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Watch Marjorie Taylor Greene Compare Donald Trump to Nelson Mandela and Jesus

Sure, a hush-money payment to cover up an alleged extramarital affair is exactly what Jesus would do.

Marjorie Taylor Greene wags her finger amid a crowd of people, including reporters
Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene believes that with his criminal indictment, Donald Trump has entered the upper echelons of martyrdom.

Trump is the first former president ever to be criminally charged. He is set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in a Manhattan court for his role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Republicans have rushed to his defense, with Greene traveling to New York to hold a rally in his support outside the courthouse.

In an interview on the conservative Right Side Broadcasting Network, Greene likened Trump to other famous people who have been arrested, such as Nelson Mandela and Jesus.

Mandela was arrested for his opposition to racial segregation in South Africa. Jesus was arrested for performing miracles and founding a new religion. Trump was indicted for allegedly paying to cover up an extramarital affair. The charges against him have yet to be unsealed, but they reportedly include a felony charge of falsifying business records and violating campaign finance law.

Same, same.

There Are More News Crews Than Trump Supporters at the Protest in New York

Trump fans are not showing up for the former president ahead of his indictment.

Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg/Getty Images
A Trump supporter and a protester clash outside the criminal court in New York on April 4.

On Tuesday, as Donald Trump is set to be formally arraigned, tens of people came out in support of the twice-impeached and now criminally indicted former president.

As with an earlier pro-Trump protest in late March, there appeared to be a very large group of media reporters for every one Trump supporter.

The protest also hosted other Republicans especially unfit for office, like Representatives George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Greene, alas, was drowned out by the few protesters there and unable to carry out whatever performance she had planned.

Indeed, whatever words she did have to say were likely heard more by the cameras than by any protesters.

On one hand, the Trump indictment has already brought out the worst instincts in the political media. TV networks have incessantly blared every minor development in Trump’s movements, from Florida to New York.

But it’s not just Fox News; other networks are guilty too. And with CBS’s latest appallingly deferential interview with Greene, there’s reason to worry that the establishment media has no intention of heeding lessons from 2016.

Surely, the media ought to be present for Trump’s arraignment and suspected protests. But the sheer disproportionality doesn’t portend well. If tens of radicals protesting the indictment of a former president for using a shell company to pay hush money to a porn actress garner this much attention, events like a Florida lawmaker being arrested for advocating for abortion rights or three Tennessee lawmakers facing expulsion and even assault after standing with children protesting gun violence warrant so much more.

But given the hardened conventions of mainstream television media, we already know what will get more attention.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Calls for Anti-Trump Protesters to Be Arrested for “Making Loud Noises”

The Georgia congresswoman comes up with something new every day, apparently.

Marjorie Taylor Greene stands with a grim face. Others stand around her, a couple in hard hats.
Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene wants everyone protesting against Donald Trump on Tuesday to be arrested for being too loud.

Trump is the first former president ever to be criminally charged. He is set to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in a Manhattan court for his role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Republicans have rushed to his defense, with Greene traveling to New York to hold a rally in his support outside the courthouse.

I’m here in NY to protest with my voice against the weaponization of the justice system on innocent President Trump, but the counter protestors are coming to commit assault that can cause audible damage to everyone’s ears including NYPD,” she tweeted Tuesday morning, without any evidence of the supposed audible assault.

“If counter protestors are violating freedom of speech and committing assault, they should be arrested.”

She singled out New York Mayor Eric Adams at the protest, saying, “You send your henchmen down here to commit assault against people by making loud noises.” In a video of her claim, most of the noise is from her speaking and one person blowing repeatedly on a whistle. (As it turns out, that person was a Trump supporter who didn’t even realize Greene was there or that he was drowning her out.)

Greene is a big fan of freedom of speech, but apparently not when you’re exercising that right to oppose her.

Adams had warned Greene and her supporters to “be on your best behavior.”

New York City is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger,” he told a press conference Monday night.

Greene hit back at Adams for “trying to intimidate, threaten, and stop me from using my 1st amendment rights to peacefully protest,” a claim that further highlights the hypocrisy of her call for counterprotesters’ arrest.

At the time of writing, both the pro- and anti-Trump crowds were fairly small, so still not clear what audible “assault” Greene meant.

Tennessee Republican Reportedly Assaults Democratic Lawmaker Amid Gun Violence Protests in Capitol

Before this, Lafferty was perhaps best known for defending the three-fifths compromise. And the lawmaker he seems to have assaulted is Black.

Seth Herald/Getty Images
Democratic state Representative Justin Jones (center) enters the House chamber ahead of session as protesters chant demanding action for gun reform laws in the state at the Tennessee State Capitol on April 3.

