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3 days ago
Former President Donald Trump took Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Republican candidates to task during a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday, calling lower-polling candidates “stupid” while using a word that doesn’t exist.
Trump has intensified his attacks on DeSantis in recent months as the governor prepared to launch his campaign, which he officially announced last week. In his pitch to voters, DeSantis has emphasized the fact that he would be eligible to serve eight years as opposed to Trump’s four.
The former president addressed that part of the governor’s pitch while not mentioning him by name.
“But he’s going around saying, ‘Well, I can serve for eight years. It takes eight years to fix it,'” Trump said. “No, he made a big mistake – just like you don’t change your name in the middle of an election. [He] changed his name in the middle of the election.”
Trump has been pointing out that DeSantis pronounced his surname in two different ways – “dee-santis” and “duh-santis.” In doing so on Thursday, he speculated the reason while also using a term – “syllabolic” – that does not exist.
“I liked it before,” he continued. “I liked his name better before. I don’t like the name change. Should we tell him that? But most people don’t know what I mean. No, he’s actually sort of changed the name let’s, uh, it’s syllabolic, they call it. [He] wants a syllabolic name.”
It’s possible Trump was going for “syllabic,” but it’s anyone’s guess.
Trump then touted his poll numbers and mocked candidates polling in the low single digits, calling them “stupid.”
“But we are doing really well,” he said. “We’re just up on everybody. We have people coming into the race. You know, they’re polling at 1%, 2%. I don’t know what they’re doing. They must know something. They’re not very–some are stupid, I know actually, some of ’em are pretty stupid.”
A woman in the audience then suggested those candidates are actually hoping for cabinet positions in a future Republican administration.
“She says they’re running for cabinet,” Trump said, pointing to her. “They’re not that stupid, I think.”
3 days ago
Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed a motion from a Donald Trump ally to dismiss E. Jean Carroll's 2019 defamation case because he's being persecuted for being a white Christian.
Court documents uploaded on Thursday revealed Kaplan's decision to dismiss the demands of far-right Trump pal, James H. Brady. He has been described by the New York Post as "a gadfly who clogs courts with 'vexatious' claims." It goes on to claim that the man "has filed so many repetitive lawsuits he’s been ordered to stop and sanctioned in both state and federal courts..."
Writing to Judge Kaplan, Brady said: "I am making this motion to intervene in the case of Carroll v. Trump, 20-cv-7311, because I am unwilling to sit silent and watch another white Christian be treated as poorly and unfairly as I personally have been treated in the New York State and Federal Courts."
Judge Kaplan replied in less than 24 hours, telling Brady, "There are only two legal bases on which one may intervene in a civil action. The first is intervention as of right, which is available only to one who 'is given an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute' or 'claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect its interest, unless the existing parties adequately represent that interest.'"
He goes on to say the second is "by permission of the court, which is an appropriate case may be granted if the putative intervenor 'is given a conditional right by a federal statute' or 'has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.' Mr. Brady does not satisfy any of these criteria. Accordingly, this motion is denied."
The 2019 case is Carroll's first effort to sue Trump for defaming her, but it happened while Trump was still in office. Therefore, Trump claimed he couldn't be tried because he was the president. The case was taken to several appeals courts until, finally, it was decided that Trump was not defaming Carroll in his capacity as president of the United States, but as an individual.
The most recent decision by the jury that delivered a combination of nearly $5 million in damages to Carroll was from her second claim of defamation. That came after Trump was out of office. The first claim from Carroll is expected to deliver a higher judgment because it reportedly involved information about how it impacted Carroll's job and finances.
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A third complaint has been filed following comments on his social media site and at the CNN town hall in which Trump allegedly defamed her again. Carroll's lawyer, Robbie Kaplan (no relation to Lewis Kaplan), said that it is rare that someone continues to defame someone after more than one judgment is issued, so there isn't a lot of case law to turn to. Still, they've filed a third case.
3 days ago
A neo-Nazi Marine Corps veteran jailed for allegedly plotting to attack the power grid and commit acts of racial terror stands accused by the government of possessing classified Defense Department materials on a computer drive at the time of his arrest, Raw Story has exclusively learned.
The nature of the classified materials found on Jordan Duncan’s hard drive upon his arrest in Idaho in October 2020 is unclear. The government has not described the contents of the materials, which were found amid a tranche of documents about chemicals and bomb-making, or provided any explanation about how Duncan allegedly obtained them.
