Sarah K. Burris

How the far-right Virginia governor could be stopped by a loyal MAGA follower

The balance of power in the Virginia State Senate comes down to a campaign this November where a member of his own party is waging a war against the Republican Party's candidate.

Matt Strickland lost the June primary race by 14 points, but that doesn't count him out. He wants to run a write-in campaign for November," explained Virginia Scope.

"The seat is competitive and has big implications for control of the state Senate and whether or not Gov. Glenn Youngkin can fully implement his agenda," the report said.

Strickland argues that the GOP establishment has been fighting him for far too long and he is refusing to be quiet about it anymore.

“Folks have started a write-in campaign for me for state senate and delegate. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I support it,” he tweeted Monday. “The Republican Establishment accepts millions of dollars in donations from corrupt corporations just as my opponent Tara Durant did. Pfizer and Dominion Energy just to name a couple.”

The small Facebook group "The Write Matt In Initiative" appeared over the summer. It has fewer than 150 people in it, but it's a movement that could ultimately help the Democrat in the race win by splitting the GOP into establishment vs. MAGA. The group is no longer available online, the report explained.

Strickland said that the "establishment Republicans" told him after he lost he must support the GOP nominee.

“We always blindly support the Republican nominee, and they always screw us over,” Strickland said. “I will no longer blindly vote Republican. I’ll never vote for a Democrat, but I will most definitely write in a true candidate for The People [from] now on.”

Strickland isn't a fan of Gov. Glenn Youngkin either, calling the far-right lawmaker a RINO, or Republican In Name Only. It's a commonly used insult used by former President Donald Trump.

“I’m fighting the war on two different fronts: fighting Democrats and fighting these establishment Republicans in Name Only,” he said to conservative talk radio host John Fredericks in May.

Strickland isn't just the MAGA candidate, he said on Tuesday that he firmly believes that the 2020 election was "rigged. If we had free & fair elections Trump would be President right now.”

Democratic opponent Joel Griffin thinks it could be beneficial to have Strickland in the race.

State Delegate Tara “Durant barely broke 50% in Spotsylvania in her primary and a Strickland write-in campaign will be more than enough to doom her in a Biden +5, Spanberger +2 seat,” Griffin campaign manager Jeremy Levinson, told Virginia Scoop. “Joel Griffin looks forward to defending a woman’s right to choose once elected as the next state senator from the 27th state Senate district.”

Read the full report here.

Maddow reads humiliating excerpts of Trump's court transcript

There were a number of occasions in which Donald Trump's lawyers clashed with U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan during the Monday hearing about the trial date. Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow did a dramatic reading of some of the court disagreements.

In one case, Trump lawyer John Lauro was scolded by the judge for refusing to tell her some other options for court dates prior to 2026. Over and over she asked for other dates, but Lauro refused to give any. So, she set the date for March 4, 2024.

The judge went on to say that she would not take his politics into account, just as she wouldn't take the games of an athlete into account when scheduling trial dates.

"Setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on the defendant's personal and professional obligations. Mr Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work regardless of his schedule," Chutkan said at Monday's hearing.

Chutkan also revealed in court that she has been in contact with the judge in New York about scheduling trials. It isn't unusual, but it's the first time Americans found out about it.

The schedule has already been posted online and the first motions in the case are due by Oct. 9.

Watch Rachel Maddow's reading at the link here.

Trump ally mocked reporter's purported ignorance of Georgia law — now she's been indicted

An ally of former President Donald Trump once mocked Politico legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney for his supposed ignorance of Georgia state law — but now she's facing criminal charges for her efforts in trying to overturn Trump's 2020 loss in the Peach State.

As Cheney documents on Twitter, he sent an email in November 2020 to Cathy Latham, the former Coffee County GOP chair and fake Trump elector.

In the email, Cheney asked Latham about the proposed fake electors scheme that at the time was in the early stages of being hatched by the former president's allies.

Latham responded to Cheney's email with derision.

"Bahahaha," she wrote. "You think I'm going to respond to you? You don't know GA law. Read the Constitution."

It seems, however, that Latham might have wanted to do some brushing up on Georgia law because Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Monday charged her over her alleged role in helping pro-Trump operatives breach voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia, in an effort to prove Trump lawyer Sidney Powell's baseless conspiracy theories about voting machines being rigged by late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez to steal the 2020 election from Trump.

Trump’s own press statement is used as evidence of 'solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer'

A press release from Donald Trump that he published on the social media accounts of his aides is being used to charge him with solicitation of fraud.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell sorted through the recently released indictment live on air Monday evening and found the document among the exhibits.

On Sept. 17, 2021, Trump wrote a letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, with language cited in the indictment. It was on social media by his press spokesperson.

"Dear Secretary Raffensperger," the letter read. "A large scale of voter fraud continues to be reported in Georgia."

Trump goes on to say "I would respectfully request you announce the true winner."

Willis lists that as "solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer."

Another sentence in the letter says, "As stated to you previously, the number of false and or irregular votes is far greater than needed to change the Georgia election result."

That falls under the charge of false statements and writings.

The letter is still live online from Trump's press aide.

You can read it below or at the link here.

'Voluntarily surrender by noon on Aug 25': Fani Willis demands Trump and his allies to submit for arrest

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told Donald Trump and others charged that they must submit for arrest by Friday at noon.

"Subsequent to the indictment, as is the normal process in Georgia law, the grand jury issued arrest warrants for those who are charged. I am giving the defendants the opportunity to voluntarily surrender no later than noon on Friday the 25th day of Aug., 2023," she told the press late on Monday night.

After announcing the names of those who are being indicted, she also listed off the premise of her indictment of the 19 individuals and 41 counts.

"Specifically, the participants in association took various actions in Georgia and elsewhere to block the counting of the votes of the presidential electors who were certified as the winners of Georgia's 2020 general election. As you examine the indictment, you will see acts that are identified as overacts and those are that are identified as predicate acts, sometimes called acts of racketeering activity," she explained. "Over acts are not necessarily crimes under Georgia law in isolation but are alleged to be acts taken in furtherance of the conspiracy."

She went on to say that many occurred in Georgia, while some happened in other places, but are included because they are part of the effort to overthrow the 2020 election results in Georgia.

"The acts identified as predicate acts or acts of racketeering activity are crimes that are alleged to have been committed in furtherance of the criminal enterprise," Willis explained. "Acts of racketeering activity are also charged as separate counts in the indictment against those who are alleged to have committed them. All elections in our nations are administered by the states which are given the responsibility of ensuring a fair process and an accurate counting of the votes. That includes elections for presidential electors, congress, state officials and local offices. The state's role in this process is essential to the functioning of our democracy. Georgia, like every state, has laws that will allow those who believe the results of an election are wrong, whether because of intentional wrongdoing or unintentional error, to challenge those results in our state courts. The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia's legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia's presidential election result."

Willis went on to say that she intends to try all 19 defendants together.

See her full statement and answer questions in the video below or at the link here.

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Ex-Mueller prosecutor predicts 'clash' between Trump and Georgia judge that could see ex-president jailed

Andrew Weissmann, a former senior prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller, predicts an early "clash" between Donald Trump and his judge if he's indicted in Georgia on election interference charges.

A grand jury in Fulton County is meeting on Monday and Tuesday, and indictments are expected to be handed down imminently. As reporters wait, the former president spent much of Monday ranting on his personal social media site, attacking witnesses and District Attorney Fani Willis.

This won't fly with whichever judge gets assigned the case, Weissmann suggested.

Admitting it "may sound a little out of left field," Weissmann explained that bail for Trump might be a problem.

"Now we have seen the former president get bail in Manhattan, in Florida, and in D.C.," he explained. "We have also seen the former president continue to make statements that, at least arguably, are obstruction of justice or intimidating witnesses. Why is that important? Because in Georgia, the statute that may apply here depending on what is charged is one where the presumption is one that the defendant has the burden of rebutting."

