Brad Reed

Jack Smith convinced judge that Trump 'presents a significant risk of tampering with evidence': documents

Special counsel Jack Smith earlier this year convinced Judge Beryl Howell that former President Donald Trump should not know about a subpoena for his Twitter account data on the grounds that he "presents a significant risk of tampering with evidence."

As reported by Politico's Kyle Cheney, Smith argued to Howell that letting Trump know about the warrant could "precipitate violence" and lead to Trump engaging in "obstructive conduct" aimed at derailing the investigation.

In making their case to Howell, Smith and his team of attorneys cited Trump's conduct after losing the 2020 presidential election as evidence that he was liable to commit crimes in order to hide evidence from investigators.

"Following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, the former President propagated false claims of fraud (including swearing to false allegations in a federal court filing), pressured state and federal officials to violate their legal duties, and retaliated against those who did not comply with his demands, culminating in violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6," they wrote.

Smith's attorneys also cited Trump being "determined to pay the legal fees of potential witnesses against him" and his "repeatedly [disparaging] the lead prosecutor on his Truth Social platform" as evidence that he should be kept in the dark about the warrant.

This was enough to convince Howell.

"The Court finds reasonable grounds to believe that such disclosure will result in destruction of or tampering with evidence, intimidation of potential witnesses, and serious jeopardy to the investigation," the judge wrote, according to The Messenger.

Webcam footage shows Gulf Coast town entirely underwater as Hurricane Idalia barrels ahead

Webcam footage taken on Wednesday morning shows the town of Steinhatchee, Florida entirely underwater as Hurricane Idalia barrels toward landfall.

Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas reports on Twitter that a webcam broadcasting from the Steinhatchee Marina shows waters completely overrunning the town.

A resident of the town also sent Flechas a text message reacting to the footage: "Steinhatchee is underwater right now … heartbroken."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to run for office?

Hurricane Idalia overnight strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane as it approached the Gulf Coast, which means it is delivering sustained winds of between 130 and 156 miles per hour.

The storm weakened slightly as it first made direct contact with the coast, although it is still delivering sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday warned residents about the dangers of the storm during a news conference.

"That level of storm surge is life threatening," the Florida governor explained. "There will be impacts far behind the eye wall, and those will extend to places like Tallahassee."

See some footage at this link.

Undisclosed 'emergency' delays Proud Boys sentencing

An undisclosed "emergency" has delayed the sentencing of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio for his role in enacting a seditious conspiracy during the January 6th Capitol riots.

As reported by CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, the United States Department of Justice sent out a message on Wednesday morning saying that "due to an emergency, the court is not proceeding today with sentencings in the Proud Boy cases."

It is unclear at this time what the emergency is or why it would prevent sentencing of Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys gang.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to run for office?

The government has been seeking some very stiff sentences for the Proud Boys who were convicted earlier this year of committing seditious conspiracy for their role in inciting the deadly January 6th riots, including 33 years for both Tarrio and fellow Proud Boy Joseph Biggs, 30 years for Proud Boy Zachary Rehl, and 27 years for Proud Boy Ethan Nordean.

Federal prosecutors are also seeking 20 years for Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, who was acquitted of the headline seditious conspiracy charge but was found guilty on other charges and was seen as a key instigator of the Capitol breach when he smashed a window at the building with a riot shield he had stolen from a law enforcement officer.

Brad Raffensperger takes veiled shot at Trump in first statement after Fulton County indictment

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday broke with many of his fellow Republicans by taking a veiled shot at former President Donald Trump in the wake of his criminal indictment in Fulton County.

Although Raffensperger did not mention Trump by name in his statement, he made pointed remarks that left little doubt about his feelings on the twice-impeached former president's actions.

"The most basic principles of a strong democracy are accountability and respect for the Constitution and rule of law," he said. "You either have it, or you don't."

Raffensperger refused to go along with Trump's demands to "recalculate" the vote totals in Georgia during an infamous phone call on January 2nd, 2021, where Trump argued that he needed to "find" enough votes to overtake Biden in the Peach State.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to run for office?

That phone call has now led to Trump being charged with trying to get a public official to break their oath of office, among dozens of other felony charges unveiled by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday night.

Trump in 2022 supported a primary challenger to run against both Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for their refusal to help him overturn the Georgia election results, but both efforts failed.

Fulton County court quickly deletes docket report showing Trump charges for racketeering and conspiracy

Reuters is reporting that a two-page docket posted apparently accidentally on the Fulton County court's website showed multiple charges that could be filed against former President Donald Trump this week.

According to Reuters, the docket report, which was quickly deleted shortly after being posted, showed Trump indictments for charges including racketeering, conspiracy, and making false statements.

