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BREAKING: ACLJ, Members of Congress File in Court Over Biden’s Massive Tax Overreach

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
April 9, 2021 1:00 pm

BREAKING: ACLJ, Members of Congress File in Court Over Biden’s Massive Tax Overreach

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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April 9, 2021 1:00 pm

Today on Sekulow , we discuss the breaking announcement that the ACLJ is filing a critical amicus brief in court to challenge President Biden’s power grab to control state taxes. It isn’t just our members we’re filing on behalf of; we’re representing 74 Members of Congress on this brief in federal court to dispute this unconstitutional provision of the latest “COVID relief” bill. We are also joined by ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy Ric Grenell.

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Breaking today on Sekulow, the ACLJ files a lawsuit against the Biden administration.

We represent 74 members of Congress in this blatantly unconstitutional power grab by Biden and his administration. We'll talk about that and more today on Sekulow. 1-800-684-3110. And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome to Sekulow. We are taking your phone calls.

1-800-684-3110. So 74 members of Congress, which includes, again, I just want to go through these numbers for you, includes 19 U.S. Senators, 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. I want to take right off the bat the Senate's Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, Senator Tim Scott, and Congressman Jim Banks for leading this coalition of elected officials.

The names on this brief, you're going to know a lot of them. Tim Scott of South Carolina, John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Brown, John Corden. So we've got top leadership. Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Bill Hagerty, Lankford, Portman, Marshall, Ben Sasse, Thom Tillis, Roger Wicker, Todd Young. That's just from the U.S. Senate.

And what you see there is you've got everybody from Senate leadership to conservatives like Ted Cruz. What is the issue, though? Before I go through some of the House members, I want to get to the issue. And the issue, Harry, is what we believe is an unconstitutional power grab trying to limit states' abilities who receive stimulus funds from doing anything directly or indirectly that may lead to a tax cut at the state level.

You're precisely correct. So within the latest iteration of COVID relief, there is a poison pill provision as part of the so-called American Rescue Plan Act, which prevents states from lowering their taxes directly or indirectly. So it's a power grab.

Why? Because what the Congress is trying to do with the consent of the Biden administration is to take control of state power to be competitive. So, for instance, if the state of Tennessee or the state of Kentucky wishes to cut its taxes directly or indirectly, there is a provision that allows a secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, to claw back benefits that the state would otherwise receive under this COVID relief bill.

So this provision, in our opinion, is unconstitutional and it is a direct attack on state sovereignty. By the way, similar lawsuits are going to be filed in Alabama. We'll be filing in that one on behalf of a number of states there. Kentucky and Tennessee are going to be filing together, Missouri and Arizona also looking at filing. But on our filing alone, this will be filed today, maybe while we're on the air.

This is going to be filed in the United States District Court, so Federal Court for the Southern District of Ohio. And we have 74 members of Congress, 19 U.S. Senators, 55 House members on our brief.

And I want to go to Than Bennett in Washington, D.C. just quickly. I think what people will see when they see the blog that goes up on ACLJ.org that lists all the members, both from this House and the Senate, and a big shout-out to Steve Scalise as well for joining on the House side. And I could go through the list, Jeff Duncan, I mean, there's so many good friends on here on the House side, too. But it shows that from, I guess, the full spectrum of the Republican Party in Congress signed on to our brief. All across the spectrum, that's absolutely correct, Jordan. I mean, this is sweeping the nation. You mentioned the lawsuits filed already. More are going to follow. We're going to follow it all the way through the process. But the bottom line is, the federal government is trying to take this power away from the states. And if you look at this list of members from the House and the Senate, you're going to see a lot of members who maybe even disagree with each other on other issues, Jordan.

But this one is very fundamental, very strong show of support in the House and Senate. Thrilled to have all of them on board. All right, folks, we come back. We will continue to start taking your phone calls, 1-800-684-3110. So this is the first kind of lawsuit we're filing on behalf, joining you with Ohio against the Biden administration, representing 74 members of Congress, both the Senate and the House. We're taking your calls, 1-800-684-3110.

Be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support. For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. So we are taking your phone calls, 1-800-684-3110. What do you think about our latest lawsuit and the Biden administration's attempt to say you can get stimulus but you can't cut taxes anyway, you can't cut taxes on property, you can't cut taxes at the state level, on your sales tax, on specific kinds of sales tax. You can't give out any kind of, I guess, special incentives to potentially new employers, new businesses moving into the state as well.

I mean, you could read this very broadly. They may say, no, we're not actually going to do that, but that's not what the law says. So that's why we have to take them to court to define exactly, one, how far their unconstitutional overreach went, and two, what they're really thinking here. Because it's not just about income taxes, it's a corporate tax.

