In the lead-up to Wednesday’s impeachment vote against President Donald Trump in the House, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who has been appointed as one of the impeachment managers, compared the President to Osama bin Laden.
“Well, Osama Bin Laden did not enter U.S. soil on September 11, but it was widely acknowledged that he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country and the president, with his words, using the word ‘fight’ with the speakers he assembled that day, who called for ‘trial by combat’ and said we have to ‘take names and kick ass,'” Swalwell said in an interview with PBS NewsHour when asked about claims Trump incited last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
“That is hate speech that inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol,” he added.
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Here, the California Democrat is referring to comments made by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) respectively at the “Stop The Steal” rally in front of the White House, which Trump also spoke at, before rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Trump and the others have defended their remarks at the rally as peaceful.
Swalwell continued, saying: “And when you read the indictments from the U.S. Attorney’s office of people who’ve been arrested, in their FBI interviews they cite that they were called there by the president. They were in the Capitol because the president told them to do so.”
The anchor then asked Swalwell to clarify if he was comparing the President to bin Laden, to which he did not offer a direct response.
“I’m comparing the words of a individual who would incite and radicalize somebody as Osama Bin Laden did to what President Trump did. You don’t actually have to commit the violence yourself but if you call others to violence that itself is a crime,” he said.
The single article of impeachment being voted on sometime Wednesday accuses the president of “incitement of insurrection”—falling under “high crimes and misdemeanors”—for the deadly pro-Trump riot that consumed the grounds and halls of the U.S. Capitol one week ago, on the day Congress was set to certify the states’ Electoral College votes and President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.
At least 215 House Democrats are joined by a growing list of their Republicans counterparts, notably including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.). Trump would be the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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