Thursday Executive News Summary

DOJ indicts would-be Iranian assassin of Bolton and Pompeo, Trump can’t be disqualified for mishandling documents, government workers stole pandemic aid, and more.

Top of the Fold

  • DOJ indicts would-be Iranian assassin of Bolton, Pompeo: A 45-year-old Iranian national was indicted by the Department of Justice over a plot to assassinate former National Security Advisor John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Shahram Poursafi sought to pay an individual $300,000 to carry out the assassination plot against Bolton. The DOJ believes that Poursafi’s motive was retaliation for the Trump administration’s killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020, even though Bolton had left the administration in September 2019. Bolton was one of the loudest critics of Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, which Donald Trump pulled out of early in his term. The FBI uncovered the plot, which FBI Director Christopher Wray called “an outrage.” He explained, “This case is the result of hard work by many, and the FBI will continue to confront Iranian aggression and protect Americans, at home and abroad.” Despite the news, the White House said it would have no bearing on Joe Biden’s ongoing negotiations with Iran to resurrect the infamous Iran nuclear deal. Poursafi is currently at large outside the U.S. and if in Iran will likely not be arrested.

  • Trump can’t be disqualified for mishandling documents: The Leftmedia has been making a lot of hay out of the FBI’s unprecedented “raid” of Donald Trump’s Florida estate, suggesting that he may be disqualified from running for a second term if he is found to have violated the 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA). In making their argument, they point to federal statute 18 U.S.C. Section 2071(b), which deals with those in “public office” who “willfully and unlawfully” mishandled federal documents. The statute includes within its penalty for violation the disqualification “from holding any office under the United States.” The problem here is a conflation of a least two different statutes, as the PRA only established that a president’s records are preserved and does not include a penalty for violation. Furthermore, the PRA does provide for the former president to have continued access to his records, including classified information: “presidential records of a former president shall be available to such former president or the former president’s designated representative.” So even if Trump were to be found to have violated the PRA, the notion that it would disqualify him from running for the presidency is simply false. This is simply a political talking point for Democrats, who plan to paint Trump as a “criminal” who therefore should be disqualified from running for the highest office in the land.

  • Government workers stole pandemic aid: A felon who served time for identity theft was given a job in Massachusetts’ Department of Unemployment Assistance, where, shockingly, she proceeded to engage in ID theft and stole upwards of $200,000 in pandemic relief aid. Several U.S. Postal Service workers have been found guilty of stealing stimulus checks and unemployment checks out of the mail. In other cases, city employees billed for pandemic services they never fulfilled. “It’s a travesty that government employees took advantage of the gaps and weak spots to game the system for personal gain,” lamented OpenTheBooks founder Adam Andrzejewski. “It tears, rips and shreds at the whole notion of public service when government employees are so sued to wasteful spending that they view vital aid like it’s their own Monopoly money. Worse is the lack of empathy for the people truly meant to be assisted — those were fellow Americans trying to make their way through a crisis.” Andrzejewski pointed to the problem of government waste, such as 2.2 million stimulus checks that were mailed to dead people and 57,000 small-business loans that were sent to those listed on the Treasury Department’s “Do Not Pay” list. “Rightfully or not, pandemic aid was rushed into the economy with little planning or safeguards,” he observed. “Like most funding Congress allocates, it was plainly open to waste, fraud and corruption.” And many of those taking advantage of this lack of fiscal responsibility were the very government workers whose job it was to distribute the aid. The problem is that politicians love to make promises with other people’s money, but they care little for fiscal restraint because freebies make them look good and generous while fiscal irresponsibility always ends up costing the taxpayer. Meanwhile, Biden and the Democrats are poised to throw billions more down this rathole.

Headlines

  • Trump pleads the 5th Amendment in New York attorney general’s probe (Washington Times)

  • FBI director pushes back on threats following unprecedented raid on Trump (Fox News)

  • FBI issues “subpoenas or paid visits” to multiple Republican lawmakers (Daily Wire)

  • Democrat operatives control voter rolls in 31 states (The Federalist)

  • Gas prices dip just below $4 for the first time in five months (AP)

  • Ford raises price of electric F-150 Lightning by up to $8,500 due to “significant” battery cost increases (CNBC)

  • Elite Nashville girls school announces transgender girls biological boys are welcome (Daily Wire)

  • Young man leaves Philadelphia to escape violent crime, gets shot when he returns for a funeral (Daily Wire)

  • American Bar Association scraps controversial diversity proposal after blowback (Free Beacon)

  • Free speech group gives 43 states failing ratings (Washington Times)

  • Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine (AP)

  • Policy: How the FBI undercounts armed citizen responders to mass killers, and media play along (RCI)

  • Policy: How Democrats’ IRS expansion would empower ruling elites to target Americans (Daily Signal)

  • Humor: By 2026, everyone in U.S. will be working for IRS and will all just be auditing each other (Babylon Bee)

  • Satire: 4D chess: Trump saves his cache of classified documents from FBI confiscation by labeling them “Epstein’s Client List” (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

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