It's about would you provide a new company, a big company that wants to move and employ 10,000 people with some kind of tax holiday at the state or local level for a set number of years so that you attract that new business to your state and your city. These are the kind of questions we want resolved in federal court, and we are representing 74 members of Congress, including, again, a number of U.S. senators, 19 U.S. senators, and 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, Thanh, while, and we're going to get more into this, while we are doing that, Ben Sisney is in federal court right now.

Tell people about that. Yeah, he's in court over the FOIA involving the production of material that we've talked about many times on this broadcast involving Jen Psaki and the deception that was engaged on by the State Department during the Obama administration over the deletion of that video. Jordan, there's a lot of information here, but this is what is interesting to me. We got materials back that had redactions in them, and the claim was that those were redacted because they were Presidential communications. So, Jordan, you're talking about very high-level communication that we are not allowed to see. Now, look, the judge has seen it, the other side has seen it, but we haven't seen it.

We want to know what is behind those redactions, Jordan. That's what Ben Sisney is arguing today. I understand, actually, that the hearing has just wrapped up. Don't have a report back yet from it, Jordan, but literally, as we speak, Ben Sisney is leaving a court over in that hearing. This is why you support the work of the ACLJ financially, folks. I mean, we have these back-to-back matching challenge months, March and April, a very important time for the ACLJ financially, and we're in the midst of another matching challenge month right now. So we've got attorneys in court in D.C. battling still the bad actions of the Obama administration, but really trying to get to the bottom of that first Iran deal because that could implicate how they try to get into a second Iran deal.

So understand this is all timely as well. We're representing 74 members of Congress in this unconstitutional power grab by the Biden administration, trying to tell your state you take a dime of stimulus money, you can't change your taxes at all if they're lowering. Doesn't say you can't raise your taxes, by the way.

Classic Democrats, right? Raises your taxes as much as you'd like on everything. Just don't lower anything at all. Support the work of the ACLJ financially. Be part of our April matching challenge. You double the impact of your donation at ACLJ.org.

That's ACLJ.org. Donate today. Double the impact of your donation. Just like last month, we have a group of donors that are ready to match every donation that comes through in the month of April. You just have to make that initial donation at ACLJ.org.

Do that today if you're financially able to. Wes, I wanted to go to you because you brought up the fact that the Democrats had a horrendous time at the state level in this last election cycle, so it's like a takeover. Yeah, it really is. You know, last year in the election, not one governor's mansion and not one state legislature was flipped on behalf of the Democratic Party. The Republican Party, by the way, flipped three of those. And yet these Democrat devotees of big government are trying to control the states anyway, even though they didn't win the elections at the state level by dictating tax law and policy to these same individual states. You know, Jordan, over the last 245 years, we have witnessed more or less, depending on the period in history, but we witnessed creeping federal government control. But, you know, since the advent of Obamacare and President Obama in 2009, it's not creeping government control.

It's sprinting government control, so that it seems the chief difference between the two parties is the Democrats are for expansive and expanding government, and the Republicans by and large are for limited government. Now, this is interesting, Harry, because on the same day as all of this is going on, I just got breaking news that Joe Biden has issued an executive order today to put in place that court-packing commission for the Supreme Court. Should they term limit?

So they're kind of going about it two ways. Add justices or remove justices by term limit to get the liberals that they want in place, the right number in place. But he's going to sign an executive order today. We're talking about filing in federal court, active in federal court. This all gets impacted by whatever comes of this commission, if anything.

Absolutely. So Joe Biden and his administration are moving very swiftly to dismantle the United States as a republic. They believe in what might be called living constitutionalism, wherein pragmatic judgment replaces the explicit text of the Constitution. And it is clear beyond question that the Constitution, as correctly interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, limits the power of the Biden administration to engage in power grabs in a variety of areas, including with respect to COVID relief, including with respect to the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, Joe Biden and his elite allies believe that individuals who are located in Washington, D.C. should control each and every aspect of our lives, whether we live in Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, California, or Washington state. This is contrary to the formation of the United States, but I believe at the end of the day, they simply don't care. You know, Wayne on YouTube is writing in, and we're taking your calls too over the phones, 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on here.

That's 1-800-684-3110. But Wayne wrote then, the federal government, it's like they're trying to take over state power now. So it's not just an overreach at the federal level, it's we want to control what the states can do, and we're not talking about taking the states to court, we're talking about limiting the state's ability to do that through law. And I will tell you as an attorney, the Supreme Court always looks very closely at when a law is passed that says, but that a state is barred from doing something or must do something, they always take a look. And the best example is the highway legislation that came up with the 21-year-old drinking age. And the courts looked at it, and they said, if you're going to accept these funds, you do have to raise it to 21 years old because of the effects of the highway and younger people, drunk driving and the protection.

