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Ex-Giuliani Associate Reveals When Trump Set Sights on Hunter Biden

Lev Parnas said the Trump campaign started targeting Hunter Biden’s laptop two months earlier than previously thought.

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A former associate of Rudy Giuliani has blown open the Hunter Biden laptop story, revealing that Donald Trump and his associates decided to target President Joe Biden’s son months before they claimed they had unearthed his laptop at a Delaware repair shop.

In an interview released Thursday night by MeidasTouch, Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas claimed the cohort had been notified of the presence of a laptop belonging to Hunter in February 2019.

“We knew as early as middle-to-end of February 2019, is when the first time I heard about the Hunter Biden laptop from Yuriy Lutsenko,” Parnas told MeidasTouch, referring to Ukraine’s former minister of internal affairs. “He told me that there is a hard drive out there with compromising information on Hunter Biden, and he promised to get it to us.”

But that was two months before Trumpworld’s accusations of impropriety by Hunter Biden officially began, with the Delaware computer repair shop owner claiming that a man identifying himself as Hunter Biden had dropped off a laptop for repairs in April 2019.

The laptop story has been thoroughly debunked—including by a joint investigation by two Republican Senate committees, as well as an investigation by the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

Parnas, who had been tasked with helping Giuliani connect with Ukrainian officials in his effort to “find dirt on the Bidens” ahead of the 2020 election, has been unearthing the inner workings of his former associates since the scheme blew up. On Tuesday, Parnas revealed that Giuliani had basically insisted on bribes while meeting with Ukrainian officials who did not pose immediate aid to the Hunter Biden corruption narrative.

“Lutsenko told me, ‘I’m the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, I want to meet A.G. Barr,’ so, I tell that to Rudy and he’s like, ‘Look, you want to meet Attorney General [Bill] Barr, the way things work here is you pay a lobbyist and they will get you in there, so you can pay me $200,000 and I will introduce you to Attorney General Bill Barr,’” Parnas recalled to MediasTouch.

“That evening I go meet with Lutsenko… they get drunk. Lutensko is pouring his heart out to me, like he can’t believe what just happened, he looked up to Giuliani as his hero and here Giuliani is basically shaking him down for $200,000 to meet with Attorney General Barr.”

Giuliani Makes Hilarious Attempt to Defend Against Arizona Indictment

The former New York mayor decided a great strategy would be to highlight other states where he was allegedly involved in illegal activity.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Rudolph Giuliani’s defense against facing criminal charges for his involvement in Arizona’s fake elector plot is not exactly a good one: He’s pointing out other states where he may have committed crimes as well.

“Well, I didn’t spend as much time on Arizona as I did, let’s say, with Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. I know those better,” Donald Trump’s former attorney told Newsmax Thursday night.

“I used Christina Bobb to a large extent, and I’m not putting anything off on Christina. If Christina said it happened, it’s probably more accurate than if I said it happened,” Giuliani added, referring to another former Trump attorney.

Bobb is now the Republican National Committee’s new senior counsel for election integrity. She and Giuliani were among seven Trump aides hit with criminal charges in Arizona for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Even after being charged on Wednesday, Giuliani couldn’t stop shooting his mouth off. New York’s former mayor has had a bad year, stuck in bankruptcy court thanks to the various lawsuits against him as well as unpaid legal fees from Trump.

Arizona has joined Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia in charging fake electors for trying to overturn the 2020 elections. Fake electors in Wisconsin have settled a civil lawsuit over their fraudulent efforts. Meanwhile, in Fulton County, Georgia, Trump himself faces charges for trying to overturn the state election results.

Uvalde Parent Obliterates Police Response to Texas University Protest

Brett Cross pointed out the striking difference to the police response during the Robb Elementary School shooting.

Police officers stand opposite protesters
Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Texas Department of Public Safety officers stand opposite pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Texas at Austin on April 24, 2024

Uvalde parent Brett Cross has some words for Texas police, after their brutal crackdown on Texas university students protesting against Israel’s war in Gaza.

At the University of Texas at Austin Wednesday, more than 100 troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) showed up in full riot gear and military fatigues. They were deployed “at the direction of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, in order to prevent any unlawful assembly,” according to a statement sent to The Texas Tribune.

The response caught the attention of Cross, a parent of one of the children shot and killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022.

