Republican lawmakers condemned pro-Trump caucus emphasizing ‘Anglo-Saxon political traditions,’ said GOP is not about ‘nativism’

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a news conference
Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a news conference

  • GOP lawmakers are reportedly starting a caucus that emphasizes “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
  • Other Republicans came out against it, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger saying members should be punished.
  • Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney also post came forward to condemn “nativism” in the GOP.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Multiple Republican lawmakers have come out against an “America First Caucus” created by their colleagues that emphasizes “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

Punchbowl News reported Friday the caucus was formed by GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation,” according to a document obtained by the outlet.

The document also included a number of false statements concerning immigrants, foreign aid, and US elections, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.

A number of Republicans have since condemned the caucus, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois saying anyone who joins should be punished by the GOP.

“I believe anyone that joins this caucus should have their committees stripped, and the Republican conference should expel them from conference participation,” Kinzinger said in a tweet. “While we can’t prevent someone from calling themselves Republican, we can loudly say they don’t belong to us.”

Read more: Paul Gosar is the GOP’s under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior

Kinzinger is a regular critic of former president Donald Trump and his most loyal allies, but some Republicans less critical came out in opposition as well.

“The hatefulness of this statement is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values,” Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado tweeted of the caucus document.

Others did not mention the caucus by name but came forward to condemn nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of the native-born against those of immigrants, saying it has no place in the GOP.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a strong ally of Trump, tweeted in an apparent reference to the caucus.

“America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion,” he said. “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans-not nativist dog whistles.”

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming also sought to separate the GOP from some of the ideals outlined in the caucus document.

“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate,” she said in a tweet.

A number of Trump loyalists plan to join the caucus, according to Punchbowl News, including Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is currently facing a federal sex-trafficking probe.

Gaetz tweeted he is “proud” to join the caucus.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence undergoes surgery to implant a pacemaker

Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence finishes a swearing-in ceremony for senators in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021

  • Former Vice President Mike Pence had surgery on Wednesday to install a pacemaker.
  • Pence had been experiencing symptoms related to a “slow heart rate” over the past two weeks, per a statement.
  • Pence “is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Vice President Mike Pence underwent surgery on Wednesday to implant a pacemaker, according to a statement from his office.

Pence had been experiencing symptoms related to a “slow heart rate” over the past two weeks, resulting in the procedure, which took place at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia.

The surgery was “successful” and Pence “is expected to fully recover and return to normal activity in the coming days,” the statement said on Thursday.

A pacemaker is a small device installed in an individual’s chest to help regulate the heartbeat. On the 2016 campaign trail, Pence disclosed his medical diagnosis of an asymptomatic left bundle branch block.

“I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute,” Pence said in the statement. “My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated healthcare professionals.”

Since leaving office in January, Pence has largely kept out of the national spotlight. In February, he revealed plans to launch a conservative podcast. The former vice president is also rumored to run for president in 2024.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar shares details about her warm relationship with ‘Auntie’ Nancy Pelosi

ilhan omar nancy pelosi
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on March 08, 2019.

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar talked to journalist Susan Page about her relationship with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Pelosi was one of the first people to congratulate Omar on her primary win in 2018.
  • Pelosi would check in on Omar so regularly that Omar’s aides would joke, “Auntie Nancy’s calling.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota shared details about her relationship with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time, and revealed that the two lawmakers are, in fact, friends.

Speaking to USA Today journalist Susan Page for her upcoming book, “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” which comes out Tuesday, Omar said Pelosi was one of the very first people to congratulate her on her primary victory in 2018.

“You’re going to win, so we’ll see you in November,” Pelosi told Omar at the time, according to an excerpt of the book published in Politico on Thursday.

During that phone call, the incoming freshman lawmaker, who wears a hijab and would soon become one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, voiced concerns to Pelosi about the House’s headgear ban.

“Will they amend that for me?” Omar asked Pelosi, per the Politico excerpt. “Would I be able to sit as a member of Congress?”

Pelosi informed Omar not to fret and that she would take care of the issue. She did.

That conversation laid the groundwork for what would eventually become a warm friendship between the two. Although the House speaker would later tussle with members of the so-called Squad – consisting of Omar, and fellow progressive Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – Omar and Pelosi remained on good terms.

Pelosi would check in on Omar so frequently after that phone call, to the point where Omar’s aides would joke: “Auntie Nancy’s calling.”