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

Simplified, it means that the defendant, Trump, must demonstrate "that he will not commit crimes and is not a risk of flight."

In Georgia, is has to be demonstrated that, "The defendant poses no risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice." Georgia's laws are different from the federal laws as well as New York's and Florida's, which is why things could be unusual this time around, Weissmann explained.

Donald Trump has consistently shown that he will attack witnesses, lawyers, investigators and judges, while also threatening "retribution," regardless of the instructions from the court. So, his lawyers will argue that he will stop, but there is considerable evidence to the contrary, even after similar warnings from judges. That could give the judge license not to grant Trump bail.

"To me, that is going to be for a judge who is going to treat Donald Trump or anyone else like any other defendant, that could be a problem," Weissmann said. "Because just today, we saw a continuation of attacks on the D.C. federal judge on Truth Social saying that Jeff Duncan, the former [Georgia] lieutenant governor, should not comply with the grand jury subpoena in Georgia. You can't tell a witness not to comply with a grand jury subpoena unless there is some legal ability to do that. But that is not what the former president did. So, it will be interesting to see how the judge deals with bail as we go forward."

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace stepped in to ask if he believes there will be a "clash as early as right away?"

"Yes, absolutely," he agreed. "Now, I know a lot of people, including myself, were thinking, how could somebody who is running for president be thrown in jail pending trial? But remember, you could run for president without intimidating witnesses. So, if you make the choice to intimidate witnesses — I know this is incredible that we're having this conversation."

See the full discussion in the video below or at the link here.

Emails and texts link Coffee County Republicans 'right into the Oval Office': Ex-impeachment lawyer

Former impeachment lawyer Norm Eisen explained that the evidence in the 2020 election case connects activities all the way to the former president.

CNN broke the news Saturday that prosecutors have access to the text messages and emails exchanged among Donald Trump's campaign legal team about the efforts to overthrow the 2020 election.

According to Eisen, "The CNN story is very important because it connects the dots. We now have evidence that goes from Coffee County, to Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, and as CNN reports, right into the Oval Office because this was discussed on Dec. 18th in one of the very notorious meetings in the Oval Office, whether it's possible to get access to these Georgia voting systems and others around the country. It matters, of course, because it is one of the most serious crimes that we have in the 21st century is unauthorized access, hacking of computer systems."

He explained that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has a three-legged indictment available to her: "The first is the famous fake electoral certificates. The second is pressure on Georgia election officials, that's the famous call, 'just find 11,780 votes,' to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. And the third is the alleged intrusion on these computer systems in Coffee County, Georgia."

Eisen went on to say that the new reporting revealed, "just how long, how strong that third leg of the stool is."

Trump has already responded to the news by alleging that election fraud happened at the hands of Atlanta voters. He claimed there was proof if the grand jury wanted it.

Eisen went on to say that the new reporting revealed, "just how long, how strong that third leg of the stool is."

Trump has already responded to the news by alleging that election fraud happened at the hands of Atlanta voters. He claimed there was proof if the grand jury wanted it.

See his full commentary in the video below or at the link here.

Emails and texts link Coffee County Republicans 'right into the Oval Office': impeachment

Mueller prosecutor predicts Trump indictment will come 'tomorrow or Thursday at the latest'

Former senior prosecutor for Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, said on Monday he believes there's "a distinct possibility" that Donald Trump's legal team has met with the Department of Justice to appeal against their client's possible indictment, and that charges involving Jack Smith's Jan. 6 investigation could be unsealed imminently.

"Seems like a distinct possibility that we will learn today that the Trump defense team has presented appeal to DOJ re the Jan. 6 charges; and then upon the rejection of that appeal, Jack Smith will seek the indictment tomorrow or Thursday at the latest in DC," Weissmann tweeted Monday afternoon.

The comment came after Trump sent a fundraising email to supporters saying, "Any day now, the Biden Department of Justice may INDICT and ARREST me once again ... There’s a very good chance that I will learn about the fate of my FREEDOM from a LEAK by the press… "

Weissmann takes Trump at his word.

For the past week, Weissmann has questioned the "target letter" that Trump said he got last week that set a deadline for grand jury testimony by Trump or his representatives to appeal any of their arguments.

"DOJ would want to set a drop-dead time by which it would proceed. Monday before Tuesday charges," said Weissmann.

See the conversation about it here.

Trump’s social media attacks on Jack Smith could 'violate' D.C. court rules: former FBI lawyer

Former President Donald Trump continued his assault on special counsel Jack Smith and other prosecutors that work for the Department of Justice Monday – and his Truth Social attacks have reached such a degree that former Robert Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann thinks that the Washington, D.C. courts will act if Trump is indicted.

"Let's remember that he is out on bail in not one, but two criminal cases," Weissmann said about Trump. "One in Manhattan. One before Aileen Cannon, as you noted. And it's also important to note that if he's indicted in D.C., D.C. has, as part of its standing order, free press, fair trial rules that limit what a defendant can say that could taint a jury."

Like in other trials, Trump has doled out accusations and encouraged supporters who issue their own attacks and threats. In his posts over Sunday night and into Monday, Trump threatened Smith and the DOJ, calling it "very dangerous" to send him to jail.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen encouraged those on Trump's "list" to take his threats seriously.

Trump declared he was running for president mere days after the 2022 midterm elections. He now says that any indictment against him is "election interference," proclaiming himself as the victim.

The attacks come after Trump went after Smith's wife, who produced a 2020 documentary on former first lady Michelle Obama.

Smith isn't his only target, either. New York Attorney General Letitia James and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis have also been targets of Trump. James revealed she's dealt with death threats as a result of Trump's attacks.

"And, so, the question is whether the two judges that he's in front of right now take action — and they could, but I suspect they won't, unless the government raises it," Weissmann explained. "In D.C., where I think it is anticipated he will be charged, there are standing rules that apply to every single defendant. And so, this kind of conduct, and these statements, would violate those rules. So, I suspect in that upcoming case, he will be given strong admonitions by the court as to what he can and cannot say."

As for the possible indictment, Weissmann isn't sure when it will drop but he's convinced it will happen.

"I think there's no question, given the announcement of the target letter, that we're going to see charges," he told MSNBC. "The big question is to when. I'm still waiting to hear that defense counsel's gone into the Department of Justice to make their last-ditch effort to forestall what I think is the inevitable. It's fairly typical that they're given that opportunity and that they take it."

See his conversation with MSNBC in the video below or at the link here.

Donald Trump Jr. whines he hasn’t been on Fox in 10 months

Donald Trump Jr. cried to "Flashpoint" host Gene Bailey that he hasn't been on television recently and he seems upset about it.

Bailey asked if the media would ever change to cover things in a pro-right way; he called it "accurately." The younger Trump agreed it was a "pipe dream."

"I just think those, you know, those people, you know, both on the conservative side as well as the leftist side — I mean I haven't been on Fox News in, uh, almost 10 months," he said. “You know, before my father officially entered the race, I was polling at second or third for the Republican nomination in 24.”

“But apparently, I don’t have a pulse on what’s going on anymore because, you know, they're in the can for someone else," he continued. "They wanted someone else to win, that's what that looks like. Its going to be a pipe dream as well, so I imagine they'll come back around."

In the past, Don Jr. has considered running for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming and he's spent a lot of time getting more involved in Montana politics.

See the comments in the video below or at the link here.

Trump Jr haz a

Fan of Ron DeSantis accused of posting video containing Nazi imagery

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ron DeSantis' campaign had posted a video involving Nazi imagery, and later deleted it. The video was actually posted by the account of a fan of DeSantis who later removed it.

