News Round-Up: June 9, 2021

Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Trump supporters Joshua Hall is charged with scamming Trump supporters
Joshua Hall (image via Edge Media)

Some news items you might have missed:

Edge Media: A 22-year-old DoorDash delivery man from Pennsylvania reportedly used a social media scam, which included creating the fake organization called “Gay Voices for Trump,” to solicit donations from Trump supporters. Joshua Hall (above) is a “big Trump supporter,” but that didn’t stop him from defrauding his fellow supporters out of thousands of dollars.

Riding for Pride: Trek Bicycle will be celebrating Pride Month by hosting individual Pride Ride events on June 27 in support of their local communities and will be donating a total of $75,000 across local LGBTQIA+ organizations.

Associated Press: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other top department officials took part in the Pentagon’s 10th annual LGBT Pride Month celebration on Wednesday morning. In his comments, Austin commemorated the progress the military had come in standing up for LGBTQ+ rights but recognized that there was still work to come.

The Advocate: A gay man in Florianópolis, Brazil, was gang-raped last week, one of the latest examples of horrific violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country — violence that activists say is spurred on by the nation’s homophobic president.

Page Six: The Bachelor host Chris Harrison demanded a $25 million payout after being booted from the show — and threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get it, sources told Page Six. “He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source said Tuesday.

New York Post: Jeff Bezos is getting shafted online over the shape of his big rocket. “Is it me, or does Jeff Bezos’ rocket look like a giant penis?” one person tweeted alongside a photo of Blue Origin, the craft the 57-year-old world’s richest man will fly into space next month. “I thought ‘penis’ as soon as I saw that image,” another person agreed.

Mailman Admits To Throwing Away Ballots In Democratic Suburbs

Nicholas Beauchene (image via Facebook)

I’m not sure this counts as ‘voter fraud,’ but it’s definitely tampering with the election.

A USPS mailman has pleaded guilty to throwing away election ballots from heavily Democratic suburbs in New Jersey.

Via Justice Department press release:

A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier from Hudson County today admitted he discarded mail, including 99 general election ballots sent from the Essex County Board of Elections to West Orange, New Jersey, residents, from his assigned routes in Orange and West Orange, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of desertion of mails.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Beauchene admitted that on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020, he discarded into dumpsters in North Arlington, New Jersey, and West Orange 1,875 pieces of mail that he was assigned to deliver to postal customers in West Orange and Orange, New Jersey.

This mail included 627 pieces of first-class mail, 873 pieces of standard class mail, two pieces of certified mail, 99 general election ballots destined for residents in West Orange, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education. Law enforcement recovered the mail on Oct. 2, 2020, and Oct. 5, 2020, and placed it back into the mail stream for delivery.

How “heavily Democratic” are those New Jersey suburbs? Heavy.com reports Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by 9,298 votes to 421 in Orange in 2016, and by 16,757 to 5,201 in West Orange.

Beauchene faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. His sentencing has been scheduled for September 21, 2021.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

$90K Seized From Man Who Sold Footage Of Rioter Getting Shot At Capitol Invasion

(screen capture via YouTube)

John Earle Sullivan, of Utah, has had $90,000 confiscated from him after he sold video footage of a woman being fatally shot during the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. Sullivan has also been charged with entering the building unlawfully and taking part in the invasion.

From Reuters:

According to the court filings, Sullivan portrayed himself as an independent journalist who was reporting on the chaos, but actually encouraged other participants to “burn” the building and engage in violence.

Sullivan recorded video of the confrontation between rioters and police just outside the U.S. House of Representatives chamber that included the shooting of protester Ashli Babbitt and, according to court filings, boasted to an unnamed witness that “my footage is worth like a million of dollars, millions of dollars.”

Sullivan sold that footage to several news outlets for a total of $90,000, according to a seizure warrant.

More than 440 individuals have been charged for taking part in the attack by Trump supporters which left 5 dead and over 100 police officers injured.

