Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

spaminator

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Judge rejects Trump’s request for a mistrial in his New York civil fraud case
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Peltz And Michael R. Sisak
Published Nov 17, 2023 • 3 minute read

NEW YORK — The judge in Donald Trump ‘s civil fraud case denied his bid for a mistrial Friday, rejecting claims from the former president’s lawyers that the proceedings are poisoned by political bias.


Trump’s lawyers had argued that Judge Arthur Engoron irreparably harmed Trump’s right to a fair trial through “astonishing departures from ordinary standards of impartiality.”


They cited his rulings against Trump, the prominent role that the judge’s chief law clerk plays in court, the clerk’s political donations and what the defence called Engoron’s “appearance of impropriety” in sharing articles about the case in his high school alumni newsletter.

Engoron declared Friday that the complaints were meritless.

“My principal law clerk does not make rulings or issue orders _ I do,” Engoron wrote, saying that the decisions are his alone and adding: “I stand by each and every ruling, and they speak for themselves.”


As for the newsletter, “none of this has anything to do with, much less does it interfere with, my presiding fairly, impartially, and professionally over the instant dispute, which I have now been doing for more than three years, and which I intend to do until its conclusion,” he wrote.

Trump lawyer Alina Habba responded that the judge had “refused to take responsibility” for what she called his “failure to preside over this case in an impartial and unbiased manner.”

“We, however, remain undeterred and will continue to fight for our clients’ right to a fair trial,” she said in a statement.

Friday’s ruling came a day after an appeals judge at least temporarily lifted a gag order that Engoron had imposed on the parties and attorneys in the case to clamp down on comments about court staffers, particularly chief law clerk Allison Greenfield, who has ended up under a microscope during the trial.


A message seeking comment was sent Friday to state Attorney General Letitia James’ office, which brought the civil case now on trial.

The lawsuit alleges that Trump, his company and top executives exaggerated his wealth by billions of dollars on his financial statements, which were given to banks, insurers and others to secure loans and make deals.

Engoron has already ruled that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud, but the trial is to determine remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records. The verdict is up to Engoron, not a jury.

James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York — and that’s after Engoron ordered before trial that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties. An appeals court put that order on hold for now.


Trump and his co-defendants, including sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, deny any wrongdoing. The elder Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, portrays the trial as a political star chamber orchestrated by James and Engoron, both Democrats.

He and his lawyers also have complained about Greenfield, who sits on the bench near the judge and periodically consults with him in notes during the proceedings.

Trump made a disparaging social media post about her on the trial’s second day, leading Engoron to impose the gag order and, later, to fine Trump a total of $15,000 for what the judge deemed violations.

In filing for a mistrial on Thursday, Trump’s lawyers argued that the clerk had “unprecedented and inappropriate latitude” and was essentially “co-judging” the case. They cast her as a Democratic activist injecting “pro-Attorney General and antiTrump/big real estate bias” into the trial.


The defence attorneys claimed that Greenfield had violated state ethics rules that bar members of a judge’s staff from making more than $500 a year in political donations, pointing to a series of contributions she made to Democratic clubs and candidates this year and last.

Greenfield ran as a Democrat for a civil court judgeship in Manhattan last year. Under the ethics rules, candidates can exceed the contribution limit to buy tickets to political events, with some limitations.

New York judicial candidates often attend such functions, which are seen as helpful to securing a party’s endorsement. Legal experts say candidates are ethically obligated to pay instead of accepting complimentary tickets.

Engoron wrote that his clerk has aimed for an elected judgeship since 2020, and he said her contributions were legal and ethical, falling below the limit once tickets to political gatherings were subtracted. He called the defence’s allegations of partisan stain “nonsensical.”

Last week, Engoron spurned the defence’s request to end the trial through what’s known as a directed verdict.
 

spaminator

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Colorado judge finds Trump engaged in insurrection, but rejects constitutional ballot challenge
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Nicholas Riccardi
Published Nov 17, 2023 • 5 minute read

DENVER — A Colorado judge on Friday found that former president Donald Trump engaged in insurrection during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol but rejected an effort to keep him off the state’s primary ballot because it’s unclear whether a Civil War-era Constitutional amendment barring insurrectionists from public office applies to the presidency.


The lawsuit, brought by a left-leaning group on behalf of a group of Republican and independent Colorado voters, contended that Trump’s actions related to the attack ran afoul of a clause in the 14th Amendment that prevents anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution.


The decision by District Judge Sarah B. Wallace is the third ruling in a little over a week against lawsuits seeking to knock Trump off the ballot by citing Section 3 of the amendment. The Minnesota Supreme Court last week said Trump could remain on the primary ballot because political parties have sole choice over who appears, while a Michigan judge ruled that Congress is the proper forum for deciding whether Section 3 applies to Trump.


In her decision, Wallace said she found that Trump did in fact “engage in insurrection” on Jan. 6 and rejected his attorneys’ arguments that he was simply engaging in free speech. Normally, that would be enough to disqualify him under Section 3, but she said she couldn’t do so for a presidential candidate.

Section 3 does not specifically refer to the presidency, as it does members of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. Instead, the clause refers to “elector of President and Vice President,” along with civil and military offices.

“Part of the Court’s decision is its reluctance to embrace an interpretation which would disqualify a presidential candidate without a clear, unmistakable indication that such is the intent of Section Three,” the judge wrote in the 102-page ruling.


Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung called the ruling “another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges.”

