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Trump Is Totally Pissed at His Lawyer as Hush-Money Trial Goes South

Donald Trump is reportedly fuming at his lawyer Todd Blanche, as things take a turn for the worse in this trial.

Donald Trump yells and points at Todd Blanche
Timothy A. Clary/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is mad at his attorney Todd Blanche, and is complaining about him constantly.

The New York Times, citing four anonymous sources, reports that the former president is mad that Blanche isn’t following his instructions closely in his hush-money trial, and isn’t being aggressive enough. Trump reportedly wants to see Blanche attacking witnesses, the judge, and even the jury pool in the case more often.

But if Blanche isn’t being aggressive, it might be for a good reason. The attorney has already been reprimanded once for trying to defend Trump against a gag order, claiming that Trump’s posts on Truth Social didn’t violate the order. That drew the ire of Judge Juan Merchan.

“Mr. Blanche, you are losing all credibility with the court,” Merchan warned last week.

The Times article mentions that Trump often vents about not having someone like Roy Cohn, his former infamous lawyer who had a reputation for ruthlessness and dirty tricks. Trump’s complaints track with the rest of his poor record with lawyers. Trump has a history of failing to pay his lawyers, who also tend to quit often. The top lawyer in his classified documents case, Evan Corcoran, quit just a few months ago. Two other lawyers left his legal team last year amid reports of infighting. At least one lawyer on his legal team, Alina Habba, says she was chosen for her looks over her intelligence, and her bizarre defenses of the former president seem to confirm that.

Blanche, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, has been representing Trump since June, and has previously represented other figures in Trump’s orbit, such as his 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort and Igor Fruman, an associate of Rudy Giuliani. He has a tall order in defending Trump from 34 felony charges for allegedly paying off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair prior to the 2016 election. If he’s not performing to Trump’s liking, he might not last much longer.

Finally! A Republican Shows Some Spine, Says She’s Voting for Biden

Donald Trump’s White House deputy press secretary says Trump won’t “uphold the Constitution.”

Sarah Matthews speaks into a microphone
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Sarah Matthews testifies before the House January 6 investigative committee on July 21, 2022.

While even top GOP lawmakers are yielding to the will of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, at least one Republican who used to work in Trump’s White House says she has to vote for the other guy.

Former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews torched Trump and the dissenting conservatives who’ve bent their knee to him in recent months, telling MSNBC that it’s “really frustrating” because “a lot of Republicans” that she has spoken to, including top elected officials, “will bash him privately, but many of them will not even say it publicly.”

“A lot of times what they often say is that they’re supporting him because of the policies, that they want the conservative agenda. And where I get really frustrated is that they’re treating this like it’s a normal election, a normal Republican candidate, and a normal Democratic candidate. Well, this couldn’t be anything further from the case,” Matthews said Monday night.

But when push comes to shove, conservative policy arguments don’t matter when the GOP presidential nominee is someone who refuses to acknowledge that he lost the last election, and who has not set aside the possibility of utilizing mob violence for his own political gain in November. For that reason, Matthews explained, she will be voting for President Joe Biden.

“With Donald Trump, you have a candidate who tried to overturn the last election, who spread conspiracy theories because he couldn’t accept the fact that lost the last election. And then those theories helped inspire an insurrection on our nation’s Capitol,” she said. “And to this day, Donald Trump refuses to admit that he lost that election and has not shown any remorse for what happened on January 6. So, of course, I would love for us to be having a debate of policy ideas in the 2024 election. But when we have a candidate on the ballot who will not uphold the Constitution, then I feel like I have to put policy aside, and I want to support the person who is best suited to defeat Donald Trump.”

She then called out Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr, who in May 2023 explained during a City Club of Cleveland event that Trump was not fit to return to the Oval Office.

“If you believe in his policies—what he’s advertising as his policies, he’s the last person who could actually execute them and achieve them,” Barr said at the time. “You may want his policies, but Trump will not deliver Trump policies. He will deliver chaos.”

But just last week, Barr endorsed Trump, earning himself a massive barrage of mocking from his former boss.

Matthews stressed Barr’s point from last year to MSNBC: “Even if you want a conservative agenda, Trump is not the person who will deliver that,” she said.

