Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Notorious House Jan. 6 Plotter Could Be Next to Be Kicked Off 2024 Ballot

The Republican representative is facing a lawsuit for violating the Fourteenth Amendment.

Representative Scott Perry
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry could be next on the chopping block, thanks to a new lawsuit by a local Pennsylvania activist.

Gene Stilp, who ran for the state House of Representatives in 2014, claims that Perry’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his connections to the events of January 6 are enough to warrant a revocation of his candidacy in the state election, on the basis of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.

“Scott Perry’s own actions and efforts have awakened the application of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section Three, of the United States Constitution, which stops those who participate in insurrectionist activities from serving in certain capacities in the government of the United States,” Stilp told Penn Live.

Stilp wants Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Al Schmidt to decide whether the unopposed Republican can stay on the ballot.

The effort comes on the heels of two historic decisions by the Colorado Supreme Court and Maine’s secretary of state to boot Donald Trump off their respective GOP primary ballots in February, a groundbreaking reversal that left some top Senate Republicans nonplussed.

Stilp filed another lawsuit against Trump last year in an effort to keep the GOP front-runner off the battleground state’s Republican primary.

Perry, who serves as the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, was “central to the planning of January 6,” according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. A major 154-page report by the January 6 committee also alleged that Perry had “material facts” regarding Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Since January 6, Perry has been embroiled in a three-year legal battle to keep his cell phone records out of the hands of federal prosecutors. Perry’s phone was seized by federal officials in the aftermath of the insurrection. Last month, some of the messages gleaned from Perry’s device were unsealed in a court document, then mysteriously resealed in a move the court has yet to explain, reported the Associated Press.

While Perry has not been charged with a crime related to the insurrection, several of his colleagues similarly involved in the scheme have been, with 18 of them, including Trump, facing charges related to overturning the 2020 election through voter fraud cases and the certification of votes on January 6.

Bob Menendez Indicted for Taking Bribes From Yet Another Country

The Democratic senator is ringing in the new year with a new superseding indictment.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is on the hook again—this time for taking bribes from Qatar.

A superseding indictment, filed in a New York district court on Tuesday, accuses Menendez of waxing poetic about Qatar in an attempt to help a New Jersey real estate tycoon, Fred Daibes, secure a multimillion-dollar investment from an investment company tied to the Middle Eastern country, collecting lavish gifts in exchange for his handiwork. The charging documents include screenshots of messages between Menendez and Daibes, sending links to watches valued between $9,990 and $23,990 to the New Jersey politician along with the message, “How about one of these?”

After the politician returned from one of his trips to Qatar, Menendez googled, “How much is one kilo of gold worth,” according to the indictment.

It’s the third time the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member has been charged with corruption in the last decade.

Menendez was previously indicted in September on corruption-related offenses, in which he was accused of taking $480,000 in cash, numerous gold bars, and “luxury vehicles” from Egyptian officials in exchange for favors that included sending aid to the Egyptian military and pressuring the Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly in the country.

“Over $480,000 in cash—much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe—was discovered in the home,” according to the September indictment.

In 2017, Menendez was investigated after he was accused of taking campaign donations and lavish trips from a south Florida ophthalmologist. That case ultimately ended in a mistrial after the jury voted 10-2 to acquit the New Jersey congressman.

How Many More? Yet Another Trump Adviser Indicted for Being Foreign Agent

A former Trump adviser has been charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

A former adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was indicted Tuesday for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Barry Bennett, who worked as an unpaid adviser to the Trump 2016 campaign, and his associate Douglas Watts were charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. FARA requires people or entities working on behalf of a foreign government to register with the Department of Justice and report their relationships, activities, and financial compensation.

Federal prosecutors began investigating Bennett in 2021. They alleged Tuesday in court documents that Bennett “did knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal, and cover up” information in order to block the FARA investigators’ probe into his business. He and Watts are both accused of lying to investigators.

Prosecutors also accuse Bennett’s lobbying firm Avenue Strategies of submitting false information to the investigators.

Bennett founded Avenue Strategies shortly after Trump was elected. The court documents do not say what country he was working for, but Avenue’s federal lobbying disclosure records show he agreed to represent Qatar a few months after starting his firm.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in 2021 that the Embassy of Qatar paid Avenue about $3 million between July 2017 and July 2018 for work, including developing a “long-term plan to create closer ties between the United states and the State of Qatar.”

Bennett also started a group called Yemen Crisis Watch, according to the Journal. The group’s main goal was to publish ads and editorials criticizing or embarrassing Qatar’s rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At the time of payment, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were launching air strikes and providing military support to the government of Yemen, which was engaged in a civil war against the Qatari-backed Houthis.