In February 2019, top congressional Democrats, including Pelosi, publicly called on Omar to apologize for her tweets that critics claimed repeated anti-Semitic tropes. The tweets in question, which have since been removed, appeared to suggest that Republicans’ support for Israel is driven by money. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar wrote at the time.

Privately, however, Pelosi lent a hand to Omar, and the two had conversations about the situation, according to the book.

“[Pelosi] wasn’t depriving me of the agency of being able to understand the gravity of whatever was happening,” Omar told Page, adding that the House speaker was polite and did not boss her around, the Politico excerpt said.

The lawmakers have kept up their alliance. Pelosi endorsed Omar for her 2020 reelection, and Omar voted for Pelosi as House speaker for this year’s new Congress.

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GOP Senator says a ‘sweet spot’ on bipartisan infrastructure deal is less than half of what Biden wants

Shelley Moore Capito
Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va

  • Sen. Shelly Moore Capito said a “sweet spot” for a bipartisan infrastructure deal is less than half of what Biden wants.
  • “I would say probably into the $600 or $800 billion, but we haven’t put all of that together yet,” Capito told CNBC.
  • Other Republicans like Mitt Romney and Bill Cassidy are signaling there’s an infrastructure plan being drafted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said a middle ground between Democrats and Republicans on an infrastructure deal would be significantly less than half of the $2.3 trillion package that President Joe Biden seeks.

“I think the best way for us to do this is hit the sweet spot of where we agree and I think we can agree on a lot of the measures moving forward. How much? I would say probably into the $600 or $800 billion, but we haven’t put all of that together yet,” Capito told CNBC.

Capito laid out some potential revenue elements, including unused coronavirus relief funds, road usage fees for electric cars, and a vehicle miles-traveled tax. She also suggested raising the gas tax, a measure the Biden administration has already ruled out.

“It’s going to have to come from a lot of different sources, but this is important,” she said. Capito did not bring up lifting corporate taxes.

The West Virginia Republican later told Capitol Hill reporters there was a group were drafting a counterproposal, suggesting it would be sized somewhere between $600 billion to $800 billion. Capito was part of the Republican group that pitched a $618 billion counterproposal, which Biden along with Democrats ultimately rejected.

Other Republicans are signaling they are putting together a new package. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday there is a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats drafting one.

Then Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said on Tuesday that a bipartisan group was assembling an “alternative” to the Biden plan. He indicated it would double the amount of spending on roads and bridges from the $115 billion that the president is seeking.

The Biden infrastructure plan includes major funding to fix roads and bridges and set up clean energy incentives. It also has federal funds for in-home elder care, public transit, and schools, among other areas.

Democrats are pressing to take advantage of the cheap cost of borrowing to fund new investments they say will curb inequality and grow the economy.

Republicans, however, are opposed to the Biden package, viewing it as a colossal liberal wish-list. Capito criticized the Biden proposal’s expansive scope, arguing it should be constrained to roads, bridges, airports, broadband, and water infrastructure.

“If we’re going to do this together, which we want to do and is our desire, we’ve got to find those areas and take away the extra infrastructure areas that the president put into his bill like home health aides and school building and all of these kinds of things,” she told CNBC.

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Senate Democrats want to replace most of your lost paycheck with permanently boosted unemployment benefits

Ron Wyden
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

  • Senate Democrats have unveiled a plan to boost unemployment benefits permanently.
  • The plan aims to replace 75% of a worker’s lost paycheck.
  • It also sets up a $250 weekly benefit for gig workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A pair of Senate Democrats introduced a plan on Wednesday to permanently boost unemployment benefits, making state checks larger to cover most of a worker’s lost wages.

The plan from Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Michael Bennet of Colorado would mandate states to replace up to 75% of a person’s income at their last job. It also sets up a $250 “jobseeker allowance” for gig workers and contractors – essentially a weekly benefit that replaces Pandemic Unemployment Assistance so those types of workers are no longer barred from receiving state unemployment.

Gig workers have secured access to unemployment benefits in 2020 and 2021, but only on an emergency basis via the pandemic-related stimulus programs. PUA is slated to end on Labor Day.

“Unemployment programs are critical to helping workers stay afloat during difficult times – but too many workers still struggle to access their benefits in our patchwork of outdated state systems,” Wyden said in a statement.

“This proposal will protect workers by strengthening and expanding benefits, modernize UI infrastructure with needed technology investments, and prepare us for the future by tying benefits to economic conditions” Bennet said.

