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Trump not responsible for fraud trial death threats, lawyers say: Live

Donald Trump and his son Eric Trump will return to the witness stand to testify in their own defence at the Trump Organization’s civil fraud trial in New York in early December.

The former president’s testimony will round out proceedings ahead of closing arguments. Justice Arthur Engoron delivered a pre-trial ruling finding the defendants liable for fraud, but there are other counts to consider.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s legal team in the same case has responded to an affidavit from court security regarding the inundation of the judge’s office with death threats and antisemitic abuse. They argue that the former president has no control over such threats.

Mr Trump has tried to rewrite the story after he was booed by a crowd of football fans during an appearance at Clemson University for the Palmetto Bowl in South Carolina.

While there was a sizeable contingent of Trump fans in the crowd, several videos captured the overwhelming jeers aimed at him as he arrived at the alma mater of his GOP primary rival Nikki Haley.

Mr Trump sought to downplay the disappointing reception, taking to Truth Social to fire off a series of links to highly positive articles about his appearance.

Key Points

  • Trump can’t control fraud trial death threats, lawyers argue

  • Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene try to rewrite story of South Carolina football game

  • Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

  • Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

  • Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump election interference case

  • Donald Trump and Eric Trump to return to witness stand in New York fraud trial

Monday 27 November 2023 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump boasts he has glowing health report thanks to ‘improved diet’

Full story: Donald Trump will testify again at his New York fraud trial

Monday 27 November 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump will return to the witness stand next month in his civil fraud trial in New York as the final witness for the defence in a case that threatens his brand-building real estate empire.

His son Eric Trump will also testify a second time as their attorneys begin to close their case.

Donald Trump Jr testified as the first witness for the defence earlier this month.

Eric Trump is scheduled to testify on 6 December, and his father is scheduled to appear on the witness stand on 11 December, according to lead attorney Christopher Kise.

Alex Woodward filed this report.

ICYMI: Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Monday 27 November 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A flood of credible death threats and antisemitic messages have inundated the judge and court staff overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial in New York, according to the court’s top public safety officer.

Judge Arthur Engoron and his clerk received “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment, according to a court filing to support a gag order that blocks Mr Trump from attacking the court’s staff.

Transcriptions of threatening voicemails after Mr Trump first targeted Judge Engoron’s chief clerk fill more than 275 single-spaced pages, according to Wednesday’s filing.

The threats against them are “serious and credible and not hypothetical or speculative,” according to the filing from Charles Hollon, an officer-captain with the court’s Department of Public Safety assigned to a judicial threats unit.

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Georgia election workers ask court to reject Giuliani request for bench trial

Monday 27 November 2023 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, the mother-daughter election workers who sued Rudy Giuliani for defamation and won, have asked the court to reject a request by the former New York mayor for a bench trial rather than a jury trial to determine damages.

The trial is scheduled to commence on 11 December and is expected to last four days.

Read the full filing here...

Here’s Alex Woodward’s previous reporting on the case:

Election workers who sued Giuliani awarded default judgment in defamation case

Christie blames Trump for rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia in US

Monday 27 November 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused Donald Trump of contributing to a rising trend of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States on Sunday.

The ex-governor appeared on CNN as reports emerged about the shooting of three college students in Burlington, Vermont, as they walked to a Thanksgiving dinner; reports indicated that the three were of Palestinian descent and were wearing traditional keffiyehs signaling their identities at the time of the shooting.

Read John Bowden’s full report.

DOJ files new documents relating to search warrant of Trump’s Twitter account

Monday 27 November 2023 21:43 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Justice has filed seven new redacted documents related to a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

The filings lay out some of what investigators were looking for, including searches conducted by the account.

Prosecutors also opposed Twitter notifying Mr Trump about the warrants arguing that it could “result in the destruction or tampering with evidence” and “intimidation of potential witnesses”.

Read the full filing here.

DC election subversion trial judge denies Trump attempt to subpoena more Jan 6 committee records

Monday 27 November 2023 21:36 , Oliver O'Connell

In the federal election interference case against Donald Trump, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has denied an attempt by the former president’s defence team to subpoena additional records from the House select committee that investigated January 6.

In her ruling, Judge Chutkan says that partly because of the broad scope of the records they are asking for, the request from Mr Trump's attorneys looks less like a “good faith effort” and more like a “fishing expedition”.

Read the full ruling here.

George Santos set to be only third member of Congress expelled since 1861 — but when?

Monday 27 November 2023 21:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Scandal-plagued New York Rep George Santos looks set to join an exclusive group of people as he has acknowledged that he’s likely to be expelled from Congress.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Mr Santos, 35, said last week in a broadcast on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter.

In the X Space event hosted by Monica Matthews, a rightwing personality, Mr Santos said, “I have done the math over and over and it doesn’t look really good”. But he claimed that he would wear his expulsion “like a badge of honour”.

The latest blow of many to Mr Santos’s short yet tumultuous political career came in the form of a 56-page report from the House Ethics Committee released earlier this month which outlined “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos violated federal law.

The report included allegations that Mr Santos used campaign money to pay for his personal expenses, such as Botox, and luxury purchases at Hermes and Ferragamo, as well as smaller sums spent on OnlyFans, food, parking, travel and rent.

The House can consider the motion to expel Mr Santos put forward by ethics panel chair GOP Rep Michael Guest as soon as Tuesday when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving break but when the vote may be taken up on the floor remains unclear.

Mr Santos would be the first member of the House to be removed in modern times without first having been convicted of a crime.

Only five representatives have ever been expelled from the House in the course of US history:

Bribes, treason and hay bales: The scattered history of expulsions from Congress

For 24 minutes a DeSantis aide lay ‘dead or dying’ outside governor’s office

Monday 27 November 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A Ron DeSantis aide lay “dead or dying” in a governor’s office hallway for 24 minutes before anyone came to his aide, according to a report.

Peter Antonacci, 74, died on 23 September 2022 after “abruptly” leaving a meeting of the Office of Election Crimes and Safety, which the governor had appointed him to lead two months earlier.

Mr DeSantis created the office after one-term president Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud in his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden.

At the time of his death, officials said that Antonacci died “while at work in the Capitol building, of which the governor’s office is a part.”

Now the exact location has been revealed following a public records request by the Florida Bulldog, a non-profit news organisation in the state.

Graeme Massie reports.

DeSantis aide lay ‘dead or dying’ outside governor’s office for 24 minutes

NY fraud trial: Donald Trump to return to witness stand

Monday 27 November 2023 20:49 , Oliver O'Connell

As we near the end of the Trump Organization’s New York civil fraud trial, the defence team has announced that Eric Trump will return to the witness stand on 6 December, and Donald Trump will testify for the defence on 11 December.

Both have already testified as part of the plaintiff’s case. The defence says it will then rest.

Allowing time for closing arguments, the case is on track for a bench verdict before Christmas as expected.