In October 2017, Qatar gave Avenue Strategies $250,000 specifically for “use in supporting the relief of humanitarian suffering in Yemen.” Bennett did not register Yemen Crisis Watch with the Justice Department.

This is not the first time a former Trump ally has come under scrutiny for shady ties to a foreign government. Former Trump fundraiser Tom Barrack was accused of acting on behalf of the Emirati government and then obstructing justice and making false statements to FBI investigators looking into his relationship with Emirati officials. Barrack was acquitted in November 2022.

Harvard President Resigns Thanks to Far-Right Attacks Elevated by Media

Harvard University President Claudine Gay has resigned, thanks to a controversy manufactured by the right and elevated by the media.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigned Tuesday amid a conservative-stoked firestorm over her response to questions about antisemitism on campus and allegations of plagiarism.

Gay served a total of just six months as university president, the shortest tenure in the school’s nearly four-century-long history. She was the first Black person and just the second woman to lead Harvard.

“It is with a heavy heart but a deep love for Harvard that I write to share that I will be stepping down as president. This is not a decision I came to easily,” Gay said in a letter to the school. “But, after consultation with members of the Corporation, it has become clear that it is in the best interests of Harvard for me to resign so that our community can navigate this moment of extraordinary challenge with a focus on the institution rather than any individual.”

Gay received national scrutiny in December when she, MIT president Sally Kornbluth, and University of Pennsylvania president Elizabeth Magill testified before the House Education and Workforce Committee about their responses to incidents of antisemitism on their campuses.

Committee Chair Elise Stefanik asked the university presidents whether students chanting “intifada” violated the schools’ codes of conduct. Each president said it would depend on the context, with Gay pointing out that chants she finds “personally abhorrent” could still be protected under freedom of speech.

But the video clip that went viral—thanks to the right—showed the university presidents stumbling after Stefanik asked whether calls for genocide against the Jewish people should be forbidden, leaving out the longer disingenuous line of questioning.

The university presidents tried to explain their stances after the congressional hearing. In a video the following day, Magill clarified that “speech alone is not punishable,” but calls for genocide would be “harassment or intimidation.” Magill ultimately resigned in mid-December, prompting Stefanik to triumphantly tweet, “One down. Two to go.”

In the weeks following the hearing, far-right activists began to accuse Gay of plagiarism. The charges were led by Christopher Rufo, a prominent Ron DeSantis ally, anti-woke warrior, and liar about having a Harvard degree.

Media coverage of Gay’s alleged plagiarism reached a height not typically seen for academia. As Paul Waldman wrote for The New Republic in December, “There’s no question that the accusations against Gay are being offered in utter bad faith, and the charges are inseparable from the political context in which they’re being made.”

He argued that the examples of Gay’s supposed plagiarism “amount to academic misdemeanors—real, but evidence of occasional sloppiness rather than malicious theft.”

“But you can’t separate this controversy from its context, which is that nobody proclaiming their outrage actually cares about the proper application of academic citation protocols any more than your average Republican members of Congress sincerely worry about antisemitism as something other than a bludgeon they can use against those they perceive as their enemies,” Waldman wrote.

Stefanik celebrated Gay’s resignation, bragging that she “will always deliver results” and branding the outgoing academic head as “morally bankrupt.” Her committee has also launched an investigation into antisemitism on the Harvard, MIT, and UPenn campuses.

Representative Jerry Nadler, the most senior Jewish member of Congress, excoriated his Republican colleagues in December for moves like that investigation, which “weaponize Jewish lives for political gains” while in reality doing nothing to “genuinely counter” antisemitism.

It does not seem to have occurred to Stefanik or Republicans in general, who regularly pride themselves on being the protectors of free speech, that they have essentially taken a cudgel to free speech on college campuses. Gay is the latest casualty in GOP attempts to essentially police free speech—and she won’t be the last.

Here Are the Members of Congress Who Made the Most in Stock Trading in 2023

Congratulations to this bipartisan group for making a record profit in stock trading last year.

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell put their hands on their hearts, as other members of Congress do the same around them
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Congress killed it in the stock market once again, with Democrats outdoing their Republican colleagues by far, despite conflicts in some of their committee appointments, according to a new report by Unusual Whales, a market analysis group.

Some of those high-flying lawmakers included Democratic Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Brian Higgins and Republican Representatives Mark Green and Garret Graves. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell, Senator Tommy Tuberville, and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also make an appearance in the list of top officials who made bank in the stock market last year.

