nypost.com – By Steven Nelson – WASHINGTON — Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene plunged a House Homeland Security Committee hearing into chaos Wednesday by accusing Rep. Eric Swalwell of having a “sexual relationship with a Chinese spy” — leading Democrats to unsuccessfully demand that the remark be purged from the record.
Greene (R-Ga.) made the comment moments after Swalwell (D-Calif.) accused her of “anti-police rhetoric” and showed a print-out of a tweet she wrote promoting “Defund the FBI” merchandise in response to purported bureau bias.
“I move to take her words down,” exclaimed Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY).
Asked by committee chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) which words Goldman would like deleted from the record, the Lower Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn Democrat answered: “Everything that the gentlelady from Georgia has said.”
“No, you need to be more specific,” Green replied.
“The accusations of an affair with a Chinese spy. Those are engaging in personalities,” Goldman said.
After several minutes of study, Green declared, “The chair rules that those words that were spoken are not going to be stricken from the record.”
politico.com – By Erica Orden and Meridith McGraw – NEW YORK — A New York grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on Thursday over his alleged role in a scheme to pay hush money to a porn actress during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The indictment, voted on by the grand jury on Thursday afternoon and filed under seal, according to the individuals, thrusts the country onto uncharted and uncertain legal and political ground.
The case against Trump, brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, is centered on a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump. Trump has denied the affair. He is the first former president to ever be criminally charged.
Trump’s lawyers continued to maintain the former president’s innocence on Thursday.
“President Trump has been indicted. He did not commit any crime,” the attorneys Joe Tacopina and Susan Necheles said in a statement. “We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court.”
Trump released a statement shortly after the news of the indictment broke, calling it a “witch-hunt,” and saying the move was an attempt by Democrats to interfere in the 2024 election.
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump wrote in his statement. “The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable — indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.”
Trump also went after District Attorney Alvin Bragg, saying he was “doing Joe Biden’s dirty work.”
The district attorney’s office requested that Trump surrender on Friday, but Trump’s lawyers replied that the timeline was too tight, saying the U.S. Secret Service needed more time to prepare, according to a law enforcement official. Tacopina confirmed the exchange, adding that no date had been set for the former president’s surrender. A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has already tried to use the charges to rally his base, calling on his followers to protest and “take back our nation.” But there’s no precedent for a presidential candidate campaigning during his own criminal trial. And while the case could stretch beyond November 2024, a conviction before then would spark a host of constitutional issues.
Can we explain Trump’s indictment drama in under 2 minutes?
The indictment of Trump stems from the 2018 federal conviction of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for facilitating the payment to Daniels. That payment came during the heart of the 2016 presidential campaign. And both Cohen and federal prosecutors have said that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” the former president.
“I stand by my testimony and the evidence that I provided to the district attorney of New York,” Cohen said on Thursday during an interview on MSNBC. While the indictment is “significant,” Cohen said, “it’s extremely important that we let the process work out, and that people do still understand that there is a presumption of innocence in this country.”
The Trump Organization later reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels, prosecutors said in court filings. The company’s executives authorized $420,000 in payments to Cohen in an effort to cover his original payment and tax liabilities, and to reward him with a bonus, according to prosecutors. The Trump Organization falsely recorded those payments in their books as legal expenses, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office subsequently pursued a criminal inquiry into whether those payments violated campaign finance law, but they later ended the probe without bringing charges.
The company’s former chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, who was given immunity by federal prosecutors in their investigation of the hush money that led to the charges against Cohen, pleaded guilty to an unrelated tax fraud scheme in August 2022.
Cohen testified before the grand jury in the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation of Trump. It’s unclear whether Weisselberg, who is now serving a five-month jail sentence, was also called as a witness.
Though the district attorney’s office offered Trump the opportunity to testify before the grand jury prior to his indictment, he declined to do so.
rollingstone.com – By Nikki McCann Ramirez – Ron DeSantis categorically denies having sexual relations with that woman eating pudding cups with his fingers.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, the Florida governor rebuffed reports that he scarfed down chocolate pudding cups using three of his fingers instead of a spoon.
“I don’t remember ever doing that,” DeSantis said, “maybe when I was a kid.”
When people go after you “sometimes they have really good ammunition,” DeSantis elaborated, “for me they’re talking about pudding. Like is that really the best you’ve got?”
“But now you’re not having pudding?” Morgan asked.
“No, no” replied DeSantis, “It’s sugar man.”
The rumors of the Florida governor’s sticky-fingered consumption habits emerged last week after the Daily Beastspoke to former DeSantis staffers who claimed he had “no social skills.” According to the report, DeSantis gobbled down a chocolate pudding cup snack cup using three of his fingers while on board a private plane to Washington D.C.
The question regarding DeSantis pudding proclivities was likely intended as a moment of levity, the interview itself was notable for the escalation in criticism from the Florida governor of President Trump. Throughout the course of the interview, DeSantis attacked Trump’s character, and called the former president’s jabs against him “background noise.”
