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Supreme Court Upholds Insurrection Ban on Official Who’s Not Trump

A January 6 rioter can be barred from office, according to the Supreme Court. Trump, on the other hand ...

Supreme Court building
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that, on its face, appears to set a double standard for Donald Trump and every other private citizen in this country.

On Monday, the nation’s conservative-majority high court upheld a ban preventing former New Mexico official Couy Griffin from running for office within the state again due to his specific criminal history: In 2022, Griffin was convicted on misdemeanor offenses for his role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, ultimately costing him his job as county commissioner.

It’s the Supreme Court’s first decision on the Fourteenth Amendment since it axed a Colorado decision earlier this month to keep Trump off the state’s GOP presidential primary ballot, and the first time that the “insurrectionist clause” has been used to bar someone from office since it was created to keep ex-Confederates from reattaining high office following the Civil War. By allowing the Fourteenth Amendment to be used against Griffin, the Supreme Court seems to have, circuitously, deemed the January 6 riot an insurrection.

“I just found out (through the media) that my appeal to the SCOTUS has been denied,” Griffin wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Very disappointed. I don’t even know what to say. But I thank you for your prayers and for standing with me through this.”

The rationale for the discrepancy between Trump’s and Griffin’s cases, however, likely boils down to state election specifics—whereas Colorado attempted to bend national electoral precedent by keeping Trump off the ballot, New Mexico’s case keeps Griffin out of New Mexico politics.

But the Cowboys for Trump founder didn’t stay down for long, instead turning to social media to make it clear he was available for other, more national roles serving the GOP presidential nominee.

“Has @realDonaldTrump picked a Vice President yet? Would be such an honor to only be considered,” Griffin posted on X.

Donald Trump Can’t Stop Himself From Defending Vladimir Putin

Donald Trump’s latest comments on Putin and Navalny are outrageous, even for him.

Donald Trump smiles at something off camera. He is wearing a suit with an American flag lapel pin. There is a crowd (unfocused) in the background.
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Donald Trump had a very coherent response when asked if he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin had a hand in the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Just kidding.

Trump, who has repeatedly praised Putin, was loath to criticize the Russian leader during a Sunday interview on Fox News. Navalny died in one of Russia’s harshest penal colonies in February, and the international community, including President Joe Biden, has largely laid the blame for his death on Putin.

When asked if he thought Putin had a hand in Navalny’s death, Trump said, “I don’t know, but perhaps.”

“I mean, possibly, I could say probably,” he continued. “I don’t know.”

Host Howard Kurtz pointed out that Navalny had survived a poisoning attempt in 2020 and that the circumstances of his death were very mysterious. “How could anything like that happen without Putin and high-ranking Kremlin officials sanctioning it?” he pressed.

“Well, I don’t know. You certainly can’t say for sure, but certainly that would look like something very bad happened,” Trump replied.

Trump has made no secret of his fondness for Putin or other pro-Russian autocrats. Just last week, Trump swore that if he is reelected, the United States will cease all aid to Ukraine. He is also reportedly considering hiring his former campaign chair Paul Manafort to help with Trump’s 2024 presidential run, which could reignite suspicions of Russian collusion.

When Trump has commented on Navalny’s death in the past, he has managed to leave Putin out of it altogether and focus attention on himself. Trump claimed Navalny’s death highlighted how bad things are in the U.S., and later compared his own being found liable for rape and fraud to Navalny’s political work.

Putin, meanwhile, doesn’t seem quite so enamored with Trump. In an interview with Russian state media last week, Putin recalled a private conversation with Trump in 2020, during which the American president grew jealous that Putin liked Biden and began acting like a spurned girlfriend.

Donald Trump Doubles Down on His Deranged “Bloodbath” Comments

Donald Trump won’t let this one go.

Donald Trump wearing a red Make America Great Again cap speaks into a mic and holds up his right index finger. He is squinting.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

After spending the weekend in a back-and-forth with Democrats over his alarming “bloodbath” comments, Donald Trump doubled down on the word Monday morning, reiterating the postelection threat in an early morning Truth Social post.

“The Fake News Media, and their Democrat Partners in the destruction of our Nation, pretended to be shocked at my use of the word BLOODBATH, even though they fully understood that I was simply referring to imports allowed by Crooked Joe Biden, which are killing the automobile industry,” Trump wrote. “The United Auto Workers, but not their leadership, fully understand what I mean. With the Electric Car Mandate being pushed by Biden, there soon won’t be any cars made in the USA—UNLESS I’M ELECTED PRESIDENT, IN WHICH CASE AUTO MANUFACTURING WILL THRIVE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!! MAGA2024”

The soundbite emerged from a dark speech Trump made in Ohio on Saturday, in which he warned he would place high tariffs on automotive imports from China. “If I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath,” Trump warned. “That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country.”