But it made its way all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is, I think, even more egregious because it's saying you can't even do property tax decreases in specific areas of your state, which may benefit better with the stimulus if you did that together. Yeah, it's really a great example, Jordan.

This is nothing like conditioning how you use certain funds. This really goes over the line into coercing states and to try and take over authorities that belong to the states, most specifically the taxation one. I mean, think about this, Jordan.

Think about how breathtaking this is. Obviously, the most obvious example would be if a state wants to cut income tax. And of course, we're already seeing people vote with their feet by moving to places like Tennessee and Florida who have favorable state income schemes. That would be something that would be impacted by this provision. But think about as states come out of the pandemic, Jordan, if they want to try to help parents get better options for their students and they move towards school choice.

They don't reduce income taxes, but maybe they offer tax credits for people who want to give scholarships to students. Jordan, for the next four years, not just this year, for the next four years, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen could look at a state that does that, try to help students and say, no, that has an indirect, that has a net effect of reducing tax revenue that indirectly offsets the money we gave you back in 2021 to respond to COVID. So, we're actually going to pull that money back three years later.

That's how breathtaking this is, Jordan. So, I think your analogy to that prohibition is spot on. And three years from now, I think you would see the federal government come in and try to assert that power. There is no way, Jordan, that that does not infringe on state authority. Take a listen to the Ohio Attorney General. They're leading the charge here.

Attorney General Yost, Byte 17. States ought to be able to decide what they want to do. The federal government is trying to dominate this and dictate the outcome of that discussion in every state of the union.

And that's unconstitutional. It's a violation of federalism. This is the United States of America, not the People's Republic of D.C. Wes, we've got a minute left here in this segment, but we're going to get a lot of phone calls up on 800-684-3110. But again, it is this idea that everything should be governed out of D.C. Yeah, and yet the Constitution is clear that any authority that's not listed in the Constitution is specifically granted to the federal government in D.C., that the states have the authority on anything that is not enumerated in the Constitution to the national government. This, in effect, because you think about the states being the closest government to the people and the localities, this is an insult to and an attack on a representative form of government, as if we really do want, as the governor said, the People's Republic of the District of Columbia. I mean, this is, again, and I think that we'll talk about court packing, too, when we come back, because now Joe Biden is going to sign an executive order today. 36 people, so Democrat, so liberal. You're going to put 36 people on a commission, they've got 180 days to come up with a solution.

A lot of people. And if they're all law professors and former judges, a lot of talking, a lot of opinions. So is this just a wink to the far left that will go nowhere?

Possibly. But I think until we know it goes nowhere, we need to take it very seriously, because they are looking at fundamentally altering our federal judiciaries, starting with the U.S. Supreme Court. We'll be right back on Secular. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Yeah, I think this is one of the most fundamental issues when it comes to federalism in our country and the system of government that we have, Harry, because when I look at this lawsuit, the fact that the Ohio Attorney General, that we're representing 74 members of Congress, again, U.S. senators and U.S. House members, again 19 U.S. senators and 55 members of the House of Representatives, because they have trust, folks. I just want you to know, our supporters out there, they have trust in the ACLJ's work that we sent along the brief. We asked if they were interested in signing it, and you get leadership of the U.S. Senate, leadership of the U.S. House, and some of the most well-known members of the House and the Senate as well, done very quickly by our government affairs team.

So we thank Thanh for that and for his team's efforts there. But, Harry, fundamentally, this is the biggest kind of, I'd say the single most defining difference between the right and the left is that the left thinks everything should be run at a federalized level. And the right wants less federal and more state opportunity to create, to decide what's best for the state, the citizens, and even more so, even to go into the local areas and let them have more decision-making power as well.

Absolutely. So one of the things to keep in mind is that we now live in a highly divided country, and we're divided really between both coasts and those individuals who live in what might be called flyover country. And many of the elites in the United States, particularly in Washington, D.C., but in New York City, San Francisco, and L.A., they believe that individuals in so-called flyover country should not really and fundamentally have the right to vote. And so if you look at this particular provision in the so-called COVID Relief Act, what they're trying to do is they're trying to disenfranchise voters from, let's say, Ohio to Iowa, from Iowa to Montana, from Montana to Texas.

And instead, each and every one of our lives would be controlled by elite bureaucrats located in Washington who care very little about our lives. But it's also very important to note what the Supreme Court has already said with respect to congressional power to attach strings to the receipt of federal grants. The court has said that the exercise of Congress's spending power must be in pursuit of what? The general welfare. Secondly, conditions on the receipt of federal funds must be unambiguous. Third, conditions must be related to the federal interest in what? A particular national project or program. And fourth, the legislation cannot induce the states to engage in activities that would be unconstitutional.

