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Judge Cannon Blocks Trump Gag Order in Pettiest Way Possible

Trump can keep talking as much as he wants about the classified documents case.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon rejected a gag order request in Donald Trump’s classified documents trial Tuesday on the basis that the filing wasn’t polite enough.

The gag order, filed by special counsel Jack Smith, was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” according to the judge, who noted that the request did not allot enough follow-up time for Trump’s legal team to discuss the request.

“Because the filing of the Special Counsel’s Motion did not adhere to these basic requirements, it is due to be denied without prejudice. Any future, non-emergency motion brought in this case—whether on the topic of release conditions or anything else—shall not be filed absent meaningful, timely, and professional conferral,” Cannon wrote.

It’s just one of many subtle wins that Cannon has handed to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee in the trial. Earlier this month, she ordered a temporary stay on Trump’s legal requirement to give the government advance notice of which classified materials will be discussed—but never added an expiration date to it, effectively placing an indefinite hold on the proceedings.

Legal experts have warned that Cannon’s delayed actions and aversion to expedite the federal obstruction case could delay the trial until after November, and could also be the Trump-appointed judge’s way of surreptitiously dismissing the trial altogether.

On Thursday, former Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb accused Cannon of “incompetence,” insisting that there’s more than enough evidence—and time—to take the case to trial before Election Day.

“And frankly, this is a case that should’ve started trial yesterday or two days ago when the original trial date was set,” Cobb told CNN. “This case could have easily gotten to trial. Only her incompetence and perceived bias has prevented that.”

Tim Scott Had Quite the Busy Weekend Sucking Up to Donald Trump

Scott is in the running to become Donald Trump’s vice president—and he’s doing everything he can to land the gig.

Donald Trump and Tim Scott shake hands on stage. In the background is a backdrop that says Team Trump with a QR code.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It’s amazing how much junior Senator Tim Scott can talk while licking Trump’s oxfords until they sparkle. The Trump toady and rumored veep contender spent the weekend spouting lie after lie on behalf of the incessantly indicted demagogue.

Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union on Sunday, Scott derided a new campaign ad from the Biden administration targeting Black voters by reminding them of Trump’s fondness for racists. The ad says:

Donald Trump disrespecting Black folk is nothing new. He was sued for refusing to rent his apartments to black families and called for the execution of five innocent black and brown teenagers. It’s why Trump stood with violent white supremacists, warned of a blood bath if he loses the next election, and, if he’s president again, vowed to be a dictator who wants revenge on his enemies.

Scott called the ad “insulting,” then shifted to pitch his dear leader, saying, “There are two things that are driving Black votes back to Donald Trump: jobs and justice. Number one, under Donald Trump, our wages were going up. Right now, fairness is going down.”

Scott then pivoted to falsely claim Biden is resegregating schools, saying, “The elimination of charter schools under Joe Biden resegregates schools in America.” In reality, charter schools intensify school segregation and are a major cause of school segregation in the United States, according to multiple studies. Additionally, charter schools haven’t been eliminated under Biden whatsoever: The Charter Schools Program—the federal grant program that distributes public funds to privately managed schools—received $440 million last year, the same amount of funding  it has received since 2019 under the Trump administration.

In response to Trump getting aggressively booed at the Libertarian National Convention, Scott absurdly claimed to CNN, “I saw a wave of red hats at the Libertarian convention” and that “Donald Trump’s popularity continues to increase.” Alas, the red hats were for Argentina’s fascist populist president, Javier Milei, a Trump admirer and economy ruiner.

Tweet screenshot

When Bash asked Scott about false statements Trump made that he “nearly escaped death” and that the FBI was “locked and loaded and ready to take me out” for a raid of his Mar-a-Lago home, Scott simply deflected. “Once again, we find ourselves reinforcing this two-tiered justice system—where we see a different standard for Republicans and specifically a different standard for Donald Trump,” Scott said.

Trump’s gripe about the Mar-a-Lago raid stems from language in a search warrant to retrieve classified documents he stashed. The warrants include a boilerplate note that deadly force is allowed “only when necessary” and described such a circumstance if someone “poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” Trump referenced the boilerplate language in a fundraising email to falsely claim Biden was trying to assassinate him. In reality, the FBI made sure to conduct its raid of Mar-a-Lago on a day where Trump would not be present, in order to avoid confrontation. A similar warrant was also drafted to search Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home but was not necessary because Biden cooperated with the investigation.

