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Vivek Ramaswamy Wants to Give Putin Whatever He Wants in Ukraine

“Our goal should not be for Putin to lose,” the Republican candidate boldly claimed.

Ivan Apfel/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has a reckless plan for achieving U.S. global dominance: giving away other countries’ territory.

Ramaswamy is already under fire for his objectively terrible plan to let China invade Taiwan after 2028 if he were elected. Now, the presidential hopeful thinks that Russia should be allowed to keep the parts of Ukraine it currently occupies.

“Our goal should not be for Putin to lose. Our goal should be for America to win,” Ramaswamy told CNN Thursday night.

Ramaswamy said that U.S. involvement in Ukraine is strengthening the RussiaChina military alliance—and the only way to break that alliance and bring Russia around to the American side is to give Vladimir Putin what he wants.

“I would freeze the current lines of control, and that would leave parts of the Donbas region with Russia,” Ramaswamy explained. “I would also further make a commitment that NATO will not admit Ukraine to NATO. But there are even greater wins that I will get for the United States.”

Ramaswamy seems to be under multiple false impressions with this diplomatic plan, the first being that the United States has the authority to simply give away parts of another sovereign nation. He also appears to believe that if he visits Moscow, he can single-handedly buddy up to Putin enough to convince the Russian leader to drop a highly advantageous military alliance.

And as anchor Jim Acosta rightly pointed out, Putin is unlikely to stop with Ukraine. He wasn’t satisfied with annexing Crimea in 2014 and now wants all of Ukraine. If he is allowed to keep parts of Ukraine, it’s possible that he’ll try to invade somewhere else such as Poland, a NATO member—which would require military intervention from the rest of the members.

This plan is just as bad as Ramaswamy’s strategy for Taiwan. Earlier this week, Ramaswamy proposed letting China take over Taiwan after 2028, which he believes is when the U.S. would build up its own supply of semiconductors. Taiwan produces about 60 percent of the global supply of semiconductors, which are microchips crucial to making all electronic devices.

Ramaswamy said he intends to dramatically up the firepower around Taiwan during his first term, to make clear to Beijing that they should “not mess” with the island until the U.S. has semiconductor independence. After that, China can do whatever it wants. It did not seem to occur to him that China would likely interpret these moves as acts of aggression and respond in kind. Nor does he seem to realize that it’s highly unlikely China would listen to his proposed arrangement.

But despite his only campaign points being battling “wokeness,” taking away rights, and, apparently, allowing authoritarian governments to do whatever they want, Ramaswamy is somehow rising in the polls.

Georgia Republicans Want to Impeach Fani Willis. They’re Going to Fail.

Republicans are so mad about Trump’s indictment they’re going after Fani Willis.

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

A Republican Georgia state senator is so mad that Donald Trump was indicted that he is moving to impeach the investigating district attorney—even though his plan has no chance of working.

Trump was indicted for a historic fourth time late Monday, and charged with racketeering for trying to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. District Attorney Fani Willis spent more than two years investigating the former president and building her case against him and 18 co-defendants.

As a Georgia State Senator, I am officially calling for an emergency session to review the actions of Fani Willis,” Senator Colton Moore tweeted Thursday. “America is under attack. I’m not going to sit back and watch as radical left prosecutors politically TARGET political opponents.”

Moore called to strip funding from Willis’s office and impeach her. He shared a letter to Governor Brian Kemp, stating that the “undersigned” members of Congress, “comprising ⅗ of each respective house pursuant to Article IV, Section Il, Paragraph VI(b)” urged him to call a special session.

Here’s where Moore’s plan falls apart. In order to call a special session, either the governor or three-fifths of both the state House and Senate have to call one. This is clearly laid out in Article V of the Georgia state constitution. (Moore cites Article IV, which deals with the venue for a civil lawsuit.)

Moore also is the only member of the state legislature who has signed the letter. While Republicans have the majority in the state assembly, they only make up three-fifths of the Senate. House Democrats are unlikely to agree to Moore’s proposal.

Kemp is also unlikely to call a special session. He has been one of the most vocal Republicans to rejecte Trump’s claims that the Georgia election was fraudulent.

And even if a special session were somehow convened, the budget for Willis’s office is set by the Fulton County Commission, not the state assembly. So Moore’s plan holds absolutely no water. Instead, he and other Republicans are simply having a tantrum over Trump being held accountable.

Desperate Rudy Giuliani Visited Mar-a-Lago to Beg Trump for Help With Legal Fees

Things are not looking very good for Trump’s former lawyer.

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A desperate Rudy Giuliani traveled all the way to Mar-a-Lago to beg Donald Trump to pay his legal bills—but the former president didn’t seem all that interested in donating, according to a new CNN report

Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello visited the former president in April, in the hopes that an in-person appeal to Trump would better persuade him to help pay for Giuliani’s steadily growing legal bills.

