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Convicted Felon Trump Scores a Big Win in Georgia Case

Donald Trump has landed another win as the Georgia appeals court set a date for arguments in the Fani Willis case.

Fani Willis sits in court and furrows her brows, looking confused or mad
Alex Slitz/Pool/Getty Images

The Georgia Court of Appeals has set a date to hear the Trump legal team’s appeal to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from the Georgia election interference case. Oral arguments are set to begin in October—all but guaranteeing to delay the election racketeering trial until past the election and well into 2025.

Tweet Screenshot: Anna Bower

In mid-March, Judge Scott McAfee ruled that Willis could continue to prosecute the case, so long as she cut ties with her special prosecutor, Nathan Wade, with whom she was accused of having an improper relationship. Two weeks later, Trump and eight of his 18 co-defendants in the case filed an application with the Georgia Court of Appeals asking it to reconsider McAfee’s decision, and last month, the court agreed to hear the case.

With Willis’s status on the fraud case pushed late in the year, the odds of the trial even beginning before the election in November have shrunk to zero. It’s a success for the convicted felon and Republican presidential candidate, whose legal strategy in the many cases against him has been to delay them so they can’t affect his chances of winning back the presidency.

Between this delay, Judge Aileen Cannon stalling Trump’s classified documents trial, and the Supreme Court’s examination of presidential immunity, Trump’s conviction on 34 felony charges in his hush-money trial may be the only legal consequences he faces for a long time. Even though sentencing is set to be decided in July in that case, Trump still can appeal the conviction and push his sentence further down the road.

If he’s elected president, the convicted felon plans to recruit his Republican allies to make it illegal to prosecute him for the crimes he commits, forever. He also wants to go after everyone who has tried to hold him accountable before the law.

It seems that, except for his hush-money trial conviction, what started out as a perilous year for Trump is looking better and better as his other legal cases get delayed and he evades further consequences. The only avenue for accountability may be for Trump to be soundly defeated In five months.

V.P. Wannabe Tom Cotton Ducks Key Question on Trump Trial

Cotton is rushing to Donald Trump’s defense after his guilty verdict.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday, Republican Senator and Trump V.P.-hopeful Tom Cotton intently avoided answering whether he’d support the verdict if Trump loses the appeal in his hush-money trial—and weaseled away from his stance on other topics that went against Trump’s position too.

“Republicans are attacking the judge, the jury, the legal system here instead of letting the process play out,” Meet the Press anchor Peter Alexander asked. “If Donald Trump wins on appeal, is that valid?”

Cotton quickly answered the softball question, responding, “I think there’s no question Donald Trump should win on appeal.” On follow-up, Cotton was asked if he would find the verdict valid if Trump loses on appeal. Cotton blew off the question entirely, instead opting to speak straight through it to falsely assert, “He’s an innocent man who did nothing wrong.”

“This judge, again, violated New York rules by giving money to Joe Biden in 2020, specifically to stop Donald Trump,” Cotton continued. “I hope that the Court of Appeals in New York actually applies the law in an even-handed way as opposed to do what this judge did, what Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has done, which is bending the rules in return solely to stop Donald Trump. The only thing Donald Trump is guilty of is being a threat to Joe Biden’s reelection.”

Alexander noted to Cotton that “Joe Biden’s Department of Justice” is in the midst of prosecuting Robert Menendez, Henry Cuellar, and Hunter Biden. Alexander also noted to Cotton that the case against Trump began in 2018—well before Biden was the presidential nominee, and before he’d ever announced he was running for president.

In the same interview, Cotton revealed he would do Trump’s bidding elsewhere, adding a condition to whether he would accept the 2024 election results. Cotton was further grilled on his previous statements about the January 6 Capitol riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Notably, Trump has promised to pardon everyone convicted for the Capitol riot—including those who assaulted police—while Cotton has only gone so far as to call for pardoning people who did not assault anyone or vandalize anything. Cotton was also asked if he’d condemn extreme threats made against jurors, the judge, and prosecution in Trump’s hush-money trial that MSNBC pulled from Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social. Cotton initially dodged by deriding the comments as coming from an “obscure platform” and insinuating they must have come from “some obscure account” before admitting “I will always say that violence has no place in our politics.”

