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  • #91
    Man Seen Carrying Lectern During Capitol Riot Arrested in Florida

    A Florida man caught on camera carrying a lectern through the United States Capitol during Wednesday’s riot has been arrested.

    NBC affiliate WFLA-TV reported 36-year-old Adam Johnson was booked into the Pinellas County Jail around 9 p.m. on Friday on a warrant from the U.S. Marshal’s office.

    Johnson lives in Parrish, located in nearby Manatee County, and is married to a local physician and has five children.

    A photograph taken from Wednesday’s riot showed a man believed to be Johnson carrying the lectern that reportedly belongs to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    “I felt a little disassociated for a minute. It was almost like, it was surreal. I mean it was surreal. I wasn’t surprised, but I was shocked,” Allan Mestel, an acquaintance of the family, told the station.

    Johnson is a registered voter in Manatee County, listed as no party affiliation. He voted in the presidential elections in both 2004 and 2020.

    At least three other men from Florida have been charged with unlawful entry in the chaotic breach of the U.S. Capitol by a mob supporting President Donald Trump.

    The U.S. Capitol Police say John Anderson of St. Augustine, Michael Curzio of Summerfield and Matthew Council of Riverview are facing the unlawful entry charges. It wasn't immediately clear Thursday whether they were jailed or whether they had lawyers to represent them.

    In addition, officials say a Florida firefighter has been placed on leave after photos surfaced of him participating in Wednesday's violent event.: -

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #92
      Florida Democrats Call For New Senate Election; GOP Says No

      Florida Democrats are demanding that a state senator resign and a special election be held after a prosecutor charged a former Republican legislator with fraud related to a razor-thin Miami-Dade County race last year.

      Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle on Thursday filed felony charges against former Sen. Frank Artiles for allegedly recruiting and paying an old pal nearly $45,000 to disrupt the November election between former Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Republican challenger Ileana Garcia.

      Garcia defeated Rodriguez by a 32-vote margin, while the similarly named Alex Rodriguez --- who was drafted by Artiles and ran as an independent --- captured more than 6,000 votes. The sham candidate did not live in the district or campaign for the seat.

      Rundle, who said Thursday the investigation into election fraud is ongoing, emphasized that no evidence exists that Garcia was part of Artiles’ alleged plot to “confuse voters and siphon votes” from the incumbent Democrat.

      But state Democratic Party leaders called for Garcia to step down after the ongoing legislative session, scheduled to end April 30, and for a special election so that voters can be assured of a legitimate winner.

      Garcia’s “victory is clearly tainted and will forever cast a cloud on her service in the Senate, not to mention the entire Florida Senate,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz told reporters during a video conference call Friday.

      “This type of activity calls into question the very integrity and fairness of our electoral process,” he said.

      Announcing the charges against Artiles and Alex Rodriguez on Thursday, Rundle said that running a “ghost campaign” is antithetical to American democracy but isn’t against the law. The charges against the two men are related to campaign finance violations.

      The Republican-controlled Senate has a procedure that could result in the ouster of one of its members, but Senate President Wilton Simpson is standing by Garcia.

      In a prepared statement provided to The News Service of Florida, Garcia and Simpson said Garcia was certified as the winner of the Senate District 37 race by the state Elections Canvassing Commission.

      The Senate statement noted that Rundle said Garcia was not involved in the alleged crimes.

      “Senator Garcia has the full support of President Simpson as she continues to serve her constituents,” the senators’ statement said. “President Simpson and Senator Garcia fully support the ongoing efforts of law enforcement as the investigation into this matter continues.”

      Artiles, a tough-talking U.S. Marine veteran whose brash demeanor earned him the moniker “Frank the Tank” during his tenure in the Legislature, stepped down from the Senate in 2017 after a racial and profanity-laced tirade at a private club.

      According to an arrest affidavit that details what Alex Rodriguez told investigators, Artiles orchestrated the “ghost campaign” to oust the Democrat.

      The affidavit said Artiles contacted Alex Rodriguez, who had moved from Miami-Dade County to Boca Raton, in May and offered to pay him $50,000 to run as a third-party candidate in the Miami-Dade race. Alex Rodriguez agreed, and Artiles told him to switch his voter registration from Republican to independent.