So what the Biden administration is attempting to do is to commandeer state power inconsistent with the Constitution in order to achieve progressive objectives, essentially to pave the way toward socialism. Yeah, I mean, this is, again, I want to go to the phones 1-800-684-3110 to talk to us on air. That's 1-800-684-3110. Let's go to Gina in California on line 2. Hey, Gina.

Hi. I just want to know where the check and balance system is here and why, you know, does it involve a lawsuit? Well, we lost you. Well, here's the problem, Than. There is no check and balance right now because the House and the Senate are both controlled by Democrats and so is the White House. I mean, that's bottom line truth. I mean, there are checks.

You go to court as well. That's one of the checks. But the easiest check would be if there were Republicans in one of the leading either the House or the Senate, because this would have been stopped before it ever got through the legislative process and on President Biden's desk for his signature through reconciliation.

But the truth is, we're not in that situation right now. We may be in a couple years midterm elections, but right now we're not getting a check on anything really from the United States Senate or House because of the Democrat control there. Yeah, both the legislative branch and the executive branch, Jordan, you're absolutely correct.

They both want fundamental changes like this. The legislative branch had to pass this bill. The executive branch had to sign it. That's why we have to go to the judicial branch to adjudicate it.

But look, I would I would tell you this, Jordan, it didn't have to be this way. I mean, it's because of provisions like this and the desire to have them in there. The Democrats used the reconciliation approach and went for a fully partisan angle on this. Remember, there were there were five bipartisan bills passed last year in response to the covid pandemic. All of them got more than 90 votes in the United States Senate, so they easily could have passed another covid stimulus bill. But they wanted provisions like this, Jordan.

They weren't just looking for covid stimulus. They were looking for control in Washington, D.C. So when you talk about checks and balances, both the executive branch and the legislative branch are in on this. But there is one final recourse.

It's that third branch. That's why we filed this brief today. That's why we've added the members of Congress. And the one other thing I would say about this list of members of Congress, Jordan, literally dozens of them have engaged in the legislative process to start to unwind this if they do get control back of one of those chambers.

So you can get one of those checks back. But until then, Jordan, what's your option? You have to engage the judicial branch. And that's why we're doing it. Yeah, I mean, that is exactly what we are doing. Again, I want to remind you, we are representing 74 members of Congress in federal court in support of what Ohio is doing, saying this is unconstitutional. You're trying to tell us how to govern our state.

You can't do that. We agree with that position. We believe this could end up all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, these kind of cases. And we're right on it, representing 74 members of Congress in West.

This is infuriating to people. They get really mad not only when these massive stimulus get pushed through, but then on top of that, when they're told that your state elected officials that you elected have no power over your tax system at the local and state level. Yeah, it seems that if they had their way, all law, all dictates would come from Washington, D.C.

I mean, they have an elitist mentality that they can be trusted and the people of the United States are suspects somehow. The other thing about this, Jordan, is that it's a violation of the sovereignty of each individual state, which is by design in the Constitution. For example, states are designed in a healthy way to compete with one another. What this does, there are people who are fleeing states like Illinois, California, New York, Connecticut that have high taxes. And they're fleeing to states like Florida, Tennessee and Texas that don't have a state income tax or other states. For example, Mississippi, which is debating about lowering taxes. And so people leave and as they should, they have free will in America to go to a state where it is more tax advantageous to them.

This is an attempt to stop that kind of freedom of movement in the states and to actually violate each individual state's sovereignty to set their own tax laws and their own policy. Yeah, I mean, this is, again, to me, as we're coming out on the final just minute of our first half hour, second half hour, by the way, coming up, if you're on the phone line, hang on the line. Randy, we'll get to your call. I know the phone lines are full right now, but they'll open up at 1-800-684-3110.

Rick Rinnell is going to be joining us in the second half hour of the broadcast live. I want to take your phone calls at 1-800-684-3110, but I want to encourage you right now. You're hearing right now work of the ACLJ.

This is not a discussion on policy. This is work. And later today, up at ACLJ.org, you'll see the blog with the lawsuit, so you'll be able to read through it if you'd like. You'll see all the members of Congress that we represent. That'll be listed there as well at ACLJ.org. So I encourage you, support the work of the ACLJ financially as we, again, are in this month of April.

It's a matching challenge month. You can double the impact of your donation, just like in March. It's back-to-back because it's a very critical financial time for the ACLJ. Double the impact of your donation. Donate online at ACLJ.org.

We'll be right back. Second half hour of Secular with Rick Renell coming up. Protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Live from Washington, D.C., Secular Live. And now, your host, Jordan Secular. All right, welcome back to Secular. Let me take this call right off the bat, because I think, and then I'll let Thad explain where we are right now. Randy in Texas on Line 5.