Republican Chairman Reprimands MTG Over Bonkers Fight With Dr. Fauci

The Republican chairman of the subcommittee criticized MTG and ordered her to cut it out.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene holds up a photograph of Dr. Anthony Fauci while questioning him during a hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Monday, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene screamed at and berated Dr. Anthony Fauci in a petty fight that earned her a reprimand from the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Greene called Fauci’s medical credentials into question during a hearing on the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That is completely unacceptable to deny Dr. Fauci, who is here as a respected member of the medical community, his title, and that’s actually a personal attack on his character,” Representative Robert Garcia, a Democrat, said.

“He’s not respected,” Greene shot back. Others on the committee quickly moved to correct Greene and have her words stricken from the record when she refused to comply.

Representative Brad Wenstrup, the Republican chair of the subcommittee, eventually reprimanded Greene and ordered, “The gentlelady will suspend.”

Garcia later tore into Greene and other Republicans for their conduct in the hearing.

“I am so sorry that you are subjected to those level of attacks and insanity,” Garcia said, addressing Fauci. “Your quote-unquote ‘so-called science’ that the gentlewoman is referring to has saved millions of lives in this country and around the world.”

Garcia went on to praise Fauci and other medical officials for saving lives during and outside of the pandemic, pointing out that Greene introduced the Fire Fauci Act and that she accused the infectious diseases specialist of creating the Covid-19 virus. Garcia noted that he lost both of his parents to Covid-19.

It’s pretty clear that Greene’s attack is part of her and other far-right Republicans’ culture-war posturing on vaccination and the Covid-19 pandemic. Rather than achieve anything, their attacks on Fauci and other medical professionals, both on Monday and throughout the pandemic, only achieve attention for themselves and dangerous health outcomes for their supporters.

Greene hasn’t had a good spring. Last month, her attempt to insult Democratic Representative Jasmine Crockett backfired and turned her into a bankable meme for Crockett, and she’s lost a lot of goodwill from her fellow Republicans over her failed effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson.

MTG’s Unhinged Plan to Help Trump Get Revenge for Conviction

Marjorie Taylor Greene wants to defund an entire state.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is setting out on a new MAGA crusade: defunding the state of New York to avenge Donald Trump.

Greene* has proposed cutting the Empire State off from federal funding in a bid to punish residents after 12 jurors convicted Trump on Thursday. The extremely unlikely initiative would cut off access to federal resources for education, housing, law enforcement, veterans’ benefits, and other social needs.

But that’s not Greene’s only Trump-saving effort. The Georgia Republican also wants Congress to step in to prevent special counsel Jack Smith from prosecuting Trump in the federal election interference case and the classified documents trial.

The first step: pressure House Speaker Mike Johnson—whom Greene tried and failed to force out of Congress just last month—to lead the charge.

“The speaker of the House is one of the most powerful people in the country,” Greene said last week. “We control the budget, we control the power of the purse. If Speaker Johnson supports Trump like he claims, he should stop the special counsel, Jack Smith, and he should be using the power of the purse to hold New York accountable for the sham convictions against President Trump. The entire thing is political, it’s outrageous, and our country has completely turned a corner.”

While Johnson is unlikely to be on board with defunding an entire state, he has made clear he disagrees with the ruling. Johnson called on the Supreme Court to intervene, indicating that he thought some of the justices were “deeply concerned” about the trial outcome.

“I think that the justices on the court—I know many of them personally—I think they are deeply concerned about that, as we are,” Johnson told Fox & Friends on Friday. “So I think they’ll set this straight.”

Trump has 30 days to appeal the conviction, according to New York penal law. Appealing the case would most likely turn into a referendum on the judge that oversaw it, Judge Juan Merchan, who endured Trump’s mud-slinging throughout the seven-week trial primarily over a gag order, which prevented Trump from attacking witnesses, jurors, and courtroom staff’s family—but did not prevent him from hurling vitriol at Merchan.

Trump could potentially push the state case to federal courts if he were reelected as president, but doing so would be incredibly unlikely unless he had already exhausted all other avenues via the appeals process, which could take years.

*This article originally misstated that Representative Mike Lawler supported Greene’s plan.