Bob Menendez’s Biggest Campaign Expense Isn’t Even for Campaigning

The embattled New Jersey senator is throwing cash at his legal fees...and pricey steaks.

Bob Menendez walks
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez may be indicted for allegedly taking envelopes of cash and gold bars from local businessmen in exchange for favors with foreign officials, but that doesn’t mean he’s finished living the high life.

Instead, Menendez is reportedly spending thousands of dollars of campaign donations at Morton’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C., “where the filet mignon starts at $56 and the tomahawks top out at $139,” according to The Daily Beast.

The campaign—which has only managed to raise a little more than $95,000 this year—has so far spent $7,012.51 at the steakhouse, paying the bill via Menendez’s New Millennium political action committee. Menendez’s committees also spent $1,489.22 at three New Jersey restaurants in January, $1,500 for catering from Italian standby Carmine’s, and $464.24 at an exclusive club near Capitol Hill, reported the Beast.

And Menendez can continue to have his donors foot the bill for as long as he wants. The disgraced Garden State politician can keep spending so long as he can claim that the meals were meetings, even if he ends up blowing every penny and then some, according to a campaign finance lawyer who spoke with the publication. Brett Kappel of the firm Harmon Curran noted that the “candidate is not personally liable for the debts of the campaign.”

And there’s even precedent for Menendez to do the same with his attorneys: The embattled politico could effectively rinse his hands of his legal bills by reporting the fees as outstanding campaign debt, since the criminal charges are “arising out of his status as a federal officeholder.”

“He could theoretically list them as campaign debts and never pay them, just file FEC reports every four months,” Kappel told the Beast. “The actual deadline is when the lawyers refuse to do any more work, because they need to get paid.”

Still, the campaign has quite a bit more cash to chew through—roughly $3.5 million—before it’s in jeopardy.

The New Jersey Democrat and his wife stand accused of acting as foreign agents for Egypt, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of flashy gifts in exchange for Menendez’s “power and influence to protect and enrich” the businessmen and government of Egypt. In a superseding indictment filed in January, Menendez was also accused of other corruption-related charges, including allegedly taking bribes from Qatar in an attempt to help a New Jersey real estate developer secure a multimillion-dollar investment from a company tied to the Middle Eastern country and collecting lavish gifts in exchange for his handiwork. Menendez and his wife have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Video Exposes Just How Much “Law and Order” Trump Respects Military

Spoiler alert: not much.

Donald Trump speaks
Julia Nikhinson/Pool/Getty Images

Just a reminder to those who forgot: Donald Trump doesn’t care for the nation’s veterans, and he never did.

A montage of the notorious draft dodger’s old musings on the military went viral on Memorial Day. The audio medley, assembled by The Daily Show, featured the voices of several network anchors reporting on just how little the presumptive GOP presidential nominee actually cares about the military, from leveraging charity funds intended for the military to prop up his 2020 presidential campaign to deriding people who sacrifice their lives for their country as “suckers” and “losers.”

In one clip from 2015, Trump claimed that late Senator John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.

“I like people that weren’t captured, OK?” Trump said.

In another snippet taken from Trump’s presidency, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle reported that Trump opted to play golf rather than reaching out to the families of U.S. soldiers who were left behind and killed during a controversial ambush in Niger.

“Trump has faced major criticism for not reaching out to the families of four U.S. soldiers,” Ruhle said. “He has played golf at least four times since these young men were killed.”

Trump was later caught on tape laughing while recalling the incident to White House aides, and caught more flack after he fumbled the name of one of the soldiers’ widows when he finally got on the phone with her.

“I heard him stumbling on trying to remember my husband’s name, and that’s what hurt me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name?” Myeshia Johnson, the wife of late Army Sergeant La David Johnson, told ABC News weeks after the ambush.

Trump Reveals Chilling New Details in Mass Deportation Plans

Donald Trump has a plan for the police in his proposed crackdown on immigration.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Donald Trump revealed new details of his horrific massive deportation plan at the Libertarian National Convention on Monday, where he was mostly booed by the crowd, saying he wants to grant cops who carry out mass deportation total immunity from misconduct investigations and lawsuits.

Alt-right podcaster and beanie enthusiast Tim Pool interviewed Trump—because the Libertarian National Convention is nothing if not a fever dream—asking him, “I know that you’ve said there’s gonna be the largest deportation effort in your next term. How do we do it?”

Trump rambled, as he does, about an estimated 15 to 17 million people he wants to deport—numbers that contradict existing data and that he seems to have just made up—who’ve entered the United States for asylum and job opportunities, baselessly accusing them of being “murderers … drug dealers … coming from mental institutions,” before finally saying he wants to use “local police” to enforce his mass deportation plans.

