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It Seems Trump Still Has No Idea How to Post That Massive Fraud Bond

No one wants to help out poor old billionaire Donald Trump.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump still hasn’t posted bond in his New York civil fraud trial, but his lawyer Alina Habba wants you to know that it’s definitely not because they’re having trouble getting the massive amount together.

The former president was fined $354 million for committing real estate–related fraud in New York. In order to appeal the decision, Trump must post a bond of the full amount plus interest—which has already reached nearly $467 million, with interest adding $112,000 per day.

When asked Wednesday if Trump was any closer to posting bond, Habba had a very clear answer that raised no red flags.

“Yeah, no, unfortunately I can’t speak to that. That’s privileged, and I am the attorney, one of the attorneys on that case,” Habba told Fox News, stating the obvious.

She quickly pivoted to attacking the case altogether, calling the judgment “absurd” and expressing hope that an appeals court would overturn it.

Trump, who claims to be a billionaire, has tried to delay posting bond and offered to post just $100 million. His efforts have been roundly rejected by the judge who presided over his trial. He has until March 25 to stay the fraud judgment, meaning he would need to put up the money, assets, or an appeal bond to cover the full amount. If he fails to do so, New York Attorney General Letitia James has warned she will start seizing his assets.

Despite constantly bragging about how much money he has, Trump appears unable to post bond in his fraud case. He recently launched a line of sneakers and promoted a fan-funded GoFundMe to help with his many legal bills.

Last week, Trump finally managed to post the $91.6 million bond in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him. The bond was guaranteed by the Chubb Corporation—and the insurance group’s customers are already unhappy about it.

Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg, whom Trump appointed in 2018 to a White House advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations, sent a letter Wednesday assuring clients that the decision was not a political one and that the company’s assets were “fully collateralized,” or protected against failure of repayment.

Trump still owes Carroll $5 million for sexually assaulting her and defaming her a separate time. He also owes $400,000 to The New York Times, thousands of dollars for gag order violations, and $382,000 to Orbis Business Intelligence, the consulting firm owned by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Trump had sued Orbis over a dossier Steele compiled in 2016 that alleged Trump and members of his inner circle had been “compromised” by Russia’s security service.

DeSantis Is in a Feud With Libs of TikTok, in Funniest Twist of Events

Pass the popcorn, folks.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

It’s a clash of two wilting GOP titans attempting to grab a spot in the sun over one critical issue: Are undocumented immigrants allowed to drive in Florida?

In one corner, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was taken down a notch after GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump nicknamed him “Ron De-Sanctimonious” and mocked him for needing to wear heels to reach the podium. In the other, the far-right Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik, who outed herself as nothing more than a mindless pot stirrer in an hour-long one-on-one interview with Taylor Lorenz last month.

On Wednesday, Raichik put Florida’s immigration policies on blast, claiming that the Sunshine State gives undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses—a shocking accusation for a state that has arguably gone too far with some of the most restrictive DMV statutes in the country, including some that amount to transgender voter suppression.

“This normally quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Florida was shaken this week when 3 illegals from Guatemala were arrested for forcing a woman into a car and s*xually ass*ulting her,” Raichik wrote, referring to an alleged assault in Palm Beach County. “Apparently FL also gives illegals drivers licenses!”

“Biden’s open borders allows v*olent criminals to terrorize Americans,” she added to a post that was quickly inundated with community notes, an X function that allows viewers to fact-check posts.

Shortly afterward, Raichik made another post clarifying that her first one was, in fact, a lie.

“To clarify—Florida Law does not allow illegals to get a drivers license. It was a woke State Attorney’s office who instructed an illegal to get a drivers license and subvert Florida Law,” she wrote, referring to State Attorney Dave Aronberg. “How did he want the illegal to obtain a license in Florida? The State Attorney @aronberg needs to clarify what is going on here!!”

But the community reckoning wasn’t enough for DeSantis, who felt the need to correct the record on his own terms.

“@libsoftiktok got community noted for lying about FL law, which not only prohibits illegal aliens from getting drivers licenses but also prohibits recognition of licenses issued to illegal aliens from other states,” DeSantis posted.