“Shit, if only they’d have moved like that when my son was being murdered,” Cross commented on X (formerly Twitter). “But what do I expect….1 AR-15 keeps 376 officers at bay.”

The DPS was one of the many law enforcement agencies who responded to the deadly Robb Elementary School shooting in 2022. Police at the scene were criticized for failing to confront the gunman for more than 90 minutes after the shooting began.

In contrast, police made 57 arrests at largely nonviolent protests at the University of Texas, which began when more than 500 students walked out of class Wednesday to demand the university divest from weapons manufacturers supplying Israel in its attacks on Gaza. The arrests included a cameraman with Fox 7, and video showed him being slammed to the ground. Most charges were later dropped.

Protests against the war and in support of the Palestinians have broken out across the country after a Columbia University protest encampment faced a police crackdown last week, and hundreds of arrests have been made nationwide. The University of Southern California on Thursday canceled its commencement ceremony, citing safety concerns in its own protests. The response from many media commentators and politicians has been to compare protestors to white nationalists who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, nearly seven years ago, and to make grandstanding campus visits. Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza continues to rise and weapons continue to be sent to Israel despite popular objection

Even More People Were in on Trump’s Hush-Money Scheme Than We Knew

David Pecker revealed he had spoken with senior White House advisers.

Donald Trump puts his hands on Sarah Huckabee Sanders' shoulders
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Donald Trump’s old friend David Pecker is still dishing the dirt on the stand in the real estate mogul’s New York hush money trial, revealing on Thursday that the decision to catch and kill former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story about having a lurid affair with Trump was later re-approved by top members of his presidential administration.

Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer and former CEO of its parent company, American Media Inc., told the court that he had a joint call with Trump’s White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about McDougal’s story well after Trump had been elected.

The salacious tabloid executive claimed he had spoken with both taxpayer-funded officials about whether McDougal’s contract should be extended.

“Both of them said that they thought it was a good idea,” Pecker told the court.

And yet, while facing the public, Sanders insisted that allegations that Trump had distributed hush-money payments to women that he slept with were categorically false.

“As the President has said and we’ve stated many times, he did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him and we’ve commented on it extensively,” Sanders said in August 2018, brushing off allegations that Trump had lied to the American public as “ridiculous.”

“Just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal, doesn’t implicate the President on anything,” she said at the time.

Hicks, Cohen, and porn star Stormy Daniels are also expected to testify in the trial against the GOP presidential nominee. Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Read more about the dirt David Pecker has spilled:

Key Witness Says Trump Knew About Every Single Hush Money Payment

Things are not looking good for Donald Trump in the hush-money trial.

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During his testimony in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial on Thursday, former tabloid magnate David Pecker wasted no time in blaming Trump completely for the whole scheme.

Pecker, ex-CEO of American Media Inc. and former publisher of the National Enquirer, is a key witness in the trial and returned to court in Manhattan for the third day to testify over charges that Trump illegally paid off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair before the 2016 election. Pecker, in a deal with the prosecution, has immunity and can give up details about his role in “catch-and-kill” schemes designed to protect Trump from negative coverage.

One question in court concerned a deal to pay Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also had an affair with Trump. Pecker told the court that Trump had direct knowledge of the payment contract, in addition to his then-fixer and attorney, Michael Cohen.

When asked by the prosecutor whether Trump wanted to keep negative stories hidden out of concern for his presidential campaign or in order to protect his family, Pecker replied simply: “I thought it was for the campaign.”

During Trump’s presidency, Pecker said he became worried after being contacted by the Federal Election Commission. Cohen tried to reassure Pecker that “Jeff Sessions is the attorney general and Donald Trump has him in his pocket.”. In earlier testimony, Pecker also described in detail how he broke campaign finance laws to help Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, explaining how he didn’t report the hush-money payments.

Trump is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime in his attempt to cover up an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels by paying her off. Daniels is expected to take the witness stand in the trial following Pecker.

Judge Skewers “Oblivious” Weinstein Ruling with Chilling Warning

Judge Madeline Singas said sexual predators will benefit from the decision.

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Disgraced Hollywood producer and serial abuser Harvey Weinstein had his 2020 rape conviction overturned by a New York appeals court on Thursday, but not everyone on the bench agreed with the decision.

In a scathing dissenting opinion, Judge Madeline Singas wrote that the court appeared “oblivious to, or unconcerned with, the distressing implications” of the ruling.

