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Trump posts led to ‘serious and credible’ threats against judge: Live

Donald Trump’s violation of his New York fraud trial gag order led to Justice Arthur Engoron and his staff being “inundated” with threats against them described as “serious and credible and not hypothetical or speculative” by a court security official.

Captain Charles Hollon wrote in an affidavit: “When Mr Trump violated the gag orders, the number of threatening, harassing and disparaging messages increased.”

Many of the threats were antisemitic and came by phone, text, email, and social media, with transcriptions of voicemails delivered to Judge Engoron’s law clerk amounting to 275 pages. The scale of the threats is part of a filing to oppose the pause of the former president’s gag order.

In other Trump legal news, a former executive at Donald Trump’s real estate empire broke down in tears on the witness stand as he gave testimony at the New York civil fraud trial on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Harrison Floyd, one of Mr Trump’s co-defendants in District Attorney Fani Willis’s sprawling Fulton County election subversion case in Georgia escaped having his bond revoked over tweets that Judge Scott McAfee did not deem amounted to witness harassment. Ms Willis had asked for him to be jailed.

Key Points

  • New York court security links Trump statements to death threats against Judge Engoron and staff

  • Full story: Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

  • Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump election interference case

  • Judges aren’t buying Trump’s gag order appeal

  • DeSantis thinks both Trump and Biden are too old to run country

  • CREW files Colorado Supreme Court appeal over Trump 14th amendment ruling

Trump struggles to get into holiday spirit with scathing Thanksgiving post

12:19 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump appears to be struggling to get into the holiday spirit and is far from feeling thankful – that’s if his latest Truth Social rants are anything to go by.

In the early hours of Thanksgiving morning, the former president took to his social media platform to launch the latest in a growing number of attacks on the judge and court clerk in his New York civil fraud trial.

Bizarrely beginning with the phrase “Happy Thanksgiving”, Mr Trump unleashed on who he described as “the Racist & Incompetent” New York Attorney General Letitia James, “the Radical Left Trump Hating Judge, a “Psycho”” Justice Arthur Engoron and “his Politically Biased & Corrupt Campaign Finance Violator” court clerk Alison Greenfield.

“Happy Thanksgiving to ALL, including the Racist & Incompetent Attorney General of New York State, Letitia “Peekaboo” James, who has let Murder & Violent Crime FLOURISH, & Businesses FLEE; the Radical Left Trump Hating Judge, a “Psycho,” Arthur Engoron, who Criminally Defrauded the State of New York, & ME, by purposely Valuing my Assets at a “tiny” Fraction of what they are really worth in order to convict me of Fraud before even a Trial, or seeing any PROOF, & used his Politically Biased & Corrupt Campaign Finance Violator, Chief Clerk Alison Greenfield, to sit by his side on the “Bench” & tell him what to do; & Crooked Joe Biden, who has WEAPONIZED his Department of Injustice against his Political Opponent, & allowed our Country to go to HELL; & all of the other Radical Left Lunatics, Communists, Fascists, Marxists, Democrats, & RINOS, who are seriously looking to DESTROY OUR COUNTRY,” he ranted.

“Have no fear, however, we will WIN the Presidential Election of 2024, & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!”

Read the full story:

Trump struggles to get into holiday spirit with scathing Thanksgiving post

Cassidy Hutchinson gives dire warning about another Trump presidency

11:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide under the Trump administration, issued a grim warning about the state of democracy in the US should Donald Trump win the presidential election in 2024.

“If Donald Trump is elected president again in 2024, I do fear that it will be the last election where we’re voting for democracy because if he is elected again, I don’t think we’ll be voting under the same Constitution,” Ms Hutchinson told Jen Psaki onInside with Jen Psaki.

Ms Hutchinson worked in close proximity to Mr Trump, especially toward the end of his presidency when the events on January 6 unfolded. She testified to Congress that Mr Trump knowingly said and did things leading up to the attack on the Capitol that encouraged the mob.

Now she’s warning voters to choose wisely next year, should the election be another matchup between President Joe Biden and Mr Trump.

Read the full story

Jimmy Kimmel rips Marjorie Taylor Greene for her ‘dumbest idea yet’ in new book

10:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for what he described as her “dumbest idea yet” following the release of her new book.

The Republican congresswoman released her memoir – titled “MTG” – on Tuesday, with Donald Trump promoting it on his Truth Social platform.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night, Mr Kimmel gave viewers a hilarious run-down of its contents as he mocked the lawmaker saying “it’s the first book she’s ever written or read”.

“Speaking of Christmas in hell, Marjorie Taylor Greene released a book today. It’s the first book she’s ever written or read, and it’s called MTG, it’s got a little bit of everything,” he said.

Martha McHardy has the story.

Jimmy Kimmel mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘dumbest idea yet’

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

09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

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

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

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

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

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

Alex Woodward has been following the trial for The Independent and filed this report.