The Unusual Whales analysis is based on financial disclosures made by members of Congress every time they or their families make a trade. Higgins’s gains far outpaced the others’, with 238.9 percent returns over 2023, nearly 10 times the S&P 500 index, which rose 24.8 percent by the end of the year. The data also found Democratic members of Congress secured a 31 percent gain in returns, far outpacing Republicans’ 18 percent gain.

Some of those boons were thanks to unusually timed trades, according to the popular watchdog account, begging the question: How are our politicians making such informed choices?

Technically, it’s illegal for lawmakers to buy and sell stock based on non-public information. In 2012, President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act, preventing members of Congress from trading based on details obtained through their work, like committee work or entertaining lobbyists.

But as long as a trade is reported in 45 days, U.S. legislators are free to trade however they want, even if the bills they pass or reject could influence a company’s performance and help them line their own pockets.

For example, several lawmakers sitting on the House and Senate committees that regulate the financial industry sold Silicon Valley Bank stock before it crashed.

“One thing people always say is that members are very good at picking stocks, that’s often assumed … but to be quite frank, members were also quite good at avoiding losses,” the founder of Unusual Whales told ABC News in an anonymous interview last year.

Some of the biggest purchases included members on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee scooping up health care stocks in 435 separate transactions, buying financial services stocks in 328 separate transactions, and technology stocks in 272 separate transactions. The House Armed Services Committee saw similar conflicts, with members scooping up health care stocks in 392 separate transactions and financial services stocks in 277 separate transactions, according to data from Unusual Whales.

Representatives Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, and Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, had the most eyebrow-raising activity. Khanna, who sits on the House Armed Services and House Oversight and Accountability committees, had 1,589 separate purchases in health care, financial services, technology, consumer cyclical, industrials, consumer defensive and real estate in his portfolio, while selling nearly $26 million worth of other stocks. McCaul, meanwhile, purchased tech stocks in 142 separate transactions while sitting on the House Foreign Affairs and House Homeland Security committees. He also sold $10.4 million in technology stocks, $9.5 million in communication services, $9.2 million in financial services, $6.6 million in consumer cyclical, and $6.4 million in health care stocks.

This article has been updated.

You’ll Never Guess Who Bibi Wants at Hague Genocide Hearing. Actually, You Will.

Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have landed on a representative for Israel at the Gaza genocide hearing.

Alan Dershowitz
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly wants former Donald Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz to represent Israel at the upcoming hearing at the Hague about the war in Gaza.

South Africa asked the International Court of Justice on December 29 for an urgent order declaring Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in its unrelenting bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The ICJ will hear the case, which Israel has denounced as “baseless,” next week.

As a defendant, Israel is entitled to pick one judge to the 15-member court—and Netanyahu wants that person to be Dershowitz, Axios journalist Barak Ravid reported Tuesday. When Ravid contacted Dershowitz for confirmation, the former Trump attorney said he “can’t comment about it at this time.”

Dershowitz would be a highly fitting representative, though. A longtime friend and advisor of Netanyahu, Dershowitz has defended Israeli settlements, downplayed the horrors of civilian casualties, and attacked liberal Jewish groups.

He has also helped defend Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Donald Trump.

Dershowitz repeatedly defended Trump during the former president’s time in office. Dershowitz backed Trump’s controversial ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries. Dershowitz argued that the ban was actually constitutional and didn’t really target Muslims, even though then–Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani admitted the order came about after Trump asked him how to do a Muslim ban “legally.”

Dershowitz also literally defended Trump, acting as his lawyer during the former president’s first impeachment trial, over charges that he tried to use Ukrainian assistance to help him get reelected. During the trial, Dershowitz argued that in using foreign policy to pursue his personal interests, Trump was actually upholding national interests. This monarchic approach to governing is likely appealing to Netanyahu, who has sought to increase his power in Israel’s government.

Dershowitz has also claimed that Islamophobia does not exist on college campuses. In the wake of rising Islamophobia and antisemitism, the result of the Israel-Gaza conflict, Dershowitz said in November, “Oh, we have to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia.”

“Let me tell you who the antisemites are,” he then continued. “They are largely, not completely, the radical Muslims who claim to be victims of Islamophobia. This is a one-sided issue.”

“There is no Islamophobia at any university in the United States. It’s a fake. It’s virtue parading.”

More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s nearly three-month-long assault on the Gaza Strip. The majority of the victims are women and children. Some organizations, such as the nonprofit Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, put the death toll at nearly 30,000.