The plan also requires states to provide a minimum 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, which varies greatly from one state to another. An additional 13 weeks are triggered if the unemployment rate climbs above 6.5% at the national or state level, tying the flow of aid to economic conditions. More weeks would become available if the jobless rate surges.

Under the proposal, states face some tax penalties if they break from these standards. It’s unclear whether the unemployment reforms will eventually form part of Biden’s infrastructure package.

Currently, laid-off workers are eligible for a $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit – on top of state payouts – which end in early September.

Last year, state unemployment offices were overwhelmed with a surge of claims that strained their antiquated systems to the brink. They struggled to implement a $600 benefit, keeping people from accessing critical aid as the economy tanked due to the pandemic. Democrats and labor advocates are seeking to modernize them to prevent similar chaos.

Most Republicans opposed the renewal of boosted federal unemployment benefits as the economy showed signs of recovering. They argued the federal assistance discouraged people from returning to work.

Republican lawmakers in three states are advancing plans to cut the number of weeks unemployed people can get benefits, HuffPost reported.

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Top GOP senator says it’s ‘an impossible sell’ for Republicans to strike a deal on an infrastructure package that rolls back Trump tax cuts

Sen. Roger Wicker
Sen. Roger Wicker

  • Sen. Roger Wicker downplayed the odds of an infrastructure deal that included rolling back Trump’s tax cuts.
  • He called it ‘an impossible sell’ among Republicans on Monday.
  • Wicker met with Biden to discuss his jobs plan along with other Republicans and Democrats.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Roger Wicker of Kansas, the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, downplayed the prospect of a bipartisan deal on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan that included rolling back the 2017 Trump tax cuts.

“It would be an almost impossible sell from the president to come to a bipartisan agreement that included the undoing of that signature [law],” Wicker said. “And I did tell him that.”

He described the 2017 tax cuts as “one of my signature achievements in my entire career” and said he supports keeping the corporate tax rate at 21%. The law slashed it to that level from 35%, and Biden wants to lift it to 28% to generate federal dollars for his infrastructure plan.

The remarks came after a bipartisan meeting between the White House and a centrist group of eight lawmakers, which Wicker called “a good meeting.” Biden administration officials said it was part of an effort to shore up support for their infrastructure plan.

“He looks forward to hearing their ideas, and his objective is to find a way forward where we can modernize our nation’s infrastructure so we can compete with China,” Psaki said hours before the meeting. The White House also released an ‘infrastructure report card‘ on Monday that hit a majority of states with Cs and Ds.

The Biden infrastructure plan includes major funding to repair roads and bridges and set up clean energy incentives. It also contains federal dollars for in-home elder care, public transit, broadband, and schools, among others.

Republicans are lining up in opposition to the Biden infrastructure plan. They argue its tax hikes on multinational corporations would hurt job growth and their global competitiveness at a vulnerable period in the economic recovery.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed the size and scope of the Democratic plan on Monday.

He said during a floor speech that Democrats were “embarking on an Orwellian campaign to convince everybody that any government policy whatsoever can be labeled ‘infrastructure.’ Liberals just have to believe in it hard enough.”

Still, some Democrats are seeking changes to the plan. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he is opposed to a 28% corporate tax rate and favors 25% instead.

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4 reasons the Democratic push for a huge infrastructure package will be tougher than the stimulus scramble

Pelosi Biden Harris
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House to discuss the stimulus package.

  • The path ahead for Democrats on infrastructure looks different from the one that produced a $1.9 trillion stimulus.
  • Democrats want to pay for some of it, and they’re not rushing to meet a deadline.
  • It’s also more complex than a package to stimulate the economy, and compromises over it could take months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Congress is returning from a two-week Easter recess and now it’s set to tackle other parts of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. Likely the biggest piece of it will be an infrastructure package – A $2.3 trillion part of which has been unveiled, and a second part which will be rolled out in several weeks.

Yet the path ahead for Democrats looks very different from the one that produced a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, which Biden signed into law in March. They are aiming to implement a sweeping public-works to demonstrate that their control of Washington produces tangible benefits for ordinary people.

For now, they are still attempting to draw Republican support, but that already looks a vain hope. The day Biden unveiled his plan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted it as a “Trojan Horse” for liberal priorities that go beyond traditional roads and bridges definition of infrastructure.

It only gets more complicated for Democrats from there.

Here are four reasons Democratic push for a huge infrastructure package will be tougher than their scramble to pass stimulus.

