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Biden Just Effectively Killed a Report on Israeli Actions in Gaza

The administration has indefinitely delayed the report.

Joe Biden touches his face
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A Biden administration report that could cut off military aid to Israel has been indefinitely delayed.

The State Department was anticipated to issue the report Wednesday, but that’s no longer the case, reported Politico. The report would have defined whether Israel violated humanitarian law since its conflict with Gaza broke out on October 7. If the State Department determined Israel had broken humanitarian law, then it would have been even harder to justify continued U.S. military assistance to Israel.

In an email shared by three Senate aides and one House aide with Politico, the Biden administration notified Congress that the report would be “briefly delayed,” without any further clarification or issue of a new deadline.

But comments from the State Department itself weren’t so assuring.

“We are trying very hard to meet that deadline,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters Tuesday, who outright admitted that the report wasn’t finished. “It’s possible it slips just a little bit, but we are trying to get it done by tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Israel blatantly rejected a cease-fire opportunity, launching more airstrikes onto Rafah and capturing the Palestinian side of the Rafah Crossing in the hours after Hamas agreed to a cease-fire proposal organized by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States.

“The last couple of days have proved that Israel was not really negotiating in good faith,” Omar Rahman, an expert on Israel-Palestine with the Middle East Council for Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “The moment that Hamas agreed to a deal, Israel was willing to blow that up by commencing their assault on Rafah.”

“The goal is to destroy Gaza in its totality,” Rahman said.

The international criminal court at The Hague is weighing whether to charge Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with war crimes as the country’s war on Gaza claims so many lives that local authorities say they can no longer keep count. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 77,000 Palestinians have been injured in the conflict, according to data from the Gaza Health Ministry. Most of the victims have been women and children.

Israel has advanced its attacks on the beleaguered nation by blocking humanitarian aid from reaching those who need it. Israel has also utilized mass starvation, as well as blocked or destroyed access to critical resources such as water, food, fuel, electricity, and medical aid.

Judge Cannon Just Put Final Nail in the Coffin of Classified Docs Case

The Trump-appointed judge has indefinitely delayed the trial start date.

Donald Trump is seen in profile
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon, who coincidentally was appointed by Donald Trump, announced Tuesday afternoon that she is indefinitely postponing his classified documents case in Florida.

The case was originally scheduled to begin on May 20. Tuesday’s written decision says that that start date is being vacated due to concerns about classified evidence, but Cannon makes no indication of when the trial will be placed back on the calendar.

“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture—before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and [Classified Information Procedures Act] issues remaining and forthcoming—would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical CIPA issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury,” Cannon’s decision reads.

In other words, Cannon says the case must be delayed because of the number of pretrial motions that remain unresolved. There’s just one problem with that justification: The motions remain unresolved because she has failed to resolve them. Cannon has dragged her feet and given concessions to Trump’s legal team at seemingly every opportunity thus far.

The latest decision means that Trump is all but certain to avoid trial in the classified documents case until after the November election. If he wins, he could instruct the Department of Justice to drop the case altogether or even try to preemptively pardon himself. Cannon has set two hearings for May 22 on Trump’s motions to dismiss the trial entirely.

Stormy Daniels Enters “Orange Turd” in Hush-Money Trial Public Record

Some more nicknames entered the public record on Day 13 of Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

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In court Tuesday during Donald Trump’s hush-money trial, some new and unusual nicknames were entered into the legal record during adult film actress Stormy Daniels’s testimony.

Trump attorney Susan Necheles displayed a tweet from Daniels dated November 9, 2022, where Daniels states, “I don’t owe him shit and I’ll never give that orange turd a dime.”

Now, “orange turd” is officially part of New York case law.

In another instance, a Truth Social post containing Trump’s insults toward Daniels were entered into the public record by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, specifically the words “Horseface” and “SleazeBag.” Daniels said that the terms referred to her.

Early on in Daniels’s testimony, she noted that the former president always called her “honeybunch,” and that she’d put his phone calls to her on speakerphone.

These aren’t the first colorful nicknames to be entered into the record during this trial. Last week, Trump attorney Todd Blanche displayed Twitter (now X) posts in court where Trump’s former attorney and fixer turned adversary Michael Cohen calls the former president “Von ShitzInPantz” and also refers to him as a “racist jackass who referred to African nations as ‘shithole countries.’”