Giuliani and Costello met with Trump twice while visiting Mar-a-Lago, and while Trump verbally agreed to pay some of Giuliani’s bills, he was unspecific about how much he’d be offering and didn’t give a timeline for his financial support.

“It’s not a smart idea” for Trump to deny Giuliani’s request for funds, a source told CNN.

Trump, of course, is notorious for not paying his legal team, but he may want to stay in Giuliani’s good graces in the wake of the newest indictment out of Fulton County, Georgia. 

On Monday, Giuliani was indicted along with Trump and 17 other co-defendants for helping to overturn the 2020 election. Giuliani faces 13 charges, including racketeering. It is likely that Giuliani will be under immense pressure to cooperate with federal and state prosecutors.

Trump did make some small promises to Giuliani, sources say. He agreed to stop by two fundraisers for Giuliani, and to cover an outstanding fee from Trustpoint, a data vendor hosting Giuliani’s records. A few months after their meeting, Trump’s Save America PAC paid $340,000 to Trustpoint.

Giuliani has been in dire straits for months and is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills.

At a hearing on Wednesday in the ongoing defamation lawsuit against the former mayor brought by Smartmatic, the voting technology company, another attorney for Giuliani told the judge that Giuliani does not have the money to pay additional legal costs to produce records for that case.

“There are a lot of bills that he’s not paying,” Giuliani’s attorney Adam Katz said at the hearing. “I think this is very humbling for Mr. Giuliani.” 

With the new indictment, Smartmatic’s defamation suit, his former associate’s sexual abuse lawsuit against him, and yet another lawsuit over an anti-Biden documentary scam, this is looking like it will be a very expensive year for the former mayor. If only his partner in crime were willing to foot the bill.

New Explosive Roger Stone Video Dooms Donald Trump’s Main Legal Defense

The video was filmed before the election results had even been announced.

Roger Stone
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

New explosive footage of Roger Stone strategizing to overturn the 2020 presidential election—before the vote was even called for Joe Biden—dooms Donald Trump’s main legal defense.

The video, aired on MSNBC Wednesday night and shot by filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen, depicts the right-wing lobbyist dictating a fake elector plot in key battleground states. The video was taken on November 5, 2020, two days before the election was called, thus disproving Trump’s main defense that he and his allies genuinely believed they had won the race.

“Any legislative body may decide on the basis of overwhelming evidence of fraud to send electors to the electoral college who accurately reflect the president’s legitimate victory in their state which was illegally denied him through fraud,” Stone said, as an associate transcribed his words. “We must be prepared to lobby our Republican legislatures … by personal contact and by demonstrating the overwhelming will of the people in their state—in each state—that this may need to happen.”

Trump was indicted for the fourth time and charged with 13 counts in Georgia on Monday.

Stone is not named as a co-defendant in the indictment. He could, however, potentially be one of the 30 unnamed, co-conspirators.

The clip was part of Guldbrandsen’s documentary, A Storm Foretold, released in March of this year. Guldbrandsen told The Daily Beast that Stone was “upset” when the documentary aired.

In another clip from the documentary taken on November 1, 2020, Stone said Trump needed to claim victory early on election night.

“I really do suspect it’ll still be up in the air. When that happens, the key thing to do is to claim victory. Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” he said.

Florida Republicans’ New Plan Is to Fine Abortion Clinics Into Bankruptcy

A major abortion clinic in Florida is facing a $200,000 fine, as Republicans continue their attacks on reproductive rights.

John Parra/Getty Images for MoveOn
An abortion rights activist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida health regulators have fined an Orlando abortion clinic nearly $200,000, a move that is purportedly for violating a state abortion law and would likely bankrupt the health center into closing.

Abortion is currently legal up to 15 weeks in Florida, but patients are required to wait 24 hours between the initial visit with their doctor and getting an abortion. The state legislature passed a law mandating the waiting period in 2015, but it did not go into effect until 2022.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration said that the Orlando Women’s Center has violated the waiting period 193 times since the law took effect, and on Monday ordered the abortion clinic to pay a $1,000 fine for each violation.

The total $193,000 total is nearly triple the fine that a judge recommended in the spring. Administrative law Judge J. Bruce Culpepper issued an order that said the clinic should only pay $350 per violation.

The clinic said in court filings that it repeatedly asked the AHCA, which is led by a Ron DeSantis appointee, when the waiting-period law went into effect, but they never heard back. The AHCA has made multiple efforts to fine abortion clinics for not complying with this particular law.

Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani, who represents Orlando, slammed the fine. “This is a local abortion provider that is being charged excessive fees by AHCA all designed to shut them down,” she said Thursday on Twitter. She also shared a fundraiser for the Orlando Women’s Center organized by a group of abortion clinic escorts, who help guide patients past protesters.