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

Speaker Johnson calls abortion ‘an American Holocaust’ in resurfaced video

08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Don’t expect a GOP heel-turn on the issue of abortion any time soon – at least not while Mike Johnson is one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Washington.

While the party has suffered repeated defeats on the issue of reproductive rights in the past two years, the right has shown no signs of abandoning its support for sharp restrictions on the availability of abortion procedures in the US. In some cases, many still support a total ban on the practice.

That radical belief is shared by only a fraction of the US population — 37 per cent, according to a Pew poll last year — but one of the most radical opponents of abortion rights in the Republican Party is now the head of its caucus in the lower chamber of Congress. A new deep dive into his political past from CNN’s KFile has revealed that Mr Johnson recently referred to the practice as an “American holocaust”.

The comments reported by CNN were made last year on a DC-based radio show. In the same interview, he accused Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health services, of viewing Black Americans as “prey”.

House Speaker Mike Johnson calls abortion ‘an American Holocaust’ in resurfaced video

Cohen says Trump’s latest subpoena is effort to ‘harass, intimidate, and retaliate’ against him

06:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen has asked a Manhattan judge to quash an “wildly overbroad” subpoena issued as part of the former president’s criminal hush money trial, The Messenger reports.

Mr Cohen’s request is also backed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has also asked New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to reject the subpoena on similar grounds.

“The subpoena issued to Mr Cohen is an obvious and blatant act of witness intimidation, and merely the latest incident in a years-long pattern of harassment and retaliation by defendant Trump,” the 33-page motion from Mr Cohen’s lawyers states.

Both Mr Cohen and the DA’s office note that the former president sued Mr Cohen for $500m before backing down and withdrawing the lawsuit.

The DA says the Trump camp’s aim is to gather evidence for if he ever were to refile the suit.

“Ever since Mr Cohen accepted criminal responsibility for his actions including actions taken on behalf of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Defendant Trump — and began providing information to authorities in numerous investigations of Defendant Trump and his various business entities, Defendant Trump has repeatedly abused the judicial system in an effort to silence Mr Cohen,” attorney Danya Perry wrote on behalf of her client, Mr Cohen.

Here’s the latest on the hush-money case regarding the creation of falsified business records for reimbursing Mr Cohen for payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels concerning her alleged affair with Mr Trump.

Trump doctor touts former president’s ‘excellent’ health following ‘weight reduction’

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is in “excellent” health, according to a note he shared on Monday on social media, as both he and his potential 2024 opponent Joe Biden face continued questions about their age and mental fitness for the White House.

“I am pleased to report that President Trump’s overall health is excellent,” the former president’s physician, Bruce Aronwald, wrote in a letter Mr Trump shared on Truth Social. “His physical exams were well within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional.”

The letter added that Mr Trump was showing improved results on certain tests, likely because of “weight reduction.”

Josh Marcus reports.

Trump posts doctor note claiming he’s lost weight as Biden marks 81st birthday

You may recall this news item from Mr Trump’s surrender to the Fulton County Jail earlier this year:

These celebrities are the same height and weight as Trump, per jail records

2024 presidential debate dates and venues announced

03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The dates and venues for the three 2024 presidential debates have been announced.

The debates, which will take place in September and October will be staged at US university campuses in the states of Texas, Virginia and Utah.

The news was announced by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday.

The first debate will take place on 16 September at Texas State University in San Marcos. It will be followed by the second at Virginia State University in Petersburg on 1 October.

The final debate will take place just over a week later at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, on 9 October.

Mike Bedigan has further details.

Dates and venues for three 2024 presidential debates announced

Trump’s former White House counsel delivers withering takedown of ex-president

02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

There are a significant number of former Trump administration officials, staffers, and aides who have become vocal critics of former president Donald Trump, his 2024 campaign, and the prospect of him returning to the White House.

They are running against him (Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence), are testifying against him (Cassidy Hutchinson, Bill Barr), or are more than willing to eviscerate him on cable news (John Bolton, Chris Christie, Bill Bar, Cassidy Hutchinson, Olivia Troya, Stephanie Grisham, etc...).

The Washington Post asked in an article earlier this week whether their declarations that he shouldn’t be president would make a difference, and tapped former White House counsel Ty Cobb, who defended Mr Trump during the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Once a loyal soldier for the former president, he gave this withering quote in the Post article saying it was imperative that people vote against him:

“He has never cared about America, its citizens, its future or anything but himself. In fact, as history well shows from his divisive lies, as well as from his unrestrained contempt for the rule of law and his related crimes, his conduct and mere existence have hastened the demise of democracy and of the nation,” Cobb wrote in an email. “Our adversaries and our allies both recognize that even his potential reelection diminishes America on the world stage and ensures continued acceleration of the domestic decline we are currently enduring. If that reelection actually happens, the consequences will extinguish what, if anything, remains of the American Dream.”

Ouch.

Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis made her debut arguing before a judge and questioning witnesses in a case surrounding Donald Trump’s sprawling election interference case as she pressed a judge to revoke a bond order for one of the former president’s co-defendants.

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

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

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

Read more:

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes Trump courtroom debut

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

00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

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

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

The company claims that the “false reporting” was part of a “seemingly coordinated effort to destroy TMTG and Truth Social”.

“This case is about an unprecedented and seemingly coordinated media campaign, by no less than 20 major media outlets, to attack Trump Media & Technology Group (“TMTG”) and its social media platform, Truth Social, by falsely reporting that TMTG had lost $73 million,” the lawsuit reads.

“This number was an utter fabrication. Each defendant, in apparent coordination, reported the exact same false number within approximately 24 hours of one another, each citing to a public Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filing, in which the mystery $73 million loss appears nowhere.”

Read the full article

Voting Rights Act dealt ‘body blow’ by Trump-appointed judges

Wednesday 22 November 2023 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Over the last decade, the US Supreme Court has gradually chipped away at a landmark voting rights law adopted at the height of the civil rights movement.

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

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

According to two of the judges on the panel, only the US Department of Justice can do so.

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

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

Wednesday 22 November 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

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

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

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

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

“You should be executed,” one message reads.

Alex Woodward has been following the trial for The Independent and filed this report.

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

Former Trump Organization exec breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Wednesday 22 November 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

After spending two days on the witness stand for a second time, Jeffrey McConney had enough.

Through tears, he told a defence attorney for his former boss Donald Trump and his co-defendants that he “gave up” his longtime accounting role with the Trump Organization following a crushing wave of legal threats against it.

“I just wanted to relax and stop being accused of misrepresenting assets for the company that I loved working for,” he testified in a lower Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. “I’m sorry.”

Mr McConney is among more than a dozen defendants charged in a sprawling fraud lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has accused the former president, his two adult sons and chief associates of grossly inflating his net worth and assets to fraudulently obtain favourable financial terms over a decade in an effort to boost the family’s brand-building properties in its vast real estate empire.

Judge Arthur Engoron already found the defendants liable for fraud.

Alex Woodward reports.

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Analysis: Trump un-gagged could prime his fraud trial for more chaos

Wednesday 22 November 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

For six weeks, lawyers with New York Attorney General Letitia James put more than two dozen witnesses on the stand and introduced dozens of documents to connect Donald Trump and his business empire to a decade of fraud allegations.

When the attorney general handed the case to his team of lawyers on 13 November, their first witness was Donald Trump Jr, who spent several hours testifying to his father’s “artistry” and “sexy” properties.

Two days later, Mr Trump’s attorneys demanded a mistrial. They lost. His attorneys also sued the judge overseeing the case, hoping to strike down a gag order that has blocked the former president from attacking court staff. They won.

Meanwhile, other members of Mr Trump’s legal team – a stable of attorneys defending him in four criminal cases and lawsuits across the country – are preparing for a separate courtroom battle to revoke a different gag order that prevents him from attacking witnesses and others in case accusing him of a conspiracy to overturn 2020 presidential election results.

In a filing to a federal judge, Mr Trump’s attorneys argued that the gag order blocks his “core political speech” – including his abilities to spread false claims about the chief court clerk in his fraud trial, in a courthouse that has been inundated with threatening messages.

Read more...

Much has been made of Biden’s age, but Trump is only four years younger...

Wednesday 22 November 2023 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

When Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, he became the oldest commander-in-chief sworn in at the age of 70 years and 220 days old.

That was surpassed by his successor Joe Biden, who was 78 years and 61 days when he became the country’s 46th president in January 2021.

Before Mr Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest person to assume the presidency at 69 years and 349 years old at his first inauguration in 1981.

Reagan was the oldest president when he left office at the age of 77 in 1989, just 22 days away from turning 78.

But depending on who wins the 2024 presidential election, a new record could be set as both Mr Biden and Mr Trump are running for reelection.

Graeme Massie reports.

How old is Donald Trump and how does his age compare to other presidents?

Speaker Johnson calls abortion ‘an American Holocaust’ in resurfaced video

Wednesday 22 November 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Don’t expect a GOP heel-turn on the issue of abortion any time soon – at least not while Mike Johnson is one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Washington.

While the party has suffered repeated defeats on the issue of reproductive rights in the past two years, the right has shown no signs of abandoning its support for sharp restrictions on the availability of abortion procedures in the US. In some cases, many still support a total ban on the practice.

That radical belief is shared by only a fraction of the US population — 37 per cent, according to a Pew poll last year — but one of the most radical opponents of abortion rights in the Republican Party is now the head of its caucus in the lower chamber of Congress. A new deep dive into his political past from CNN’s KFile has revealed that Mr Johnson recently referred to the practice as an “American holocaust”.

The comments reported by CNN were made last year on a DC-based radio show. In the same interview, he accused Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health services, of viewing Black Americans as “prey”.

Read more...