Hey, Randy, welcome to Secular. You're on the air. Thank you so much, Jordan, and thank you so much, gentlemen, for all you do.

I so very much appreciate you. Look, you know, I'm a positive guy. My ultimate hope is in Jesus Christ. But, you know, I just, every day you hear something new that, are we basically fighting off the inevitable? And are we just slowing down? So, no, I think, yeah, when I said, you know, right now there's not going to be the checks and balances that we're used to. We still have a judicial check, and we also have an upcoming midterm election, where a third of the U.S. senators are up, which the balance of power will be at stake, and every House member is up. And that could significantly change how the next few years of the Biden administration will play out in their first term.

So, Thad, you do not, we're not fighting a losing battle here. We still have the judicial branch to go to. We've got attorneys in court right now as we speak in Washington, D.C. We're about to file this in Ohio, the Southern District of Ohio, in federal court on the Biden administration.

So, that's why we exist at the ACLJs. When you can't rely on just Congress to do their job and block legislation, we are ready to litigate. Yeah, it's really the beautiful thing about the American way of government, Jordan. You're not going to win these legislative fights right now. We're going to engage them so that we've actually presented the truth when they pass, and then we can go fight them in court. But, Jordan, that's not the end of the road. So, I would say to Randy, you've got to know where you're at in a cycle. You've got to know where you're at in the process. And right now, the opportunity for recourse that we have is in the judiciary.

And we're right on this one, Jordan. I mean, this is coercion. This is commandeering of state authority. So, you've got to fight smart. You've got to know the law.

You've got to know the facts. And then you've got to take it all across the country. And, Jordan, I suspect this will end up at the Supreme Court. Now, will it be until 2022 or 2024 when you have a chance to go to the polls and elect some people that will govern on principle?

And really, I would say that across party aisles, no matter who it is. Yes, it's going to be some time. But that's not the end of our engagement. That's not the end of recourse. And that's something that we have told our members many, many times, Jordan. We've got to understand that the ballot box is the beginning of the process.

It's very, very far from the end. And the only thing that keeps a legislature or an executive who has expanded their authority, who has gotten outside the bounds of the Constitution, the only thing that prevents that from going un-responded to, Jordan, is to respond to it. That's what we're doing. Yes, you've got to go to the polls later. But right now, the engagement opportunity that you have is in the courts and you can do it with us. Yeah, absolutely. And folks, I just want to encourage you.

That's why we are here. That's why we believe it's the ACLJ now more than ever. We've got a petition up as well at the ACLJ where you can take a stand on this and express your voice. The petition on this specific issue is the stop Biden's ban on lower taxes. I know it sounds simple and ridiculous, but yet that's what he's trying to do is ban your state from lowering taxes at the property level, sales tax, income level.

I mean all these different things. States and municipalities do. He wants to ban that. So again, we're going to be talking to Rick Rinnell in the next segment of the broadcast talking about these issues and some of the international issues as well. Keep calling us at 1-800-684-3110. Linda will try to get to your call in the next segment. If not, we'll get to it in the final segment of the broadcast.

But 1-800-684-3110. Rick Rinnell, who will be joining us. I'm going to ask you about some of these questions as well.

This idea of this just overreach, but then some international issues too to get you up to speed on as well. Let me encourage you. We've had Mike Pompeo on this week. You've had Rick Rinnell.

You're getting used to these kind of individuals. Be a part of our team at the ACLJ. The reason why is because of your financial support to the American Reserve for Law and Justice.

Yes, it's why we can go into federal court in D.C. today, have our attorneys there file and represent 74 members of Congress, including leadership of the Senate and House from the Republican side. We're able to do all of that and bring in Rick Rinnell and bring in Mike Pompeo to the ACLJ team because of your financial support of the American Reserve for Law and Justice. And the best time to do it is during a matching challenge month where you double the impact of your donation at ACLJ.org. Donate today. ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org. Double the impact of your donation.

We're going to be right back live with Rick Rinnell. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's matching challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

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Rick Grenell is joining us. I want to just answer this question. Jackie on Facebook wrote, how does a petition help anything? I sign every one of them.

How are they used? And Than Bennett just wrote into our chat and he said, you know, the reason why we're representing 74 members of Congress in this case out of Ohio, challenging the Biden administration's attempt to stop states from being able to govern their own states and decide if they'd like to cut any taxes. Of course, they don't mind raising taxes in their bill.

It doesn't say you can't raise taxes, but you can't cut taxes. It's because the petitions. So we break those down so that in a senator knows how many people in their state signed it.

