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Biden Administration

REPORT: Fauci, Other NIH officials May Not Have Been Legally Appointed to Their Offices



According to a year-long investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans, former National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Disease (NAIAD) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and a dozen other NIH directors do not appear to have been legitimately appointed to their positions.

According to GOP committee aides speaking on background, Mr. Fauci and the others were supposed to serve five-year terms beginning no later than December 13, 2021, but repeated requests to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra for documents confirming the appointments have been ignored or delayed since March 2022.

Every choice made by the directors, most importantly the recipients of over $26 billion in research awards, might be the subject of protracted litigation or be completely thrown out due to doubts about their legal standing.

“We are being cautious about the implications here because this is unprecedented,” one of the GOP aides told journalists. It is not clear, the aides said, if, for example, the entire award process would have to be repeated, a process that could cause chaos among researchers and additional costs to taxpayers.


The most recent grant to Eco-Health Alliance, a non-profit organization based in New York through which the NIH donated at least $1.7 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, is one of the $26 billion in grants that are currently under scrutiny. Many intelligence and biological professionals concur that the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has killed more than 1 million Americans, originated at the Wuhan lab. Federal authorities declared a national pandemic in response to the illness, which caused significant social, political, and economic harm and persisted for more than a year.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defended the appointments, reportedly saying that “the committee’s allegations are clearly politically motivated and lack merit. As their own report shows, the prior administration appointed at least five NIH IC officials under the process they now attack. The Department stands by the legitimacy of these NIH IC Directors’ reappointments.”

In a July 7, 2023, letter to Mr. Becerra, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the energy and commerce chairman,  said his “failure to follow the law and ensure accountability of billions of dollars in taxpayer funding at [NIH] … could have grave implications for the validity of actions taken by 14 NIH Institute and Center (IC) Directors during their unlawful tenure, including former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.”

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), leader of the panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), chairman of the health subcommittee, also joined Ms. McMorris Rodgers in signing the letter to Mr. Becerra.

The 21st Century Cures Act, which was adopted by Congress and signed into law by former President Barack Obama, required Mr. Becerra to appoint the 14 to fresh five-year terms by December 13, 2021. According to the signers, this was the root of the issue. Additionally, the Cures Act stipulates that the HHS secretary, not the NIH director, must make the appointments.

“It has become increasingly clear that you never appointed or reappointed the 14 NIH IC Directors in December of 2021. HHS and the NIH repeatedly assured the committee that the NIH IC Directors were validly reappointed but did not produce proper supporting documentation,” the signers told Mr. Becerra.

“For example, in its first response to the committee on April 5, 2022, the NIH claimed ‘[a]ll current IC Directors who were serving as of December 13, 2016, have undergone review and have been reappointed to new 5-year term appointments,’ and submitted a chart showing that the NIH Director was the official who made the reappointments of the NIH IC Directors, which even if true, is contrary to what the law requires,” they said.

The signers informed Mr. Becerra that despite repeated inquiries from the committee to HHS for documentation relating to the 14 nominations, they had not received any firm responses up until a few weeks ago.

“On June 19, 2023, HHS finally produced documents, titled ‘Ratification of Prior Selection and Prospective Appointment: Appointment Affidavit’ (hereinafter ‘Appointment Affidavit’), and signed by you, purporting to show that some of the NIH IC Directors at issue were reappointed,” the signers wrote.

“However, the Appointment Affidavits were signed on June 8, 2023, and June 15, 2023—not December 13, 2021. Critically, no appointment affidavits were produced for two NIH IC Directors, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Roger Glass, who were serving in December 2016, but retired before June 2023,” they continued.

The signers said the June 2023 appointment affidavits “purport to ratify the prior selection of the NIH IC Directors and to prospectively reappoint them. Here selection refers to actions taken by the NIH Director to identify candidates to recommend to [Becerra] for appointment.”

But the affidavits describe the reappointments as prospective, which means, according to the signers, that “the June 2023 reappointments do not retroactively ratify the decisions that NIH IC Directors made while not lawfully appointed—those decisions occurring between December 14, 2021, and the June 2023 reappointments affidavits. A recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision also suggests that actions taken by NIH IC Directors while they were not lawfully appointed are legally invalid.”

