Judge Cannon appears skeptical of Trump’s argument special counsel was illegally appointed: Live updates

Judge Cannon appears skeptical of Trump’s argument special counsel was illegally appointed: Live updates
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A hearing in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case ended with no ruling on Friday as Judge Aileen Cannon entertained a motion from the ex-commander-in-chief’s legal team that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed as special counsel.

Smith has brought charges for allegedly mishandling classified information in Florida and for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Washington DC.

The Trump argument that Smith’s appointment was illegal stems from the claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland doesn’t have the legal authority to appoint a special counsel who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.

The Department of Justice has argued that the attorney general has the power to appoint “inferior officers” – including special counsels. However, the Trump legal team argued that Smith is a “principal officer” and therefore needs confirmation.

During parts of the hearing, Cannon seemed to be skeptical of Trump’s argument that Smith was appointed illegally. But she also seemed not to be in agreement with the prosecution. She said that their statutory analysis appeared to be an excessively “malleable” reading of the Constitution, Lawfare reported.

Key Points

  • No ruling from Cannon on Smith appointment

  • Cannon seems skeptical of Trump’s argument Smith was appointed illegally

  • Reclusive banking heir billionaire gave Trump $50m one day after hush money conviction

  • Trump set to ask judge to revoke prosecutors’ access to memos by ex-attorney

  • Manhattan DA requests that Judge Merchan keep in place elements of Trump gag order

Trump judge presses his attorneys on ‘shadow government’ claims in Jack Smith hearing

22:35 , Alex Woodward

On Friday, Trump’s attorneys and his allies argued that Smith — who brought federal charges against the former president — was unlawfully appointed as special counsel to prosecutor the Mar-a-Lago case.

Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by Trump, appeared somewhat skeptical of their long-shot arguments.

She also pushed Trump’s attorneys to explain what they meant by saying that Smith’s position amounted to a “shadow government.”

“That sounds very ominous,” she said. “But what do you really mean?”

Mar-a-Lago judge presses Trump attorneys on ‘shadow government’ claims

VIDEO: Latino Voters' Trust in Biden on Immigration Wanes

22:15 , Gustaf Kilander

The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

21:45 , Mark Sherman, AP

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal gun control law that is intended to protect victims of domestic violence.

In their first Second Amendment case since they expanded gun rights in 2022, the justices ruled in favor of a 1994 ban on firearms for people under restraining orders to stay away from their spouses or partners. The justices reversed a ruling from the federal appeals court in New Orleans that had struck down the law.

Last week, the court overturned a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The court ruled that the Justice Department exceeded its authority in imposing that ban.

Friday’s case stemmed directly from the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision in June 2022. A Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, was accused of hitting his girlfriend during an argument in a parking lot and later threatening to shoot her.

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The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

Miami newspaper runs pro-Trump political ad filled with racial slurs

21:30 , Martha McHardy

A newspaper in Miami, Florida is under fire after running several pro-Trump political ads filled with racial slurs.

The full-page ad, which ran on the back cover of the Miami New Times’ June 13–19 print edition, features several uncensored uses of the n-word, as well as a misleading quote of President Biden using the slur in 1985.

The quote was taken from a 1985 hearing in which then-Senator Biden quoted racist remarks made by a state legislator during a redistricting process in Louisiana. At the time, Biden was questioning William Bradford Reynolds, a nominee for deputy attorney general, who oversaw the redistricting process.

During the hearing, Biden read verbatim from a memo highlighting racist language used by lawmakers to support the redistricting plan. “We already have a n----- mayor, we don’t need any more n-----big shots!” Biden quoted a lawmaker as saying, before arguing that Reynolds had ignored racist comments by lawmakers and allowed them to gerrymander Louisiana’s congressional districts in a way that underrepresented Black residents.

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Miami newspaper runs pro-Trump political ad filled with racial slurs

No ruling from Cannon on Smith appointment

21:29 , Gustaf Kilander

There was no ruling from the bench by Judge Cannon in the hearing on whether special counsel Jack Smith had been appointed illegally.

At the end of the hearing, Cannon asked the prosecution a number of questions, such as “Did the attorney general have any oversight role in seeking the indictment?”

Prosecutor James Pearce declined to answer, citing policy, according to NBC.

Cannon then asked why there would be a problem answering if Garland signed off on the indictment in the classified documents case, regardless of what the policy is.

Pearce responded that he didn’t want to appear to be hiding something, but still said it would be against policy to answer such a question.

Three outside groups also presented their cases on Friday.

Before court ended for the day, Cannon asked both the defense and the prosecution to file supplemental materials, such as case law and statutory citations, but to limit filings to five pages.

Trump keeps citing the Presidential Records Act in his Mar-a-Lago defense: What does it say?

21:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump keeps pointing to the Presidential Records Act (PRA) to argue that he has done nothing wrong in the classified documents case, but what does the legislation say?

In 2022, the FBI conducted a raid on Mar-a-Lago, finding more than 100 classified documents that had not been handed back to the government despite several requests and subpoenas being issued. He was subsequently hit with dozens of charges alleging that he withheld the classified documents after leaving the White House, then obstructed the federal governement’s investigation. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

In March of this year, Judge Cannon on the US District Court of South Florida heard arguments regarding the notion that the PRA protects Trump from prosecution and that the case should be dismissed. While Trump’s attorneys argued that the law is too vague about national defense information, experts say that Trump has misinterpreted the law.

Barack Obama-era US attorney Joyce Alene White Vance wrote on X on March 14 that the motions from the Trump team were “barely better than frivolous”.

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What is the Presidential Records Act Trump keeps citing in his defense?

Trump’s fundraising has massively overtaken Biden’s. What he does with the cash matters more

21:00 , Eric Garcia

Former president Donald Trump blew out President Joe Biden in fundraising in May. According to campaign filings, Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised only $85 million in May, while Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $141 million.

Finding the reason for Trump’s cash advantage is not hard: On the second-to-last day of May, a jury found Trump guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records as part of a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election. The day after the conviction, Trump’s campaign reported that it had raised $34.8 million in just 24 hours. Staffers said that 485,000 people had contributed to the campaign; 29.7 percent of the donors were first time contributors to WinRed, the GOP’s preferred fundraising platform.

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Trump’s fundraising has massively overtaken Biden’s. What will he do with the cash?

NY prosecutors urge judge to keep gag order blocking Trump from criticizing jurors who convicted him

20:45 , Jake Offenhartz, AP

Prosecutors on Friday urged the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case to uphold provisions of a gag order that bar him from criticizing jurors and court staff, while agreeing to lift a restriction on his public statements about trial witnesses.

In court papers filed Friday, prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office argued that portions of the gag order remained necessary given the Republican former president’s “singular history of inflammatory and threatening public statements,” as well as efforts by his supporters to “identify jurors and threaten violence against him.”

“Since the verdict in this case, defendant has not exempted the jurors from his alarming rhetoric that he would have ‘every right’ to seek retribution as president against the participants in this trial as a consequence of his conviction because ’sometimes revenge can be justified,” the filing states.