DC Police Officer: They Were Screaming ‘Kill Him With His Own Gun’

Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone
Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone
DC Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone (screen capture)

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone spoke to CNN about his frightening ordeal being dragged from the U.S. Capitol building and beaten by pro-Trump insurrectionists last week.

According to CNN, Fanone is a narcotics detective who works in plain clothes. But when he heard the commotion at the Capitol, he grabbed his still brand-new police uniform that had been hanging in his locker and put it on for the first time. He raced to the building with his partner and helped officers who were being pushed back by rioters.

But he was soon overwhelmed by the insurrectionists and tasered several times as he was pulled down the steps of the Capitol building.

“I was just, you know, trying to fight as best I could,” Fanone told CNN. “I remember guys were stripping me of my gear, these rioters pulling my badge off my chest. They ripped my radio off my vest, started pulling ammunition magazines from their holder on my belt.”

“Some guys started getting ahold of my gun and they were screaming out ‘Kill him with his own gun.’ At that point it was, you know, self-preservation – how do I survive this situation?”

“I thought about using deadly force, I thought about shooting people. And then I came to the conclusion that if I was to do that I’d hit a few but I’m not going to take everybody. They’d probably take my gun away from me and that would definitely give them the justification they were looking for to kill me.”

“The only option I came up with was to appeal to somebody’s humanity. I just remember yelling out that I have kids. It seemed to work, some people in the crowd started to encircle me and offer me some kind of protection.”

“A lot of people have asked me my thoughts on the individuals in the crowd that helped me or tried to offer some assistance, and I think kind of the conclusion I’ve come to is like, you know, ‘Thank you, but fuck you for being there.’”

Watch below as Fanone describes the scene in his own words.

Remember – Trump supporters believe they are the ‘party of law and order…’

News Round-Up: January 11, 2021

Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. (images via social media)

Some news items you might have missed:

NY Times: Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr. (above) was charged with threatening Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, after he traveled to Washington for the pro-Trump rally on Wednesday and sent a text message saying he would put “a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.” Meredith had been staying at a Holiday Inn in Washington and had weapons in his camper-style trailer, including a Glock handgun, a pistol, a Tavor X95 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Instinct Magazine: A reboot of Sex and the City is officially a go on HBO Max. Titled And Just Like That… the show will star Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes) and Kristin Davis (Charlotte York Goldenblatt). Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones in the original series, will not be returning.

The stars of the upcoming reboot of Sex and the City
A scene from Sex and the City

OUT: Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans confirmed that he has split from his art director boyfriend Rafael Olarra. He also opened up about his desire to start a family, and said that maybe the time is right to start a family on his own.

Newsweek: An insurrectionist photographed hanging from the balcony of the Senate Chamber has begged for forgiveness, saying he got “caught up in the moment.” Josiah Colt, from Boise, Idaho, said his actions had been inappropriate and that he had not intended to “stain on our great Country’s Democratic process.” Colt took to social media to brag about his rampage through the Capitol.

Washington Post: The organizers of the PGA Championship canceled plans to hold the event at President Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club in 2022 in the wake of last week’s Trump-inspired riot at the U.S. Capitol.

CNN: Two Capitol Police officers have been suspended and another person has been arrested for their alleged involvement in the riot on Jan. 6, said Rep. Tim Ryan, who is chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee handling the investigation into the police response to the Capitol attack last week. “One was the selfie officer and another was an officer that put a MAGA hat on that started directing some people around,” the lawmaker said.

A Capitol Police officer takes a selfie with an insurrectionist during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol
Capitol Police officer takes selfie during invasion of U.S. Capitol

Miami Herald: Adam Christian Johnson, the man captured in viral photo carrying Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern from House chambers during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, has been arrested. He has been charged for numerous offenses including one count of theft of government property.

Fox News: In a rather odd exchange, Trump campaign national press secretary Hogan Gidley was asked by Fox anchor Bill Hemmer if Donald Trump feels “emasculated” after being kicked off social media. Gidley answered: “I wouldn’t say emasculated. The most masculine person I think to ever hold the White House is the president of the United States.” #OhReally?

