Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

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Michigan Republicans tap election denier to lead state party
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Nathan Layne
Published Feb 18, 2023 • 2 minute read

LANSING — Republicans in Michigan on Saturday selected Trump loyalist Kristina Karamo as their next state chair, elevating an election denier to a critical leadership role in a sign of the growing clout of far-right and grassroots members over the party in the battleground state.


The election of Karamo could complicate the party’s ability to raise money ahead of the 2024 elections, when Michigan will likely play an important role in who controls the White House and the U.S. Senate.


Some top donors have said they would not financially back the party directly under the leadership of a chair who uses divisive rhetoric or promotes election lies.

“The election baggage is going to make it hard to move the party forward,” said John Clark, a professor of political science at Western Michigan University.

While Karamo has been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, the former president had endorsed attorney Matthew DePerno in the race. In the third round of voting, Karamo garnered 58 percent of the delegate votes, to DePerno’s 42 percent.


As state chair, Karamo will face the challenge of uniting a party that has split into warring factions, with so-called America First Republicans taking control of local leadership positions from more moderate members in more than half of the state’s counties, a senior state party official told Reuters.

“We cannot wait to get work done as one Michigan Republican Party,” said Karamo, a local Republican activist who ran an unsuccessful campaign for secretary of state in 2022. “We are going to beat the Democrats in 24.”

Both DePerno and Karamo had risen to prominence in Michigan by promoting conspiracy theories in support of Trump’s false claims that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.

The state party chair’s main responsibilities include guiding the party’s messaging and raising millions of dollars to help fund mass mailing campaigns and support candidates.

Karamo, a former community college instructor, has inspired a loyal following among grassroots members, partly due to her continued focus on relitigating her and the party’s election losses. She has yet to concede he loss to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who won November’s election by 14 points.

Karamo has said she wants to focus on recruiting young members to the party, including from communities which are usually Democratic strongholds, as well as creating a new fundraising model that does not rely on big donors she says she does not trust.
 

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Tucker Carlson’s access to Jan. 6 video is an 'egregious' breach
Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Billy House
Published Feb 22, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Tucker Carlson’s access to unpublicized footage of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is an “egregious security breach” by Republicans, the House’s top Democrat says.


Democrats will hold a virtual conference call on Wednesday to discuss the details of the thousands of hours of security footage that, Axios first reported Monday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy provided to the Fox News host.


“At present, we are working to confirm the precise nature of the video transfer, particularly as it relates to the events connected to the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021,” Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a letter to colleagues.

A McCarthy spokesman would not comment Tuesday on whether the speaker’s office had given Carlson the videos. The Capitol Police wouldn’t comment on the details of the transfer of the video.

“When congressional leadership or congressional oversight committees ask for things like this, we must give it to them,” Chief Tom Manger said in a statement.

Carlson, who has promoted conspiracy theories surrounding the insurrection by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump, said his team is reviewing about 44,000 hours of footage.

“Our producers, some of our smartest producers, have been looking at this stuff and trying to figure out what it means and how it contradicts or not the story we’ve been told for more than two years,” Carlson said on his program Monday night.



There was no immediate response to requests Tuesday for more comment from Fox News.

McCarthy had warned in November that Republicans would begin their own inquiry into the events of Jan. 6. He sent a letter to Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the now-defunct special House committee that investigated the Capitol assault, demanding that the panel’s records be preserved.

Thompson said in a statement on Tuesday that “it’s hard to overstate the potential security risks if this material were to be used irresponsibly.”

When his panel obtained access to Capitol Police video, Thompson said, the security of lawmakers, staff and the Capitol complex were all taken into consideration. The panel, he said, consulted with Capitol Police before releasing images.

“If Speaker McCarthy has indeed granted Tucker Carlson – a Fox host who routinely spreads misinformation and Putin’s poisonous propaganda – and his producers access to this sensitive footage, he owes the American people an explanation of why he has done so and what steps he has taken to address the significant security concerns at stake,” Thompson said.
 