A member of Congress knows how many people in their district signed it. So that's how we utilize it. You're starting to see that more in the ACLJ when we're in this posture, like we were under the Obama years where you are fighting back more aggressively working with Capitol Hill allies. But I want to go right to Rick Grenell, our senior advisor for foreign policy and national security.

Rick, I want to talk to you about that a little bit. But first, I want to jump into China. China just keeps being thrown back into the news. The Biden administration is barring U.S. companies from supplying Chinese entities. It said we're building supercomputers.

This is interesting. Supercomputers to help Beijing develop new weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear devices. So they are taking some action when it comes to blacklisting these entities and forbidding them to sell. But it does give you a window into what China is doing. Yeah, let's start from the obvious here.

What the Biden administration is saying is that China shouldn't build nuclear weapons. Yeah. Yeah. You know what I say to that? No duh.

That's so basic that that's ridiculous. Of course. I mean, the U.N. exists for that. So we already have a whole bunch of entities that are trying to stop that. What they need to do is they need to understand the Biden administration that any U.S. company that is forced to open up a Chinese subsidiary or join with a Chinese company in order to work in China.

That's great. It's a free country and you can work in China, in the Chinese market. But we need to admit that any U.S. company that is doing that, playing by the Chinese rules, means that they have a joint partner that is a Chinese joint partner. And therefore, that entire entity is under the auspices of Communist China and the party and they will grab your information.

And there is no rule of law or process to fight back. I believe that it's high time that we say any U.S. company that is working in China with a Chinese subsidiary, you are barred from doing any contracts with the U.S. federal government having access to classified information because that classified information will go to your subsidiary pretty fast. No matter how much you tell me there's a Chinese wall, there is not. And that information, that data will be collected by the Chinese. Choose you this day, American companies, whether you work for the U.S. government or you're going to work in China. That would take legislative action, Rick, and I think it would take an overhaul of a lot of thinking in Washington, D.C. A lot on the Democrat side, we talked about the Northern California influence of China in a lot of these Democrat politicians. But also Republicans as well. There's plenty of Republicans, especially the older school Republicans, who have been making money off of dealing with China as well.

Look, you hit it right on the head, Jordan. There's no question that companies get to have the market of China, right? We have a lot of companies like Apple, for instance. They want to be able to appeal to the Chinese consumer and there's a billion people.

So great. No one is saying that you should not be able to expand your market around the world. But if you do, because you're dealing with Communist China and the requirements for Apple is that they have a Chinese subsidiary or play by the Chinese rules. Apple cannot stop the Communist Chinese party from getting their data. No matter what they say, they cannot stop the subsidiaries from doing it. So therefore, why would we allow Apple to have any U.S. government contract involving classified information, intelligence or national security or defense?

It shouldn't happen. You know, Rick, we have a case, it's actually right now in federal court. Our attorney just finished the hearing.

We haven't gotten the report yet. It's on the FOIA case involving still Jen Psaki when she was a spokesperson for the State Department and that cut they made in the video about whether or not they were dealing with the Ahmadinejad administration in Iran on the preemptive, the early nuclear talks. And they always wanted to deny that, but then it kind of has come out in the news that they were actually dealing with that.

The clip that was made in her press conference and the answer disappeared, it came around the same time that they were going after Jim Rosen, they were going after all these reporters. But you've talked a lot about overclassification. Our case right now is a document that could be the smoking gun, it's heavily redacted and the purpose for redaction says that it's because it involves White House communications, so not just State Department communications. You've talked a lot about the overredaction, Nate, like even inside the intelligence world, it's like the default is just redact, redact, redact and you make groups like us have to fight for any kind of information possible.

Now where you were in as acting Director of National Intelligence, you put out the unmasking list, you declassified as much information as you could. I know there's a role for classification and a role for, again, blacking out certain parts of emails in there, but it just seems like what we're running into time and time again is that overclassified US government. It's a huge problem and I have to say that the only reason why we should classify information is whether or not it's a source, an intelligence source of the United States government or a method of how we've collected sources. By the way, the idea and the characterization of method of how we develop these sources is very broad and I can lean forward on classifying broadly information that could be put in the hands of our enemies and somehow figure out our sources and risk future national intelligence information as well as lives. So I'm all for sources or methods being used broadly, but that should be the only reason. White House communications, that sounds like a new PR angle where you don't want to embarrass people.

Let me also just say this, Jordan. This is new information. I've never shared this publicly, but just three weeks ago, all of my emails, unclassified email, all of them as Acting Director of National Intelligence were given to a reporter who asked to see all of them. It was a FOIA request by some reporter who said, I want to see all of Grinnell's unclassified emails. Those emails were turned over fast, without delay, without pushback, and this is done by Avril Haines, the new Director of National Intelligence. She responded and her team responded to give all of my unclassified emails. Now, I'm proud to say that there's nothing in there that's scandalous, that's inappropriate.