Video: When Blue Lives Stopped Mattering To The Trump Crowd

Police officer crushed in doorway at U.S. Capitol
When blue lives suddenly stopped mattering at U.S. Capitol
(screen capture)

I don’t need to add much commentary here except to remind folks that Trumpers claim to be ‘the party of law and order.’

The footage was taken during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

In the clip, one Capitol Police officer is being crushed in a doorway amid masses of people.

At one point you can see one of the insurrectionists reach up and rip away the officer’s mask while he was wedged in, screaming in pain.

When the camera pans back to the officer, he is maskless and bloodied, screaming for help.

And suddenly, blue lives stopped mattering.

The video footage was captured by investigative outlet Status Coup.

Did A Bi Trump Supporter Scam $$$ From LGBTQ Trumpers?

(stock photo: Jeff Cirillo/FlickrCC license)

A 21-year-old bisexual Trump supporter spent the majority of 2020 impersonating relatives of Donald Trump on Twitter and in doing so appears to have scammed thousands of dollars from LGBTQ Trumpers.

The New York Times spoke with Josh Hall, who lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, about his wild Twitter ride which included pretending to be Robert Trump, brother to the president; 14-year-old Barron Trump, the Donald’s son; and just last month Trump’s sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau.

Hall not only fooled hundreds of thousands of Trump fans – collectively accruing over 160,000 followers – but even tricked Trump himself, who just last month posted an article about his ‘sister’ who had announced she was joining Twitter to support her brother’s fight to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

“Thank you Elizabeth,” tweeted the Donald. “LOVE!”

(screen capture)

Except, “Elizabeth” was actually Mr. Hall cloaked behind the fake Twitter account. Trump’s tweet is still on his account at this writing.

In an interview with the New York Times, Hall admitted he was stunned to have fooled Trump. “I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. He actually thinks it’s his sister.”

Hall shared with the Times that he became interested in politics and Donald Trump four years ago. “I kind of thought he was like a clown at first,” he said. “But the more I heard him talk, I realized: Yeah, he says kind of off-the-wall things, but I do agree with what he’s saying.”

Energized by Trump’s heated rhetoric, Hall began to dream of becoming a conservative talk-radio host. In an attempt to develop an online presence, he fought with liberals on Twitter and launched a “public figure” page on Facebook.

(photo: R Nial Bradshaw/FlickrCC License)

He also self-published a short e-book titled Hall Nation which shared his “38 essential rules” for living a happy life. As a Trump supporter, the first rule isn’t surprising: “Insults are a good thing.”

In real life, Hall apparently found it difficult to hold down a job moving from hotel clerk to sandwich maker, and eventually delivering food for Door Dash.

But online, he was learning to establish a small following. That journey was curtailed when he found himself banned from Twitter for creating multiple accounts as different people. “Once I got banned from Twitter, my attitude was kind of like, ‘What the hell, I’m just going to have fun now,’” he told the Times.

So, he began creating fake accounts posing as well-known people in the political sphere.

(screen capture via NY Times)

He started with a parody account of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who had received a pardon from Trump. That account garnered upward of 26,000 followers before it was deleted by Twitter.

Hall returned with more accounts pretending to be Dr. Birx from the White House Coronavirus Task Force at one point, and then Trump’s brother, Robert.

Through all of this, Hall claims “There was no nefarious intention behind it. I was just trying to rally up MAGA supporters and have fun.”

It was during his fake “Robert Trump” phase that he used the account to promote his own new Twitter account, @TheBiTrumpGuy, and his fake group, “Gay Voices for Trump.”

He even encouraged Trumpers (as “Robert Trump”) to donate to a GoFundMe campaign organized by Hall that was purported to support “field organizing, events and merchandise.” The fundraiser brought in $7,384.

(screen capture via NY Times)

Hall says he “never got the funds” from the crowdfunding campaign, but GoFundMe tells the Times the money was withdrawn by an account named Josh H.

