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Trump’s Old Lawyers Aren’t Extreme Enough for Him Anymore. That’s Terrifying.

Donald Trump is reportedly looking for an entirely new breed of lawyers to push his far-right agenda in a second term.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The hard-line conservative Federalist Society attorneys who worked for Donald Trump are apparently no longer extreme enough for the former president.

Trump allies have been working overtime to stock Trump’s potential second term with staff even further right on the political spectrum, reported The New York Times. The effort is intended to stifle any political dissent amongst Trump’s top legal aides, who at times objected to harsher immigration policies or the former president’s desire for a tighter grip on the Justice Department, according to the outlet.

Leading the effort are Stephen Miller and John McEntee, both of whom advised Trump during his last presidency and are expected to play key roles should Trump reclaim the Oval Office. McEntee, in particular, has prior experience rooting out obstructive staffers—in 2020, he was appointed to sniff out those working against Trump’s agenda, as Trump’s personnel chief.

Trump’s administration turned to the Federalist Society to staff executive branch legal roles in the opening days of his presidency—but that will no longer be the case. Instead, his allies are looking for a new style of lawyer to serve as executive branch gatekeepers, turning to different recruitment pipelines to supply Trump with more radical voices should he win a second term.

The Federalist Society, a conservative standby baked into the crust of D.C., was infamously behind the Supreme Court’s hard-right turn. Five of the high court’s current justices were part of the organization, with its co-chairman, Leonard Leo, behind the nomination and confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Other members include Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Todd Young.

Leo is also under investigation by the D.C. attorney general for transferring funds to the tune of $73 million from his nonprofit groups to one of his for-profit companies.

What Is Happening With Mike Johnson’s Money?

A new report reveals House Speaker Mike Johnson doesn’t have a single bank account. So where the hell is his money?

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House Speaker Mike Johnson makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year but apparently does not have a bank account, a new report revealed Wednesday.

Johnson was first elected in 2016 and has served on the Hill ever since. In all seven financial disclosure forms he submitted for those years, he has not mentioned holding a single bank account, The Daily Beast reported.

The House Ethics Committee requires members of Congress to disclose all of their household’s bank accounts if the accounts each hold at least $1,000 and have a combined value of more than $5,000. Johnson has made at least $174,000 per year from the combination of his representative salary and any additional payments he received, such as from a teaching appearance. Johnson’s wife has two streams of income, from two different employers.

But on his financial disclosures, Johnson has listed only one asset: a retirement account. In 2016, he listed a state government Fidelity account valued between $1,000 and $15,000. He transferred those savings to a Thrift Savings plan, a federal program, the following year. Johnson appears to have cashed out the entire account in 2021, because he lists no assets at all on his 2022 form.

Johnson’s disclosure forms are remarkably sparse. He lists almost no travel reimbursements or gifts, and relatively little external income.

But Johnson does owe a lot of money. Every year, he has listed a mortgage on which he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars and a personal loan on which he owes tens of thousands. In 2019, he opened up a home equity line of credit, also worth tens of thousands of dollars.

It is, of course, possible that Johnson really has no bank accounts and just keeps all his money in sacks of cash hidden under his mattress. Another explanation could be that he has selective amnesia and has forgotten to disclose his assets for seven years. But several ethics experts offered another reason: Johnson is terrible at managing the money he makes and may be in massive debt.

“He owes hundreds of thousands of dollars between a mortgage, personal loan, and home equity line of credit, so where did that money go?” Jordan Libowitz, the communications director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told The Daily Beast. “If he truly has no bank account and no assets, it raises questions about his personal financial wellbeing.”

Uh, WTF? Michigan Republican Awards Two Men Acquitted in Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

A Michigan Republican lawmaker seems to be encouraging political violence with this tribute.

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

A Republican Michigan state representative has given a legislative tribute honoring the “courage” of two men who were acquitted in the failed attempt to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Brothers William and Michael Null were two of 14 men who tried to kidnap Whitmer in 2020, in opposition to her Covid-19 safety policies. The brothers were acquitted in mid-September on a weapons charge and charges of allegedly supporting a terrorist act.

State Representative Rachelle Smit gave a legislative tribute to the Nulls and their lawyers on Friday. Michael Null’s attorney Tom Siver posted a photo of the brothers’ awards on Facebook.

The certificates said the men were being “honored for [their] courage, unflagging spirit, and dedication to our State and the founding principles of our beloved Nation.”