People have been going through those, but it hasn't even been a year. Less than a year, all of my emails were turned over. Now, look, if that's the rule, then ACLJ should immediately file to see all of Avril Haines' unclassified emails. And specifically, we would like to know, why did she repackage and overrule career intelligence officials on the Khashoggi Report? Why did they do that right when they were negotiating with Iran for a new Iran deal? They wanted to poke Saudi Arabia in the eye to show the Iranians that somehow they were playing fair? That's not diplomacy.

That's high school tactics. We have declassified everything that we should have declassified and can declassify on the Khashoggi Report. I asked this question of career intelligence officials twice and was told we're done. But what did they do? The Biden administration played politics by repackaging some information and trying to rehash nothing new, but just new verbs and rehashment of previous information that was disclosed. They did it in order to have some sort of leverage on the Iran process. I think it's outrageous, and reporters in Washington, D.C. need to start playing fair.

It's unbelievable to me, Rick, what you just said. Some news agency puts in a FOIA for all of your unclassified emails, and they got all of them. And without pushback.

Without pushback. I don't know if they redacted anything. I don't know if you know what they did with that, but the fact is... Irrelevant things.

Irrelevant things. Whereas when we get back, when we get anything back through our FOIA process and we usually have to go to court, it's mostly redactions and then we have to fight over every single line of redactions. So I think there's a FOIA there as well, which is how did you decide that you would just turn over all of Rick Rinnell's unclassified emails, which, by the way, is not the only reason to protect things from being turned over so quickly.

Especially someone who was just in that office so quickly. If that's the new standard, let's see Avril Haines. Well, right. If that is the new standard, then we're just going to get everything, and it's either classified or not. If it's not, then we get it.

Well, that would open up the floodgates to FOIA. So Rick, thank you for sharing that with everybody. Great for our team to know. I told our attorneys, start listening and let's start getting this FOIA drafted as we speak so we will get on that and get that into the DNI as quickly as possible. Thank you, Rick, as always, for joining us.

We'll be right back on Sekulow with more. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, a play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad, whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Alright, I'm going to get back to the phone calls. We're going to get to all the calls. Kenneth, Linda, Donna, Steven, we're going to get to your calls. I guarantee it.

I just want to go to Than Bennett because Than had to jump out when Rick was on. What Rick just shared, Than, is shocking that all of his unclassified emails, so any emails he did mark as classified, were released to a news agency, all of them, with very limited redactions. Names, he said, and it was insignificant redactions, nothing that you wouldn't be able to put together in the emails. He's not worried, but he said if this is the new way of operating, then we need to push this in court and figure out, again, and he named some things we need to do. That is just shocking to me. As an organization that does a lot of FOIA work, you'd only know it if you had someone like Rick Rinnell on your team, on your staff, who says, you know, they just put in a FOIA as a news agency and got all my emails. In like a week.

Jordan, it's stunning, Jordan. I mean, I was listening to him literally flabbergasted. We've showed the documents on this broadcast before. We get them back and there are literally full pages redacted. All of that's not classified information.

They use all sorts of different categories. We've already talked in this broadcast about the redactions that we're fighting because of quote-unquote Presidential communications privilege. If someone like Rick was not afforded the opportunity to have a prolonged, quite honestly, dispute over those documents, something that we always have to engage in to get documents back, then, Jordan, here's what we're going to do. We are going to use that exact standard when we go before a court and say this is how officials in the last administration were treated. We expect the same accommodation when we are coming before you about unclassified information. We don't accept those other redactions.

You need to apply the same standard. Jordan, absolutely stunning, but hopefully it will mean we get more information and we get it quicker. You know, I'm going to get to the phone calls. We're going to get Rick on next week, too, and we're going to kind of dive into just that.

What happened with Rick. I've got him on the phone now with our attorneys who handle the FOIA matters like Ben Sisney. He's going to talk to them, too, because I want to dive into that. That is just unheard of.

And if it sets a new standard, great. Let's go get all the information we can. Let's go to the phones. I'm going to go in order of people that have been hanging on the line. Let's go to Linda first in Virginia, line 3. Hey, Linda.

Hi. In regards to the huge border crisis and the humanitarian crisis and the cost to border states as well as the other states they're flown to, isn't that considered an unfunded mandate, and is that or is that not constitutional? Well, what they've done in the new infrastructure legislation, Wes, is they want to include the hundreds of millions of dollars to take care of these illegal immigrants.

So it won't be an unfunded mandate anymore if they get their way there. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

And in the music. They're calling that infrastructure. Right.