A Ron DeSantis campaign member was accused of retweeting a video that flashed a number of concerning images. Just a few weeks ago, another video surfaced using photos of shirtless men previously mocked by Secretary Pete Buttigieg. In the latest video, however, a Nazi symbol flashes on the screen with a row of marching soldiers on either side of it and Gov. Ron DeSantis' face fading in.

Podcast host Luke Thompson of "Constitutionally Speaking" spotted the symbol that was shared by an account called Ron DeSantis Fan Cams which has 654 followers.

He explained it contains a sonnenrad. The symbol is an ancient European symbol used by Nazis while idealizing "Aryan/Norse" cultures, explained the Anti-Defamation League.

"In Nazi Germany, the Nazi Party, the SA and the SS all used sonnenrad symbology at times, which has led neo-Nazis and other modern white supremacists to adopt such images," the group explained.

In the fan account's version, the outer part of the circle says "Make America Florida," which has been DeSantis' campaign slogan.

While the video was deleted, Thompson reposted it.

DeSantis has had troubles with Nazis over the past few years that he's been in office. In 2023, he hired a speechwriter with ties to neo-Nazis. After DeSantis waged war with Disney, neo-Nazis began protesting outside the park south of Orlando. The move came after a number of neo-Nazi groups started popping up around the state.

At least one columnist has warned that no one should ever expect DeSantis to denounce neo-Nazis or white supremacists.

Ironically, one neo-Nazi told a reporter that groups use "woke grievances" to recruit angry white men to their cause.

Sunday morning, The New York Times revealed that the first video of the shirtless men was created by a staffer on the team, not a professional campaign ad company.

See the screen capture of the ad and the video below or at the link here.

James Comer suggests GOP is targeting Biden as retaliation for Trump impeachments

WASHINGTON — Rep. James Comer (R-KY) has been leading the way on the House Oversight Committee that's investigating Hunter Biden – and promising to hold two impeachment votes on cabinet appointees of Biden's before the Aug. recess, he told reporters Thursday.

"We've got a lot of members that want to impeach," Comer told Raw Story. "And we've got some members that would probably not go that route for the simple reason that they don't think that the Senate is going to do anything. And, you know, it gobbles up valuable floor time.

"But, look, [Speaker Kevin] McCarthy is gonna make that call. I think you see in recent days he's taken steps to move forward with impeachment on both [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas and [Attorney General] Merrick Garland. I think they're waiting to see what more evidence we come up with in the Oversight Committee for Biden."

Raw Story went on to ask Comer if Washington is now going to be nothing but non-stop impeachments against an opposing party.

"Well, you know, if it is, it's because the Democrats impeached Donald Trump twice," complained Comer, indicating that the impeachments are about retaliation.

"And I blame this impeachment craze on the Democrats and a lot of voters feel like, well they impeached Trump twice and we should impeach Biden. And again, that's irresponsibility on the Democrats' side. I think that Biden's committed a lot more suspicious activity than Donald Trump ever did. So, we're in this situation talking about impeachment because the Democrats used their impeachment power."

A nationwide survey of registered voters conducted in March by Public Policy Polling asked, “Generally speaking, would you rather Congress spend time investigating the Biden administration, or would you rather Congress focus on issues like rising costs and health care?”

The results revealed 63 percent favored a focus on health care, inflation, and similar policies. Just 29 percent preferred Biden administration investigations.

Marjorie Taylor Greene: 'I’ve looked into' if UFOs and aliens are really angels

WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee will move on from its attacks on Hunter Biden to address UFOs next week.

According to the GOP's schedule, Oversight Chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY) will hold a hearing Wednesday on UFOs after intelligence agencies submitted a new report of incidents over the past year.

Republican lawmakers had promised a study of "unidentified aerial phenomena" after a former intelligence official made claims that the U.S. military may have found a crashed alien spacecraft, ABC News reported.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) has become the Republican's leader in Congress on UFOs, but he swears there will be "professionals" before the committee to answer questions.

Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who sits on the Oversight Committee, appeared to reject the idea of aliens from space.

"I'm a Christian," she explained, "and I believe the Bible. I think that, to me, honestly, I've looked into it, and I think we have to question if it's more of the spiritual. Angels or fallen angels."

In the past, the Pentagon has said that many of the UAPs have been explainable, like space debris falling into the atmosphere, weather balloons and drones.

'Get a good bag of popcorn and enjoy the show': Lawmakers react to news of possible Trump indictment

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he received a target letter from the Justice Department relating to the 2020 election overthrow attempt and Jan. 6 violence. Republicans responded online with profanity and hyperbole.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed that the only reason that Trump has been given a target letter is that his poll numbers went up against President Joe Biden.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Raw Story the same thing, claiming that the move against Trump is purely political.

"DOJ just keeps it up, I mean, for who knows how long, the whole, the whole double standard and why it's ridiculous what they're doing. It's wrong, and it's why, like, what, four in five Americans think there's a two-tiered system of justice. They see it," said Jordan.

In the case of Trump, a federal grand jury would vote to decide whether to indict or not. It isn't a decision by the Justice Department.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) told Raw Story that Trump "should be" a target of the investigation. When asked about the excuse that the DOJ is only targeting him because his poll numbers went up, Cohen called it "typical Trump."

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) took it a bit further, calling it "full of crap."

Top Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) agreed that the idea that a grand jury is making its decisions based on poll numbers is "baloney."

"They're going after him because he's done bad things," Hoyer continued. "I mean, you know, it's as simple as that. You know, he does things — he's so arrogant and so convinced of his own 'I can shoot people on Fifth Avenue and people would not care,' that he does things with impunity. And that's not the country we are. You know, we hold accountable wrongdoing. Now, he has a right to argue his case, obviously. But that's why he acts outrageously and is surprised people respond."

Far-right House Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry (R-PA) called the target letter "all the same stuff."

"The federal government, DOJ, justice system, so-called, being used as a political weapon," he continued. "Now, I'm not going to characterize every single person at DOJ, but obviously the leadership, the people making decisions on the kind of cases."

Perry thinks that Trump's poll numbers continue to go up despite indictments because "the American people recognize these occurrences for what they are. Look, you're juxtaposing the person that's in the White House and his family right now with the person that just left the White House in real-time. One guy is getting a walk on everything, and the other side is being mercilessly persecuted for every single thing under the sun. Even things that oftentimes in the past were proven they were made up."

It's unclear what his reference was to things that were "made up."

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) called this kind of thinking absurd. "We all saw it!" he said.

"It's been obvious for a long time he was behind the insurrection," he continued. "And the phone call to [Georgia Secretary of State] Brad Raffensperger, and everything else he did. I'm not at all surprised. I'm surprised it took so long."

When asked about the Republican claims that it's political or that Trump was being treated unfairly, Nadler explained, "The Republican Party, the people in the House, some people supported the insurrection."

Two of Trump's former colleagues also spoke to Raw Story: Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), who was chased out of office after allegations of his misuse of federal funds, and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the president's former person physician who was accused of handing out pills without proper examination.

Zinke said he's "not surprised" by the charges, claiming that "high hurdles" are being set up for Trump. He thinks that the reason Trump's poll numbers are increasing among Republicans is that there is "pushback" as a result of DOJ "overreach."

"Look, he's being hit by so many different sides — at some point it just becomes theater," Zinke continued. "I'd say to my friends, get a good bag of popcorn and enjoy the show."

Jackson, by contrast, acted as if he hadn't even heard the news about the letter. A strident supporter of Trump's, he told Raw Story, "honestly I haven't heard his latest."

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) agreed, somewhat, saying that he's been targeted by "so many different people for so many different things. Think it'll help him raise money this week?"

Beyer noted that the news came from Trump himself and that he often tries to get out ahead of things. "There's clearly a bright line between what prosecutors in the Department of Justice — the wheels of justice are about and what the political engineers would think."