While these charges line up with what media reports have described as the likely coming indictments against the former president, it is unlikely that any indictments will be revealed on Monday, as the grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia is still scheduled to hear additional witness testimony on Tuesday.

The document seen by Reuters apparently did not include any information on other Trump allies who are believed to be at risk of being indicted, including former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

The former president has already been indicted three separate times, including one federal indictment over his efforts to illegally remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has instead insisted that any criminal charges against him are a political "witch hunt" intended to block him from winning the presidency again in 2024.

Ohio’s GOP secretary of state brutally mocked after his amendment goes down in flames

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose put a lot of political capital on backing "Issue 1," a ballot initiative that would have raised the threshold for future ballot initiatives to succeed from 50 percent to 60 percent.

Voters in Ohio subsequently rejected the measure by 14 points -- but that didn't stop LaRose from issuing a defiant statement blaming out-of-state spending for the loss.

"We were dramatically outspent by dark money billionaires from California to New York, and the giant 'for sale' sign still hangs on Ohio's constitution," he complained. "Ohioans will see the devastating impact of this vote soon enough."

Many critics were quick to mock LaRose for his statement, including Rachel Petri, the campaign manager for Sen. Sherrod Brown, who wrote on Twitter that "you can't spell 'a loser' without 'LaRose.'"

Atlantic editor Ronald Brownstein, meanwhile, noted that LaRose's defiant statement didn't even mention the role that protecting abortion rights played in the amendment's defeat, which he said reflected Republicans' "uncertainty on how to handle abortion backlash."

Shannon Freshour, a Democrat who is running for Congress in Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) district, celebrated the win and argued LaRose got exactly what he deserved.

"It's best to fight on the side of history, of democracy, of the people," she wrote. "Thankfully Ohio understands that."

Former Democratic Ohio candidate Paul Filippelli, meanwhile, mocked LaRose's suggestion that keeping the old ballot initiative process would put Ohio's state constitution at risk.

"Frank LaRose hates the Ohio Constitution and thinks it has a "for sale" sign on it because it... allows voters to make decisions about how our state is governed," he wrote.

And Tristan Rader, a progressive city councilman from Lakewood, Ohio, gave LaRose a sarcastic "thank you" for blowing his election.

"Thank you for your incompetent leadership on all the worst issues," he wrote. "Keep it up!"

'Trump got lucky': Conservative breaks hard truth to MAGA fans about 2016 win

Conservative Ben Domenech, who has founded right-wing websites such as Red State and The Federalist, broke hard truths to the MAGA faithful this week during an appearance on Ezra Klein's New York Times podcast.

In reflecting on recent elections -- including the 2022 midterms where Republicans vastly underperformed expectations given President Joe Biden's low approval numbers and inflation that was at the time at highs not seen in decades -- Domenech concluded that Trump's 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton was more of a fluke than anything.

In 2022, Democrats turned it into a conversation, successfully, about January 6th and about anti-democratic... Republicans, about these whackadoo folks who are denying elections," he said. "And I think that sort of proved that that lack of normalcy, that lack of stability among these politicians was something that really damaged them. They took an election that should have been about... crime rise in the major cities, about inflation, about pocketbook issues... and they turned it into an election about, 'These people are going to seize your government and your democracy away from you.'"

Domenech said that this strategy was effective both because Democrats helped to push "crazy people" in the primaries and because Republican voters gravitated toward many of those candidates on their own.

"People don't like crazy in their politics," Domenech asserted. "Donald Trump got lucky in 2016 by running against someone who was way more unpopular than many assessed, and by shooting the moon in terms of the electoral college. That's a very difficult thing to do and the math is even harder for him in 2024."

Listen to the whole podcast here.

Trump clashes with his lawyer on forcing Judge Chutkan recusal: report

Former President Donald Trump is pushing a legal strategy that his own attorneys believe is unwise -- again.

Politico reports that Trump is at odds with attorney John Lauro over immediately pushing for the recusal of D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in his trial for alleged conspiracy to defraud the United States and to deprive Americans of the right to have their votes counted.

Although Lauro has been on the same page as Trump regarding a push to get the trial moved to West Virginia, he has been trying to walk back Trump's demands to go after Judge Chutkan, whom Trump has repeatedly alleged is biased against him.

For instance, on a recent podcast appearance, Lauro said that "we haven’t made a final decision on that issue at all" or whether Judge Chutkan should recuse, and emphasized that "as lawyers we have to be very careful of those issues and handle them with the utmost delicacy."

IN OTHER NEWS: Workers forced by employer to attend 'cult-like' prayer gatherings awarded $50K in lawsuit

This has not stopped Trump from launching more broadsides against Judge Chutkan, whom he said "MUST BE RECUSED" in an angry Monday morning post on his Truth Social platform.