      Artiles gave Alex Rodriguez the paperwork to file as a candidate, instructed him to use an old Palmetto Bay address that was still on his driver’s license and gave him $2,000 to open a campaign bank account. After the account was opened, Artiles allegedly rushed to Tallahassee to file the paperwork with the state Division of Elections.

      On several occasions, Alex Rodriguez sought money from Artiles for “business” transactions, and Artiles gave him between $3,000 and $5,000, according to the allegations. Artiles took the money from a safe in his home office and asked for 30 percent of whatever profit Alex Rodriguez made from the deal.

      One time, Alex Rodriguez asked Artiles to pay for his child’s Catholic school tuition. Artiles paid $6,798.39 to the school using his credit card. In all, Artiles gave Alex Rodriguez nearly $45,000, the affidavit said.

      While calling for Garcia’s resignation and a new election, Democrats on Friday said investigators need to uncover who was behind the money Artiles gave to Alex Rodriguez.

      “The public has a right to know if this is a one-off event,” Diaz said. “As a self -proclaimed Republican operative, is this the work of one rogue character acting alone, in the case of Mr. Artiles, or was he acting under the direction of his leaders? Where did he get the $40,000? By the way, how many of us have safes at home? Better yet, how many of us have stacks of cash laying around in our homes? This is a very serious issue.”

      Senate Minority Leader Gary Farmer, who joined Diaz in the call, said the alleged wrongdoing in the Senate race is indicative of a pattern of misbehavior in Florida elections. He called for lawmakers to address “dark money” campaign financing during the legislative session.

      “Our election code doesn’t provide the remedy of an automatic solution, and that’s pretty astounding when you think about it,” Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, told reporters. “It really should be, you would think, a no-brainer that a new election would be held, but that is not the case right now, under our election laws.”

      Farmer pointed out that Republican legislators are moving forward with an elections package that would make it harder for Floridians to vote by mail, although the state’s elections ran smoothly last year and no widespread fraud was found on the state or national level.

      “So now we have evidence of actual fraud, real fraud, fraud that is proven in the form of the evidence in the facts contained in this arrest warrant,” he said. “What are our Republican colleagues going to do now, forced with proof of fraud that clearly impacted the outcome of an election decided by 32 votes. … We need our Republican colleagues to stand up and say, you know what, it doesn’t matter which jersey you’re wearing, elections need to be fair and they need to be free of fraud.”

      Farmer noted that text messages included in the arrest affidavit show Artiles did not appear to be acting alone and reveal that at least one other unidentified person participated in the alleged fraud.

      The state’s campaign finance laws allow a “byzantine network of funding entities” to operate in the shadows and keep bad actors’ identities secret, Farmer said.

      “This is not something new. This is something that’s been going on for a long time,” he said.:

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #93
        Fla. Gov. DeSantis’ COVID record isn’t a success, but a failure:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • #94
          Law Enforcement Incident Resolves Without Injuries After Shots Fired At Law Enforcement Rangers In Everglades National Park

          On March 28 at 6:45 p.m., a 33-year-old white male suspect fired shots at law enforcement rangers along the main park road on State Road 9336, approximately 20 miles from the Homestead entrance. A multi-agency response was initiated. The suspect surrendered and was taken into custody at 8:59 p.m. No one was injured.

          Earlier in the day, two park rangers responded to a domestic violence investigation at Mahogany Hammock, involving the same suspect. When the rangers arrived, the suspect had left the scene in his vehicle and was believed to be headed south toward Flamingo. At 5:52 p.m., rangers located the empty vehicle on the main park road, just south of Paurotis Pond. Given the evidence found on scene, the rangers suspected that the subject had fled into the woods and was armed.

          With the assistance of Miami-Dade Police Department, the park closed the Homestead entrance to the park on State Road 9336. Public safety notifications and updates were posted on the park’s Twitter account and emailed to local news desks and reporters.

          State Road 9336 remains closed from the park entrance to Flamingo at this time.