The gag order, issued in March, prohibited Trump from making or directing others to make public statements about witnesses, jurors and others connected to the case. It does not restrict comments about the judge, Juan M. Merchan, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office prosecuted the case.

READ MORE:

NY prosecutors urge judge to keep gag order blocking Trump from criticizing jurors who convicted him

‘That sounds very ominous'

20:37 , Gustaf Kilander

On Friday, Judge Cannon questioned Trump attorney Emil Bove on what he meant by that Smith’s appointment amounted to a “shadow government”.

“That sounds very ominous. But what do you really mean?” she asked, according to CNN.

Instead of answering the question, Bove went on to argue that Smith was improperly appointed. He added that there should be another hearing on the matter, including testimony regarding the relationship between Garland and Smith.

When Cannon said there are regulations Smith must follow, Bove replied that Smith wasn’t reporting to anyone.

Prosecutor James Pearce said Garland could fire Smith at “this very moment.” He noted later that Garland doesn’t look over each decision Smith makes.

Judge Judy calls out Trump trial as ‘nonsense’ and says taxpayer money better spent making NY subways safer

20:30 , Katie Hawkinson

Judy Sheindlin, better known as TV icon Judge Judy, has described Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial in New York as “nonsense.”

The retired judge spoke with CNN’s Chris Wallace on Friday about the former president and his recent felony conviction. Sheindlin was the star of reality TV hit “Judge Judy,” where she presided over small claims cases on the show, which ran from 1996 to 2021.

Sheindlin, who is originally from Brooklyn, said that she had not been in favor of Trump’s Manhattan prosecution.

“I would be happier as someone who owns property in Manhattan, if the district attorney of New York County would take care of criminals who are making it impossible for citizens to walk in the streets and use the subway, to use his efforts to keep those people off the street, than to spend 5 million or ten million of taxpayers money trying Donald Trump on this nonsense,” she said.

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Judge Judy calls out Trump trial as ‘nonsense’ and a waste of taxpayer money

Judge dismisses criminal charges against Trump’s ‘fake electors’ in Nevada

20:20 , Alex Woodward

A judge in Nevada has dismissed a criminal case against six so-called “fake electors” who tried to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election.

Clark County District Court Judge Mary Kay Holthus argued that the case from state prosecutors was filed in the wrong county.

Attorneys for the six defendants argued that the case should have been brought in Carson City, where they approved false certificates certifying Trump’s electors, or in Douglas County, where those documents were mailed.

Nevada’s Attorney General Aaron Ford is expected to appeal the decision.

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Judge dismisses criminal charges against Trump’s ‘fake electors’ in Nevada

Trump goes on late-night rant about ‘love’ for Ten Commandments and backs forcing it in public schools

20:15 , Martha McHardy

Donald Trump has declared his “love” for the Ten Commandments and has called for them to be displaye in schools and other places in an all-caps, late-night post on his social media platform, Truth Social.

His post came after Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed legislation this week that requires the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in the state. Elementary, middle and high schools, as well as public colleges, must all display posters no smaller than 11 by 14 inches and the commandments must be “the central focus of the poster” and “in a large, easily readable font,” the law states.

Louisiana is the only state in the country with such a requirement however it appears that it is one that the former president would like to expand.

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Trump rants about ‘love’ for Ten Commandments and backs forcing it in public schools

Labor leader to speak at RNC, Trump says

20:05 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump wrote on Truth Social on Friday that Sean O’Brien, the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters will speak at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Our GREAT convention will unify Americans and demonstrate to the nation’s working families they come first. When I am back in the White House, the hardworking Teamsters, and all working Americans, will once again have a country they can afford to live in and be respected around the world. Sean, I look forward to seeing you represent the Teamsters in Milwaukee,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s media company suffers another huge slump as share price falls nearly 15%

19:45 , Katie Hawkinson

Share prices for Donald Trump’s media company fell nearly 15 percent on Thursday as the former president’s business continued to endure a tough month.

Shares of Trump Media and Technology Group — the business that runs Trump’s Truth Social platform — cost just $26.75 at the close of trading on Thursday, marking a 14.56 percent fall from opening.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s price marks a more than 40 percent drop from the beginning of June, when shares sold for about $49 and a Manhattan jury had just found Trump guilty of 34 felony counts related to falsifying business documents.

This drop comes amid high sharing activity, with some 13 million stocks trading hands on Thursday.

The former president’s 114 million shares of stock in the company are now worth just $3.2BN, CNBC reports, a major drop from $5.6bn just three weeks ago.

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Trump’s media company suffers another huge slump as share price falls nearly 15%

Alvin Bragg gets more than 100 threats in the three weeks after Trump’s conviction - more than all of 2023

18:45 , Josh Marcus

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has received more than 100 threats and abusive messages in the weeks since his office finished convicting Donald Trump in the former president’s unprecedented hush money case, more than all the threats the prosecutor received in the previous year.

The threats, analyzed by the DA’s New York Police Department security detail and obtained by the New York Daily News, included messages filled with hateful racial slurs, and ominous comments like “Bragg in Trouble” and a messenger who sent an email from an address named ThisMeansWar.

The volume of aggression far outpaces what Bragg has faced previously, according to court filings. There were 89 threats against the DA in 2023, New York prosecutors disclosed as they sought a gag order in the Trump hush money case, up from just one threat prior to when Trump was indicted.

Throughout the prosecution of Donald Trump, which ended in May, Bragg, who is Black, has received a deluge of threats, many of them racist, including a package sent to his campaign mailbox with a cutout of him hung from a noose.

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Alvin Bragg gets more than 100 threats in the three weeks after Trump’s conviction

Manhattan DA points to chilling bomb threats as he asks to extend Trump gag order

18:45 , Alex Woodward

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicated on Friday that he’s willing to partially lift Donald Trump’s gag order in his hush money trial, but slammed the former president for his “patent disrespect” for the rule of law and warned the trial judge of credible bomb threats made against people involved in the case.

Trump — who is blocked from publicly attacking witnesses, jurors and other parties in the case, excluding Bragg and Justice Juan Merchan — has asked the judge to lift the gag order entirely, now that the criminal trial has come to an end with guilty verdicts on all 34 counts against him.

In a filing on Friday, Bragg said his office agrees that the gag order can be amended to lift the restrictions against trial witnesses — but that’s as far as he will go.

There is “no basis whatsoever” to let Trump attack attorneys and court staff and their families who are protected under the gag order, according to prosecutors with Bragg’s office.

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Manhattan DA points to chilling bomb threats as he asks to extend Trump gag order

VIDEO: Trump's Legal Team Challenges Special Counsel's Appointment

18:42 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump attorneys argue classified documents case should be thrown out

18:38 , Gustaf Kilander

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump argued in court in Fort Pierce, Florida on Friday that the case against him for hoarding classified documents should be thrown out because Special Counsel Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed.