While DeSantis has yet to declare his candidacy in the 2024 race, we certainly hope that his staff remembers to provide spoons along the campaign trail should he choose to run. Because no one wants to see that.
dailymail.co.uk – By Ruth Bashinsky For Dailymail.Com – A Canadian town has been slammed over a ‘gross’ new $30k tourism campaign titled ‘Show us your Regina,’ mocking fact the area’s name rhymes with vagina.
Residents of Regina, the capital and second largest city of Saskatchewan, located 100 miles north of the US border, were horrified when the campaign rebrand was unveiled on Thursday.
Many claimed the slogans – ‘Show us your Regina’ and ‘The city that rhymes with fun’ sexualizes the city.
The campaign’s CEO apologized for the uproar it caused and the tourism organization’s website immediately scrapped the merchandise being sold.
‘I want to start by apologizing, on behalf of myself and our team, for the negative impact we created with elements of our recent brand launch,’ Experience Regina CEO Tim Reid said in a statement on Sunday.
He admitted, in part, that they ‘crossed the line on some of the poking fun at ourselves around our city name.’
rollingstone.com – By Peter Wade – Trump supporters on the online MAGA forum “The Donald” are coming unglued at the possibility of the former president’s impending indictment, going so far as to suggest that a “Civil War 2.0” may be imminent and proposing the formation of a “Patriot moat” to prevent law enforcement from arresting him.
“Surround Mar-a-Lago or wherever he currently is and prevent ‘law enforcement’ from entering,” one person wrote, per The Daily Beast.
This prompted another to reply, “What if they use choppers to circumvent the Patriot moat?”
Still other supporters brought up the possibility of a civil war. “Well, looks like we may have WWIII and our 2nd Civil War at the same time,” one poster wrote, just one of many references to a potential civil war on the forum in the last two days.
“This should be treated as a declaration of war,” another posted.
Yet another Trump supporter wrote: “Looks like they are accelerating the civil war to this week. Hold the fuckin line guys. Don[‘]t be afraid to use your constitutional rights. Remember 2a is there incase 1a fails,” a reference to using weapons protected by the second amendment.
While these forums are full of bluster, it’s important to remember that many of the ideas floated in the forums of “The Donald” came to fruition during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, including the suggestion to erect a gallows on Capitol grounds. Posters in the lead up to Jan. 6 also exchanged travel tips for getting to D.C. and suggestions on how to bring weapons and ammunition into the District considering its gun-control laws.
alternet.org – By Meaghan Ellis – March 16, 2023 – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) testified under oath and admitted how farfetched former President Donald Trump’s voter fraud claims really were.
In fact, the Republican lawmaker likened Trump’s outlandish conspiracy theories to aliens coming down and stealing the former president’s ballots.
During a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, multiple jurors spoke out under the condition of anonymity as they weighed in with details about Graham’s testimony.
“[Graham] said that during that time, if somebody had told Trump that aliens came down and stole Trump ballots, that Trump would’ve believed it,” one juror told the news outlet.
Another juror also expressed concern about how they did not appear to be taken seriously as a collective group of jurors.
“I just felt like we, as a group, were portrayed as not serious,” one of the jurors also said. “That really bothered me because that’s not how I felt. I took it very seriously. I showed up, did what I was supposed to do, did not do what I was asked not to do, you know?”
Oaks, speaking to the Salt Lake County Republican Party Convention, said programs like ESG and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were laudable pursuits — like ending world hunger and poverty — but were part of “outcomes-based systems” designed to reach a pre-determined conclusion.
“The goals have been identified. The truth has already been defined that these are the problems, and here are the solutions. The debate is over,” Oaks said.
Oaks then veered into the biblical “war in Heaven” from the Book of Revelation, calling it another “outcomes-based” effort.
“Outcomes-based governance like the U.N.’s SDGs and ESG opens the door to authoritarianism. It is Satan’s plan,” Oaks told the GOP delegates.
ESG is a framework used by companies to evaluate their approach to issues like the use of green energy, air and water pollution, diversity in hiring and gender equality. Last year, Oaks pulled about $100 million in state funds from the Blackrock investment firm because of their use of ESG in evaluating investments.
When asked for clarification about his remarks, a spokesperson for Oaks said the issues raised by ESG are important and should be debated.
latimes.com – By Seema Mehta – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, viewed as the greatest GOP threat to former President Trump’s 2024 White House campaign, is visiting Southern California this weekend to promote his new book and curry favor as he raises money for Republicans in conservative strong-holds.
DeSantis, who frequently tangles with California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, has not officially announced a presidential bid. However, his Sunday appearances in front of nearly 2,000 well-heeled donors and influential Republicans in Simi Valley and Anaheim is yet another signal that he’s considering a bid for the GOP nomination.
nbcnews.com – By Matt Lavietes – By the time Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee confirmed Monday that he would sign a recently passed bill criminalizing drag performances in public and in front of children, a photo that appears to show him dressed in drag as a high school student had already started to circulate on Reddit and Twitter.
Just before midnight Saturday, a Reddit user shared an image that appears to show Lee as a high school student wearing a short-skirted cheerleader’s uniform, a pearl necklace and a wig, posing on a school sports field next to two girls in men’s suits. The caption says, “Governor Bill Lee in drag (1977 high school yearbook).”