"The back-and-forth on public airwaves and social media underscores the familiar tension between Trump and his legal team, which has been rocked by infighting, departures and conflicting advice in recent months," writes Politico. "All of it, however, is secondary to Trump’s own whims and instincts, which have served him politically but are grating against the rules and norms of behavior for those charged with serious federal crimes."

Trump's decision to blow off the advice of his lawyers is one of the reasons that he got indicted for stashing top-secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, as the indictment alleges that he concealed what he was doing with boxes of documents from his own attorneys who advised him to be more cooperative with the government's requests for their return.

Fox host: 'Hatching schemes to stay in office' after losing an election 'is not a crime'

Fox News anchor Julie Banderas on Monday struggled to understand why it would be illegal for former President Donald Trump to attempt to stay in office even after losing an election to President Joe Biden.

While discussing the potential fourth criminal indictment of the former president, Banderas ran through some of the behaviors that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may charged Trump with and then declared each action to be perfectly within the bounds of the law.

"The attorney... Fani Willis is probing whether Trump committed crimes in trying to overturn the election results in Georgia," she said. "I want to talk about Trump's alleged crimes for a second. He hasn't been indicted with incitement, we know that. So, it's not a crime to tell lies. Being a narcissist is not a crime. Hatching schemes to stay in office is not a crime. And claiming you won an election that you know you lost is not a crime."

In fact, trying to illegally occupy that office of the presidency after losing an election is illegal.

READ MORE: New Judge Cannon order opens door for DOJ to ask for her Trump case removal: legal experts

What's more, special counsel Jack Smith made the case that Trump deliberately told election lies to prop a conspiracy to defraud the United States and to deny Americans' rights to have their votes counted, both of which are crimes.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Trump could still be president if convicted but couldn’t vote for himself in his home state: legal expert

There's a reasonable chance that former President Donald Trump will be a convicted felon by the time the 2024 election rolls around.

However, UCLA law professor Rick Hasen, an election law expert, told CNN's Jim Acosta on Sunday that such a conviction would not prevent Trump from serving as president if elected.

"The first thing to say is that the Constitution has very few requirements to be president," he said. "You have to be 35, natural born citizen. you have to be a resident of the United States for a certain period of time. That's it!"

Ironically, said Hasen, a convicted Trump would have more trouble exercising his voting rights than he would have getting elected to the highest office in the country.

READ MORE: 'What they tried was insane': Conservative sets fellow right-wingers straight about Trump and Jan. 6

"Trump lives in Florida," Hasen pointed out. "If he were a convicted felon, he wouldn't be able to vote for himself, but nothing in the Constitution says he can't serve."

Hasen added that there are some arguments that Trump should be ineligible to serve because the Constitution does bar people who take part in insurrections against the government from serving, but that particular legal theory has yet to be tested in any serious way.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Trump could still be president if convicted -- but couldn't vote for himself in his home

John Eastman lawyer stumbles when asked if his client advocated breaking the law

Attorney Harvey Silverglate, who is representing former Trump lawyer John Eastman, stumbled on Thursday when asked by CNN's Poppy Harlow about his client's advice to former President Donald Trump.

During the interview, Harlow read instances cited in special counsel Jack Smith's indictment of the former president in which he outlined alleged instances where Eastman knowingly advocated breaking the law to keep Trump in power.

"Alleged in the indictment is that John Eastman, your client, asked the vice president's counsel, Mike Pence's counsel, to break the law in writing, that he did this on the night of January 6th," she began and then quoted directly from the indictment. "'Co-conspirator wrote, I implore you to consider one more relative minor violation of the [Electoral Count Act] and adjourn for ten days.' Would you concede that your client did that and asked the vice president to break the law?"

"Yes," replied Silverglate, before rushing to correct himself. "No, no!"

The attorney then went on to explain his theory as to why advocating for a violation of the law was not illegal.

"I don't concede that he asked the vice president to break the law," he said. "He asked the vice president to engage in a minority view, a very minority view, but there is an interpretation of the law here that is within the bounds of reason."

Silverglate went on to tout the fact Eastman made no threats against Pence's lawyers when he advocated for violating the Electoral Count Act.


'Toddler who found a pistol': Tommy Tuberville roasted by Alabama columnist for costing state jobs

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) was called out this week by Alabama columnist Kyle Whitmire after his antics cost his home state the opportunity to be the new headquarters of America's Space Command.

In his latest column, Whitmire described Tuberville as a "a toddler who found a pistol on the nightstand" and fired it off indiscriminately when he decided to place a hold on military promotions to protest the United States Armed Forces' abortion policies.