He confessed he's not sure how Democrats deal with it because they're not supposed to be involved in the Justice Department's activities, despite allegations from Jordan that they already are.

"On the one hand, there are so many Democrats who would rather have Trump as the nominee because he is so damaged and we know his core base is very, very loyal, but that's 20 percent or 24 percent. He's chased off so many Independents, so Biden could beat Donald Trump. On the other hand, if he wins, it would be terrible. So, on the off chance a Republican wins, you'd rather have somebody who's sensible."

Former DOJ espionage lawyer explains what Trump’s lawyers will exploit to try and stop or delay his trial

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, the former Robert Mueller assistant and former national security official at the Department of Justice predicted that Donald Trump and his lawyers would do whatever they can to exploit every possible window of attack against special counsel Jack Smith and his case.

The conversation with Brandon Van Grack began by discussing part of the predictions for how Trump's first hearing will go. A protective order is being sought to help ensure the classified documents don't end up plastered on the front pages of tabloids. It means that Trump's lawyers must sign off on the protective order for the documents.

"I think it's important to underscore this, which is, this is a standard protective order," he explained. "In fact, I'd invite your listeners to compare this to the protective order that was in the case involving the national guardsman in Massachusetts that posted a bunch of classified information. Some of these passages are identical. In fact, the real only difference that I can see is that this protective order shows that some of the classified information, in this case, is also subject to the Atomic Energy Act, which is it's nuclear-related information. But otherwise, this is precisely the protective order that individuals have to sign to access classified information."

He predicted two things would unfold in the hearing Tuesday: first, the documents issue, and according to a new order from Judge Aileen Cannon, they'll be discussing the scheduling of the trial. Trump filed a motion to delay the trial indefinitely, the DOJ has opposed that request.

"What I think we're going to see the Department of Justice do is show we've provided now almost all the unclassified discovery in this case," Van Grack continued. "In fact, we also gave them a guide on how to review that information and what's most important. And they're going to say that we actually are ready to produce almost all of the classified documents. In fact, they're probably going to say tomorrow, it's sitting in the courthouse. All you have to do is sign this memorandum of understanding, and you have this classified information."

He thinks this will be the DOJ's trump card for encouraging the trial to move forward quickly because they have everything ready, and they'll likely say that there is no reason for delay because it's prepared.

As for Trump's lawyers, Van Grack thinks Trump's team will have to figure out how to call for more delays.

"What the government said is, we can't provide classified information until this protective order is signed, and the defendant's counsel said we object, but they didn't tell us what their objections were," he explained. "And they wouldn't talk to us over the weekend. And so we're filing this without any understanding of what their objections are."

So, they're asking for a delay without any real legal argument as to why.

"I suspect one of the reasons for the delay is a point you just raised, which is one of the things that this protective order has," he went on. "And again, this is a standard protective order, is the defense counsel cannot automatically share classified information with the defendants. And that is standard. That's not to say that most declassified information can't be shared. But there will be some classified information the government is saying which will not be shared with the defendants, and that provision alone is likely something that defendants object to."

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked what to expect, and Van Grack said that the first thing will be the debate over the protective order and then a discussion about the scheduling issue.

"I want to see whether Judge Cannon is actually going to take these hearings and these filings on herself, which will expedite the process, versus sending them to a magistrate judge, which can then be appealed to Judge Cannon, which would be a source for delay," he warned. "S, I think that's another piece. And finally, I'm going to be curious to see how the Department of Justice articulates that limitation that you referenced in terms of the defendants not being able to necessarily access all the classified information" under that protective order.

See the full conversation with Van Grack in the video below or at the link here.

State attorney explains how Judge Cannon could risk removal from Trump case in upcoming hearing

Dave Aronberg, Florida state attorney for Palm Beach County, explained to CNN's Jim Acosta that Donald Trump is taking a considerable risk with his latest move to try and delay his trial until after the 2024 election. Special counsel Jack Smith hasn't been amenable to the request thus far.

Trump is set to appear in court this week with his co-defendant, valet Walt Nauta. Aronberg explained that it should be nothing more than a normal hearing, but the former president isn't known for doing things the normal way.

"Where it gets really interesting is Trump has requested that this trial be postponed until after the election," said Aronber. "He wants an indefinite postponement, which really proves right all the critics who said the reason why he's running is to avoid having his case tried because he thought that running for office would dissuade Merrick Garland from prosecuting him. Well, he was half right. Jack Smith is now a pit bull, so he should have been careful what he asked for. But now he's saying the quiet part out loud. He's saying, don't even try me until after the election, when he thinks he'll be president and then can order his Department of Justice to get rid of the whole thing."

There has been an ongoing assumption that Trump will go through a number of delay tactics if he isn't granted his infinite delay. But Aronberg thinks that how Judge Aileen Cannon acts in this one issue could result in a huge reaction.

"I think it's hard to try this case before the 2024 election," he confessed. "You've got classified documents. You've got this federal act called CIPA. And you have a co-defendant who's already delaying things because he couldn't find a lawyer. You see where this is headed. The difference here, Jim, is that Donald Trump is just saying, give me the whole enchilada. Just postpone it indefinitely, whereas I think Judge Cannon is more likely to give him bits and pieces, delay here, delay there, and then you turn around, and it's already past the election. Essentially it's death by a thousand paper cuts. But Trump may be overplaying his hand by asking Judge Cannon to go ahead and delay this thing indefinitely. I don't think he'll get that. If Judge Cannon grants that, I think she'll be reversed by the 11th Circuit [Court of Appeals] and possibly even taken off the case."

See the full conversation below or at the link here.

State attorney explains how Judge Cannon could risk being taken off Trump case in upcoming

Impeachment lawyer details list of people who will be indicted along with Trump for 2020 election fraud

Former Donald Trump impeachment lawyer and Ethics Czar Norm Eisen gave a list of the top co-defendants that he thinks will also be indicted along with the former president when it comes to Jan. 6 and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.

Speaking to former FBI deputy director Andy McCabe and legal analyst Allison Gill, Eisen brought up his model prosecution memo posted to Just Security last week.

Eisen explained that most are not very long, but Eisen drafted one that is about 250 pages to try and explain every possible option.

"I needed to provide a prosecution memo or pros memo that explains the reasons that the charges meet the charging standards the DOJ has," said Eisen. Such prosecution memos are about "the ability to obtain a conviction at trial and then to sustain that conviction on appeal. You identify the defendants, you identify the charges; sometimes you'll say a word about the defenses and why they won't be successful. They're not voluminous documents. I know we'll talk about my inspiration for this 250-page memo. It's the only 250-page memo in history. The actual ones are short."

McCabe explained that such memos are sometimes mysterious, but in this case, Eisen is trying to "sift through everything" to give all possible options.

Among the people, Eisen names as possible co-defendants are Donald Trump, John Eastman and Ken Chesebro. Two ancillary people would be Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows. There is a concern that Giuliani might already be cooperating with the special counsel under a proffer agreement, which can be a kind of precursor to a cooperation agreement, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) explained on MSNBC.

Taking to Twitter after the podcast dropped, Eisen explained that among those top three, he absolutely sees Eastman among those that will be indicted in conjunction with the federal charges.

Gill said that she was struck by the three parts that Eisen broke it down into: The conspiracy to defraud the U.S. with the fraudulent electors, conspiracy to obstruct the official proceeding by pressuring Mike Pence and inciting the insurrection. She noted that there were so many other facets, including fundraising, rally donations, threats to officials, help from members of Congress and others items. But at its heart, Eisen explained that these are the three pieces that it will lead back to.

A big piece of this, he continued, is that the House Select Committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election crafted a final report that he said would go down in history.