What Republicans are doing after Trump's conviction:

MAGA Representative’s Kid Trolls His Entire Speech Whining About Trump

Republican Representative John Rose’s child perfectly captured how we all feel about MAGAs.

John Rose speaks at a lecturn. His child behind him sticks out his tongue and crosses his tongue. CSPAN chyron reads: "General Speeches - Five Minutes, Rep. John Rose @RepJohnRose."

If you want an honest opinion, ask a kid. That lesson was on wide display Monday as the young son of Republican Representative John Rose stole the spotlight from his MAGA dad and made a bunch of silly faces to CSPAN’s camera—which even the normally buttoned-up CSPAN couldn’t resist highlighting.

Rose spoke from prepared remarks to the House decrying the conviction of Donald Trump, calling it a “terrible precedent set by our country” and a “politically driven prosecution” before becoming background noise for his 6-year-old son’s devious performance.

“The charges brought against Donald Trump should gravely concern every member of this body as well as every American across our country,” said Rose as his 6-year-old son’s body became gravely concerned with the need to make silly faces.

The goof heard ’round the world quickly gained popularity, with gifs and jokes about getting lost rewatching the clip, feeling kinship to the youngster’s informality amid continued conservative outrage at Trump’s felony conviction, and cheeky jokes that the rambunctious sprog was flagging the Illuminati.

Tweet screenshot
Tweet screenshot, image shows child making a triangle symbol as his dad John Rose speaks

Guy’s performance even earned him a job offer from The Onion CEO Ben Collins.

Tweet screenshot: Ben Collins

“This is what I get for telling my son Guy to smile at the camera for his little brother,” said Rose with a shrug emoji on X (formerly Twitter), apparently also forgetting why he spoke on the House floor and reminding us all that no amount of performative outrage can outmatch a kid goofing off.

House Republicans’ Attempts to Attack Fauci Go Wildly Off Rails

The House GOP struggled to find things to blame on Anthony Fauci.

Anthony Fauci speaks into a microphone
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci visited Capitol Hill on Monday to testify on the origins of Covid-19, but some Republican members on the House Oversight Committee had no intention of asking anything even remotely relevant to scientific inquiry.

The former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was repeatedly grilled by GOP lawmakers who clearly had not done their homework before they tried to pin baseless allegations against him, in an apparent attempt to undermine his credibility as the medical leader of America’s pandemic response.

The hearing opened with committee Chair James Comer refusing to let Fauci actually answer any of his questions. The Kentucky Republican said it was because he had so many questions to get through.

In another embarrassing instance, New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis tried—and failed—to implicate the infectious diseases expert in a popular conspiracy theory, including that he had received royalties from pharmaceutical companies for coronavirus-related medications and vaccines.

“How much have you earned in royalties from pharmaceutical companies since the pandemic began in 2021?” asked Malliotakis.

“Zero,” replied Fauci.

The New York Republican then proceeded to read a headline in front of her, citing that an “NIH scientist had made $710 million from drugmakers.” “You’re saying that you did not receive any of the $710 million?” she pressed.

Fauci knew exactly how much he had made: just $122 for a somewhat unrelated monoclonal antibody that he had patented decades prior. But Malliotakis wasn’t satisfied with that. Instead, she attempted to corner Fauci on any royalties—not necessarily related to Covid—that he had received over the course of the pandemic, and whether any of the $710 million had gone to him.

“I think none,” Fauci said before fending off bubbling interruptions from the Trump ally. “No—I’m on the record, and I want to make sure that this is clear: that I developed a monoclonal antibody about 25 years ago that’s used as a diagnostic that has nothing to do with Covid, and I receive about $120 a year from that patent.”

Later, Arizona Representative Debbie Lesko attempted to frame Fauci for allegedly participating in a series of emails that discussed suppressing the “lab leak theory” for Covid without realizing that the emails don’t actually exist.

“You said about four or five things, Congressman, that were just not true,” Fauci responded after Lesko laid out her theory.

“Well, we have emails to prove it,” Lesko said.

“But you don’t,” he said, before Maryland Representative Kweisi Mfume interjected to correct Lesko that “no, we don’t have it.”

“I get tired of hearing ‘We got it,’ and then when we ask for it, it’s not there. We do not have it,” Mfume said. “That’s just incorrect.”