          Thanks to Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance in a successful outcome.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #95
            Rep. Matt Gaetz (republican) is under federal investigation, accused of having sex with a minor

            Who is Matt Gaetz?

            Gaetz, 38, has represented Florida's 1st Congressional District, which encompasses much of the Panhandle, since 2017. Before that, Gaetz had served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2010.

            He was raised in a political family; his father, Don, served in the Florida state Legislature as Senate president after co-founding the hospice care company VITAS Healthcare. He lives in Fort Walton Beach, near Destin.

            Don Gaetz, center, listens as his son Congressman Matt Gaetz speaks during an outdoor town hall style meeting at the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Building in Niceville.

            Since entering national politics, Gaetz has been a frequent presence on conservative media and a viral hit across social media platforms. The profile has made Gaetz a popular conservative figure with the Republican Party's base of voters.

            In June 2020, after a fellow congressman said his white colleagues did not understand what it meant to raise a child of color in the U.S., Gaetz revealed he had raised a Cuban immigrant son, Nestor Galban, 19, who has no blood relation to Gaetz.

            In December 2020, Gaetz became engaged to Ginger Luckey, 26, sister of Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey.

            Before news of the Justice Department investigation broke, Gaetz said Tuesday morning he was interested in leaving Congress to join the television station Newsmax as an on-air personality.

            DOJ investigates Gaetz

            The Justice Department is investigatingwhether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws in paying for the travel of an underage teen girl, The New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

            The investigation, which began under Attorney General Bill Barr and was led by some Trump-appointed federal agents, is part of a larger investigation into a close Gaetz ally, Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg.

            In August, Greenberg was charged with sex trafficking girls ages 14 to 17. Greenberg faces 14 other federal charges, including stalking a political opponent by allegedly impersonating the candidate in fake Titter accounts and claiming the rival was "a segregationist and in favor of white supremacy.”

            It is unclear how central the congressman is to the overall investigation though charges against him, if levied, would constitute federal crimes. Multiple federal laws make it illegal for a minor to travel across state lines to have sex with someone in exchange for money or valuable assets.

            After news of the investigation began circulating, Gaetz confirmed he was under Justice Department investigation to Axios.

            He told Axios, "I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I've dated. You know, I've paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not."

            He denied to The New York Times that he had committed any improper acts with the underage girl and alleged his family is the victim of an extortion racket.

            “Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name," Gaetz wrote in a tweet, claiming the sex trafficking investigation was a ploy to distract from the alleged extortion plot.

            "I demand the DOJ immediately release the tapes, made at their direction, which implicate their former colleague in crimes against me based on false allegations," he said.

            Gaetz interview on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight'

            Tuesday night, Gaetz appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to discuss the controversy with the conservative host.

            “You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her,” Gaetz told Carlson.

            “I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly,” Carlson quickly said.

            Gaetz again claimed the investigation into him was a cover for extortion, suggesting the effort was concocted by Democratic rivals in the House.

            “I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators,” Gaetz insisted, referring to the former Justice official.

            “They even claimed to have specific connections inside the Biden White House,” Gaetz claimed. “Now, I don’t know if that’s true. They were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me. Obviously, I don’t need a pardon. I’m not seeking a pardon. I have not done anything improper or wrong.”

            After the interview, Carlson declared, "That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

            The Fox News host continued that "on the certainty that there is always more than you read in the newspaper, we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more, which, as you saw, he did."

            “I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story, and we will be following it. Don’t quite understand it, but we will bring you more when we find out," Carlson said.

            Gaetz is no stranger to controversy

            Gaetz has been a lightning rod for controversy since entering Congress. In his early days in office, the congressman quickly crafted a political image as a close ally of Trump, adopting the pugnacious attitude toward national politics, in turn emulating the president's penchant for attracting scandal.

            One of his first acts in Congress was to call for the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency. Gaetz was also early to call on Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller for his investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

            The Florida representative drew loud condemnations from across the aisle for being the lone member of the House to vote against anti-human trafficking legislation in 2017. In 2018, Gaetz drew condemnations for inviting a prominent far-right conspiracy theorist and white nationalist to the State of the Union.