It’s a longshot claim based on the notion prevalent in some right-wing groups that Smith should’ve been approved by the Senate following his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The special counsel’s office said the argument was “unsound,” according to The Washington Post. They added that Garland has the legal authority to appoint attorneys for Department of Justice duties.

Other challenges of a similar nature, such as against former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, have been thrown out in court.

Trump’s lawyer said during the hearing on Friday that differences exist in their legal arguments compared to the ones made against Mueller in Washington DC.

Cannon seemed skeptical of the argument.

“The District court in D.C. did a fairly comprehensive review,” she said, according to The Post.

The hearing is just one of five hearings that Cannon has scheduled over the course of three days. Several hearings are set to take place on Monday and Tuesday, such as a hearing on whether Smith’s role is funded legally.

Trump attorney Emil Bove argued on Friday that Garland has said on a number of occasions that Smith is acting independently, which would make him a “principal officer” that has to be approved by the Senate.

James Pearce, for the prosecution, argued that many officials at the Department of Justice aren’t confirmed by the Senate but can make significant decisions.

He added that accepting the defense’s argument would have “pernicious consequences.”

Cannon appeared interested in the notion surrounding Smith’s independence, asking if Garland would have looked at the Trump indictment before filing.

Pearce said special regulations mean that the attorney general will review major decisions in the case, probably including the indictment.

Three outside lawyers are now arguing about the appointment of Smith. Cannon took the unusual step of allowing outside groups to join the hearing.

Trump could see an easy win in the polls after the first debate — but not because of Biden’s age

18:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump may see a bump in the polls after the first debate because of a long-running trend: Incumbents tend to do worse in the first debate of the presidential election season.

Presidential debate historian Alan Schroeder explained to NBC News that a president’s life exists in a “protected bubble.” The first debate takes them outside of that bubble, where they’re forced to face off against a pumped up opponent who’s been itching for a showdown.

The first debate in this election cycle will be hosted by CNN in Atlanta on June 27. Biden is heading to Camp David on Thursday night to begin his preparations.

Incumbents tend to grow accustomed to the deference they’re shown within the White House, and after four years, they’re in for a rude awakening when their opponent throws punches on the debate stage, Schroeder said, noting that presidents tend not to hear much “conflicting information” during their four years in the “bubble.”

READ MORE:

Trump could see an easy win in the polls after the first debate

Cannon seems skeptical of Trump’s argument Smith was appointed illegally

17:53 , Gustaf Kilander

During the morning session in the proceedings in the courtroom in Fort Pierce, Judge Aileen Cannon heard arguments from Trump’s defense attorney Emil Bove, while James Pearce argued for the office of the special counsel, according to Lawfare.

The focus of the Friday hearing is whether Special Counsel Jack Smith was lawfully appointed.

The judge questioned both Bove and Pearce about their arguments, focusing her queries on textual analysis of statutes and regulations governing the Department of Justice under which Attorney General Merrick Garland made the appointment of Jack Smith.

During parts of the hearing, Cannon seemed to be skeptical of Trump’s argument that Smith was appointed illegally. But she also seemed not to be in agreement with the prosecution. She said that their statutory analysis appeared to be an excessively “malleable” reading of the Constitution, Lawfare reported.

During the afternoon session, non-parties will make their arguments.

Trump suggests CIA was behind push to stop him releasing JFK assassination files

17:45 , Amelia Neath

Former President Donald Trump spoke about releasing the files surrounding the assassination of President John F Kennedy in a recent podcast appearance, suggesting the CIA had applied pressure to stop some information being released.

Trump appeared on the All-In Podcast on Thursday, hosted by Silicon Valley technology investors, and spoke on an array of topics, from his political rival President Joe Biden and their upcoming debate to suggesting that foreign students should get green cards after they graduate US college.

The former president was also questioned by venture capitalist and podcast host Chamath Palihapitiya over a promise he made during his presidency that he would release files pertaining to the assassination of Kennedy that occurred on November 22, 1963.

Palihapitiya questioned Trump about what happened over the release of the JFK files and what he would do next should he be re-elected.

“I actually did do it,” Trump said. “I released a lot, as you know, but when it came to the whole thing, I was hit by some people that work for me that are great people, that you would respect and they asked me not to do it.

“And I’m saying why. Tell me why. And they said, ‘Sir, I think it needs a little more time’.”

READ MORE:

Trump says he was stopped from releasing all JFK files

Reclusive banking heir billionaire gave Trump $50m one day after hush money conviction

17:15 , Martha McHardy

A donor gave $50 million to Donald Trump’s campaign on the day of the former president’s hush money conviction, according to new filings.

The huge sum, donated by Timothy Mellon to Trump Super PAC MAGA Inc., was the largest federal individual campaign contribution so far this election cycle.

The donation made up most of the $68.8 million MAGA Inc. raised in May.

Filings show the donation was made on May 31, the same day that Trump became the first US president in history to receive a criminal conviction after he was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

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Reclusive banking billionaire gave Trump $50m one day after hush money conviction

Trump set to ask judge to revoke prosecutors’ access to memos by ex-attorney

16:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump is set to ask Judge Aileen Cannon next week to restrict the access of prosecutors to memos created by Trump’s former attorney which became evidence of his attempts to obstruct the probe, according to The Guardian.

The request is set to be made on Tuesday during a sealed hearing.

Last month, Trump challenged prosecutors’ access to the transcripts of voice memos created by former Trump attorney Evan Corcoran.

The former president’s legal team is expected to claim that none of the memos should’ve been handed to prosecutors on the crime-fraud exception.

The exception allows prosecutors to view privileged communications between an attorney and a defendant if the legal advice was used as part of a crime.

Trump ally Bannon asks the Supreme Court to delay his 4-month prison sentence on contempt charges

16:30 , Lindsay Whitehurst, AP

Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, asked the Supreme Court on Friday to delay his prison sentence while he fights his convictions for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the attack on U.S. Capitol.

The request came after a federal appeals court panel rejected his bid to avoid reporting to prison by July 1 to serve his four-month sentence. It was addressed to Chief Justice John Roberts, who oversees emergency appeals from courts in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols had previously delayed Bannon’s prison term as he appealed but ordered him to turn himself in after an appeals court panel upheld his contempt of Congress convictions.

Bannon was convicted nearly two years ago of two counts of contempt of Congress: one for refusing to sit for a deposition with the Jan. 6 House Committee and the other for refusing to provide documents related to his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Bannon has cast the case as politically motivated, and his attorney David Schoen has said the case raises “serious constitutional issues” that need to be examined by the Supreme Court.

His lawyer has also argued that the former adviser didn’t ignore the subpoena but was still negotiating with the congressional committee when he was charged. His previous attorney told him that the subpoena was invalid because the Republican former president has asserted executive privilege and the committee would not allow a Trump lawyer in the room.