Smit’s tribute accused the state government of unjustly imprisoning the Nulls, as well as the dozen other men who were charged with trying to kidnap the governor. The tribute also accused Whitmer of weaponizing the government’s “secret police,” as well as of corruption and tyranny.

The Null twins are among five men who were acquitted of the kidnap plot. The other nine were convicted or accepted plea deals.

Whitmer’s office slammed Smit’s tribute as “disturbing.”

“This goes beyond the pale,” spokeswoman Stacey LaRouche said. “These types of actions normalize and incite violence against our political figures, and only serve to shake our faith in our values and our institutions.”

“This tribute will further encourage and embolden radical extremists trying to sow discord and harm public officials or law enforcement.”

There have been increasing attacks on political officials, many of which can be linked directly back to violent rhetoric from Donald Trump and his allies. Targets often include politicians who either embrace progressive causes or appear to oppose Trump in some way.

In addition to the kidnapping plot, Whitmer also appeared on the hit list of a gunman who is accused of fatally shooting a retired Wisconsin county judge. The list featured Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

Trump Melts Down as Idiot Sons Are Set to Take the Stand

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are scheduled to testify in the New York fraud trial. Donald is not handling it well.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump appeared to be having a bit of a meltdown online, just hours ahead of his sons’ testimony in their New York bank fraud trial.

Trump and his two sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are defendants in the $250 million case brought forward by New York Attorney General Letitita James with hopes of barring the three from running New York businesses. So far, Judge Arthur Engoron has ruled that the trio committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates. Trump is also fighting hard to appeal that decision.

Trump Jr. is set to testify in the case on Wednesday afternoon, and Eric is set to take the stand on Thursday.

Despite having received two gag orders already in the case, along with $15,000 in combined fines, Trump chose Truth Social to let off some steam, attacking the judge, the attorney general, and witnesses.

In one post late into Tuesday night, Trump accused James, a Black woman, of being “racist” and former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who provided bombshell testimony last week on how Trump lied about his assets, a “sleazebag lawyer.”

Above all, Trump seemed concerned with damage control around his perceived net worth.

“Additionally, however, the Financial Statements Values are Conservative (LOW!), Mar-a-Lago is worth MUCH MORE than $18,000,000, there is a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the [first] page of the Statements, the Banks and Insurance Companies were paid in full, no defaults, they all made money, and there is no Victim (except me!),” Trump posted.

“Leave my children alone, Engoron. You are a disgrace to the legal profession!” he added.

Hours later, Trump was awake and posting again, this time upset that the prosecution had brought up a “low ball offer” he made in 2014 to buy the Buffalo Bills.

“Someone else offered much more, so what? Now they come up with something called ‘disgorgement.’ I never even heard of the term. WITCH HUNT!!! ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!” Trump wrote.

In a final post that seemed to conclude his rant, Trump lambasted Engoron for being biased due to the gag order and the lack of a jury, both things that were Trump’s own doing. Trump also seemed upset that the trial hadn’t experienced more delays, likening the swiftness of the trial’s onset to being “railroaded.”

“Engoron is crazy, totally unhinged, and dangerous—Our Judicial System has gone to HELL,” Trump posted.

What Trump’s Reduced Us to: Supreme Court Hears Case Relating to Trump’s Anatomy

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on a T-shirt mocking a specific body part of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday about whether a California man can trademark a phrase mocking Donald Trump as “too small.”

Labor lawyer Stephen Elster created a line of T-shirts that describe Trump as “too small” on a variety of social and political issues, with a healthy dose of innuendo thrown in. The slogan refers to an exchange during a 2016 presidential debate, when Marco Rubio accused Trump of having small hands. Trump, who is notoriously thin-skinned, has been unable to escape the barb since.

Elster tried to trademark the phrase “Trump too small” in 2018, but the Patent and Trademark Office denied his request. Wednesday’s lawsuit hinges on the question of whether a trademark can refer to a person. Federal law prohibits trademarks that refer to a person without that person’s consent. But last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that that law was in violation of the First Amendment, because it limits “speech critical of government officials or public figures.”


The Supreme Court has previously avoided taking up cases related to Trump, denying his request to intervene when Congress sought his tax records or when he lost the 2020 election, among other instances. But clearly, the justices can’t ignore Trump much longer.

Trump isn’t even a party in the Elster case—it just includes his name. But Trump himself is facing down a barrage of legal issues that will likely reach the level of the nation’s highest court.