In Shock to No One, George Santos’s Charitable Effort Doesn’t Add Up

Santos says he wants to raise money for a charity. There’s just one problem.

George Santos stands in front of the Capitol
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Former Representative George Santos may be pulling off another charity scam.

He announced Monday that he was bringing his long-denied drag alter ego Kitara Ravache to Cameo, offering up $350 videos, for which 20 percent of the proceeds would be donated to two charities: 10 percent to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which supports first responders and military veterans, and another 10 percent to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. But now one of the charities is claiming that he has never contacted them.

“We have not engaged in any conversations with Rep. Santos or his team. The Foundation did not know about his planned donation before his post on X,” the Tunnel to Towers Foundation said in a statement provided to New York Times reporter Michael Gold.

Screenshot of a tweet

Santos has been on the Cameo platform, which offers personalized messages from certain celebrities for sale, since December, and he has made a lot of money from it, likely more than he ever earned as a member of Congress. He also has a history of pocketing money that he claimed was for charity: Santos allegedly took money from a GoFundMe meant to pay for surgery for a veteran’s service dog in 2016. It makes a lot of sense that Santos would come up with a charity-based scheme to rake in more money from Cameo, perhaps to pay for more Botox or OnlyFans.

Is the former congressman simply desperate for cash? He recently dropped a bid to return to the House of Representatives after raising zero dollars, and he still has to come up with funds to pay his various legal fees. Santos currently faces 23 federal charges for unemployment fraud, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud.

Trump Hints Another January 6 Could Happen If He Loses the Election

The former president made multiple chilling warnings during an interview with Time magazine.

Donald Trump looks forward
Mark Peterson/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump hasn’t quite let go of the possibility of utilizing mob violence if he loses the next election.

In a sprawling interview for Time magazine, Trump hinted that leveraging political violence to achieve his end goals was still on the table.

“If we don’t win, you know, it depends,” he told Time. “It always depends on the fairness of the election.”

And from Trump’s perspective, that’s winning rhetoric. According to him, his incendiary comments supporting a mob mentality, his early warnings of forthcoming abuses of power, and his threats to be a dictator on “day one” are only inching him closer to the White House. “I think a lot of people like it,” Trump told Time.

Recent poll numbers would suggest he’s correct—or that people actually don’t seem to mind his aggressive, democracy-defying verbiage, at the very least. In a Harvard CAPS/HarrisX poll published April 25, Trump performed seven percentage points better than President Joe Biden when the two were matched up alongside independent presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy, Jill Stein, and Cornel West. And in a batch of state-based polls published on Monday by Emerson College, Trump took every battleground state.

Meanwhile, the trial that will determine Trump’s level of involvement on the day that his followers actually attempted to overthrow Congress’s certification of the 2020 vote has been indefinitely waylaid by the former president’s claim of presidential immunity. The Supreme Court heard arguments for that case last week. It is currently unclear how the justices will decide the case, though they are expected to issue an opinion sometime between the end of June and early July.

Trump Reveals Exactly Who He’d Go After in a Second Term

Donald Trump has confessed in a new interview his revenge plans if he wins the next election.

Donald Trump
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump has made no secret of his plans to take revenge if he makes his way back to the White House.

In a new interview with Time magazine, Trump said he would consider firing U.S. attorneys who refuse to follow his orders on prosecution of others.

“It depends on the situation, honestly,” he said, undermining the idea of independent law enforcement.

When asked if he would prosecute Fani Willis or Alvin Bragg, the Atlanta-area and Manhattan district attorneys who are currently prosecuting him, he also wouldn’t outright reject the idea.

Well you said Alvin Bragg should be prosecuted. Would you instruct your attorney general to prosecute him? 

Trump: When did I say Alvin Bragg should be prosecuted?

It was at a rally. 

Trump: I don’t think I said that, no. 

I can pull it up. 

Trump: No.

And when it came to Biden, Trump again made clear he’s open to the idea of prosecution.

After initially saying he “wouldn’t want to hurt Biden,” Trump seconds later said it all depends on the Supreme Court’s immunity ruling. “If they said that a president doesn’t get immunity,” said Trump, “then Biden, I am sure, will be prosecuted for all of his crimes.”