This decision, argues Whitmire, gave President Joe Biden the opportunity to rescind the Space Command's planned move from Colorado to Alabama, and he argued that Tuberville has so alienated American military personnel that they were unwilling to go to bat for his state and press Biden to stick with the original plan.

"What Biden needed was a veneer of plausibility," writes Whitmore. "He needed a general to say this was the right thing to do. And what Alabama needed was military brass to say, 'No, Mr. President, Colorado is not the best place for this. We did a study and...' But who’s going to do that when Alabama’s senior senator is being a jerk to the very folks Alabama needed on our side? In the end, the Associated Press reported, it was General James Dickinson, the head of Space Command, who persuaded the president that Colorado was the best choice."

Whitmire also takes aim at other elected officials in Alabama for not having the gumption to tell Tuberville to end his self-defeating blockade, as he said they should recognize that the senator is simply not someone who should be trusted to handle such matters without adult supervision.

And in a parting shot, he blamed voters in Alabama for electing Tuberville in the first place.

"We put the toddler in the room with the loose gun, and now we caught a bullet in the groin," he wrote. "This one’s on us."

Trump’s seven-year-old lies about Ted Cruz could crush his Jan. 6 defense: reporter

Many of Donald Trump's defenders have argued that the former president sincerely believed that the 2020 election was stolen from him, thus meaning that his false claims about the 2020 election could not have been part of a criminal conspiracy.

However, Semafor Washington Bureau Chief Benjy Sarlin believes that prosecutors have a strong rebuttal to this: Namely, that Trump has been claiming voter fraud whenever he has faced an electoral setback.

Specifically, Sarlin points out Trump's pattern of "not just crying fraud, but doing so every election, preemptively, with no consistency, in every possible setting at once."

While this approach has helped Trump from a political perspective in maintaining his hold on the Republican voter base, Sarlin argues that it plays out very differently in a legal setting.

READ MORE: Trump 'much more rattled' by Jan. 6 indictment than he's letting on: Maggie Haberman

"Legally, it sure looks like someone deliberately plotting to stay in power for years and either lying or willfully blind to anything that undermines that effort," he writes on Twitter. "People are talking about 'well, the pandemic stuff, the rules were different, lots of people had concerns.' Oh, the 2016 pandemic? The Iowa caucus pandemic?"

Sarlin's reference to the 2016 Iowa caucus came after Trump demanded that Cruz's win in Iowa be nullified based on completely unfounded allegations of "fraud" against the Texas Republican.

Jack Smith probes claims Trump privately 'sneered at the ridiculousness' of Sidney Powell’s theories

After he lost the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump embraced conspiracy theories espoused by attorney Sidney Powell, who herself got them from a woman who claims she has the ability to speak with the wind.

However, Rolling Stone now reports that Trump privately "sneered at the ridiculousness" of Powell's ideas, which involved the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez designing voting machines that would be used to steal an American election seven years after his death in 2013.

And what's more, special counsel Jack Smith's office has been pressing sources for their memories of Trump's mockery of Powell, whom he reportedly secretly believed to be "crazy."

"The special counsel’s continuing interest in incidents where Trump either seemed to know – or was told by his own aides — that his election conspiracy theories were baseless suggests that prosecutors are likely preparing to demonstrate that Trump’s attempts to overturn the election weren’t the result of a reasonable or good faith belief in conspiracy theories but instead willful disregard of the facts," writes Rolling Stone. "Demonstrating that Trump knew he was misleading the public could be a crucial evidentiary hurdle in any attempt to prove Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election."

In December 2020, Powell and former national security adviser Mike Flynn gave Trump a presentation about Dominion Voting Systems machines and made the case that he should order the military to seize the machines.

This led to a massive fight with White House lawyers, who argued that such a move would not only be politically flammable but also illegal.

'Weird' detail in latest Trump indictment flagged by Washington Post reporter

Former President Donald Trump got hit with more charges on Thursday related to his effort to obstruct government efforts to retake top-secret documents he'd taken with him to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

But as the Washington Post's Philip Bump notes, there's a strange detail in the indictment that appears to defy an easy explanation.

The passage in question describes Trump employee Carlos De Oliveira's unusual movements around Mar-a-Lago during the time when prosecutors allege he was trying to destroy video footage at the resort that had been subpoenaed by the government.

“Between 1:31 p.m. and 1:50 p.m., DE OLIVEIRA walked through the bushes on the northern edge of The Mar-a-Lago Club property to meet with NAUTA on the adjacent property, then walked back to the IT office that he had visited that morning; and then walked again through the bushes on the northern edge of The Mar-a-Lago Club property to meet with NAUTA on the adjacent property," the indictment states.

Bump then speculates on explanations for what he calls this "weird" alleged behavior from De Oliveira.