So, in crafting his own mock indictment, he followed a kind of legal Occam's Razor, with the most straightforward path being the sensible one that can be won.

"Trump tried everything in the world, and it all failed," Eisen continued. "But when that ended — from running for election to the failure of the [Brad] Raffensperger call in early January — when that ended, he was left holding these counterfeit certificates and 48-hour pressure campaign on Pence to use those phony certificates, it's like counterfeit money."

With those three acts, the fake certificates, pressuring Pence, and the insurrection, there are three statutes that can easily lead to the full indictment for the 2020 election crimes.

Listen to his full explainer in the "Jack" podcast by McCabe and Gill here.

Saudi farming company can’t use their country’s water for crops — so they’re taking it from Arizona

A Washington Post exposé revealed that Saudi Arabia is aware that their options for growing crops in the desert are limited. It takes a hefty amount of water to grow alfalfa and it appears the country doesn't want to waste their water doing it. So, they're using water from Arizona.

Arizona is among the states currently suffering from an extended heat disaster. During the so-called "monsoon season," Arizona is able to collect water that can help for times like these. Unfortunately, this heat front has lasted longer than normal, resulting in what the Postcalled a "megadrought."

But while Arizonans are baking "green fields of alfalfa stretch across thousands of acres of the desert land, shimmering in the burning sunlight." The Saudi-owned company sucks wells dry from deep underground, grows their crops, and ships them back.

A memo given to the Post revealed state planners wondered if they should use a meter to capture "accurate information" on the water drained from the valley. But former Gov. Doug Ducey (R) stopped it, saying he wanted to be “cautious of tangling with a powerful company.”

"The proposal also ran headlong into a view, deeply held in the rural West, that water is private property that comes with access to land, rather than a public resource," the Post explained. In a world where water is expected to become a scarce resource, some states are simply giving it away. In Saudi Arabia, the Post explained, their water usage is heavily regulated.

"The inaction was an early sign of how state officials gave leeway to Fondomonte as a global fight for water took root in the Arizona desert," said the report. "Leaving water unprotected amid a drought worsened by climate change has been a boon to Saudi Arabia, where industrial-scale farming of forage crops such as alfalfa is banned to conserve the Persian Gulf nation’s limited water supply."

The Post investigation found that with lobbying efforts using a former influential GOP member of Congress, and lax regulations on the environment, Arizona has become the perfect place for the Saudi-owned corporation to tap the water resources of the desert state.

Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) doled out some tough love, demanding details about the company's water usage. When they refused, she threatened to pull their lease. They finally revealed that they use about as much water as a city of 50,000 people.

Meanwhile, despite the lack of water, California's central valley continues to be one of the largest in the country, growing more than half of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown in the country, said research from NASA and the USDA.

Read more about the expose at the Washington Post.

Marjorie Taylor Greene ridiculed after her attacks on Biden seem more like compliments

The speech by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) at the Talking Points Action conference left some progressives scratching their heads after her attacks on President Joe Biden appeared to be more like compliments.

Ranting at the far-right crowd, Greene attacked programs like Social Security, Medicare, and other infamous programs started by the late Democratic presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

She began by warning Joe Biden is trying to "finish what FDR started" by trying to address problems related to "education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and welfare."

It was revealed this week that "Bidenomics," the new attack phrase from the GOP, has done more to help red states with higher incomes than blue states, The New Republic cited.

"How will Dark Brandon ever recover from this?" mocked "Did Nothing Wrong" podcaster Jay McKenzie.

Issuing a "'warning' that Joe Biden is going to create things like Medicare and Medicaid — both wildly popular programs — seems like an odd way to attack him, but have at it," said historian Kevin M. Kruse said, citing Kaiser Family Foundation data showing the popularity of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) knocked her too for saying Democrats and Biden want to "finish what FDR started."

"Yes," he agreed. "Guilty as charged."

"Did not have “Marjorie Taylor Greene doing campaign ads for Biden” on my election bingo card but here we are," influencer Shauna W. mocked.

See the video below or at the link here.

Bombshell testimony links Jared Kushner to stop-the-steal fundraising cash: legal analyst

Donald Trump's top strategist and son-in law Jared Kushner told prosecutors that he believed the former president genuinely thought the 2020 was stolen, theNew York Times reported Thursday.

The report says that investigators from Special Counsel Jack Smith's office were trying to determine if Trump knew that he had lost before he began his allegations that the election had been stolen – "essentially that his efforts were knowingly based on a lie."

Other experts said the testimony suggested a direct link between Kushner and attempts to use election lies to fundraise.

"(Trump campaign ad maker Larry] Weitzner also revealed that the one time he spoke to Trump about post-election ads, it was because Trump and Jared called him together on speakerphone to convey "what they felt was wrong about the election process that might be considered for some ads," said MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin.

She added: "Jared Kushner's testimony before a federal grand jury is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it suggests the fundraising prong of the 1/6 investigation is very much live."

It prompted experts to remember similar testimony Kushner gave to the Jan. 6 Commission

Former lead investigator to the Jan. 6 committee, Timothy Heaphy, told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace on Thursday as the news broke that, as facts developed around the 2020 election, Trump's rhetoric grew "increasingly inconsistent with the facts." That leads to the mindful criminality, he explained.

"It's fraudulent, to bilk people out of their money because it's an effective fund-raising scheme," Heaphy said. "All of it is important. There's a disconnect between the rhetoric and the facts."

Kushner, Heaphy argued, is fair game for investigators, despite being Trump's son-in-law, because Trump involved him in the White House.

"He's part of the president's family," Heaphy continued. He "was involved in discussions soon after the election in which the president was told directly that he lost. He was present for this meeting where the pollster, the data guy from the campaign, actually presented the numbers and went through the sort of explanation of the decreased margins in the suburban areas, and he was already starting to move to Florida."

During that Jan. 6 Committee testimony, he said he was out of town during the Jan. 6 attacks. He explained he was overseas to deal with his Abraham Accords project. He landed on the evening of Jan. 6 and the following day held a dinner party at his home.

It implied that he had very little to do with the Jan. 6 efforts, but according to experts talking about the report on MSNBC Thursday evening, Kushner had a lot to do with the financial aspect of the rally on the Ellipse that day.

Rubin recalled on Twitter that, besides Jason Miller, Trump and Kushner, "no one was more involved in post-election fundraising and related messaging than Jared."

The information came from advertising consultant Larry Weitzner, who spoke to the Jan. 6 committee, "The small circle working on post-election ads included Miller, Newt Gingrich, Trump's pollster and Jared."

Weitzner, she recalled, "also revealed that the one time he spoke to Trump about post-election ads, it was because Trump and Jared called him together on speakerphone to convey 'what they felt was wrong about the election process that might be considered for some ads.'"

He went on to recall to the committee that Kushner was the one pressing for the call and that Trump was the one they called the election "stolen" in a "very aggressive" term. Weitzner called it an example of "fire breathing" when emailing others.

Weitzner testified that in his emails with Miller editing three post-election ads, Gingrich was talking to both Trump and Kushner about the content. He was characterized as having a "critical role."

"He was directly involved in the campaign fundraising that then became the stop the steal fundraising," Heaphy said. "He was directly personally briefed almost daily about the cash machine, veritable, hand-over-fist money-making machine it was, the Stop the Steal.

"The Trump campaign pivoted to a fundraising operation, and Jared Kushner was right in the center of the strategy of mining the false narrative for repeated cash contributions of up to $250 million after the election. So, to the extent Jack Smith is looking into campaign fund-raising based on these false statements of election fraud, Jared Kushner would have information about that as well."

See Heaphy's comments in the video below or at the link here.

House Republican: Trump’s impeachment unfair because BLM 'actually hurt people' and J6 riots did nothing

WASHINGTON — Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) doesn't understand why former President Donald Trump was impeached for the Jan. 6 attacks and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election. Speaking to Raw Story on Wednesday, she implied that no one got hurt as a result of Jan. 6 or due to Trump's actions.