In court papers, Bannon’s lawyers also argued that there is a “strong public interest” in allowing him to remain free in the run-up to the 2024 election because Bannon is a top adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon loses appeal over jail sentence meaning he’ll go to prison within days

16:15 , Amelia Neath

A federal appeals court has shot down former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s request to stay out of prison while he appeals his conviction for defying a subpoena to testify in an investigation over the US Capitol attack.

Bannon’s bid was denied by a three-judge panel on Thursday at the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia after they came to a 2-1 ruling, in which two judges said that his arguments did not present a “substantial question” of law that could see his conviction reversed.

“Bannon’s proposal – that to prove willful default, the government must establish that the witness knew that his conduct was unlawful – cannot be reconciled with the Supreme Court’s approach to the statute,” Judges Cornelia Pillard and Bradley Garcia said in the order.

The third judge, Justin Walker, however, said that “Bannon should not go to prison before the Supreme Court considers his forthcoming petition,” in a two-page dissent.

On Friday, Bannon submitted his appeal to the nation’s highest court.

He must turn himself over to federal prison by July 1 to serve a four-month sentence.

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Ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon loses appeal over jail sentence

Manhattan DA requests that Judge Merchan keep in place elements of Trump gag order

16:01 , Gustaf Kilander

The office of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has asked that Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw Trump’s hush money trial, extend large parts of a gag order that was placed on the former president.

The prosecutors pointed to dozens of death threats made against Bragg and other officials.

The order was issued before the hush money trial began in the middle of April. It restricts his ability to attack jurors, witnesses, court staff, and the judge’s family members. It doesn’t stop Trump from criticizing Bragg or Merchan.

Prosecutors said in a filing that the judge does not have to enforce the gag order in relation to trial witnesses but that he should keep the parts linked to jurors, prosecutors, as well as court staff, and their families.

The NYPD has recorded 56 “actionable threats” since the start of April, an affidavit included in the filing states.

Retired judge says Cannon is making sure ‘nothing’ happens by not setting classified documents trial date

15:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump-appointed judge will decide if special counsel Jack Smith is legally assigned in Mar-a-Lago case

15:23 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida is moving ahead without any trial date in sight.

Instead, the federal judge presiding over the case has heard motion after motion from defense attorneys in their long-shot attempt to dismiss the charges against the former president and his co-defendants while attacking the prosecutors who brought the case against them.

On Friday, US District Judge Aileen Cannon — who was appointed to the bench by Trump — will hold a daylong hearing that questions the credibility of special counsel Jack Smith, and whether he was lawfully appointed under the Constitution.

The pretrial hearing is the first of five that Judge Cannon has scheduled over three days. Trump is not required to attend.

In a rare move, she is allowing nonparties in the case to argue inside the courtroom on Friday, rather than in briefs submitted to the court.

READ MORE:

Trump judge holds hearing on whether to dismiss Mar-a-Lago case

Trump campaign raises $141m in May to close funding gap to Biden

15:15 , Amelia Neath

Donald Trump significantly outraised President Joe Biden in May, despite becoming the first US president to be convicted of a crime.

Trump’s campaign and the Republic National Committee (RNC) reported that they raised a massive $141m in May, however, they declined to report how much money the campaign had left in their funds at the end of the month, which they are not legally required to report until July.

The Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised $85 million in May, with $212m sitting in the campaign’s bank at the end of the month, federal filings released on Thursday detailed. Reports suggest Trump has upwards of $170m. Trump was $100 million behind Mr. Biden at the start of April.

Filings show the Trump campaign had $116.5m cash on hand – not committed elsewhere – at the start of June, compared to $91.6m for the Biden campaign.

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Trump campaign raises $141m in May to close funding gap to Biden

Trump classified documents case hearing over Jack Smith’s appointment as special counsel set to begin

14:50 , Gustaf Kilander

A hearing in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case is set to begin on Friday as Judge Aileen Cannon entertains a motion from the ex-commander-in-chief’s legal team that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed as special counsel.

Smith has brought charges for allegedly mishandling classified information in Florida and for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Washington DC.

The Trump argument that Smith’s appointment was illegal stems from the claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland doesn’t have the legal authority to appoint a special counsel who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.

The Department of Justice has argued that the attorney general has the power to appoint “inferior officers” – including special counsels.

In February, the Trump legal team filed a motion arguing that the appointments clause of the constitution “does not permit the Attorney General to appoint, without Senate confirmation, a private citizen and like-minded political ally to wield the prosecutorial power of the United States. As such, Jack Smith lacks the authority to prosecute this action.”

Cannon is giving more time to the challenge than other judges who have faced similar claims as other defendants have tried to argue that the work of the special counsel is invalid.

VIDEO: Biden preps at Camp David, Trump remains on campaign trail ahead of debate

14:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump says foreign students who graduate from US colleges should ‘automatically’ get green cards

14:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump has suggested that foreign students who graduate from US colleges should “automatically” receive green cards.

The former president made the suggestion on The All-In Podcast published on Thursday.

The comments are in stark contrast to his recent statements about making the biggest push for deportations of immigrants in the US illegally in American history.

The hosts of the podcast include tech venture capitalists David Sacks, Chamath Palihapitiya, and investor Jason Calacanis.

Calacinis asked Trump: “Can you please promise us you will give us more ability to import the best and brightest from around the world to America?”

“What I want to do, and what I will do, is you graduate from a college, I think you should get automatically, as part of your diploma, a green card to be able to stay in this country,” Trump said.

He added: “And that includes junior colleges too. Anybody graduates from a college, you go in there for two years or four years. If you graduate, or you get a doctorate degree from a college, you should be able to stay in this country.”

“You need a pool of people to work for your companies and they have to be smart people,” the former president told the podcast hosts.

“You need brilliant people and we force the brilliant people, the people that graduate from college, the people that are number one in their class from the best colleges,” he said. “You have to be able to recruit these people and keep the people.”

Biden allies ‘raising $10m’ to to fight Trump’s social media machine

13:45 , Amelia Neath, Martha McHardy

A pro-Biden super PAC is said to be raising millions to fight the social media battle with Donald Trump – after a series of unflattering Biden videos were released from the former president’s camp.

The videos have amassed millions of views as Trump seeks to highlight Biden’s age, despite only being three years younger than his rival.

The super PAC Future Forward USA Action, backed by the likes of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and LinkedIn founder Reed Hoffman, is reportedly raising at least $10 million to try and help better understand the algorithms that are helping Trump and his allies on social media platforms.

The plans also include collaborating with left-leaning influences to generate and spread new content online, two sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.

READ MORE:

Biden allies ‘raising $10m’ to to fight Trump’s social media machine

Trump classified documents judge was privately urged to pass it up by two federal judges

13:15 , Alex Woodward

The judge in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, Judge Aileen Cannon, declined private requests from federal judges that she step aside from the case after she was assigned to it last year.

Two more experienced South Florida judges told her it would be best if she passed the case on, but Cannon chose to remain in charge of the proceedings, according to The New York Times.

A series of hearings to dismiss the case is set to begin shortly before Judge Cannon, including one that questions the legitimacy of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment...

