Georgia senatorial candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) hosted the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a guest preacher at his Atlanta church back in 2014, Fox News reported Thursday night. Wright, whom Warnock has defended in the past, was once a pastor for former President Barack Obama and has a history of making antisemitic and other inflammatory statements.
A flyer for the event discovered on Facebook advertised Wright as a guest preacher at Warnock’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was once a pastor, Fox News reports. The flyer was posted to Facebook on September 8, 2014, and states that Wright was to speak at the church on September 10.
A spokesman for his election opponent, incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), slammed Warnock’s recently unearthed action from 2014.
“Not only did Raphael Warnock praise Jeremiah Wright’s ‘God Damn America’ sermon, he thought it was so great that he invited him to Ebenezer Baptist to deliver it,” Loeffler’s communications director, Stephen Lawson, told Fox News Thursday night. “Does Georgia really want a U.S. senator who thinks God should damn America?”
Warnock defended Wright in a 2008 Fox News interview, which came after a resurfaced video of Wright delivering a 2003 sermon titled “Confusing God and Government,” in response to the politically divisive U.S. invasion of Iraq that year.
“Not God bless America; God damn America,” Wright said at the time. “That’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating her citizens as less than human. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme.”
Warnock called it a “disservice” to the country to harp on old soundbites, according to Fox News. This would come years before his own statements would resurface during his Senate campaign, which have especially been used for fodder in Republican advertisements against his candidacy.
“We celebrate Rev. Wright in the same way that we celebrate the truth-telling tradition of the Black church, which when preachers tell the truth, very often it makes people uncomfortable,” he said.
Wright became the center of controversy in 2009 when he blamed Jews for preventing him from talking with then-President Obama. Obama had distanced himself from the preacher over his “divisive” comments.
Warnock, despite his repeated defenses of the controversial preacher, has denounced antisemitism and, notably, was endorsed last week by the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, a progressive Jewish group.
Currently, there is a set of twin U.S. Senate runoff elections in the Peach State happening on January 5, which will determine which party controls the Senate at the beginning of President-elect Joe Biden’s fast-approaching presidency. For the past couple of weeks, Georgians have been casting absentee ballots and began in-person early voting on Monday.
The state’s other Senate race is between incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R) and Democrat Jon Ossoff. If Democrats sweep both seats, they will control 50 out of the 100 seats in the upper chamber and have Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Pulling off such a hat trick would likely make confirming Biden’s Cabinet picks slightly easier for the Democrats.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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