"One [explanation] is that Nauta was engaged in some activity off the Mar-a-Lago grounds and simply couldn’t come closer to De Oliveira," he writes. "Another is that Nauta didn’t want to be recorded as having visited Mar-a-Lago that day, either by Secret Service or other employees. Another is that Nauta and De Oliveira — by now very aware that the federal government was interested in movements at the facility — were eager not to be observed."

Regardless, Bump argues that it should be concerning that the resort where Trump allegedly kept American nuclear secrets can be accessed "by slipping through the bushes."

'This guy’s a nut!' Karl Rove clashes with Fox News' Bill Hemmer over RFK Jr.

Republican strategist Karl Rove clashed with Fox News' Bill Hemmer over the decision to promote the candidacy of anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

One day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis floated appointing Kennedy to run the Centers for Disease Control, Rove argued that no one should be promoting him given his wide array of fringe views.

"He's got lots of conspiracy theories," Rove said and then outlined Kennedy's false claims about the 2004 election being stolen by then-President George W. Bush and his theories about his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy, being murdered by the CIA. "I mean, this guy's a nut!"

Hemmer, however, pushed back on Rove's characterization of Kennedy.

"Despite all that, he's attracted 20 percent... in polling," Hemmer said. "So his messages on some of these issues are getting through, or at least cutting through, to some of the electorate."

"I disagree," Rove countered, and then went on to say that he was only getting backing due to President Joe Biden's low approval numbers and due to name recognition as a member of the Kennedy family.

Hammer insisted, however, that Kennedy was simply "a different kind of Democrat" and "the kind of Democrat you and I grew up with."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Ginni Thomas 'may have crossed the line' into criminality with fake electors plot: former federal prosecutor

Right-wing activist Ginni Thomas has come under fresh scrutiny after the Michigan State Attorney General's Office announced criminal charges against the 16 fake electors in the state who signed official documents falsely declaring former President Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election.

Newsweek's Ewan Palmer this week spoke with Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, who said that Thomas' efforts to lobby on behalf of the fake electors scheme could lead to her being investigated for potentially criminal behavior.

"Her lawyer has publicly said that Thomas simply signed a pre-written letter, but there is reportedly evidence that she played a larger role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election," Rahmani said. "If so, Ginni Thomas may have crossed the line of political advocacy or aggressive legal strategy to criminal conduct."

Palmer goes on to note Thomas' contacts with former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and with former Trump lawyer John Eastman, the author of the infamous so-called "coup memo" that encouraged then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to accept certified election results.

Michigan-based attorney Jamie White argued that Thomas' actions deserve scrutiny, despite the fact that the House Select Committee investigating Trump's attempts to illegally remain in power did not recommend any criminal charges against her.

"Ginni Thomas' pattern of inappropriate involvement is mind-boggling," he argued. "For a Supreme Court justice's wife to be texting with the chief of staff who was promulgating an insurrection against the country is beyond remarkable."

CNN panel shreds Ron DeSantis’ 'disgraceful' historical illiteracy

A CNN panel on Monday took a hammer to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' claims that being enslaved taught Black Americans valuable life skills.

After playing video of DeSantis saying that slaves could have learned to have been blacksmiths by being made to endure unpaid forced labor, panelist Errol Louis unloaded on the Florida governor for spouting sheer historical illiteracy.

"The reality is he has chosen these noneconomic issues to run on, to attack Black history, to attack what he calls 'wokeness,' you know, to attack women's rights, and abortion rights. those are the issues that is he thinks are going to carry him to the Republican nomination," he said. "In this particular case, it's just a disgraceful hash of history. I mean, they've just got all of the wrong."

Louis then explained how DeSantis' campaign made things even worse for themselves by trying to issue historical evidence to back up DeSantis' statement.

"Even in the clarification after that press conference, they put out this list of, you know, Black people... who would fit into that category... and, you know, I think 12 of the 14 were actually freed men," he said. "They had not been enslaved. They just don't know what they're talking about."

Bloomberg's Mario Parker then chimed in to express bewilderment at DeSantis' apparent campaign strategy.

"He's severely undercutting his general election strategy that he's the candidate that can supersede Donald Trump," he said. "This is disgraceful to defend slavery, to double down on it. And now we're at the point in this campaign where, every couple of weeks, DeSantis is doing something bizarre."

Watch the video below or at this link.

College overtaken by DeSantis allies faces 'ridiculously high' job openings as faculty flee

New College of Florida, which in recent months has been taken over by allies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is facing major staff shortages as faculty members are fleeing for other jobs.

In fact, the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the school has lost more than a third of its faculty in the last few months, a churn rate that Provost Bradley Thiessen described as "incredibly high."