“Truth shouldn’t be a casualty of attempts to generate clicks and engagement farm,” he added.

Raichik’s initial post is still up.

Republican Senator Single-Handedly Blocks Yet Another IVF Bill

If Republicans care about protecting IVF like they claim, why do they keep blocking all these bills?

Senator James Lankford walks in the Capitol and smiles, binders in hand. Three women are in the background.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Senator James Lankford

Despite insisting that they are “pro-life” and support in vitro fertilization, Senate Republicans have blocked a second bill that would have expanded access to the treatment.

Washington Senator Patty Murray tried to pass a bill Tuesday that would allow all veterans to access IVF and other fertility treatments at Veterans Affairs facilities. Currently, in order to qualify for VA treatment, veterans must prove their infertility is due to a health issue caused by their military service.

Murray had tried to pass her bill via unanimous consent, which is the fastest way to get a measure through the Senate but also the riskiest, because just one “no” vote can tank legislation. And that’s exactly what happened Tuesday: Senator James Lankford objected to the bill.

“I understand it’s become vogue in this current season right now to be able to say Republicans are somehow opposed to life because they’re opposed to IVF,” Lankford said. “I just don’t find that.”

Still, the Oklahoma Republican argued the bill’s definition of “infertility” was “very broad.” The measure stated that an infertility condition means either “a diagnosis of infertility” or “the inability to reproduce or safely carry a pregnancy to term, including as a result of treatment for another condition.”

Lankford said he was trying to “figure out what that means,” referring to the second definition.

It’s unclear how much more information Lankford needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines infertility as “not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex.” So it would seem that the bill’s definition is pretty medically spot-on.

Lankford also said he took issue with more procedural matters, such as that the bill hadn’t been debated or analyzed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and that the Congressional Budget Office hadn’t determined how much the measure would cost.

Murray’s bill—and Lankford’s killing it—comes just two weeks after one Republican senator single-handedly tanked a separate measure aimed at protecting IVF. Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill in late February to codify IVF protections, and asked for unanimous consent. Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith opposed the measure.

Republicans have paid plenty of lip service to IVF since the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that embryos created through IVF can be considered children, torpedoing the state’s fertility industry. But they have studiously avoided taking actual action to protect the procedure.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers rushed through a new law to specifically protect IVF, but it still leaves open the question of fetal personhood.

House Republican Infighting Turns Annual Retreat Into a Total Bust

House Republicans are in total disarray.

Mike Johnson looks worried
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Tensions between House Republicans have gotten so high that a swath of the caucus is thinking of opting out of a free, luxury vacation in order to avoid spending more time together.

Fewer than 100 Republicans have so far RSVP’d to the annual retreat, set to begin Wednesday, and they are using every excuse under the sun not to attend, from prescheduled appearances on late-night TV to having “a farm to run.”

Those who decided to skip include House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, and Representatives Nancy Mace, Tim Burchett, Matt Gaetz, Kelly Armstrong, Dusty Johnson, Stephanie Bice, and Dave Joyce. Collectively, more than half of the entire conference has decided to skirt attendance.

Privately, some lawmakers complained to CNN that the choice of location—the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia—was not as enticing as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s prior picks in Florida.

But others told the outlet that their choice simply boiled down to not wanting to spend more time with their boisterous colleagues. Together, the Republican-led House has amounted to one of the least productive congressional sessions in history, passing a measly 27 bills that became law in 2023 out of a sum total of 724 votes. That same Republican-led House has continued to stall on core elements of their jobs well into 2024, including passing government spending bills and foreign aid assistance.

Altogether, it’s another bad omen for the health of the legislature, which is witnessing resignations en masse, citing similar complaints of Republican infighting and lack of competency. On Tuesday, Colorado Representative Ken Buck submitted his resignation in a hurry, giving less than two weeks’ notice for the historically coveted job, which surprised everyone, including his boss, Speaker Mike Johnson.

RNC’s New “Election Integrity” Specialist Ought to Scare You

Christina Bobb is a notorious election denier. And the Republican National Committee wants her help.