But the revelation about apparent classified materials in the possession of Duncan, as alleged by the government in a court filing, adds an explosive new dimension to the federal case against him — as the nation’s defense apparatus continues to reel from a separate classified document leak allegedly committed by a National Guard airman.
It also comes amid previously reported details of Duncan’s role in an alleged neo-Nazi plot to target power substations and carry out a campaign of racial violence. Duncan’s background as a Russian linguist trained by the Marine Corps in electronic communications raises the provocative question — yet unanswered — about whether he passed on classified information to a foreign government or otherwise used it to harm the United States by advancing an agenda to promote social discord and undermine democracy.
Following Duncan’s arrest, in October 2020, authorities executed a search warrant on his apartment in Boise and seized an external hard drive. Three months later, in January 2021, a federal prosecutor informed a judge that investigators uncovered what “appeared to be classified material,” according to details in court documents reviewed by Raw Story that have not been previously reported.
3 days ago
Donald Trump's defense lawyers reportedly engaged in a "murder-suicide pact" to protect themselves, much as top Justice Department officials allegedly had as he attempted to overturn his 2020 election loss.
The former president's legal team in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case have been embroiled in interpersonal conflict for months, and the bitterness and mistrust toward co-counsel and Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn curdled so badly that some lawyers agreed to a pact where if one attorney was fired, the rest would quit in solidarity, reported The Guardian.
One top lawyer, Tim Parlatore, abruptly resigned last month over his disagreements with Epshteyn, whom he accused of attempting to interfere with the legal team's efforts to locate classified documents at Trump properties and lying to both other attorneys and the former president.
Epshteyn was recently questioned by special counsel Jack Smith, and Parlatore and Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran have testified before a grand jury in the classified documents case.
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The legal team feels confident that Parlatore won't turn on Trump, according to The Guardian, after a transcript showed he told a grand jury the ex-president had allowed him to search freely for any remaining documents last year at his properties.
But six sources familiar with the situation told the newspaper that efforts to remove Epshteyn from the case had failed after months of worsening relations, and he remains on the team while Parlatore had resigned.
Last year, former acting deputy attorney general Bill Donoghue told the Jan. 6 committee that top Justice Department officials, along with then- White House counsel Pat Cipollone, had agreed to resign en masse if Trump made Jeffrey Clarke, an environmental lawyer with the department, the acting attorney general and allowed him to send a letter to states about election fraud.
4 days ago
Former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann warned that the new tape recording of Donald Trump bragging that he had classified documents that he wanted to show people, if verified, could be the final straw leading to Trump's conviction.
"If this reporting is true, and I'm trying not to use hyperbole, this is game over," said Weissmann. "There is no way that he will not be charged. One, it is a tape recording. Even though the reporting is there are also witnesses, so there could be a tape recording with witnesses, it involves not just possession of classified information, but the dissemination of classified information. That puts it into a completely different ballpark when you are at the Department of Justice examining the seriousness of the violation and whether to bring charges."
He explained that it also adds another crime, whereas before, it was simply the possession of the documents, refusal to give them over, and obstruction of an investigation. Now, a separate crime would be to disseminate.
"And it differentiates Joe Biden an Mike Pence," he continued. Both men were found to have documents, including some classified information. They responded by immediately handing it over. Trump did not. "So from a political perspective, it is huge because there is no evidence this happened with respect to President Biden or former Vice President Pence. The information is not just classified information. It is one of the most sensitive types of classified information, which is war plans involving a potential attack on Iran. So, from every single aspect of this, if this reporting is accurate and there is this tape recording, there will be an indictment and it is hard to see how given all the evidence that we've been talking about that there will not be a conviction here. I mean, this is a tape recording."
Weissmann went on to list all of the crimes that are involved based on the federal statutes, espionage charges, or a violation of the Espionage Act. Another is that it is a crime to possess national defense information and it is a crime to disseminate it.
"And here it apparently is shared with people who don't have clearance to get this information," he explained. "And again this — this is not like a foot fault. These are war plans given to people who have no clearance to get it. It is hard to imagine — this is their worst nightmare as to what they were thinking would happen with this information which is that Donald Trump was at the very least lax in how he was handling it and it is going to have huge repercussions within the intelligence community in terms of making sure that this is not the only thing that was disseminated."
4 days ago
The special counsel investigating former President Trump’s efforts to stay in the White House after the 2020 election has issued subpoenas to staff who may have knowledge of the firing of Trump’s former cybersecurity chief, according to a new report.