Yeah, they really are. And it's really not. It's border issues. It's actually border security. It's national security. But that apparently is lost on them. And in the meantime, they're just spending the dollars, even though technically it is unfunded. Yeah.

I mean, so I think there you go. And I think, Harry, on that issue, they are quickly trying to put all they are redefining the word infrastructure. Absolutely. So childcare is infrastructure. Schools are infrastructure.

Probably child lunch programs will be seen as infrastructure. So one of the things that is clear beyond question is for Democrats, words have lost their meaning. Why?

Because they are in hot pursuit of one thing, power and absolute power at the very end of the day. Let me go back to the phones. 1-800-684-3110. Donna in Washington State online for. Hey Donna. Hi there. I hope I can phrase this correctly. Thank you for taking my call. The whole thing with the keeping taxes, keeping states from being able to lower taxes.

Yeah. When they were campaigning, it was all about like unifying the country. I'm just wondering what kind of a spin they're going to put on this to make people think that this is a good thing. The spin will be, Thanh, is we're giving you money. We're not going to give you the money to offset more Republican tax cuts that we disagree with. So if we're going to give you money and you're going to accept that money, you can't cut taxes because we gave you money. That's basically it because they are against cutting taxes. They are for raising taxes. Jordan, the benevolent government needs this money in order to give it to the people that are the most in need.

Never mind that most of the money in the bill wasn't COVID related, Jordan. But whenever that happens, and this is why I always ask our listeners to be educated, the response needs to be at the ready. Then why do you need this authority for four years? Why do you need it for things that are only indirectly offset? Why do you need it for things like school choice revenue?

Jordan, the line will be that the benevolent government needs the funding, but that totally belies the rest of the argument. Alright, so there you go. We're going to keep getting through these phone calls. 1-800-684-3110. Let's go to Steven in Florida on Line 6.

Hey, Steven. Hey, thanks for the call. Thanks for taking my call. So I keep listening to all this stuff that's going on. I listen to you guys every day.

And I listen to Rick Grinnell today and this whole email situation. And, you know, you guys keep talking about that in two years we're going to have another election. That there's a lot of seats in the House that are up and so forth. But based on what happened in just our past election, how can we be... I don't see any way that we can be assured that we're going to have a free and fair election.

You talking about the midterms? Well, I mean, I think, Steven, your state's a great example. Florida, led by Ron DeSantis.

I don't see... I don't think there were any concerns out of Florida in the last election cycle. So no one in the state of Florida should really have any concerns.

Let me go to a broader point. Georgia, where there were a lot of concerns, has now enacted a law. They've taken a lot of criticism for the law. Obviously, they moved the all-star game because of the law.

And we've debunked all the junk that they try to say it is. But they took action, Steven. So, I mean, that's what we need to see. I think it's more states taking action like Georgia that need to. The states that need to.

Other states already have that on the books. So it's about turnout. It's about getting people out and, again, blocking H.R. 1 thing.

You said that's another priority as well. Don't allow the federal takeover of the election process. You've got to block H.R. 1 so the federal government doesn't take this over. You've got to defend the state authority. And then, Jordan, if states enact laws that do maybe open up an election for suspicion, you've got to challenge them. You've got to challenge them before the election.

So I think those are the three components to ensure free and fair elections. Let's go to Kenneth in Alabama. Final call of the day. Hey, Kenneth. Hey. What I wanted to ask about was, you know, you guys are filing all these lawsuits just like Trump did and everybody else did, you know, about the elections and all these things that the illegal actions by the Democrats that are doing. But when you go there, you've got people like Justice Roberts who's been associated with Epstein and all them that shouldn't even be in office. Well, let me just say this. I don't know where you're going with that.

Here's the bottom line. You go to court, you win some, you lose some. The election was wild.

It was out of control. And the legal challenges that we were handling were very small and we were successful all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, when you're talking about, again, the work that we do, we have a long track record of winning in federal court. That doesn't always mean you win in front of, by the way, all Republican judicial panels or not. I mean, some of these cases are just that cut and dry.

Some are more in the gray area. That's why we have a legal system. But we always have a place to fight in our country for our rights. Whether or not, you know, the Senate and the House are both the same party as the White House, you still have the courts. And the courts are very diverse, depending on where you are in the country. And they're very diverse all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

You talk about John Roberts, but I think his role has actually been diminished because of the way that the court is set up right now because of the three nominees who were confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court by former President Trump. So, again, it's not a time to give up hope. It's a time to double down our fight for our country and make sure it's a shorter fight by fighting as hard as we can right now. Support the work of the ACLJ. We believe the ACLJ is needed now more than ever.

It's a Matching Challenge Month. Donate online at ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org. Double the impact of your donation.

We will talk to you next week. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-03 10:50:23 / 2023-12-03 11:14:01 / 24

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