House Speaker Mike Johnson calls abortion ‘an American Holocaust’ in resurfaced video

Read the threatening voicemails targeting Trump’s fraud trial judge and clerk

Wednesday 22 November 2023 20:29 , Oliver O'Connell

Court Officer-Captain Charles Hollon in the Department of Public Safety of the New York State Unified Court System submitted the following affidavit concerning the threats made against Justice Arthur Engoron and his staff.

Justice Arthur Engoron (R) and his law clerk Allison Greenfield (L) at Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud trial (2023 Getty Images)
Justice Arthur Engoron (R) and his law clerk Allison Greenfield (L) at Donald Trump’s New York civil fraud trial (2023 Getty Images)

Read the full document here.

Cohen says Trump’s latest subpoena is effort to ‘harass, intimidate, and retaliate’ against him

Wednesday 22 November 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen has asked a Manhattan judge to quash an “wildly overbroad” subpoena issued as part of the former president’s criminal hush money trial, The Messenger reports.

Mr Cohen’s request is also backed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has also asked New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to reject the subpoena on similar grounds.

“The subpoena issued to Mr Cohen is an obvious and blatant act of witness intimidation, and merely the latest incident in a years-long pattern of harassment and retaliation by defendant Trump,” the 33-page motion from Mr Cohen’s lawyers states.

Both Mr Cohen and the DA’s office note that the former president sued Mr Cohen for $500m before backing down and withdrawing the lawsuit.

The DA says the Trump camp’s aim is to gather evidence for if he ever were to refile the suit.

“Ever since Mr Cohen accepted criminal responsibility for his actions including actions taken on behalf of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Defendant Trump — and began providing information to authorities in numerous investigations of Defendant Trump and his various business entities, Defendant Trump has repeatedly abused the judicial system in an effort to silence Mr Cohen,” attorney Danya Perry wrote on behalf of her client, Mr Cohen.

Here’s the latest on the hush-money case regarding the creation of falsified business records for reimbursing Mr Cohen for payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels concerning her alleged affair with Mr Trump.

New York court security links Trump statement to death threats against Judge Engoron and staff

Wednesday 22 November 2023 19:37 , Oliver O'Connell

Death threats and antisemitic rants “inundated” Justice Arthur Engoron and his law clerk after Donald Trump attacked them on social media, according to an affidavit by a New York court security official, citing 275 transcribed pages and describing the threats as “serious and credible and not hypothetical or speculative”.

Captain Charles Hollon said: “When Mr Trump violated the gag orders, the number of threatening, harassing and disparaging messages increased.”

“Although Mr Trump did not directly threaten Ms Greenfield, the comments made in his post resulted in hundreds of threatening and harassing voicemail messages that have been transcribed into over 275 single-spaced pages.”

One threat reads: “You should be assassinated.”

The affidavit was attached to Judge Engoron’s opposition to the former president’s motion to lift the partial gag order he had imposed on him after his initial social media attacks on the court clerk.

Judge Engoron has argued the gag order is necessary for the safety of this staff.

Pizzagate: The Return

Wednesday 22 November 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Elon Musk has now amplified the widely debunked “Pizzagateconspiracy theory on X, just days after he sparked outrage for pushing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

On Monday, an X user attempted to link the founder of Media Matters – the left-leaning non-profit group that last week accused X of promoting adverts from global companies alongside pro-Hitler content – to the owner of the so-called “Pizzagate restaurant”.

Mr Musk then boosted the post by replying to it, with the one-word phrase: “Weird.”

Now, the three-year-old conspiracy theory and baseless claims of its ties to Media Matters have been promoted to the tech mogul’s 160 million followers.

Martha McHardy has the details.

Elon Musk amplifies Pizzagate conspiracy theory

Trump’s former White House counsel delivers withering takedown of ex-president

Wednesday 22 November 2023 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

There are a significant number of former Trump administration officials, staffers, and aides who have become vocal critics of former president Donald Trump, his 2024 campaign, and the prospect of him returning to the White House.

They are running against him (Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence), are testifying against him (Cassidy Hutchinson, Bill Barr), or are more than willing to eviscerate him on cable news (John Bolton, Chris Christie, Bill Bar, Cassidy Hutchinson, Olivia Troya, Stephanie Grisham, etc...).

The Washington Post asked in an article earlier this week whether their declarations that he shouldn’t be president would make a difference, and tapped former White House counsel Ty Cobb, who defended Mr Trump during the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Once a loyal soldier for the former president, he gave this withering quote in the Post article saying it was imperative that people vote against him:

“He has never cared about America, its citizens, its future or anything but himself. In fact, as history well shows from his divisive lies, as well as from his unrestrained contempt for the rule of law and his related crimes, his conduct and mere existence have hastened the demise of democracy and of the nation,” Cobb wrote in an email. “Our adversaries and our allies both recognize that even his potential reelection diminishes America on the world stage and ensures continued acceleration of the domestic decline we are currently enduring. If that reelection actually happens, the consequences will extinguish what, if anything, remains of the American Dream.”