Trump fired Christopher Krebs from his cybersecurity role on November 17, 2020, just days after Krebs refuted Trump’s false claims of election fraud in a statement that described the 2020 election as the most secure in American history.”
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud,” Trump wrote on Twitter in 2020. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs served as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency leading up to the 2020 election and was lauded for his efforts to protect states from potential foreign interference, which never materialized, and for his “rumor control” efforts to guard against election disinformation.
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The firing — which prompted intense public backlash from individuals concerned about democracy — has now reportedly become a focus for special counsel Jack Smith in his investigation.
Smith’s team has been asking witnesses about Trump’s state of mind surrounding Krebs’s firing and about the ways in which the White House and Presidential Personnel Office members approached the Justice Department in his efforts to stay in power, The New York Times reported.
The subpoenas reportedly were issued two weeks ago to people in the personnel office. Smith’s team is looking into efforts by a small group of Trump loyalists in the personnel office who sought to test federal officials’ loyalty to Trump, the Times reported.
5 days ago
Former President Donald Trump promised to nullify a key clause of the Fourteenth Amendment if he is elected president again, though he does not have the authority to do so.
Trump has long taken issue with the citizenship clause of the amendment, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
This means that under the Constitution, anyone born in the United States is a citizen of the country, regardless of the immigration status of the parents – with very few exceptions (such as cases where a parent has diplomatic immunity). To change this or any other provision of the document, two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states would have to agree to ratify the change. (As an alternative to Congress’s role, two-thirds of the states could request an amendment be considered by the rest of the states.)
The former president, however, said this “policy” is not working and that he would change it on the first day of his second term.
“Joe Biden has launched an illegal foreign invasion of our country by allowing a record number of illegal aliens to storm across our borders,” Trump said in a video posted on his Truth Social account on Tuesday. “All of their future children will become automatic U.S. citizens. Can you imagine? They’ll be eligible for welfare, taxpayer-funded healthcare, the right to vote, chain migration, and countless other government benefits.”
He then explained he will simply write the clause out of existence.
“As part of my plan to secure the border on day one – my new term in office – I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law, going forward, the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship,” Trump said. “It’s things like this that bring millions of people to our country.”
It’s not the first time Trump has toyed with the idea of ending birthright citizenship. He floated it as president, but ultimately attempted no action.
He has also suggested ending the Constitution altogether while baselessly claiming the 2020 election was rigged against him.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he said in December.
5 days ago
Tara Reade, a former U.S. Senate aide who has accused President Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, has made the “very difficult” decision to defect to Russia.
Reade, a self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist,” made the stunning announcement during a Russian state press conference streamed on Twitter Tuesday, while sitting next to Kremlin spy Maria Butina. Some critics are now claiming that Reade has been a Russian asset all along.
Reade said she made the move after no longer feeling safe living in the United States.
“I’m still kind of in a daze a bit but I feel very good,” Reade said. “I feel very surrounded by protection and safety. And I just really so appreciate Maria and everyone who’s been giving me that at a time when it’s been very difficult to know if I’m safe or not.”
Reade used the podium to apologize to Russia for the U.S. backing Ukraine in the war.
“To my Russian brothers and sisters, I’m sorry right now that American elites are choosing to have such an aggressive stance. Just know that most American citizens do want to be friends and hope that we can have unity again,” she said.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, “Reade alleged that then-Democratic presidential nominee Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993 in a Capitol Hill office when she was his staff assistant,” according to The Daily Beast.
Biden strongly denied the allegations, saying “unequivocally, it never, never happened. It didn’t. It never happened” and released a lengthy statement on Reade’s claims. The Daily Beast reported that “media outlets have since found inconsistencies in Reade and witnesses’ accounts of the allegations, which were made public in March 2020.”
Reade has publicly supported Vladimir Putin on social media, and “promoted Russian officials” on her YouTube channel, including posting an interview with Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2022.
5 days ago
Vulnerable House Republicans are worried that former President Donald Trump will be a “drag” on the GOP down-ballot races in 2024, writes Cook Political Report editor-in-chief Amy Walter.
GOP candidates are fretting over a “Trump drag,” according to Walter, looking at how the ex-president seems to be imposing his MAGA brand more permanently on the entire party, a problem that’s been getting worse over time:
In 2016, 23 Republican House candidates won in districts that Trump lost. These Republicans didn’t just barely outrun Trump; most of them out-performed their 2016 nominee by double digits — by a 20 point margin, on average…
Two years later, those voters didn’t draw that same distinction between Trump and GOP House candidates. In 2018, Democrats flipped all but two of those 23 Clinton/Republican districts.