“These cases represent the most cynical and blatant political attempts to interfere with the upcoming presidential election by desperate Democrats,” Cheung said in a statement.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the group that filed the case, said they would appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“The Court found that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection after a careful and thorough review of the evidence,” said attorney Mario Nicolais, who was representing the voters who brought the lawsuit. “We are very pleased with the opinion and look forward to addressing the sole legal issue on appeal, namely whether Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to insurrectionist presidents.”


Whether it’s the Colorado case or one filed in another state, the question ultimately is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has never ruled on Section 3. The group suing in the Michigan case, Free Speech for People, filed an appeal Thursday in state court.

Legal experts said it was significant that Wallace found Trump had engaged in insurrection. She wrote that she agreed with the petitioners’ claim that he “incited” the attack.

“It’s a stunning holding for a court to conclude that a former president engaged in insurrection against the United States,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has followed the case closely. “And there’s a good chance that, on appeal, a court bars him from the ballot.”


Trump has called the attempt to remove “election interference” funded by “dark money” Democratic groups. His attorneys argued in court that Trump was simply engaging in his First Amendment rights on Jan. 6, that he did not incite an insurrection and that Section 3 was never meant to apply to presidential candidates.

They also contended that no single judge should end a candidacy based on an interpretation of a clause that has been used only a handful of times in 150 years.

“The petitioners are asking this court to do something that’s never been done in the history of the United States,” Trump attorney Scott Gessler said during closing arguments. “The evidence doesn’t come close to allowing the court to do it.”

The petitioners argued that there is little ambiguity in Section 3, which was mainly used before Jan. 6 to prevent former Confederates from taking control of the government after the Civil War. It prohibits those who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same” from holding state or federal office, unless granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.


During a weeklong hearing earlier this month, they called a law professor who testified that the clause was widely understood to bar former Confederates from becoming president. He also showed post-Civil War documents indicating that even an act such as buying Confederate war bonds could make someone ineligible for office.

The attorneys seeking to knock Trump off the ballot contended he was simply disqualified, as plainly as if he failed to meet the 35-year age limit for the office. That this had never happened before was a reflection, they said, on Trump and his actions.

Legal historians say Section 3 fell into disuse after Congress granted an amnesty from its provisions to most former Confederates in 1872. It was revived after the attack on the Capitol, which was intended to stop Congress’ certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s win.


The case turned on 150-year-old records from the debate over the 14th Amendment. Wallace said there is “scant direct evidence” that the measure was intended to apply to the presidency. She noted that Trump attorneys flagged a finding by one law professor that an early draft specified the presidency and vice presidency, but the final version did not. The provision also refers to “officers of the United States,” a phrase that elsewhere in the Constitution does not include the top two offices.

But the petitioners’ legal historian testified that in the years after the Civil War it was widely understood that Section 3 would prevent Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy, from being elected president of the United States. He also unearthed records from the debate in which one senator asked if the measure applied to the presidency and an author read back the “officers of the United States” language. The senator who asked the question was then convinced that it did, indeed, include the president, according to the testimony.


“The record demonstrates an appreciable amount of tension between the competing interpretations, and a lack of definitive guidance in the text or historical sources,” Wallace wrote.

The recent cases against Trump mark a new flurry of interest in the long-ignored provision that only started to gain attention after Jan. 6.

The group that filed the Minnesota and Michigan challenges, Free Speech For People, also tried to remove Republican Reps. Madison Cawthorn and Marjorie Taylor Greene from the ballot in 2022 by citing Section 3. Cawthorn’s case became moot when he lost his primary, and a judge ruled against the lawsuit seeking to oust Greene.

CREW successfully used Section 3 to remove a rural New Mexico County Commissioner who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 and was later convicted of a misdemeanour.
 

spaminator

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Trump returns to the U.S.-Mexico border as he lays out a set of hard-line immigration proposals
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jill Colvin, Paul J. Weber And Michelle L. Price
Published Nov 19, 2023 • 5 minute read

EDINBURG, Texas — Donald Trump returned to the U.S.-Mexico border for a visit Sunday as he promotes a hard-line immigration agenda that would be far more expansive than the policies he pursued during his first term as president.


Before making remarks in Edinburg, Texas, Trump served meals to Texas National Guard soldiers, troopers and others who will be stationed at the border over Thanksgiving. He was joined by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, a longtime ally and fellow border hawk who is expected to endorse the front-runner for the 2024 nomination during the visit, according to a person close to Trump who spoke on condition of anonymity before a formal announcement.


Trump and Abbott handed out tacos, and the former president shook hands and posed for pictures. They planned to speak to about 150 supporters outside an airport hangar in the town, which is roughly 30 miles from the border.

Trump has been laying out immigration proposals that would mark a dramatic escalation of the approach he used in office and that drew alarms from civil rights activists and numerous court challenges.


“On my first day back in the White House, I will terminate every open-borders policy of the Biden administration. I will stop the invasion on our southern border and begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history,” he said in Iowa Saturday.

He also wants to:

— revive and expand his controversial travel ban, which initially targeted seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s initial executive order was fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld what Trump complained was a “watered down” version that included travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan officials.

— begin new “ideological screening” for all immigrants, aiming to bar “Christian-hating communists and Marxists” and “dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots and maniacs” from entering the United States. “Those who come to and join our country must love our country,” he has said.


— bar those who support Hamas. “If you empathize with radical Islamic terrorists and extremists, you’re disqualified,” Trump says. “If you want to abolish the state of Israel, you’re disqualified. If you support Hamas or any ideology that’s having to do with that or any of the other really sick thoughts that go through people’s minds — very dangerous thoughts — you’re disqualified.”