(1) Democrats want to pay for at least some of it

The entire $1.9 trillion rescue plan was deficit-financed, meaning it was not paid for and grew the debt. Many economists had been urging lawmakers to finance a package this way if it meant getting the pandemic under control and accelerating the distribution of vaccines.

However, Congress has now approved $6 trillion in emergency spending since the pandemic broke out last year, per the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Many Democrats want Biden’s jobs package to be offset with tax hikes on wealthy Americans and large companies.

“At some point we’ve got to start paying for things,” Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, told Politico last month.

Biden has proposed offsetting the cost of his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, just the first of his two-part package, by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. That has met with resistance from both Republicans and many business leaders.

(2) There is no hard deadline

Earlier this year, Democrats rushed to approve an pandemic aid package plan by March 14, the date when federal unemployment benefits were set to expire for millions of laid-off workers.

Now, there is no similar deadline hovering over the delicate infrastructure negotiations, which many in Congress expect to stretch for months. A possible date for action could be September, when lawmakers must act to fund the government and keep it open beyond the end of that month.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has suggested she wants the House to approve an infrastructure plan by July 4. Then it would head to the evenly divided Senate, where its odds of clearing the chamber rest on centrist lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

(3) It’s aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy

Another key difference is the nature of the plan. The coronavirus relief package was geared to provide immediate relief to cash-strapped families and laid-off workers.

Biden’s infrastructure plan forms a pillar of his Build Back Better agenda, designed to be a series of long-term initiatives. Much of it is aimed at overhauling the economy and leveling the playing field between the wealthy and average Americans, and incorporate racial justice.

It includes provisions to create jobs through repairing roads and bridges, clean energy incentives, and substantially expanding broadband access. A follow-up plan will also include education and childcare spending.

(4) Big parts of the plan could get scrapped in the Senate

Democrats are starting to eye budget reconciliation as their likeliest course, given staunch GOP opposition to the plan’s scope and price tag. It’s a legislative tactic to pass certain bills with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate instead of 60.

But it has strict rules overseen by the Senate parliamentarian who mandates measures be closely related to the federal budget.

That means some parts of the plan like a paid family leave program many Democrats support could get ruled out by the parliamentarian.

Goldman Sachs projected that $700 billion could be cut from Biden’s overall proposal reported to be worth $4 trillion, leading to a final, single package worth $3.5 trillion that passes sometime between July and September.

Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday, kicking off the infrastructure negotiations. He insisted after the meeting that it wasn’t just “window-dressing” and that he is willing to negotiate on aspects of the package.

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Psaki says Biden ‘does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories’ after a GOP senator criticized his tweets as ‘unimaginably conventional’

white house press sec jen psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Thursday, March 4, 2021.

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s communication style on Monday.
  • Biden “does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories,” Psaki said.
  • The comments came after a Republican senator criticized Biden’s social media usage.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended President Joe Biden’s communication style after a Republican senator criticized his limited social media usage.

“I can confirm that the president of the United States does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories,” Psaki told reporters during a news conference, in an apparent jab at former President Donald Trump’s Twitter habits before the social media platform permanently suspended his account after the Capitol riot on January 6.

Psaki’s comments were a response to GOP Sen. John Cornyn’s statement on Monday that Biden’s tweets are “unimaginably conventional.”

“The president is not doing cable news interviews,” Cornyn tweeted, quoting a Politico article. “Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters.”

Cornyn also suggested that Biden’s messaging strategy undermines his leadership, tweeting, “Invites the question: is he really in charge?”

Psaki pushed back on the assertion on Monday, and said that Biden “spends his time working on behalf of the American people.”

Biden’s media interactions have largely consisted of participating in the occasional one-on-one interview, replying to reporters’ questions after public events, and sending tweets from his @POTUS account about his administration’s work. He held his first presidential news conference last month.

Biden’s approach significantly differs from that of Trump, who routinely made presidential announcements via late-night tweets and frequently appeared on cable TV channels, particularly Fox News. Trump would also use Twitter to attack his political rivals and drum up support from his base.

Toward the end of his presidency, Trump used social media to spread false claims and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Twitter and Facebook eventually banned Trump from their platforms in response to the former president’s role in the Capitol insurrection, when swaths of his supporters stormed the building.

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Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t think Ronald Reagan could get elected in today’s Republican Party

john boehner
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, speaks following the weekly House Republican Conference meeting as House Majority Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy,R-CA, looks on at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 7, 2015.