The alarming phrase, mixed with the morbid candor of the event, quickly elicited strong reactions from his political opponents.

“It’s clear this guy wants another January 6,” wrote President Joe Biden on his personal account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “But the American people are going to give him another resounding electoral defeat this November.”

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also chimed in, insisting that Democrats “just have to win this election,” since Trump is predicting a bloodbath.

“What does that mean? He’s going to exact a bloodbath?” she said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Trump’s allies—and even Republican critics of the GOP’s presidential nominee—denied the charges, claiming that the viral blurb was taken wildly out of context.

“You could also look at the definition of ‘bloodbath’ and it could be an economic disaster,” Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, arguing that the out-of-context coverage would only sow more distrust and hand Trump’s base actual material to attack the press with. “And so if he’s speaking about the auto industry, in particular in Ohio, then you can take it a little bit more [in] context.”

In the same speech, Trump warned that the entire January 6 committee investigating him should be jailed.

Guess Which Shady Trump Official Is About to Make His Big Debut Return

Donald Trump is eyeing the return of Paul Manafort for his 2024 campaign—as if things weren’t pure chaos with him the first time around.

Paul Manafort walks in handcuffs and smiles at something off camera. Several others around him, including a security guard who holds his arm.

Donald Trump may soon bring back his former campaign manager Paul Manafort to help with the 2024 reelection campaign, a move that could resurrect accusations of Russian collusion in the former president’s favor.

Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud in 2018 under Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump, who pardoned Manafort in the final days of his presidency, is expected to bring him back on board as a campaign adviser, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Manafort’s role will likely focus on the Republican convention in July and on fundraising for Trump’s campaign, the Post said, citing four anonymous sources. Those four people said that nothing has been officially decided yet, but Trump is determined to bring Manafort back onto his team and is widely expected to hire him.

Manafort chaired Trump’s 2016 campaign but was forced out in August that year, after Trump reportedly “blew a gasket” upon learning Manafort’s lobbying firm had not properly disclosed its work on behalf of pro-Russia figures. He was replaced by white nationalist Steve Bannon.

Two years later, Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud (and terrible fashion sense). He was found guilty of hiding millions of dollars that he made lobbying for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians in overseas bank accounts. He then falsified his finances to get loans when those politicians lost power.

Mueller’s investigation alleged that Manafort wielded those pro-Russian ties during the 2016 campaign. According to Mueller’s report, Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort was also accused of working with Kilimnik to spread Russian disinformation claiming that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election.

Despite agreeing to cooperate with the FBI investigation, Manafort allegedly lied to investigators about the extent of his interactions with Kilimnik, Mueller said.

A report issued in 2020 by a Senate bipartisan committee on Russian interference found that “Manafort’s presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign.”

Manafort was sentenced in 2018 to four years in prison, but he was released early to home confinement because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump pardoned him in December 2020.

If Trump brings Manafort back onto his campaign, it could reignite concerns that the former president is colluding with Russia in order to secure the White House. Trump has made no secret of his fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin or other pro-Russian autocrats. Just last week, Trump swore that if he is reelected, the U.S. will cease all aid to Ukraine.

Kennedy Family Burns RFK Jr. With White House Visit

The Kennedy family members are making it incredibly clear that they’re not fans of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s bid for the White House.

RFK Jr. seated, stares off into space. Part of a QR code is behind him.
John Nacion/Getty Images

One thing is certain in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s dimming bid for the White House: The 70-year-old third-party candidate does not have the family blessing.

On Sunday, dozens of members of the so-called American royal family lined up behind their presidential candidate of choice for a very public St Patrick’s Day photo op—but that contender wasn’t one of their own.

“It’s not enough to wish the world were better, you must make the world better,” Kerry Kennedy captioned the family photo with President Joe Biden on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “@POTUS President Biden, you make the world better. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

In February, the third-party contender earned more ire from the family after he cannibalized one of his uncle’s famous campaign ads for a Super Bowl spot, using pictures of John F. Kennedy and Eunice Kennedy Shriver as cheap fodder to better his public perception.

Some of RFK Jr.’s cousins accused him of tarnishing the family legacy with the political gimmick, arguing that Shriver would be “appalled by his deadly health care views” and forcing the presidential candidate into an awkward, half-willed public apology.

“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” RFK Jr. posted after the commercial aired, albeit with a clip of it still pinned to his X profile. “The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”

Mike Pence Completely Trashes Possibility of Endorsing Donald Trump

Pence is finally calling out the man who cheered his public hanging.