The One America Nes Network Weekly Briefing with Christina Bobb shown playing on a laptop
Gabby Jones/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee is getting serious about election integrity. And to head up a new unit dedicated to the issue, the RNC has tapped a far-right, pro-Trump election denier.

Since Donald Trump successfully installed his daughter-in-law in an RNC leadership position, the committee has seen a dramatic reshuffle. After major layoffs, senior positions have been stacked with Trump allies, including lawyer Christina Bobb, who has been tapped to lead the RNC’s new election integrity division, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

“I look forward to working to secure our elections and restore confidence in the process,” Bobb told the Post in a statement.

Bobb’s appointment should be a major cause for concern. Bobb joined Trump’s legal team last year, and before that, she was an anchor at the far-right network OAN. She was a vocal supporter of 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories, and a nonprofit she founded donated more than $600,000 to the bogus “audit” of votes in Maricopa County, Arizona.

During the 2022 midterm elections, Bobb continued to push falsehoods that the elections might be rigged. She said that any delay in election results should be considered “suspicious,” stoking fear about valid votes.

Trump managed to force out former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel last week and has been quick to install his stooges at the committee’s highest levels. Although McDaniel was loyal to Trump, she exhibited more restraint than he would have liked. McDaniel and her co-chair were replaced by Trump’s picks: former North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley and Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

Since taking the reins, Lara Trump has made it clear that she intends to corral all of the RNC’s influence and finances into supporting her father-in-law’s reelection campaign. She even warned that there was no longer a place in the GOP for anti-Trump Republicans.

“Anyone who is not on board with seeing Donald Trump as the forty-seventh president and America-loving patriots all the way down the ticket being supported by the RNC is welcome to leave because we are not playing games,” she said, shortly before she assumed power.

Georgia Judge Strikes Down Several Charges Against Trump, in Major Win

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee has given Donald Trump and his co-defendants some seriously good news.

Alex Slitz/AP/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump and his 17 co-defendants woke up to some good news regarding their Georgia election interference case on Wednesday: Judge Scott McAfee threw out some of the charges.

McAfee decided that six of the charges against Trump and some of his co-defendants lacked too much detail to be brought to trial. That includes charges related to Trump and Mark Meadows’s alleged pressure campaign on state officials, like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and then–Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, to unlawfully appoint alternative presidential electors. Trump will now face 10 felony charges in Georgia, instead of the original 13.

“The Court’s concern is less that the State has failed to allege sufficient conduct of the Defendants—in fact it has alleged an abundance. However, the lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” McAfee wrote in Wednesday’s order.

“As written, these six counts contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited,” McAfee continued. “They do not give the Defendants enough information to prepare their defenses intelligently, as the Defendants could have violated the Constitutions and thus the statute in dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct ways.”

“In other words, a naked charge of solicitation cannot survive unless accompanied by additional elements establishing the solicited felony,” he added.

Still, the Georgia Superior Court judge did leave most of the case intact, noting that the entirety of the indictment is not dismissed. He also wrote that several of the “overt acts” related to racketeering charges that Trump had attempted to dismiss will in fact remain.

Meanwhile, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s future on the case remains murky. McAfee has said he will rule on her alleged ethics violations pertaining to her relationship with special prosecutor Nathan Wade, and potential disqualification from the case, by the end of the week.

House Republicans Are Suddenly Desperate to End Biden Impeachment

House Republicans know that their rapidly shrinking majority—and their lack of evidence—has put them in an impossible position.

Aaron Schwartz/NurPhoto/Getty Images
House Speaker Mike Johnson

Despite drumbeating for more than a year to impeach Joe Biden, House Republicans have quietly begun looking for an off-ramp in the face of an overwhelming lack of evidence against the president—and a rapidly shrinking majority in the chamber.

Republicans have accused Biden and his son Hunter of corruption and influence peddling, but their lengthy investigation has failed to turn up any proof of the president’s wrongdoing. In fact, the biggest criminal act revealed during the course of the probe was committed by the GOP’s own star witness, Alexander Smirnov. The Department of Justice has accused him of making up the allegations against the Biden family that jump-started the whole impeachment effort.