— deport immigrants living in the country who harbor “jihadist sympathies” and send immigration agents to “pro-jihadist demonstrations” to identify violators. He would target foreign nationals on college campuses and revoke the student visas of those who express anti-American or antisemitic views.

— invoke the Alien Enemies Act to to remove from the United States all known or suspected gang members and drug dealers. That law was used to justify internment camps in World War II. It allows the president to unilaterally detain and deport people who are not U.S. citizens.


— end the constitutional right to birthright citizenship by signing an executive order his first day in office that would codify a legally untested reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment. Under his order, only children with at least one U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent would be eligible for a passport, Social Security number and other benefits.

— terminate all work permits and cut off funding for shelter and transportation for people who are in the country illegally.

— build more of the wall along the border, crack down on legal asylum-seekers and reimplement measures such as Title 42, which allowed Trump to turn away immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.


— press Congress to pass a law so anyone caught trafficking women or children would receive the death penalty.

— shift federal law enforcement agents, including FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration personnel, to immigration enforcement, and reposition at the southern border thousands of troops currently stationed overseas. “Before we defend the borders of foreign countries we must secure the border of our country,” he said said.

Trump has made frequent trips to the border as a candidate and president. During his 2016 campaign, he traveled to Laredo, Texas in July 2015 for a visit that highlighted how his views on immigration helped him win media attention and support from the GOP base.

The border has also become a centrepiece of Abbott’s agenda and the subject of an escalating fight with the Biden administration over immigration. The three-term governor has approved billions of dollars in new border wall construction, authorized razor wire on the banks of the Rio Grande and bused thousands of migrants to Democrat-led cities across the United States.


Abbott is expected to soon sign what would be one of Texas’ most aggressive measures to date: a law that allows police officers to arrest migrants suspected of entering the country illegally and empowers judges to effectively deport them. The measure is a dramatic challenge to the U.S. government’s authority over immigration. It already has already drawn rebuke from Mexico.

Still, the Texas GOP’s hard right has not always embraced Abbott. Trump posted on his social media platform earlier this year that the governor was “MISSING IN ACTION!” after Republicans voted to impeach Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Trump ally. Abbott was also booed at a 2022 Trump rally.

But Abbott’s navigation within the GOP has built him broad support in Texas, where he has outperformed more strident Republicans down-ballot and helped the GOP make crucial inroads with Hispanic voters.


Democrats tried to use the trip to portray Trump’s plans as extreme.

“Donald Trump is going after immigrants, our rights our safety and our democracy. And that is what really is on the ballot last year,” Biden reelection campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said on a conference call with reporters.

Pollings show many voters aren’t satisfied with the Biden administration’s handling of the border.

A Marquette Law School poll of registered voters conducted in late September gave Trump a 24-point advantage over Biden on handling immigration and border security issues — 52% to 28%.

— Colvin reported from New York. Associated Press writer Will Weissert in Wilmington, Delaware, contributed to this report.
 

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Appeals court weighs reinstating gag order on Trump in landmark DC election case
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker, Alanna Durkin Richer And Lindsay Whitehurst
Published Nov 20, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — A lawyer for Donald Trump urged a federal appeals court Monday to revoke a gag order against the former president in a landmark criminal case, while a prosecutor argued that curbs are necessary to prevent intimidation and threats against participants in the case that charges Trump with scheming to overturn the 2020 election.


Appeals court judges asked skeptical and at times aggressive questions of attorneys on both sides while weighing whether to put back in place an order from a trial judge that barred Trump from inflammatory comments against prosecutors, potential witnesses and court staff.


The judges raised a litany of hypothetical scenarios that could arise in the months ahead as they considered how to fashion a balance between an order that protects Trump’s First Amendment rights and the need to protect “the criminal trial process and its integrity and its truth finding function.”

“There’s a balance that has to be undertaken here, and it’s a very difficult balance in this context,” Judge Patricia Millett told Cecil VanDevender, a lawyer with special counsel Jack Smith’s office. “But we have to use a careful scalpel here and not step into really sort of skewing the political arena, don’t we?”


VanDevender replied that he agreed but said he believes that the gag order does strike the appropriate balance

The court did not immediately rule, but the outcome of Monday’s arguments will set parameters on what Trump, as both a criminal defendant and the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, can and cannot say as the trial date nears. The stakes are high given the volume and intensity of Trump’s public comments about the case and the massive public platform he holds. In a sign of its import, special counsel Smith himself attended the proceedings, sitting in the front row of the courtroom.

During arguments that spanned nearly two-and-a-half hours, the judges expressed clear sympathy for the idea that Trump’s rhetoric could inspire threats of violence.


Judge Brad Garcia pressed Trump lawyer John Sauer to explain why the court shouldn’t take preventive steps.

“This is predictably going to intensify as well as the threats, so why isn’t the district court justified in taking a more proactive measure and not waiting for more and more threats to occur and stepping in to protect the integrity of the trial?” he asked.

But the judges also wondered aloud where to strike a balance. Millett, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, at one point expressed incredulity at the idea that Trump would not be able to respond to criticism about the case from rival candidates if he ever decided to participate in a presidential debate.

You’re telling me he can’t say public record prosecutors paid by the taxpayers. … It’s all a political vendetta. They all are doing the bidding of Joe Biden?”’ she asked. “He can’t stand on the stage and say that?”


The gag order is one of multiple contentious issues being argued ahead of the landmark March 2024 trial. Defense lawyers are also trying to get the case dismissed by arguing that Trump, as a former president, is immune from prosecution and protected by the First Amendment from being charged. The outcome of Monday’s arguments won’t affect those constitutional claims.