Trump also revived the idea of enforcing Schedule F, which allows the president to fire nonpolitical government officials. This would allow him to fire civil servants who refuse to carry out his orders. 

“You have some people that are protected that shouldn’t be protected,” he said.

It’s no secret that Trump and many of his far-right allies want to purge the government of civil servants who aren’t loyal to their agenda. Famously, Trump adviser Steven Bannon said he wanted to dismantle the administrative state. President Biden has taken steps to bolster and strengthen the administrative state, which would be in clear jeopardy if Trump is reelected.

In the rest of the Time interview, Trump was at times contradictory but also said that he would consider pardoning every single one of the January 6 rioters and take steps to deport millions of undocumented immigrants via detention camps and the U.S. military. In any case, if he wins reelection, it’s safe to say that the U.S. government would be upended, with Trump using all of the legal means at his disposal. Those who want to preserve democracy as we know it would have a tall order on their hands.

Judge Warns Trump May Soon Face Jail Time in Hush-Money Trial

The former president also has been fined $9,000 for violating his gag order.

Donald Trump speaks
Seth Wenig/Pool/Getty Images

Judge Juan Merchan ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump will face consequences for repeatedly violating the gag order in his New York hush-money trial, though it remains to be seen if the imposed fines will be enough to deter him from future violations.

Trump will have to pay $1,000 per violation, amounting to a $9,000 fine for continually violating a court-imposed partial gag order that prevents him from speaking publicly about courtroom staff, prosecutors, jurors, witnesses, or any of their family members. The $1,000 fine is the maximum allowed for gag order violations by state law, though Merchan himself acknowledged the limitations of such a fine when the “contemnor can easily afford such a fine.”

In a decision noting that the court cannot craft an “appropriate” financial penalty, Merchan wrote that, in order to “protect the dignity of the judicial system and to compel respect for its mandates,” the court “must therefore consider whether in some instances, jail may be a necessary punishment.”

Trump was found in contempt for all but one of the 10 violations alleged by the prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office earlier this month. At the time, the office requested the judge issue Trump a $1,000 sanction for three prior posts, along with another warning to the GOP presidential nominee that future violations could lead to jail time.

But that won’t be the end of it: Trump is scheduled for another gag order hearing on Thursday, when the judge will hear arguments on another four alleged violations.

Trump has been violating the order since the very beginning of the trial. Mere hours into the first day, prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced that they believed Trump had violated the gag order via a series of posts on Truth Social made earlier in the morning.

“DA notes a 9:12 am post today, potentially made inside the courthouse, also violates the order,” reported MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin.

That might refer to a post in which Trump quoted a headline from a New York Post op-ed, writing that “a serial perjurer will try to prove an old misdemeanor against Trump in an embarrassment for the New York legal system.” If so, that would mean that leveraging the words of others, even media outlets, to benefit his own beliefs would be off the table.

But the level of punishment for Trump’s disregard for his gag order could vary, according to MSNBC analyst Caroline Polisi, who noted two weeks ago it might range from a “tongue lashing” to “monetary sanctions” to actually “putting him in jail.”

“The judge is in a tough spot here,” Polisi said during live coverage of the trial. “No judge wants to be that, you know, person. That is the one to throw former President Trump in jail for criminal contempt. I personally just don’t see that happening. But, the judge’s hands may be tied here. You know, we’ve seen previous judges issue these sort of escalating, sanctions, monetary sanctions.”

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

This story has been updated.

Rudy Giuliani Wants to Do the Exact Thing That Got Trump Impeached

Giuliani called for Republicans to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani issued some bold advice to leaders of the Republican party on Monday: pull the same stunt that Donald Trump was impeached over.

“They should bring over from Ukraine about 20 Ukrainian witnesses—I can get ’em—that are still being held there,” Giuliani said on Newsmax, addressing House Speaker Mike Johnson and Representative Jim Jordan. “Somebody should lean on Zelenskiy. You want another penny, give us your Biden file.”