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Lawsuit alleges Steve Bannon owes $480K for unpaid legal bills
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael R. Sisak
Published Feb 22, 2023 • 2 minute read

NEW YORK — Steve Bannon’s latest legal trouble: a lawsuit alleging he stiffed his former lawyers out of more than $480,000.


Bannon, a conservative strategist and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, was sued for breach of contract last week by a Manhattan law firm that defended him in several recent high-profile legal battles.


The firm, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, represented Bannon from 2020 to 2022 in matters including criminal cases stemming from his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena and from allegations that he duped donors who gave money to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.

The firm said it also aided Bannon in obtaining a presidential pardon just before Trump left office in 2021.

Davidoff Hutcher & Citron said in its lawsuit that Bannon racked up a bill totaling more than $855,000 but that he has only paid $375,000, in violation of his retainer agreement.


The firm is seeking payment of $480,487, plus interest and legal costs for its lawsuit against Bannon.

Messages seeking comment were left for Bannon.

Trump’s pardon, in January 2021, forced federal prosecutors to drop Bannon from a criminal case involving the “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign. Manhattan prosecutors revived the matter in September with state-level charges, which aren’t covered by presidential pardons.

Bannon, 69, has pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and other charges.

The New York case is pending with yet more legal drama: Bannon has until next week to find new lawyers after his current attorneys, who are not affiliated with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, said they have “irreconcilable” differences about how to proceed.


Bannon is accused of falsely promising donors that all money given to “We Build the Wall” would go to building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, instead using the funds to enrich people involved in the project. Prosecutors say Bannon was involved in transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to third-party entities and using them to funnel payments to two other people involved in the scheme.

The Manhattan indictment didn’t identify those people by name, but the details match those of Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, who pleaded guilty to federal charges in April. A third defendant, Timothy Shea, was convicted in October.

Bannon was convicted last July of contempt for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He was sentenced in October to four months in jail. But he remains free while he appeals.

Bannon, a former U.S. Navy officer and Harvard MBA, worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and as a Hollywood producer before turning to politics. One of his most notable deals left him with a share of “Seinfeld” royalties.

He took over the conservative news site Breitbart News in 2012, had a leading role in the late stages of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked in the White House for about seven months as Trump’s chief strategist. He now hosts a pro-Trump podcast called “Bannon’s War Room.”
 

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Could grand juror's words tank charges against Trump?
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Kate Brumback
Published Feb 23, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 5 minute read

ATLANTA — Almost as soon as the foreperson of the special grand jury in the Georgia election meddling investigation went public this week, speculation began about whether her unusually candid revelations could jeopardize any possible prosecution of former President Donald Trump or others.

Emily Kohrs first spoke out in an interview published Tuesday by The Associated Press, a story that was followed by interviews in other print and television news outlets. In detailed commentary, she described some of what happened behind the closed doors of the jury room — how witnesses behaved, how prosecutors interacted with them, how some invoked their constitutional right not to answer certain questions.



Lawyers for Trump say the revelations offered by Kohrs shattered the credibility of the entire special grand jury investigation, though they had not filed any legal challenge based on that by late Thursday.

People hoping to see the former president indicted worried on social media that Kohrs may have tanked a case against the former president. But experts said that while Kohrs’ chattiness in news interviews probably aggravated Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s leading the investigation, they were not legally damaging.

Willis likely “wishes that this woman hadn’t gone on the worldwide tour that she did,” said Amy Lee Copeland, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defence attorney in Georgia who’s not involved in the case. “But is this a headache that is grinding the machine to a halt? It’s not. It’s just one of the many frustrations that attends the practice of law.”


Trump’s attorneys in Georgia, however, are jumping on the interviews.

Drew Findling and Jennifer Little, who represent Trump in the Fulton County case, said they’ve had concerns about the panel’s proceedings from the start but have kept quiet out of respect for the grand jury process. After Kohrs’ interviews, they don’t feel that restraint.

“The end product is, the reliability of anything that has taken place in there is completely tainted and called into question,” Findling said. But he also said he wasn’t attacking “a 30-year-old foreperson.”

“She’s a product of a circus that cloaked itself as a special purpose grand jury,” he said.