Trump classified documents case judge Aileen Cannon was privately urged to pass it up

Trump will get the final word at next week’s first presidential debate

12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden won a coin toss ahead of next’s week presidential debate and chose where he will stand on the stage, instead of speaking last, when he squares off with Donald Trump.

That means Trump will now get the final word during closing statements at the first debate on CNN.

Alex Woodward has the details.

Trump will get the final word at first presidential debate

Motion after motion puts Trump Florida case in slow motion as 3-day hearing begins

11:45 , Tom Watling

The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump is hearing arguments Friday on a long-shot defense effort to get the indictment thrown out based on the claim that the prosecutor who brought the charges was illegally appointed.

The arguments over the legality of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment kick off a three-day hearing that is set to continue next week and bring further delays to a criminal case that had been scheduled for trial last month but has been snarled by a pileup of unresolved legal disputes. The motion questioning Smith’s selection and funding by the Justice Department is one of multiple challenges to the indictment the defense has raised, so far unsuccessfully, in the year since the charges were brought.

Democrats are suddenly concerned about a law from 1873 — and with good reason

11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

On Thursday, Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota launched the next phase of Democrats’ push to protect abortion rights. She did so by introducing legislation to roll back the 1873 law that Democrats fear Republicans would use to ban medication abortion.

Smith is the only Senator who has worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic and she quickly became Senate Democrats’ leading policymaker on protecting abortion rights after the Dobbs v Jackson decision that killed Roe v Wade.

Her new legislation would repeal the Comstock Act of 1873, which targeted the mailing of contraceptives, pornography and anything “intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use.” Comstock has largely not been enforced for the past 100 years, particularly after Roe. But now Democrats are worried it could make a legislative return.

Continue reading:

Why Democrats are suddenly so concerned about a law from 1873

Trump cuts fundraising deficit with Biden by half in two months

10:30 , Tom Watling

Donald Trump has cut the fundraising cash deficit with US president Joe Biden by at least half after he out-raised his counterpart by nearly double in May.

Mr Trump raised $56 million more than Mr Biden in May and $25 million more in April, despite being found guilty of 34 felonies at the end of that period.

Mr. Trump was a daunting $100 million behind Mr. Biden at the start of April.

‘Prove Mike wrong’: MyPillow founder Mike Lindell’s THIRD lawyer deserts him in $5m dispute

10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell has lost yet another lawyer involved in a civil lawsuit he hopes will avoid him paying out $5m in award money he offered in an election fraud evidence competition.

Lindell, an avid Donald Trump supporter, launched the ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ challenge in 2021 and promised to pay the huge prize to anyone who could prove alleged evidence of 2020 election fraud false.

Computer forensics expert Robert Zeidman did just that, but Lindell refused to pay and tried to renege on his offer.

Here’s what happened next.

MyPillow founder THIRD lawyer deserts him in $5m ‘prove Mike wrong’ dispute

Trump out-raises Biden by nearly double in May

09:51 , Tom Watling

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has out-raised his counterpart Joe Biden by nearly double in May, the latest figures from both campaign trails have shown.

Mr Trump and his Republican National Committee raised  $141 million last month while Mr Biden’s team raised around  $85 million.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Festival Park on Tuesday in Racine, Wisconsin (Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Festival Park on Tuesday in Racine, Wisconsin (Getty Images)

US wouldn’t ‘be second in line’ to press nuclear button, Trump once insisted

09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Then-Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello was stunned by what he heard then-President Donald Trump say in 2017 as they toured storm damage from Hurricane Maria, which killed thousands of people and inflicted major damage on the island’s infrastructure.

“If nuclear war happens, we won’t be second in line pressing the button,” Trump reportedly mused during a helicopter tour of the devastation.

That’s terrifying.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Trump once insisted US wouldn’t ‘be second in line’ to press nuclear button

Trump ready to accept Republican nomination even if he’s in prison

08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump could be sentenced to prison just days before the Republican National Convention — but the RNC co-chair says that won’t stop him from accepting the party’s nomination.

Lara Trump, who is also Trump’s daughter-in-law, discussed the possibility that hush money trial judge Juan Merchan could jail the former president days before the GOP convention during an interview with Real America’s Voice host Terrance Bates.

That could make for a highly unique convention, as Kelly Rissman reports.

Lara Trump: Don’s ready to accept Republican nomination even if he’s in prison

Listen: New audio includes Trump admitting he lost 2020 election

07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump’s face. On money?

06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Is this what he has always dreamed of?

House Republicans are doing everything they can to get noticed by former President Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Florida Representative Greg Steube introduced legislation to change the name of parts of the oceans surrounding the US after Trump. Now, another Republican wants to see Trump on the $500 bill.

Gustaf Kilander reports on the latest attempt to win favor with the former president.

Republicans want to see Trump’s face on the $500 bill

Trump campaign reports having more cash than Biden’s

05:43 , Namita Singh

For the first time, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reported having more cash in its main account than Joe Biden’s re-election campaign had in its account, financial disclosures showed on Thursday, as both sides built their war chests ahead of the presidential election.

Trump’s campaign had about $116 in them bank at the end of May, more than double what it had a month earlier, while Mr Biden’s campaign told the Federal Election Commission it had about $91m in the bank, just above what it had at the end of April.

The full financial picture for the two camps isn’t clear because while both campaigns had a Thursday deadline to report their finances to the federal regulator, several of their associated fundraising committees won’t report on recent activity until July.

Mr Biden’s campaign and his party had earlier released unofficial figures touting $212m in cash holdings, but did not detail which committees held that money.

The figures disclosed to the Federal Election Commission appear to represent a dramatic financial turnaround for the Trump campaign, which had lagged behind Biden earlier in the year. The two candidates are neck-and-neck in national public opinion polls, while Trump leads in several battleground states.

Trump to speak at Road to Majority conference on Saturday

04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump will be back in Washington, DC on Saturday to speak at the conservative Christian activist group Faith & Freedom Coalition’s 2024 Road to Majority Conference.

The former president is set to speak at the event at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, June 22 at 1.30pm — we’ll be covering it live.

“We are honored to welcome President Trump back to the largest gathering of conservative Christian activists in the nation,” said Ralph Reed, Founder and Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “This will be his ninth appearance at the Road to Majority Policy Conference. I am confident President Trump will receive the enthusiastic response from our grassroots activists that he has earned for being such a solid champion for our shared values of faith and freedom.”

Post-presidency, Trump claimed he ‘needed to go upstairs to deal with Afghanistan’ author says

04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The author of a new book about Donald Trump’s background in reality television has recounted a disturbing anecdote alleging that the former president still believed he had foreign policy powers long after he had left the White House.

That doesn’t sound good.

Joe Sommerlad has the story.