Tennessee Republican Representative Justin Lafferty—who once valorized the three-fifths compromise—reportedly shoved Black Tennessee Representative Justin Jones on the floor of the statehouse Monday night. Jones and two other Democratic lawmakers currently face threats of expulsion from the legislature for breaking “decorum” by interrupting proceedings to advocate for students protesting gun violence. The world waits with bated breath to see if Lafferty’s actions also qualify as breaking decorum.

Jones captured the moment on video where Lafferty seems to have shoved him.

The shove came amid an escalation by state Republicans to silence and ignore not only their fellow lawmakers but also thousands of residents demanding action so children stop being killed at school.

On Monday, thousands of Tennessee students, parents, and residents descended upon the state Capitol for the second time in the week since the mass shooting at a school in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead. The monumental crowd of people marched to the state Capitol building, leading chants and singing songs, with one student simply saying, “We all just want to live through high school.”

Children in grade school and even younger were seen in full force, shaming Tennessee Republicans for their inaction, a week after students just like them were shot dead at school.

On Monday evening, as protesters entered the chamber, chanting from the gallery and demanding lawmakers’ attention, Lafferty and Jones both began recording the scene on their phones. Lafferty then turned toward Jones and appeared to shove the Democrat. A voice is heard in Jones’s video saying, “Hey, get your hands off me.”

Before shoving a fellow lawmaker on the House floor, Lafferty was perhaps best known for falsely suggesting that the three-fifths compromise—which allowed slaveholding states to count 60 percent of their slave populations in order to gain more representation in Congress, while not giving enslaved people any rights—was somehow an effort to end slavery, rather than to uphold it.

Jones and fellow Democrats Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson have been especially invested in standing alongside the thousands demanding action. Now Tennessee Republicans are pushing to punish them, on the basis that the trio walked up to the well of the House during last Thursday’s protest, which violated “rules of decorum.”

The trio say they did so only after being repeatedly silenced by House Speaker Cameron Sexton; the Democrats’ mics were allegedly cut off throughout the week whenever they tried to speak about gun violence or about the thousands protesting right outside the building. Sexton had the gall to call the trio’s actions an “insurrection.”

Jones accused Sexton of spending “more time on Twitter this weekend talking about a fake insurrection than he did about the deaths of six people including 9-year-old children.”

Sexton’s former caucus member, Republican Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, attended an actual insurrection: January 6, which she called an “epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation.” Weaver was not expelled from the Tennessee state legislature.

Nikki Fried and Other Top Florida Democrats Arrested in Abortion Rights Protest

Florida is moving to ban abortion at just six weeks, before many people even realize they are pregnant.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried smiles as she meets with constituents
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried

Florida Democratic leaders were arrested during a protest for abortion rights, just hours after the state Senate passed a bill banning the procedure at six weeks.

Senate Bill 300 prohibits abortion after six weeks, down from 15 weeks and before many people even know they are pregnant. It also lowers the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support, but dramatically increases the amount of state funds given to anti-abortion pregnancy centers.

People gathered Monday night in the park outside City Hall in Tallahassee to protest the bill. A group of about 12, including Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried and Senate Minority  Leader Lauren Book, sat in a circle inside part of the park that was closed at sunset. They held hands and sang songs including “Lean On Me.”

Police had warned the protesters they would be arrested if they did not vacate the barricaded area, and when they continued to demonstrate, law enforcement arrested the dozen who were seated.

Fried has already changed her Twitter profile picture to a photo of her arrest and urged Floridians to get out and vote.

At the start of the protest, Book reminded those gathered that “the battle is not over.” She had given a powerful speech on the Senate floor earlier in the day before the bill was voted through.

“We must work to make things different, because abortion is health care,” she said, “and because women deserve to be equal & free.”

If it becomes law, as it is expected to, S.B. 300 will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Florida currently allows abortion up to 15 weeks and has become an abortion haven in the region, as many neighboring states have imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Tennessee Republicans Are Trying to Expel Three House Democrats for Siding With Kids on Gun Control

The Democrats have already been stripped of their committee assignments.

Crowded hallway packed with students (sitting, standing) looking at Representative Lamberth. The students hold phones and cameras documenting.
Seth Herald/Getty Images
Republican Representative William Lamberth speaks with students inside Cordell Hall in Nashville after students walked out of schools to gather at the Tennessee State Capitol in protest to demand action for gun reform laws in the state on April 3.

Tennessee Republicans are pushing to expel State Representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson for the bold act of standing in solidarity with thousands of children asking for more gun control after a mass shooting at a school in Nashville last week.

Earlier Monday, the Democratic trio were stripped from their committee assignments, and their membership IDs were shut off. On Monday evening, Republicans officially filed resolutions to expel the three. The vote is set to come Thursday. Given the balance of power, if every Republican goes along with the farce, the representatives will likely be removed, resulting in the first partisan expulsion of lawmakers in Tennessee history.