As for possible legal challenges, Findling said he and Little are “resolute” as to Trump’s innocence and keeping their options open.


“We’re considering everything and anything to look after the interests of our client,” he said.

The special grand jury was impaneled at the request of Willis, who is investigating whether Trump and his Republican allies committed crimes as they tried to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss in the state to Democrat Joe Biden. The panel didn’t have the power to indict but instead offered recommendations for Willis, a Democrat, who will ultimately decide whether to seek charges from a regular grand jury.

In the federal system, grand jurors are prohibited from talking about what witnesses say or anything that happens in the room. But the Georgia special grand jury oath says only that they cannot talk about their deliberations.


Willis’ office has declined to comment on Kohrs’ media appearances, other than to say they weren’t aware ahead of time that she planned to give interviews. Spokesperson Jeff DiSantis also declined Thursday to comment on the statements from Trump’s attorneys.

The former president’s lawyers expressed concern that the special grand jury had been allowed to watch and read news coverage of the case and was aware of some witnesses’ efforts not to testify. Kohrs said prosecutors told the jurors they could read and watch the news but urged them to keep open minds.

Kohrs also shared numerous anecdotes from the proceedings that she found amusing and was very expressive in television interviews, sometimes laughing or making faces.


“It’s not a joking matter,” Findling said. “It’s not a matter for giggles. It’s not a matter for smiles.”

Findling and Little said the district attorney’s office, which advised the special grand jury, should have better educated the grand jurors about the solemnity of the process and the rules and limitations.

“That tone and that rhetoric begins from the top down, and that was set by the district attorney’s office,” Little said.

Trump himself criticized the process in a post on his social media network Wednesday, calling the Georgia investigation “ridiculous, a strictly political continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.” He expressed dismay at Kohrs “going around and doing a Media Tour revealing, incredibly, the Grand Jury’s inner workings & thoughts.”


Though Kohrs did not publicly name anyone the special grand jury recommended for possible indictment, Trump’s lawyers said she seemed to implicate him in response to questions.

They also said the judge overseeing the special grand jury could have instructed or strongly suggested that the grand jurors not speak publicly until the panel’s full final report was made public. Several parts of the report were released last week, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said any section that recommended specific charges for specific people would remain secret for now.

During a hearing last month, a lawyer for a coalition of news outlets, including the AP, urged the immediate release of the full report.


The special grand jury was dissolved Jan. 9, and Judge McBurney told the AP that he later met with grand jurors to discuss where things stood. He said he provided them with the “rules of the road” of what they were legally allowed and not allowed to discuss publicly.

He said they could discuss what witnesses said and what is in the report but could not talk about deliberations because that’s what their oath said.

Trump lawyer Little said she believes some of what Kohrs discussed in interviews was in fact part of deliberations, including when she talked about the credibility of some witnesses, decisions to recommend multiple indictments and the reasons why the grand jurors did not seek to bring Trump in to testify.

Copeland, the former federal prosecutor and criminal defence attorney, noted that Kohrs was cautious — consulting a notebook where she’d written the judge’s instructions before answering some questions — and didn’t describe the discussion and debate that led to the special grand jury’s outcomes.


“I wish she really hadn’t talked about anything,” Copeland added. “But she doesn’t talk about the deliberations. She doesn’t talk about the votes. She simply talks about other things that were happening in the grand jury session.”

University of Georgia law professor emeritus Ron Carlson said that if Kohrs had revealed the names of anyone for whom the special grand jury recommended charges, it’s possible those people could try to use that as grounds to dismiss an indictment. But he wasn’t optimistic about the chances for success.

“I think that any kind of motion to dismiss an indictment based on her comments would have an uphill battle,” Carlson said.
 

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Trump seeks to dismiss rape accuser Carroll's second defamation claim
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Stempel
Published Feb 23, 2023 • Last updated 2 days ago • 2 minute read

NEW YORK — Donald Trump on Thursday urged a federal judge to throw out the writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation claim in the second of her two lawsuits against the former U.S. president, who she says raped her in the mid-1990s.