Ouch.

Trump ‘propaganda’ interview slammed by former Univision boss

Wednesday 22 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

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

Reporters at the network, which has US offices and merged with a Mexican media giant in 2022, have found themselves at the middle of a discussion over their network’s ability to cover the 2024 presidential race fairly and accurately after Mr Trump sat down with Enrique Acevedo for an interview that aired just over a week ago. Mr Trump did not face any difficult questions about his criminal prosecutions or policy positions in the interview, and was also able to spout unfounded claims about his immigration policies without accurate pushback from Acevedo.

The controversy has grown over the past several days as prominent Latino Americans such as comedian John Leguizamo have called for boycotts of the network in response.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

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

Full story: Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Wednesday 22 November 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

After spending two days on the witness stand for a second time, Jeffrey McConney had enough.

Through tears, he told a defence attorney for his former boss Donald Trump and his co-defendants that he “gave up” his longtime accounting role with the Trump Organization following a crushing wave of legal threats against it.

“I just wanted to relax and stop being accused of misrepresenting assets for the company that I loved working for,” he testified in a lower Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. “I’m sorry.”

Mr McConney is among more than a dozen defendants charged in a sprawling fraud lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has accused the former president, his two adult sons and chief associates of grossly inflating his net worth and assets to fraudulently obtain favourable financial terms over a decade in an effort to boost the family’s brand-building properties in its vast real estate empire.

Judge Arthur Engoron already found the defendants liable for fraud. In the eighth week of a trial stemming from the blockbuster lawsuit, attorneys for the former president have narrowed their defence: blame the accountants.

Alex Woodward has been following the trial for The Independent and filed this report.

Ex-Trump Organization executive breaks down during fraud trial testimony

Another day, another slew of Trump Truth Social posts...

Wednesday 22 November 2023 18:16 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president is kicking off the holiday with an impressive tirade of posts on Truth Social. Many of them are repetitive rants about his various trials and indictments, polls, alleged election fraud, fake news, China, crowds at his speeches, Ron DeSantis, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds...

Here are some highlights:

MASSIVE CARAVANS THROUGH MEXICO HEADED OUR WAY!!! CROOKED JOE BIDEN, WHO’S TOO BUSY USING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO GO AFTER HIS POLITICAL OPPONENT, HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. WE ARE TRULY A NATION IN DECLINE! MAGA2024

OUR COUNTRY IS UNDER THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF THREAT EVER, AND YET ALL THE DOJ & FBI WANT TO DO IS GO AFTER DONALD TRUMP AND HIS FAMILY. SAD!!!

Kim Reynolds of Iowa has gone from a popular Governor to the MOST UNPOPULAR GOVERNOR IN THE UNITED STATES, not an easy feat. Her Endorsement of Ron DeSanctimonious, who is 50 Points down to me in the Polls, has given him exactly ZERO “Bounce.” He is a wounded bird falling violently from the sky. I wonder what position Kim was promised in order to back someone who is sooo far down? I got Iowa “First in the Nation,” Ethanol security, and 28 Billion Dollars for our Great Farmers. I also protected Social Security and MediCare. DeSanctimonious and Birdbrain did NOTHING. MAGA!!!

Did Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Polls have fallen like a wounded bird from the sky, commit a major Campaign Finance Violation by paying for the Bob Vander Plaats’ useless endorsement? I don’t think so! Thank you Iowa for your love and support—Big Numbers. We will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

2024 presidential debate dates and venues announced

Wednesday 22 November 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The dates and venues for the three 2024 presidential debates have been announced.

The debates, which will take place in September and October will be staged at US university campuses in the states of Texas, Virginia and Utah.

The news was announced by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday.

The first debate will take place on 16 September at Texas State University in San Marcos. It will be followed by the second at Virginia State University in Petersburg on 1 October.

The final debate will take place just over a week later at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, on 9 October.

Mike Bedigan has further details.

Dates and venues for three 2024 presidential debates announced

Georgia election subversion: What happened yesterday in court?

Wednesday 22 November 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports on the latest from the sprawling Fulton County racketeering case against Donald Trump and his 14 co-defendants as a key hearing leads to the fine-tuning of the terms of bond arrangements reached with the accused.

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis made her debut arguing before a judge and questioning witnesses in a case surrounding Donald Trump’s sprawling election interference case as she pressed a judge to revoke a bond order for one of the former president’s co-defendants.

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

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

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

Mr Floyd made “technical violations” of his bond agreement, but “not every violation compels revocation,” according to the judge.

Continue reading the full article

Trump doctor touts former president’s ‘excellent’ health following ‘weight reduction'

Wednesday 22 November 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is in “excellent” health, according to a note he shared on Monday on social media, as both he and his potential 2024 opponent Joe Biden face continued questions about their age and mental fitness for the White House.

