Republicans Call on Top Scientist to Clarify Response to Congress

New report calls into question Dr. Kristian Andersen’s assertion he never suppressed lab leak theory

WASHINGTON—Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), joined by several Select Subcommittee Republicans, today wrote to Dr. Kristian Andersen calling on him to clarify his response to Congress that he did not act to suppress any theory about the origins of COVID-19. A recent Vanity Fair report brings into question the accuracy of Andersen’s assertion and the lawmakers call on him to appear for a transcribed interview to clarify his response.

“On February 3, 2022, we wrote you regarding apparent attempts to conceal or cover-up pertinent information regarding the origins of COVID-19, specifically the hypothesis that it leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. On February 17, 2022, you responded to our letter and stated that you were ‘not aware of, and [were] not involved in, any effort to suppress any particular theory about the origins of SARS-CoV-2.’ Recent reporting by Vanity Fair brings into question the truthfulness of that response. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §1001, ‘in any matter within the jurisdiction of the…legislative…branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully mak[ing] any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation’ is a crime. We therefore invite you to correct the Committee record, in person, in a transcribed interview at your earliest convenience,” wrote the Republican lawmakers.

A recent Vanity Fair article details how Dr. Andersen offered to delete or edit a paper authored by Dr. Jesse Bloom in June 2021 about the origins of COVID-19 and how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted early viral sequences of virus the behest of Chinese researchers. The Republican lawmakers have been seeking answers from Dr. Andersen and other top scientists about why they initially supported the lab leak hypothesis in early 2020 but then suddenly reversed course after speaking with Dr. Francis Collins, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“A recent exposé by Vanity Fair brings into question the accuracy of your assertion that you did not suppress any theory about the origins of COVID-19 and therefore all previous statements made to the Committee,” continued the Republican lawmakers. “Dr. Bloom’s paper was problematic for Drs. Fauci and Collins—who one year earlier had awarded you an $8.9 million dollar research grant since it explicitly advocated for a more thorough investigation of NIH, COVID-19’s origin, and did not adhere to the ‘real card-carrying…virologists[’]’ preferred narrative … Dr. Bloom said that you took issue with his research suggesting it was ‘unethical’ to analyze why the Chinese researchers requested the sequences be deleted … you then told Dr. Bloom that you could simply delete or revise the paper in a way that ‘would leave no record that this had been done’ …  This incident, if true, contradicts your February 17, 2022 letter and shows that you offered to ‘suppress’ research about the origins of COVID-19 that did not fit your pre-determined narrative.”

Read the full letter to Dr. Andersen here.

REPORT: Trump attorney Michael Cohen expects to be arrested ‘soon’

Washington, D.C. (New York Daily News) — Michael Cohen thinks he might soon swap his pinstripes for jail stripes.

The longtime attorney and personal fixer to President Trump expects to be put in cuffs any day now, possibly opening up his top client to legal complications, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Cohen has been telling friends he fears his arrest is imminent, the source told the Daily News. Cohen remains under federal investigation for bank fraud and campaign finance violations, potential offenses that resulted in FBI raids at his Manhattan home, hotel room and office in April.

Cohen, 51, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Federal agents stormed into Cohen’s domiciles on April 9 and seized a cache of records, including communications between him and Trump, according to court papers.

A former White House official said Trump is likely concerned about the prospect of Cohen in cuffs.

“Trump should be super worried about Michael Cohen,” the ex-official told Vanity Fair, which first reported Cohen’s fears of a potential arrest. “If anyone can blow up Trump, it’s him.”

Cohen has worked for Trump in various capacities since 2011. Cohen’s aggressive legal tactics and tough-talking demeanor resulted in his being nicknamed Trump’s “bulldog.”

He has been making damning headlines ever since it was revealed in January that he brokered a hush agreement between Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels, 39, accepted $130,000 from Cohen in exchange for signing the contract, which bars her from speaking publicly about allegedly having sex with Trump in 2006.

Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels in a lawsuit seeking to void the hush agreement, said news of Cohen’s imminent arrest confirms his predictions.

“It looks like once again I’m about to be proven right,” Avenatti told The News Tuesday afternoon, noting he said last month that Cohen would be indicted within 90 days. “He’s going to be charged with a number of crimes.”

Cohen’s potential arrest comes at a precarious time for Trump.

Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate allegations of collusion between the President’s campaign and Russia, and earlier produced federal indictments against four Trump associates.

Cohen has also landed on Mueller’s radar.

Multiple companies with business before the federal government pumped millions of dollars into Cohen’s shadowy consulting firm, Essential Consultants, shortly after Trump’s election. One of the companies was Columbus Nova, a Manhattan-based investment firm whose primary client is Viktor Vekselberg, a sanctioned Russian oligarch who has reportedly been interviewed by Mueller’s investigators.

Trump wouldn’t rule out pardoning Cohen when asked about his scandals last week.

“I haven’t even thought about it,” the President told reporters at the White House. “I haven’t thought about any of it. It’s certainly far too early to be thinking about that.”

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FAKE NEWS: FLOTUS slams Vanity Fair story claiming she never wanted to be first lady

WASHINGTON, D.C. — First Lady Melania Trump came out swinging on Monday against a Vanity Fair article which claimed that she never wanted to be first lady (https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/11/flotus-melania-trump-east-wing-first-lady).

Although the normally soft-spoken Mrs. Trump usually leaves battling the media to her husband, Mrs. Trump said she felt the piece so outrageous, she had to speak out to set the record straight.

“It’s not my thing. It’s Donald’s thing,” Vanity Fair claims a “friend” of Melania Trump told them of a conversation the two allegedly had regarding Donald Trump’s political ambitions prior to his becoming president. This same friend, claims Vanity Fair, told them Melania Trump thought of Trump’s plans to be president as an unattainable goal that she would never really have to worry about.

“This isn’t something she wanted and it isn’t something he ever thought he’d win,” Vanity Fair claims the source confided. “She didn’t want this come hell or high water. I don’t think she thought it was going to happen.”

Through a statement issued by the first lady’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, Trump slammed the Vanity Fair piece, calling it “false” and “salacious”.

“Once again part of the liberal media, this time Vanity Fair, has written a story riddled with unnamed sources and false assertions,” Grisham said. “As a magazine tailored to women it is shameful that they continue to write salacious and false stories meant to demean Mrs. Trump, rather than focus on her positive work as First Lady and as a supportive wife and mother.”

“As has been stated on the record many times before, she is honored by her role,” Grisham added.

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