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Marjorie Taylor Greene Can’t Stop Pushing Russian Propaganda

The Georgia Republican continues to insist that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t so bad.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is seen in profile
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t think Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine is a threat to the rest of Europe, and she wishes everyone would shut up about it.

“This whole thing is the most repulsive, disgusting thing happening, and the American people are the ones writing the check,” the far-right Georgia congresswoman said Friday in an interview on Steve Bannon’s War Room program. “Vladimir Putin has not said he wants to go march across Europe and take Europe, and the reality is Ukraine is not even a NATO member nation.”

It’s quite a bold claim to make, considering that European countries in addition to Ukraine have made no secret that they fear Russia. For example, Germany, Poland, and France are discussing the revival of a decades-old alliance to strengthen their cooperation because of Russia. Sweden just joined NATO last month, following neighbor Finland’s accession to the alliance last year, over concerns Russia might try to invade them next.

So, is Greene simply echoing Russian talking points? Several of her Republican colleagues in Congress have warned Russian propaganda is influencing their constituents and politicians like Greene, following revelations last week of a vast Russian-backed corruption network in Europe. Belgium is even investigating Russian interference in the European Parliament’s upcoming elections.

Former Colorado representative Ken Buck even came up with a derisive nickname for Greene due to her pro-Russia stance.

“Moscow Marjorie is focused now on this Ukraine issue and getting her talking points from the Kremlin and making sure that she is popular and she is getting a lot of coverage,” he said in an interview on CNN Monday.

Greene has turned her guns on Speaker Mike Johnson in recent weeks due to her opposition to any aid for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, with Republicans bitterly divided over the issue. The fight could cost Mike Johnson his speakership, which is held together by a razor-thin Republican margin in the House. Greene even put forth a motion to oust him last month, although it has not yet been brought for a vote.

More on Russia's influence on U.S. politics:

Louisiana High Court Deals Devastating Blow to Sexual Abuse Victims

The state Supreme Court ruled that priests have a “property right” not to be sued for sexually abusing children.

A front view of St. Martin de Tours, a church in St. Martinville, Louisiana
Annie Flanagan/Washington Post/Getty Images
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Doug Bienvenu, says he was sexually abused by a priest at the St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, Louisiana

The Louisiana Supreme Court has decided to strip sexual assault survivors of an avenue of justice, ruling 3-4 that it’s the due process rights of priests and their enablers to not be held accountable in instances of sexual assault.

The case, Bienvenu v. Diocese of Lafayette, was brought by Douglas Bienvenu and several other plaintiffs who claimed they were sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest during the 1970s, when they were between the ages of eight and 14. 

But in its majority opinion issued on March 22, the court argued that while the facts of the case were largely undisputed, the priest—and the religious institution he was a part of—was actually protected under the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause, which says that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

“Given these constitutional limitations, the issue presented by this case turns on whether the revival provisions operate to disturb defendants’ vested rights,” wrote Louisiana Justice James Genovese, specifying that “we are constrained to find the statutory enactment is contrary to the due process protections enshrined in our constitution and must yield to that supreme law.”

The Louisiana Child Victims Act, according to the court, “cannot be retroactively applied to revive plaintiffs’ prescribed causes of action” on the basis that such an action would “divest defendants of their vested right to plead prescription.”

The Louisiana legislature passed the act in 2021 to establish a “look-back” window for sexual assault victims. The legislation provided victims of sexual abuse crimes from any period with an opportunity to pursue justice against their alleged abusers, so long as they filed their lawsuits before June 2024. But the  court effectively ruled that the look-back window was actually unconstitutional

Louisiana is not the only state to repeal such a law. Courts in Utah and Colorado also found similar look-back windows to be unconstitutional, and other windows across the country continue to be challenged due to the complications of prosecuting crimes with minimal evidence and which may have taken place decades in the past.

Why Trump’s Classified Docs Attorney Quitting Is Good for Jack Smith

Evan Corcoran, who testified against Trump, has left the former president’s legal team.

Evan Corcoran walks
Nathan Howard/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump has lost another lawyer—and the former president’s loss could be special counsel Jack Smith’s massive gain.

Evan Corcoran left the Trump legal team some time in the last few months, CNN reported late Thursday. He was the last of Trump’s attorneys to have handled one of the former president’s federal cases from the beginning, and was originally brought on to help in Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.

But Trump and his aides allegedly misled Corcoran, telling him not to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office for any documents. Trump refused to reveal where he kept the documents and instead encouraged Corcoran and other attorneys to lie to the Justice Department in order to withhold those documents.