DeSantis and his allies may welcome the departures given that their stated goal is to transform the university into an "anti-woke" learning establishment.

Nonetheless, it's causing big headaches for school administrators who are now scrambling to ensure they have enough faculty to teach classes.

IN OTHER NEWS: 'Any attorney that represents me is either a fool or a Great American Patriot': Trump posts head-scratching claim

Biologist Liz Leininger, for one, told the Tampa Bay Times that she felt guilty for leaving the school behind but said she felt she had little alternative, and she has since taken a job as chairperson of neuroscience at St. Mary's in Maryland.

However, this is cold comfort for third-year cognitive science major Alaska Miller, who tells the Tampa Bay Times that her diploma has now been put on hold indefinitely.

"Either I don't graduate on time or I'd have to abandon my major," she explained to the newspaper.

'I may have to move': Home insurance crisis rocks Ron DeSantis’ Florida

When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that he wants to make America more like Florida, he's probably not referring to the state's market for home insurance.

The Guardian reports that the crisis in home insurance in Florida reached a boiling point this week when Farmers Insurance pulled out of the market due to the high cost of insuring houses in the hurricane-prone Sunshine State.

While DeSantis' administration blamed Farmers' exit on "wokeness," the reality is that six other insurers went insolvent in Florida in just the last year, meaning that homeowners have fewer and fewer options.

"If my homeowner insurance premium goes up further... I may have to sell up and move to another state," 68-year-old Florida resident Andrea tells the Guardian.

Fellow Florida resident Ian Brown similarly tells the publication that he has been getting walloped by insurance costs -- and it's been getting worse since his previous insurer went belly up last year.

"I panicked and called every insurance broker I knew," he said. "They all said getting cover was impossible now."

He eventually found an insurer who was willing to cover his house for hurricane insurance -- but only at an annual rate of $13,000 a year.

The Guardian notes that DeSantis has been accused of some Florida residents of dragging his feet on addressing the cost of home insurance in the state and has instead focused his efforts on bills that restrict the activities of drag queens.

RFK Jr: Reporters are trying to 'discredit me as a crank' by twisting my rant about COVID and Jews

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at the New York Post on Saturday after the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid revealed that he mused this week that the novel coronavirus may have been "ethnically targeted" to spare Jews.

Kennedy, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and a Democratic candidate for the presidency, took to Twitter to slam New York Post reporter Jonathan Levine and accuse him of taking his remarks about COVID being a potential bioweapon out of context.

"I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews," Kennedy claimed. "I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews. In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons."

In fact, Kennedy Jr. said that "there is an argument that [COVID-19] is ethnically targeted," although he did acknowledge that "we don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted."

After clarifying that he only meant that COVID-19 was a "proof of concept" for a Jew-sparing bioweapon, he argued that reporters had twisted his words in an effort to make him sound like a madman.

"This cynical maneuver is consistent with the mainstream media playbook to discredit me as a crank — and by association, to discredit revelations of genuine corruption and collusion," he wrote.

New leak paints 'alarming financial picture' of Michigan GOP: report

Newly leaked information shows that the Michigan Republican Party under the leadership of MAGA devotee Kristina Karamo.

The Detroit News reports that the Michigan GOP's bank accounts have dwindled to a mere $93,000, a small fraction of what the party typically has during this point in an election cycle.

Writing on Twitter, Detroit News reporter Craig Mauger says that GOP insiders believe the paltry amount of money in the party's bank accounts paints an "alarming financial picture."

Mauger also reveals the Detroit News received the information about the party's finances from an audio recording of a state committee member who disclosed the information at a recent meeting.

Michigan Republicans elected Karamo as their party's chairwoman despite the fact that she suffered a blowout 14-point defeat in her failed campaign to become Michigan's Secretary of State.

Kamaro last year based her entire campaign for Michigan secretary of state around former President Donald Trump's false claims that mass voter fraud had cost him the 2020 election in Michigan and other key swing states.

Kamaro has also accused Democrats of selling off the body parts of babies and engaging in ritual child sacrifice, and has also said that demonic possession is not only real but can be transferred from one person to another via sexual intercourse.

RNC could rescind Trump's nomination if he get convicted of a felony: experts

Would the Republican Party stick with former President Donald Trump in 2024 even if he gets convicted on felony charges?

Experts who spoke with The Guardian suggested that it's possible the GOP would find a way to back out of making Trump its nominee if he becomes a convicted felony ahead of the 2024 election.

American University history professor Allan Lichtman tells the publication that the Republican National Committee could simply vote to remove Trump from the ticket should he get convicted, which would open the door to another contender such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Buffalo University political scientist Jacob Nieheisel didn't go so far as to predict the RNC would give Trump the boot, although he did say that a felony conviction would certainly be unwelcome news for the GOP, despite the fact that Trump supporters would "double down" on their support for him.