Florida’s 15-week abortion ban will go before the state Supreme Court in September. If the court upholds the law, then an even more restrictive measure banning abortion at six weeks—before people know they are pregnant—will go into effect.

DeSantis signed the hugely unpopular six-week ban in April. If it is implemented, it will decimate abortion access for much of the southern United States.

Meanwhile, the pro-abortion group Floridians Protecting Freedom is working to get an abortion rights referendum on the state’s 2024 ballot. The group says they have collected nearly three quarters of the 900,000 verified signatures from registered voters required for the ballot initiative.

If they succeed, then abortion protections would likely be enshrined in the state constitution, overriding any laws the legislature has passed. A February study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 64 percent of Floridians believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Trump’s Lawyers Beg Him to Cancel Press Conference on “Rigged” 2020 Election

Trump promised to show proof of voter fraud in the 2020 election—and his lawyers are very worried.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s legal team is begging him to abort his stupid plan to publicly refute the newest indictment against him by proving voter fraud in the 2020 Georgia election.

After his fourth indictment late on Monday, the former president promised to hold a press conference in Bedminster, New Jersey, and finally show irrefutable proof that the Georgia election was rigged.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump claimed to have a “Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud which took place in Georgia.” But now, his own team is trying to prevent him from delivering it.

Trump’s legal advisers have told him that holding a press conference to refute the charges against him will only serve to embroil him in a more messy legal situation, sources told ABC News. Some of his attorneys have even advised him to cancel the event altogether.

For once, listening to his lawyers may be wise, especially considering that next week is going to be very busy for Trump, what with the whole turning-himself-in thing. Not to mention, the first Republican presidential debate is set for August 23, just two days before the deadline for Trump and his 18 co-defendants to turn themselves in.

Trump has said he’s still thinking about whether or not to attend, but now he may be planning to use his arrest to upstage his opponents on the day.

“We Will Kill You”: Trump Supporters Threaten Judge, Jurors Amid Indictments

Trump is facing four indictments—and his supporters are setting out to hurt those trying to hold him accountable.

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Trump supporters cheer while Donald Trump delivers remarks in Windham, New Hampshire, on August 8.

“You are in our sights, we want to kill you.”

This was the totally normal, not-at-all terrifying voicemail that a Donald Trump supporter left for Judge Tanya Chutkan, the U.S. District Court judge in Washington who is presiding over one of the former president’s indictment cases.

A Texas woman was arrested Wednesday for making this threatening call to Chutkan. Abigail Jo Shry called Chutkan’s chambers on August 5, two days after Trump was indicted in Washington, D.C., for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Shry called Chutkan, who is Black, a “stupid slave” and said the judge would be “targeted personally, publicly, your family, all of it.” Shry warned that “if Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you.”

When she was arrested, Shry admitted that she had also threatened to kill Texas Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, who is also Black.

The same day that Shry was arrested, the grand jurors who indicted Trump in Georgia were doxxed, meaning that their personal information was shared online. Georgia is one of the few states that publishes the names of jurors for the sake of transparency in criminal proceedings.

Internet users have shared the grand jurors names and addresses on far-right message boards and made violent threats against them. One user on the message board where the QAnon conspiracy theory began threatened to “follow these people home and photograph their faces.”

A user on another message board described the jurors’ names as a “hit list.” Another user responded, “Godspeed anons, you have all the long range rifles in the world.”

Yet another user said they were “about ready to go Turner Diaries on these treasonous n***** fucks,” referring to a gruesome white supremacist book, written by a neo-Nazi leader, that has inspired multiple acts of violence.

It should come as no surprise that the people involved in holding Trump accountable, particularly people of color, are under threat from his supporters. Trump supporters rioted on January 6, with many arguing Trump himself had summoned them to Washington. Acts of extremist political violence are on the rise, and many can be traced directly back to Trump’s own rhetoric.

Matt Gaetz Admits Biden Impeachment Is Really About Helping Republicans in 2024


Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Representative Matt Gaetz has finally said the quiet part out loud: Republicans don’t have enough evidence to impeach and convict Joe Biden. They just want to make him look bad enough that he loses the 2024 election.

Republicans have insisted for months that Biden is guilty of corruption and influence peddling overseas, despite producing no actual evidence. Many in the GOP, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, are starting to suggest opening an impeachment inquiry into Biden so that they can access more information and witnesses that will supposedly lead them to the truth.

But Gaetz said that Republicans should go straight to impeachment proceedings, not just an inquiry. “The purpose of that impeachment, from my standpoint, is not to force a vote that loses,” he said during a Twitter Space on Monday night. “It’s to put on a trial in the Senate, and by the way, not for the sake of conviction.”

“There’s no conviction and removal of Joe Biden coming on impeachment. I know that. You know that,” Gaetz said, although he blamed that on the Senate being controlled by Democrats, not the utter lack of proof.