“I am pleased to report that President Trump’s overall health is excellent,” the former president’s physician, Bruce Aronwald, wrote in a letter Mr Trump shared on Truth Social. “His physical exams were well within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional.”

The letter added that Mr Trump was showing improved results on certain tests, likely because of “weight reduction.”

Josh Marcus reports.

Trump posts doctor note claiming he’s lost weight as Biden marks 81st birthday

You may recall this news item from Mr Trump’s surrender to the Fulton County Jail earlier this year:

These celebrities are the same height and weight as Trump, per jail records

Cassidy Hutchinson gives dire warning about second Trump presidency

Wednesday 22 November 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide under the Trump administration, issued a grim warning about the state of democracy in the US should Donald Trump win the presidential election in 2024.

“If Donald Trump is elected president again in 2024, I do fear that it will be the last election where we’re voting for democracy because if he is elected again, I don’t think we’ll be voting under the same Constitution,” Ms Hutchinson told Jen Psaki onInside with Jen Psaki.

Ms Hutchinson worked in close proximity to Mr Trump, especially toward the end of his presidency when the events on January 6 unfolded. She testified to Congress that Mr Trump knowingly said and did things leading up to the attack on the Capitol that encouraged the mob.

Now she’s warning voters to choose wisely next year, should the election be another matchup between President Joe Biden and Mr Trump.

Ariana Baio has the story.

Cassidy Hutchinson warns that another Trump presidency could threaten democracy

Trump lashes out at New York fraud trial judge and clerk (again)

Wednesday 22 November 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Last night, after posting a slew of 19 (!) campaign-style videos on his Truth Social platform account in which he stiffly barks at the camera about his current list of grievances, conspiracies, and twisted facts, Donald Trump posted another attack on Justice Arthur Engoron and the chief clerk in his New York civil fraud trial.

This attack would’ve been a violation of the gag order imposed on him by “Psycho Judge” Engoron, were it still in place, having been paused by an appeals court judge last week.

The former president wrote: “Regardless of what we say to show our TOTAL INNOCENCE, and it has been proven in many ways, and many times over, this political, Trump Hating Judge, together with his horrendous, seething with ANGER Law Clerk, with her illegal campaign contributions, will find me guilty as hell.”

Mr Trump has already been found liable for fraud and there is no “guilty” because it’s not a criminal case. While the former president was not restricted from attacking the judge, the gag order was specific in its intention to protect court staff. This is now the third time since it was lifted that he has attacked the court clerk.

Here’s the full post in its bizarrely-capitalised glory:

A Rigged Trial going on against me by a corrupt N.Y. State Attorney General and an out of control Judge. They brought Values down to a FRACTION of what they are really worth, like Mar-a-Lago, and then called me a Fraud. They are the FRAUDSTERS, and the whole system is CORRUPT. I didn’t even include one of my most valuable assets, BRAND VALUE, in my Financial Statements. Also, this Psycho Judge refuses to acknowledge the fact that I have a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the First Page of my Statements - “DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE.” But it all doesn’t matter, because regardless of what we say to show our TOTAL INNOCENCE, and it has been proven in many ways, and many times over, this political, Trump Hating Judge, together with his horrendous, seething with ANGER Law Clerk, with her illegal campaign contributions, will find me guilty as hell. NO JURY ALLOWED, A STATUTE NEVER USED FOR THIS BEFORE, A RIGGED TRIAL, A RACIST & CORRUPT ATTORNEY GENERAL, A TRUMP HATING JUDGE, ELECTION INTERFERENCE!

Alex Woodward reports on the background of the New York gag order:

Trump un-gagged could prime his fraud trial for more chaos

Wednesday 22 November 2023 15:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for what he described as her “dumbest idea yet” following the release of her new book.

The Republican congresswoman released her memoir – titled “MTG” – on Tuesday, with Donald Trump promoting it on his Truth Social platform.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night, Mr Kimmel gave viewers a hilarious run-down of its contents as he mocked the lawmaker saying “it’s the first book she’s ever written or read”.

“Speaking of Christmas in hell, Marjorie Taylor Greene released a book today. It’s the first book she’s ever written or read, and it’s called MTG, it’s got a little bit of everything,” he said.

Martha McHardy reports on the comedian’s latest takedown of the far-right lawmaker.

Jimmy Kimmel mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘dumbest idea yet’

Cohen says Trump’s latest subpoena is effort to ‘harass, intimidate, and retaliate’ against him

Wednesday 22 November 2023 15:23 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen has asked a Manhattan judge to quash an “wildly overbroad” subpoena issued as part of the former president’s criminal hush money trial, The Messenger reports.

Mr Cohen’s request is also backed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has also asked New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan to reject the subpoena on similar grounds.

“The subpoena issued to Mr Cohen is an obvious and blatant act of witness intimidation, and merely the latest incident in a years-long pattern of harassment and retaliation by defendant Trump,” the 33-page motion from Mr Cohen’s lawyers states.

