Jan. 6 Panel Admits Subpoena Contained Misinformation, but Hasn’t Updated Public

An investigator with the House of Representatives’ select committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach has admitted privately that the panel erroneously asserted a former New York City police commissioner was in Washington on Jan. 5, but the assertion remains on the committee’s website.

Bernard Kerik, the former commissioner, was subpoenaed earlier this month by the panel, formally known as the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

In announcing the subpoena, the panel, which is primarily comprised of Democrats after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected several Republican picks, claimed that Kerik “reportedly participated” in a Jan. 5 meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington.

In the subpoena itself (pdf), the panel cited three sources for its claim: the book “Peril,” penned by two Washington Post reporters, and two articles published by the paper.

The problem? None of the sources actually say Kerik was at the reported meeting.

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UFO Investigation Office to be Considered by Congress

Congress is considering a permanent UFO office devoted to investigating terrestrial threats.

In House Bill HR. 4350 under section 1652, the bill states that “not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish an office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out, on a Department-wide basis, the mission currently performed by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force as of the date of the enactment of this Act.”

The act “Establishment of [an] Office to Address Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” alludes that the term UFO or unidentified flying object will be replaced with the term “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAP, which” means airborne objects witnessed by a pilot or aircrew member that are not immediately identifiable.”

According to The Washington Times, the bill, however, was delayed on Wednesday due to other pressing budgetary concerns.

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Complaints on STOCK Act violations stack up against members of Congress

A government watchdog group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics last week to investigate Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark, D-Mass., for apparently failing to timely disclose up to $285,000 in financial transactions — making the potential successor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the latest among numerous House and Senate members to face ethics complaints about allegedly violating the STOCK Act

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, better known as the STOCK Act, has gained renewed attention during the COVID-19 pandemic when some lawmakers were suspected of using information from government roles to profit. 

Broadly, the law prohibits members of Congress, congressional staffers and certain members of the executive branch and federal judiciary from engaging in insider trading based on information they learn through their government jobs. One provision of the law requires members of Congress to make a “full and complete” statement of their assets and their spouse’s assets, debts and income, as well as periodic reports of financial transactions that exceed $1,000 within 30 to 45 days of the transaction.

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Lawmakers Benefit From Booming Defense Stocks

Since U.S. military actions in Afghanistan were authorized in September 2001, the stocks of the top five defense companies have risen in value by an average of nearly 900%, strongly outperforming the S&P 500 index.

Among those who have benefitted from investments in the stocks are nearly four dozen members of Congress, the people who approve funding for the contracts that make up the bulk of the companies’ revenues.

At least 47 members of Congress and their spouses hold between $2 million and $6.7 million worth of stock in companies that are among the top 100 defense contractors, a Sludge analysis of financial disclosures found. 

The war in Afghanistan has caused an estimated up to 174,000 direct war deaths, according to the Costs of War Project, with economic costs reaching over $2.26 trillion there and in Pakistan. The total cost of post-9/11 wars including Iraq and other operations has surpassed $6.4 trillion through last year.

At least 11 U.S. senators hold up to $1.7 million in defense industry stocks and at least 36 U.S. representatives hold a maximum value of over $5 million. Congress only reports its investments in broad ranges, so it’s not possible to know exactly how much their stocks are worth. Members of Congress have at least 108 investments in 16 major defense contractors, including all of the top 10 companies by defense revenue.

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