Trump ‘still believed he had foreign policy powers after leaving White House’

Trump calls latest Fox News poll ‘TRASH’

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is far from done complaining about Fox News. Here’s what he just wrote on Truth Social:

The latest Fox News poll is TRASH! They used a biased, Democrat-leaning sample of voters, polling more Biden 2020 voters than Trump 2020 voters to skew the results in favor of Crooked Joe. I am leading BIG in virtually every other poll, including in all of the key battleground states, like Wisconsin, where I just held a massive rally, and Pennsylvania, where I will be on Saturday.

Also, the #1 issue in this Country is not protecting democracy. It is INFLATION and IMMIGRATION! If it is protecting democracy, Trump is your best choice, because Crooked Joe Biden is the greatest threat to democracy in history with his Open Border and weaponization of our justice system against his political opponent, ME! Fox News polls have never treated me, or MAGA, fairly! Don’t worry, we will WIN!!! Fox News should get rid of Paul Ryan, and get a new Pollster, but they won’t….

….Real Clear Politics just came out and has me leading by a lot, especially in the all important Swing States. My best numbers yet, despite the Biden “Weaponization of Justice.”

He’s not happy.

Roger Stone’s plan to help Trump challenge 2024 election results revealed by secret recording

03:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A secret recording has revealed the plan of Trump political consultant Roger Stone to help the former president challenge the 2024 election results.

Liberal journalist Lauren Windsor provided Rolling Stone magazine with a recording in which the self-described “dirty trickster” says Donald Trump and his allies are on an “offensive footing” and that they’re better prepared than they were during 2020.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Recording reveals Roger Stone’s plan to help Trump challenge 2024 election results

Fauci talks about his relationship with Trump on ‘The View’

02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Dr Anthony Fauci told talked about his complicated relationship with Donald Trump during the Covid-19 pandemic in an appearance on The View this morning.

“We kind of had that New York — he calls it ‘swagger’ — with each other... That was really good in the beginning until he wished and hoped that the outbreak would disappear,” he said.

“We did have a good relationship, but he was really very upset about the fact that I had to get up and say, you know, no, it’s not going to disappear like magic, and, no, hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work no matter what Laura Ingraham is telling you.”

RFK Jr’s presidential campaign raised just $2.6m in May

02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Uh oh...

Robert F Kennedy Jr took in just $2.6 million for his presidential campaign in May, a very distinct difference from the two top players in the presidential race, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

The figure was released in a new Federal Election Commission filing on Wednesday, revealing that his campaign spent around $6.3m last month, with a lot of those funds sent through a limited liability company focusing on ballot access, CNN reported.

Eric Garcia and Amelia Neath report.

RFK Jr’s presidential campaign raised just $2.6m in May

RFK Jr fails to qualify for CNN presidential debate

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Robert F Kennedy Jr (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Robert F Kennedy Jr (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Robert F Kennedy Jr has failed to qualify for the first presidential debate hosted by CNN next week.

The independent presidential candidate will not join President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on the stage in Atlanta on June 27.

Only Biden and Trump have met “the constitutional, ballot qualification and polling thresholds”, the network said in an article published on Thursday morning saying only the 45th and 46th presidents had met those targets.

Kennedy failed to meet CNN’s polling threshold of 15 per cent in at least four approved national polls, only hitting the mark in three ahead of the deadline of midnight Eastern time last night.

He also did not meet the requirement of being on the ballot in enough states to potentially win 270 electoral college votes. Kennedy is believed to be on the ballot in 10 states and attempts to get on the ballot in others are held up by the verification and application process.

Kennedy filed a Federal Election Commission complaint in May against CNN and the Biden and Trump campaigns complaining about how the debate was set up.

It is possible that he could still qualify for the September 10 debate hosted by ABC News.

A statement from RFK Jr reads: “Presidents Biden and Trump do not want me on the debate stage and CNN illegally agreed to their demand.”

“My exclusion by Presidents Biden and Trump from the debate is undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly. Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly. They want a President who will heal the divide, restore the middle class, unwind the war machine, and end the chronic disease epidemic.”

Trump will get the final word at next week’s first presidential debate

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden won a coin toss ahead of next’s week presidential debate and chose where he will stand on the stage, instead of speaking last, when he squares off with Donald Trump.

That means Trump will now get the final word during closing statements at the first debate on CNN.

Biden and his campaign elected to stand on the right side of the stage instead of reserving a speaking slot. It’s unclear why the president viewed the speaking location as the most important decision.

Alex Woodward reports.

Trump will get the final word at first presidential debate

Trump could see an easy win in the polls after the first debate — but not because of Biden’s age

Friday 21 June 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump may see a bump in the polls after the first debate because of a long-running trend: Incumbents tend to do worse in the first debate of the presidential election season.

Presidential debate historian Alan Schroeder explained to NBC News that a president’s life exists in a “protected bubble.” The first debate takes them outside of that bubble, where they’re forced to face off against a pumped up opponent who’s been itching for a showdown.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Trump could see an easy win in the polls after the first debate

Lincoln Project rips Trump over his ‘hollow and baseless’ faith

Friday 21 June 2024 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project has released another scathing takedown of Donald Trump, this time centered on his faith, contrasting some of the Ten Commandments with a selection of his statements and recent scandals and comments including his hush money trial, alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, threat to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and civil fraud trial.

The ad states: “He’s not a Christian. He’s not a leader. He’s a con man. Don’t get conned.”

Watch below:

Trump ready to accept Republican nomination even if he’s in prison

Friday 21 June 2024 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump could be sentenced to prison just days before the Republican National Convention — but the RNC co-chair says that won’t stop him from accepting the party’s nomination.

Lara Trump, who is also Trump’s daughter-in-law, discussed the possibility that hush money trial judge Juan Merchan could jail the former president days before the GOP convention during an interview with Real America’s Voice host Terrance Bates.

Kelly Rissman has the story.

Lara Trump: Don’s ready to accept Republican nomination even if he’s in prison

Watch: Maggie Haberman explains how Trump is preparing for CNN debate

Friday 21 June 2024 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Biden allies raising $10m to challenge Trump social media machine

Thursday 20 June 2024 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

US President Joe Biden's main re-election SuperPAC is raising millions of dollars to try to solve a problem vexing Democrats: how to compete with Donald Trump's social media machine as it spits out viral videos.

The previously unreported effort by the highly-secretive Future Forward USA Action underscores broad concerns among Democrats and Biden donors that he and his campaign are losing a viral-video war with the Republican Party, which relentlessly portrays him as too old and out of touch.

Democrats say they are playing catch-up in a battlefield with few rules or ways to police manipulated or misleading content before it reaches tens of millions of Americans on their smartphones.

The Palo-Alto-based SuperPAC, backed by tech giants like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and LinkedIn founder Reed Hoffman, is raising at least $10 million to help better understand the algorithms that help Trump and his allies dominate vertical video platforms.

It also plans to collaborate with left-leaning influencers to help generate and disseminate new content, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Many popular social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram have embraced short, vertical videos as their primary format. They've given birth to a network of "influencers" who use the platforms to reach millions of Americans with content on what they are eating, wearing and thinking.

Future Forward joined with Democratic groups Way to Win and Hub Project last month at an upscale hotel in Washington DC to host 140 influencers for a three-day event called "Trending Up," organizers say.

