Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Justice Department Says It’s Time for Key Trump Ally to Go to Prison

The Justice Department says Steve Bannon needs to quit stalling and report to prison.

Steve Bannon sits at a courtroom table. Three security guards stand behind him.
Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

The Department of Justice wants former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon to begin his prison sentence immediately.

In 2022, a federal jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress for ignoring the House January 6 committee’s subpoena, and he was sentenced to four months in prison. A federal judge had delayed the sentence while Bannon appealed the conviction, but that appeal was rejected last week.

In a federal court filing on Tuesday, the DOJ said that a person who is found guilty must report for their term of imprisonment unless the defendant can establish that “the appeal is not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal.”

“The D.C. Circuit rejected defendant’s appeal on all grounds, including the primary argument on appeal: the requisite mental state required for a contempt of Congress violation,” the Justice Department added.

Bannon fought the conviction and sentence every step of the way, attempting to turn the trial into a circus and stir up the MAGA faithful. Since Trump’s term ended, Bannon has attempted to interfere in Brazil’s politics as well as the upcoming election in the United States, and his radio show is a haven for Republicans who want to tout their pro-Trump bona fides. It’s pretty clear that he wants to continue his far-right activities and avoid jail. After all, he was already pardoned once by Trump for a border wall fraud scheme.

Michael Cohen Exposes Trump’s Damning Reaction to FBI Raids

Michael Cohen revealed his former boss’s reaction while testifying in the hush-money trial.

Michael Cohen looks to the side
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Michael Cohen dropped another bombshell on day two of his hush-trial testimony.

Back on the stand on Tuesday, Cohen went over the details of the FBI’s April 2018 raids on his New York City apartment, law office, and a hotel room where he was staying while his apartment was under renovation.

Cohen testified that after the FBI visited his hotel room, he called Donald Trump and “left him a message for him to call me to let him know what was taking place.”

“Don’t worry. I’m the president of the United States,” Cohen recalled Trump telling him. “There’s nothing here. Everything’s going to be OK. Stay tough. You’re going to be OK.”

Asked by prosecutors how he viewed the call at the time, Cohen replied, “I wanted some reassurance that Mr. Trump had my back. Especially as this dealt with issues that related to him.”

“I felt reassured because I had the president of the United States protecting me. It’s his Justice Department, this should go nowhere,” Cohen said, adding that he decided to remain loyal to Trump after the call.

The short testimony is damning for Trump on multiple counts. First, it reveals that Trump was intimately familiar with the details of Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, made to cover up an alleged 2006 affair between her and Trump. Second, it’s abundantly clear that Trump likely knew from the beginning that what they did broke the law—and he was willing to use his power as president to try to erase the whole thing.

It’s an unsettling reminder as Trump, the soon-to-be Republican nominee, faces down four criminal cases as he tries to return to the White House. Two of those are federal cases that he could very well try to make disappear by pardoning himself.

GOP Senate Candidate Pushes Unhinged Conspiracy Theory on Abortion

David McCormick agreed that Democrats don’t actually care about reproductive health.

David McCormick speaks into a microphone
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania Senate candidate is siding with the conspiracy theorists regarding abortion access within the Keystone State.

GOP Senate candidate David McCormick agreed with an outrageous claim during an interview on the Dawn Stensland Show, purporting that the fight to secure abortion access is not actually about women’s healthcare, but rather an elaborate ruse to cover up a Democratic money laundering operation.

“I always say the abortion issue is not about women’s reproductive rights, it’s not,” said Stensland on her radio show Monday. “It’s really, to me, personally, look at the money… that goes from Democrat administrations to Planned Parenthood. Look at how much they have donated to elections across the nation, and here in Pennsylvania, even the last primary, a lot of money.”

“Yeah, and [Senator] Bob Casey’s position… is this federal funding, which I am opposed to,” said McCormick, referring to the Democratic senator he’s gunning to replace. “I agree with you, but we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about it on the campaign trail.”

McCormick, a former combat veteran, has also gone after Casey on a string of GOP hot topics, including the U.S.-Mexico border, foreign policy, and the state of the economy.

Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania until 24 weeks—or the end of the second trimester—unless the pregnancy endangers the life of the patient. In that case, abortions can be performed after 24 weeks under an emergency provision.

But the state’s access to the medical procedure is still considered restrictive, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Extensive regulations around the procedure, including requiring clinics to “obtain and maintain burdensome and unnecessary expensive structural modifications” such as widening hallways and procedure rooms, have shuttered all but 17 abortion clinics across the state.

Proud January 6 Rioter Seeks Return to Capitol—as a Congressman

Derrick Evans filmed himself storming the Capitol on January 6. Now, he’s running for Congress.

Pro-Trump rioters gather in front of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. A shredded U.S. flag is in the foreground.
Brent Stirton/Getty Images
Pro-Trump rioters gather in front of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Former West Virginia Republican delegate and current January 6 convicted felon Derrick Evans is running against incumbent Carol Miller for the GOP primary nomination in West Virginia’s 1st congressional district Tuesday. The race, described as a test of voter perspective on violent insurrection, pits a MAGA incumbent who in her last primary cleaned up with 66 percent of the votes against a felonious livestreamer who aggressively posts.

Evans famously livestreamed himself storming the U.S. Capitol alongside the mob of Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. In the video, Evans reportedly declared, “We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” Evans was arrested two days later, at which time he claimed he was simply “there as an independent member of the media to film history.” Evans’s only background in media, to put it generously, is a history of livestreaming himself harassing patients and staff at West Virginia’s only abortion clinic—actions which eventually resulted in a restraining order that he subsequently violated.

In March 2022, Evans pleaded guilty to one felony count of civil disorder and served three months in federal prison related to his involvement in the Capitol riot. At the time, Evans apologized for his participation in the riot, which he called a “crucial mistake.” The month prior, Evans resigned from his seat as a delegate representing West Virginia’s 19th district, according to AP.

A year later, Evans reversed course and seemingly ignored his previous apology, tweeting, “I will not compromise my values or beliefs. That’s what politicians do” as part of his announcement of his campaign for political office. Since his announcement, Evans has pushed a bombastic campaign heavily focused on his participation in the Capitol riot to craft a contrast to his equally conservative competitor, who he’s referred to as a “commie RINO” for not physically participating in the Capitol riot.

According to the Daily Beast, Evans has been working to bolster his far-right brand by hiring Noel Fritsch of National File, a right-wing blog created by Alex Jones, to attack his incumbent opponent. Miller is also a staunch Trump supporter who voted against certifying election results, but is not a convicted felon. Evans has aggressively touted his conviction and prison time as a positive trait, framing himself as unfairly persecuted for his choice to participate in a mob riot.

Polls in West Virginia are open until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Michael Cohen Reveals How Trump Hid Reimbursing Him for Stormy Payment

Cohen said Trump disguised the reimbursements as regular payments.

Michael Cohen looks to the side
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Michael Cohen’s second day of testifying in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial started off with a bang, blowing a gigantic hole in the GOP presidential nominee’s legal defense.

According to Cohen, the payments distributed to him by Trump weren’t legal fees but rather reimbursements for the $130,000 sum he gave to porn actress Stormy Daniels to silence her ahead of the 2016 presidential election. As evidence, Cohen testified that he hardly worked for Trump the following year, after the deal with Daniels was done.

Cohen described the amount of work he performed for Trump in 2017 as “minimal,” likely constituting less than 10 hours of total labor while Cohen worked on a trademark issue for Melania Trump. “It was more work in 2018 than it was in 2017,” Cohen told the court Tuesday.

But none of that was billed, Cohen explained, because he didn’t expect to get paid.

Cohen also revealed the payback scheme via a series of invoices submitted to former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, which he specified were not pursuant to a retainer agreement but rather strictly “for reimbursement.

Trump’s attorneys have attempted to argue that the funds to pay off Daniels came from Cohen alone and that Trump had zero awareness of the hush-money payments. They’ve also argued that the funds issued to Cohen were payments for the purpose of keeping Cohen on retainer—but that narrative has been contradicted several times in the trial, including by several witnesses and Trump’s own words.