Trump is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime for paying off Daniels to cover up their affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty. Earlier Tuesday, Daniels’s testimony revealed  several salacious details about the affair, including Trump comparing the adult film actress to his daughter Ivanka and an excuse that Daniels used in one instance to avoid sex with the former president.

Stormy Daniels Used This Classic Excuse to Get Out of Sex With Trump

The anecdote came out during Daniels’s hush-money trial testimony.

Stormy Daniels looks forward
Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance/Getty Images

Stormy Daniels used an all-too-familiar line to get out of having sex with Donald Trump.

Recounting one instance in 2007 when the pair met at a bungalow in Los Angeles, Daniels testified Tuesday that Trump had once again tried to pressure her into sex, including putting his hand on her leg. But she knew how to shake him off.

“I told him I was on my period,” Daniels told the court.

Daniels also recalled several other sexual encounters with Trump, at times diving into great detail, which appeared to bother even Judge Juan Merchan. Those moments included their infamous initial 2006 encounter at a hotel suite, in which Daniels claimed Trump goaded her into having sex under the guise that he would advance her film career by landing her a spot on his hit reality TV show, The Apprentice. Daniels described the tryst as brief and condomless.

“I thought you were serious about what you wanted,” she recalled Trump telling her at the time, before reportedly climbing on top of her.

After rejecting Trump a year later at the bungalow, she recalled Trump calling her to reveal that he wasn’t able to get her on The Apprentice as he had promised.

Daniels’s get-out-of-jail-free card is a lighthearted anecdote in an otherwise heavy description of a relationship that stemmed from what she described as an “imbalance of power.” Daniels has previously said she was mad at herself for not seeing right away that Trump didn’t want to help her career and just wanted to have sex with her, and told the court Tuesday that she hates Trump.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee 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 Desperately Tries to Toss Entire Case After Stormy Condom Detail

Stormy Daniels testified in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial and revealed some details about the night of the alleged sexual encounter.

Mary Altaffer/Pool/Getty Images

Stormy Daniels’s testimony in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial Tuesday went too far and warrants a mistrial, his lawyers tried to argue. Part of the culprit? A detail about condoms on the night of the alleged sexual encounter.

The adult film actress testified about her affair with Trump in 2006, including some salacious details, and according to Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche, she told a story that was “way different” from her previous descriptions of her time with Trump.

According to Blanche, Daniels’s account of Trump not wearing a condom, of Daniels being blacked out, “the height of the two individuals,” the spacing in the room, and “the fact of the bodyguard not being in the room” were different from the consensual encounter Daniels described in news interviews in 2016.

“That’s not the story that we heard today,” Blanche said to Judge Juan Merchan, adding that Daniels’s testimony Tuesday was a “completely different story.”

“How can you unring the bell?” Blanche argued.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger responded that Daniels’s testimony was “highly probative” of Trump’s intent, and said it’s “not true” that Daniels was telling a new story, since the actress had previously spoken about the lack of a condom.

“This is not new. This is not a new account,” Hoffinger said. “Their position that this is an entirely new story is not accurate.”

Merchan said that he did agree with Blanche’s account that some things should not have been said and that Daniels as a witness was a “little difficult to control,” but that a mistrial still wasn’t warranted. In fact, he told Blanche that Trump’s legal team should have made more objections to Daniels’s testimony.

“I will also note that I was surprised that there weren’t more objections” coming from the defense table, Merchan said, adding that the defense needs to take more responsibility.

“I do not believe we have reached the point that a mistrial is on order,” Merchan said, noting, “The more times a story has been changed,” the more opportunities Trump’s team would have to cross-examine Daniels.

Trump is being tried for 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime by paying off Daniels to cover up their affair through his fixer Michael Cohen, prior to the 2016 election. The details Daniels provided in court Tuesday of their sexual affair leave Trump with little room to reject her claims under penalty of perjury. He is subject to a gag order in the case that he has already violated 10 times to the tune of $10,000 in fines, and has been warned that the next violation will send him to jail.

How Stormy Daniels Just Trapped Trump in Hush-Money Case

Trump could land himself in real trouble if he denies Daniels’s testimony.

Donald Trump looks down as he walks
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Stormy Daniels’s testimony in the hush-money trial may have restricted Donald Trump’s ability to testify on his own terms.

The porn actress’s firsthand account of the pair’s sexual affair—and its salacious details, including spanking Trump on the butt with a rolled-up magazine—under penalty of perjury leaves Trump little room to reject her claims.