The current effort by Future Forward is focused on Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikTok, the sources said.

Reuters

‘Prove Mike wrong’: MyPillow founder Mike Lindell’s THIRD lawyer deserts him in $5m dispute

Thursday 20 June 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell has lost yet another lawyer involved in a civil lawsuit he hopes will avoid him paying out $5m in award money he offered in an election fraud evidence competition.

Lindell, an avid Donald Trump supporter, launched the ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ challenge in 2021 and promised to pay the huge prize to anyone who could prove alleged evidence of 2020 election fraud false.

Computer forensics expert Robert Zeidman did just that, but Lindell refused to pay and tried to renege on his offer.

Amelia Neath explains what happened next.

MyPillow founder THIRD lawyer deserts him in $5m ‘prove Mike wrong’ dispute

Listen: New audio includes Trump admitting he lost 2020 election

Thursday 20 June 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump campaign pushes back on Fox News poll with swing state numbers

Thursday 20 June 2024 22:32 , Oliver O'Connell

Roger Stone’s plan to help Trump challenge 2024 election results revealed in secret recording

Thursday 20 June 2024 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A secret recording has revealed the plan of Trump political consultant Roger Stone to help the former president challenge the 2024 election results.

Liberal journalist Lauren Windsor provided Rolling Stone magazine with a recording in which the self-described “dirty trickster” says Donald Trump and his allies are on an “offensive footing” and that they’re better prepared than they were during 2020.

Gustaf Kilander has the details.

Recording reveals Roger Stone’s plan to help Trump challenge 2024 election results

Trump seals policy flip on crypto with Winkelvoss donation

Thursday 20 June 2024 22:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s complete U-turn on TikTok and cryptocurrency is being rewarded with a $1m donation of bitcoin from Tyler Winkelvoss, founder of crypto trading platform Gemini with his twin brother Cameron.

In the opening paragraphs of a lengthy statement attacking the Biden administration over the regulation of cryptocurrency, Winkelvoss said: “I just donated $1 million in bitcoin (15.47 BTC) to @realDonaldTrump and will be voting for him in November. Here’s why:

“Over the past few years, the Biden Administration has openly declared war against crypto. It has weaponized multiple government agencies to bully, harass, and sue the good actors in our industry in an effort to destroy it. This Administration's actions have been nothing short of an unprecedented abuse of power wielded entirely for twisted political gain at the complete expense of innovation, the American taxpayer, and the American economy. There is nothing the Biden Administration can do or say at this point to pretend otherwise.”

Trump has previously made anti-cryptocurrency statements and threatened to ban TikTok.

You can read the full statement here:

Missouri Republican tells Black Americans to ‘kindly’ leave US if they don’t like country

Thursday 20 June 2024 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A Missouri Republican told Black Americans to “kindly” leave the US if they “don’t like” the country in a message posted before the Juneteenth national holiday celebrating the end of slavery.

Trump supporter Valentina Gomez has become well-known for her controversial and attention-grabbing stunts, such as when she told followers not to be “weak and gay” while running in a bulletproof vest.

On Tuesday, she called Juneteenth the “most [wretched]” of holidays as she argued against reparations for slavery.

Gustaf Kilander reports on her comments.

Missouri Republican tells Black Americans to ‘kindly’ leave US in Juneteenth message

George Santos launches OnlyFans account

Thursday 20 June 2024 21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

At this point, why not?

Gustaf Kilander reports.

George Santos launches OnlyFans account to share ‘full behind the scenes access’

Trump to speak at Road to Majority conference on Saturday

Thursday 20 June 2024 21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump will be back in Washington, DC on Saturday to speak at the conservative Christian activist group Faith & Freedom Coalition’s 2024 Road to Majority Conference.

The former president is set to speak at the event at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, June 22 at 1.30pm — we’ll be covering it live.

“We are honored to welcome President Trump back to the largest gathering of conservative Christian activists in the nation,” said Ralph Reed, Founder and Chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “This will be his ninth appearance at the Road to Majority Policy Conference. I am confident President Trump will receive the enthusiastic response from our grassroots activists that he has earned for being such a solid champion for our shared values of faith and freedom.”

ICYMI: Biden takes lead over Trump in latest Fox News poll

Thursday 20 June 2024 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has fallen behind Joe Biden in the latest election poll from Fox News.

The Republican candidate is two points behind President Biden in the latest national presidential election poll by Fox News, which is the first time Biden has taken the lead in a Fox poll since October.

Amelia Neath and Joe Sommerlad report on the latest survey.

Biden takes lead over Trump in latest Fox News poll

Trump team moves to have judge recused from civil fraud trial (four months post-verdict)

Thursday 20 June 2024 20:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s legal team has moved to have Judge Arthur Engoron recuse himself from the civil fraud case against the Trump Organization, four months after the trial resulted in a verdict against the former president and his co-defendants, including his two eldest sons.

Legal adviser Alina Habba posted on X: “The New York Code of Judicial Conduct exists to ensure that litigants are afforded a fair and impartial trial. Justice Engoron's communications with Attorney Adam Leitman Bailey regarding the merits of this case, however, directly violate that code and demonstrate that Judge Engoron cannot serve as a fair arbiter. It is clear that Judge Engoron should recuse himself immediately.”

Justice Engoron and Mr Bailey spoke in the courthouse before the judge delivered his verdict.

Bailey is a real estate litigator who had previously appeared before the court and subsequently publicly discussed the conversation he had with Judge Engoron and conveyed the impression he had influenced the proceedings, the Trump legal team argues.

You can read their motion for recusal here and the supporting documents are linked above.

Trump legal team files response to opposition of appeal to Fani Willis ruling

Thursday 20 June 2024 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s legal team has filed a response regarding the opposition of the state of Georgia’s opposition to their appeal of the Fani Willis disqualification ruling.

The Fulton County District Attorney was permitted to remain on the sprawling racketeering and election interference case against the former president and his alleged co-conspirators after an extensive and embarrassing hearing about her relationship with chief prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Wade subsequently resigned from the case but the defendants appealed, still wanting to remove Willis and thereby likely jeopardize the whole prosecution.

The filing with the State of Georgia’s Court of Appeals reads:

Without citation to any applicable authority, the State filed this “Hail Mary” motion to dismiss these meritorious appeals, accusing this Court of “improvidently” granting interlocutory review. There is no proper procedural vehicle for the State to relitigate this Court’s sound decision to hear the merits. The State’s attempt to do so conflicts with applicable statutes and this Court’s Rules.

In its desperate bid to avoid disqualification of a deeply conflicted District Attorney who has engaged in – and continues to unapologetically engage in – extrajudicial forensic misconduct, the State argues that the trial court’s factual findings were not clearly erroneous. According to the State, then, this Court is powerless to overturn the trial court’s order denying the dismissal of the case and the disqualification of District Attorney Willis and her office. Of course, as this Court well knows, that has never been, and is not now, the law.