As the investigation crumbles, Republicans are starting to sour on it entirely. I don’t think we have the will to impeach Joe Biden,” Texas Representative Troy Nehls told Fox News on Tuesday. “We just don’t.”

Some lawmakers don’t even want to bring the impeachment to the floor for a vote. Although Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett warned Politico that “the base is going to demand it,” his fellow party members don’t think it’s worth it.

“That’s not a vote you put on the floor if you don’t have a chance of passing it,” North Dakota Representative Kelly Armstrong said.

What’s more, Colorado Representative Ken Buck announced Tuesday that he would leave Congress in a matter of days. His departure further shrinks the House GOP’s already razor-thin majority, making it that much more difficult to pass anything, let alone articles of impeachment.

Republicans have three main options to take their foot off the gas. First, they could issue criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, recommending that the department prosecute certain people. These referrals are nonbinding, meaning the department can choose whether or not to act on them.

“At the end of the day, what does accountability look like?” House Oversight Chair James Comer, who has spearheaded the charge against the Biden family, said last week on Fox News. “It looks like criminal referrals. It looks like referring people to the Department of Justice.”

A criminal referral falls far short of Comer’s originally stated goal, which was to impeach and ultimately remove Biden from office. But with his probe going up in flames around him, the Kentucky representative is just looking for an “exit strategy,” a congressional Republican told ABC, speaking anonymously.

Comer could be seeking to play a longer game here, though. He could issue criminal referrals in the hope that Donald Trump will be reelected in November. Trump, who backs the impeachment effort, could then instruct the Justice Department to take up the charges.

Republicans could also seek to pass laws that tighten restrictions on influence peddling, but that could backfire. It’s unclear whether the Democratic-controlled Senate would pass such a bill, but Democrats could agree to pass the measures in order to crack down on Trump’s profiting off the Oval Office.

Finally, the GOP could continue to subpoena documents and witnesses and even sue people who don’t comply. But this could drag the process out for years, which would do nothing to actually help Republicans going after Biden.

Here Are the Only Representatives Who Voted Against the TikTok Ban

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that could ban TikTok. Here are the few members of Congress who opposed it.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to ban TikTok, a highly controversial move done in the name of national security that has sparked accusations of First Amendment violations.

The House voted 352–65 to pass the bill. It will now go to the Senate, where it is likely to pass again, as TikTok is one of the few issues that unites Democrats and Republicans. President Joe Biden, who is currently campaigning for reelection on TikTok, has said he will sign the measure if it reaches his desk.

Only 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats voted against the legislation. Here are all the members who voted “no”:

Andy Biggs (AZ)

Dan Bishop (NC)

Suzanne Bonamici (OR)

Jamaal Bowman (NY)

Brendan Boyle (PA)

Cori Bush (MO)*

Greg Casar (TX)

Joaquin Castro (TX)

Katherine Clark (MA)

Jim Clyburn (SC)

Warren Davidson (OH)

John Duarte (CA)

Adriano Espaillat (NY)

Maxwell Frost (FL)

Matt Gaetz (FL)

Ruben Gallego (AZ)

Chuy Garcia (IL)

Robert Garcia (CA)

Jimmy Gomez (CA)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)

Jahana Hayes (CT)

Clay Higgins (LA)

Jim Himes (CT)

Steven Horsford (NV)

Val Hoyle (OR)

Jonathan Jackson (IL)

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

Sara Jacobs (CA)

Pramila Jayapal (WA)

Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA)

Ro Khanna (CA)

Rick Larsen (WA)

John Larson (CT)

Barbara Lee (CA)

Summer Lee (PA)

Zoe Lofgren (CA)

Nancy Mace (SC)

Thomas Massie (KY)

Tom McClintock (CA)

Morgan McGarvey (KY)

Jim McGovern (MA)

Gregory Meeks (NY)

Grace Meng (NY)

Alexander Mooney (WV)

Barry Moore (AL)

Gwen Moore (WI)

Kevin Mullin (CA)

Jerry Nadler (NY)

Richard Neal (MA)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY)

Ilhan Omar (MN)

Scott Perry (PA)

Dean Phillips (MN)