The order has had a whirlwind trajectory through the courts since U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed it last month in response to a request from prosecutors, who cited among other comments Trump’s repeated disparagement of Smith as “deranged.”

The judge lifted it days after entering it, giving Trump’s lawyers time to prove why his words should not be restricted. But after Trump took advantage of that pause by posting on social media comments that prosecutors said were meant to sway his former chief of staff against giving unfavorable testimony, Chutkan put it back in place.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit later lifted it as it considered Trump’s appeal.

Trump attorney Sauer called the order unconstitutional and overly vague.

“The order is unprecedented and it sets a terrible precedent for future restrictions on core political speech,” Sauer said. He described it as a “heckler’s veto,” unfairly relying on the theory that Trump’s speech might someday inspire other people to harass or intimidate his targets.

“They can’t draw a causal line from any social media post to threat or harassment when we have wall to wall media coverage of this case,” Sauer told the court.

The judges hearing the case include Cornelia Pillard and Millett, both appointees of President Obama, and Garcia, who joined the bench earlier this year after being nominated by President Biden. Obama and Biden are Democrats.


Should the judges rule against Trump, he’ll have the option of asking the entire court to take up the matter. His lawyers have also signaled that they would ask the Supreme Court to get involved.

The four-count indictment against Trump in Washington is one of four criminal cases he faces as he seeks to reclaim the White House in 2024.

He’s been charged in Florida, also by Smith’s team, with illegally hoarding dozens of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. He’s also been charged in state court in New York in connection with hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels, who alleged an extramarital affair with him, and in Georgia with working to subvert the 2020 presidential election in that state. He has denied doing anything wrong.
 

spaminator

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Ivanka Trump floods Internet with jokes after surfing wipe out
'I bet Hunter Biden can’t do that'


Author of the article:Mark Daniell
Published Nov 29, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read
Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump wiped out while surfing in a purple swimsuit. PHOTO BY IVANKA TRUMP /Instagram
Ivanka Trump had followers in stitches after she posted a video of herself wiping out while surfing on a FlowRider wave simulator over American Thanksgiving weekend.


The daughter of former U.S. president Donald Trump shared before-and-after photos on Instagram inviting her 7.5 million followers to “swipe” right to see her topple while visiting the Baha Bay Water Park in the Bahamas.


In the first snap, Ivanka, 42, is seen smiling in a purple swimsuit as she shows off her skills on the board. But a second photo shows the mother-of-three getting completely pummelled by waves, legs in the air, after taking a nasty tumble.



“Instagram versus reality,” she wrote on her Stories, alongside several laughing emojis.

Ivanka also shared a clip of her successfully riding the wave for a few seconds with the help of an employee.

Fans of the former first daughter took to the comments section to praise Ivanka and take jabs at President Joe Biden.

“I bet Hunter Biden can’t do that,” one person wrote, with a second follower joking, “The second picture accurately represents this country with Biden in office.”

“Take that Hunter. She doesn’t need to couch surf, she saved her money,” a third fan cheered.

“If you ain’t crashing … You ain’t trying hard enough,” a fourth person enthused, as a fifth added: “This is MUCH HARDER, than people think. You did really GOOD! Wow!”


Many others commented on Ivanka’s high level of fitness as a woman in her 40s as a mother to three children – Arabella, 12, Joseph, 10, and Theo, 7.

But Ivanka’s surfing fail prompted a wave of jokes after she tried to skip a court appearance in her father’s $250 million civil fraud trial claiming she had childcare issues.

Earlier this month, Ivanka, who lives in Florida, argued she would suffer “undue hardship” if she were forced to testify in New York City on a Wednesday “in the middle of a school week.”

In a one-sentence ruling, the First Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division denied Ivanka’s bid not to appear.



The attorney general also dismissed the notion that a mandatory court appearance would subject Ivanka to undue hardship.

“Ms. Trump’s mere need to attend trial for a single day to testify truthfully is not itself a serious harm that warrants emergency relief,” the AG wrote [per CNBC].

People joked on social media that she had found a babysitter after all.

Adam Parkhomenko, a Democratic political strategist wrote on X: “Guess she found a babysitter.”



“I can’t stop laughing because apparently she did find a babysitter and then wiped out,” another wisecracker added [per Newsweek], with a third piling on: “Wait until you see how badly her dad wipes out in federal court.”

Later during her family vacation, Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner and their three kids were seen standing “stoned-faced” as they waited in line for tacos.

“She didn’t seem thrilled. It was a ridiculously slow line, and they just stood there. No one let them cut. They were just waiting for tacos. It was very chill,” a source told Page Six.

mdaniell@postmedia.com

X: @markhdaniell
1701429629839.png
 

justfred

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I see on the Internet where Donald Trump makes some astonishing comments regarding what he likes and what he doesn’t like. I wonder if someone gave him $100,000 as a donation and if Donald Trump likes Coca-Cola and the donator of the hundred thousand dollars likes Pepsi would Donald, call him or rhino and call him out?
 

spaminator

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Appeals court reinstates gag order that barred Trump from maligning court staff in NY fraud trial
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Peltz And Michael R. Sisak
Published Nov 30, 2023 • 2 minute read

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court Thursday reinstated a gag order that barred Donald Trump from commenting about court personnel after he continually disparaged a law clerk in his New York civil fraud trial.


The one-sentence decision from a four-judge panel came two weeks after an individual appellate judge had put the order on hold while the appeals process played out.


Trial judge Arthur Engoron, who imposed the gag order, said he now planned to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.”