Both Mr Cohen and the DA’s office note that the former president sued Mr Cohen for $500m before backing down and withdrawing the lawsuit.

The DA says the Trump camp’s aim is to gather evidence for if he ever were to refile the suit.

“Ever since Mr Cohen accepted criminal responsibility for his actions including actions taken on behalf of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Defendant Trump — and began providing information to authorities in numerous investigations of Defendant Trump and his various business entities, Defendant Trump has repeatedly abused the judicial system in an effort to silence Mr Cohen,” attorney Danya Perry wrote on behalf of her client, Mr Cohen.

Here’s the latest on the hush-money case regarding the creation of falsified business records for reimbursing Mr Cohen for payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels concerning her alleged affair with Mr Trump.

Here’s our reporting on the former president dropping the suit against Mr Cohen.

Trump ‘temporarily’ drops $500m case against his former lawyer Michael Cohen

Trump’s former White House counsel delivers withering takedown of ex-president

Wednesday 22 November 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

There are a significant number of former Trump administration officials, staffers, and aides who have become vocal critics of former president Donald Trump, his 2024 campaign, and the prospect of him returning to the White House.

They are running against him (Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence), are testifying against him (Cassidy Hutchinson, Bill Barr), or are more than willing to eviscerate him on cable news (John Bolton, Chris Christie, Bill Bar, Cassidy Hutchinson, Olivia Troya, Stephanie Grisham, etc...).

The Washington Post asked in an article earlier this week whether their declarations that he shouldn’t be president would make a difference, and tapped former White House counsel Ty Cobb, who defended Mr Trump during the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Once a loyal soldier for the former president, he gave this withering quote in the Post article saying it was imperative that people vote against him:

“He has never cared about America, its citizens, its future or anything but himself. In fact, as history well shows from his divisive lies, as well as from his unrestrained contempt for the rule of law and his related crimes, his conduct and mere existence have hastened the demise of democracy and of the nation,” Cobb wrote in an email. “Our adversaries and our allies both recognize that even his potential reelection diminishes America on the world stage and ensures continued acceleration of the domestic decline we are currently enduring. If that reelection actually happens, the consequences will extinguish what, if anything, remains of the American Dream.”

Ouch.

Here’s Cassidy Hutchinson speaking on MSNBC earlier this week:

Cassidy Hutchinson warns that another Trump presidency could threaten democracy

Voices: The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

Wednesday 22 November 2023 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

On Friday, House Speaker Mike Johnson announced that he would release more than 44,000 hours of raw footage of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

The timing of the release was peculiar since he announced it on a Friday, when the House had already left after a protracted 10-week session and late in the afternoon, when most reporters were getting ready to pack it up. Furthermore, Mr Johnson made the announcement the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, when few people would be paying attention to the news in general.

But Mr Johnson’s actions, as well as the timing of the announcement, can be better understood in light of the response from some of the loudest voices on the Maga right amplifying the footage over the weekend. Their words and desire to rehash the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, instigated by the de facto head of the Republican PartyDonald Trump, might be a political loser, but it is about exacting revenge against Democrats and those they perceive as slighting them.

Read more...

The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

Voting Rights Act dealt ‘body blow’ by Trump-appointed judges

Wednesday 22 November 2023 14:27 , Oliver O'Connell

Over the last decade, the US Supreme Court has gradually chipped away at a landmark voting rights law adopted at the height of the civil rights movement.

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

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

According to two of the judges on the panel, only the US Department of Justice can do so.

Alex Woodward reports on the latest attack on voting rights.

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump case hearing

Wednesday 22 November 2023 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis made her debut arguing before a judge and questioning witnesses in a case surrounding Donald Trump’s sprawling election interference case as she pressed a judge to revoke a bond order for one of the former president’s co-defendants.

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

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

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

Alex Woodward has been following the case for The Independent.

Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump election interference case

Much has been made of Biden’s age, but Trump is only four years younger...

Wednesday 22 November 2023 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

When Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, he became the oldest commander-in-chief sworn in at the age of 70 years and 220 days old.

That was surpassed by his successor Joe Biden, who was 78 years and 61 days when he became the country’s 46th president in January 2021.

Before Mr Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest person to assume the presidency at 69 years and 349 years old at his first inauguration in 1981.

Reagan was the oldest president when he left office at the age of 77 in 1989, just 22 days away from turning 78.

But depending on who wins the 2024 presidential election, a new record could be set as both Mr Biden and Mr Trump are running for reelection.

Graeme Massie reports.

How old is Donald Trump and how does his age compare to other presidents?

Pizzagate: The Return

Wednesday 22 November 2023 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Elon Musk has now amplified the widely debunked “Pizzagateconspiracy theory on X, just days after he sparked outrage for pushing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

On Monday, an X user attempted to link the founder of Media Matters – the left-leaning non-profit group that last week accused X of promoting adverts from global companies alongside pro-Hitler content – to the owner of the so-called “Pizzagate restaurant”.