In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, Trump said it was “obvious” he was “merely writing” about Carroll’s first lawsuit when in an Oct. 12, 2022, social media post he called the rape claim “a Hoax and a lie” and maintained that Carroll was “not my type!”


Trump said his post was “clearly about” and merely repeated his formal response to the first lawsuit, and was therefore covered by “absolute litigation privilege” under New York law, dooming the defamation claim.

“We expect plaintiff … to quibble with the exactness of the connection and nexus” between the post and lawsuit, but the law “does not require such exactness,” Trump said in papers filed by his lawyers.

Carroll’s lawsuit also includes a battery claim under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which lets sexual abuse victims sue their attackers even if statutes of limitations have run out.


That claim is not affected by Trump’s dismissal request. A trial is scheduled for April 25.

Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, declined immediate comment.

Carroll, 79, has accused Trump of repeated stalling to prevent trials arising from their alleged encounter in a dressing room at a Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in late 1995 or early 1996.




She first sued Trump for defamation in November 2019, five months after he told a reporter at the White House that he did not know Carroll, that she was not his type, and that she made up the rape claim to sell her memoir.

A Washington appeals court is deciding whether Trump should be immune from Carroll’s first lawsuit, but not her second, because he was acting as president when he spoke. Trump left office in January 2021.

The case is Carroll v. Trump, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 22-10016.
 

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Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Justice Department says
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker and Alanna Durkin Richer
Published Mar 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot.


The Justice Department told a Washington federal appeals court in a legal filing that it should allow the lawsuits to move forward, rejecting Trump’s argument that he is immune from the claims.


The department said it takes no position on the lawsuits’ claims that the former president’s words incited the attack on the Capitol. Nevertheless, Justice lawyers told the court that a president would not be protected by “absolute immunity” if his words were found to have been an “incitement of imminent private violence.”

“As the Nation’s leader and head of state, the President has ‘an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf,’ they wrote. “But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.”


The brief was filed by lawyers of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and has no bearing on a separate criminal investigation by a department special counsel into whether Trump can be criminally charged over efforts to undo President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election ahead of the Capitol riot. In fact, the lawyers note that they are not taking a position with respect to potential criminal liability for Trump or anyone else.

Trump’s lawyers have argued he was acting within the bounds of his official duties and had no intention to spark violence when he called on thousands of supporters to “march to the Capitol” and “fight like hell” before the riot erupted.

“The actions of rioters do not strip President Trump of immunity,” his lawyers wrote in court papers. “In the run-up to January 6th and on the day itself, President Trump was acting well within the scope of ordinary presidential action when he engaged in open discussion and debate about the integrity of the 2020 election.”


A Trump spokesperson said Thursday that the president “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and respect for our men and women of law enforcement” on Jan. 6 and that the courts “should rule in favour of President Trump in short order and dismiss these frivolous lawsuits.”

The case is among many legal woes facing Trump as he mounts another bid for the White House in 2024.

A prosecutor in Georgia has been investigating whether Trump and his allies broke the law as they tried to overturn his election defeat in that state. Trump is also under federal criminal investigation over top secret documents found at his Florida estate.

In the separate investigation into Trump and his allies’ efforts to keep the Republican president in power, special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he will fight the subpoena.


Trump is appealing a decision by a federal judge in Washington, who last year rejected efforts by the former president to toss out the conspiracy civil lawsuits filed by the lawmakers and police officers. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Trump’s words during a rally before the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol were likely “words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.”

“Only in the most extraordinary circumstances could a court not recognize that the First Amendment protects a President’s speech,” Mehta wrote in his February 2022 ruling. “But the court believes this is that case.”

One of the lawsuits, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., alleges that “Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun.” Two other lawsuits were also filed, one by other House Democrats and another by officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby.


The House Democrats’ lawsuit cites a federal civil rights law that was enacted to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of officials. The cases describe in detail how Trump and others spread baseless claims of election fraud, both before and after the 2020 presidential election was declared, and charge that they helped to rile up the thousands of rioters before they stormed the Capitol.