But that scheme has already been tried—by Giuliani himself. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Giuliani took to Ukraine to connect with officials in his effort to “find dirt on the Bidens” that could potentially hurt then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s chances at taking the White House.

That plan blew up in his face when it resulted in Trump’s first formal impeachment by the House of Representatives, which adopted two articles of impeachment in December 2019 after they determined Trump had solicited the aid of foreign governments in the 2020 election.

But the bombshell would have lingering ramifications when Giuliani’s conspiracy was utilized as fodder for a House probe into Hunter Biden’s business dealings, with Republicans accusing Joe Biden of orchestrating a political cover-up in the Eastern European nation while serving as vice president in order to protect his son’s seat on the board of Ukrainian oil company Burisma. In February, the singular witness supporting that astounding allegation reportedly admitted that the whole narrative was actually hand-crafted by top Russian intelligence officials.

And despite it being generally bad practice to lean on foreign governments, Giuliani is, arguably, the worst political operative to take advice from when it comes to involving other countries in campaigns against domestic political opponents. None of his previous efforts have seemed to work out for him. The man once affectionately known as “America’s mayor” is currently named as one of more than a dozen co-conspirators in the Georgia election interference case, and just last week was named in an Arizona indictment charging another slew of Republican officials and Trump allies for their alleged involvement in a scheme to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

Read more about Republicans' stance on Ukraine:

Trump Adviser’s Twitter DMs Expose Deep Plot to Overturn 2020 Election

The messages prove just how far the former Trump adviser was willing to go to overturn the 2020 election.

Alyssa Pointer/Getty Images

One of Trump’s election fraud lawyers, Kenneth Chesebro, just had his Twitter DMs and emails turned over to Michigan prosecutors as part of search warrants in their ongoing investigation into plots to overturn the 2020 presidential election in their state. And it’s not looking good for him.

According to CNN, who got ahold of some of the documents, Chesebro’s emails show that he tried to bring some far-right celebrities to Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, so they could witnessTrump winning the election thanks to Chesbro’s fake electors strategy. The MAGA stars he tried to entice with free airfare and stays at Trump’s D.C. hotel included former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the founder of the Gateway Pundit website, Jim Hoft. But none of them took him up on the offer.

“It would help to publicize that if [Mike Pence] claims the power to resolve disputes about the electoral votes on Jan. 6, he’d simply be doing what (Thomas) Jefferson did,” Chesebro told Hoft in a Twitter direct message on December 27, 2020.

“Excellent!! Thanks,” came the reply from the @GatewayPundit account. Chesebro told Hoft two days later that he had reserved a block of rooms at the Trump International Hotel, and that Hoft could stay there “gratis” if he wanted.

Chesebro was trying to get right-wing pundits and influencers to promote his theories on subverting the election, while advising the Trump campaign on the very same thing. He also specifically targeted people from the swing-state of Wisconsin, including James Wigderson, who ran a conservative news site in the state, and local radio host Vicki McKenna.

“You can spare me this stuff. Thanks. Trump lost,” Wigderson replied to Chesebro, later adding, “I really don’t have time for conspiracy theories. Thanks for understanding.”

It’s not the first time Chesebro has been embarrassed by his private communications. In February, he was found to have been hiding and lying about a secret Twitter account, prompting the search warrants. The release of his text messages from a legal settlement in March also yielded embarrassing evidence of Chesebro’s deep involvement in Trump’s plot to overthrow the election, which included blaming Pence for the January 6 riots.

Chesebro was indicted in the Georgia election fraud case, but made a last-minute deal to cooperate with prosecutors. These new revelations will probably not help him avoid further charges and prosecution, though, as he and other members of Trump’s team were directly involved in Michigan’s fake electors plot.

Bill Barr Reveals Exactly What Trump Wanted to Do to His Rivals

Trump’s former attorney general made a shocking confession about what Donald Trump often liked to joke about.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr revealed that Donald Trump would often remark about executing people during his time in the White House.

“I actually don’t remember him saying ‘executing,’ but I wouldn’t dispute it, you know,” Barr told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Friday. “The president would lose his temper and say things like that. I doubt he would’ve actually carried it out.”