Trump attorney Christopher Kise called it “a tragic day for the rule of law.”

Engoron imposed the initial gag order Oct. 3 after Trump posted a derogatory comment about the judge’s law clerk to social media. The post, which included a baseless allegation about the clerk’s personal life, came the second day of the trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit.

James’ lawsuit alleges Trump exaggerated his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make deals. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The former president, now the front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, contends the lawsuit is a political attack by James, a Democrat.


Over the trial’s first few weeks, Engoron fined Trump $15,000 for violating the gag order. The judge expanded the order — which initially covered only parties in the case — to include lawyers after Trump’s attorneys questioned clerk Allison Greenfield’s prominent role on the bench, where she sits alongside the judge, exchanging notes and advising him during testimony.

Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against Engoron, challenging his gag order as an abuse of power.

State lawyers had sought to tie Trump’s comments to an uptick in nasty calls and messages directed at the judge and law clerk.

A court security captain wrote in a sworn statement last week that Greenfield has been receiving 20-30 calls per day to her personal cell phone and 30-50 messages per day on social media, LinkedIn and to two personal email addresses.


The captain reported that Greenfield received enough harassing voicemails to fill a transcript with 275 single-spaced pages, and that about half the harassing and disparaging messages to her were antisemitic.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that while messages and calls were “vile and reprehensible,” he shouldn’t be muzzled because of other people’s bad behavior. Trump never called for violence against Greenfield, nor did he or his lawyers ever encourage or condone harassment and threats, the attorneys wrote in a court filing.

They argued that the gag order infringed on his free speech rights.

“As the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and as a citizen on trial, President Trump is well within his rights to comment on what he perceives as bias,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

While the order was on hold, Trump posted about Greenfield as recently as Wednesday, referring to the judge’s “very disturbed and angry law clerk.”

Trump is due to testify in the case, for a second time, Dec. 11.
 

justfred

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Appeals court reinstates gag order that barred Trump from maligning court staff in NY fraud trial
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Peltz And Michael R. Sisak
Published Nov 30, 2023 • 2 minute read

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court Thursday reinstated a gag order that barred Donald Trump from commenting about court personnel after he continually disparaged a law clerk in his New York civil fraud trial.


The one-sentence decision from a four-judge panel came two weeks after an individual appellate judge had put the order on hold while the appeals process played out.


Trial judge Arthur Engoron, who imposed the gag order, said he now planned to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.”

Trump attorney Christopher Kise called it “a tragic day for the rule of law.”

Engoron imposed the initial gag order Oct. 3 after Trump posted a derogatory comment about the judge’s law clerk to social media. The post, which included a baseless allegation about the clerk’s personal life, came the second day of the trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit.

James’ lawsuit alleges Trump exaggerated his wealth on financial statements used to secure loans and make deals. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The former president, now the front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, contends the lawsuit is a political attack by James, a Democrat.


Over the trial’s first few weeks, Engoron fined Trump $15,000 for violating the gag order. The judge expanded the order — which initially covered only parties in the case — to include lawyers after Trump’s attorneys questioned clerk Allison Greenfield’s prominent role on the bench, where she sits alongside the judge, exchanging notes and advising him during testimony.

Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against Engoron, challenging his gag order as an abuse of power.

State lawyers had sought to tie Trump’s comments to an uptick in nasty calls and messages directed at the judge and law clerk.

A court security captain wrote in a sworn statement last week that Greenfield has been receiving 20-30 calls per day to her personal cell phone and 30-50 messages per day on social media, LinkedIn and to two personal email addresses.


The captain reported that Greenfield received enough harassing voicemails to fill a transcript with 275 single-spaced pages, and that about half the harassing and disparaging messages to her were antisemitic.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that while messages and calls were “vile and reprehensible,” he shouldn’t be muzzled because of other people’s bad behavior. Trump never called for violence against Greenfield, nor did he or his lawyers ever encourage or condone harassment and threats, the attorneys wrote in a court filing.

They argued that the gag order infringed on his free speech rights.

“As the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and as a citizen on trial, President Trump is well within his rights to comment on what he perceives as bias,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

While the order was on hold, Trump posted about Greenfield as recently as Wednesday, referring to the judge’s “very disturbed and angry law clerk.”

Trump is due to testify in the case, for a second time, Dec. 11.
I guess a way to bring old Donnie back to reality is to allow all of Americans free speech (Donnie’s) version, and if US society started to make treats to any and all Republicans and Democratic's, without any police and FBI interference, (like old Donnie wants) and if somebody threatens him, it is okay.
 

spaminator

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Lawsuits against Trump over Jan. 6 riot can move forward, appeals court rules
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Alanna Durkin Richer And Eric Tucker
Published Dec 01, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — Lawsuits against Donald Trump over the U.S. Capitol riot can move forward, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday, rejecting the former president’s bid to dismiss the cases accusing him of inciting the violent mob on Jan. 6, 2021.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit court knocked down Trump’s sweeping claims that presidential immunity shields him from liability in the lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers and police officers. But the three-judge panel said the 2024 Republican presidential primary frontrunner can continue to fight, as the cases proceed, to try to prove that his actions were taken in his official capacity as president.


Trump has said he can’t be sued over the riot that left dozens of police officers injured, arguing that his words during a rally before the storming of the Capitol addressed “matters of public concern” and fall within the scope of absolute presidential immunity.

The decision comes as Trump’s lawyers are arguing he is also immune from prosecution in the separate criminal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith that accuses Trump of illegally plotting to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden. Smith’s team has signaled that it will make the case at trial that Trump is responsible for the violence at the Capitol and point to Trump’s continued embrace of the Jan. 6 rioters on the campaign trail to argue that he intended for the chaos that day.