The lawsuits seek damages for the physical and emotional injuries the plaintiffs sustained during the insurrection.

Even if the appeals court agrees that Trump can be sued, those who brought the lawsuit still face an uphill battle. They would need to show there was more than fiery rhetoric, but a direct and intentional call for imminent violence, said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor.


“We are really far away from knowing that even if the court allows the lawsuit to go forward whether they would be successful,” she said. “Even if the court says hypothetically you can bring an action against a president, I think they’re likely to draw a line that is very generous to the president’s protected conduct.”

In its filing, the Justice Department cautioned that the “court must take care not to adopt rules that would unduly chill legitimate presidential communication” or saddle a president with burdensome and intrusive lawsuits.

“In exercising their traditional communicative functions, Presidents routinely address controversial issues that are the subject of passionate feelings,” the department wrote. “Presidents may at times use strong rhetoric. And some who hear that rhetoric may overreact, or even respond with violence.”

— Richer reported from Boston.
 

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Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Justice Department says
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker and Alanna Durkin Richer
Published Mar 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot.


The Justice Department told a Washington federal appeals court in a legal filing that it should allow the lawsuits to move forward, rejecting Trump’s argument that he is immune from the claims.


The department said it takes no position on the lawsuits’ claims that the former president’s words incited the attack on the Capitol. Nevertheless, Justice lawyers told the court that a president would not be protected by “absolute immunity” if his words were found to have been an “incitement of imminent private violence.”

“As the Nation’s leader and head of state, the President has ‘an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf,’ they wrote. “But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.”


The brief was filed by lawyers of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and has no bearing on a separate criminal investigation by a department special counsel into whether Trump can be criminally charged over efforts to undo President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election ahead of the Capitol riot. In fact, the lawyers note that they are not taking a position with respect to potential criminal liability for Trump or anyone else.

Trump’s lawyers have argued he was acting within the bounds of his official duties and had no intention to spark violence when he called on thousands of supporters to “march to the Capitol” and “fight like hell” before the riot erupted.

“The actions of rioters do not strip President Trump of immunity,” his lawyers wrote in court papers. “In the run-up to January 6th and on the day itself, President Trump was acting well within the scope of ordinary presidential action when he engaged in open discussion and debate about the integrity of the 2020 election.”


A Trump spokesperson said Thursday that the president “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and respect for our men and women of law enforcement” on Jan. 6 and that the courts “should rule in favour of President Trump in short order and dismiss these frivolous lawsuits.”

The case is among many legal woes facing Trump as he mounts another bid for the White House in 2024.

A prosecutor in Georgia has been investigating whether Trump and his allies broke the law as they tried to overturn his election defeat in that state. Trump is also under federal criminal investigation over top secret documents found at his Florida estate.

In the separate investigation into Trump and his allies’ efforts to keep the Republican president in power, special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he will fight the subpoena.


Trump is appealing a decision by a federal judge in Washington, who last year rejected efforts by the former president to toss out the conspiracy civil lawsuits filed by the lawmakers and police officers. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Trump’s words during a rally before the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol were likely “words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.”

“Only in the most extraordinary circumstances could a court not recognize that the First Amendment protects a President’s speech,” Mehta wrote in his February 2022 ruling. “But the court believes this is that case.”

One of the lawsuits, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., alleges that “Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun.” Two other lawsuits were also filed, one by other House Democrats and another by officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby.


The House Democrats’ lawsuit cites a federal civil rights law that was enacted to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of officials. The cases describe in detail how Trump and others spread baseless claims of election fraud, both before and after the 2020 presidential election was declared, and charge that they helped to rile up the thousands of rioters before they stormed the Capitol.

The lawsuits seek damages for the physical and emotional injuries the plaintiffs sustained during the insurrection.

Even if the appeals court agrees that Trump can be sued, those who brought the lawsuit still face an uphill battle. They would need to show there was more than fiery rhetoric, but a direct and intentional call for imminent violence, said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor.


“We are really far away from knowing that even if the court allows the lawsuit to go forward whether they would be successful,” she said. “Even if the court says hypothetically you can bring an action against a president, I think they’re likely to draw a line that is very generous to the president’s protected conduct.”