“Men who serially sexually exploit their power over women—especially the most vulnerable groups in society—will reap the benefit of today’s decision,” Singas wrote. “Under the majority’s logic, instances in which a trafficker repeatedly leverages workers’ undocumented status to coerce them into sex, or a restaurant manager withholds tips from his employees unless they perform sexual acts becomes a series of individual ‘credibility contests’ and unrelated ‘misunderstandings.”

Screenshot of a tweet

Accusations against Weinstein spurred the #MeToo movement into virality in 2017, helping women around the world have their sexual violence accusations be taken more seriously. Dozens of women in the film industry accused Weinstein of more than 100 instances of sexual harassment, abuse, and rape since 1980, but he was convicted on just one charge of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in a landmark decision in February 2020.

The Appeal Court’s 4-3 decision claimed that the inclusion of evidence and testimony from women whose experiences were not a part of the charges filed against Weinstein had been a critical error in the original trial.

“We conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes because that testimony served no material non-propensity purpose,” wrote Judge Jenny Rivera in her opinion.

Rivera described the errors as “egregious” and said the only solution would be to retry Weinstein, which would involve calling his victims to testify again.

Weinstein is expected to be transferred to a California prison to ride out the remainder of his 16-year sentence for another case in which he was convicted of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault. However, Weinstein will appeal that conviction on May 20, according to his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, who spoke with The New York Times. Bonjean expects that Thursday’s ruling will bode well for his appeal in the Los Angeles case.

Read more about Harvey Weinstein:

Key Hush-Money Trial Witness Admits He Broke Law to Help Trump

David Pecker said he violated campaign finance law.

Jeenah Moon/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s old friend-turned-key-witness in his New York hush money trial blatantly admitted Thursday that he violated campaign finance laws to help the former president’s 2016 campaign.

David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer and former CEO of its parent company, American Media Inc., told the court in Trump’s hush-money trial that he knew he had to obey campaign finance laws but still failed to report $150,000 to the FEC. That sum came from a payment he issued via Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen to Playboy model Karen McDougal for the rights to her story regarding her alleged affair with Trump.

“We didn’t want the story to embarrass Mr. Trump, or embarrass or hurt the campaign,” Pecker testified.

Pecker claimed he knew that failing to report the payment would skirt campaign finance regulations due to an earlier catch-and-kill effort that aided Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign for California governor. After Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy, several women came to the National Enquirer with their stories—but even after scooping them up, one story leaked to the press, forcing Pecker to learn he had run afoul of campaign finance laws.

“Based on what happened 14 years ago, I wanted to be comfortable that the agreement we were going to prepare for Karen McDougal met all the obligations with respect to a campaign contribution,” Pecker said, explaining that his company had consulted an election law attorney on the matter before signing the contract with McDougal.

The week has been full of admissions by Pecker, who has been offered an immunity deal by the government in exchange for his full cooperation in the Trump trial.

On Tuesday, Pecker admitted that he and Trump had coordinated not just to publish positive coverage of his friend ahead of the 2016 election, but also to publish negative coverage of other presidential candidates. In doing so, Pecker practically admitted to the catch-and-kill media scheme that Trump has repeatedly denied.

Trump had asked “what can I do and what my magazines can do to help the campaign,” Pecker recalled to the court. Pecker had responded that he could “publish positive stories about Trump” and “negative stories about his opponents.”

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Trump’s Bad Day in Court Gets Even Worse with E. Jean Carroll Loss

A judge has denied the former president’s request for a new trial against E. Jean Carroll.

E. Jean Carroll wears sunglasses
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Donald Trump is going to have to pony up $83 million to E. Jean Carroll after all, after a judge  on Thursday struck down Trump’s latest attempt to get a new trial. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over both of Trump’s trials against Carroll, denied the former president’s appeal of the verdict in Carroll’s second defamation lawsuit A jury determined that Trump owed Carroll $83 million in damages for defamation.

Trump is unlikely to be happy about losing his appeal, considering how he can’t stop bashing Carroll even with multiple legal judgments against him for it. Kaplan even felt it necessary to warn the jury not to reveal their participation in the trial, after the court ruling in January.

Trump has also appealed the Carroll ruling to the Second Circuit court. That decision is pending. Kaplan’s Thursday ruling is just the latest in a series of setbacks in Trump’s attempt to avoid paying Carroll damages.