"Um, so, I think based on what happened with the [John] Durham report and the information that we're finding out now — as you know, I led out the censure effort against [Rep.] Adam Schiff (D-CA) — you know, when you have a sitting president that — now that the facts have come out, was very much so politically targeted, and then had this egregious campaign run against him for years, I think it's important for history to reflect that it was not accurate."

Luna did not clarify what in the impeachment was not accurate.

When asked about the findings from the House Select Committee that investigated Jan. 6 and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election, Luna argued that what is happening to Jan. 6 attackers is a grave injustice.

"Look at how the people were treated, how they are still being treated — as a result of that committee — was wrong," said Luna. "You know, they don't have the same standards of justice, for example, with people from BLM [Black Lives Matter] that actually hurt people. Obviously, I don't condone violence, but you know there was definitely a double standard, and I think a lot of people are realizing that."

The House Select Committee didn't prosecute any Jan. 6 attackers. Only those connected with the militia groups were mentioned, but the individuals weren't the focus of the committee's work. The Justice Department is trying the Jan. 6 defendants, and the process began during Donald Trump's administration.

The Jan. 6 attackers also were observed physically harming police officers on the day. In total, more than 140 officers were injured in some way on Jan. 6, and it doesn't include PTSD that has surfaced after the fact.

“I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained head injuries," said Gus Papathanasiou, the police union chairman in a statement. “One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake, to name some of the injuries."

There were burns, a heart attack, traumatic brain injuries, and other injuries from the attackers.

Michael Fanone was among those who have since left the force but spoke out about the violence experienced. While he was roughed up, the worst came when an attacker grabbed his taser and tased him in the neck until he was unconscious.

Black Lives Matter protesters were hurt by police during the summer and the New York Post claimed that the Department of Justice cited 700 law enforcement that were harmed. The problem with the figure being that the DOJ told PolitiFact that they didn't have actual numbers on law enforcement injuries during the 2020 summer.

The New York Times reported July 3, 2021, four polls that "suggest that about 15 million to 26 million people in the United States have participated in demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and others" in the weeks following Floyd's murder. Thousands were arrested.

A June 22, 2020, report from The Washington Post counted over 14,000 arrests made in one month, since the May 26 murder. The Hill counted over 17,000 arrests just in the first two weeks of protesting.

Jan. 6 attackers numbered in the tens of thousands but fewer than 2,000 have been arrested and tried.

According to a statement from the Secret Service, "There are approximately fifty nine (59) groups identified as potentially participating in First Amendment activities on January 6, 2021 at or around the White House Complex (WHC) ... Expected attendance is around 20,000 participants."

According to "classified numbers still not released by the Secret Service and the FBI but seen by Newsweek," there were approximately 120,000 people on the Mall on Jan. 6.

Republican compares Trump impeachment to extermination of Native Americans

WASHINGTON — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) compared Donald Trump's two impeachments to some of the greatest atrocities in American history Wednesday.

Speaking to Raw Story at the U.S. Capitol, Issa said that the impeachments were "wrong" and they should be made right – in the same way that the nation should have apologized for the extermination of Native Americans and the interment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Talking about the push to erase the impeachment, spearheaded by Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, he went on to falsely claim, "There is a track record of expunging impeachment, so it wouldn't be inconsistent."

Only three presidents in history were impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. None of them were convicted, but none of the impeachments have been expunged. Issa didn't give examples.

Greene told Raw Story that she's pushing forward with the attempt to expunge an impeachment involving a call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump attempted to solicit a bribe. Meanwhile, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is seeking to expunge Donald Trump's impeachment for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the alleged attempts to overthrow the 2020 election. The latter issue may ultimately result in further indictment by the Justice Department.

Issa said, "Why should we apologize for imprisoning the Japanese during World War II? Because it was wrong and we want to make sure it's said. Why do we deal with what we did to Native Americans? Because it was wrong. Why are we looking at Medal of Honor candidates from decades ago? Because they were overlooked."

"It's never too late to right a wrong."

While there aren't exact figures, it is estimated that "European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America."

During the Japanese internment, 125,284 people were registered to be imprisoned because they were considered a threat to the security of the U.S. Of them 1,862 people died due to medical issues.

In a conversation with Newsweek, Georgetown University Professor Joshua Chafetz explained, "an impeachment cannot be expunged because it has effect outside of the House."

The House passes the impeachment, and the trial is in the Senate. While the House might vote to expunge the impeachment vote, it wouldn't remove the impeachment trial in the Senate unless there were 60 votes supporting it.

Even George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley, known for aiding the Republicans during the impeachment, told Reuters, "It is not like a constitutional DUI. Once you are impeached, you are impeached."

When asked about the expungement, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told Raw Story there are important challenges that the country is facing, and implied rewriting Trump's record isn't one of them.

"Focusing on things that make no difference — suggesting that Logan Roy had a point, 'These are not smart people,'" Romney said, quoting the fictional character from "Succession," based on News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch.

"It's a classic Trump move," he continued. "There's nothing unusual about it. You ain't seen nothin' yet. There's no bottom to this pond."

'I don’t care': Marjorie Taylor Greene waves off Freedom Caucus

WASHINGTON — House Freedom Caucus drama broke out on Tuesday evening as Republicans were cagey about whether or not there was a full caucus vote to expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from their ranks.

On Wednesday, Greene told Raw Story she couldn't possibly care less about the Freedom Caucus.

When asked about whether she had heard about anything involving her status from Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Greene said she hadn't spoken with him.

"I'm mostly focused on what I'm doing and serving my district," she said. "Not interested in any drama just interested in working on the NDAA."

The NDAA is the defense-funding bill from which Greene wants to remove Ukraine. She called the Ukraine funding a "red line" for her, and she thinks that they could simply remove Ukraine from the bill to appease her.

Her other top issue for defense funding is to "put the Hyde Amendment in there." The Hyde Amendment is already a law and doesn't need to be added to any other bills. It prevents the government from paying for abortions for employees. Currently, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is holding up military promotions over the idea that women who need to travel to other states for an abortion can be compensated for the travel. She also wants to remove funding for transgender medical services.

When asked if she would consider running for caucus chair, she said it wasn't something she was interested in pursuing.

She was then asked if she'd attend the next caucus meeting. Greene said she's only in Congress for "my district."

Reporters brought up the dichotomy of the Freedom Caucus, saying that you can't support leadership and be in the caucus at the same time.

"I'll say this, is Freedom Caucus' purpose to be anti-leadership, or is it to promote conservative policies and protect the Constitution?" she asked, pointing to her record.

When asked if she was waiting for the caucus to approach her or if she was going to contact Perry, she simply said: "I don't care. I don't care. I don't think I can say that loud enough."

She went on to point out her devotion to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

"I'm very grateful for his support, and I support him," she said of McCarthy. "I think he's doing a great job. He's very conservative and he's in a tough job; I don't think people recognize that enough."

She also celebrated him as the highest fundraiser of any Republican speaker in he past. The comments come amid McCarthy headlining an event for Greene on the Hill.

'It’s none of your business!': Freedom Caucus member loses cool when asked about MTG’s ouster

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the U.S. House got a slow start this week, not holding their first vote until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday after being gone over the Independence Day holiday week.

But behind the scenes were more spats over Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and what really happened in the House Freedom Caucus. Greene herself says she still hasn't been officially told she's been booted, despite caucus members reportedly making the decision last month.

And it's not known who, if anybody, voted against the member’s removal.

"Ask her," Ralph Norman (R-SC) told reporters asking about it outside the Capitol. He was judgmental when it came to questions about what happened with Greene. Raw Story asked what the Freedom Caucus meant to him, and he rattled off a few issues, so Raw Story asked if transparency was no longer a part of that.