In its filing, the Justice Department cautioned that the “court must take care not to adopt rules that would unduly chill legitimate presidential communication” or saddle a president with burdensome and intrusive lawsuits.

“In exercising their traditional communicative functions, Presidents routinely address controversial issues that are the subject of passionate feelings,” the department wrote. “Presidents may at times use strong rhetoric. And some who hear that rhetoric may overreact, or even respond with violence.”

— Richer reported from Boston.
He'll win. It's a waste of time but the hatred of him knows no end. Sigh...
 
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Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Justice Department says
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker and Alanna Durkin Richer
Published Mar 02, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Justice Department said Thursday in a federal court case testing Trump’s legal vulnerability for his speech before the riot.


The Justice Department told a Washington federal appeals court in a legal filing that it should allow the lawsuits to move forward, rejecting Trump’s argument that he is immune from the claims.


The department said it takes no position on the lawsuits’ claims that the former president’s words incited the attack on the Capitol. Nevertheless, Justice lawyers told the court that a president would not be protected by “absolute immunity” if his words were found to have been an “incitement of imminent private violence.”

“As the Nation’s leader and head of state, the President has ‘an extraordinary power to speak to his fellow citizens and on their behalf,’ they wrote. “But that traditional function is one of public communication and persuasion, not incitement of imminent private violence.”


The brief was filed by lawyers of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and has no bearing on a separate criminal investigation by a department special counsel into whether Trump can be criminally charged over efforts to undo President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election ahead of the Capitol riot. In fact, the lawyers note that they are not taking a position with respect to potential criminal liability for Trump or anyone else.

Trump’s lawyers have argued he was acting within the bounds of his official duties and had no intention to spark violence when he called on thousands of supporters to “march to the Capitol” and “fight like hell” before the riot erupted.

“The actions of rioters do not strip President Trump of immunity,” his lawyers wrote in court papers. “In the run-up to January 6th and on the day itself, President Trump was acting well within the scope of ordinary presidential action when he engaged in open discussion and debate about the integrity of the 2020 election.”


A Trump spokesperson said Thursday that the president “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and respect for our men and women of law enforcement” on Jan. 6 and that the courts “should rule in favour of President Trump in short order and dismiss these frivolous lawsuits.”

The case is among many legal woes facing Trump as he mounts another bid for the White House in 2024.

A prosecutor in Georgia has been investigating whether Trump and his allies broke the law as they tried to overturn his election defeat in that state. Trump is also under federal criminal investigation over top secret documents found at his Florida estate.

In the separate investigation into Trump and his allies’ efforts to keep the Republican president in power, special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he will fight the subpoena.


Trump is appealing a decision by a federal judge in Washington, who last year rejected efforts by the former president to toss out the conspiracy civil lawsuits filed by the lawmakers and police officers. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Trump’s words during a rally before the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol were likely “words of incitement not protected by the First Amendment.”

“Only in the most extraordinary circumstances could a court not recognize that the First Amendment protects a President’s speech,” Mehta wrote in his February 2022 ruling. “But the court believes this is that case.”

One of the lawsuits, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., alleges that “Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol that followed and then watched approvingly as the building was overrun.” Two other lawsuits were also filed, one by other House Democrats and another by officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby.


The House Democrats’ lawsuit cites a federal civil rights law that was enacted to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of officials. The cases describe in detail how Trump and others spread baseless claims of election fraud, both before and after the 2020 presidential election was declared, and charge that they helped to rile up the thousands of rioters before they stormed the Capitol.

The lawsuits seek damages for the physical and emotional injuries the plaintiffs sustained during the insurrection.

Even if the appeals court agrees that Trump can be sued, those who brought the lawsuit still face an uphill battle. They would need to show there was more than fiery rhetoric, but a direct and intentional call for imminent violence, said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor.


“We are really far away from knowing that even if the court allows the lawsuit to go forward whether they would be successful,” she said. “Even if the court says hypothetically you can bring an action against a president, I think they’re likely to draw a line that is very generous to the president’s protected conduct.”