The signers added that Mr. Becerra’s “failure to follow the 21st Century Cures Act and reappoint 14 of the 27 IC Directors, which represents just over 50 percent of NIH IC Directors, is unacceptable. You have not complied with your oath to faithfully discharge the duties of your office.”

The House Republicans also accused HHS and NIH officials of spending “15 months obstructing the committee to cover up your failure only makes matters worse. HHS and the NIH should have known within days of receiving the committee’s March 14, 2022, letter that the reappointments as legally required had not occurred.”

The impact on the NIH will be nearly incalculable if the signers are right that every decision made by the IC officials after December 14, 2021, was unlawful. This is because, in addition to putting nearly $26 billion in research grants in jeopardy for what could be years of expensive litigation, contracts that have already been signed, personnel actions, including hiring and firing, and policy decisions, will also be in tumult.

Biden Administration

Secret Service Increased Security for Zelenskyy While Denying Security For Former President Trump



Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s trip to Washington in December 2022 was treated with the utmost importance, featuring extraordinary security measures. Hundreds of law enforcement and intelligence officials were activated, with the U.S. Secret Service leading the effort as Zelenskyy visited the White House and addressed Congress. From the moment he landed, Zelenskyy was accompanied by a Secret Service detail, and this protection continued until his departure. His motorcade was also provided by the Secret Service, assisted by local law enforcement.

Former Secret Service agent Don Mihalek explained that the agency is responsible for protecting all visiting foreign heads of state on U.S. soil. Zelenskyy’s visit was seen as particularly sensitive due to the ongoing war with Russia, raising concerns about potential threats from Russian agents or collaborators.

Security for Zelenskyy’s trip to Capitol Hill was akin to State of the Union preparations, with significant measures implemented. The Secret Service consulted with the Capitol Police, CIA, FBI, and other agencies to ensure safety. Every Capitol Police officer was on standby, given the potential threats.

In stark contrast, former President Donald Trump’s security detail has faced significant challenges in obtaining the same level of resources and personnel. Over the past two years, the Secret Service acknowledged denying multiple requests for increased security at Trump’s events. While the agency provided alternative measures, such as local sniper teams and hand-held magnetometers, Trump’s team felt these were insufficient and inadequate to address the security risks involved.

The recent attempted assassination of Trump at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, has intensified scrutiny. A sniper managed to get rooftop access roughly 150 meters from Trump’s position, raising serious questions about security lapses. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle is facing calls for her resignation, including from House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Despite these assurances, the disparity in security measures for Zelenskyy and Trump has raised significant concerns about the Secret Service’s prioritization and ability to adequately protect high-profile individuals. Trump’s security detail and advisers have repeatedly voiced their frustrations over what they perceive as an unequal allocation of resources and attention.

The decision to prioritize Zelenskyy’s security to such an extent, while denying crucial security enhancements for a former U.S. president, suggests a troubling inconsistency in the Secret Service’s approach to protection. The assassination attempt on Trump highlights the severe consequences of these decisions and underscores the urgent need for a reassessment of priorities and resource allocation within the agency.

The handling of security for Trump, particularly in light of the recent assassination attempt, exposes significant gaps and inconsistencies within the Secret Service. As scrutiny intensifies, the agency must address these failures, ensure equitable security measures for all high-profile individuals, and restore confidence in its protective capabilities. Director Kimberly Cheatle’s leadership and decisions are now under intense examination, and calls for her resignation reflect the gravity of the situation and the demand for accountability.


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2024 Race

DNC to Proceed with Plan to Confirm Joe Biden as Presidential Nominee



The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is moving forward with plans to confirm President Joe Biden as the party’s presidential nominee despite increasing calls for him to step aside. Amid internal turmoil over the party’s candidate for the upcoming election against former President Donald Trump, the DNC’s Rules Committee met on Friday, maintaining that everything is proceeding as planned.

The committee convened to discuss plans for a virtual roll call vote to formally nominate Biden weeks before the convention. While no votes were taken or decisions made, party leaders informed the nearly 200 committee members about the current process. The committee will meet again on Friday, July 26, to consider adopting the virtual roll call process, which would take place in the first week of August.