And another mind-boggling line of questioning by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan prompted the medical expert to ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

Judge Cannon Falls for Trump’s Most Nefarious Lie Yet

Judge Aileen Cannon seems to be bending over backward to cater to every Trump request in his classified documents case. This one is on another level.

Donald Trump smiles weirdly; a crowd is behind him
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon seems to have handed Donald Trump another big favor in his classified documents trial—seriously entertaining a lie from the former president.

Trump made up a false claim that the FBI plotted to assassinate him during its search of his Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents because it had weapons, despite the fact that this is generally standard procedure when law enforcement carries out a search warrant. Trump appointee Cannon has decided to grant this made-up conspiracy legitimacy by giving the presumptive Republican presidential nominee two weeks to prove it, further delaying the trial.

Tweet screenshot: Aileen Cannon gives Trump a full two weeks to argue that he should be allow to falsely claim the FBI tried to assassinate him, a conspiracy theory based off an obvious misstatement from his lawyers.

It’s the latest in a series of questionable moves from Cannon in the classified documents case. She has indefinitely delayed the case over “unresolved pretrial motions,” and last week she rejected a gag order request from special counsel Jack Smith because she claimed it was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.” Trump has made no secret of how much he appreciates Cannon’s efforts, and there have been calls for her to remove herself from the case. Even one of Trump’s former lawyers, Ty Cobb, thinks that she is incompetent.

Overall, the trial isn’t running smoothly. One hearing that gave a defendant’s lawyer a chance to allege vindictiveness from a prosecutor devolved into a shouting match. Cannon herself seems to be having trouble understanding basic legal proceedings and principles, leading to long explanations that she still doesn’t appear to grasp. Her conduct has disillusioned some of her clerks, two of whom decided to quit as a result of her conduct on the classified documents case as well as an allegedly hostile work environment. All of this fuels accusations that Cannon is deliberately slowing down the case to benefit Trump and his campaign for president.

Trump faces 42 felony charges in the case related to illegally retaining national security documents and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Infowars Receives More Bad News From Supreme Court

Conspiracy theorist Owen Shroyer lost a far-flung appeal in his January 6 case. Cue the crocodile tears.

Owen Shroyer closeup (he makes a weird face and is probably wearing a black cowboy hat)
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Expect more crocodile tears from Alex Jones: Right-wing conspiracy theorist and Alex Jones underling Owen Shroyer lost his petition for the Supreme Court to overturn the conviction for his participation in the January 6 Capitol riot on Monday, according to Supreme Court documents reviewed by Politico reporter Kyle Cheney.

Tweet screenshot - Kyle Cheney

Shroyer, who hosts a show on far-right website Infowars, was originally sentenced to a mere 60 days in federal prison for misdemeanor charges of entering restricted grounds and leading the mob in chants outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of the January 6 Capitol riot—charges to which he pleaded guilty. Prior to January 6, Shroyer used the once-sizable Infowars platform to spew violent, inciting rhetoric and election-denialist propaganda to hundreds of thousands of people.

Shroyer’s gambit sought to grift on his misdemeanor, claiming in videos that his Supreme Court appeal was a test of whether the Supreme Court supports “free speech,” which in Shroyer’s case is more commonly known as “trespassing.”

Shroyer filed a writ of certiorari, a type of petition sent to the Supreme Court as a last-ditch effort to appeal a lower court’s ruling. As Shroyer was sentenced by a federal court and not a state court, his appeal request went directly to the highest court in the country. Technically, any guilty verdict of a criminal case can file an appeal—but pleading guilty, as Shroyer did, certainly doesn’t help.

The Supreme Court’s denial of Shroyer’s petition suggests other convicted Capitol rioters who may be inclined to attempt to submit gimmicky appeals to the Supreme Court will find themselves similarly rejected.

Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase

The former president insisted he had never even called to imprison Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks into a microphone
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Now that he is facing the very real possibility of jail time, Donald Trump suddenly doesn’t seem to remember one of his major catchphrases against his 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

In a Fox & Friends exclusive interview that aired Sunday, Trump claimed he had never suggested the government should “lock her up” in reference to Clinton’s email scandal.