"On average, scandal doesn’t help," he said. "Legal trouble doesn’t help."

The question, however, is whether Trump would gracefully accept such an outcome or instead launch a scorched-Earth third-party suicide mission against the GOP were the party to deny him the 2024 nomination.

Former '60 Minutes' reporter’s viral tweets falsely claim Mark Wahlberg as a QAnon believer

Lara Logan, a former reporter for CBS News' "60 Minutes" who has since become a far-right conspiracy theorist whose views were too extreme for Fox News and Newsmax, has been falsely claiming that actor Mark Wahlberg believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory.

As documented by BBC journalist Shayan Sardarizadeh, Logan this week promoted a story from a notorious fake news website that falsely claimed that Wahlberg recently claimed that Hollywood was filled with "blood drinking pedophiles" whom he was personally working to bring down.

"We are hunting these evil sons of b*tches down and taking them out, one blood drinking pedophile at a time," reads one fake Wahlberg quote in the story.

Sardarizadeh added that "the image of Mark Wahlberg in the fabricated story by The People's Voice is from a 2017 video of him speaking at a church in Chicago" and that "a representative for Wahlberg" said that "the actor had never made the statements attributed to him in the article."

The QAnon conspiracy theory states that Hollywood and the Democratic Party are both global Satanist pedophile rings that harvest children for their adrenochrome.

QAnon believers have maintained faith in the conspiracy theories despite the fact that its predictions -- including a 2017 prediction that Hillary Clinton's arrest for running a pedophile ring was imminent -- have never once come true.

Pence aides fear he may not even qualify for first GOP debate

Former Vice President Mike Pence's White House bid is off to a slow start and there's a real chance he may not even qualify for the first Republican presidential debate.

The New York Times reports that the former vice president has raised just $1.2 million for his presidential campaign, which shows a lack of enthusiasm from both big-name fundraisers and small-dollar donors.

As if this weren't bad enough, sources tell the Times that Pence "had not yet received donations from 40,000 donors, the threshold required to make the debate stage."

In a desperate scramble to avoid being disqualified from the debate, reports the Times, Pence's campaign "plans to spend a large bulk of what it has raised on a robust direct-mail program aimed at helping him accrue enough donors to qualify."

The report goes on to note that Pence has alienated himself from much of the party's base by correctly arguing that he did not have the power to singlehandedly throw out certified election results in order to give former President Donald Trump another term in office.

Trump supporters infamously chanted for Pence's hanging after they violently stormed the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.

Jack Smith sends Trump staffer target letter 'indicating that he might have perjured himself': ABC News

Special counsel Jack Smith recently sent a target letter to a staffer working for former President Donald Trump that indicated "he might have perjured himself" when talking to investigators this past May, reports ABC News.

According to the report, the letter "signals Smith's growing interest in the Trump Organization's handling of the surveillance footage and potential efforts to avoid sharing it with investigators."

ABC News reached out to the employee, whom it is not naming, and the employee only replied that "It's none of your business."

Trump has already been charged with counts of obstructing investigators' efforts to retrieve top-secret documents that had been requested via a government subpoena.

The letter also indicates that more charges may be coming in the Mar-a-Lago documents probe, which so far has only brought charges against Trump and aide Walt Nauta.

Trump also faces potential prosecution from Smith's office over his attempts to illegally remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

The former president has denied any wrongdoing and has called any attempts to investigate his actions as a "witch hunt" by government officials.

Jack Smith is working to expose 'a broad national conspiracy' to keep Trump in power: legal analyst

CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams on Thursday said that it appears that special counsel Jack Smith is leaving no stone unturned in his probe of Trump's efforts to illegally remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

In particular, Williams argued that Smith's thoroughness can be evidenced by his recent interview with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, which suggests that the special counsel has not been limiting his probe to just one or two swing states.

"They have spoken to people in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and now Michigan," said Williams. "What I am seeing is a pretty broad national conspiracy touching on any aspect of election meddling or election interference. They could be building one massive case, the mother of all election conspiracy cases, that could be charged in any one jurisdiction bringing in evidence of all the others... it's pretty vast!"

Olivia Troye, a former national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said that Smith's latest interviews appear to show that his investigation is nearing its conclusion and that charging decisions could be made soon.

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"I think they're getting close to wrapping it up, hopefully," she said. "I think they need to move forward. I think they're now talking to people who are really there at the front lines of it from 2020, being bullied and intimidated by these individuals."