This all came to light last year when Corcoran was summoned before the grand jury in the classified documents investigation. His testimony was crucial to Smith’s indictment.

Corcoran’s departure could prove to be very bad for Trump’s case. Corcoran kept memos detailing his interactions with the former president, revealing how Trump was scheming to undermine a subpoena from prosecutors, according to Smith. Trump even allegedly told Corcoran to hide any sensitive documents that he found.

Smith will likely call Corcoran as a key witness in the trial, although it is not yet clear when Trump will actually go to trial over the classified documents. The start date has been repeatedly delayed as presiding Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, continues to hand the former president win after win.

Trump’s lawyers have a difficult job. Two of them quit his legal team last year amid reports of infighting, and the former president regularly insults court staff and judges, resulting in gag orders that he then goes on to violate. He also has a record of failing to pay his legal counsel, with Rudy Giuliani even complaining that Trump owes him $2 million.

The Shady Company Backing Trump’s Bond May Never Actually Pay Up

The parent company of Knight Specialty Insurance Company is set up in a way that will make it hard to collect the bond.

Donald Trump looks to the side
Mary Altaffer/Pool/Getty Images

The financial backer covering Donald Trump’s $175 million bank fraud bond has already been revealed as a “king of subprime car loans” with sketchy business practices. But the financial situation behind the dubiously leveraged suretor, Knight Specialty Insurance Company, has gotten even more complicated: Apparently, its parent company is located in the Cayman Islands, a popular tax haven for corporations and the ultrarich.

That should ring alarm bells for the New York attorney general’s office, according to former industry regulators who spoke with The Daily Beast, since the locale not only allows companies to skirt taxes but also allows them to minimize oversight and evade some U.S. regulations—all things that could potentially make collecting the cash even harder.

“This just stinks to high heaven,” former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told the Beast.

“Taken in its totality, this dog does not hunt. Along every step of the way, this purported bond is problematic. It’s just one issue after another that calls into question whether this bond could ever possibly satisfy the judgment,” said Jones.

At the center of the fiasco is one key question: Can the suretor actually pay up? Previous analyses of Knight indicate that the answer might be no.

In a court filing last week, Knight revealed that its liquid assets don’t meet the needs of Trump’s already minimized bond. According to a financial assessment, the company, owned by billionaire Don Hankey, had just $138 million in “surplus.” Knight would therefore need to spend 127 percent of its reserves in order to cover Trump’s bond—far more than the 10 percent of a state-regulated suretor’s surplus that’s allowed by New York law.

Hankey told Forbes that Knight initiated the deal with the criminally charged GOP presidential nominee, and explained that Trump had used both cash and investment-grade bonds to secure the money with his insurance company. Hankey added that he had never met Trump but had been a supporter of his previous campaigns.

Trump and his co-defendants still owe more than $464 million in the case. It’s unclear how long the case will take to appeal, but that won’t stop the interest on his disgorgement from accruing at a rate of more than $111,000 a day.

Read more about Don Hankey:

You’ll Never Guess Who Joined Taylor Swift on the GOP’s Psyops List

House Republicans are bringing out the knives for Mike Johnson.

Mike Johnson is seen from the side
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Conservatives are constantly bugging about all of the conspiracies against them. And now, they think their own speaker of the House is part of a “psyop.”

At issue seems to be Representative Mike Johnson’s about-face on reauthorizing a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. On X (formerly Twitter), Senator Mike Lee, a fellow Republican, posted a video of Johnson explaining why he has decided to renew the provision, as supposed proof that Johnson was part of a government conspiracy.

It’s the latest attack on Johnson from Republicans dissatisfied with his efforts as speaker. Earlier this week, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene sent a memo around the House calling for Johnson’s ouster, while complaining about the Republican Party’s alleged “complete and total surrender” to Democrats under their speaker.

The section of FISA in question is section 702, used by U.S. intelligence agencies to intercept the communications of foreigners abroad. It can also ensnare American citizens if they communicate with foreign suspects, and a warrant is not required in those cases. The reason Lee went after Johnson over it might not be the civil liberties implications. It’s more likely because Donald Trump complained about FISA on Truth Social on Wednesday.

“KILL FISA, IT WAS ILLEGALLY USED AGAINST ME AND MANY OTHERS. THEY SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN!!!” Trump wrote. As a result, the effort was blocked in the House in a 193–228 vote, with 20 Republicans among those voting it down.

The House successfully advanced a revised FISA bill to the floor on Friday, though, setting up a protracted fight.