  • John Boehner said he doesn’t think he could get elected in today’s GOP, the Washington Post reported.
  • “I don’t think Ronald Reagan could either,” Boehner wrote in his new book.
  • The former House speaker’s tell-all memoir is set to be released Tuesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former House Speaker John Boehner wrote in his new memoir that the Republican Party has taken a stark turn since his time in politics, according to an excerpt reported by the Washington Post on Friday.

“I don’t even think I could get elected in today’s Republican Party anyway,” Boehner wrote. “I don’t think Ronald Reagan could either.”

Boehner, who represented Ohio’s 8th Congressional district from 1991 to 2015, is set to release a tell-all memoir of his life on the hill, titled “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” on Tuesday.

Boehner served as the speaker of the House from 2011 until 2015, when he resigned from the role after facing opposition from within the GOP.

Read more: Introducing Todd Young, the most important senator you’ve never heard of

Excerpts of the book that have been released reveal harsh words for former President Donald Trump, the de facto leader of the party Boehner was once a leader in himself.

About the Capitol riot on January 6, Boehner wrote Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November,” according to an excerpt obtained by the New York Times.

Boehner said watching the Capitol siege was “scary, and sad.”

“It should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity,” he wrote. “Whatever they end up doing, or not doing, none of it will compare to one of the lowest points of American democracy that we lived through in January 2021.”

Boehner also had exceptionally harsh words for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another influential figure in today’s GOP.

In an excerpt of the book that was reported by Politico, Boehner wrote: “And now they had a new head lunatic leading the way, who wasn’t even a House member. There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless a–hole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz.”

Axios reported Boehner also went off-script at one point when recording the audio version of his memoir, adding: “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f— yourself.”

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Here’s what we know about the 2 prominent lawyers Rep. Matt Gaetz hired in federal sex-trafficking probe

Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Washington.

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz has secured help in fighting a federal sexual misconduct probe, hiring two high-profile lawyers, Mark Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, to defend him.
  • Officials are trying to determine whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl or violated sex-trafficking laws.
  • Mukasey is a longtime associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who also has close ties to former President Donald Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Embroiled in a federal sex-trafficking investigation, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has hired two topdog defense attorneys to represent him.

The lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner, come as a probe into Gaetz intensifies.

The House Ethics Committee on Friday announced an investigation into Gaetz over allegations of sexual misconduct. A bombshell New York Times report released last week revealed that Gaetz is facing a federal sex crimes investigation, a probe designed to determine whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Officials are also seeking to learn whether he had violated sex-trafficking laws.

The Florida Republican has not been charged, and he’s repeatedly denied all allegations. Instead, he’s pushed a narrative that says the federal investigation and these allegations make up an elaborate and convoluted scheme to extort him and his family for $25 million.

“Once again, the office will reiterate, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement Friday.

The probe, nevertheless, is heating up. And Gaetz hired well-connected powerhouse attorneys to help him navigate through the mess.

The attorneys “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods,” a statement from his office said.

Marc Mukasey

Mukasey is a high-profile attorney with close ties to former President Donald Trump and his ex-personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Mukasey and Giuliani used to be law partners. After they split ways, one of Mukasey’s first clients was Trump himself. He currently represents the Trump Organization in an ongoing criminal probe into the former president’s tax returns conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

One of Mukasey’s most controversial cases involved Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, accused and acquitted of charges related to war crimes.

Mukasey’s career and that of his father have for years closely intertwined with the needs of top GOP leaders.

His father, Michael, was a district judge appointed by Ronald Reagan, Law&Crime reported. He also served as the US attorney general under the George W. Bush administration.

Isabelle Kirshner

Kirshner is an outspoken critic of Trump, constantly blasting him in public. She’s previously referred to the former president as a “scourge” and an “existential threat,” according to Law&Crime.

As an attorney, her record is marked in part by male clients who’ve faced serious sexual abuse and misconduct allegations.

She is a former Manhattan assistant district attorney who represented former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after allegations of sexual assault and violence against him came out. Schneiderman denied all allegations but resigned from his position.

Kirshner’s also represented Dr. Robert Hadden, the New York gynecologist accused of sexual assault. Among his accusers was Evelyn Wang, the wife of now New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. Evelyn said Hadden had sexually assaulted her multiple times during an OB-GYN visit while she was pregnant with her first child.

Hadden was charged last September with a pattern of sexual assault and abuse spanning decades, from 1993 to 2012.

Neither Mukasey nor Kirshner immediately returned requests for comment from Insider.

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