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 Suffers Yet Another Blow on Hush-Money Trial Gag Order

A New York court has shut down Donald Trump’s sorry attempt to overturn his gag order.

Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

A New York appeals court on Tuesday shut down Donald Trump’s request to overturn the gag order in his hush-money trial, reports MSNBC.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, ruled Tuesday that with his decision to impose a gag order, Judge Juan Merchan “properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice in criminal cases.”

“Justice Merchan properly determined [Trump’s] public statements posed a significant threat to the integrity of the testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses in this case as well,” the appeals court added.

The gag order prohibits Trump from attacking Merchan, court staff, the prosecution, witnesses, and their families. Trump has decried this order as an attack on his constitutional right to free speech, complaining that he isn’t allowed to respond to statements made against him. The former president has already been fined $10,000 for 10 violations of the order, and Merchan has warned Trump that any further violations would send him to jail.

In the past week, Trump has heard testimony from two witnesses with damaging testimony: adult film actress Stormy Daniels and his former fixer and attorney, Michael Cohen, who have each gotten under his skin. He is carefully attempting to skirt the order by dodging reporters’ questions about having surrogates attack the people he cannot. For example, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson attended Trump’s trial on Tuesday and criticized the people specifically mentioned in the gag order.

The former president is accused of paying off Daniels in order to keep their affair under wraps before the 2016 presidential election with the help of Cohen. Trump faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime, and has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

This story has been updated.

Ron DeSantis Now Fundraising for Man Who Called Him a Groomer

Ron DeSantis once again proves he has no spine when it comes to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump puts his hand on Ron DeSantis’s shoulder as he reaches for the podium mic. Both smile weirdly.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

After being mercilessly bullied by Donald Trump during his failed run for president, Ron DeSantis is now helping Donald Trump.

The Florida governor is going to be fundraising for Trump over the next few weeks, as they discussed during a meeting last month in Miami. DeSantis is calling donors while his staff organizes a travel schedule that includes stops in Florida and Texas, the AP reported late Monday.

It’s a far cry from the presidential primary race, when Trump called DeSantis a variety of names, including “Meatball Ron,” “Rob,” “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and “Ron DeSanctus,” as well as the pedophile slur “groomer.” A story about DeSantis eating pudding with his fingers was the basis for an attack ad from a Trump-aligned political action committee.

So what is DeSantis’s angle? His authoritarian laws have crumbled, losing in repeated court cases, and DeSantis has been forced to back away from measures such as his signature book ban. He’s probably eyeing the 2028 race and hoping to stay in Trump’s favor, having endorsed Trump right after he dropped out of the current presidential race.

Trump’s campaign desperately needs the cash, as nearly a third of his campaign donations have gone to pay the former president’s legal bills. He has even resorted to selling the use of his likeness to other political campaigns.

Trump’s Deranged Rant Kicks Off Day 2 of Michael Cohen’s Testimony

Donald Trump is not handling Cohen’s testimony in this trial well at all.

Donald Trump speaking
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump took to his social media platform Tuesday morning to fume in his usual type-screaming style that the hush-money case against him is “election interference” and that Judge Merchan, who is overseeing the trial, is somehow “making big money.” Trump’s rhetorical attacks on Merchan have previously led to threats against his family.

Ahead of trial proceedings regarding hush-money payments made to adult actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an alleged 2006 affair with Trump, the former president was flanked by a gaggle of conservative politicians, including House Speaker Mike Johnson and former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

NBC reported that Trump carried his online ranting into Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday morning, telling reporters as he arrived, “Signing an NDA is not a crime.” NBC noted this was an unusual statement for Trump to make, as he previously claimed no awareness of a nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels.