"Yes, it's part of it," Norman said.

"Is it?" asked another reporter. "Is it in the Freedom Caucus Bylaws that you can throw a member of the Freedom Caucus out?"

"Any organization's got a mechanism for dis-relocating somebody," said Norman.

As of Tuesday morning, Greene still hasn't been told formally by the caucus that she'd been booted.

Caucus chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), when asked about Greene, he said he doesn't discuss Freedom Caucus "personnel decisions." As a fact-check, a caucus member isn't an employee or member of personnel.

Perry was asked about Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who was the member who first shared that she'd be expelled.

"I like Andy Harris. I think he's a good guy," said Perry.

The rules for the Freedom Caucus state that for a member to be expelled, there must be a vote. Not having such a vote would break the rules. But it doesn't say that the results of that vote need to be public.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) refused to give any more details, saying "No comment!" before losing his temper.

"Why is the chair unable to confirm whether she was voted out," another reporter asked.

"Because it's his business!" yelled Harris. "It's none of your business! It's our business! It's none of your business!"

The sudden outburst drew chuckles from those standing near him.

"I'm sorry, all that's going on in the world, you guys are worried about — that's why nobody likes the press anymore!" Harris continued ranting.

"We've got a war going on!" Harris shouted. "And you're worried about this? Come on. Come on. No comment. Come on, guys."

Harris then rushed away.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said that a person has "to work really hard to get kicked out of the Freedom Caucus. It's like getting kicked out of the bar in Star Wars, right? Like, you really have to really, really try hard. They're the fringe of the fringe. For them to throw her out, I don't know what that says about them or her."

When asked about the refusal to be transparent about what happened, Swalwell said that they should be as forthcoming with the public as they would want others to be with them.

21 far-right Republicans demand Kevin McCarthy shutdown the government in budget negotiations

In a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), 21 members of his own GOP caucus listed their demands to support any appropriations bill.

According to the letter, “We plan to vote against any appropriations bills" that don't remove the debt ceiling "deal" that the House and the President agreed to earlier this year.

They also want no floor consideration of any appropriations bills until the 12 bills before the Appropriations Committee have been passed out to be voted on by the full House.

The Republicans are also rejecting any supplemental funding for Ukraine.

Finally, they say, "Through continued conversations, we will consider options in good faith that address the spending crisis in concert with other urgent policy changes — beyond simple one year riders that likely won't make it past the Senate and the President's desk. For example, enactments of H.R. 2 to secure the border, capping or cutting the harmful impacts of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, and/or forcing the President to follow current laws and restricting its ability to abuse executive power to advance his radical agenda."

The demands aren't likely to go anywhere as it would mean another government shutdown by eliminating the debt ceiling deal.

The 21 members that signed on to the letter are: Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) Chip Roy (R-TX), Bob Good (R-VA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Mary Miller (R-IL) Barry Moore (R-AL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Ogles (R-TN), Bill Posey (R-FL), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Keith Self (R-TX)

Read the full letter below or at this link.

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Revealed: Mueller prosecutor suspects Trump’s FBI targeted his security clearance during Russia probe

Amid conversations about Donald Trump's weaponization of the Justice Department while he was in office, a former senior prosecutor on Robert Mueller's team, Andrew Weissmann, revealed that he believe he was targeted.

Last week, former chief of staff Gen. John Kelly told an allied ex-Trump staffer that the then-president wanted to use the IRS to target the two FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, that were on Mueller's team.

They were ultimately removed and now are suing the government.

While he made clear that he doesn't compare his experience to the severity and seriousness of what former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page experienced, Weissmann described something he said he found suspicious at the time

"Let me actually ask you a two-part question because I know you shared with our producers that Trump's efforts to weaponize the federal government against anyone that was investigating Russia reached you," MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said to Weissmann Monday.

Weissmann explained that reading the recent reporting about Trump using the power of the FBI and Justice Department against his perceived foes made him remember his experience and the questions he had.

"There are sort of two ways in which there are improper uses of the Justice Department," he began. "There is the one that you talked about, which is this idea of siccing the IRS on political enemies, which is also a criminal offense, if can be proved. The other thing that is — that was in the notes that John Kelly had was this idea of pulling security clearances. This is something that got a lot of attention in the middle of 2018. John Brennan was the victim of that. There was discussion of many other people, including Lisa Page and Pete Strzok and many others."

He explained it struck close to home because it happened to him.

"While I was serving on Director Mueller's team, and it was in the middle of August, the exact time that the news was breaking, I was subjected to a really unusual re-up of my clearance," Weissmann continued. "The way clearances work is they last for five years. At the end of five years, usually, six or seven, when the FBI gets around to it, there's a re-up of your security clearance. Well, in the middle of the Mueller investigation, only two to three years into my clearance — and it's way before it was up — I was subjected to a re-examination by the FBI, which I remember at the time being incredibly suspicious."

When he saw the report about Kelly's notes and the way Trump wanted to target people, it "seemed pretty clear how to connect those dots in terms of why I was subjected to that," he said.

Republicans in Congress claim that it was President Joe Biden that has weaponized the government against his so-called foes. As more information becomes available, questions are being raised about Trump's congressional allies distracting from actual weaponization in the administration before.

See the full comments from Weissmann in the video below or at the link here.

'Brutal': Rudy Giuliani mocked after blistering takedown from the D.C. Bar Association

Slate's Jeremy Stahl wrote Monday that the Washington, D.C. Bar Association hasn't been as kind as New York when it comes to Rudy Giuliani.

Two years ago, New York suspended the former federal prosecutor and so-called "America's Mayor" from ever practicing law. But now, Giuliani is being recommended for disbarment after the three-member panel voted unanimously to stop Giuliani from his ability to practice law. Now that their full report is being released, it reveals the methodology behind the decision in a blistering takedown.

"The D.C. allegations focus on Giuliani’s efforts in Pennsylvania to overturn Biden’s roughly 80,000-vote victory in the state based on nothing more than conjecture," wrote Stahl. "While an investigatory panel issuing a pitiless smackdown of Giuliani’s 2020 post-election conduct is nothing new at this point, this latest recommendation (much like the previous New York ruling) shines a spotlight on how corrupt Giuliani’s litigation strategy for Trump in 2020 was and offers an appropriate remedy."

But what he found particularly amusing is that the Bar admonished Giuliani in a fairly funny way.

On the matter of Giuliani's false voter fraud claims, the Bar panel cited an incident in Pennsylvania when Trump was protesting the 2020 election results claiming fraud. The lawsuit had fraud allegations cited, but they'd apparently been “wrongly deleted.” The “corrected” version “contained only vague and speculative allegations about random and isolated electoral irregularities which did not and could not support [Giuliani’s] inflated legal claims.”

When it comes to Giuliani's basis for a lawsuit, the Bar found it was "thoroughly without merit." Giuliani was miffed that "election observers" in the state had the physical distance in the ballot-counting rooms. Giuliani thus believed that everything was corrupt and all votes had to be thrown out and Donald Trump made the winner.

Giuliani’s accusations “were simply not true,” the Bar said. In fact, “Mr. Giuliani did not offer any evidence that fraudulent mail-in votes were actually cast or counted.” Oddly, Giuliani then told the Bar panel that it didn’t matter both party observers had to keep a distance, because “Democrats weren’t allowed to see it because they couldn’t count on the fact that all Democrats are crooked.”

Giuliani’s thought “was premised on a conclusive presumption of irregularity, i.e., the wholly unfounded supposition that observational boundaries necessarily led to fraudulent counting of mail-in ballots to favor President Biden.”

Giuliani swore he met with observers in Philadelphia that "unearthed credible proof" of "widespread fraud." The Bar found "clearly and convincingly disclosed that there was no such evidence: [Giuliani] based the Pennsylvania litigation only on speculation, mistrust, and suspicion."