In its filing, the Justice Department cautioned that the “court must take care not to adopt rules that would unduly chill legitimate presidential communication” or saddle a president with burdensome and intrusive lawsuits.

“In exercising their traditional communicative functions, Presidents routinely address controversial issues that are the subject of passionate feelings,” the department wrote. “Presidents may at times use strong rhetoric. And some who hear that rhetoric may overreact, or even respond with violence.”

— Richer reported from Boston.
Best get that suit in quickly , Tucker has some video .
 
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Taxslave2

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Will the witch hunt carry on even after it is proved the Democratic Party rigged the election?
 

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Trump seeks to delay New York fraud case, could push trial to 2024
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jonathan Stempel
Published Mar 03, 2023 • 2 minute read

NEW YORK — Donald Trump is seeking a six-month delay in the New York attorney general’s fraud case against him and his company, which if granted would likely push back any trial until deep into the 2024 presidential campaign.


In a Friday court filing, the former U.S. president, who is seeking another White House term, said “fundamental fairness and due process” justified delaying Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million case, including the scheduled Oct. 2 trial.


Any delay would require approval from Justice Arthur Engoron of the state supreme court in Manhattan, who has resisted pushing back the timetable.

Following a three-year probe, James sued Trump, the Trump Organization and others last September over an alleged decade-long scheme to manipulate more than 200 asset valuations and Trump’s net worth, to win better terms from banks and insurers.

Trump said extending deadlines by six months would provide the necessary time to review the “staggering” volume of materials, including millions of pages of documents, and question dozens of witnesses.


He said talks on an “amicable resolution” broke down after James’ office proposed shorter extensions, but only if the defendants gave up some rights to gather evidence.

“The complaint seeks to deprive defendants of their constitutionally protected right and ability to transact business,” Trump said.

“Fundamental notions of fair play and due process mandate that defendants are afforded every opportunity to prepare a meaningful defence, rather than to have an impossible schedule forced upon them.”

James’ office had no immediate comment.

Trump’s request was joined by the other defendants, including three of his adult children Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka.

According to court filings, Engoron said at a recent conference that the trial would start on Oct. 2 “come hell or high water,” and emailed lawyers last week that “with all that has already been accomplished, I see no reason” to delay it.

Trump, a Republican, has called James’ case a partisan witch hunt. James is a Democrat.

The defendants want deadlines of Sept. 29 for fact discovery, Dec. 5 for expert witness discovery, and Dec. 8 to provide a certificate of readiness for trial.
 

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Trump pitches a sequel, but shies away from attacking rivals
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jill Colvin, Michelle L. Price and Nicholas Riccardi
Published Mar 04, 2023 • Last updated 11 hours ago • 4 minute read

OXON HILL, Md. — Former President Donald Trump cast himself Saturday as the only Republican candidate who can build on his White House legacy but shied away from directly critiquing his potential rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.


Trump, giving the headlining address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, told a cheering crowd that he was engaged in his “final battle” as he tries to return to the White House.


“We are going to finish what we started,” he said. “We’re going to complete the mission. We’re going to see this battle through to ultimate victory.”

Though DeSantis, seen as Trump’s biggest potential rival, is frequently a subject of name-calling and other attacks in Trump’s social media posts and in interviews, he wasn’t mentioned directly in Trump’s address before conservative activists, who earlier in the day applauded when an old video clip of the Florida governor was shown in a montage.

While CPAC was once a must-stop for candidates mulling Republican presidential runs, DeSantis and other major likely contenders skipped this year’s gathering amid scandal and as the group has increasingly become aligned with Trump.


The former president’s enduring popularity with this segment of voters was on display throughout the conference this week. Some attendees wore Trump-themed outfits, with “MAGA” hats and sequined jackets.

Members of his family and his presidential administration were swarmed like celebrities in the hallways and dominated the list of speakers. The handful of other potential and declared candidates not named Trump who spoke received only tepid applause.