Report: Trump’s pardon of drug dealer sabotaged major criminal investigation

Monday 27 November 2023 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s pardon of loan shark Jonathan Braun on his last day in office in 2021 “destroyed” a Department of Justice investigation, according to a report.

Braun was convicted of running an illegal marijuana cartel. He was one of the 142, including rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, who were issued surprise pardons by Mr Trump in the waning hours of his presidency.

At the time of his pardon, Braun had served a quarter of his ten-year sentence.

The commutation of his sentence reportedly dealt a “substantial blow” to the Justice Department’s criminal investigation that was aimed at members of the predatory lending industry who harmed small businesses.

The New York Times report added that the commutation “destroyed” any leverage the government had in the investigation.

Maroosha Muzaffar reports.

Trump’s pardon of drug dealer sabotaged major criminal investigation, report says

Fulton County: Judge allows Chesebro to travel to other election subversion probes

Monday 27 November 2023 20:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Fulton County’s Judge Scott McAfee has modified the probation conditions of former Donald Trump co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro allowing him to travel to “meet with counsel” in other jurisdictions conducting 2020 election subversion investigations beyond Georgia’s.

A new court filing states that he can visit Nevada, Arizona, and Washington, DC.

Mr Chesebro is one of four out of 19 original Trump co-defendants in the sprawling racketeering case in Georgia who pleaded guilty and struck a cooperation deal with prosecutors from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office.

The one-time lawyer to the former president pleased guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to file false documents. He is known as the architect of the “fake electors” scheme to keep Mr Trump in the White House after the 2020 election.

Here’s our earlier reporting on Mr Chesebro:

Kenneth Chesebro pleads guilty in Georgia election subversion case

Are donors shunning the RNC over Trump?

Monday 27 November 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Republican National Committee’s war chest has plunged to its lowest levels in more than eight years amid reports that some donors are shunning the party over Donald Trump.

The RNC reported having $9.1m cash on hand in its latest filings to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), its lowest figure since early 2015.

By comparison, the party had $61m on hand one year out from the 2020 presidential election, and $20m at the same period in the 2016 cycle.

Donations from both wealthy and small-dollar donors are down significantly in recent years, GOP sources told The Washington Post.

Bevan Hurley reports.

RNC’s bank account hits lowest level in eight years

NY fraud trial: Judge rejects adding independent monitor as defence witness

Monday 27 November 2023 19:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Justice Arthur Engoron has rejected adding Retired US Judge Barbara Jones as a last-minute defence witness.

He says that an independent monitor is an arm of the court and cannot be questioned. He raises the possibility of conflict issues.

“I hereby preclude their testimony,” he rules.

Monday 27 November 2023 19:40 , AP

Hawthorn was testifying for the defense, which argues that various companies under the Trump Organization’s umbrella have produced reams of financial documents “that no one had a problem with,” as lawyer Clifford Robert put it.

A lawyer for James’ office, Andrew Amer, stressed that the suit is about Trump’s statements of financial condition, calling the other documents “irrelevant.”

Now finishing its second month, the trial is putting a spotlight on the real estate empire that vaulted Trump into public life and eventually politics. The former president and current Republican 2024 front-runner maintains that James, a Democrat, is trying to damage his campaign.

Trump asserts that his wealth was understated, not overblown, on his financial statements. He also has stressed that the numbers came with disclaimers saying that they weren’t audited and that others might reach different conclusions about his financial position.

During cross-examination, Hawthorn acknowledged that Trump’s financial statements could have been audited by the company, rather than just compiled, though he noted that auditing wasn’t required.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who will decide the verdict in the non-jury trial, has already ruled that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud. The current proceeding is to decide the remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records.

James wants the judge to impose over $300 million in penalties and to ban Trump from doing business in New York — and that’s on top of Engoron’s pretrial order that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties. An appeals court has frozen that order for now.

AP

Trump exec says financial reports at heart of case are not done anymore

Monday 27 November 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s company no longer prepares the sweeping financial statements that New York state contends were full of deceptive numbers for years, an executive testified Monday at the former president’s civil fraud trial.

Trump’s 2014 to 2021 “statements of financial condition” are at the heart of state Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against him, his company and some of its key figures. The defendants deny wrongdoing, but James says they misled lenders and insurers by giving them financial statements that greatly inflated Trump’s asset values and overall net worth.

Nowadays, the Trump Organization continues to prepare various audits and other financial reports specific to some of its components, but “there is no roll-up financial statement of the company,” said Mark Hawthorn, the chief operating officer of the Trump Organization’s hotel arm.

He wasn’t asked why the comprehensive reports had ceased but said they are “not required by any lender, currently, or any constituency.”

Messages seeking comment on the matter were sent to spokespeople for the Trump Organization.

Continued...

Updated: Trump can’t control fraud trial death threats, lawyers argue

Monday 27 November 2023 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Donald Trump claim “there is no indication” he can “exercise any control” over the flood of threatening messages from his supporters to his fraud trial judge and his chief clerk, subjected to near-daily attacks and insults from the former president.

Mr Trump’s lawyers are urging a New York appeals court to permanently reject a gag order against their client during a civil fraud trial with his brand-building real estate empire at stake.

But a filing from lawyers for Judge Arthur Engoron and New York Attorney General Letitia James last week argued that a gag order is necessary to protect the safety of the court’s staff, with a sworn statement from the court system’s top security official revealing that “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” followed Mr Trump’s attacks.

In response on Monday, Mr Trump’s attorneys appeared to downplay such threats, claiming that the “sole cognizable justification” to gag the former president “is that an unknown third party may react in a hostile or offensive manner” to his speech.

Alex Woodward reports from New York.

Trump can’t control fraud trial death threats, lawyers argue

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action group plans won’t back Trump in 2024, report says

Monday 27 November 2023 19:00 , Graig Graziosi

ABC News reported that Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Action donor organisation will reportedly not throw its substantial wealth behind Donald Trump in 2024.

The organisation is reportedly planning to back another Republican candidate in the upcoming Iowa caucus on 15 January, though it is not clear who will receive the group’s support.

Americans for Prosperity reportedly has research that suggests “as many as 75% of Republicans just might be open to a Trump alternative if they think that that person can win,” according to ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.

Monday 27 November 2023 18:34 , Oliver O'Connell

...but when will he go?That still seems unclear:

Analysis: The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

Monday 27 November 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Bevan Hurley writes:

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

Continued...

The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

NY fraud trial: Trump to call former judge and independent monitor to testify

Monday 27 November 2023 18:10 , Oliver O'Connell

The Trump defence team in his New York civil fraud trial plans to call former US Judge Barbara Jones, who is serving as an independent monitor of the Trump Organization, to testify as a witness.

However, back in August, Ms Jones called out the company for not having “consistently provided all required annual and quarterly certifications attesting to the accuracy of certain financial statements”.

Trump hints at role for the military quelling violence in US if re-elected

Monday 27 November 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Campaigning in Iowa this year, Donald Trump said he was prevented during his presidency from using the military to quell violence in primarily Democratic cities and states.

