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Chief Justice John Roberts Delays Release of Trump Tax Records Till After the Election

This is the third time the Supreme Court has saved Team Trump in the last week.

Leah Millis-Pool/Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks with Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts gave Donald Trump a massive break Tuesday, temporarily halting the release of the former president’s tax records. The records were originally set to be turned over this week, just days before the election.

A U.S. Court of Appeals last week refused to overturn an August ruling that gave a House of Representatives committee access to Trump’s tax records from 2015 to 2020. Trump asked the nation’s highest court Monday to intervene.

Roberts ruled Tuesday that the appeals court mandate is “stayed pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court. It is further ordered that a response to the application be filed on or before Thursday, November 10.”

Trump had asked the Supreme Court to pause enforcement of the appeals court’s ruling so he would have time to submit a formal appeal of the decision.

Trump has become infamous for refusing to release his tax returns, sparking speculation that he was hiding something fraudulent about his taxes and business dealings.

The House Ways & Means Committee sought Trump’s tax returns in 2019, saying the records would help inform legislation improving how the IRS audits presidents. The Treasury had refused to release the documents while Trump was in office.

When President Joe Biden took over, Trump sued the Treasury to prevent it from handing over his tax records, claiming executive immunity—despite no longer being an executive.

Both a lower court and the appeals panel agreed that the lawmakers had a “legitimate legislative purpose” in examining the records.

Trump is under fire on multiple fronts, facing two lawsuits in New York, where he has been charged with business fraud and his organization accused of tax fraud. The FBI is also investigating his storing sensitive government documents at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office.

This is the third time the Supreme Court has given Team Trump a reprieve in the past week. On October 24, Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily blocked a subpoena ordering Senator Lindsey Graham to testify in front of a grand jury about efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. (Meanwhile, Thomas’ wife Ginni Thomas is also being investigated for allegedly trying to reject the election results.)

Two days later, Justice Elena Kagan temporarily blocked a subpoena from the House January 6 investigative committee for phone and text records of Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward. Kagan’s order was likely to give the justices more time to consider the matter.

Republicans Are Literally Laughing at the Pelosi Attack

The violent attack left Paul Pelosi with a skull fracture. Republicans somehow find that funny.

Donald Trump and Kari Lake go in for a hug. They are smiling.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Donald Trump and Kari Lake

Since the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband last week, Republicans have shown themselves to be even crueler and more conspiratorial than expected. As Paul Pelosi recovers from a skull fracture, Kari Lake, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and countless others have mocked the violent attack.

Arguing that schoolchildren should have as much armed protection as lawmakers, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake took the opportunity to off-handedly joke about the attack.

“Nancy Pelosi—well, she’s got protection when she’s in D.C. Apparently her house doesn’t have a lot of protection,” she said on Monday, spurring zealous laughter and applause from the audience. Disturbingly, even the event moderator—Lionel Lee, an ER doctor in Arizona—shook in laughter at the violent assault.

Other Republican reactions involved memes making light of attempted murder on a member of Congress’ spouse.

Representative Clay Higgins shared an anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory that the man who attacked Pelosi was actually a gay prostitute:

Ever the chaser of his father’s approval, Donald Trump, Jr. posted a crude photo of a hammer and men’s underwear on his Instagram, with the caption “Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready”—echoing Higgins’ anti-LGBTQ smear:

Conservative blogger Matt Walsh called it “absurd” to describe a man—whose blog featured antisemitic comments, concerns about anti-white racism, and pleas to former President Donald Trump to choose Tulsi Gabbard as his VP—as “some kind of militant right winger.” Senator Ted Cruz, who spends more time owning liberals online than doing his actual job, reposted Walsh’s tweet, calling it “truth.”

Donald Trump also waded into the attack, saying it was “a terrible thing.” He then went on to the more predictable conservative hits—that the attack embodies violent crime in cities “far worse than Afghanistan,” and that police officers don’t have enough dignity and respect to save this “out of control” country.

Whether they spread conspiracy, make light of violent assault, or simply do not engage with reality, these reactions are all deeply alarming. Because these are not comments from people on the fringe. They are from elected officials, candidates, and popular media figures—those at the very core of the Republican Party.

Elon Musk Brings Election Denier Mark Finchem Back to Twitter

Finchem, who wants to oversee voting in Arizona, has a penchant for conspiracy theories.

Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for Arizona secretary of state
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Elon Musk has let Mark Finchem, a far-right conspiracy theorist running for Arizona secretary of state, back on Twitter.

Finchem had complained Monday on Facebook that Twitter had blocked his account. His plight caught the attention of Jenna Ellis, a Newsmax contributor and advisor to former President Donald Trump. She quickly called on Musk to do something about it.

“Looking into it,” Musk replied. Within an hour, Finchem was back online.

“We are back! Thank you @elonmusk for stopping the commie who suspended me from Twitter a week before the election. Twitter is much better with you at the helm,” Finchem tweeted.

Musk has owned Twitter for all of four days and has already wreaked havoc on the platform. After completing his $44 billion purchase on Friday, he promptly fired several top executives.

On Monday, he also fired the entire board of directors, leaving himself the sole decision-maker.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” had promised Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” under his leadership and that there would be a review board for content moderation and allowing banned accounts back online.

Considering he seems to be the entire board now, the results of those reviews leave something to be desired.

Finchem is one of the most hardcore conspiracy theorists running in the midterms. A 2020 election denier, he also embraces many conspiracies that even most MAGA Republicans won’t.

He has accused former Vice President Mike Pence of plotting both a coup to topple Trump and to steal the presidency in 2024. Finchem has also said he is a member of the Oath Keepers.

If he wins, he will have massive influence over elections in a crucial swing state.

Since Musk took over, Twitter has been awash with racist, antisemitic, homophobic, and transphobic hate speech.

The social media research group National Contagion Research Institute said that in the 12 hours since Musk bought Twitter, use of the n-word increased almost 500 percent.