THE MEIDAS MINUTE | WEEK IN REVIEW (5/17 - 5/23)
Written by Patrick Hamilton (Meidas University)
Arizona Republicans Cast Their Own Election Audit As A Sham
One month ago the Republican majority of Arizona’s state Senate voted to audit President Biden’s election victory in Maricopa County, now Maricopa County’s top Republicans are casting the audit as a ‘sham’ and a ‘con’. Arizona senate Republicans contracted a partisan security company to audit the election, however the company - Cyber Ninja’s - has no experience auditing elections. More Republicans are withdrawing their support for the audit as it becomes more apparent it is nothing more than a highly partisan, politically motivated stunt which could cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spoke out against last week saying he could not understand the purpose of the audit, expressing his desire to “just move on”. Republicans are nervous that spending too much time focusing on Trump’s election loss will damage the party's ability to win a majority in the House or Senate during the upcoming midterm elections.
Leaked Footage Shows Louisiana State Troopers Tasing, Punching, and Beating a Black Man Moments Before His Death On Wednesday, body camera footage was released displaying Louisiana state troopers brutally and violently attacking an unarmed Black man who died moments later. The footage, obtained by the Associated Press, captures the moments prior to the death of Ronald Greene. The footage shows officers using excessive force against Mr. Greene who pleads with officers as they verbally and physically assault him. One officer can be heard saying Green was “spitting blood everywhere, and all of a sudden he just went limp.” Louisiana authorities originally told Mr. Greene’s family he died crashing into a tree. Although they changed their story after several doctors stated that Greene’s injuries were not consistent with a typical car crash victim, like the metal prongs left behind from the stun guns. Over the past two years, Louisiana’s top law-enforcement authorities have covered up Mr. Greene’s death and investigation while also failing to release the body camera footage from the incident. Republican Leadership Overwhelmingly Rejects Investigating The January 6th Insurrection At The Capitol On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 252-to-175 to approve a bipartisan commission that will investigate the violent insurrection which occurred at the Capitol on January 6th. Republicans have been outspoken against forming a commission, worrying that it could jeopardize their political futures and their ability to take back a majority in the House or Senate in the upcoming midterm elections. About 85% of House Republicans voted against forming a commission, including the brother of former Vice-President Mike Pence, whom insurrectionists sought to hang when they breached the Capitol. The bill is off to the Senate however, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has opposed the commission, making its passage all the more difficult, unless Democrats ended the filibuster.
Trump Organization Now Under Criminal Investigation On Wednesday, the Manhattan district attorney and the New York attorney general's office announced the Trump organization was now under criminal investigation. This is separate from their ongoing civil investigation into the Trump organization. However, evidence gathered and used against the Trump organization from the civil suit can also be used against the Trump organization in a criminal investigation. The scope of the investigation remains unknown but it is clear that investigators are combing through Trump’s taxes, business expenses, charitable donations, loans, and a variety of other potentially fraudulent transactions. Investigators have not disclosed what they have found.
Supreme Court to Hear Case Concerning The Future Of Abortion
On Monday, the supreme court agreed to hear a case that directly challenges Roe V. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court ruling which established the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. The Court is set to rule on a Mississippi law which would outlaw abortions after 15 weeks and would not allow women to terminate a pregnancy in instances of rape or incest. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization concerns an abortion ban signed into law in 2018 by Mississippi’s Republican Governor, however the law was struck down by a federal judge in Mississippi for its unequivocal violation of both the 14th Amendment and Supreme Court precedent. The case was appealed and was again struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Former President Trump openly campaigned on nominating Justices to the Court who would overturn Roe V. Wade. Last year, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Court, solidifying the Court’s 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett in particular has been a vocal opponent of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on abortion. A Federal Investigation Into Senator Susan Collins Reelection Campaign Exposes Hundreds-of-Thousands In Illegal Donations
On Tuesday, a federal search warrant revealed that Senator Susan Collins illegally received $150,000 to finance her reelection effort.
The money was funneled by a Hawaiien defense contractor, Martin Kao. The contractor funneled the money from a shell company to a pro-Collins political action committee. The contractor also reimbursed friends and family members who donated to the Collins campaign. Government contractors are prohibited by law from donating to political action committees. Reimbursing donors is also against the law, all personal donations must come from personal funds and cannot be reimbursed.
Before the government contractor donated great amounts of money to Collins’ campaign, Sen. Collins helped the contractor procure an $8 million government contract with the US Navy.
Patrick Hamilton is studying Political Science and Sociology at Loyola University New Orleans. Follow him @Meidas_Loyno and @patthamilton.