As per a gag order that he has already violated 10 times, Trump can’t speak publicly about courtroom staff, prosecutors, jurors, witnesses, or any of their family members. That includes attacking them on his social media platform, Truth Social, where Trump’s previous remarks have earned him a couple warnings of potential jail time from presiding Judge Juan Merchan. But Daniels’s testimony may squeeze Trump even further, according to legal experts, who argue that her deep dive may curtail Trump’s ability to spend time on the stand himself.

“Stormy Daniels’ testimony about sexual encounter also has implications for gag order showdown and for Trump ever testifying,” wrote Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel for the Department of Justice. “If Trump goes to public airways to rebuke witness testimony, he’ll bump right up against gag order. If he testifies, he risks perjury.”

Trump already had a difficult time keeping his mouth shut about Daniels’s testimony early Tuesday, flaming the adult film star in a Truth Social post that was quickly removed, likely for fear of violating the gag order.

And Goodman expects that Trump’s bombastic behavior would only land him in more hot water with the court.

“I wouldn’t hold my breath on Trump ever testifying in this trial. It would be enormously self-destructive,” Goodman continued, noting that more potential gag order violations may be on the way. “It may require unusual self-control on Trump’s part.”

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee 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 Appears to Be Ditching Barron’s Graduation for a Fundraiser

Of course Donald Trump is bailing on his own son’s graduation.

Barron, Donald, and Melania Trupm walk on the lawn
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Donald Trump got a day off from his hush-money trial next week after requesting to attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. But on the same day, he’s actually scheduled to attend a fundraising dinner in Minnesota.

Trump is required by New York state law to attend all of the proceedings in his hush-money trial, so his legal team had to file a motion with Judge Juan Merchan asking permission for the trial to be put on hiatus on May 17. Merchan agreed to do so, but Trump is also scheduled to be the headline speaker at the Republican Party of Minnesota’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner in St. Paul that day. (Barron is graduating from Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida.)

Trump has complained to reporters since mid-April that Merchan was not allowing him to go to his son’s graduation.

“It looks like the judge will not let me go to the graduation of my son who’s worked very, very hard and he is a great student,” Trump said outside of the courtroom three weeks ago. “It looks like the judge isn’t going to allow me to escape this scam. It’s a scam trial.”

At the time, Trump’s former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen called Trump’s complaints “comical,” saying he wasn’t aware of Trump attending any of his other children’s graduations. Reportedly, Trump’s wife, Melania, was not happy with the former president mentioning their son’s graduation in court and bringing unwanted attention upon the younger Trump.

“He talked about missing Barron’s graduation to the cameras and then again on Truth Social because it caused a lot of coverage about that, and it’s just not something she would have liked,” said Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary under Trump.

So how do Barron and Melania feel about the former president appearing at a campaign event on the same day as the graduation? It’s not yet known. Trump could use his private jet to attend both Barron’s graduation and the Minnesota dinner, assuming his son’s graduation isn’t later in the day. Regardless, the Minnesota Republican Party is happy to have Trump as a guest.

“We are thrilled to welcome President Trump back to Minnesota to headline our Lincoln Reagan dinner, an annual tradition that reminds us of the roots of our Party and the leaders who have been most impactful in promoting our American values. I can think of no one more fitting to join us this year than President Trump,” Minnesota GOP chair David Hann said in a statement.

Stormy Daniels Testifies on Donald Trump’s Revolting Pick-Up Line

Stormy Daniels took the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial—and revealed some disturbing details on how it all began.

Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance/Getty Images

Stormy Daniels took the witness stand Tuesday in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial, and, not surprisingly, shared some weird and gross details about the former president.

According to Daniels, Trump told her that she reminded him of his daughter, Ivanka, just before their affair.

​​”You remind me of my daughter because she is smart and blonde and beautiful and people underestimate her as well,” the adult film actress recalled Trump saying.

Trump also asked Daniels if she would be willing to go on his reality show, The Apprentice, and Daniels demurred. Trump told her that people would see that she’s not just a “bimbo.”

She worried aloud that she wouldn’t fare well on the competition show. Trump said, “What if I told you what the challenges are?”

Daniels asked Trump about his wife, Melania, and Trump replied that she was very beautiful. Daniels said that Trump told her that they don’t sleep in the same room. Earlier, she recounted the infamous story of spanking Trump with a rolled-up magazine “right on the butt”—prompting Trump to shake his head and mutter “bullshit” in the courtroom.