Trump’s legal team may appeal the gag order recently imposed by Judge Tanya Chutkan in his trial for trying to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has also repeatedly argued that he has presidential immunity from prosecution, and the Supreme Court may need to weigh in on that matter. Two lawsuits seek to bar Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot, and both are expected to reach the Supreme Court, as well.

You Thought a Heart Attack Might Make Tommy Tuberville Drop Holds? Think Again.

A top Marine commander was just hospitalized, but Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville still won’t budge on his military holds.

Tommy Tuberville
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Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville

The Marine Corps’s chief officer has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, leaving the military branch scrambling to fill gaps in leadership caused by Senator Tommy Tuberville’s block on military promotions. And no, the Republican senator won’t let up.

General Eric Smith collapsed while jogging Sunday and has been hospitalized, The New York Times reported. The Marines announced the following day that Lieutenant General Karsten Heckl would serve as acting commandant while Smith is out of commission.

The Marines then corrected their own announcement, saying that Heckl would only be “performing the duties” of commandant.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that Tuberville’s blockade on military promotions has prevented the Marines—and all branches of the military—from filling many leadership positions. Smith is one of just three generals who has been confirmed to a new position since February. He has been working as both commandant and his own assistant commandant since mid-September because the Senate has been unable to confirm an official deputy for him. There is no indication that his workload contributed to his heart attack, but working two jobs likely didn’t help.

Heckl has also been working multiple jobs due to Tuberville’s blockade. This is likely why he is only performing the commandant’s duties instead of completely taking over the role until Smith returns: He already has several balls he needs to keep in the air.

Tuberville has blocked more than 300 promotions since March in protest over the Defense Department’s policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to go out of state for an abortion. The department has repeatedly warned that the blockade, which at one point left three branches of the military without official leaders, harms U.S. national security.

Smith’s health crisis is the clearest sign yet of how much damage Tuberville is causing. The Marines are technically without an official leader for the foreseeable future. This will make it that much more complicated for the military branch to do anything.

If there was any hope that Smith’s heart attack would force Tuberville to admit he is wrong, there is no such luck. Tuberville told reporters Tuesday that he is considering calling for a floor vote on Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney’s nomination for Marine Corps assistant commandant.

But he still refuses to budge on any of the other hundreds of nominations that he is holding up. “If they move the policy back, then we’ll drop ’em all,” he said, referring to the abortion policy.

The Pentagon, however, says the policy isn’t going anywhere. “That just would be an egregious violation of the covenant that we make, the military makes, with the people that sign up and volunteer,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said earlier this month when asked why the department doesn’t drop the policy.

“When they volunteer for that duty, they have every right to expect that they’re going to get the health care they need.”

He Went There: Top U.N. Official Resigns, Citing “Genocide” in Gaza

A top human rights official has stepped down, accusing the United Nations of failing in its duty.

Ashraf Amra/Anadolu/Getty Images

A director of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights has resigned, issuing a lengthy letter condemning the organization, the U.S., and Western media companies for their positions on the war between Israel and Hamas, which he described as a “text-book case of genocide.”

“Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it,” wrote Craig Mokhiber, the group’s New York office director, who had worked with the U.N. for more than three decades.

“The current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist colonial settler ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt.”

In the four-page letter announcing his departure, Mokhiber also called for the U.N. to adopt a 10-point plan focusing on things like: the abandonment of the two-state solution; acknowledgment of Israel’s effort to colonize and dispossess “an indigenous population on the basis of their ethnicity”; fighting apartheid; the return and compensation of displaced Palestinians; a full-scale U.N. investigation; the issuance of a “protection force” for Palestinians; the disarmament of Israel, including its nuclear capabilities; and an end to the “flow of Israel lobbyists to the offices of UN leaders.”

In place of the two-state solution, Mokhiber called for the support of a single, secular democratic state for all the people of historic Palestine.

“What’s more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault,” Mokhiber wrote, lambasting the countries for “refusing” to meet their treaty obligations with respect to the Geneva Conventions, and instead “arming the assault” while providing economic and intelligence support to Israel and providing it cover for its atrocities against thousands of innocent civilians and refugees.

CNN Host Left Stunned as IDF Confirms Israel Hit Refugee Camp With Airstrike

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer seemed at a loss for words at the justification being used to bomb a refugee camp in Gaza.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was left stunned on Tuesday as an Israel Defence Forces spokesman confirmed that Israel was responsible for the bombing of a refugee camp in Gaza.

Blitzer was doing an interview with IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht on the bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp earlier in the day. The IDF said the airstrike on the refugee camp killed Hamas’s central Jabalya battalion, Ibrahim Biari, as well as a few other Hamas militants. The director of a nearby hospital estimated that at least 50 people were killed.