Friday’s ruling underscores the challenges facing Trump as he tries to persuade courts, and potentially juries, that the actions he took in the run-up to the riot were part of his official duties as president. The judge presiding over his election subversion criminal trial, Tanya Chutkan, also rejected that claim in an order released Friday night.

While courts have afforded presidents broad immunity for their official acts, the judges made clear that that protection does not cover just any act or speech undertaken by a president. A president running for a second term, for example, is not carrying out the official duties of the presidency when he is speaking at a rally funded by his reelection campaign or attends a private fundraiser, the appeals court said.


“He is acting as office-seeker, not office-holder — no less than are the persons running against him when they take precisely the same actions in their competing campaigns to attain precisely the same office,” Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote for the court.

But the court said its decision is not necessarily the final word on the issue of presidential immunity, leaving the door open for Trump to keep fighting the issue. And it took pains to note that it was not being asked to evaluate whether Trump was responsible for the riot or should be held to account in court. It also said Trump could still seek to argue that his actions were protected by the First Amendment — a claim he’s also made in his pending criminal case — or covered by other privileges.


“When these cases move forward in the district court, he must be afforded the opportunity to develop his own facts on the immunity question if he desires to show that he took the actions alleged in the complaints in his official capacity as president rather than in his unofficial capacity as a candidate,” the court said.

Trump could ask the full appeals court to take up the matter or go to the U.S. Supreme Court. A lawyer for Trump, Jesse Binnall, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment on the ruling. A Trump campaign spokesperson called the decision “limited, narrow and procedural.”

“The facts fully show that on January 6 President Trump was acting on behalf of the American people, carrying out his duties as president of the United States. Moreover, his admonition that his supporters ‘peacefully and patriotically make (their) voices heard,’ along with a myriad other statements prove that these Democrat Hoaxes are completely meritless,” spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.


The lawsuits seek civil damages for harms they say they endured when rioters descended on the Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden’s election victory, smashing windows, engaging in hand-to-hand combat with police officers and sending lawmakers running into hiding. One of the lawsuits, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, alleges that Trump directly incited the violence at the Capitol “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, who were both injured in the riot. Blassingame said Friday that he “couldn’t be more committed to pursuing accountability” in the case.


“More than two years later, it is unnerving to hear the same fabrications and dangerous rhetoric that put my life as well as the lives of my fellow officers in danger on January 6, 2021,” he said in a statement. He added: “I hope our case will assist with helping put our democracy back on the right track; making it crystal clear that no person, regardless of title or position of stature, is above the rule of law.”

Lawyers in the Justice Department’s civil division urged the court earlier this year to let the cases proceed, arguing that a president wouldn’t be protected by absolute immunity if his words were found to have been an “incitement of imminent private violence.”

The current appeal was decided by a unanimous three-court panel that included Judge Gregory Katsas, a Trump appointee to the bench who authored his own concurring opinion.
 

Taxslave2

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So the way I am reading this, if laws were written in clear and concise English, a great many overpaid lawyers would be out of work. As would a lot of journalists, that invent news.
 
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spaminator

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Trump declines to rule out abusing power if he returns to White House
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jill Colvin
Published Dec 05, 2023 • 1 minute read

NEW YORK — Former president Donald Trump declined to rule out abusing power if he wins the presidency again after Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity asked him Tuesday to respond to growing Democratic criticism of his rhetoric.


The GOP presidential front-runner has talked about targeting his rivals — referring to them as “vermin” — and seeking retribution if he returns to the Oval Office for what he argues are politically motivated prosecutions against him. As Trump has dominated the Republican presidential primary, U.S. President Joe Biden has stepped up his own warnings, contending Trump is ” determined to destroy American democracy.”


“Under no circumstances, you are promising America tonight, you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody?” Hannity asked.



“Except for Day 1,” Trump responded. “I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill.”


Trump then repeated his assertion. “I love this guy,” he said of the Fox News host. “He says, ‘You’re not going to be a dictator, are you?’ I said, ‘No, no, no, other than Day 1. We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling. After that, I’m not a dictator.'”

Earlier in the interview, Hannity had asked Trump if he “in any way” had “any plans whatsoever, if re-elected president, to abuse power, to break the law to use the government to go after people.”

“You mean like they’re using right now?” Trump responded.

The interview before a live audience was taped Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa, and aired later in the night.

Trump had tried to turn the tables on Biden during a Saturday speech in Iowa, arguing that the man whose election victory Trump tried to overturn is “the destroyer of American democracy.”
 

spaminator

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Trump back at his New York civil fraud trial as testimony nears end
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jennifer Peltz And Michael R. Sisak
Published Dec 07, 2023 • 3 minute read

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump returned to his civil business fraud trial as a spectator Thursday, after a month of assailing the proceedings from afar.


With testimony winding down after more than two months, the Republican 2024 presidential front-runner showed up to watch an accounting professor testify about financial topics important to the case.


Trump himself is scheduled to take the stand Monday, for a second time.

Even while campaigning to reclaim the presidency and fighting four criminal cases, Trump is devoting a lot of attention to the New York lawsuit. He’s been a frustrated onlooker, a confrontational witness and a heated commentator outside the courtroom door.

“This is a witch hunt, and it’s a very corrupt trial,” Trump said on his way into court Thursday.

The case is putting his net worth on trial, scrutinizing the real estate empire that first built his reputation, and threatening to block him from doing business in his native state.