The virtual roll call idea has its detractors within the party, though the meeting saw little dissent. Questions arose about whether other candidates could be nominated during the virtual roll call. Technically, this is possible, but practically unlikely. The meeting started shortly after four Democratic members of Congress called on Biden to step aside.

Despite the growing calls for Biden to step down, party leaders, including DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, expressed their excitement to “renominate President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris” and promote the “Biden-Harris ticket.” Leah Daughtry, co-chair of the Rules Committee, and Alex Hornbrook, convention executive director, highlighted the planned events and the involvement of social media influencers to reach young voters.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to address a paperwork issue causing concern among Democrats. Parties typically nominate their candidates during live roll call votes at their national conventions. However, Ohio’s Aug. 7 deadline for submitting nominees conflicts with the Democratic convention’s Aug. 19 start date. Despite a legislative fix, the issue persists as the change won’t take effect until Sept. 1.

Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose has stated that the discrepancy is not a problem, accusing Democrats of using Ohio as a scapegoat for their internal issues. However, Democrats worry that delaying Biden’s nomination could lead to litigation from Republicans, potentially jeopardizing his ballot access.

Some Democrats fear the virtual roll call is a strategy to shut down debates over Biden’s candidacy and secure his nomination. However, Biden holds significant control over the process, having won 99% of the pledged delegates during the primaries. His allies dominate the DNC, chosen for their loyalty.

Experts, including longtime DNC member Elaine Kamarck, suggest that Biden could still be replaced if he steps aside after the virtual roll call. “This doesn’t mean we’d be stuck with one person if that person isn’t willing to run,” Kamarck explained, noting that the Rules Committee could amend the process if necessary.

As the DNC moves forward with plans to confirm Biden as the nominee, the party faces internal debates and legal uncertainties. The upcoming meetings and the proposed virtual roll call will be crucial in determining the Democratic candidate for the November election against Trump.


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Biden Administration

Former Obama-Biden Advisor Claims “The First Amendment Is Out of Control,” Hinders Government Action



In a controversial opinion piece published recently, Tim Wu, an advisor to both the Obama and Biden administrations, argued that the First Amendment is becoming a significant obstacle to effective governance. The essay, titled “The First Amendment is Out of Control,” has sparked widespread debate and criticism.

Wu’s argument centers on the assertion that the First Amendment, designed to protect free speech, is now being exploited by powerful entities, including Big Tech companies, to resist regulation and oversight. He cites recent Supreme Court rulings regarding Texas and Florida laws aimed at regulating social media platforms as examples of this exploitation.

According to Wu, the collaboration between the government and major social media platforms is often hindered by the First Amendment, which is used as a defense to protect free speech in digital public forums. He suggests that this constitutional protection is being misused to prevent necessary government action aimed at safeguarding citizens.

Critics, however, argue that Wu’s perspective misinterprets the fundamental purpose of the First Amendment. They contend that the amendment’s role is precisely to protect citizens from government overreach and censorship, ensuring that free speech remains a cornerstone of democracy. The idea that the First Amendment is an obstacle rather than a protector is seen by many as a dangerous and misguided interpretation.

Furthermore, Wu’s essay touches on the issue of banning platforms like TikTok and implementing age verification laws, such as California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code. He suggests that the First Amendment stands in the way of these actions, which he believes are necessary for national security and protecting minors online. Critics counter that these measures, if implemented, could set precedents for broader and potentially harmful censorship practices.

Wu’s reference to the First Amendment as a “suicide pact,” borrowing language from a 1949 dissenting opinion in the Terminiello v. City of Chicago case, underscores the dramatic tone of his argument. He suggests that the amendment, while intended to safeguard freedoms, can also be interpreted in ways that undermine societal safety and security.

In conclusion, Tim Wu’s essay has reignited the debate over the balance between free speech and governmental regulation. While Wu argues that the First Amendment’s current application hinders effective governance and protection of citizens, his critics maintain that the amendment is essential for safeguarding democratic principles and preventing government overreach. As this debate continues, the interpretation and application of the First Amendment remain at the forefront of discussions about free speech and public safety in the digital age.


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