            In 2019, Gaetz came under investigation by the Florida Bar Association for a tweet he issued threatening former Trump attorney Michael Cohen before Cohen's testimony against Trump in multiple investigations.

            Gaetz came under investigation in April 2020 for allegedly renting office space from a former donor, which would be a violation of House rules.

            In July 2020, Gaetz was investigated for $28,000 in government funds his congressional office paid to a political consultant, another potential violation of House rules. He denied any wrongdoing.

            Before taking office, Gaetz was charged with driving under the influence in 2008 and has had six traffic citations since 1999, according to a Treasure Coast Newspapers investigation.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #96
              Republicans quietly say Gaetz's days in Congress are numbered

              A defiant Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) says he has no plans to resign from Congress amid a federal investigation into whether he paid women — and a 17-year-old girl — for sexual favors.

              Yet behind the scenes, a growing number of Gaetz’s Republican colleagues are predicting his days on Capitol Hill are growing short.

              “In reality, yes, he won’t last long,” one member told The Hill on Friday.

              The forecasts seem to be based on some combination of political pragmatism and wishful thinking.

              Gaetz, who stands among the fiercest defenders of former President Trump, is no stranger to controversy, but the latest allegations — which have stemmed from a broader sex trafficking investigation involving the prostitution of minors — are by far the most serious. And Gaetz’s flair for flamboyant confrontation — he recently flew to Wyoming to stage a rally against GOP Rep. Liz Cheney on her home turf — has endeared him to pro-Trump conservatives outside the Beltway, but has also made him plenty of enemies within his own party.

              Former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) called this week for Gaetz’s removal following the new reports of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation.

              “This — now, even more ever,” she tweeted, referring to her biting assertion in January that Gaetz “should not be a member of Congress.”

              Others are more quietly distancing themselves from the embattled three-term Floridian, with Rep. David Valadeo (R-Calif.) opting to donate the 2020 campaign contributions he received from Gaetz to an organization that supports the victims of domestic abuse, a move first reported Friday by Axios.

              Most of Gaetz’s Republican colleagues have remained silent following the news of the DOJ probe — at least publicly. And GOP lawmakers said that trend will likely continue unless Gaetz is indicted.

              Still, those same voices are quick to add that Gaetz faces huge challenges in rehabilitating his image given the severity of the allegations against him. Several members referred to the scandal as “bizarre,” with one telling The Hill bluntly: “It sounds really bad.”

              “My bar is always: charges filed. But if these [allegations] are true, the status of his committee assignments and congressional seat are the least of his concerns,” another lawmaker said, referring to the potential for criminal charges.

              Through it all, Gaetz has maintained his innocence. The 38-year-old firebrand has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, asserting that he has not had any inappropriate relationships with a minor and has never paid for sex.

              “It is a horrible allegation and it is a lie. The New York Times is running a story that I have traveled with a 17-year-old woman and that is verifiably false. People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case. What is happening is an extortion of me and my family,” he said during an appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Tuesday.

              On Friday, Gaetz shot down rumors that he was stepping down from his seat, telling The Hill it’s “very safe” to say that he has no plans to resign from Congress.

              Gaetz says that he is the victim in the unsavory saga, arguing that he and his father, a former president of the Florida state Senate, have been targeted by several men, including a former DOJ official, seeking funds to rescue Robert Levinson, a former CIA agent who went missing in Iran in 2007. Gaetz claims those men sought to extort $25 million from his father in exchange for having any looming charges against the younger Gaetz dropped.

              “I know that there was a demand for money in exchange for a commitment that he could make this investigation go away along with his co-conspirators,” Gaetz told Carlson.

              In interviews with various news outlets this week, all three men implicated by Gaetz have denied any involvement in an extortion effort.

              “He’s trying to distract attention from a pending tidal wave that is about to sink his ship,” David McGee, the former DOJ official, told The New York Times.

              Members of leadership in both parties have acknowledged the gravity of the allegations, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) saying that Gaetz would be removed from his committee assignments if the accusations are proven true.

              “Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true, yes, we would remove him if that's the case,” he told Fox News on Wednesday. “But right now Matt Gaetz says that it's not true and we don't have any information. So let's get all the information.”

              Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she believes the House Ethics Committee should launch a probe into the matter.

              “If, in fact, these allegations are true, of course being removed from the Judiciary Committee is the least that could be done,” Pelosi said on a press call Thursday. “But again, I think from what we've heard so far, this would be a matter for the Ethics Committee.”

              While Gaetz says he has no intention of resigning while the investigation continues, some members of his staff are having different thoughts. On Friday, Luke Ball, Gaetz's communication director, resigned from the office.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #97
                Florida man shot at Black women while yelling the N-word through a megaphone

                A man from St. Petersburg, Florida has been arrested after witnesses say he fired an air gun at a group of Black women while yelling the N-word at them through a megaphone.

                Florida Politics reports that Florida resident Joshua Rousseau has been charged with aggravated assault and could face additional hate crimes charges after two Black women, Keandra Brown and Renita Skelton, told police that he fired a weapon at them while they were trying to enjoy a picnic at the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve.

                According to Brown and Skelton, Rousseau accosted them while they were picnicking and called them "b*tches" and *n*ggers" before walking away.

                Shortly after, however, they saw him sailing on his boat nearby where they were sitting on the coastal park -- and this time, he yelled at them through a megaphone and fired shots at them with his air rifle.

                "A judge approved a petition by the police for a search warrant, leading police to seize a 4.5mm B.B. rifle, an air rifle and a CO2 cartridge and magazine from Rousseau's sailboat residence," reports Florida politics. "St. Pete police are also seeking permission from a judge to search Rousseau's 1980 Hunter sailboat for long guns, rifles, scopes, and ammunition.":

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #98
                  Florida woman who coughed on cancer patient gets 30 days in jail

                  A judge in Jacksonville ordered Debra Hunter to pay a $500 fine, serve six months probation and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management.

                  A Florida woman whose image went viral when she coughed on a customer at a Pier 1 store last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.

                  A judge in Jacksonville on Thursday also ordered Debra Hunter to pay a $500 fine, serve six months probation and participate in a mental health evaluation along with anger management, David Chapman, communications director for the state attorney's office in Jacksonville, said in an email. She was also ordered to cover the costs of the victim's Covid-19 test.

                  Hunter received credit for one day already served in jail. She was arrested last June after she was recorded deliberately coughing on the other customer during an argument with employees inside the store. According to investigators, the victim, Heather Sprague, had begun recording Hunter's heated encounter with the employees. Hunter saw her and made a rude gesture before walking up and saying she would cough on her. And then she coughed on her, an arrest affidavit said.

                  Sprague, who is being treated for a brain tumor, told the judge she spent days anxiously searching for a place where she and her family could be tested for the coronavirus. The tests ended up being negative, she said.

                  Hunter’s husband told the judge they had faced numerous hardships leading up to the incident, including losing everything they had in a house fire, FirstCoast News reported.

                  “It was like air being inflated into a balloon, and it finally got to the point where she couldn’t handle any more air,” Hunter’s husband said in court. “And then she finally rubbed up against something and just popped."

                  Hunter told the judge her family has paid the price for her mistakes, adding that her children continue to lose friends, and that they don’t go out in their community anymore.

                  “I watch as my kids lower their heads and turn the opposite direction, so they won’t be recognized or approached,” she told the judge. “And I know exactly what they’re feeling because I do the same thing.“

                  Before ordering jail time, Duval County Court Judge James Ruth said she was struck by the fact that Hunter’s testimony focused less on how she may have harmed the victim and more on how her actions affected her own family.

                  “Her children didn’t create this problem and her husband didn’t, and she talked about how it changed her world and she was getting nastygrams on Facebook and things of that nature and they can’t go to their country club or wherever,” Ruth said. “But I have yet to see any expression, or a significant expression on her regret about the impact it had on the victim in this case!”

                  Sprague said the encounter left her stunned and fearful.

                  “I worried for the health and safety of my children, and wondered how in the world I could possibly isolate to protect them — in a household of 12 — if I had been intentionally infected,” she said.

                  She told the judge she believes there should be accountability for Hunter’s actions, which is why she chose to report the incident.