Mr Musk then boosted the post by replying to it, with the one-word phrase: “Weird.”

Now, the three-year-old conspiracy theory and baseless claims of its ties to Media Matters have been promoted to the tech mogul’s 160 million followers.

Martha McHardy has the story.

Elon Musk amplifies Pizzagate conspiracy theory

‘Propaganda’ Trump interview slammed by ex-Univision boss

Wednesday 22 November 2023 12:00 , Oliver O'Connell

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

Reporters at the network, which has US offices and merged with a Mexican media giant in 2022, have found themselves at the middle of a discussion over their network’s ability to cover the 2024 presidential race fairly and accurately after Mr Trump sat down with Enrique Acevedo for an interview that aired just over a week ago. Mr Trump did not face any difficult questions about his criminal prosecutions or policy positions in the interview, and was also able to spout unfounded claims about his immigration policies without accurate pushback from Acevedo.

The controversy has grown over the past several days as prominent Latino Americans such as comedian John Leguizamo have called for boycotts of the network in response.

John Bowden reports.

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

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

Wednesday 22 November 2023 11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

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

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

The company claims that the “false reporting” was part of a “seemingly coordinated effort to destroy TMTG and Truth Social”.

“This case is about an unprecedented and seemingly coordinated media campaign, by no less than 20 major media outlets, to attack Trump Media & Technology Group (“TMTG”) and its social media platform, Truth Social, by falsely reporting that TMTG had lost $73 million,” the lawsuit reads.

“This number was an utter fabrication. Each defendant, in apparent coordination, reported the exact same false number within approximately 24 hours of one another, each citing to a public Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filing, in which the mystery $73 million loss appears nowhere.”

Rachel Sharp has the details.

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

Trump to attend Palmetto Bowl college football clash this weekend

Wednesday 22 November 2023 10:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Post & Courier reports:

Former President Donald Trump will attend the Clemson-South Carolina game this weekend, bringing the Republican front-runner to Williams-Brice Stadium for the state’s biggest college football spectacle of the year.

Trump’s presidential campaign confirmed the visit Nov. 21 to The Post and Courier after increasing levels of chatter, rumors and speculation peaked in recent days that he would take up supporter Gov. Henry McMaster’s standing invitation to attend a game.

Asked if Trump would be attending as McMaster’s guest, Trump’s spokesman Steven Cheung replied: “I believe McMaster will be a guest of POTUS.”

In addition to the governor, Trump is expected to be joined at the game by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Lt. Gov. Pam Evette. All are members of the Trump campaign’s South Carolina leadership team.

2024 presidential debate dates announced

Wednesday 22 November 2023 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The dates and venues for the three 2024 presidential debates have been announced.

The debates, which will take place in September and October will be staged at US university campuses in the states of Texas, Virginia and Utah.

The news was announced by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday.

The first debate will take place on 16 September at Texas State University in San Marcos. It will be followed by the second at Virginia State University in Petersburg on 1 October.

The final debate will take place just over a week later at The University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, on 9 October.

Mike Bedigan has further details:

Dates and venues for three 2024 presidential debates announced

Voices: The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

Wednesday 22 November 2023 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

On Friday, House Speaker Mike Johnson announced that he would release more than 44,000 hours of raw footage of the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

The timing of the release was peculiar since he announced it on a Friday, when the House had already left after a protracted 10-week session and late in the afternoon, when most reporters were getting ready to pack it up. Furthermore, Mr Johnson made the announcement the week before the Thanksgiving holiday, when few people would be paying attention to the news in general.

But Mr Johnson’s actions, as well as the timing of the announcement, can be better understood in light of the response from some of the loudest voices on the Maga right amplifying the footage over the weekend. Their words and desire to rehash the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, instigated by the de facto head of the Republican PartyDonald Trump, might be a political loser, but it is about exacting revenge against Democrats and those they perceive as slighting them.

The Maga release of the Jan 6 tapes is about vengeance

What is truth and what is fiction? The rise and fall or George Santos

Wednesday 22 November 2023 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

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

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

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

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

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

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

The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

Analysis: Can Lachlan Murdoch rein in scandal-hit Fox as 2024 election looms?

Wednesday 22 November 2023 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Bevan Hurley writes:

As anointed son Lachlan Murdoch took the stage at Fox Corporation’s annual meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, he touted the potential windfall the company hoped to see from the 2024 US presidential election.

With national and local political races “heating up”, he told the gathering of execs including father Rupert, board members and shareholders that he expected next year’s pivotal election would drive “strong results across our news properties and local stations”.

The meeting rubber-stamped Lachlan’s takeover as chair of Fox Corporation, days after he officially took charge of the Murdochs’ publishing division News Corp as the chosen child.

Less than a year out from the 2024 presidential election, with the warning signs for democracy flashing red and Donald Trump declaring his authoritarian intentions if reelected, the 52-year-old arguably has the power to shape US politics more than any other executive in the country.

Read the full article.