Trump is on trial for 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime by paying off Daniels to cover up their affair through his former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Latest Way Kicking Kevin McCarthy Out Has Backfired on Republicans

Turns out, Mike Johnson is not nearly as good at fundraising.

Kevin McCarthy frowns
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The GOP hasn’t been able to regain its financial footing since it lost its key fundraiser: former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

According to federal campaign finance records reviewed by The Daily Beast, McCarthy’s successor, Mike Johnson, still has a long way to go before he’s shoring up the same amount of dough. That poses a major risk to vulnerable House Republicans—17 of whom will find themselves running for reelection come November in districts that swung toward Joe Biden in 2020.

While Johnson’s fundraising constitutes a fraction of what McCarthy raised for the caucus, the starkest difference can be seen by examining fundraising numbers for members of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program, which was designed to help the most vulnerable incumbents, according to the Beast. Funds for Arizona Representative Juan Ciscomani, for example, have taken a huge nosedive. In the first three quarters of 2023, Ciscomani received approximately $145,000 per quarter as directed by McCarthy, before he was given the boot. But in the last two quarters, under Johnson’s leadership, the freshman lawmaker has received an average of just under $14,000.

And with all the House seats up for reelection in November, this is arguably the worst time for the coffers to be running dry. Part of the reason for the lackluster numbers, however, may be outside of Johnson’s control. According to one GOP donor who spoke with the outlet, vacating McCarthy made a lot of conservative donors with open wallets “really, really angry”—which they ended up taking out on his successor.

While describing McCarthy as a “money machine,” GOP donor Eric Levine told the Beast that donors were going to take out his downfall “on whoever was next.”

Johnson, meanwhile, has openly acknowledged the predicament.

“Since October, Speaker Johnson has built a team from the ground up, traveled to 25 states, and contributed millions directly to Republican campaign accounts across the country,” a spokesman for Johnson’s campaign told the outlet. “His most recent quarter with over $20 million raised demonstrates the Speaker’s success and commitment to growing the majority.”

McCarthy, on the other hand, is still plying those fundraising skills—for revenge. One of his close allies is trying to recruit primary challengers to the eight Republican representatives who voted to oust him in October. And McCarthy is more than ready to mobilize his donor network to fund those challenges.

More about how it's going for Republicans after McCarthy's ouster:

Shameless Judge Cannon May Have Killed Trump’s Classified Docs Case

The Trump-appointed judge has indefinitely stayed a deadline for Trump to submit certain information.

Donald Trump gestures with his fists
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon has handed another reprieve to Donald Trump in his Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.

The case was expected to be one of Trump’s first criminal trials to go to court, but any trial date now appears to be up in the air after Cannon on Monday ordered a stay on Trump’s legal requirement to give the government advance notice of which classified materials will be discussed. But the stay—which is described as temporary—also has no set expiration date.

Legal analysts have worried that a strategy of continual delays could be the Trump-appointed judge’s way of surreptitiously dismissing the trial altogether.

“This case was set for trial on May 20, which obviously won’t happen,” wrote MSNBC legal analyst and former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance. “It should have been ready to try by the end of last year. Extending the 5(a) deadlines indefinitely is the same thing as giving Trump an indefinite trial delay.”

In March, Trump tried twice to get the case dismissed, arguing in separate motions that it wasn’t clear when he took the sensitive material whether doing so was illegal and that the classified documents could be considered “personal materials” rather than presidential ones under the Presidential Records Act. The latter defense was roundly rejected by special counsel Jack Smith’s office, which pointed to a transcript of Trump’s own words in which the former president acknowledged the records definitely were not personal.

Meanwhile, Trump has practically confessed that he took the sensitive records. In an interview on Newsmax, Trump claimed point blank that he actually did take the classified documents, describing the process of shamelessly packing them away while leaving office.

“I took ’em very legally,” Trump said. “And I wasn’t hiding them.”

Ultimately, Cannon’s extended time allowance for the GOP presidential nominee just presents another roadblock to actually trying the former president for any of his alleged misconduct. The Supreme Court is still deliberating Trump’s presidential immunity claim, which leaped out of the former president’s election interference trial and challenges whether Trump could be charged at all for alleged crimes he committed while in office. The high court is expected to issue its opinion sometime between late June and early July.