The former president was found guilty of defaming Carroll after she revealed that he sexually abused her in the mid-1990s. A jury awarded Carroll $7.3 million for damage to her reputation, $11 million for emotional harm, and $65 million for punitive damages. Carroll has big plans for the money: giving it to something Trump hates

“If it will cause him pain for me to give money to certain things, that’s my intent,” Carroll told Good Morning America in January. “Well, perhaps a fund for the women who have been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.”

At least 26 other women have accused Trump of some kind of sexual misconduct, but Carroll’s case was the first to get into a courtroom, and twice at that: In May 2023, another jury found Trump guilty of defaming Carroll and liable for sexual abuse and battery against her.

The decision came as Trump was in court for his hush-money trial in Manhattan, where he faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. The court heard testimony from tabloid magnate David Pecker Wednesday and Thursday, and adult film actress Stormy Daniels is scheduled to testify later Thursday. 

Can Anything Stop Rudy Giuliani from Pushing Election Fraud Lie?

Donald Trump’s lawyer doubled down on allegations of election fraud, right after he was indicted for election fraud.

Rudy Giuliani looks shocked, mouth gaping
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Arizona has indicted nearly two dozen of Donald Trump’s allies and affiliates for their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and attorneys Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Christina Bobb, and Rudy Giuliani.

But while most of his co-defendants chose to stay relatively mum in wake of Wednesday’s announcement, Giuliani seemed to immediately forgo his right to remain silent, regardless of whether his bombastic take on the felony charges could be used against him.

“It’s not a coincidence that this is happening as we approach the summer before the election,” Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman wrote in a statement, doubling down on exactly what the former New York City mayor was charged for. “The continued weaponization of our justice system should concern every American as it does permanent, irrevocable harm to the country.”

All in all, the indictment charges 18 individuals, some of whose names have been redacted, with orchestrating a scheme to use fake electors to flip Arizona’s 2020 election results over to Trump. It also names Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator. All of the indicted individuals are facing the same slew of charges, which includes counts for conspiracy, forgery, fraudulent schemes and practices, and fraudulent schemes and artifices—the last of which holds a potential sentence of up to five years in prison.

“In Arizona, and the United States, the people elected Joseph Biden as President on November 3, 2020,” the indictment reads. “Unwilling to accept this fact, Defendants and unindicted co-conspirators schemed to prevent the lawful transfer of the presidency” to give Trump a consecutive presidential term “against the will of Arizona’s voters.”

Trump Lawyer Makes Disturbing Immunity Claim Before Supreme Court

Apparently, John Sauer thinks staging a coup should be considered a presidential act.

Brian Stukes/Justice Can't Wait/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s lawyer pushed an outrageous line of thinking on Thursday during oral arguments at the Supreme Court over whether the former president has immunity for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election: that a U.S. president could order a military coup d’état with almost no chance of repercussions.

Justice Elena Kagan asked lawyer John Sauer about a hypothetical president who “ordered the military to stage a coup.”

“He’s no longer president. He wasn’t impeached, he couldn’t be impeached, but he ordered the military to stage a coup, and you’re saying that’s an official act?” she asked.

“I think it would depend on the circumstances whether it was an official act,” Sauer replied. “If it’s an official act, there needs to be impeachment and conviction before [criminal charges could be pursued].”

In response to other questions from the justices, Sauer defended a hypothetical political assassination ordered by an American president, the argument that sank Trump’s case in the D.C. circuit.

“If the president decides that his rival is a corrupt person and he orders the military to assassinate him, is that within his official acts to which he has immunity?” asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“That could well be an official act,” Sauer said.

Sauer also claimed a president could come up with a fake slate of electors to overturn an election, a brazen assertion in light of recent events. Putting forward slates of fake electors has already resulted in criminal charges in four states: Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia. Trump himself directly faces charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in the Peach State.

Questions from Sotomayor and Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson soon had Sauer backpedaling, especially after Sotomayor pointed out he had essentially argued that an “allegation of improper purpose cannot drive immunity.”

Trump’s appeal to the Supreme Court to rule on his immunity has already delayed his election interference case in Washington, D.C. Depending on how the high court rules, arguably the most serious of his many legal cases could be delayed even further, or perhaps rendered moot.