Giuliani also claimed that he was required to sue, even if he didn't have proof, which the panel said simply, "We reject this argument." Giuliani went on to then claim that legal filings were really nothing more than wild guesses, which again, is questionable. They also complained that Giuliani turned over discovery evidence after the deadline and in the middle of the hearing.

Read the full Bar comments in Slate.

Jack Smith might want to chat with former Homeland Security aide after bombshell book leak: ex-prosecutor

A leak from former top Homeland Security aide Miles Taylor's new book "Blowback" revealed Donald Trump was flashing classified information around to reporters. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explained on Sunday that a key piece of this information can be used by special counsel Jack Smith in the classified document scandal.

Speaking to MSNBC's Yasmin Vossoughian, Kirschner explained that this isn't directly related to the classified documents that Donald Trump took upon leaving the White House. What there does appear to be, he explained, is a lot of "factual overlap."

"However, what it does is it shows Donald Trump's pattern or practice of completely disregarding the sort of sanctity of classified information and classified documents," said Kirschner. "I'm sure Jack Smith will be keenly interested in it. I would certainly subpoena Miles Taylor and put him before the grand jury to testify about what he knows, what he saw, and what he heard. Hearsay is admissible before the grand jury about Donald Trump's potential mishandling of classified information while president. Now, that's not to say that evidence will necessarily be admissible at Donald Trump's future trial in federal court in Florida. But it might be that's the kind of issue that motions will be filed about. It'll be litigated, and the judge would have to make the decision. Is this relevant in the classified documents prosecution?"

See the full conversation in the video below or at the link here.

Philadelphia DA scorches legislators wearing 'AR-15 lapel pins' after the latest mass shooting

The district attorney of Philadelphia didn't hold back during a Tuesday press conference after another mass shooting in America.

Five people were killed, and two were injured on Monday in his city, leading to anger and frustration. It has become an emotion seen in many cities nationwide that experience mass shootings. Over and over, local lawmakers move from begging for help to demanding action.

It was just two days ago that Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott explained how the local and state officials need help from the feds.

"You're talking about a country where it's easier for a 14-year-old kid to order pieces together, to put a gun together and go out and use it and commit a crime than it is for me to get Claritin D from CVS. That's what we should be talking about every day in this country until those folks take action, because I could stand up here and talk about back-and-forth stuff that they like to do with partisan politics when they say, 'Oh, the violence is happening in Democrat-led cities,' or, 'The guns are coming from Republican-led states.' But who cares? People are dying in Baltimore and the United States, and that's what should matter and that's what we should be acting on every day," Scott said, according to WBALTV.

Such was the case with Larry Krasner on Tuesday afternoon.

"Finally, I just want to say this: it is disgusting, the lack of proper gun legislation that we have in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," Krasner began. "It is disgusting that you can go to New Jersey and find a whole list of reasonable gun regulation that we don't have, that you can go to Delaware, and there's almost as long a list of reasonable gun legislation that we don't have."

“It’s time for everybody in our legislature—including the ones who walk around with an AR15 lapel pin—to face the voters…if they're not going to do something, then voters have to vote them out," he told the press.

“That lapel pin means I am against you. I am against your safety. And I can tell you a lot of us have had enough of it," he continued.

The alleged gunman in Philly was 40 years old, wearing a ballistic vest, and had an "AR-type rifle," with multiple magazines.

See the clip of Krasner in the video below or at the link here.

Philidelphia DA goes after legislators wearing 'AR-15 lapel pins' after latest mass

Why did Republicans obsessed with Hunter Biden leave Jared and Ivanka alone?

MSNBC host Joy Reid couldn't help but notice that there is a strange obsession on the right with the children of Democrats. Even after Hunter Biden pleaded guilty, "That doesn't satisfy Republicans. Maybe in part because they actually seem to enjoy attacking the family members of Democratic presidents."

She went on to recall Rush Limbaugh's obsession with 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton.

The younger Clinton went on to comment on just how "creepy" she felt about someone that old who couldn't stop talking about her.

"Rush Limbaugh and others, but notably Rush Limbaugh — and I think this is now somewhat well-known like — was quite vicious to me," she recalled recently. "Said terrible things about my appearance and called me 'The White House Dog' repeatedly. I was 12, 13. And I remember thinking, like, this is just so, at best odd, and at worst just wrong. Like why is this old man obsessed with me? Like this is so weird and creepy and inappropriate."

Sasha and Malia Obama were even younger, Reid noted. Still, Republicans attacked their facial expressions, their clothing, and more. Malia was 10 when she entered the White House. Sasha was seven. But their young age didn't spare them from GOP criticism.

By contrast, Donald Trump's youngest child Barron, was hardly even mentioned. When his name was brought up, the first lady went to the mattresses. She attacked a Food Network host who joked that he hoped Trump's son could spend the day with "whoever his father is." An impeachment witness was scolded for simply using Barron as an example of the powers of the presidency.

Donald Trump can “name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” was the comment at the time.

Ironically, the First Lady's office released a statement claiming that in every other administration, the children have been "off-limits" from politics and media. They appeared to miss how children in previous administrations were treated.

At the same time, Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, were appointed to top jobs in the White House, despite anti-nepotism laws that were put in place after John F. Kennedy appointed his brother to be the attorney general. The Trumps got around the law by saying they weren't accepting any federal funds for their positions.

"They were handed powerful positions in the Trump White House with broad portfolios with not a peep from the Republicans and their friends in right-wing media," said Reid. "During the White House years, they reported between $172 million and $640 million in outside income. They should have never been allowed to work at the White House. Frankly, Jared couldn't even get a security clearance until Trump intervened. The Department of Justice reversed decades of precedent to grant Trump's wish that his children be allowed to work in the White House and profit from it. If the Republicans are so outraged about financial wrongdoing, you'd think they might want to investigate how Jared skated out of the White House to a $2 billion investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund."

Meanwhile, she said, Hunter Biden is a private citizen and Republicans have done everything they can to investigate him.

See her full comments below or at the link here.

The GOP's obsession attacking the children of

'He’s toast': Legal expert warns Trump’s only hope is a Republican coming to save him in 2024

There was a clash of two commentators on MSNBC Monday evening as Washington Post columnist Philip Bump explained how Donald Trump isn't going to lose any support over his trial.

"First of all, Donald Trump is doing much better now than he ever did in 2016," said Bump citing the poll numbers from the early days of 2015. In "2016 he ended up getting about 45 percent. Now he is consistently pulling 50 percent. He wasn't hitting 50 percent until later in the primary cycle last time."

He also argued that while most Americans find Trump's document behavior abhorrent, it's the same behavior that has been seen before. Over the weekend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that she watched as Trump frequently flashed around classified information to those who weren't cleared to see it.

"One of the foundational crises of the Trump administration was when he was on the patio at Mar-a-Lago — I believe the Prime Minister of Japan was there. And he is talking about it in front of the people dining," Bump recalled. "March 2017, we knew this was his approach. His supporters knew at that time. That was the way in which he handled national security. No one cared. He got more votes in 2020 than 2016. That has carried over. There is nothing that is going to happen that hasn't already happened that almost certainly is going to change that."

Legal analyst Harry Litman agreed with the facts, but doesn't see them being enough to save Trump from a conviction.

"Just generally on the political-legal count," Litman began, "it seems to me and has seen for a while, he is toast legally. But he's got this one strange escape route. If we or a Republican can win the election, and he can make DOJ stand down. That's his only legal strategy. It's a strange one. But there is no other I think, escape route for him under the conventional legal process."

See the full commentary below or at the link here.

'He’s toast': Legal expert warns Trump’s only hope is a Republican coming to save him in

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