New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit accuses Trump, his company and some executives of misleading banks and insurers by giving them financial statements full of inflated values for such signature assets as his Trump Tower penthouse and Mar-a-Lago, the Florida club where he now lives. The statements were provided to help secure deals — including loans at attractive interest rates available to hyperwealthy people — and some loans required updated statements each year.

Trump denies any wrongdoing, and he posits that the statements’ numbers actually fell short of his wealth. He also has downplayed the documents’ importance in getting deals, saying it was clear that lenders and others should do their own analyses. And he claims the case is a partisan abuse of power by James and Judge Arthur Engoron, both Democrats.


Thursday’s witness, New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov, appeared for Trump’s defense.

In a report prepared before his testimony, Bartov disputed the attorney general’s allegations that Trump’s financial statements flouted basic accounting rules. The professor added that in the accounting and financial world, recipients see such statements as just a starting point for doing their own analyses.

Trump has regularly railed about the case on his Truth Social platform.

Going to court in person affords him a microphone — in fact, many of them, on the news cameras positioned in the hallway. He often stops on his way into and out of the proceedings, which cameras can’t record, to expostulate and to cast various developments as victories.


His out-of-court remarks got him fined $10,000 Oct. 26, when Engoron decided Trump had violated a gag order that prohibits participants in the trial from commenting publicly on court staffers. Trump’s lawyers are appealing the gag order.

James hasn’t let Trump go unanswered, often — but not Thursday _ showing up to court herself when he’s there and making her own comments on social media and the courthouse steps. Lawyers in the case have been told not to make press statements in the hallway, but the former president has been allowed to do so.

“Here’s a fact: Donald Trump has engaged in years of financial fraud. Here’s another fact: When you break the law, there are consequences,” her office wrote this week on X, formerly Twitter.


While the non-jury trial is airing claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records, Engoron ruled beforehand that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud. He ordered that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties, but an appeals court has held off on that order for now.

At trial, James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties and a prohibition on Trump and other defendants doing business in New York.

It’s not clear exactly when testimony will wrap up, but it’s expected before Christmas. Closing arguments are scheduled in January, and Engoron is aiming for a decision by the end of that month.
 

spaminator

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Jury in lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani hears racist threats election workers received
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lindsay Whitehurst And Michelle L. Price
Published Dec 11, 2023 • 4 minute read

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for two Georgia election workers played audio recordings in a Washington courtroom Monday of graphic and racist threats the two women received after Rudy Giuliani falsely accused them of fraud while pushing Donald Trump’s baseless claims after the 2020 election.


The recordings were part of the opening statements in a federal case that will determine how much Giuliani might have to pay the women.


The former New York City mayor has already been found liable in the defamation lawsuit brought by Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, who endured threats and harassment after they became the target of a conspiracy theory spread by Trump and his allies. The only issue to be determined at the trial is the amount of damages, if any, Giuliani must pay.

The recordings played by the lawyers Monday included threats accusing the women of treason and threatening to hang them.

The women got hundreds of similar calls, text messages and emails, said attorney Von DuBose. People also showed up at Freeman’s home to pound on her door and at her mother’s house to make “citizen’s arrests,” DuBose said.


“Mr. Giuliani and his co-conspirators stole the lives Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman by destroying their names,” DuBose said.

Giuliani did not speak to reporters as he entered Washington’s federal courthouse — the same building where Trump is to stand trial in March on criminal charges accusing the former president of scheming to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden.

Giuliani is expected to take the witness stand in his own case, his lawyer said Monday, raising questions about whether his testimony could also put him in jeopardy in a separate criminal case in Georgia that accuses Trump, Giuliani and others of trying to illegally overturn the results of the election in the state.

The legal and financial woes are mounting for Giuliani, who was celebrated as “America’s mayor” in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack and became one of the most ardent promoters of Trump’s election lies.


In the Georgia criminal case, Giuliani is accused of making false statements to lawmakers during hearings in December 2020. While showing a surveillance video from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, where ballots were counted in the days after the election, Giuliani said election workers committed election fraud. Specifically, he said, Freeman and Moss were “quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine” and it was obvious they were “engaged in surreptitious illegal activity.”

The claims about the election workers were quickly debunked by Georgia officials, who found no improper counting of ballots.

Giuliani has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case and maintains he had every right to raise questions about what he believed to be election fraud.


He was also sued in September by a former lawyer who alleged Giuliani only paid a fraction of roughly $1.6 million in legal fees stemming from investigations into his efforts to keep Trump in the White House. And the judge overseeing the election workers’ lawsuit has already ordered Giuliani and his business entities to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees.

Overseeing the defamation case is District Judge Beryl Howell, who is well-versed in handling matters related to Trump, having served as chief judge of Washington’s federal court for the entirety of Trump’s presidency.

In that role, the appointee of former President Barack Obama made several significant rulings, including determining in 2020 that the House of Representatives was entitled to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and, more recently, issuing a sealed opinion requiring a lawyer for Trump to testify before the grand jury over his objections in an investigation into the mishandling of classified documents.


Among the questions Howell asked jurors was: “Have you ever used the phrase ‘Lets Go Brandon?”‘ The phrase is used in right-wing circles to insult Biden.

Moss had worked for the Fulton County elections department since 2012 and supervised the absentee ballot operation during the 2020 election. Freeman was a temporary election worker, verifying signatures on absentee ballots and preparing them to be counted and processed.

The women have said the false claims led to a barrage of violent threats and harassment that at one point led Freeman to leave her home for more than two months. In emotional testimony before the U.S. House Committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack, Moss recounted receiving threatening and racist messages.