On Monday, thousands of Nashville students staged a walkout to demand stronger gun control laws in the aftermath of a shooting at Covenant School that left three children and three adults dead. The students marched to the state Capitol building, leading chants and singing songs, with one student simply saying, “We all just want to live through high school.”

The huge walkouts followed similar mass action by thousands of people rallying at the Tennessee State Capitol last Thursday for stronger gun control laws.

Throughout the protests, students and parents were supported by Tennessee lawmakers who actually cared about their constituents. Tennessee Republicans are voting to punish them, on the basis that the trio walked up to the well of the House during the Thursday protest, which violated “rules of decorum.”

The lawmakers say they decided to do so after being repeatedly silenced by House Speaker Cameron Sexton.

“Our mics were cut off throughout the week whenever we tried to bring up the issue of gun violence,” Jones told local outlet WKRN. “When I went outside to support those protesting the Speak cut off my voting machine—the first time I’ve ever seen that happen. The Speaker refused to let us talk during welcoming and honoring to welcome our constituents—the thousands gathered outside the Capitol building.”

Sexton has called the trio’s walk up to the well an “insurrection”—an inane comparison, both when considering the motivations of the gun control protests versus the January 6 attacks, and moreover given that no one in Nashville tried harming public property or people’s lives as rioters did on January 6.

Jones accused Sexton of spending “more time on Twitter this weekend talking about a fake insurrection than he did about the deaths of six people including 9-year-old children.”

With this vote, local Republicans are responding in mere hours to lawmakers standing alongside kids begging to not be shot. On actual gun control, things look very different. In 2021, Governor Bill Lee signed a bill allowing people to openly carry handguns without permits (and since then, state Republicans have been looking to expand the ability to people as young as 18, and for any firearm, not just handguns). And in 2020, Republicans shut down a red flag law that in fact could have stopped the Covenant School shooter.

Meanwhile, there have been 377 school shootings nationwide since 1999 (the year of the Columbine High School massacre). Republicans have done nothing in those 24 years.

“This is not what democracy looks like. We are elected to serve our constituents,” said Representative Jones. “I’m the youngest Democratic lawmaker here—the most diverse district—and by shutting me down, they’re shutting down the voice of my constituents.”

Perhaps Republicans are punishing the lawmakers who stood with the children out of disdain for gun control as policy, or in annoyance at the pesky kids asking to not be killed in school. Or perhaps they are doing it to stamp out any expectation of lawmakers actually doing their job and caring about people.

This post has been updated.

A Day Before His Arraignment, Trump Throws a Hail Mary and Hires a New Lawyer

Trump has added Todd Blanche, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer, to his legal team.

Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Twice-impeached and criminally indicted former President Donald Trump (who faces at least three other criminal investigations) has hired a new lawyer one day before his arraignment.

Todd Blanche, an elite white-collar criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, has been tapped to be Trump’s lead counsel as he heads into Manhattan to face his indictment over a hush-money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, reports Politico.

The hire comes amid turmoil within Trump’s legal team, as a number of the former president’s other lawyers have derided co–lead defense attorney Joe Tacopina as “dumb” and a “loudmouth,” according to Rolling Stone.

And perhaps the complaints are not unwarranted: In recent weeks, Tacopina has taken a shovel and only dug his boss in deeper. Appearing on MSNBC, Tacopina tried to snatch notes away from host Ari Melber as he fact-checked Tacopina in real time.

Melber asked Tacopina if he would defend Trump in the investigation into his role in inciting the January 6 attack. Tacopina said he would if he “believed in the case,” but wouldn’t definitively say yes.

These instances, among others, seem to have swayed Trump’s allies against the lawyer. One source called Tacopina “such a frickin’ idiot” to Rolling Stone.

Blanche has previously represented Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Igor Fruman, a former Rudy Giuliani associate who allegedly helped search in Ukraine for damaging information on Trump’s rivals. He was sentenced to a one-year prison term for a campaign finance violation.

Both Manafort and Fruman had been charged by Manhattan courts. Manafort was charged specifically by then–Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and was able to evade mortgage fraud and other charges with the help of Blanche.

Blanche had called charges against Manafort “politically motivated,” which perhaps gives Trump all the more comfort as he throws the same accusations at current Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

In a separate case, federal prosecutors have also expanded investigations into whether Trump’s social media company (which owns Truth Social) violated money-laundering laws. Manafort was able to strike a deal that avoided a money-laundering charge; perhaps Blanche will get to try the same with Trump.

Every Detail About Donald Trump’s Motorcade to New York for His Indictment Was Perfect

Who doesn’t need 11 SUVs to get to the airport?

