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Sara Carter: Americans need answers from lawmakers pushing to expand surveillance on citizens

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On “The Sara Carter Show” podcast Monday, Sara Carter held the FBI and the government accountable for not enforcing the same standards between the summer’s BLM/Antifa riots and the Capitol riot. Carter wrote the FBI demanding answers regarding investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection and she revealed the FBI’s response to her probing questions.

The first question Carter asked the FBI was about the information Fox News host Tucker Carlson revealed about Bank of America. According to Carlson, Bank of America, without the knowledge or the consent of its customers, shared private information with federal law enforcement agencies in the days following Jan. 6.

Bank of America “secretly engaged in the hunt for extremists in cooperation with the government,” Carlson explained on Tucker Carlson Tonight. “Bank of America effectively is acting as an intelligence agency.”

According to Carter, Bank of America was not the only bank.

“I know that from sources,” Carter said. “I don’t have the other information on what the other banks were yet, but I did send a very extensive and detailed email to the FBI to see if they would answer any of our questions.”

In Carter’s letter to the FBI, she asked if Bank of America was the only bank the FBI obtained information from.

“If not, what other banking institutions assisted the FBI with this investigation?” Carter asked.

Carter continued, asking if any of the banking institutions contacted by the FBI refused to turn over information on their customers.

“Did the FBI obtain any warrants to conduct these seemingly intrusive investigations? If so, FBI, how did you determine what and who you would be collecting on? Did you use surveillance footage to determine who was in the crowds where they were needed? And what was needed to be investigated? If so, were there any other methods in place?”

“Did the FBI open up a domestic terrorist investigation when people allegedly associated with BLM — along with others connected to Antifa and other left wing organizations — rioted and clashed with police and Secret Service outside the White House during the month of June?” Carter continued. “If so, how many banking institutions provided the FBI with information on their customers during that incident?”

“Did the FBI employ the same tactics of investigation in Portland to determine who pillaged the city? And did the FBI investigators collect data from the banking institutions to monitor the activities of people in the area of Portland?” Carter asked. “Or was it just this rally with President Trump?”

The FBI responded to Carter, however, they avoided answering Carter’s probing questions and instead, “walked around the issue and said it wasn’t up to them to determine whether or not one group could be designated a domestic terrorist group,” Carter said.

The FBI replied with this statement: “The FBI conducts investigations into violations of federal law, regardless of who the actors are, or their motivations. Using our existing legal authorities, our focus is on individuals who engage in illegal activity. We do not focus on group membership or ideology. The FBI does not and cannot designate domestic terrorist groups.”

“I never asked them if they could designate someone a domestic terrorist group,” Carter said. “I asked the FBI if they were investigating investigating groups that they believe to be domestic terrorists.”

“They would not fully answer those questions to me,” Carter said. “They would not explain if they did or did not employ those same tactics.”

In response to Carter’s question regarding Bank of America and if other banks were involved, the FBI said to contact the Treasury Department.

The FBI added that they can never initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of first amendment rights.

“I think what they’re saying is, we’re going to investigate people based on their political ideology,” Carter said. “As long as you don’t cross whatever line they don’t want you to cross.”

“FBI bureau, I think, has done amazing work saving people’s lives and hunting down real terrorists,” Carter said, “but I have seen the bureau weaponized by a political party over the last four years that is unheard of. And this is just part of that weaponization.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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