Republicans are quick to allege people they don’t like are Democratic psyops. The last target of these accusations was pop superstar Taylor Swift, all because she … started dating an NFL player and might possibly endorse Joe Biden.

Read about the right's wild Taylor Swift theory:

Trump Has So Many Legal Battles, He Can’t Keep Them Straight Anymore

The Republican presidential nominee couldn’t keep Letitia James and Alvin Bragg straight.

Donald Trump gestures with both hands as he speaks
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A new speech has provided even more insight into Donald Trump’s memory problems—indicating that the GOP presidential nominee is having a difficult time recalling who’s who among the major players in his criminal trials.

Speaking at the so-called “Border 9/11 Gala” fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday night, Trump mixed up Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is prosecuting his hush-money trial, with New York Attorney General Letitia James, who prosecuted his New York bank fraud trial. Trump also seemed to lapse on James’s name, incorrectly referring to her as “Letitia Jones,” but he didn’t forget to sprinkle in one of his favorite nicknames for her—which, although his campaign hasn’t given an overt reasoning for it, conspicuously resembles a portmanteau of two well-known racial slurs.

“They put him into the state of New York, and then ultimately into the D.A.’s office to run the case,” said Trump. “This is being run by Biden. They put a man into the state, Letitia Jones, ‘Peekaboo,’ I call her, Peekaboo Jones, Peekaboo—they put a man into that one, Letitia. They put a man into that one to run it, and then he went into the D.A.’s office.”

Trump also used the night to declare that he has so many votes on his side that “they could cancel that election” and declare him the presumptive winner—an interesting suggestion from someone currently facing criminal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

“Because, I’ll tell you what, if it’s just by the vote, they could cancel that election,” Trump said. “We win that election right now. We have so many more votes than they do, but we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful.”

New Report Reveals Matt Gaetz Is an Even Bigger Creep Than You Thought

The Florida Republican has some nasty habits, including showing his colleagues nude pictures of his dates.

Matt Gaetz raises an eyebrow
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Representative Matt Gaetz has a reputation as a provocateur and MAGA ideologue on Capitol Hill, with an active ethics investigation against him. After a new profile in The Atlantic, he might be known for other, worse reasons.

One such revelation in the piece, published Thursday, was that he’d show videos of his sexual conquests to other staffers and members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

“He used to walk around the cloakroom showing people porno of him and his latest girlfriend,” one former Republican lawmaker told Atlantic writer Elaine Godfrey, speaking anonymously. “He’d show me a video, and I’d say, ‘That’s great, Matt.’ Like, what kind of a reaction do you want?”

He also, early in his career as a state legislator in Florida, was allegedly involved in a “points game,” in which he and other Republican lawmakers earned points for sleeping with women, with one point for doing so with a lobbyist, three points for a fellow legislator, six for a married fellow legislator, and so on.

Gaetz got his start in politics thanks to the wealth and political career of his father, Don Gaetz, who would serve as president of the Florida Senate. The elder Gaetz ran and sold a hospice company, netting $500 million, and spent a lot of money funding development projects in the Florida Panhandle. The counties that make up the Panhandle, one lobbyist told Godfrey, “are owned by the Gaetzes.”

Gaetz was elected to the Florida state Senate while his father was president and had a reputation for walking into his father’s meetings and sitting on the couch with his feet up, according to one political consultant. The pair were often derisively referred to as Daddy Gaetz and Baby Gaetz, the article said.

The profile wasn’t all negative, though: Gaetz has apparently shown a willingness to work with Democrats, including Representatives Jared Moskowitz and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, when it benefits him.

But recent news about the Florida Republican hasn’t been good. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy claims Gaetz led the effort to oust him because Gaetz wanted him to squash the ethics investigation against him. That investigation is over allegations that Gaetz slept with a 17-year-old girl, as well as instances of drug use and corruption.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Sets Up Bruising Fight With Retirement

Democrats are already warning that abortion and voting rights will be major issues in the upcoming election.

Janet Protasiewicz holds a microphone as she walks
Jeff Schear/Getty Images/WisDems
Janet Protasiewicz is the most recently elected Wisconsin state Supreme Court justice, in the most expensive state judicial election in history

A retirement announcement is about to shake up the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a major way—and it’ll likely cost a pretty penny.

Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, 73, announced Thursday that she will be leaving her post at the end of her term next spring, leaving behind an open seat on a highly contentious bench in a pivotal swing state.

“My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election should I run, but it’s just time to pass the torch,” Bradley wrote in a statement, noting that after 39 years on the bench, she felt now is the right time to bring “fresh perspectives” to the court.