In an August decision holding Giuliani liable in the case, Howell said the Trump adviser gave “only lip service” to complying with his legal obligations and had failed to turn over information requested by the mother and daughter. The judge in October said that Giuliani had flagrantly disregarded an order to provide documents concerning his personal and business assets. She said that jurors deciding the amount of damages would be told they must infer that Giuliani was intentionally trying to hide financial documents in the hopes of “artificially deflating his net worth.”

Giuliani conceded in July that he made public comments falsely claiming Freeman and Moss committed fraud while counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. But Giuliani argued that the statements were protected by the First Amendment.
 

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Election worker suing Rudy Giuliani tells jurors that lies made her fear for life
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lindsay Whitehurst And Alanna Durkin Richer
Published Dec 12, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scared for her life after Rudy Giuliani and other Donald Trump allies falsely accused her of fraud, former Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss told jurors Tuesday she seldom leaves her home, suffers from panic attacks and battles nightmares brought on by a barrage of threatening and racist messages.


Wandrea “Shaye” Moss took the witness stand on the second day of the defamation trial that will determine how much the former New York City mayor will have to pay Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, for spreading a conspiracy theory that they rigged the state’s 2020 election results. Moss noted that Giuliani just a day earlier _ after the trial began — repeated the false claims about her and her mother, saying they were “engaged in changing votes.”


“I personally cannot repair my reputation at the moment because your client is still lying on me and ruining my reputation further,” she told Giuliani’s lawyer.

She sobbed as she testified that her life was turned upside down by the accusations, though they were quickly debunked by state officials. Her attorneys displayed a few of the graphic messages accusing her of treason and more that she received after Giuliani in December 2020 falsely accused workers at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta of tampering with ballots.


Moss told jurors that she was a bubbly, outgoing person before the conspiracy theories began, but since then she’s been stuck in a lonely cycle of crying and nightmares.

“I’m most scared of my son finding me and or my mom hanging in front of our house on a tree having to get news at school that his mom was killed,” the 39-year-old said. At one point in January 2021, she said, someone came to her grandmother’s door threatening to make a “citizen arrest.”

“Most days I pray that God does not wake me up and I just disappear,” Moss said.

Moss and her mother are seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from Giuliani in the defamation case at the same time he’s preparing to defend himself against criminal charges in a separate case in Georgia. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case that accuses him and others of scheming to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. He has denied any wrongdoing.


The trial is playing out at Washington’s federal courthouse months before Trump is scheduled to stand trial there on criminal charges accusing him of conspiring to subvert the will of voters to stay in power. Giuliani is among Trump’s unnamed “co-conspirators” in the federal case but the former mayor has not been charged by special counsel Jack Smith.

The judge overseeing the defamation case has already found Giuliani liable, and Giuliani has acknowledged in court that he made public comments falsely claiming Freeman and Moss committed fraud while counting ballots. The only issue remaining in the trial is the amount of damages Giuliani will have to pay the women.

The women’s lawyers estimated that reputational damages could reach $47 million, and suggested emotional and punitive damages on top of that could be “tens of millions.”


Giuliani’s lawyer has said any award should be much less, describing the damages the women are seeking as the “civil equivalent of the death penalty.”

Defense attorney Joseph Sibley has argued there’s no evidence Giuliani himself encouraged the harassment. While questioning Moss under cross-examination, Sibley said the right-wing website Gateway Pundit was the first to publish the surveillance video of the election workers rather than the former mayor. Sibley pressed Moss on the amount of money they are seeking, asking her, “Are you going to repair your reputation or use the money to do something else?”

Moss, who previously testified before the U.S. House Committee that investigated the Capitol attack, described being brought into her director’s office after Giuliani made the claims during a Georgia legislative hearing. Moss thought her director wanted to recognize her for her election work or give her a promised promotion, she told jurors. Instead the mood in the room was somber, and soon she learned the real reason for the meeting.


“I am shown these videos, these lies, everything that had been going on that I had no clue about,” Moss said.

Moss said she went home that night, scared and confused, and could only watch as the angry messages poured in. She got her long blonde hair cut off and dyed the next day, trying to reclaim some of her anonymity. She moved from the home she lived in to try to avoid the harassment, but people have found her new address, she told jurors. About two months ago, someone one mailed a picture of her face from the newspaper cut into shreds, she said.

“I was afraid for my life. I literally felt like someone going to come and attempt to hang me and there’s nothing that anyone will be able to do about it,” Moss said.

Giuliani watched intently during Moss’s testimony, frequently taking notes or conferring with his lawyer. Giuliani is expected to testify.


Moss’ testimony came hours after the judge scolded Giuliani for comments made outside the federal courthouse Monday in which he insisted his claims about the women were true.

“When I testify, the whole story will be definitively clear that what I said was true, and that, whatever happened to them — which is unfortunate about other people overreacting — everything I said about them is true,” Giuliani told reporters.

Giuliani added that Moss and Freeman were “engaged in changing votes.” When a reporter pushed back, saying there was no proof of that, Giuliani replied: “You’re damn right there is. … Stay tuned.”

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell warned Giuliani’s lawyer that his client’s remarks amounted to “defamatory statements about them yet again.” The judge was incredulous, asking Giuliani’s lawyer about the contradiction of his opening statements calling Freeman and Moss “good people” but then the former mayor repeating unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

“How are we supposed to reconcile that?” she asked the lawyer.

Sibley conceded her point and told the judge he discussed the comments with his client, but added, “I can’t control everything he does.” He also argued that the mayor’s age and health concerns make long days in court challenging.