historically, the two previous governors were Douglas Wilder, a Democrat elected as Virginia’s first Black governor in 1989, and Deval Patrick, another Democrat elected as Massachusetts Black governor in 2006.
  • Moreover, other instances where a Black person held the position was Democrat David Patterson taking over as New York state governor in 2018 following the resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer. During the Reconstruction Era, Republican P. B. S. Pinchback was sworn in as the first Black governor in U.S. history to serve the remainder of the previously impeached Louisiana Gov. Henry Warmoth‘s term.
  • Fairfax received heavy backlash from other Democrats earlier last year when two women, Meredith Watson and Vanessa Tyson, came out to accuse him of sexual assault. Watson attended Duke University with Fairfax and claimed he raped her in 2000. California professor Tyson, on the other hand, said that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Boston in 2004.

Fairfax has since denied any and all allegations. He referred to these claims as a part of an attempt at ending his political career. He told the Associated Pressed that “the voters are incredibly smart. They see through this kind of destructive, politically motivated kind of politics. And they are ready to move to higher ground.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Affectionately RBG, has Died at Age 87

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known to many as RBG, has passed away at age 87 from complications from Cancer.

Justice Ginsburg was born Ruth Joan Bader March 15th, 1933 in Brooklynn, New York.  Years later, the day before she would graduate from high school, she lost her mother Celia Bader to cancer.

Justice Ginsburg went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in government, graduating first in her class from Cornell University in 1954.  She married Martin D. Ginsburg in the same year and after a military deployment and discharge, the couple went to Harvard.  After health complications with her husband, the couple moved and Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, graduating first in her class there as well in 1959.  Ginsburg served as a clerk for a few years moving into academia teaching at Rutgers and Columbia, later becoming the first female professor to receive tenure at the latter.  Despite her successes, Ginsburg faced many gender discrimination obstacles and challenges throughout her academic studies and career, making her an advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Justice Ginsburg to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980.  She served in this position until she was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and was confirmed by a 96-3 Senate Judiciary Committee vote.  Justice Ginsburg was the second woman appointed to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Justice Ginsburg has been in and out of the hospital multiple times over the last few years.  In 1999, Ginsburg underwent treatment for colon cancer and then, in 2009, she was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer.  In August of 2019, pancreatic cancer returned and received treatment then as well.

Justice RBG’s presence will truly be missed and are thoughts and prayers are with her family.

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