Read the full filing here.

Fox News host says Trump’s gaffes and rambling speeches are him ‘having fun’

Thursday 20 June 2024 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade has made the curious argument that when Donald Trump delivers bizarre, rambling speeches that include fictional serial killers, he’s merely “having fun” and not “losing it”.

OK.

Judging by his latest angry Truth Social rant about Fox News polling, he doesn’t sound like he’s having fun...

Watch Kilmeade’s remarks here:

Full story: Trump will get the final word at next week’s first presidential debate

Thursday 20 June 2024 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden won a coin toss ahead of next’s week presidential debate and chose where he will stand on the stage, instead of speaking last, when he squares off with Donald Trump.

That means Trump will now get the final word during closing statements at the first debate on CNN.

Biden and his campaign elected to stand on the right side of the stage instead of reserving a speaking slot. It’s unclear why the president viewed the speaking spot as the most important decision.

Alex Woodward has the full story.

Trump will get the final word at first presidential debate

Biden’s student loan forgiveness is a ‘vile’ publicity stunt according to Trump

Thursday 20 June 2024 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s plans to cancel student loan debt as “vile” and suggested that the program will be “rebuked” if he is elected.

He probably meant “revoked”, right?

Alex Woodward reports.

Trump calls Biden’s student loan forgiveness a ‘vile’ publicity stunt

Trump-appointed judge in classified documents proceedings declined requests to leave case

Thursday 20 June 2024 19:06 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, Judge Aileen Cannon, declined private requests from two federal judges that she step aside from the case after she was assigned to it last year.

Two more experienced South Florida judges told her it would be best if she passed the case on, but Cannon chose to remain in charge of the proceedings, according to The New York Times.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump classified documents case judge Aileen Cannon was privately urged to pass it up

Trump claimed he ‘needed to go upstairs to deal with Afghanistan’ during post-presidency interview

Thursday 20 June 2024 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The author of a new book about Donald Trump’s background in reality television has recounted a disturbing anecdote alleging that the former president still believed he had foreign policy powers long after he had left the White House.

Joe Sommerlad has the bizarre details.

Trump ‘still believed he had foreign policy powers after leaving White House’

Trump attacks ‘Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon

Thursday 20 June 2024 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

...and slips in an attack on “counterparts” Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel too for good measure.

The former president writes:

Can anyone imagine being critiqued by ratings starved Jimmy Fallon, the bumbling/stumbling host(ess!) that single handidly reduced the Tonight Show to ashes. It all makes you realize how great Johnny Carson was! The good news is that his CBS & ABC “counterparts” are worse than him, if that’s even possible. They are all RATINGS DISASTERS!!!

Republicans want to see Trump’s face on the $500 bill

Thursday 20 June 2024 18:25 , Oliver O'Connell

...which hasn’t been in print for 79 years, which might be an obstacle.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Republicans want to see Trump’s face on the $500 bill

Trump calls latest Fox News poll ‘TRASH'

Thursday 20 June 2024 18:08 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is far from done complaining about Fox News. Here’s what he just wrote on Truth Social:

The latest Fox News poll is TRASH! They used a biased, Democrat-leaning sample of voters, polling more Biden 2020 voters than Trump 2020 voters to skew the results in favor of Crooked Joe. I am leading BIG in virtually every other poll, including in all of the key battleground states, like Wisconsin, where I just held a massive rally, and Pennsylvania, where I will be on Saturday.

Also, the #1 issue in this Country is not protecting democracy. It is INFLATION and IMMIGRATION! If it is protecting democracy, Trump is your best choice, because Crooked Joe Biden is the greatest threat to democracy in history with his Open Border and weaponization of our justice system against his political opponent, ME! Fox News polls have never treated me, or MAGA, fairly! Don't worry, we will WIN!!! Fox News should get rid of Paul Ryan, and get a new Pollster, but they won’t….

….Real Clear Politics just came out and has me leading by a lot, especially in the all important Swing States. My best numbers yet, despite the Biden “Weaponization of Justice.”

He’s not happy.

Fauci talks about his relationship with Trump on ‘The View'

Thursday 20 June 2024 18:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Dr Anthony Fauci told talked about his complicated relationship with Donald Trump during the Covid-19 pandemic in an appearance on The View this morning.

“We kind of had that New York — he calls it 'swagger' — with each other... That was really good in the beginning until he wished and hoped that the outbreak would disappear,” he said.

“We did have a good relationship, but he was really very upset about the fact that I had to get up and say, you know, no, it's not going to disappear like magic, and, no, hydroxychloroquine doesn't work no matter what Laura Ingraham is telling you.”

Trump says he was ‘always planning on staying’ in Milwaukee for RNC despite reports of Chicago hotel plans

Thursday 20 June 2024 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump says he was “always planning on staying” in Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention despite reports he eyed a Chicago hotel 95 miles away.

In a local television interview, Trump said he never wavered on plans to stay in the RNC host city for the July event. He made his comments as he prepared to take the stage in Racine, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for his first visit to the state after he reportedly called Milwaukee a “horrible city.” On stage, Trump declared he “loves” Milwaukee, as reports began to emerge he planned to stay in Chicago during the convention.

Continue reading...

Trump backtracks on plan to stay in Chicago not Milwaukee during RNC, reports say

Trump to have final say at CNN debate

Thursday 20 June 2024 17:26 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in a debate on CNN on June 27 (AP)
President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in a debate on CNN on June 27 (AP)

Donald Trump will get the final word at the CNN presidential debate next week following a coin flip to decide on podium placement and the order of closing statements, the host network reports.

Joe Biden won the coin toss — his team chose tails — and chose the right podium position, with the former president positioned on the left of the screen when the debate airs on June 27.

The Trump campaign then opted for the Republican candidate to deliver his closing statement last when the 90-minute debate concludes next Thursday.

Trump fumed at his criminal hush money trial when the prosecution had the final word during closing arguments, which is common practice in New York’s court system. He ranted on Truth Social: “WHY CAN’T THE DEFENSE GO LAST? BIG ADVANTAGE, VERY UNFAIR. WITCH HUNT.”

The debate is the first time an incumbent president and former president have faced off in a debate. Neither has debated since 2020 when they last ran for office as Biden faced no primary challenge, and Trump refused to debate his Republican rivals for the party’s nomination this year.

Watch: Fox Business tries to explain latest poll showing Biden ahead of Trump

Thursday 20 June 2024 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump once insisted US wouldn’t ‘be second in line’ to press nuclear button

Thursday 20 June 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Today in... huh?

Then-Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello was stunned by what he heard then-President Donald Trump say in 2017 as they toured storm damage from Hurricane Maria, which killed thousands of people and inflicted major damage on the island’s infrastructure.

“If nuclear war happens, we won’t be second in line pressing the button,” Trump reportedly mused during a helicopter tour of the devastation.

Gustaf Kilander reports on the terrifying statement:

Trump once insisted US wouldn’t ‘be second in line’ to press nuclear button