Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Witnesses

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Thursday, April 18, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and we’ve got a packed agenda with significant updates fr
Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Witnesses
Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Thomas

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Thursday, April 18, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and we’ve got a packed agenda with significant updates from across the nation, ranging from controversial trials to pivotal court rulings. There’s a lot to get to. Let’s dive right into today’s top stories.

Here’s our first big story.

Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Witnesses

Whistleblowers from the National Guard have accused Ryan McCarthy, the former Army secretary, of lying about some key details related to the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021. They made these accusations during a congressional hearing on April 17. According to the whistleblowers, Mr. McCarthy made multiple false claims, including two phone calls he made to the commander of the D.C. National Guard after he was asked to deploy the Guard to the Capitol. However, officials from the Guard confirmed that these calls never happened.

Records indicate that the only communication with Maj. Gen. William Walker, the leader of the D.C. National Guard, was at 2:14 p.m. This call was just to tell him to be ready, but no further orders to mobilize or to deploy were given. Captain Timothy Nick, Maj. Gen. Walker’s personal assistant, testified that neither Mr. McCarthy nor his top advisers contacted Maj. Gen. Walker all day.

Brig. Gen. Aaron Dean also testified, criticizing a report by the Department of Defense Inspector General about the events on Jan. 6 for containing “inaccuracies.” He pointed out that even though the request for the Guard’s assistance was made at around 1:50 p.m., the troops were not deployed until 5:10 p.m. The significant delay led to accusations against Mr. McCarthy claiming he failed to act promptly.

Testimonies from other witnesses revealed concerns about how it might look to deploy the Guard to the Capitol. Despite these concerns, the testifying Guard officials stated they were ready and could have responded sooner if not delayed.

Mr. McCarthy did not attend the hearing to respond to these claims, and the Army has not provided any comments on the issue.

Turning our attention now to New York, let’s take a look at the ongoing hush money trial involving a former president.

Dismissed ‘Hush Money’ Trial Juror Speaks Out

A juror named Kara McGee, who was dismissed from the Manhattan trial of former President Donald Trump, shared her thoughts about the jury selection process. Ms. McGee, who works in cybersecurity, was excused because of her job. She mentioned that it would be hard for anyone to judge the case without having some pre-formed opinions. She also said she had a personal dislike for President Trump, particularly criticizing how he managed the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the selection process, potential jurors were asked their thoughts on “trying” a former president in court, and they were also asked about their views on limits for campaign finance donations. As of Wednesday morning, seven jurors had been selected, and five more spots still needed to be filled. The judge says he plans to pick about six extra jurors as backups.

President Trump has openly criticized the process of selecting jurors, arguing that it was unfair because of where the trial is being held. He’s on trial for allegedly making false statements about payments he made during his 2016 campaign to hide negative stories about him. His lawyers argue that these payments were legitimate business expenses.

Before entering the court on Tuesday, President Trump described Judge Juan Merchan as a “Trump-hating” official and said that he “shouldn’t be on this case.”

The judge, however, has refused to step down.

President Trump also visited a bodega in New York City, where a violent attack recently took place, and he spoke about the city’s crime problem. He said he’s committed to “straighten New York out.”

Up next, former Attorney General William Barr has some strong opinions about the proceedings, and here’s what he has to say.

Bill Barr Responds to Trump Hush Money Trial: ‘Abomination’

Mr. Barr has criticized the trial of President Trump, calling it “an abomination” and saying it’s driven by politics. Mr. Barr argues that the charges, which are about falsifying business records and making secret payments during the 2016 election, are a misuse of the justice system.

Even though Mr. Barr and President Trump have disagreed in the past, Mr. Barr said he would still vote for President Trump. He also expressed worries about the influence of the progressive left on democracy, saying that reelecting President Joe Biden would be very harmful for the country.

Mr. Barr has been criticized in the past for how he handled claims of election fraud when he was the attorney general. He worked under President George H.W. Bush as well as President Trump.

Mr. Barr also helped with the investigation into the Capitol breach on Jan. 6 and supported the legal actions against President Trump by special counsel Jack Smith.

The trial is expected to take six weeks, and President Trump has to be there the entire time.

Switching from the political arena to judicial decisions, a recent court ruling in West Virginia overturns a significant law, and this is something you’ve really got to hear!

Court Overturns West Virginia Transgender Sports Ban

A federal appeals court has stopped a West Virginia law that banned students from participating in single-sex sports teams that don’t match their biological sex.

The court ruled this law is unconstitutional for a 13-year-old transgender student, who was born male but identifies as female and wants to play on girls’ teams. This decision was part of the latest ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The law, known as the Save Women’s Sports Bill, was signed in 2021 by Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly challenged the law, arguing it was unfair to transgender students and broke federal rules under Title 9, which prevents discrimination based on sex in education, as well as the U.S. Constitution.

Initially, a lower court judge blocked the law, but that decision was overturned. However, the appeals court stepped in to block the law again and has now finally decided it goes against Title 9 protections. This case might go to the U.S. Supreme Court next.

The ACLU views this as a victory for transgender individuals. On the other hand, West Virginia’s attorney general has vowed to keep fighting this decision.

Now, over to Florida, a different kind of legislative action aims to shape educational curricula.

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs ‘Anti-Communist Education’ Bill Into Law

Starting in the 2026–27 school year, students in Florida will learn more about the history and dangers of communism in all grades. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law, Senate Bill 1264, on April 17, emphasizing the need for students to understand the “evils of communism.”

The law targets what is seen as leftist ideology in schools, often taught by professors who haven’t lived in a communist country.

Mr. DeSantis and Florida’s education leader criticized the positive portrayal of communism in schools. They want this newly passed law to help students challenge communist ideas when they encounter them in college or university. The governor also pointed out that communism still exists today, despite many believing it ended in the 1980s.

Florida already has a “Victims of Communism Day” on Nov. 7, where high school students study the negative effects of communist governments. This new law goes further to cover lessons on communism in the United States, Cuba’s government policies, and how communism spread in Latin America and elsewhere.

This move comes in response to surveys showing that many young Americans today have a favorable view of communism and Marxism.

Now, we’re almost out of time, so that’s going to be our final story on the Thursday edition of The Epoch Times News Brief! Before we turn out the lights and lock the doors, this brief reminder: If you enjoy our News Brief program, please let us know by dropping us an email. We’re at [email protected]. It’s always a great pleasure to get feedback from people just like you, and let’s review some of that feedback right now.

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As we do each day, we end today’s program with this very notable quote:

“Well done is better than well said” —Benjamin Franklin

“Medium Rare is better than well done.” I said that! Benjamin Franklin and I, we didn’t always see eye to eye, but I do hold in high regard the man whose face adorns the $100 bill.

From all of us here at The Epoch Times News Brief, I’m Bill Thomas, we hope you found today’s program “well done,” and have an EPOCH day!

Bill Thomas is a two-time Golden Mike Award winner who has specialized in breaking news coverage. In his career he has covered floods, forest fires, police pursuits, civil unrest, and freeway collapses. He is a host of EpochCasts News Brief, an audio news show from The Epoch Times. You can reach Bill via email at [email protected]
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