And the annual CPAC straw poll, an unscientific survey of attendees, found Trump the top choice to be the party’s nominee, with 62% support, trailed by DeSantis at 20% and businessman Perry Johnson, who announced his long shot bid at the conference, with 5%.


Nearly all — 95% of respondents — said they approved of Trump’s performance as president.

Ahead of his speech, Trump told reporters that he would continue his third presidential campaign even if indicted. He is under investigation by prosecutors probing his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia and by the U.S. Justice Department, as well as his handling of classified documents, among other issues.

He condemned all the probes as politically motivated and vowed that criminal charges wouldn’t deter him.

“Oh, absolutely, I won’t even think about leaving,” he told reporters, adding that “probably, it’ll enhance my numbers, but it’s a very bad thing for America. It’s very bad for the country.”

“This is an audience that supports President Trump,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., the No. 3 House Republican, who endorsed Trump days before he officially launched his 2024 campaign.

The only member of House leadership to attend the conference, Stefanik told The Associated Press that Trump continued to be the party’s leader.

“President Trump is in a very strong position and I think he will be the Republican nominee,” she said.

While Trump did not launch broadsides against his potential challengers for the White House, many of whom were pitching themselves to conservative donors near his Florida home this week, he did repeatedly criticize the old guard of the Republican Party, which is eager to move past him.

“We had a Republican Party that was ruled by freaks, neo-cons, globalists, open borders zealots and fools. But we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush,” he said.

He took only a veiled jab at DeSantis, calling out those who have proposed raising the age for Social Security or privatizing Medicare — positions DeSantis has expressed support for in the past, but has since abandoned. “We’re not going to mess with Social Security as Republicans,” DeSantis recently said.

Trump told the crowd, “If that’s their original thought, that’s what they always come back to.”

Trump threaded his speech with grievances related to his term in office and outlined his agenda for a second, including restrictions on gender-affirming care and transgender athletes, which drew some of the strongest applause from the room and was a recurrent theme in speeches at the four-day conference.

While many top Republicans steered clear of the conference, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a potential candidate, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who declared her candidacy last month, both spoke Friday and made shrouded critiques of Trump. Their refusal to call him out by name underscored the risks faced by challengers looking to offer an alternative in a party in which Trump remains the dominant force.

“There is no one in that field I want as my president other than Donald J. Trump,” said Waverly Woods, a Republican activist and marketer from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who said she likes DeSantis but that Trump has first claim on the hearts of many at the conference.

That includes Woods’ sometimes partner in local GOP races, Kim Shourds, whose car bears a “TRUMP WON” license plate.

DeSantis? She likes him, she said, but not enough. She wants the governor to sit down “and let my man come in and run this country,” Shourds said.

But not everyone at CPAC was on board.

E. Payne Kilbourn, a retired Navy submarine captain from Neavitt, Maryland, who now writes and advocates for carbon dioxide, said he was “very, very” happy with Trump’s presidency, but now thinks it’s time for the party to move on.

“I think Donald Trump’s just too toxic for most of the country,” said Kilbourn, 69, an independent who votes for Republicans in general elections and wishes Trump would “bow out and just be the guy behind the scenes.”

Strategically, he sees DeSantis as better positioned to eventually win the White House.

“I think he would have a better chance of getting elected,” he said.
 

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Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway and husband are divorcing
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Mar 05, 2023 • 1 minute read

WASHINGTON — Kellyanne Conway, a senior presidential adviser in the Trump White House, and her husband, attorney George Conway, a prominent critic of the former president, say they are divorcing.


The Conways posted a joint statement on their Twitter accounts Saturday, which said in part that “we are in the final stages of an amicable divorce.” The two said their marriage more than 20 years ago included “many happy years” and “four incredible children.”


Washington observers questioned the state of their union after George Conway began criticizing Donald Trump with a fervor that often matched his wife’s support of the president. While Kellyanne Conway defended Trump at every turn, her husband wrote tweets and articles and appeared on news shows to condemn his actions. He helped found the Lincoln Project, which sought Trump’s defeat in 2020.

In their statement, the couple asked that their privacy be respected and said they appreciated those who “know us, care for us, and support us.”