“He would say things similar to that on occasions to blow off steam. But I wouldn’t take them literally every time he did it,” Barr added. “At the end of the day, it wouldn’t be carried out and you could talk sense into him.”

Trump’s remarks in the White House about killing people have been corroborated by other White House staffers, including former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin on ABC’s The View in December.

Trump hasn’t held his tongue post-presidency either. In September, Trump said in a Truth Social post that Mark Milley, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should be executed for treason over two phone calls the general made to the Chinese government. In late March, Trump also posted a video of Joe Biden hog-tied in the back of a pickup truck. Meanwhile, his legal team is arguing before the Supreme Court that a president could be immune from prosecution even if he orders SEAL 6 to assassinate his rival.

Despite all of this, Barr recently endorsed Trump in the 2024 election, even after expressing numerous criticisms and misgivings about the former president’s tenure and temperament. He’s called the former president a “consummate narcissist” whose second term would be “chaos” and a “horror show.” In June, he said, “Should we be putting someone like this forward as the leader of the country, leader of the free world?”

“He will always put his own interests, and gratifying his own ego, ahead of everything else, including the country’s interest, there’s no question about it,” Barr told CBS’s Face the Nation at the time. And even after Barr’s endorsement, Trump brutally mocked his former cabinet member in a Truth Social post and blamed him for failing to overturn the 2020 election.

Hunter Biden Is in Full Revenge Mode for Fox News Revenge Porn

The embattled first son is suing the network.

Hunter Biden looks forward
Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Fox News is facing another bombshell defamation lawsuit, this time featuring accusations from Hunter Biden.

A letter sent to the network and obtained Monday by NBC News revealed that the president’s son will be filing a lawsuit against the conservative media behemoth “imminently,” alleging “conspiracy and subsequent actions to defame Mr. Biden and paint him in a false light.” The letter was dated April 23 with a request that Fox respond by April 26, which they did not. It’s the second such attempt by Biden’s legal team to reach Fox regarding the suit.

In a statement, Biden attorney Mark Geragos claimed the network had “relentlessly attacked” his client for the last five years, and had “made him a caricature in order to boost ratings and for its financial gain.”

“The recent indictment of FBI informant [Alexander] Smirnov has exposed the conspiracy of disinformation that has been fueled by Fox, enabled by their paid agents and monetized by the Fox enterprise,” Geragos said. “We plan on holding them accountable.”

Another Biden attorney, Tina Glandian, told Axios that in addition to “routinely defaming and disparaging Mr. Biden, FOX has simultaneously sought to profit by the unlawful exploitation of Mr. Biden’s image, name, likeness for commercial purposes and reprehensible dissemination of salacious photographs depicting Mr. Biden,” referring to the network airing nude images of the president’s son.

The letter claimed Fox knew the images were “hacked, stolen, and/or manipulated digital material” but continued to publish them, “in violation of the majority of states’ laws against the nonconsensual disclosure of sexually explicit images and videos,” also known as revenge porn.

Republicans have continually published the nude images taken from Biden’s laptop in an effort to discredit his character. One of the most egregious instances was when Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene waved around poster-sized printouts of the images during a House hearing and then sent those photos out in her email newsletter (potentially showing them to minors).

Fox News’s last major defamation suit was brought by Dominion Voting Systems for the network’s platforming baseless allegations brought by allies of Donald Trump, who claimed that the electronic voting machine company had partaken in a conspiracy to rig the 2020 election against Trump. Fox ended up settling the lawsuit for a historic $787.5 million settlement, and released a statement admitting that the network had aired a false story.

Fox is still working through other lawsuits related to the network’s coverage of alleged 2020 election fraud, including a $2.7 billion suit filed by another electronic voting systems company, Smartmatic, and several others brought by Fox’s shareholders, accusing the company of embracing a business strategy that placed profit over journalism and verifiable facts.

In a statement, Fox claimed that they had accurately covered relevant events pertaining to Hunter Biden, including investigations by the Department of Justice and Congress, and indictments by U.S. Attorney’s offices.

“Consistent with the First Amendment, Fox News has accurately covered these highly publicized events as well as the subsequent indictment of an FBI informant who was the source of certain claims made about Mr. Biden,” a spokesperson for the network said.

This story has been updated.