Watch: Chris Wray slaps down Matt Gaetz’s claims about FBI’s reputation

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday shot back at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) when the Florida congressman attacked the FBI's reputation during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

After trying unsuccessfully to get the Trump-appointed FBI director to comment on potentially incriminating messages sent by Hunter Biden years ago, Gaetz launched a broadside against Wray's tenure running the nation's largest federal law enforcement agency.

"You preside over the FBI, it has the lowest level of trust in the FBI's history," Gaetz argued. "People trusted the FBI more when J. Edgar Hoover was running the place... the reason is because you don't give straight answers."

Wray, however, was quick to retort by informing Gaetz that his agency has been doing gangbusters when it comes to recruiting -- especially in the state of Florida.

READ MORE: 'Doesn't bode well for GOP': Experts say push to gut voter rights has barely affected election results

"Respectfully, congressman, in your home state of Florida, the number of people applying to come work for us, to devote their lives working for us, is up over 100 percent," Wray said.

"We're deeply proud of them!" Gaetz fired back. "But they deserve better than you!"

Watch the video below or at this link.

'Completely untethered from the evidence': Jerry Nadler tears apart Jim Jordan’s crusade against the FBI

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday accused the FBI of being "weaponized" against conservative Americans -- but Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was quick to shoot down Jordan's narrative.

In particular, Nadler accused Jordan of attacking the FBI to run interference for former President Donald Trump, who was indicted last month for illegally retaining top-secret government documents and refusing to give them back even when served with a subpoena for them.

"Today, House Republicans will attack the FBI for having had the audacity to treat Donald Trump like any other citizen," Nadler said. "The FBI dared to hold Trump accountable, so Republicans must discredit the FBI at all costs. You will hear claims today that the FBI's decision to investigate Donald Trump was somehow unfair. You will hear Republicans attack the indictment of former President Trump on 37 counts related to his gross mishandling of national security information, including information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries, United States nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies of military attack, and plans to possible retaliation in response to foreign attack."

Nadler also mocked as absurd the idea that an FBI led by Trump appointee Christopher Wray was a leftist cabal dedicated to bringing down Republicans on bogus charges.

"You will hear the case that this was a political investigation from the start, orchestrated by a liberal-loving FBI, that would ensure Trump would be wrongfully vilified at every turn," Nadler said. "These claims, of course, are completely untethered from evidence. Even if you believe, as Chairman Jordan claims, that President Trump has committed no crime, surely we can agree that it is dangerous, and profoundly irresponsible, to have taken these documents from the White House and left them unsecured in Mar-a-Lago."Watch the video below or at this link.

Trump advisers bluntly say the best solution to his legal problems is 'winning the election': NYT

Former President Donald Trump's advisers reportedly believe that his best shot at beating the multiple legal charges against him involves winning the 2024 presidential election.

The New York Times is reporting that "some of the former president’s advisers have been blunt in private conversations that he is looking to winning the election as a solution to his legal problems," which include both federal charges leveled by special counsel Jack Smith and state charges leveled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Although Trump would be limited in his ability to shut down Bragg's case, he could effectively freeze it while serving out his second term.

When it comes to Smtih's probe, meanwhile, he could order his attorney general to shut down the office and also issue a pardon to himself to bring the matter to a swift conclusion.

It's with this in mind, reports that Times, that Trump's lawyers are trying to delay the trial of the former president until after the 2024 election.

Even if Judge Aileen Cannon does agree to delay Trump's trial, that doesn't mean he's out of the woods legally, as both Smith's office and the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may soon level charges against Trump related to his efforts to illegally remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

'I have common sense': Judge slaps down MAGA rioter’s excuses to his face

United States District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich did not appear pleased with a convicted MAGA rioter's attempt to make excuses for himself during a Friday sentencing hearing.

As reported by CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, Friedrich delivered what he described as a "blistering" interjection during the sentencing hearing of Barry Ramey, a member of the Proud Boys who was charged with pepper-spraying police after he marched to the Capitol wearing tactical gear that prosecutors said showed he came prepared to commit acts of violence.

The interjection in question came when Ramey's attorney tried to argue that their client only wore a tactical vest for defensive purposes, while the knee pads he equipped during the riots were to protect his "vulnerable knees."

In addition to this, the attorney argued that Ramey didn't bring the pepper spray he used on Capitol police but only found it on the scene.

This was apparently too much for Judge Friedrich, however.

“That doesn’t ring true to me," she said, according to MacFarlane. "I have common sense."

Additionally, reports MacFarlane, Friedrich whacked Ramey's attorney for arguing their client had been "completely forthcoming," as she said he has only admitted to facts that the court has clear evidence to prove.

"What has he admitted that the court doesn’t already have evidence of?" she asked. “He’s admitting only what he can’t deny."

Friedrich would go on to give Ramey a five-year prison sentence.

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