In a video posted to his Truth Social account, Trump spoke from a stack of prepared notes for the court reporters, seemingly treating his hush-money trial as a campaign stop, where he criticized electric vehicles being “shoved down our throats,” read off polling data, quoted various figures supportive of Trump amid this latest trial, and even gave backhanded props to Biden preparing to impose new tariffs on China, including on electric vehicles.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and self-described “fixer,” is set to continue his second day of testimony, where he says he was directed by Trump to pay Daniels $130,000 to quash efforts to sell her story regarding an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006.

On Monday, Cohen recounted his discussions with the former president, at the time the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, claiming Trump told him Daniels’s story would be a “total disaster” to his campaign.

Trump Trial Is Ideal Stage for Desperate Republicans to Suck Up to Him

Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Johnson, and Tim Scott are the latest to put in an appearance.

Mike Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy stand behind Donald Trump as he speaks
Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s hush-money trial has become a real who’s who of conservatives vying for the presumed GOP presidential nominee’s favor.

Before the trial began on Tuesday, some of Trump’s former GOP nomination opponents, as well as some of the biggest players in the Republican Party, showed up to support him. Biotech investor Vivek Ramaswamy—who is reportedly under consideration to be homeland security secretary if Trump wins in November—and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, whom Trump has confirmed is on his veep long list, were at the courthouse, apparently bearing no ill will toward the man who overwhelmingly defeated them in the 2024 Republican primaries.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who never performed above single-digit support in the primaries, also came out to back Trump. As did House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is not a running mate contender but enjoyed Trump’s support during a chaotic bid to oust him from the speakership.

They all join Senators J.D. Vance and Tommy Tuberville, who appeared with Trump outside the courtroom on Monday.

A majority of Trump’s high-profile attendees have refused to provide direct answers in recent weeks when questioned about whether they’ll accept the November election results. Scott, for his part, refused six times to give his answer on the issue during an interview on Meet the Press. The show of loyalty is a significant rejection of the rule of law in favor of power in Trump’s potential administration—and it’s especially poignant in the face of his first criminal trial.

Trump is accused of using Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy 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’s Biggest Donors Behind Group Doxxing Pro-Palestine Students

These Republican billionaires are backing a shady group harassing college kids.

A student (back to the camera) is draped in a Palestinian flag. Others are in the background wearing keffiyehs and a Palestinian flag.
Ying Tang/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Accuracy in Media, a deliriously named far-right group known for doxxing students, revealed that some of Donald Trump’s biggest donors are among its top contributors. The conservative donors were revealed by the group’s 2022 tax returns reviewed by CNBC. The group reported $1.9 million in contributions between May 2022 and April 2023, according to CNBC.

According to the tax returns, family foundations for Richard Uihlein, the conservative billionaire founder of shipping supply company Uline, and Adam Milstein, a real estate executive, both gave $10,000 to Accuracy in Media. The Adolph Coors Foundation, the charity for the Coors brewing family, reportedly donated $15,000. As CNBC reported, these foundations are all regular donors to Republican campaigns.

Included in Accuracy in Media’s tax filings is an eye-popping $1 million donation from GOP megadonor Jeff Yass. Accuracy in Media disputes the accuracy of Yass’s donation, which appears on two pages of the group’s tax filings, and claims its presence is an error, for which it blamed its accountant.

Accuracy in Media is best known for its “doxxing trucks”—LED trucks the organization hires to circle college campuses such as Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and more. The trucks depict images of students, faculty, and staff and falsely accuse them of being antisemitic for espousing pro-Palestine views or engaging in activities calling for a cease-fire.

One student featured on the trucks filed a lawsuit in November against Accuracy in Media and its founder Adam Guillette for defamation, civil rights violations, and more. In late October last year, Jewish students at Columbia University protested the presence of the doxxing truck, where it regularly visited for weeks before branching to more campuses.

Accuracy in Media blamed its accounting firm, JBS & Co., for the inadvertent disclosure of the right-wing benefactors behind its doxxing trucks and harassing web pages created to single out students opposed to Israel’s devastation of Palestine. JBS & Co. told CNBC the information it filed, including the disputed presence of Yass’s $1 million donation, was provided to it by Accuracy in Media. To date, none of Accuracy in Media’s tax filing information has appeared on its own LED truck.