Mark Pocan (WI)

Katie Porter (CA)

Ayanna Pressley (MA)

Delia Ramirez (IL)

Janice Schakowsky (IL)

David Schweikert (AZ)

Greg Steube (FL)

Eric Swalwell (CA)

Norma Torres (CA)

Juan Vargas (CA)

Nydia Velazquez (NY)

Nikema Williams (GA)

The bill stipulates that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, must sell TikTok to an American company within six months. Otherwise, TikTok will be banned from U.S. app stores. A company associated with the Chinese government owns a 1 percent stake in Bytedance, leading politicians on both sides of the aisle to warn that TikTok poses a threat to national security and data privacy.

With both political parties eager to seem tough on China, particularly during an election year, cracking down on TikTok is an easy move. But critics of the bill have accused lawmakers of seeking to make themselves look good instead of actually enacting meaningful legislation.

“We’re deeply disappointed that our leaders are once again attempting to trade our First Amendment rights for cheap political points during an election year,” Jenna Leventoff, senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement last week. “Just because the bill sponsors claim that banning TikTok isn’t about suppressing speech, there’s no denying that it would do just that.”

This article has been updated.

*This article originally misidentified Cori Bush’s state.

Trump Has a Pathetic Excuse After Video Evidence of Cognitive Decline

Donald Trump has a truly absurd response to that brutal montage of all his gaffes.

Donald Trump makes a weird face while talking before a mic
Celal Gunes/Anadolu/Getty Images

Donald Trump was tuned in and watching the Biden classified documents hearing on Tuesday, but one part he didn’t enjoy was the opportunity to look at his own reflection.

Hours after the House Judiciary Committee hearing had ended, Trump was back on Truth Social, falsely insisting that the lackluster interview of special counsel Robert Hur was a “disaster” for Biden and that the results constituted a “two tiered standard of justice.”

But the last part of Trump’s missive hinted at which part of the hearing really bit at the GOP presidential nominee: multiple extended clips of his mental glitches.

“Artificial Intelligence was used by them against me in their videos of me. Can’t do that Joe!” Trump wrote.

It’s of course odd that he’s drawing attention to his gaffes on his own social media platform. But unfortunately for Trump, unlike other examples of A.I. manipulation that have run the political circuit in recent memory, the clips of him are all too real. But the thread he’s picking up on is an alarming one—if Trump insists they’re fake, does that mean his supporters will believe it too? And if they won’t believe recorded evidence of his cognitive decline, what will sway them?

Rand Paul Slams Trump for Endorsing “Worst Deep State Candidate” Yet

Senator Rand Paul is putting Donald Trump on blast for a 2024 Senate endorsement.

Rand Paul speaking
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul torched Donald Trump on Tuesday, claiming that the GOP front-runner was walking back his self-purported morals by endorsing former House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers in the Michigan Senate race.

“Donald Trump just endorsed the worst Deep State candidate this cycle. @MikeRogersForMI is a never Trumper, and a card carrying member of the spy state that seeks to destroy Trump,” Paul posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“You have to ask yourself who gives Trump this awful advice? Who’s next, John Bolton?” Paul mocked, referring to Trump’s former national security adviser turned recurring Trump critic.

Rogers leads a pack of 13 contenders in the race’s Republican primary and has the backing of the National Republican Senatorial Committee—though Trump’s endorsement will all but ensure that he’s considered a favorite in the battleground state.

A February poll predicted that Rogers would lead the pack by double digits, beating former Representative Peter Meijer by 16 percent in the primary, though more contenders have since joined the race.

“Highly respected former Congressman Mike Rogers is running for the United States Senate from the Great State of Michigan. Mike has served his Country during a career loaded up with accolades and wins, from the Army to Congress, and now, hopefully, the U.S. Senate,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday, endorsing the CNN commentator. “Mike will work closely with me to enact our America First Policies. He will tirelessly fight to Secure the Border, Stop Inflation, Grow the Economy, Strengthen our Military / Veteran Support, and Protect and Defend our always under siege Second Amendment.”

“HE KNOWS HOW TO WIN!” he added.

More on congressional Republicans in disarray: