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Harriet Hageman

Colorado Attorney Submits Second Request To Investigate Hageman

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By Leo Wolfson, State Political Reporter
Leo@Cowboystatedaily.com

A Fort Collins, Colorado, attorney has made a second request to the Wyoming State Bar that it publicly investigate Wyoming Republican and U.S. Congress candidate Harriet Hageman in response to her public questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“The Wyoming State Bar is in a unique position to properly inform the people of Wyoming about the truth by forcing Ms. Hageman to appear before it,” Darby Hoggatt says in his letter to the State Bar sent Monday. The letter was addressed to Sharon Wilkinson, director of the Wyoming State Bar.

Hoggatt was born in Newcastle and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wyoming. He has expressed frustration that the State Bar hasn’t investigated Hageman for reiterating the claims of former President Donald Trump that the 2020 election was stolen.

Most of his three-page letter expresses frustration that the State Bar didn’t spend much time investigating his first letter, which was rejected in early July. 

Attorney Mark Gifford, who represents the organization, spent less than one business day considering the first letter, where Hoggatt requested the agency initiate a disciplinary investigation of Hageman.



‘Extreme Disappointment’

“I want to express my extreme disappointment that your organization invested so little time and critical legal and ethical analysis into whether disciplining Ms. Hageman was warranted, especially considering the threat to our democracy that Ms. Hageman posed,” Hoggatt says in Monday’s letter.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hoggatt said he had not received a response to his second letter.

Wilkinson told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday afternoon it is the policy of the State Bar to not comment on complaints.

If Gifford were to determine that the complaint should be considered, he would then present the case to the Board of Professional Responsibility. The board then determines if a case will be forwarded to the Wyoming Supreme Court, handled within its own body or by the bar’s Review and Oversight Committee. 

Wilkinson said cases where only private reprimand or discipline is recommended do not go to the Supreme Court. A disbarment, suspension or public censure are the only actions taken against an attorney that becomes public and can only be issued by the Supreme Court.

Legality vs. Popularity

Hoggatt said he believes the Wyoming State Bar didn’t want to investigate Hageman because she is popular in the state. Hageman beat U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney by 38 percentage points in the August primary.

“I do not believe that your organization’s standard of review, nor your mandate, is based upon popularity,” Hoggatt writes. “I expected a more legally based critical analysis with the reputation of our Bar in mind.”

Gifford said in his response to Hoggatt’s first letter that there were significant differences between Hageman’s comments and the actions of Rudy Giulani and other Trump-supporting attorneys because they offered their statements before a tribunal, not in a public forum. He did, however, agree with Hoggatt’s assertion that Hageman’s claims were false.

Gifford said the only possible rule that could be applicable to Hageman’s actions is Rule 8.4(c) of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. 

Hoggatt, who is licensed to practice law in Wyoming, believes the rule extends to an attorney’s actions outside the courtroom as attorneys are held to a higher standard as it relates to free speech and the First Amendment. He provided the example that it is an attorney’s obligation to inform the state bar if he or she pleads guilty or is found guilty to a crime such as driving under the influence of alcohol. He also mentioned how in Giuliani’s case, a New York court ruled that out-of-court conduct is under the jurisdiction of state bar organizations.  

‘Critical Window’ Missed

Hoggatt initiated his first letter in response to Hageman’s comments at a late June debate in Sheridan. At this event, Hageman complained about the Jan. 6 Committee, endorsed a film that relies on questionable evidence to claim drop ballot boxes were stuffed and said questions needed to be asked about election integrity on a national level. She remained vague about whether she believed there was election fraud in Wyoming in 2020. 

Hoggatt said the Bar missed a “critical window” by choosing not to investigate Hageman at this juncture, as many people cast early and absentee ballots before she made more direct comments on this topic at a forum in early August. 

At that event, Hageman clarified and upped the ante on her views about the 2020 election, saying it was “rigged” and a “travesty.”

Hoggatt said the State Bar “enabled” Hageman “to continue to misinform the Wyoming electorate.”

“The State Bar now has an opportunity to redeem its reputation and restore integrity and honor to its membership,” Hoggatt writes.



Power In Numbers

Hoggatt referenced two recent letters sent to Hageman by a group of 41 and 51 attorneys respectively, asking that she cease her rhetoric stating that the 2020 election was fraudulent. 

“They have done the work that Mr. Gifford was not willing to do prior to the Republican primary,” Hoggatt writes. 

Hageman issued a scathing response to the lawyer’s first letter, which she described as “threatening.”

“Make no mistake, this letter is meant as a threat against me simply because I hold a different political opinion – one that is shared by a majority of Wyoming voters,” Hageman said in a September press release. “And this is exactly what Liz Cheney’s allies and the left do to Trump supporters and conservatives at every turn – attempt to threaten, intimidate, and cancel anyone who doesn’t see the world the way they do.”

Hageman supported Cheney during her 2016 campaign and expressed a preference for Ted Cruz over former President Donald Trump in that election. It was not until she announced her campaign in September 2021 that she first spoke out publicly against Cheney. Hoggatt saw this as an example of opportunism on Hageman’s part for the purpose of gaining a position of power in government.

Hoggatt wants the State Bar to ask Hageman:

• Do you have any evidence that would be admissible in a court of law supporting your position that there was widespread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election?

• Were you aware of the outcome of 60-plus lawsuits filed by then President Trump alleging that the 2020 U.S. presidential was illegitimate?

• Did you knowingly mislead the people of Wyoming when you spread the “big lie” in public forums?

• Did you spread the “big lie” for your political gain?

Hoggatt said if Wilkinson and Gifford still choose not to investigate Hageman, he asks they appoint outside legal counsel that will, or resign their jobs so the matter can be handled before the November election.

“History will judge Mr. Gifford and yourself as courageous Wyomingites, like Representative Liz Cheney; or as complicit in the disgraceful spread of propaganda,” Hoggatt writes. 

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Wyoming Attorneys Send Second Letter To Hageman Condemning Her For Election Denials

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By Leo Wolfson, State Political Reporter
Leo@Cowboystatedaily.com

An ongoing feud between Wyoming Republican U.S. Congress candidate Harriet Hageman and some of the state’s most prominent attorneys continues to evolve.

Fifty-one attorneys have signed a second letter to Hageman addressing her response to their original letter, which she described as “threatening.” 

The original letter and Friday’s response from the attorneys request Hageman stop making comments about the 2020 presidential election being “stolen” and fraudulent, claims they say are blatantly false.

“She has an obligation to tell the truth to people,” said Jack Speight, a Cheyenne attorney and former chairman of the Wyoming GOP. “When you’re an attorney, you have an obligation to support the court’s rulings. You may disagree with them, but you have to follow them.”

The follow-up letter takes a slightly more conciliatory tone than the first, requesting in conclusion that she “respect our views, the oath that we all share as lawyers, and the new oath you will seemingly take as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

But Jackson attorney Bill Schwartz said the attorneys felt compelled to double-down on their request after taking offense to Hageman releasing their letter to the public, issuing a press release about the letter and posting it on her campaign website.

“We’re asking her to think about the whole electoral issue and think about it as a lawyer and not think about it as a politician,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the first letter, signed by himself and 40 other attorneys, was never meant to be public. 

No Change Of Stance

One of Hageman’s campaign managers, Tim Murtaugh, had a curt response to the newest letter.

“Harriet heard them the first time,” Murtaugh said. “They don’t like her opinion and want her silenced. Same response applies.”

In her original response, Hageman accused the attorneys of trying to curb her First Amendment rights.

Story Behind The Words

Schwartz said he received several emails from people disparaging him for the first letter, telling him those who signed it should be disbarred and/or sent to California.

“These kinds of responses, and worse, are what happens when political leaders peddle misinformation and innuendo in support of their electoral ambitions,” the letter reads.

He said the group of attorneys that have signed the letter are part of a loosely organized contingency known as “Wyoming Lawyers For The Rule Of Law.” He said many revisions are made among the group and not any single person is organizing the effort.

“We have no leadership, no mission,” he said. “When someone can’t sleep at night, this is what it generates.”

The group first came together in response to Republican U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ first vote to reject the Pennsylvania slate of electors from the 2020 election.

“We sent a letter saying the rule of law matters,” Schwartz said.

‘Support, Obey And Defend’ The System

The newest letter reiterates many of the points made in the first. It asks Hageman to accept the rulings made by more than 60 courts that the 2020 election was sound, whether she likes it or not. The letter mentions how nearly all attorneys have encountered court decisions they don’t agree with during the course of their careers.

“In all of the cases, as lawyers, we were required by our oath to accept the outcome and to ‘support, obey and defend’ the legal system that was created by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Wyoming – even when we thought, as we often did, that the final result was wrong,” the letter reads.

The second letter asserts that attorneys are not free to publicly attack the courts, judges or the legal process as a result of being on the losing side of a case. This is partially true, but many attorneys on the losing side of cases have spoken against those decisions.

In her response to the first letter, Hageman described the authors as “elitist” and “leftists.”

“While we acknowledge that we are privileged to be Wyoming lawyers, we are no more ‘elitist’ than you are, and we certainly do not identify as ‘leftists,’” the second letter says in response.

Speight said Hageman was able to earn former President Donald Trump’s endorsement by accepting “the big lie,” the claim that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate. 

Hageman had been relatively vague about her thoughts on the 2020 election until a June debate, where she said questions need to be asked about election integrity on a national level. At a political forum in August, she upped the ante, saying the election was “rigged” and a “travesty.” 

Schwartz said this was where, for many, she crossed the line.

Schwartz and Speight both said they believed Hageman slightly walked back her claims about the 2020 election based on her response to their first letter. In that response, Hageman only mentioned having “concerns about the 2020 election” and that she “holds a different opinion of the 2020 election than” the letter writers do.

Who’s Behind It?

There were 10 more names on Friday’s new letter including Speight, but also a few noteworthy subtractions. Wyoming State Bar President Chris Hawks and Anna Reeves Olsen, president-elect of the state bar, both were signers of the first letter but not the second.

Schwartz said they held back from joining the second letter because they are now officers of the Wyoming State Bar Association and their participation could suggest the State Bar was endorsing the letter.

Darby Hoggatt, a Fort Collins, Colorado, attorney, sent a letter to the Wyoming State Bar in July requesting it investigate Hageman for her comments. Hoggatt recently expressed frustration that the bar quickly rejected his request. 

On Monday, Hoggatt sent a new request asking the organization publicly investigate Hageman or resign its top leadership.

Speight and Schwartz both said they have no interest in having the State Bar take action against Hageman. 

Numerous prominent members of the Wyoming legal community, such as William Hiser, former president of the bar, and Devon O’Connell, past president of the Wyoming Bar Association, both signed the second letter. 

Schwartz said there are many people within the legal community who agree with the sentiment of the letter but were uncomfortable signing it.

“They’re people who have relationships with Harriet or John Sundahl,” Schwartz said about Hageman and her husband, who’s also an attorney.

Schwartz said he’s unsure if Hageman’s reputation among Wyoming attorneys has been damaged beyond repair, but he and Speight both believe she could still redeem herself.

“Let’s see what she does as a public official,” Speight said. “We’ll see if this was an exception to the rule or an exception that proves the rule.”

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Wyoming State Bar Declines To Investigate, Disbar Hageman

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(Photo by Michael Smith/Getty Images)
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By Leo Wolfson, State Political Reporter
Leo@Cowboystatedaily.com

Although Harriet Hageman had been endorsed and recruited by former President Donald Trump and his staff to run for U.S. Congress in summer 2021, she remained vague for many months about her thoughts of what happened during the Jan. 6 , 2021, U.S. Capitol riot and the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

During a debate in late June, her stance on this issue became more defined. 

That night, she said questions needed to be asked about election integrity on a national level, but she was more vague about whether she believes there was election fraud in Wyoming in 2020. 

She endorsed “2000 Mules,” a film that relies on questionable evidence to claim drop ballot boxes were stuffed and mentioned how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that changes in absentee voting procedures violated that state’s Constitution. 

Hageman also complained about the Jan. 6 Committee that her opponent at the time, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, is the sitting vice chair on, describing it as “unfair.”

Cheney compared Hageman’s comments to rhetoric used by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, and other attorneys representing the former president, who have faced disciplinary hearings in their respective state bars.

Request For An Investigation

These comments were enough to convince attorney Darby Hoggatt he needed to file a complaint with the Wyoming State Bar, requesting the body initiate a disciplinary investigation of her.

“As a licensed attorney in the State of Wyoming, I believe it is incumbent upon your agency to investigate Ms. Hageman who appears to advocate and support the Coup that former President Trump attempted on Jan. 6, 2021,” wrote Hoggatt, a Fort Collins, Colorado, attorney in his July 2 letter to the bar. “If a Wyoming attorney supports the overthrow of our democracy, how can she maintain her license to practice law?”

Mark Gifford, counsel for the bar, took less than a single business day to respond to and reject Hoggatt’s complaint. 

Gifford said there was a significant difference between Hageman’s comments and the actions of Giulani and other attorneys because they offered their statements before a tribunal, not in a public forum. He did, however, express concurrence with Hoggatt’s assertion that Hageman’s claims were false.

“The conduct you point to with Hageman could just as easily be cast as the exercise of her right of free speech in voicing an opinion that is held by a large number of people, some of them, regrettably, lawyers,” Gifford wrote to Hoggatt on July 5.

“As a licensed attorney in the State of Wyoming, I believe it is incumbent upon your agency to investigate Ms. Hageman who appears to advocate and support the Coup that former President Trump attempted on Jan. 6, 2021. If a Wyoming attorney supports the overthrow of our democracy, how can she maintain her license to practice law?”

Darby Hoggatt, a Fort Collins, Colorado, attorney in a letter to the Wyoming State bar.

Response To Response

Hoggatt told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that he disagrees with this perspective and finds it a “cop-out” on the part of the state bar for not handling the matter. 

“I don’t think they wanted to get in the middle of that,” Hoggatt said. “They spent no time looking into this. They did not want to look into this at all.

“They didn’t do a damn thing. It was dismissed summarily.” 

He said Wyoming, a state that voted for Trump with a larger margin than any other in 2020, should not look past doing what he believes is right just because it might not be popular. Hoggatt views Hageman, a land and water attorney, as a representative of the state and its lawyers.

“I believe the Cheney v. Haggeman (sic) debate focus you to do something, because now Hageman has been called out nationally, and it is your agency that is charged with dealing with her,” he wrote in his letter.

What The Bar Can Do

It is unknown if any other complaints have been filed with the state bar as the organization does not disclose this type of information publicly unless it is brought before the Wyoming Supreme Court. The state bar can take a variety of steps against an attorney, ranging from private reprimand to public disbarment at the state’s Supreme Court level.

Gifford said the only possible rule that could be applicable to Hageman’s actions is Rule 8.4(c) of the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. 

Hoggatt, who is licensed to practice law in Wyoming, believes the rule extends to an attorney’s actions outside the courtroom and that attorneys are held to a higher standard as it relates to free speech and the First Amendment. He provided the example that it is an attorney’s obligation to inform the state bar if he or she is charged with a crime such as driving under the influence of alcohol.

“Conduct in and outside of court is under oversight of the state bar,” he said.

Raising The Stakes

In early August, Hageman clarified and upped the ante on her views about the 2020 election, saying it was “rigged” and a “travesty.” The statements were made after Hoggatt sent his letter.

“At this point, the state bar knows what’s going on. They don’t need to receive another letter,” Hoggatt said.

On Friday, Hoggatt referenced a letter penned to Hageman by 41 attorneys and retired judges earlier this month, where they expressed a deep concern about Hageman’s views that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and requested that she stop spreading misinformation. 

In the letter, the attorneys mentioned how a lawyer is not allowed to “engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” 

Hoggatt was not a signer of this letter, which includes some of the most prominent attorneys in Wyoming like Wyoming State Bar President Chris Hawks and Anna Reeves Olsen, president-elect of the state bar.

The letter also cites a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court case where the court ruled “(t)he interest of the States in regulating lawyers is especially great since lawyers are essential to the primary governmental function of administering justice, and have historically been ‘officers of the court.’”

‘Letter Is Meant As A Threat’

Hageman issued a blistering response to the letter, which she described as “threatening.”

“Make no mistake, this letter is meant as a threat against me simply because I hold a different political opinion – one that is shared by a majority of Wyoming voters,” Hageman said in a press release earlier this month. 

Hoggatt, who grew up in Newcastle and attended law school at the University of Wyoming, believes Hageman’s actions are tantamount to a rejection of the U.S. Constitution and part of an effort to overthrow the government. He said at the very least, the state bar should open an investigation on Hageman and issue a private reprimand.

“As an attorney practicing law, all laws derive from the Constitution,” Hoggatt said. “With the Constitution, if you don’t believe it, you have no right to be practicing law.”

Harriet Hageman: Cheney Falsely Claims To Be Defending Constitution While Guiding Lawless J6 Committee

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By Harriet Hageman, guest columnist

In Liz Cheney’s world, she’s the only one whose opinion matters – to the point where any competing points of view are not only discounted, but purposely suppressed and ignored. This is why all her preening over her self-described work to “protect the Constitution” is landing with a loud thud in Wyoming. Our voters are smart enough to see what she’s up to, and protecting the Constitution isn’t it.

Cheney is one of two hand-picked Republicans serving on the January 6th Committee, having been placed there by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself. The Republicans who should have been on the panel, selected by Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, were rejected by Pelosi in favor of her useful tools, Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is about to be a former member of Congress from Illinois.

Because of this, the January 6th Committee was illegitimate from its inception, since the minority party (Republican) should have representation but does not. The formation of the committee was against the very rules of the House of Representatives itself.

And for a leader of such a committee to proclaim herself a defender of the Constitution as Cheney has, she sure has a strange way of going about it.

In the proceedings to this point, we have seen snippets of videotaped testimony from a variety of witnesses, some of whom testified for many hours or even days. When someone has testified for eight or nine hours, or even more, and the nation is shown only a 30-second sound bite from the lengthy interview, it begs the question: What are they not showing us?

Take note that the only witnesses called, and the only “evidence” shown, support only one version of the events of January 6th. The committee does not present testimony that challenges the pre-conceived conclusion of the members, there is no member of the committee who holds a contrary opinion, and there is no cross-examination of witnesses permitted. No one involved in the process serves to make the case for the de facto defendant, former President Donald Trump.

The opening statements of the committee members always tell the audience what they are about to hear, much like a prosecutor would, which is a clear giveaway that the narrative of January 6th has already been written. This is not a fact-finding mission or search for the truth; it is a story that has already been crafted and is being rolled out on television, produced by the former president of ABC News.

In one hearing, Democrat Adam Schiff actually produced altered text messages involving a member of Congress and the White House chief of staff, and Cheney sat silently while the fraudulent evidence was presented.

No court in this country would permit such a one-sided show trial, one so obviously unconstitutional in its disregard for due process. Stalin would be proud of this circus.

Additionally, Cheney has repeatedly stated that her main goal for the committee is to make sure Trump “never gets near the Oval Office again.” Someone should break it to her that it’s not her job to make that decision – to tell tens of millions of Americans who they can and cannot vote for in an election. It’s also not Congress’ role to play the prosecutor, judge, and jury. What they are doing is a violation of the separation of powers and it makes a mockery of the Constitution, the very document Cheney claims to be defending.

In fact, stepping on Constitutional rights has become a habit for Cheney, since she recently voted with Democrats for the Joe Biden-backed gun control bill, which infringes on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Red flag laws, for example, which were contained in the bill Cheney supported, can be easily abused to deny lawful gun rights to people, including men and women who serve courageously in our military.

I have been a constitutional attorney for over 30 years, fighting the overreach of the federal government and standing up for water, land, and property rights. I have fought to protect Wyoming, taking on and winning legal battles with the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Defending the constitutional rights of individuals is what I do, and when I look at Liz Cheney, I don’t see someone engaged in that same pursuit.

I took my constitutional law class on my way to a law degree from the University of Wyoming. I don’t know what they taught in Liz Cheney’s law classes in Chicago, but we obviously weren’t studying the same founding documents that we revere here in our great state.

All Americans should agree that defending the Constitution is essential. However, when Liz Cheney claims that’s what she’s doing, it just isn’t so.

Harriet Hageman is a Wyoming native, a constitutional attorney, a former Republican National Committeewoman from Wyoming, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming.

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Hageman Energizes Crowd At Trump Rally With Vow To Fight Cheney, Democrats

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Photo by Matt Idler
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By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily

Vowing to fight against Democrats in Congress if elected to replace U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Harriet Hageman told her cheering supporters on Saturday she is determined to defeat the three-term congresswoman.

Hageman, speaking to about 10,000 people at the Save America Rally at the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper, offered a laundry list of items she intends to battle in Washington, D.C.

“We’re fed up with the Democrats who want to destroy our country and take away our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution,” she said.

Hageman took the stage around 4:25 p.m., following a series of national and state political figures who all expressed their support for her in her GOP primary race for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat.

Her promise to defeat Cheney brought an enormous roar from the audience, with nearly every spectator standing up. 


Photo by Matt Idler

She referred to Cheney as a “Virginian,” and said constituents have told her they are fed up with the federal government, baby formula shortages, gas prices, fertilizer prices, illegal immigration, fentanyl and the overall supply chain.

She also criticized the Green New Deal and attacks by the Biden Administration on fossil fuel industries.

“In short, we’re fed up with inflation,” she said.


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Hageman ramped up from here, moving on to bread and butter conservative talking points and Cheney.

Hageman started her speech promoting her Wyoming heritage and upbringing.

“I know what it means to ride for the brand,” she said. “I have fought for Wyoming and will fight for you in Washington D.C.

Hageman, a land and water attorney, said she will protect Wyoming residents’ liberties and said on Aug. 16, “we’re taking our country back.”

Hageman entered the race for U.S. House in September and won Trump’s endorsement just hours later.

Cheney and Trump have been at odds since Cheney began criticizing Trump’s claims that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen from him.

She also voted for his impeachment an allegations he incited the invasion at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.


Photo by Matt Idler

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Harriet Hageman: Wyoming Needs A Congresswoman Who Will Fight Government Overreach

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By Harriet Hageman, guest columnist

The recent elections showed that Americans are fed up with governmental overreach trampling our freedoms.  From COVID-19 restrictions, to mandates, to lost liberties and forever wars, the scope and power of the federal government must be curtailed. 

As a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming, I promise that, once elected, I will oppose government intrusions and fight to restore our freedoms.

Earlier this month, as Senior Litigation Counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, I helped file a class action lawsuit against Joe Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate. The named plaintiffs and class representatives are federal employees who acquired natural immunity after contracting and recovering from COVID-19.

Biden’s vaccine mandate violates our constitutional rights to bodily integrity and to decline medical treatment. It also violates the federal Emergency Use Authorization law, which confirms patients’ rights to informed consent and to decline such a vaccine. Outside of the draconian response to the pandemic, our federal government has long been waging war on American citizens, asserting increasing authority over our everyday lives. 

The progressive “Institute for Policy Studies” reports that, since September 11, 2001, taxpayers have funded $21 trillion worth of “militarization, surveillance, and repression.”

The passage of the Patriot Act after 9/11 was meant to protect our citizens. We now know that it instead gave the federal government the perfect tool, along with extraordinary powers, to spy on us, surveil us, and deny due process to American citizens.  

The Patriot Act makes it much easier for the federal government to compile and stockpile information about citizens by forcing just about anyone to turn over documents, including doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities, and Internet providers. All the federal government must do is tell a judge that the request is related to an ongoing foreign intelligence or terrorism-related investigation. Neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is required.

Our experiences today prove the adage that the more government grows, the more liberty shrinks.

As the outrageous tale of the “Steele Dossier” demonstrates, federal abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts have been rampant and lawless. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton and compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, who employed Russian citizen Igor Danchenko as a source. Even though the “dossier” was a lie, the FBI used it to launch an investigation under the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Danchenko has now been charged with five counts of lying to the FBI.

It is blatantly unconstitutional for a secret court to issue secret FISA warrants to secretly target American citizens, violating their Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, invasions of privacy, and denial of due process.

That the government might expand and abuse its own power should not be surprising, just as it should not be shocking that the military industrial complex keeps itself fed through so-called “forever wars.”

Biden will always be remembered for bungling the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, although most agree that it was past time to end that 20-year war. But Rep. Liz Cheney, my opponent in Wyoming, is a darling of the military contractors who keep the wheels greased in Congress. Her activities may help D.C. and northern Virginia, but they do nothing to protect our coal and oil and gas industries,

Congress votes on the National Defense Authorization Act to fund our military.  It’s in that process that some of the unseemliest horse-trading goes on. Defenders of the bloated Pentagon budget, like Cheney, get what they want, and the liberals in Congress are tossed a few treats as well. This year the Armed Services Committee, of which Cheney is a member, voted on an amendment to draft girls and young women to serve in the military. 

Cheney, along with all but one Democrat and four other Republicans, voted in favor of that amendment; Twenty-three Republicans voted against it, as I would have. No civilized society drafts young girls to fight wars. Period. 

It is also telling that Cheney occupies a seat on the Armed Services Committee, rather than on Natural Resources, where Wyoming’s lone Representative historically sits. Wyoming cares more about our ability to responsibly use our own energy resources, land, and water than we do about fat government checks for defense contractors, so this reveals where Cheney’s priorities lie.

Wyoming has only one member of the House, so we must get it right. It’s time we had someone who put Americans – and Wyomingites – first.

Harriet Hageman is a Wyoming native, an attorney, a former Republican National Committeewoman from Wyoming, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Wyoming.

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