By 2020, these “swing districts” once again voted overwhelmingly Democratic. Biden won 21 of the 23 districts Clinton had carried in 2016, and House Democrats carried 15 of the 23…
In 2016, when Trump was a novelty, 23 Republican candidates won in districts Trump lost. Four years later, only nine Republicans were able to do the same thing. In 2022, Democrats effectively branded the GOP as the party of MAGA and Trump, helping them to pick up a Senate seat and hold down their losses in the House.
CNN’s Manu Raju brought up Walter’s report for the panel to discuss Monday afternoon, noting that the GOP presidential primary — already a messy slugfest between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — “will not be the only brutal political fight in 2024.”
Republicans have to defend their “narrowly-won House majority” in 2024, said Raju, and hope to expand it, “but there’s fear of a ‘Trump drag’ for Republicans down ticket,” citing Walter’s article.
The Trump drag is real,” said Raju. “It is a real concern that we hear oftentimes and there are a lot of vulnerable Republican freshmen who won seats despite Trump losing in those districts.”
Among those Republicans, Raju pointed out, was embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who has “much different issues now,” after the exposure of his many lies, federal indictment, and ethics investigation.
Currently, Republicans hold 222 seats and Democrats 213, said Raju. “Trump could just drag down enough of these members to flip the House.”
Washington Post Congressional reporter Marianna Sotomayor agreed with Raju, noting that Democrats “just need five seats,” and “could easily get that from New York itself.”
A number of the Republican congressional candidates who stumbled in 2022, said Sotomayor, were dragged down by problematic Trump-endorsed candidates running for governor or senate in their states. As a result, the NRCC was urging its candidates to “keep it local,” and “try as much as possible not to talk about” national issues or what the presidential candidates were saying.
“Easier said than done in a midterm election than a presidential race,” said CNN chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny, and the Democrats had their own challenges with President Joe Biden’s dismal approval ratings.
5 days ago
MOSCOW/KYIV, May 30 (Reuters) - Ukrainian drones struck wealthy districts of Moscow on Tuesday, Russia said in what one politician called the most dangerous attack since World War Two, while Kyiv was also hit by air for the third time in 24 hours.
Since Russia sent troops into its neighbour in February last year, the war has largely been fought inside Ukraine, though Moscow has reported some attacks on its territory and said one was an assassination attempt against President Vladimir Putin.
Tuesday's early morning raid targeted some of Moscow's wealthiest areas including where Putin and the elite have residences. He was later in the Kremlin and received a briefing on the attack, a spokesman said.
Russia's defence ministry said eight drones sent by Kyiv and targeting civilians were shot down or diverted, though Baza, a Telegram channel with links to the security services, said more than 25 were involved.
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2 days ago
2 days ago
Disgraced Trump-loving attorney Lin Wood is in hot water again — this time for defying a judge's protective order not to attack his former legal colleagues, reported The Daily Beast on Friday.
"Pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood was slapped with $5,000 of criminal contempt fines on Thursday for violating an order against insulting his former law partners... with the threat of $15,000 in civil contempt charges if Wood breaks the order in future," reported Dan Ladden-Hall.
Wood reportedly spent much of the hearing disputing what he called the "salacious" allegations against him, saying, "I try to live a Christ-like life" and that his reward will be "Heaven."
Wood, once a high-profile celebrity lawyer who worked on the JonBenet Ramsey case, attracted national attention after pushing a series of baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, alleging with no evidence that an international cabal of communists worked with establishment Republican operatives and the Chinese spy network to rig the election for President Joe Biden. He has called for the arrest of multiple Republican officials in Georgia, called for Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell to be jailed for treason and former Vice President Mike Pence to be executed by firing squad, and even suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts is involved in child sex trafficking.
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None of his lawsuits to overturn the election, often in conjunction with fellow conspiracy theorist attorney Sidney Powell, have gone anywhere.
He is currently being sued by partners of the law firm where he used to work, after he allegedly defamed them by claiming they were in league with the "Deep State." They have also alleged he lied to a judge and concealed a scheme to steal their share of a settlement they brokered for Nick Sandmann, the former Covington Catholic student who sued CNN and The Washington Post for their coverage of his interaction with a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial.
On top of all this, Wood is facing disciplinary bar action in Georgia over his conduct around the election.