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Republicans Are Now Going After the Manhattan Judge’s Daughter in Attempt to Discredit the Indictment

This could incite political violence against the judge and his family.

Donald Trump Jr. sits at a table and points his finger angrily
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

As twice-impeached Donald Trump became the first former president to ever be criminally indicted and arrested, his sons and Marjorie Taylor Greene were busy circulating stories from right-wing outlets drawing attention to the daughter of the New York judge presiding over Trump’s hush-money payment case.

This is sure to become a future line of attack for Republicans seeking to dismiss the entire case against Trump.

In seeking to discredit Judge Juan Merchan, the far-right Republicans argue there is conspiracy given that Merchan’s daughter previously worked for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign.

They and others on the right argue that they’re simply sharing articles relevant to the trial. But given the heightened anger by some on the right as Trump confronts legal consequences, and given the precedent of conservative figures whipping up political violence, the fear is incitement against not only Merchan but his daughter as well—who has no involvement in the case at hand.

A Trump Tower Doorman Who Said Trump Had a Child Out of Wedlock Was Paid $30,000 in Hush Money

Well, this was unexpected.

Timothy A. Clary/Pool/Getty Images

Did Trump have a child out of wedlock?

Twice-impeached former President Donald Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records on Tuesday. Trump became the first former president ever to be indicted, for his role in disbursing hush-money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. And what else was among those payments? A $30,000 payment to a former Trump Tower doorman for their silence about a potential Trump child out of wedlock.

“In one instance, American Media Inc. (‘AMI’), paid $30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman, who claimed to have a story about a child TRUMP had out of wedlock,” the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Tuesday, referring to the company that owned The National Enquirer at the time.

While the case’s focus has largely been on Trump directing his former lawyer Michael Cohen to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels, another $30,000 appears to have been spent elsewhere.

“During the election, TRUMP and others employed a ‘catch and kill’ scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects,” the district attorney’s office noted. “TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws.”

Though the district attorney’s office did not specify, it seems the doorman might be Dino Sajudin, according to a 2018 report from The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. Sajudin allegedly told a National Enquirer reporter that Trump had possibly fathered a child out of wedlock with a former housekeeper. Sajudin apparently passed a lie detector test on the idea, prompting AMI to pay him for the exclusive rights to the story, all in order to kill it.

While the payment has been previously confirmed by other outlets and now affirmed in the district attorney’s statement of facts, there has not been confirmation on the affair, or whether a child came out of it, by any of the alleged involved parties. AMI also later concluded that the story was false, as the Manhattan district attorney’s office noted.

The housekeeper in question has denied the affair’s existence. “This is all fake,” she previously told the Associated Press.

So it’s not certain whether this child exists or with whom Trump may have allegedly had the affair, or even who the doorman was. But the new revelation adds yet another dimension to the financial entanglements Trump wound himself into in order to buy people’s silence.

This post has been updated.

Here Are the Exact Charges Against Donald Trump

The former president is facing 34 counts.

Former President Donald Trump facing criminal charges at the Manhattan Criminal Court on April 4.

Donald Trump was charged Tuesday with 34 counts of business fraud. He pleaded not guilty to all of them.

Trump became the first former president ever to be criminally charged last week when a Manhattan grand jury indicted him for his role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He has rejected all allegations, even posting a denial on Truth Social as he was being driven to a Manhattan court for arraignment.

The charges were unsealed after his arraignment Tuesday afternoon. Trump is accused of knowingly participating in a $130,000 payment made by his then–personal attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels just days before the 2016 election to stop her from going public about a decade-old extramarital affair.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Statement of Facts refers to another 2016 hush-money payment of $150,000 to a second woman, who is assumed to be former Playboy model Karen McDougal, again to keep her quiet about an affair from 2006.

And perhaps most shocking and unexpected, it also refers to a $30,000 payment from American Media Inc., or AMI, then parent company of the National Enquirer, to a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have a story about Trump having a child out of wedlock.

Neither the indictment nor the Statement of Facts mentions Daniels or McDougal by name.

This is just the start of Trump’s legal woes. He is also under investigation for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, for his role in the January 6 insurrection, and for his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

He could go on trial as soon as late April for allegedly defaming writer E. Jean Carroll, who has also accused Trump of raping her.

Read through the 16-page indictment here.

This post has been updated.

Here’s the Moment Trump Was Officially Arrested

The former president surrendered to arrest for criminal charges.

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Almost eight years after he announced his bid for presidency, and seven years after “Lock Her Up” became a calling chorus for his supporters, twice-impeached former President Donald Trump has been arrested.

On Tuesday, Trump surrendered to authorities as he faces over 30 criminal charges for his role in paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels to silence her from speaking out about an alleged affair the pair shared.

Here’s the moment Trump surrendered.

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.