                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #99
                    Florida Woman Threatened to Assassinate Kamala Harris in Violent Videos

                    A Florida woman sent videos to her incarcerated spouse in which she threatened to assassinate Vice President Kamala Harris, according to a complaint filed in South Florida federal court. “If I see you in the street, I’m gonna kill your ass Kamala Harris,” Niviane Petit Phelps (R) of Miami Gardens allegedly said in one. “I’m going to the gun range, just for your ass,” Phelps reportedly said in another. In a video dated Feb. 18, 2021, the complaint says she warned, “50 days from today, mark this day down, stupid bitch, Kamala ****in’ Harris vice president. You gonna ****in’ die 50 days from today, I swear to ****in’ God.” Photographs intercepted by prison authorities allegedly show a smiling Phelps posing at a gun range holding a pistol, standing next to a target riddled with bullet holes.

                    On Feb. 22, Phelps applied for a concealed carry permit. Less than two weeks later, the Secret Service showed up at her home. After first refusing to speak with agents, Phelps soon agreed to an interview. She claimed that she was upset about Harris becoming VP because she didn’t believe she was “actually Black,” and that she didn’t like the way she held her purse during the inauguration, the complaint says. However, Phelps stated that she was “past it,” and that she had no intention of going to D.C. to carry out the plan she had previously described. “Didn’t you say we were going,” interjected Phelps’ daughter, to which Phelps immediately responded, “No, we’re not going.”

                    “Didn’t you say we were going,” interjected Phelps’ daughter, to which Phelps immediately responded, “No, we’re not going.” : -

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • WATCH: Fat White Florida Ferris wheel operator gets a beating from crowd after he physically attacks Black mom

                      A Ferris wheel operator in Florida was caught on video attacking a Black mother before being taken down by a crowd of onlookers.

                      The incident was said to have occurred Saturday night at the Opa Locka Hialeah Flea Market Carnival in Miami-Dade County.

                      Video shared on social media shows the mother scolding the operator as she exits the ride. The man can be seen putting his hands on the woman, pushing her back and appearing to choke her. Meanwhile, one of the woman's two children are thrust onto the hard floor of the ride.

                      Within seconds, a man and a second woman jump through the ride's gates to defend the mother. The ride operator is pelted with punches and kicks as more onlookers jump in to fight him.

                      According to people who were at the event, the ride operator had participated in another fight earlier in the evening. It was also caught on video.:

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • Florida family indicted for selling toxic bleach as fake Covid ‘cure’

                        A federal grand jury in Miami has indicted a Florida man and his three sons for fraudulently marketing and selling a toxic industrial bleach as a supposed cure for Covid-19, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism, malaria, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, herpes, HIV/Aids, and a range of other medical disorders.

                        According to the indictment, Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, all of Bradenton, “manufactured, promoted, and sold the chemical solution that ingested orally became chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper.”.

                        The indictment says the Grenons sold tens of thousands of bottles of “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) nationwide, claiming it could treat, prevent and cure Covid-19. The indictment alleges that the Grenons received more than $1m.

                        According to Guardian reporting, in April last year Mark Grenon wrote to then president Donald Trump to promote industrial bleach as “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body”.

                        At a subsequent White House briefing, and to the visible astonishment of experts, Trump said disinfectant “knocks [the coronavirus] out in a minute. One minute!”

                        He went on to ask: “Is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”

                        If convicted on charges of conspiracy and criminal contempt, the Grenons could face life imprisonment.

                        Trump supporters:

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • Four Women Tell Daily Beast That Gaetz Buddy Pressured Them To Have Sex And Do Drugs

                          The Daily Beast has a doozy of a new story on Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) running buddy.

                          The explosive new details focus not on Gaetz but on Joel Greenberg, the indicted Gaetz friend and associate who used to be a county tax collector in Florida.

                          The report lays out interviews with 12 women who were paid by Greenberg, all of whom said they understood the payments to be in exchange for sex.

                          Ten women said they felt pressured to take drugs, such as MDMA and ecstasy, and drink as an “entree to sex,” in the Daily Beast’s words.

                          And four women told the Daily Beast that Greenberg pressured them to have sex with him.