Mike Pence
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Mike Pence exhibited the bare minimum of courage on Friday when he announced he had no intention of endorsing Donald Trump, whose followers wanted to hang the former vice president.

Pence’s revelation is surprising given the fact that most other Republicans have fallen in line behind Trump, who officially clinched the party’s nomination earlier this week. But Pence still told Fox News that his decision “should come as no surprise.”

I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence said.

When asked how he would vote in November, and whether he would vote Democratic instead, Pence declined to reveal his plan.

“I’m gonna keep my vote to myself,” he said. “I would never vote for Joe Biden, but how I vote when that curtain closes, that’ll be for me.”

Pence has stood at odds with Trump since the January 6 attack, when the former vice president refused to delay certifying the 2020 election votes. Pence has repeatedly stressed that his loyalty is to the Constitution, not Trump, a detail he reiterated during the Friday interview.

But Pence has also refused to lay blame for the insurrection squarely on Trump, lest he alienate potential supporters among Trump’s fans. Pence also refused to cooperate with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s role in January 6 and had to be subpoenaed.

His continued loyalty has been shocking considering that the January 6 rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” before storming the Capitol—while Trump cheered them on. Pence may finally have taken a stand on Friday, but it seems like too little, too late.

Trump Prosecutor Resigns in Georgia—So the Case Can Move Forward ASAP

Lead prosecutor Nathan Wade has resigned in the Georgia case against Donald Trump. And Trump should be all out of delay tactics.

Alex Slitz/Pool/Getty Images
Nathan Wade

A Georgia judge ruled on Friday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could remain on Donald Trump’s election interference case—if her special prosecutor took the fall.

And just hours later, special prosecutor Nathan Wade submitted his resignation.

In a letter submitted to the District Attorney’s Office filing, Wade wrote that his leave, effective immediately, was in the “interest of democracy” and to move the case forward “as quickly as possible.”

“I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in investigating, indicting, and litigating this case,” Wade wrote. “Seeking justice for the people of Georgia and the United States, and being part of the effort to ensure that the rule of law and democracy are preserved, has been the honor of a lifetime.”

Willis was accused of hiring Wade—a man she had a relationship with and who billed her office (and taxpayers) more than $728,000 in legal fees—for personal financial gain. The two have taken several international vacations together, which critics have claimed were partially bankrolled by public funds.

In his ruling, Georgia Judge Scott McAfee chastised Willis for the affair, describing it as a “tremendous lapse in judgment,” and even weighed putting a gag order on the District Attorney’s Office that would prevent them from discussing the case in public.

Trump’s main legal strategy in all the trials he faces has been to delay as much as possible.

In the Georgia election interference case, Trump and his team had argued that Willis’s relationship with Wade merited throwing the case out altogether. In hearings that ate up a significant amount of time—further waylaying the trial that involved Trump and more than a dozen other co-conspirators—Willis argued that she and Wade had evenly split all relationship-related expenses. And an attempt by Trump’s legal team to construct a timeline of the relationship completely fell apart when their key witness, Wade’s former law partner Terrence Bradley, claimed he didn’t actually know a thing about the couple’s relationship, revealing himself as little more than an office gossip.

Ken Buck Slams Lauren Boebert’s Petty Complaints on His Resignation

Representative Ken Buck is sick to death of Lauren Boebert.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Retiring Representative Ken Buck has made it clear that he does not care about Lauren Boebert. Any suggestions otherwise are “ridiculous.”

Buck shocked everyone, including his own party leaders, on Tuesday when he announced that he would leave Congress at the end of next week. His decision has further galvanized the search for his successor, temporarily through a special election and permanently in the regular district primary.

Fellow Colorado Republican Boebert is running to take over Buck’s seat in November, but she opted not to run to replace him in the special election in June. She slammed Buck for giving a “gift to the uniparty,” a term far-right Republicans use to describe GOP lawmakers who aren’t extreme enough or who work with Democrats. Boebert also accused Buck of trying to “rig” the primary election.

“It’s ridiculous,” Buck said of Boebert’s allegations in a Thursday night interview with The Colorado Sun.

In fact, Buck said, “I have done my very best to stay out of this primary election.”

“I’m not giving anybody an advantage or disadvantage,” he said, explaining that he chose his retirement date specifically so that the special election could coincide with the primary, thus saving the district money.

Buck also said it was “fundamentally unfair” for Boebert to try to fundraise off her claim that he was taking sides. He noted that he has refused to comment when reporters asked him about the congresswoman’s ex-husband and 18-year-old son, both of whom were arrested recently.

Boebert, who currently represents Colorado’s 3rd district, announced in December that she would move to the 4th and run to succeed Buck. Although the district is a GOP stronghold and will likely send another Republican to Washington, there is no guarantee it will be Boebert, who has struggled to gain traction in a new area and faced accusations of carpetbagging.