All in all, it’s a timely tale of how much disinformation there is on social media. And a serious reminder to not believe everything you see on social media.

Head over to the New York Times to read the full accounting.

Misdemeanor Charges For Trumper Breathing On Protester

The New York Daily News reports a Trump supporter, Raymond Deskins, 61, who got in the face of a protester and ‘forcefully exhaled’ without a face mask has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after a private citizen obtained a warrant through a county magistrate.

The incident occurred near the entrance to Trump National Golf Club in Virginia on Saturday.

As the alleged assault wasn’t witnessed by law enforcement, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office told the victim they’d have to apply for a warrant through a county magistrate.

And they did.

Why do Trumpers have to act like this? It’s just childish.

Las Vegas Homophobe Threatens To Blow Up Business Over Pride Flag & Biden Sign

On Thursday, an anonymous man phoned MILK+T, an LGBTQ-owned boba tea shop in Las Vegas, and threatened to ‘blow up’ the business over a Pride flag and a Biden/Harris sign on display.

Caroline Sadorra, the manager of the tea shop’s Las Vegas branch, answered the call. Sadorra told local NBC News affiliate KSNV that while the Pride flag was a regular fixture at the business, the Biden/Harris sign was left there after a recent campaign event by Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV).

(screen capture via KSNV)

In a recording of the two phone conversations shared on social media, the man asked Sadorra, “I’m wondering why a f**king company would have a f**king faggot sign outside your store? You have a candidate that’s running for the new world order. What’s wrong with you?”

When the manager tried to bring the call to a close, he cursed at her, “Go f**k yourself, losers!”

Five minutes later the man called again having decided that the tea shop had an “anti-American owner,” and promised to “blow up” the store before hanging up.

One of the owners, Beyah Delmundo, told KSNV she plans to file a police report with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Monday morning. The business’s phone recorded the caller’s phone number.

Delmundo says she considered removing the Biden/Harris sign after the call, but decided, “Right now is not the time to be silent and to be shy about what you stand for.”

In sharing the recording on Facebook, MILK+T wrote, in part:

To attack us was simply unwarranted. It shocked us and made us realize how much hate there is in our country. More than ever, we have to come together.
Choose kindness and love, not the route of tearing another apart and threatening violence because of our differences.

LGBTQ rights ARE human rights. At MILK+T, we believe that Black Lives Matter. Women’s rights are human rights. No human is illegal. Science is real. Love is love, and kindness is everything.

Even though this shook us to our core, we stand firmly on what we believe. It takes courage to stand for what you believe in, and despite everything, we have courage and hope in the good there is in the world.

Trump Supporter Bulldozed Front Yards To Destroy Biden Campaign Signs

26-year-old James Blight (mug shot)

Police say a 26-year-old Trump supporter stole a bulldozer from a construction site and drove through the front yards of a Black neighborhood in Florida in order to remove pro-Joe Biden campaign signs.

In addition to the private property destroyed, the man – James Blight – ran down a speed limit sign and tore through a fence.

From the Washington Post:

Residents in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Haines City, Fla., knew something was off on Saturday when they saw a young White man driving a bulldozer on the street. As he made his way down the block, the man began running over every lawn sign in sight supporting Joe Biden.

“This man came onto my property, took the two Joe Biden signs I had in my yard and then came back with a bulldozer to run down my fence,” Adam Burgess, a local homeowner, told Bay News 9.

The man, later identified by police as 26-year-old James Blight, was charged with grand theft auto and trespassing, according to the outlet.

The incident in Florida is the latest example of increased tensions days before the election, as yard signs and other public proclamations of support for either presidential candidate have become a point of contention — and have occasionally led to violence.

Former vice Mayor Adam Burgess told Bay News 9: “To come into our community and destroy property – it speaks to the dog whistles that Donald Trump has been putting out his whole campaign. Stand back and stand by and we have guys in bulldozers doing this. What does the president have to say about that?”