The election to replace Bradley will take place two years after liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz beat out the incumbent, conservative Justice Dan Kelly, securing the first liberal majority on the state bench in 15 years. Her election resulted after the biggest political fundraising campaign for a state Supreme Court seat in U.S. history, spending more than $45 million to swap the Wisconsin judiciary’s political ideology.

Protasiewicz fought hard on issues that were slated to come before the court, including abortion rights and the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps. Wisconsin Democrats were quick to warn that the same issues, and then some, will be back on the table with Bradley’s exit.

“There’s no question that reproductive freedom and abortion bans in Wisconsin will be a central issue not just this fall, but also in the Supreme Court race next spring,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler said, according to NBC News. “The far right is trying to take over the Supreme Court so that they can put the 1849 abortion ban into effect.”

Trump and RFK Jr.’s Bizarre Love Affair Just Got Even Weirder

Trump heaped praise on the independent presidential candidate.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gestures as he speaks into microphones at a podium
Thos Robinson/Getty Images/The Democratic National Committee

Spoiler alert, literally: Donald Trump wants Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the ballot to take away votes from Joe Biden.

In a video posted to his Truth Social account on Thursday afternoon, the former president called Kennedy “much better than Biden.”

“If I were a Democrat, I’d vote for RFK Jr. every single time over Biden, because he’s frankly more in line with Democrats,” Trump said in the video, where he alternatively praised Kennedy but also called him “a radical left Democrat.”

“It’s great for MAGA, I hope he continues to run, but the Communists will make it very hard on him to get on the ballot, as they did for him as a Democrat. He wanted to get on the ballot. They made it very, very difficult for him. They really went after him viciously, just like they go after me. Welcome to the crowd, RFK Jr.,” Trump continued.

Trump has made no secret of how much he wants Kennedy on the ballot, praising him on different occasions. But Kennedy’s recent actions seem to be more in line with Trump’s right-wing ideology. Kennedy has claimed that Biden is a bigger threat to democracy than Trump and attracted praise from MAGA ideologues Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, and his donors are almost exclusively Republican.

He also downplays the role of guns in mass shootings, claiming that antidepressants and video games are bigger factors, and keeps having to correct his words about the January 6 Capitol rioters—possibly because one of his advisers, his former New York campaign director Rita Palma, may have been one.

Palma even recently told a meeting with New York Republicans that the Kennedy campaign’s number one goal was to siphon votes from Biden. She was fired Thursday.

Johnson and Trump Push Major Election Conspiracy with Proposed Bill

The two election deniers want to introduce a bill addressing a nonexistent problem.

Mike Johnson looks slightly down
Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In an effort to save his job, House Speaker Mike Johnson will meet with Donald Trump on Friday—but a new detail about their expected joint announcement seems, on its face, like a complete waste of time.

Fox News reported Thursday that the pair will use the platform to announce an election integrity bill to bar noncitizens from voting in U.S. elections, even though that’s already illegal.

The meeting comes at a time of extreme tension for Johnson, who faces the possibility of being the second speaker in U.S. history—and within the last six months—to be kicked out of leadership. Members such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who filed a motion to vacate Johnson after he worked with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to pass a $1.2 trillion omnibus bill, are upset that the leader of the lower chamber hasn’t made big enough strides to advance their party’s policy goals. In their opinion, working with the opposite party—as politicians are traditionally expected to do—to draft bipartisan legislation is a sign of failure.

And Republicans don’t have much patience for the reality of the situation, which is that the party’s razor-thin House majority effectively forces Johnson to liaise with Democrats to pass anything at all. Instead, they want Johnson to remain staunchly loyal to the far-right cause, all while attacking him with examples of inaction that are fueled by their own division.

To salvage the mess, Johnson met with Greene for an hour on Wednesday, offering the conspiratorial Georgia Republican a spot on a proposed “kitchen cabinet” of advisers to the speaker. But the water is not yet under the bridge: After the meeting, Greene told reporters that she would “wait and see” before making a decision on the offer.

“I explained to him, this isn’t personal,” she said. “But he has not done the job that we elected him to do.”

Johnson is, ultimately, in an impossible position. Even though his caucus is frustrated by his inaction, actually acting upon his promises, such as sending aid to Ukraine, would almost certainly be a death knell for his six-month tenure wielding the gavel.

Johnson’s downfall bears an uncanny resemblance to the final days of his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who got the boot from eight members of his party after he committed the same sin of working with Democrats in order to pass a 45-day stopgap funding bill. At the end of the day, Johnson’s inability to unify a historically divided—and unproductive—GOP flags even deeper problems in the health of the conservative party.