Two men in suits stand in front of a black SUV
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump headed to the airport Monday to fly to New York for his arraignment in a motorcade that was 11 cars long.

Trump became the first former president ever to be criminally charged last week, when a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him for his role in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. He is due to be arraigned in a Manhattan court on Tuesday.

He headed up ahead of time with a perfectly reasonable number of cars in tow.

And since Twitter is not broken yet (despite Elon Musk’s best efforts), the internet had some jokes. Many people were quick to note that there was one white SUV among the black ones and drew a comparison to another infamous celebrity run-in with the law.

Some Trump supporters lined the road to show support for the former president, but as Fox News inadvertently pointed out, some of them were also law enforcement officers to prevent the “death & destruction” Trump called for.

Trump’s adviser Dan Scavino and son Eric Trump both posted videos that showed a thick crowd of fans. But network aerial coverage showed that the crowd was fairly sparse.

Most people were just confused about why Trump needed 11 SUVs to get him to the airport.

This post has been updated.

Florida Senate Passes Bill Banning Abortion After Six Weeks

This will have massive repercussions on abortion access in the South.

Sign reads: "Keep Your Laws Off My Body"
John Parra/Getty Images for MoveOn

The Florida Senate passed a bill Monday banning abortion after six weeks, a measure that is expected to quickly and easily become law.

Senate Bill 300 passed by a vote of 26–13. The bill prohibits abortion after six weeks, down from 15 weeks and before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the pregnant person’s life. However, two doctors have to agree the abortion was “necessary,” and the patient “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

“I know many of you fundamentally believe abortion is wrong. So guess what? No one is forcing you to have an abortion,” said Senator Tina Polsky. “But don’t tell me, my daughters, and all the daughters of Florida that they can’t do that if it’s right for them.”

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in early March and is still in committee hearings. Republicans hold a supermajority in the state legislature, and they and Governor Ron DeSantis are unlikely to face much opposition in their attempts to make the near-total abortion ban a reality.

The bill passed Monday would also ban individuals, government agencies, and public education institutions from using state funds to help someone travel out of state for an abortion, unless it is medically necessary to save the pregnant person’s life, or unless those groups are already legally required to use federal funds for such aid.

The bill would also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services to 85 percent, down from 90 percent. These services include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born. People can currently receive such support for up to a year after the child is born. The bill removes that element.

The measure removes the clause that specifically states abortion regulations “may not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” specifically stripping away people’s autonomy.

The vote was temporarily delayed when protesters shouted at Republican senators that “people will die” if the abortion ban is passed. The chamber took a 10-minute recess while security cleared the gallery.

If it becomes law, as it is expected to, S.B. 300 will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Florida currently allows abortion up to 15 weeks and has become an abortion haven in the region, as many neighboring states have imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Days After Nashville Shooting, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Quietly Signs Bill Allowing Permitless Carry

It is now legal to carry concealed firearms in Florida without a permit, training, or background checks.

Ron DeSantis closeup
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed a bill to allow people to carry concealed loaded guns without any permits, training, or background checks.

The change, the execution of a promise DeSantis had repeatedly made in the past, comes after it passed the state legislative chambers largely on party lines.

Florida now becomes the twenty-sixth state to allow permitless concealed carry. One study found states that pass such laws experience a 22 percent increase in gun homicide during the three years after the law’s passage.

The bill was first introduced in late January, and just hours later, a mass shooting in Lakeland, Florida, left 11 people injured. Now the bill’s passage comes in the wake of a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, that left three children and three adults dead.

The timing, as well as the mass unpopularity of gun deregulation amid what is now a continual cycle of mass shootings, explains why DeSantis passed it with little fanfare (compared to the ceremony he exhibits when signing bills like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, for example).

But, as with most changes Republicans pursue nowadays, permitless carry is massively unpopular.

A December poll showed 68 percent of voters in Miami-Dade opposing permitless carry,  including 65 percent of registered Republicans and 60 percent of voters who said they voted for DeSantis in November.

Moreover, once voters were told explicitly that the now-signed bill would allow anyone who can purchase a gun to carry it in public, opposition grew by 12, to 80 percent—with 81 percent of Hispanics and 69 percent of DeSantis voters being opposed to such a policy. And cutting against the bipartisan crime panic, more respondents attributed crime to lax gun laws than to a lack of police funding.

Another poll conducted last September yielded similar results, with 61 percent of Floridian voters opposed to permitless carry, including 71 percent of Hispanic voters.

Still—despite the unpopularity and the material threats such a bill introduces to his own people, all after yet another horrific mass shooting—DeSantis has now made it even easier for people to carry guns and schoolchildren to get murdered.