Expert Trump Hired to Prove Election Fraud Debunks His Every Point in Scathing Op-Ed

The Trump campaign hired Ken Block to find voter fraud—and now Block’s going after Trump.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Despite endless speeches and public statements with claims of rampant voter fraud, Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani and the rest of their crew knew ages ago that those allegations were baseless. So says the guy they hired to dig up dirt on 2020 election fraud, anyway.

“I am the expert who was hired by the Trump campaign,” wrote data specialist Ken Block in a USA Today editorial published Tuesday.

Block’s findings were used in the January 6 select committee’s investigation and were subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith and for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s Georgia investigation.

“Those emails and documents show that the voter data available to the campaign contained no evidence of large-scale voter fraud based on data mining and fraud analytics,” wrote Block. “More important, claims of voter fraud made by others were verified as false, including proof of why those claims were disproven.”

Although the Trump contract included mandates necessitating the discovery of wide-scale voter fraud, Block said the only indication of fraud he found was “bipartisan,” with as many Republicans casting duplicate votes as Democrats.

According to the Simpatico Software Systems owner, the number of deceased voters in the voting pool across the country was minimal and failed to meet the threshold for legal challenges to the election results in any state.

“If voter fraud had impacted the 2020 election, it would already have been proven. Maintaining the lies undermines faith in the foundation of our democracy,” Block wrote.

Time would be better spent reinforcing national electoral systems to strengthen election security by November 2024, according to Block, who noted that practices like gerrymandering are destructive to American democracy. But the opposite has actually been on the Republican agenda.

As another example, not mentioned by Block, Trump and his allies have worked to discredit an electoral voter-roll tool known as the Electronic Registration Information Center—or ERIC—in a potential bid to sow more chaos in the wake of the 2024 election than they did in 2020.

So far, Trump has claimed he would make the system illegal, despite its function of providing election officials with reports on potential inaccuracies in voter lists and identifying people who are registered to vote in more than one state. That’s led to a number of states departing the nonpartisan program, which in itself is a bit of a software engineering marvel, running on the work of just three employees with zero philanthropic funding.

Louisiana led the bunch, removing itself from ERIC in 2022. Since then, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia have done so too—dropping its membership to 25 states plus Washington, D.C.—though more resignations are anticipated, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trump’s New Year’s Resolution: Nikki Haley Must Be Destroyed

The Trump campaign has a new top enemy, and it has a plan for how to take her down.

Donald Trump puts a hand on Nikki Haley's shoulder. She smiles toward the camera, and he makes a weird face.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump has adopted a new strategy for the Republican primary: Instead of assuming he can coast to the nomination, he’s going after Nikki Haley.

In the past few weeks, Trump-allied super PAC MAGA Inc. has spent nearly $3.5 million in anti-Haley advertising, according to a report from The Daily Beast. The bulk of that money went to an ad buy, running a commercial accusing Haley of flip-flopping on support for a gas tax while she was governor of South Carolina. But several hundred thousand dollars also went to anti-Haley mailers and text messages.

Despite being more than six months into primary campaigning, this is still one of the first times that Trump’s team has targeted a specific candidate instead of lashing out at the rest of the Republican field in general. Trump ran a few ads early on slamming Ron DeSantis, once touted as Trump’s natural successor, but spent far less in comparison.

DeSantis’s campaign failed spectacularly to gain steam, while Haley has seen a recent jump in the polls. RealClearPolitics’s rolling average of the last three weeks of polling currently has Haley tied with DeSantis for second place, although Trump still enjoys a hefty lead.

Trump’s decision to attack Haley could backfire by revealing she’s the opponent who scares him most. Giving her such a spotlight could actually consolidate the conservative anti-Trump vote behind her. Haley herself is taking the ad campaign as a win.

Two days ago, Donald Trump denied our surge in New Hampshire existed. Now, he’s running a negative ad against me,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter) when the ad first ran in mid-December. “Someone’s getting nervous.”

Haley has also pushed back against the premise of the ad. The ad claims that as governor, Haley reneged on a promise not to raise South Carolina’s gas tax. That allegation has been widely debunked as misleading: In reality, Haley had suggested raising the gas tax while simultaneously cutting the income tax. The bill did not pass.

“Everyone from Joe Biden to Donald Trump is attacking Nikki for one reason: She’s the only candidate with momentum,” a senior Haley adviser told The Daily Beast, speaking anonymously.

Unfortunately, Haley isn’t doing herself any favors by generally refusing to go after Trump in the same way. She ended 2023 by refusing to say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War, which fellow Republican presidential hopeful Chris Christie ascribed to her being afraid of alienating Trump supporters.

Haley then said she would pardon Trump if he is convicted for trying to overturn the 2020 election. This isn’t the first time she has said she would let her former boss off the hook.