                          One of them reportedly said she was plied with “an endless supply of drugs” before having sex with Greenberg and another woman. The interviewee told the Daily Beast that she “would not have agreed to” the sexual encounter if she hadn’t been under the influence of “so many drugs.”

                          “I would not have agreed to the other woman being there. I wasn’t really in a position to say I didn’t want to do this,” the woman said. “I wasn’t in my right mind.”

                          The Daily Beast noted that none of the women used the phrase “sexual assault” while recalling their encounters with Greenberg, and that not all of them claimed to have had sex with the former official despite the payments.

                          Harlan Hill, a spokesperson for the GOP lawmaker, told the Daily Beast that “the only allegations of impropriety seem to be about Mr. Greenberg, not Gaetz.”

                          Four women told the Daily Beast that Greenberg had offered to introduce them to a friend who was “a congressman.” The women reportedly said it was their understanding that the congressman was Gaetz, though they never ended up meeting him.

                          Gaetz is currently under federal investigation for sex trafficking, which allegedly included a 17-year-old minor, who is also at the center of Greenberg’s criminal case. The feds have been scrutinizing Gaetz and Greenberg’s payments and gifts to women allegedly in exchange for sex in the investigation.

                          A little over a week ago, reporters uncovered Greenberg’s communications to Trump associate Roger Stone seemingly discussing a pay-for-play scheme for a presidential pardon for the ex-Florida official. Part of those communications included a letter penned by Greenberg confessing to paying women for sex on Gaetz’s behalf. The letter stated that the payments for sex were extended to a 17-year-old girl.:

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • Matt Gaetz Buddy Joel Greenberg Pleads Guilty, Will Cooperate With Feds

                            Joel Greenberg, a close associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), pleaded guilty to a slew of federal crimes on Friday, including sex trafficking of a child. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in ongoing investigations that could very well ensnare Gaetz.

                            Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector, faced an 86-page, 33-count indictment. Under the agreement, Greenberg will plead guilty to six federal charges, including sex trafficking of a child, producing false identification, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

                            The sex trafficking charge alone carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000; four of the other five charges carry maximum sentences ranging from five to 20 years.

                            Notably, Greenberg also agreed to testify that he introduced a child “to other men, who engaged in commercial sex acts with the Minor in the Middle District of Florida,” according to the plea agreement.

                            A number of reports suggest Gaetz may be one of those “other men.”

                            The Daily Beast obtained copies of Greenberg’s payments on Venmo, a cash transfer app he used to allegedly pay dozens of young women for sex.

                            Among them are several transfers from Gaetz to Greenberg, including one $300 payment Gaetz made on Nov. 1, 2018, along with the “love hotel” emoji.

                            Gaetz also sent his friend $900 in two separate transactions in May of that year, instructing Greenberg to “hit up [the unidentified woman].” The next day, Greenberg transferred what amounted to $900 to three young women.:

                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • Florida congressional candidate accuses Republican political opponent of conspiring to kill her

                              Anna Paulina Luna, a failed Florida congressional candidate seeking office again in 2022, accused her political opponents of conspiring to kill her.

                              The Air Force veteran obtained a temporary injunction against William Braddock, 37, which was served on Friday. He is a St. Petersburg resident who said he intends to run as a Republican for Florida's 13th Congressional District, the same seat sought by Luna, according to the Tampa Bay Times. A hearing on extending the petition is scheduled for June 22, the report added.

                              “Ms. Luna has no comment at this time due to multiple ongoing law enforcement investigations of this matter,” James Blair, a spokesperson for Luna, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Those investigations are based upon Mr. Braddock’s own threats and actions, and we are confident the facts will be public at the appropriate time.”

                              Her campaign declined to answer additional questions.

                              “I received information yesterday (at midnight) regarding a plan (with a timeline) to murder me made by William Braddock in an effort to prevent me from winning the election for FL-13,” said Luna, who unsuccessfully ran for Florida’s 13th Congressional District in 2020, in her written petition. “I feel and fear that this is an orchestrated attempt on my life being organized and carried out by William Braddock and he claims he is working together with Ms. Makki and Mr. Tito.”:

                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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