Had Boebert decided to run in the special election, that would likely have pushed her out of Congress altogether. In order to run, she would have had to resign her current position and then secure nomination from a vacancy committee. Such committees are usually made up of state party insiders, and many are skeptical of Boebert’s decision to switch districts. It is unlikely she would have been chosen to run.

Buck had announced in November that he would not seek reelection, but he indicated at the time that he would complete his current term. He said his decision to leave earlier was the result of the rapidly devolving situation in the House.

“It is the worst year of the nine years and three months that I’ve been in Congress,” Buck told CNN. “And having talked to former members, it’s the worst year in 40, 50 years to be in Congress.”

“I think this place is dysfunctional.”

Although Buck is a Republican, and even a member of the party’s far-right House Freedom Caucus, he has often been at odds with his fellow Republicans in the past few years. When he first announced his retirement, he slammed the GOP for pushing “self-serving lies,” including that the 2020 election had been stolen.

More recently, Buck has been seemingly the only Republican who refused to fall in line with his party’s efforts to impeach Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. His departure further shrinks the GOP’s razor-thin House majority and will make it even more difficult to get anything done.

Trump Lawyer: We’ve Only Just Begun Attacking Fani Willis

Donald Trump’s legal team is promising a fight on the Georgia ruling.

Alex Slitz/Pool/Getty Images

A Georgia judge ruled on Friday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can remain in the game to prosecute Donald Trump—but the former president’s legal team wasn’t too happy about that, pledging in a statement that they would continue to fight.

“While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began, as well as Willis’ extrajudicial MLK ‘church speech,’ where she played the race card and falsely accused the defendants and their counsel of racism,” Trump attorney Steve Sadow told CNN’s Kaitlin Collins. “We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place.”

Willis was accused of hiring special prosecutor Nathan Wade—a man she had a relationship with and who billed her office (and taxpayers) more than $728,000 in legal fees—for personal financial gain. The two have taken several international vacations together, which critics have claimed were partially bankrolled by public funds.

In his ruling, Georgia Judge Scott McAfee chastised Willis for what he described as a “tremendous lapse in judgment” in the affair, and even weighed putting a gag order on the district attorney’s office that would prevent them from discussing the case in public.

“The Court finds that the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor,” McAfee wrote. “The other alleged grounds for disqualification, including forensic misconduct, are also denied. However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team—an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options.”

Even though the decision wasn’t the one that Trump’s team was hoping for, the decision still benefited him, further delaying one of his several criminal trials before the presidential election.

MAGA World in Meltdown Mode Over Fani Willis Ruling

The most rabid MAGA politicians and supporters are not handling the Georgia ruling very well at all.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s supporters lost their minds on Friday following a judge’s decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on her election interference case against the former president.

Georgia Judge Scott McAfee determined Friday that Willis had to either remove herself from the case or cut ties with her special prosecutor, with whom she was accused of having an improper relationship. McAfee refused to disqualify Willis, as Trump’s lawyers had demanded, a major win for the district attorney.

Trump’s allies immediately had a full meltdown over the ruling. Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene accused McAfee of bias in Willis’s favor. Greene also demanded the state ethics board investigate Willis.

Representative Ronny Jackson and former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler went a step further and called for Willis to be disbarred.

Far-right activist Charlie Kirk said McAfee was a “coward” and called for Willis to be forcibly removed from the case. He then tried to spin the situation to make it seem as if Willis’s removal would be a good thing for Democrats.

Democrats should be outraged that Fani Willis is allowed to prosecute this case against Trump. She’s a disgraced liar. Her credibility is completely shot,” Kirk tweeted. “Fani Willis remains a massive legal and PR liability for the ‘Get Trump’ lawfare crowd.”

The pro-Trump outlet Gateway Pundit complained that “there is no justice in America today,” while noted Islamophobe Laura Loomer proclaimed the country was a “Banana Republic!”

Former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz freaked out about the decision, repeatedly insisting on Newsmax that “there was an actual conflict of interest.”

Trump and several of his co-defendants in their Georgia election interference case accused Willis of an improper relationship with her special prosecutor Nathan Wade. Trump’s team says that Willis and Wade began dating in 2019, while the couple says they didn’t start seeing each other until 2022, after Willis hired Wade for the Georgia case.

Willis has also stressed that the most important thing to remember is that Trump and his co-defendants are currently on trial for “trying to steal an election.”

Trump has stayed uncharacteristically quiet in the wake of McAfee’s ruling. His allegations against Willis were part of his overarching strategy to delay every single one of his legal battles as long as possible, in the hopes that he is reelected in November and can use his newfound presidential powers to shield himself from prosecution.

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