Calling New York City and Chicago “crime dens,” the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination told his audience, “The next time, I’m not waiting. One of the things I did was let them run it and we’re going to show how bad a job they do,” he said. “Well, we did that. We don’t have to wait any longer.”

Trump has not spelled out precisely how he might use the military during a second term, although he and his advisers have suggested they would have wide latitude to call up units. While deploying the military regularly within the country’s borders would be a departure from tradition, the former president already has signaled an aggressive agenda if he wins, from mass deportations to travel bans imposed on certain Muslim-majority countries.

A law first crafted in the nation’s infancy would give Trump as commander in chief almost unfettered power to do so, military and legal experts said in a series of interviews.

Read on...

Trump hints at using military to quell violence in Democratic cities

Meanwhile in Fulton County...

Monday 27 November 2023 17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Trump lawyer John Eastman has asked Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee to split the remaining 15 defendants in the sprawling Georgia 2020 election interference case into two groups so that those not named Donald Trump and who are not the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee can get their cases resolved earlier in 2024.

Currently, prosecutors led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis want to try the remaining 15 defendants (down from 19 following four plea deals) together at a trial beginning on 5 August 2024.

Judge McAfee has previously said he would be open to splitting up the defendants to make things easier to handle administratively.

Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene try to rewrite story of South Carolina football game

Monday 27 November 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump and his loyal friend, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, seem to be promoting a different version of events after Mr Trump was booed at the South Carolina football game.

While videos captured Mr Trump being met with a cacophony of boos as he walked onto the field during halftime, he quickly tried to revise the incident.

On Truth Social, he reposted articles that said the crowds showed support. He posted one article alongside a quote, which read: “Trump cheered at football stadium, picks up slew of new endorsements in South Carolina.”

Kelly Rissman has the story.

Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene try to rewrite story of South Carolina football game

Report: Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam

Monday 27 November 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Four swing-states are reportedly still investigating the slates of so-called “fake electors” which Donald Trump allegedly hoped to use to falsely certify that he had won the 2020 election.

The results of those investigations could bring more charges down onto the already embattled former president, according to The Hill, which contacted numerous state attorneys general offices to determine if investigations were ongoing.

The investigations are being carried out while Mr Trump faces four criminal cases, including one in Georgia focused on his alleged efforts to steal the 2020 election.

The “fake elector” scheme was reportedly concocted by Mr Trump’s attorney, John Eastman, and boosted by other attorneys loyal to the former president. It hinged on then-Vice President Mike Pence choosing to certify the slates of Trump-loyalist “fake” electors in swing-states. The plotters theorised that it would allow Mr Pence to effectively force the election in Mr Trump’s favour, and in doing so disenfranchise all of the voters who selected Mr Biden.

Mr Pence has insisted that the plan was illegal and could not work, and instead chose to certify the true results of the election.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

NY fraud trial: Trump fraud trial lawyers file repsonse to ‘death threats’ affidavit

Monday 27 November 2023 16:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s lawyers in his New York fraud trial have responded to last week’s affidavit from court security regarding death threats and antisemitic abuse levelled at Justice Arthur Engoron and his staff, specifically his chief court.

In an exceptionally long filing, attorneys for the former president argue that the appeals court should continue to stay or reject the gag order imposed by the judge because Mr Trump has no ‘connection’ and doesn’t ‘exercise any control’ over threats that have overwhelmed the court.

More follows...

Trump’s fraud trial court inundated with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Monday 27 November 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A flood of credible death threats and antisemitic messages have inundated the judge and court staff overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial in New York, according to the court’s top public safety officer.

Judge Arthur Engoron and his clerk received “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment, according to a court filing to support a gag order that blocks Mr Trump from attacking the court’s staff.

Transcriptions of threatening voicemails after Mr Trump first targeted Judge Engoron’s chief clerk fill more than 275 single-spaced pages, according to Wednesday’s filing.

The threats against them are “serious and credible and not hypothetical or speculative,” according to the filing from Charles Hollon, an officer-captain with the court’s Department of Public Safety assigned to a judicial threats unit.

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

Alex Woodward filed this report last week:

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

NY fraud trial: Week nine gets underway

Monday 27 November 2023 16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Week nine of Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud trial is underway at the state’s Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan.

This is the third week of the defence case and on the witness stand today is Mark Hawthorn, the COO of Trump's hotels division.

Mr Hawthorn, a CPA who formerly worked at Ernst & Young, previously testified in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s case for the state, saying he was never directly involved in the creation of Mr Trump's financial statements.

As with other witnesses, the former president’s defence team turned questioning toward the argument that accountant Donald Bender of outside firm Mazars was fully aware of how things were valued by the company and did not raise any red flags.

Mr Hawthorn said if he had any accounting questions he would direct them to Mazars and he provided the firm with information about the hotels division for use in Mr Trump’s financial statements.

Alex Woodward, who is closely following the trial for The Independent, notes that coming up on the witness stand this week is former Trump Organization executive Patrick Birney.

Mr Birney previously testified that his boss Allen Weisselberg, former COO of the company, told him that Trump wanted to juice the numbers on his financial statements – one of the few moments from the trial that includes a direct link to the conspiracy.

Monday 27 November 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The wife of a Republican politician in Iowa has been convicted of dozens of criminal charges related to a 2020 voter fraud scheme aimed at getting her husband into office.

Kim Phuong Taylor submitted absentee ballots on behalf of voters who had not given her permission to do so.

She was convicted of 52 counts in total, including 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, 23 counts of voter fraud, and three counts of fraudulently registering to vote. She could face up to five years in prison for each charge.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more:

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Biden campaign hits back at Trump threat to Obamacare

Monday 27 November 2023 15:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Donald Trump revived the Republican goal of rolling back the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare after the 44th president.

“The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare. I’m seriously looking at alternatives,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Saturday.

"We had a couple of Republican Senators who campaigned for six years against it, and then raised their hands not to terminate it,” the former president also wrote. “It was a low point for the Republican Party, but we should never give up!”

By 2022’s midterm elections, Republicans had largely dropped eliminating Obamacare it as a policy goal, having realised that pushing to take healthcare away from millions of Americans was not a vote winner.

President Joe Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign seized on the potential revival of the policy.

Biden campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa said in a statement: “40 million people — more than 1 in 10 Americans — have health insurance today because of the Affordable Care Act and Donald Trump just said he would try to rip it away if he returns to power. He was one vote away from getting it done when he was president — and we should take him at his word that he’ll try to do it again.”

Mr Trump would have to be elected president in 2024 with a Republican-controlled Congress in place in order to pursue eliminating the Affordable Care Act.

The law was signed by then-president Barack Obama in 2010 with his vice president, Mr Biden, by his side.

In 2017, an effort by then-president Trump and a Republican-led Congress fell short of repealing the law. The 2018 midterms saw a subsequent backlash against the party by voters and the loss of the House majority.

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Monday 27 November 2023 15:25 , Oliver O'Connell

A wave of death threats and antisemitic and homophobic messages were sent to the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as his chief clerk, according to a state court filing this week.

A filing to support New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s opposition to a freeze on a gag order in the case includes a statement from the court’s top security official, who has collected “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment.

Federal prosecutors – who are seeking a separate gag order – shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Mr Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Read more from The Independent.

Trump’s attorneys in his New York fraud trial are targeting the accountants

Monday 27 November 2023 14:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Judge Arthur Engoron already found Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud outlined in New York Attorney General’s blockbuster lawsuit.

In the eighth week of a trial stemming from her bombshell complaint, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

READ MORE:

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Trump tries to explain why he keeps mixing up Obama and Biden

Monday 27 November 2023 14:38 , Oliver O'Connell

It’s Monday, the holiday weekend is officially over, and as millions of American shoppers take to the internet for Cyber Monday shopping deals, Donald Trump is back on Truth Social trying to explain away an apparent gaffe he keeps on making.

Here’s what the former president had to say this morning just after 8am:

Whenever I sarcastically insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our Country, Ron DeSanctimonious and his failing campaign apparatus, together with the Democrat’s Radical Left “Disinformation Machine,” go wild saying that “Trump doesn’t know the name of our President, (CROOKED!) Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired.” No, I know both names very well, never mix them up, and know that they are destroying our Country. Also, and as reported, I just took a cognitive test as part of my Physical Exam, and ACED it. Also ACED (a perfect score!) one taken while in the White House. Biden should take one so we can determine why he wants Open Borders, No Energy Independence, A Woke Military, High Inflation, No Voter I.D., Men playing In Women’s Sports, Only Electric Cars & Trucks, A Weaponized DOJ/FBI, and so many other CRAZY things!!!

Here’s one of the latest incidents of him apparently confusing President Joe Biden with former President Barack Obama:

Trump serves up chaotic ‘word salad’ about ‘World War Two’ and running against Obama

More context via media analyst and author, Brian Stelter:

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action group plans won’t back Trump in 2024, report says

Monday 27 November 2023 14:00 , Graig Graziosi

ABC News reported that Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Action donor organisation will reportedly not throw its substantial wealth behind Donald Trump in 2024.

The organisation is reportedly planning to back another Republican candidate in the upcoming Iowa caucus on 15 January, though it is not clear who will receive the group’s support.

Americans for Prosperity reportedly has research that suggests “as many as 75% of Republicans just might be open to a Trump alternative if they think that that person can win,” according to ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.

Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

Monday 27 November 2023 13:00 , Graig Graziosi

Four swing-states are reportedly still investigating the slates of so-called “fake electors” which Donald Trump allegedly hoped to use to falsely certify that he had won the 2020 election.

The results of those investigations could bring more charges down onto the already embattled former president, according to The Hill, which contacted numerous state attorneys general offices to determine if investigations were ongoing.

The investigations are being carried out while Mr Trump faces four criminal cases, including one in Georgia focused on his alleged efforts to steal the 2020 election.

READ MORE:

Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

Heckler shouts ‘armchair murderer’ at Biden as he shops in Nantucket

Monday 27 November 2023 12:00 , Graig Graziosi

As he spent Thanksgiving with his family, Joe Biden was heckled by a member of the public who called him an “armchair murderer”.

The president was pictured shopping with his granddaughter Maisy in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Saturday, though did not respond when shouted questions at by bystanders.

According to the White House pool, Mr Biden visited several local shops on Nantucket, including a bookstore and Ralph Lauren outlet. He also appeared to stop for a milkshake at a local pharmacy.

READ MORE:

Heckler shouts ‘armchair murderer’ at Biden as he shops in Nantucket

Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Monday 27 November 2023 10:00 , Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump attended a beloved college football bowl game over the weekend at the alma mater of one of his chief rivals, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Rather than showing up Ms Haley in her own home, he was greeted with a chorus of boos by the assembled football fans.

The scene played out during the Palmetto Bowl, a much-anticipated annual showdown between rivals Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Ms Haley is a graduate of Clemson University.

READ MORE:

Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Monday 27 November 2023 08:00 , Graig Graziosi

Bob Woodward undermines Trump excuse for not giving back secret papers: ‘He’s not busy’

Famed journalist Bob Woodward rejected the idea that Donald Trump was “too busy” to return boxes of classified documents that had been stored at Mar-a-Lago, recalling long conversations he had with the former president at the time while he was researching a book.

Woodward, who has written four books focused on Mr Trump and serves as an associate editor of The Washington Post, sat down for an interview on MSNBC during which he recalled the former president frequently insisting he was “too busy” to talk for long, but ultimately would spend more time than Woodward had allotted chatting with him.

READ MORE:

Bob Woodward undermines Trump excuse for not returning secret papers: ‘He’s not busy’

ICYMI: Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Monday 27 November 2023 07:00 , Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform has filed a lawsuit against 20 media organisations for making what it claims to be defamatory statements about the company’s financial losses.

In the lawsuit, filed in the 12th Judicial Court of Sarasota County, Florida, on Monday, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) accuses the “reckless and malicious” outlets of falsely reporting that the company had lost $73m since its launch.

Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Monday 27 November 2023 06:00 , Graig Graziosi

A wave of death threats and antisemitic and homophobic messages were sent to the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as his chief clerk, according to a state court filing this week.

A filing to support New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s opposition to a freeze on a gag order in the case includes a statement from the court’s top security official, who has collected “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment.

Federal prosecutors – who are seeking a separate gag order – shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Mr Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Read more from The Independent:

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

ICYMI: Rudy Giuliani sued for allegedly skipping out on $10k payment to accounting firm

Monday 27 November 2023 04:59 , Graig Graziosi

Rudy Giuliani is facing yet another lawsuit.

A former associate is suing him for $10,000, adding to the mountain of debt the former New York City mayor and Trump attorney is facing.

BST & Co. CPAs, LLP, an accounting firm based in Latham, New York, claims he had the company conduct an appraisal of his business interests while he separated from his wife, Judith Nathan, without paying them.

Including interest, the firm now seeks to recover about $25,000.

Michelle Del Rey reports:

Giuliani sued for allegedly skipping out on $10k payment to accounting firm

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Monday 27 November 2023 04:00 , Graig Graziosi

The wife of a Republican politician in Iowa has been convicted of dozens of criminal charges related to a 2020 voter fraud scheme aimed at getting her husband into office.

Kim Phuong Taylor submitted absentee ballots on behalf of voters who had not given her permission to do so.

She was convicted of 52 counts in total, including 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, 23 counts of voter fraud, and three counts of fraudulently registering to vote. She could face up to five years in prison for each charge.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more:

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Monday 27 November 2023 03:00 , Graig Graziosi

Trump’s attorneys in his New York fraud trial are targeting the accountants

Judge Arthur Engoron already found Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud outlined in New York Attorney General’s blockbuster lawsuit.

In the eighth week of a trial stemming from her bombshell complaint, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

READ MORE:

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Appeals court judges aren’t convinced with Trump’s gag order opposition

Monday 27 November 2023 02:00 , Graig Graziosi

A federal appeals court will determine whether to keep a gag order in place in Donald Trump’s federal election interference case.

In court this week, Trump’s attorney John Sauer repeatedly argued his client’s statements are “core political speech” protected under the First Amendment.

But Circuit Judge Patricia Millett cut him off at one point to ask whether those comments are merely protected political speech or “political speech aimed at derailing or corrupting the criminal justice process.”

Judges aren’t buying Trump’s gag order appeal

Eric Garcia: ‘The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance’

Monday 27 November 2023 01:00 , Graig Graziosi

Newly elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson released more than 44,000 hours of raw footage from the January 6 attack on the US Capitol this week.

It’s less about transparency and more about revenge against Democratic officials who investigated the riot and the former president’s role, The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes:

Republicans know that January 6 is a huge albatross around their necks and they hope to reshape the narrative about the riot so that they can move on. The problem is that the loudest voices are giving away the game and revealing this is not only an attempt to whitewash the events but rather to run interference and defend Mr Trump.

The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

One of Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia case won’t be going back to jail, for now

Monday 27 November 2023 00:00 , Graig Graziosi

Harrison Floyd, the leader of Black Voices for Trump, has “engaged in a pattern of intimidation” against his co-defendants and witnesses since he was released on bond in the Trump election interferference case in Georgia in August, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

But following a three-hour hearing on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee declined to send Mr Floyd back to jail and directed the parties to draft an order that reels in his public statements.

The hearing marked District Attorney Fani Willis’s courtroom debut in the case.

She delivered a fierce defence of her move to strip Mr Floyd’s bond.

“I’m threatened everyday anyway,” she told the judge. “I’m a public official, voters elected me, and I’ve put myself in that position. That does not give him the right to contact co-defendants or intimidate other witnesses. And quite frankly, it’s really in the defendant’s interest to shut his mouth about this case because it can and will be used against him.”

Read more in The Independent:

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

ICYMI: Read some of the ‘serious and credible’ death threats against Trump’s fraud trial judge and his staff

Sunday 26 November 2023 23:00 , Graig Graziosi

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

“Trust me when I say this,” reads another. “I will come for you. I don’t care. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me either.”

Those are just a few of the messages collected by a top security official with the New York court system who reviewed hundreds of threatening, antisemitic and homophobic messages targeting the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as members of his staff.

We have the court filing that details the threats they received:

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action group plans won’t back Trump in 2024, report says

Sunday 26 November 2023 21:00 , Graig Graziosi

ABC News reported that Charles Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Action donor organisation will reportedly not throw its substantial wealth behind Donald Trump in 2024.

The organisation is reportedly planning to back another Republican candidate in the upcoming Iowa caucus on 15 January, though it is not clear who will receive the group’s support.

Americans for Prosperity reportedly has research that suggests “as many as 75% of Republicans just might be open to a Trump alternative if they think that that person can win,” according to ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.

Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

Sunday 26 November 2023 19:29 , Graig Graziosi

Four swing-states are reportedly still investigating the slates of so-called “fake electors” which Donald Trump allegedly hoped to use to falsely certify that he had won the 2020 election.

The results of those investigations could bring more charges down onto the already embattled former president, according to The Hill, which contacted numerous state attorneys general offices to determine if investigations were ongoing.

The investigations are being carried out while Mr Trump faces four criminal cases, including one in Georgia focused on his alleged efforts to steal the 2020 election.

READ MORE:

Trump could face more criminal charges over ‘fake electors’ scam, report says

Heckler shouts ‘armchair murderer’ at Biden as he shops in Nantucket

Sunday 26 November 2023 18:37 , Graig Graziosi

As he spent Thanksgiving with his family, Joe Biden was heckled by a member of the public who called him an “armchair murderer”.

The president was pictured shopping with his granddaughter Maisy in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Saturday, though did not respond when shouted questions at by bystanders.

According to the White House pool, Mr Biden visited several local shops on Nantucket, including a bookstore and Ralph Lauren outlet. He also appeared to stop for a milkshake at a local pharmacy.

READ MORE:

Heckler shouts ‘armchair murderer’ at Biden as he shops in Nantucket

Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Sunday 26 November 2023 17:45 , Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump attended a beloved college football bowl game over the weekend at the alma mater of one of his chief rivals, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Rather than showing up Ms Haley in her own home, he was greeted with a chorus of boos by the assembled football fans.

The scene played out during the Palmetto Bowl, a much-anticipated annual showdown between rivals Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Ms Haley is a graduate of Clemson University.

READ MORE:

Trump met by persistent booing at South Carolina college football game

Bob Woodward undermines Trump excuse for not giving back secret papers: ‘He’s not busy’

Sunday 26 November 2023 16:24 , Graig Graziosi

Famed journalist Bob Woodward rejected the idea that Donald Trump was “too busy” to return boxes of classified documents that had been stored at Mar-a-Lago, recalling long conversations he had with the former president at the time while he was researching a book.

Woodward, who has written four books focused on Mr Trump and serves as an associate editor of The Washington Post, sat down for an interview on MSNBC during which he recalled the former president frequently insisting he was “too busy” to talk for long, but ultimately would spend more time than Woodward had allotted chatting with him.

READ MORE:

Bob Woodward undermines Trump excuse for not returning secret papers: ‘He’s not busy’

The latest: Trump’s attorneys in his New York fraud trial are targeting the accountants

Sunday 26 November 2023 13:00 , Alex Woodward

Judge Arthur Engoron already found Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud outlined in New York Attorney General’s blockbuster lawsuit.

In the eighth week of a trial stemming from her bombshell complaint, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Read some of the ‘serious and credible’ death threats against Trump’s fraud trial judge and his staff

Sunday 26 November 2023 12:00 , Alex Woodward

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

“Trust me when I say this,” reads another. “I will come for you. I don’t care. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me either.”

Those are just a few of the messages collected by a top security official with the New York court system who reviewed hundreds of threatening, antisemitic and homophobic messages targeting the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as members of his staff.

We have the court filing detailing the threats they received:

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Sunday 26 November 2023 11:00 , Alex Woodward

This week, security official with the New York court system shared just a sample of the wave of death threats and antisemitic messages against the judge and clerk overseeing Trump’s fraud tril.

Federal prosecutors also shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

ICYMI: Trump plans to visit Javier Milei, according to Argentina’s new president-elect

Sunday 26 November 2023 10:00 , Alex Woodward

Trump reportedly told Argentina’s far-right president-elect Javier Milei that he plans to travel to meet him, Mr Milei’s office said on Thursday.

The office did not provide a date. Mr Milei is scheduled to be inaugurated on 10 December.

“The president-elect received a call last night from the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, who congratulated him and pointed out his triumph by a wide margin in last Sunday’s election had a great impact on a global scale,” according to a statement from Mr Milei’s office.

In a video on Tuesday, Trump said: “I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly make Argentina great again.”

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, also has called Mr Milei following his election victory to discuss “the strong relationship between the United States and Argentina on economic issues, on regional and multilateral cooperation, and on shared priorities, including advocating for the protection of human rights, addressing food insecurity and investing in clean energy.”

Meet South America’s incoming new MAGA-like leader:

South America’s Trump wins election: Meet Argentina’s new MAGA-like leader

Will the Supreme Court stop this Voting Rights Act wrecking ball?

Sunday 26 November 2023 09:00 , Alex Woodward

A federal court ruling is teeing up another major Supreme Court case that could radically weaken the Voting Rights Act by blocking private citizens and civil rights groups from filing lawsuits to protect what has become America’s bedrock voting protections.

On Monday, a three-judge panel with the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit agreed that citizens and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP cannot legally challenge discriminatory state and local election laws.

Voters instead would have to rely only on the Justice Department to step in.

But if a highly politicised Justice Department under a Republican president hostile to voting rights declines, they’re out of luck.

Legal analysts and voting rights advocates say the ruling is so extreme that even the conservative-dominated Supreme Court is likely to stop it.

Trump-appointed judges dealt a ‘body blow’ to the Voting Rights Act

ICYMI: Ex-Univision boss slams network’s Trump interview as ‘propaganda’

Saturday 25 November 2023 21:00 , Alex Woodward

Univision’s former president has joined the growing criticism of the Hispanic network over an interview with Donald Trump that was panned by journalists for softball questions.

Reporters at the network, which has US offices and merged with a Mexican media giant in 2022, have found themselves at the middle of a discussion over their network’s ability to cover the 2024 presidential race fairly and accurately after a recent Trump interview.

He did not face any difficult questions about his criminal prosecutions or policy positions in the interview, and was also able to spout unfounded claims about his immigration policies without accurate pushback.

Ex-Univision boss slams network’s Trump interview as ‘propaganda’

ICYMI: Colorado Supreme Court will decide if Trump can stay on the state’s ballots

Saturday 25 November 2023 20:00 , Alex Woodward

Last week, a Colorado judge decided Trump can stay on the state’s ballots in 2024, following a lawsuit arguing that he is constitutionally barred from office because of his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

An appeal of that decision now heads to the state’s Supreme Court, but Colorado officials have urged that a final decision must be made by 5 January, 2024, when primary ballots must be finalised.

The plaintiffs, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, argued in an appeal filing that “there would be no reason to allow presidents who lead an insurrection to serve again while preventing low-level government workers who act as foot soldiers from doing so.”

“And it would defy logic to prohibit insurrectionists from holding every federal or state office except for the highest and most powerful in the land,” the filing added.

ICYMI: Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Saturday 25 November 2023 18:00 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform has filed a lawsuit against 20 media organisations for making what it claims to be defamatory statements about the company’s financial losses.

In the lawsuit, filed in the 12th Judicial Court of Sarasota County, Florida, on Monday, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) accuses the “reckless and malicious” outlets of falsely reporting that the company had lost $73m since its launch.

Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Trump’s attorneys in his New York fraud trial are targeting the accountants

Saturday 25 November 2023 17:00 , Alex Woodward

Judge Arthur Engoron already found Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud outlined in New York Attorney General’s blockbuster lawsuit.

In the eighth week of a trial stemming from her bombshell complaint, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

The latest:

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Saturday 25 November 2023 16:00 , Alex Woodward

One of Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia case won’t be going back to jail, for now

Harrison Floyd, the leader of Black Voices for Trump, has “engaged in a pattern of intimidation” against his co-defendants and witnesses since he was released on bond in the Trump election interferference case in Georgia in August, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

But following a three-hour hearing on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee declined to send Mr Floyd back to jail and directed the parties to draft an order that reels in his public statements.

The hearing marked District Attorney Fani Willis’s courtroom debut in the case.

She delivered a fierce defence of her move to strip Mr Floyd’s bond.

“I’m threatened everyday anyway,” she told the judge. “I’m a public official, voters elected me, and I’ve put myself in that position. That does not give him the right to contact co-defendants or intimidate other witnesses. And quite frankly, it’s really in the defendant’s interest to shut his mouth about this case because it can and will be used against him.”

Read more in The Independent:

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

Eric Garcia: ‘The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance’

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:00 , Alex Woodward

Newly elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson released more than 44,000 hours of raw footage from the January 6 attack on the US Capitol this week.

It’s less about transparency and more about revenge against Democratic officials who investigated the riot and the former president’s role, The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes:

Republicans know that January 6 is a huge albatross around their necks and they hope to reshape the narrative about the riot so that they can move on. The problem is that the loudest voices are giving away the game and revealing this is not only an attempt to whitewash the events but rather to run interference and defend Mr Trump.

The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:00 , Alex Woodward

A wave of death threats and antisemitic and homophobic messages were sent to the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as his chief clerk, according to a state court filing this week.

A filing to support New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s opposition to a freeze on a gag order in the case includes a statement from the court’s top security official, who has collected “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment.

Federal prosecutors – who are seeking a separate gag order – shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Mr Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Read more from The Independent:

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Read some of the ‘serious and credible’ death threats against Trump’s fraud trial judge and his staff

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:00 , Alex Woodward

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

“Trust me when I say this,” reads another. “I will come for you. I don’t care. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me either.”

Those are just a few of the messages collected by a top security official with the New York court system who reviewed hundreds of threatening, antisemitic and homophobic messages targeting the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as members of his staff.

We have the court filing that details the threats they received:

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Will the Supreme Court stop this Voting Rights Act wrecking ball?

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:00 , Alex Woodward

A federal court ruling is teeing up another major Supreme Court case that could radically weaken the Voting Rights Act by blocking private citizens and civil rights groups from filing lawsuits to protect what has become America’s bedrock voting protections.

On Monday, a three-judge panel with the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit agreed that citizens and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP cannot legally challenge discriminatory state and local election laws.

Voters instead would have to rely only on the Justice Department to step in.

But if a highly politicised Justice Department under a Republican president hostile to voting rights declines, they’re out of luck.

Legal analysts and voting rights advocates say the ruling is so extreme that even the conservative-dominated Supreme Court is likely to stop it.

Trump-appointed judges dealt a ‘body blow’ to the Voting Rights Act

ICYMI: Colorado Supreme Court will decide if Trump can stay on the state’s ballots

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:00 , Alex Woodward

Last week, a Colorado judge decided Trump can stay on the state’s ballots in 2024, following a lawsuit arguing that he is constitutionally barred from office because of his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

An appeal of that decision now heads to the state’s Supreme Court, but Colorado officials have urged that a final decision must be made by 5 January, 2024, when primary ballots must be finalised.

The plaintiffs, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, argued in an appeal filing that “there would be no reason to allow presidents who lead an insurrection to serve again while preventing low-level government workers who act as foot soldiers from doing so.”

“And it would defy logic to prohibit insurrectionists from holding every federal or state office except for the highest and most powerful in the land,” the filing added.

Trump attorneys continue to fight federal gag order

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:00 , Alex Woodward

Days after a federal appeals court panel grilled Trump’s legal team over their opposition to a gag order in his election interference case in Washington DC, his attorneys struck back in a letter to the court clerk to blast both the gag order and the case itself.

They dismissed death threats in his New York fraud case as irrelevant, while accusing special counsel Jack Smith of bringing “an inflammatory, lawless indictment” against Trump, making “false and misleading statements” about him, and leading “confidential information in order to harm” him.

“Both the indictment and the Gag Order represent an unconstitutional attempt to silence President Trump; they are clearly election interference,” they wrote.

The words echo the former president’s campaign-trail remarks and rhetoric on social media, where he posts conspiracy theories accusing prosecutors and judges of working with Democratic officials to keep him away from the White House.

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Saturday 25 November 2023 08:00 , Alex Woodward

The wife of a Republican politician in Iowa has been convicted of dozens of criminal charges related to a 2020 voter fraud scheme aimed at getting her husband into office.

Kim Phuong Taylor submitted absentee ballots on behalf of voters who had not given her permission to do so.

She was convicted of 52 counts in total, including 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, 23 counts of voter fraud, and three counts of fraudulently registering to vote. She could face up to five years in prison for each charge.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more:

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Saturday 25 November 2023 07:00 , Alex Woodward

A wave of death threats and antisemitic and homophobic messages were sent to the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as his chief clerk, according to a state court filing this week.

A filing to support New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s opposition to a freeze on a gag order in the case includes a statement from the court’s top security official, who has collected “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment.

Federal prosecutors – who are seeking a separate gag order – shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Mr Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Read more from The Independent:

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Trump’s attorneys in his New York fraud trial are targeting the accountants

Saturday 25 November 2023 05:00 , Alex Woodward

Judge Arthur Engoron already found Donald Trump and his co-defendants liable for fraud outlined in New York Attorney General’s blockbuster lawsuit.

In the eighth week of a trial stemming from her bombshell complaint, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

The latest:

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

One of Trump’s co-defendants in his Georgia case won’t be going back to jail, for now

Saturday 25 November 2023 04:00 , Alex Woodward

Harrison Floyd, the leader of Black Voices for Trump, has “engaged in a pattern of intimidation” against his co-defendants and witnesses since he was released on bond in the Trump election interferference case in Georgia in August, according to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.

But following a three-hour hearing on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee declined to send Mr Floyd back to jail and directed the parties to draft an order that reels in his public statements.

The hearing marked District Attorney Fani Willis’s courtroom debut in the case.

She delivered a fierce defence of her move to strip Mr Floyd’s bond.

“I’m threatened everyday anyway,” she told the judge. “I’m a public official, voters elected me, and I’ve put myself in that position. That does not give him the right to contact co-defendants or intimidate other witnesses. And quite frankly, it’s really in the defendant’s interest to shut his mouth about this case because it can and will be used against him.”

Read more in The Independent:

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

Appeals court judges aren’t convinced with Trump’s gag order opposition

Saturday 25 November 2023 02:00 , Alex Woodward

A federal appeals court will determine whether to keep a gag order in place in Donald Trump’s federal election interference case.

In court this week, Trump’s attorney John Sauer repeatedly argued his client’s statements are “core political speech” protected under the First Amendment.

But Circuit Judge Patricia Millett cut him off at one point to ask whether those comments are merely protected political speech or “political speech aimed at derailing or corrupting the criminal justice process.”

Judges aren’t buying Trump’s gag order appeal

Read some of the ‘serious and credible’ death threats against Trump’s fraud trial judge and his staff

Saturday 25 November 2023 01:00 , Alex Woodward

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

“Trust me when I say this,” reads another. “I will come for you. I don’t care. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me either.”

Those are just a few of the messages collected by a top security official with the New York court system who reviewed hundreds of threatening, antisemitic and homophobic messages targeting the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as members of his staff.

We have the court filing detailing the threats they received:

Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Trump-appointed judges landed a ‘body blow’ against the Voting Rights Act. Will the Supreme Court stop them?

Saturday 25 November 2023 00:00 , Alex Woodward

A federal court ruling is teeing up another major Supreme Court case that could radically weaken the Voting Rights Act by blocking private citizens and civil rights groups from filing lawsuits to protect what has become America’s bedrock voting protections.

On Monday, a three-judge panel with the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that determined that citizens and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP cannot legally challenge discriminatory state and local election laws.

Voters facing discriminatory laws would have to rely only on the Justice Department to take up their case.

If a highly politicised Justice Department under a Republican president hostile to voting rights declines, they’re out of luck.

Legal analysts and voting rights advocates say the ruling is so extreme that even the conservative-dominated Supreme Court is likely to cut it down.

Trump-appointed judges dealt a ‘body blow’ to the Voting Rights Act

Eric Garcia: ‘The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance'

Friday 24 November 2023 23:00 , Alex Woodward

Newly elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson released more than 44,000 hours of raw footage from the January 6 attack on the US Capitol this week.

It’s less about transparency and more about revenge against Democratic officials who investigated the riot and the former president’s role in the first place, The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes:

Republicans know that January 6 is a huge albatross around their necks and they hope to reshape the narrative about the riot so that they can move on. The problem is that the loudest voices are giving away the game and revealing this is not only an attempt to whitewash the events but rather to run interference and defend Mr Trump.

The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

The latest: Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Friday 24 November 2023 22:00 , Alex Woodward

A wave of death threats and antisemitic and homophobic messages were sent to the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial, as well as his chief clerk, according to a state court filing this week.

A filing to support New York Justice Arthur Engoron’s opposition to a freeze on a gag order in the case includes a statement from the court’s top security official, who has collected “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment.

Federal prosecutors – who are seeking a separate gag order – shared those threats with the federal appeals court judges who will decide whether Mr Trump should be gagged in his election interference case.

But on Friday, the former president’s attorneys dismissed those threats as “irrelevant”.

Read more from The Independent:

Trump lawyers dismiss death threats as ‘irrelevant’ to federal gag order

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

Friday 24 November 2023 21:30 , Alex Woodward

The wife of a Republican politician in Iowa has been convicted of dozens of criminal charges related to a 2020 voter fraud scheme aimed at getting her husband into office.

Kim Phuong Taylor submitted absentee ballots on behalf of voters who had not given her permission to do so.

She was convicted of 52 counts in total, including 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, 23 counts of voter fraud, and three counts of fraudulently registering to vote. She could face up to five years in prison for each charge.

The Independent’s John Bowden has more:

Wife of Iowa GOP official found guilty on 52 counts of election fraud from 2020

The latest: Trump attorneys continue to fight federal gag order

Friday 24 November 2023 21:00 , Alex Woodward

Days after a federal appeals court panel grilled Trump’s legal team over their opposition to a gag order in his election interference case in Washington DC, his attorneys struck back in a letter to the court clerk to blast both the gag order and the case itself.

They dismissed death threats in his New York fraud case as irrelevant, while accusing special counsel Jack Smith of bringing “an inflammatory, lawless indictment” against Trump, making “false and misleading statements” about him, and leading “confidential information in order to harm” him.

“Both the indictment and the Gag Order represent an unconstitutional attempt to silence President Trump; they are clearly election interference,” they wrote.

The words echo the former president’s campaign-trail remarks and rhetoric on social media, where he posts conspiracy theories accusing prosecutors and judges of working with Democratic officials to keep him away from the White House.

Just in: Dean Phillips won’t seek re-election to Congress

Friday 24 November 2023 20:34 , Alex Woodward

Dean Phillips, who is pursuing a long-shot challenge against President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024, announced that he won’t be seeking his re-election to Congress.

He is currently a state representative for Minnesota.

Mr Phillips already was facing several interparty challenges for his seat in Congress after he began mulling plans to challenge Mr Biden.

ICYMI: Fani Willis made her courtroom debut in the election interference case

Friday 24 November 2023 19:15 , Alex Woodward

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis made her debut arguing before a judge and questioning witnesses in a case surrounding Donald Trump’s sprawling election interference case this week.

She ressed a judge to revoke a bond order for one of Trump’s co-defendants who repeatedly posted about several people involved the case despite the terms of his release prohibiting him from communication with witnesses or co-defendants “directly or indirectly”.

The appearance from Ms Willis previewed the arguments, evidence and list of witnesses expected to testify in the upcoming trial, among several criminal cases surrounding the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee declined to send Harrison Floyd back to jail and directed the parties to draft an order that reels in his public statements.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

Georgia Supreme Court rejects GOP attempts to remove state prosecutors – including Fani Willis

Friday 24 November 2023 18:35 , Alex Woodward

Georgia’s Supreme Court rejected a commission’s authority to remove state prosecutors, which Republican officials had hoped to use against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose sprawling racketeering case against Donald Trump and his co-defendants is steering towards a criminal trial in Atlanta.

A ruling from the court on Wednesday surrounding the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission – which was established by Republican Governor Brian Kemp earlier this year – argued it does not have the constitutional authority to do so.

Mr Kemp said the committee was created to remove local prosecutors who did not fulfill their “constitutional and statutory duties” or were “driven by out-of-touch politics.”

Republican lawmakers in the state intended to wield that authority against Ms Willis and other Democratic elected prosecutors.

But the state’s highest court has “grave doubts that we have the constitutional power to take any action on the draft standards and rules,” according to the ruling.

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston, among several Georgia prosecutors who sued to overturn the commission, said they are “pleased the justices have taken action to stop this unconstitutional attack on the state’s prosecutors.”

“While we celebrate this as a victory, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight any future attempts to undermine the will of Georgia voters and the independence of the prosecutors who they choose to represent them,” she added.

Fani Willis argues before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on 22 November. (Getty Images)
Fani Willis argues before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on 22 November. (Getty Images)

Elise Stefanik takes credit for gag order ruling she had nothing to do with

Friday 24 November 2023 17:45 , Alex Woodward

Elise Stefanik is among congressional Republicans defending the former president in the court of public opinion as he faces a potentially crushing judgment in his civil fraud trial.

She filed an ethics complaint against the judge overseeing the trial, and then took credit for an appeals court ruling that temporarily paused a gag order in the case.

Ms Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, now appears to be using the gag order in her election messaging.

From her personal campaign account, she claimed that she “fought to lift President Trump’s gag order and won.” Her statements did not appear to have anything to do with the order.

“But the fight doesn’t end here. We must work to re-elect Trump on November 5, 2024,” she added. “Together, we can protect ALL Americans’ First Amendment and due process rights.”

Rudy Giuliani sued for allegedly skipping out on $10k payment to accounting firm

Friday 24 November 2023 17:20 , Alex Woodward

Rudy Giuliani is facing yet another lawsuit.

A former associate is suing him for $10,000, adding to the mountain of debt the former New York City mayor and Trump attorney is facing.

BST & Co. CPAs, LLP, an accounting firm based in Latham, New York, claims he had the company conduct an appraisal of his business interests while he separated from his wife, Judith Nathan, without paying them.

Including interest, the firm now seeks to recover about $25,000.

Michelle Del Rey reports:

Giuliani sued for allegedly skipping out on $10k payment to accounting firm

Michael Cohen: Trump is watching himself lose in court ‘every single day'

Friday 24 November 2023 16:45 , Alex Woodward

Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who testified against him in the civil fraud trial in New York, said his former boss is “seeing himself lose every single day” he is in court.

“That case is going to financially put Trump on his a**, not to mention it is going to unwind the Trump corporation, at least here in the state,” he said on his podcast on Thursday.

“It becomes what’s known as the death spiral where you’re no longer able to operate,” he added.

Judge Arthur Engoron, who is overseeing the case, already found Trump liable for fraud, in a pretrial judgment that effectively dissolved his ability to do business in the state. That part of the order has been temporarily frozen on appeal.

Michael Cohen leaves New York State Supreme Court after testifying in the civil fraud trial on 25 October. (REUTERS)
Michael Cohen leaves New York State Supreme Court after testifying in the civil fraud trial on 25 October. (REUTERS)

Trump has called the judgment “the corporate death penalty” against him, as he continues to base his campaign a conspiracy theory that the multiple criminal and civil cases against him are intended to keep him away from the White House.

In his two-day testimony in the fraud trial, Cohen claimed he was “tasked by Mr Trump to increase the total assets based upon a number that he arbitrarily elected” for his statement of financial condition, the documents at the centre of the case.

Cohen and convicted former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg were instructed to “reverse engineer the various different asset classes – increase those assets – in order to achieve the number that Mr Trump had tasked us with,” Cohen said.

Asked by counsel for the attorney general’s office what that number was, Cohen replied: “Whatever number Mr Trump told us to.”

Under questioning from Trump’s attorneys, Cohen agreed that his former boss never explicitly asked him to “inflate” the figures at the centre of the case.

“Donald Trump speaks like a mob boss,” Cohen testified. “He tells you what he wants without specifically telling you … That’s what I was referring to.”

Trump plans to visit Javier Milei, according to Argentina’s new president-elect

Friday 24 November 2023 16:10 , Alex Woodward

Trump reportedly told Argentina’s far-right president-elect Javier Milei that he plans to travel to meet him, Mr Milei’s office said on Thursday.

The office did not provide a date. Mr Milei is scheduled to be inaugurated on 10 December.

“The president-elect received a call last night from the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, who congratulated him and pointed out his triumph by a wide margin in last Sunday’s election had a great impact on a global scale,” according to a statement from Mr Milei’s office.

In a video on Tuesday, Trump said: “I am very proud of you. You will turn your country around and truly make Argentina great again.”

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, also has called Mr Milei following his election victory to discuss “the strong relationship between the United States and Argentina on economic issues, on regional and multilateral cooperation, and on shared priorities, including advocating for the protection of human rights, addressing food insecurity and investing in clean energy.”

Meet South America’s incoming new MAGA-like leader:

South America’s Trump wins election: Meet Argentina’s new MAGA-like leader