Stuart Stevens, the lead strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, said he doesn’t think Haley is ready to go head-to-head with Trump. He described her as a “bundle of ambition with no particular purpose.”

For instance, Stevens told The Daily Beast that Haley undermined any claims that her campaign is about upholding the U.S. Constitution because she said she’d pardon Trump, “someone who tried to subvert the constitution.”

It’s just a very confused candidacy,” Stevens said. “She’s running because she would really like to be president. That’s OK, but it’s not a particularly compelling reason for anyone else to vote for her.”

More Republicans Than Ever Think Jan. 6 Was Instigated by the Government

A chilling new poll shows Republicans are more conspiracy-crazed than ever before.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Guests listen to the opening prayer during a Trump campaign event on December 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa.

GOP loyalty to Donald Trump is morphing into total blinders to the former president’s violent politics.

A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll illustrates that Republicans are now, more than ever, more likely to believe baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from their front-runner, that January 6 rioters were not violent, and that the insurrection was instigated by law enforcement. The results are the latest follow-up to another round of GOP interviews conducted by The Washington Post in December 2021.

“From a historical perspective, these results would be chilling to many analysts,” Michael J. Hanmer, director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement at the University of Maryland, told the Post.

Americans of every political demographic seemingly have more doubts about President Joe Biden’s legitimate ascent to the White House. According to the poll, just 62 percent of Americans, including Democrats and independents, believe the 2020 election was legitimate—down from 69 percent in 2021. Republican belief dropped the most, though, falling by eight points in the last three years to just 31 percent in the most recent survey.

“There were so many people that felt the election was rigged. It was not right for them to break in like that, but they were fed up and frustrated and they were whipped into a frenzy by the FBI and others,” said Colleen Michaels, 59, of Woodsfield, Ohio, who told the Post that she would have attended Trump’s protest at the U.S. Capitol herself if not for a medical emergency.

In defending their turned perspectives, interviewed Republicans cited debunked claims of voter fraud in Georgia, pointing toward a video of election workers allegedly placing fake ballots into the tally. That same claim, advertised by Rudy Giuliani, recently earned the Trump fixer a $148 million judgment for defamation.

And while the majority of Americans believe that the events of January 6 threatened U.S. democracy, Republicans seem to feel otherwise, differing wildly from their recorded opinions in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

More than seven in 10 Republicans say the attack has been overinflated and feel it is “time to move on,” reported the Post. Republicans seem to believe less and less that the attack was violent, with 18 percent believing the rioters were “mostly violent,” a statistic that has dropped from 26 percent in 2021. That’s compared to 77 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents who also reported that the attempted insurrectionists were violent.

Trump’s Deranged New Year’s Truth Is Weirder Than His Deranged Christmas Truth

Donald Trump is pushing a wild new conspiracy theory as his legal troubles keep piling up.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump has kicked off the new year with a brand new conspiracy about how people are out to get him.

Trump’s Monday evening rant takes aim primarily at former Representative Liz Cheney, who has recently increased her condemnation of the Republican primary front-runner. Trump’s comments also show growing frustration with the many lawsuits against him.

“Why did American Disaster Liz Cheney, who suffers from TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), and was defeated for Congress by the largest margin for a sitting Congressman or Congresswoman in the history of our Country, ILLEGALLY DELETE & DESTROY most of the evidence, and related items, from the January 6th Committee of Political Thugs and Misfits,” Trump demanded on Truth Social.


Trump then insisted that the “ridiculous Deranged Jack Smith case on Immunity, which the most respected legal minds in the Country say I am fully entitled to, is now completely compromised and should be thrown out and terminated.”

Cheney was one of just a few Republicans to reject Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election had been rigged against him. The party turned on her as a result, and she ended up losing her 2022 reelection campaign during the primaries. (She did lose by a massive margin, but it was only the biggest incumbent primary loss of this century, not of all time, as Trump claimed.)

The former Wyoming representative released a book in early December, in which she brutally criticizes Trump. During her press tour for the book, Cheney repeatedly issued chilling warnings that reelecting Trump would be disastrous for the country.

Trump’s anti-Cheney screed came about a week after he slammed special counsel Jack Smith, Joe Biden, and the Democratic Party in general as “thugs” who are “looking to destroy our once great USA.”

“MAY THEY ROT IN HELL. AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, really getting into the spirit of the season.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that he is immune to criminal proceedings because he was president at the time of his alleged crimes. Smith, who is investigating Trump for both trying to overturn the election and mishandling classified documents, urged an appeals court over the weekend to reject Trump’s claim of immunity.