Blitzer pressed Hecht on the logic involved in Israel’s decision to target the refugee camp.

“But even if that Hamas commander was there amidst all those Palestinian refugees who are in that Jabalya refugee camp, Israel still went ahead and dropped a bomb there attempting to kill this Hamas commander knowing that a lot of innocent civilians—men, women, and children—presumably would be killed?” Blitzer asked. “Is that what I’m hearing?”

“That’s not what you’re hearing,” Hect replied. “This is a very complicated battlespace. There could be infrastructure there, there could be tunnels there. We’re still looking into it.”

“But you know that there are a lot of refugees, a lot of innocent civilians—men, women, and children—in that refugee camp as well, right?” Blitzer asked again.

“This is the tragedy of war, Wolf. We as you know, we’ve been saying for days, move south. Civilians who are not involved with Hamas, please move south.”

“Yeah I’m just trying to get a bit more information. You knew there were civilians there, you knew there were refugees, all sorts of refugees, but you decided to still drop a bomb on that refugee camp attempting to kill this Hamas commander.”

“Belongs in Jail”: Billionaire Republican Donor Warns Against Trump

Leon Cooperman issued a clear public rebuke of the Republican Party’s front-runner.

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A hedge fund billionaire and GOP megadonor has a message for voters: Stay clear of Trump.

Leon Cooperman, chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, blasted the former president in a call with CNN last week, insisting that Trump cannot return to the Oval Office.

“It would be terrible for the country if Donald Trump were reelected,” Cooperman told CNN in a phone interview late last week. “He’s a divisive human being who belongs in jail.”

Trump is currently staring down 91 felony charges across four criminal cases, including 44 federal charges and 47 state charges. Trump has denied wrongdoing in all of them.

It’s not the first time that Cooperman has gone on the attack with Trump. Last year, the CEO told the PBD Podcast that he would rather take a chance with progressives than put a “would-be dictator into a second term where he has no allegiance to anybody but himself.”

Cooperman admitted he “reluctantly” voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, but he has a long history of supporting the political ambitions of right-wing candidates, including the late Senator John McCain, Senator Marco Rubio, former President George W. Bush, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to OpenSecrets.

Cooperman also said that both Biden and Trump are “bad choices,” making a long-shot prediction that neither of them will be their party’s nominee this time next year. If they reach the ballot, however, he told CNN he won’t vote.

Instead, the executive is hunting for a more centrist option. According to Federal Election Commission records, in August Cooperman donated $1,000 to the 2024 presidential campaign of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who himself has come out in full force against Trump’s candidacy.

Biden’s Israel Stance Could Cost Him Key Swing States in 2024

A new poll finds that Arab American support has plummeted drastically due to Biden’s position on Israel. That could cost him.

People gather in downtown Detroit to call for a cease-fire and voice their support for Palestine on October 28.

President Joe Biden’s stance on Israel has caused his support levels among Arab Americans to plummet, a result that could cost him a key swing state (or several) in the 2024 presidential election.

Since fighting broke out between Israel and Palestine, Biden has pledged total support to Tel Aviv. He only recently changed his stance to call for a humanitarian pause—instead of a complete cease-fire—so that aid can enter Gaza and foreigners can evacuate.

His position could cost him dearly. A poll conducted by the Arab American Institute following the outbreak of violence in Palestine and Israel found that support for Biden among Arab Americans has more than halved since 2020.

Just 17 percent of Arab American voters support the president, down from 59 percent during the previous election cycle—a 42 percent drop. Two-thirds of Arab Americans disagree with Biden’s response to the violence in Israel and Palestine.

“This is the most dramatic shift over the shortest period of time that I’ve ever seen,” James Zogby, the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, told Time.

This shift could cost not just Biden but the entire Democratic Party the election in 2024. The largest Arab American community lives in Dearborn, Michigan, a crucial battleground state. There are smaller populations in Pennsylvania and Georgia, both of which are still larger than Biden’s 2020 margin of victory in those states.

More than half of Arab Americans voted for Biden in 2020, but now, community leaders are turning on him. “Just changing his tone—that’s not enough,” Sami Khaldi, the president of the Dearborn Democratic Club and a former 2020 Biden delegate, said to Time about Biden’s new call for a humanitarian pause.

“Every president comes here and says the best solution for the Middle East crisis is to have a two-state solution, but you don’t see anyone have the courage to do it. We need him to do that.”