“You famously said, regarding Hillary Clinton, ‘Lock her up.’ You declined to do that as president,” prompted Fox host Will Cain.

“I beat her. It’s easier when you win,” Trump said. “I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me.”

“Hillary Clinton—I didn’t say, ‘Lock her up,’ but the people would all say, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’ OK—then we won,” he said. “And I said, pretty openly, I said, ‘Alright, come on, just let’s relax, we’ve gotta make our country great.’”

That is, however, completely false. Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump used the phrase dozens of times while speaking at rallies around the country, going so far as to encourage his supporters to throw the phrase back at Clinton during her own public appearances and even telling her in person that he’d throw her in jail, during a debate just one month out from the election.

The phrase threatened Clinton with new legal repercussions for using a private email server while conducting business as secretary of state during the Obama administration. Clinton was investigated at the time but was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Once in office, Trump conceded that he had little interest in actually prosecuting Clinton—but only until 2020, when he dredged the phrase back up as leverage in his fight for reelection.

The wide-ranging interview also saw Trump suggest that Democrats wanted to lock him up for a $130,000 “accounting thing” (referring to his New York bank fraud trial), as well as reiterating his presidential agenda should he win in November, including proposals for gutting several government agencies and mass deportations of immigrants and asylum-seekers.

But aside from the content of the interview, audiences were caught off guard by a barrage of rough cuts and heavy edits that interrupted and disjointed Trump’s comments. Some viewers pinned the blame on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s mental acuity, claiming that the “deranged rambling mess” could only sound coherent with the assistance of creative video editors.

Lauren Boebert Missing From Debate as Rivals Take Turns Roasting Her

The Colorado representative was missing from a key debate as questions about “Beetlejuice” have been hounding her on the campaign trail.

Lauren Boebert wears a purple dress and glasses and looks off camera. She may be standing on the steps of the Capitol.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Representative Lauren Boebert’s reelection campaign hit some more snags over the weekend when she missed a debate with the other Republican candidates running to represent Colorado’s 4th district on Saturday.

The debate, hosted by the Republican Women of Weld and the Lincoln Club of Colorado, quickly became a chance for Boebert’s rivals to criticize the absent congresswoman.

State Representative Mike Lynch called out Boebert’s poor legislative record, noting that he had passed bills before.

“One, I’ve actually passed legislation,” Lynch said. “This race and this time is important enough that we need people who know how to get stuff done … I would never abandon my district.”

Richard Holtorf, another Colorado state representative, said Boebert wasn’t working in Coloradans’ best interests when she voted against a water project for the state.

“How do you do that if you represent this state? You can’t,” Holtorf said. “She doesn’t know eastern Colorado, and she was the wrong fit for this congressional district.”

Former state Senator Jerry Sonnenberg didn’t mention Boebert by name but seemed to call out her attention-seeking behavior.

“Integrity and character in my neck of the woods is vital,” Sonnenberg said. “If you’re looking for someone that wants to be on TV, I’m not it. If you want somebody that’s a workhorse, and not a show horse, that’s me.”

While Boebert had declined the debate invitation weeks ago, she did take part in a televised Republican primary debate on Friday, which quickly went south for her once the moderator, 9News Denver’s Kyle Clark, brought up her infamous Beetlejuice theater date, where she sang along, recorded the show, and groped her date (who was also groping her). She denied vaping, only for Clark to later uncover footage of her vaping.

“I’m apologizing for you, Kyle Clark, getting footage and releasing that—people seeing this in a very private moment,” Boebert said.

“I certainly have owned up to my night out in Denver, and I’ve gone on that public apology tour, and I’m grateful for the mercy and grace that have been shown, but I’m not going to continue to live life in shame and continue to be beat up by this,” Boebert said later during the debate.

She also faced questions about her legislative record, including bragging about securing funding in legislation she actually opposed.

Boebert is running in Colorado’s 4th district to have a better chance of winning reelection after a very narrow win in 2022, but she keeps running into trouble. She’s polling behind one of her Democratic challengers in what is supposed to be a safe conservative district, and has struggled to win support. She already had one poor debate to kick things off, and while she has Trump’s endorsement, it doesn’t seem to have helped her, even after she showed up at his hush-money trial.