Gaetz argued that Republicans should impeach Biden in order to put him on trial. But “the jury is the American people.”

“If we had the Senate as the stage and the platform for James Comer to put on his evidence and advance this impeachment, it will not result in a conviction,” Gaetz said, referring to the chair of the House Oversight Committee, who has been leading the charge against Biden.

“But the true verdict can still be rendered by the American people.”

Republicans are reportedly planning to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden in the fall. McCarthy insisted that such an inquiry would not be for political purposes, a pointed dig at the president, whom Republicans accuse of weaponizing the government to go after Donald Trump.

But all of the investigations into Biden are absolutely for political purposes. House Republicans have mobilized multiple committees to go after the Biden family. There has yet to be any proof of wrongdoing, but Republicans have used the investigations as excuses to trash Biden, attack policies they don’t like such as immigration, and share his son’s nude photos.

An impeachment inquiry, and certainly a full-on impeachment, would take that governmental weaponization to the next level.

Abortion Pill Case Moves One Step Closer to Anti-Choice Supreme Court

Mifepristone is still available, but it may not be for much longer.

Sha Hanting/China News Service/VCG/Getty Images

The battle over access to the abortion pill mifepristone got one step closer to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, as the future of the medication—which is currently still available—grows more uncertain.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the drug is safe. The Justice Department is expected to appeal the decision to the conservative-majority Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

Mifepristone’s status currently remains unchanged, because the Supreme Court in April halted lower court rulings that would have yanked the pill from the market. Mifepristone will remain nationally available until the Supreme Court hears and rules on the lawsuit.

A coalition of anti-abortion groups, represented by the extremist legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, sued to block access to mifepristone in November. They specifically brought the case in Texas, where they were likely to get Trump-appointed, ultra-conservative Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.

Kacsmaryk ruled in April that mifepristone had been improperly approved and should be yanked from the U.S. market. The Department of Justice appealed the decision, first to the Fifth Circuit Court, which only partially stayed the ruling. The Justice Department then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which issued a temporary stay while the lawsuit plays out.

Kacsmaryk’s initial ruling hinges on several heavily biased “studies,” one of which claims to find most people who had medication abortions reported negative effects. The sample size was 98 blog posts from an anti-abortion website. The study authors only analyzed 54 posts and then just cherry-picked quotes from the rest.

Another study, which Kacsmaryk cited as proof of “adverse effects” from the abortion pill, is now under investigation for author bias and massively misrepresented findings.

Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions performed in the United States. These drugs can be ordered online and delivered via mail, making them a key resource for people who live in states that have cracked down on abortion access since Roe was overturned.

A bigger issue at play, in this case, is that nonelected judges who do not have medical backgrounds are now making decisions about medication. When the lawsuit first began to play out, Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, told The New Republic, “The question for appellate courts is not just about abortion but about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

The Texas case “undermined” the FDA’s authority, she said. “To take seriously that it ignored risks, risks unsupported by any credible evidence, suggests questions as to what federal courts might decide about other federal agencies’ decisions.”

Donald Trump Might Just Time His Arrest to Get Out of the Republican Debate

The Republican frontrunner, everyone.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Donald Trump

Donald Trump may soon decide that he prefers being publicly arrested over debating his fellow Republican presidential candidates.

Trump, who has said he’s not sure if he will not participate in the first Republican primary debate, was indicted for a record fourth time on Monday. A date has not yet been set for his arraignment, but he and his 18 co-defendants have until August 25 at noon to turn themselves in. The debate will be the night of August 23.

So Trump could easily arrange to appear at the Fulton County courthouse the day of the debate, ensuring that all eyes will be on him instead of his opponents.

“That’d be smart,” one former Trump campaign aide, speaking anonymously, told NBC.

Besides, “there’s no reason he should debate,” the aide said, referring to Trump’s massive lead over the other candidates. (Trump should, of course, have to participate in the debate and explain his policy ideas to voters.)

Another source close to Trump, also speaking anonymously, suggested the former president could turn himself in the day after the debate, preventing another candidate from gaining any momentum in the headlines.

“He should do it the day after the debate to suck up all the post-debate coverage,” the source told NBC. “That way even if another candidate has some sort of ‘moment’ at the debate, it falls into a black hole, press-wise.”

Trump announced two weeks ago that he has no intention of participating in the debate, adding on Truth Social that the other candidates should “so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!” Since then, he has said he’s still thinking about it, but he also said he won’t sign the Republican loyalty pledge required to participate.

Trump also is on increasingly bad terms with Fox News, which is broadcasting the debate. He called Fox a “hostile network” and has criticized his former favorite network for not covering his campaign events.

Even so, Fox executives have begged Trump to take part in the debate. He reportedly had dinner with Fox News president Jay Wallace and chief executive Suzanne Scott, during which they urged him to participate, just hours after he was indicted for a third time.