“It will really be done with local police,” said Trump before devolving into a barely coherent tirade explaining his desire to provide immunity to his future deportation gestapo:

Do you know, the respect has been taken away, the honor has been taken away from our police forces. They’re not allowed to do anything, and whether it’s libertarian or not libertarian, people have to have, you have to have law and order. You can’t have 500 people walking into a department store and just walking out with everything they have, and we have to give honor and respect back, and I believe immunity because, you know, so often when a police person does their job they end up with no pension, they end up with no house, they end up with no family. Everything’s taken away from them. They have to get their own lawyer. So we’re gonna give them back their dignity and their strength.

Trump’s depiction of police accountability is an extremely exaggerated detailing of what could happen when someone with a cushy job loses that job for engaging in egregious violations of the law. His desire to shield cops from accountability builds on existing qualified immunity policies, which shield cops from being held personally liable for violating someone’s constitutional rights without a high-bar precedent. Under these policies, someone else in the same position has to have violated a person’s constitutional rights in the same way and have been held accountable for that violation—an intensely confusing policy that essentially functions to severely limit people’s ability to pursue misconduct lawsuits against cops who violate their constitutional rights.

Trump’s Demented Rant Escalates Legal Troubles with E. Jean Carroll

E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer has responded to Trump’s latest attack on her client.

E. Jean Carroll smiles and waves a hand
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump keeps giving E. Jean Carroll grounds for another lawsuit, and the magazine writer says she might take action.

On Memorial Day, May 27, the former president made an unhinged and disrespectful Truth Social post where the holiday came second to his personal grievances.

“Happy Memorial Day to All, including the Human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our Once Great Country, & to the Radical Left, Trump Hating Federal Judge in New York that presided over, get this, TWO separate trials, that awarded a woman, who I never met before (a quick handshake at a celebrity event, 25 years ago, doesn’t count!), 91 MILLION DOLLARS for ‘DEFAMATION,’” Trump wrote.

In a follow-up post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday afternoon, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noted the response from Carroll’s lawyer.

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In May 2023, Trump was found liable of sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s and of defaming her when she accused him of assault decades later. A New York jury awarded her $2 million in damages for the sexual and physical abuse and recommended she be awarded an additional $3 million for defamation. In January this year, after Trump continued to insult her, Carroll was awarded an additional total of $83.3 million, including $7.3 million for damage to her reputation, $11 million for emotional harm, and $65 million for punitive damages. Trump tried to appeal the last ruling, but was rebuffed.

As Trump faces a third potential lawsuit from Carroll, he is also dealing with his trial in New York over a hush-money scheme in which he allegedly paid off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up their affair with the help of his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. He faces 34 felony counts in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Closing arguments began Tuesday.

Trump Blasts “Human Scum” Before Hush-Money Closing Arguments

The former president took aim at all of his trial judges.

Donald Trump salutes
Logan Riely/Getty Images

Donald Trump had a special Memorial Day message for the people who oversaw his recent legal battles, using the military holiday as an opportunity to slam the judges, victims, and judgments of his three recent cases and practically daring writer E. Jean Carroll to sue him again.

“Happy Memorial Day to All, including the Human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our Once Great Country, & to the Radical Left, Trump Hating Federal Judge in New York that presided over, get this, TWO separate trials, that awarded a woman, who I never met before (a quick handshake at a celebrity event, 25 years ago, doesn’t count!), 91 MILLION DOLLARS for ‘DEFAMATION,’” Trump posted on Truth Social, referring to Carroll, who won a defamation case against Trump in January for similar comments. A previous trial in May 2023 found Trump sexually abused Carroll—providing grounds for a partial summary ruling against him for repeatedly claiming that he never knew or touched her.

“She didn’t know when the so-called event took place—sometime in the 1990’s—never filed a police report, didn’t have to produce the ‘dress’ that she threatened me with (it showed negative!), & sung my praises in the first half of her CNN Interview with Alison Cooper, but changed her tune in the second half—Gee, I wonder why (UNDER APPEAL!)? The Rape charge was dropped by a jury!” Trump continued, really sticking it to CNN and definitely not playing schoolhouse games in choosing to misname its lead anchor, Anderson Cooper.

But Carroll wasn’t the only legal battle on Trump’s mind: The GOP presidential nominee is still furious about his last New York trial, which cost him nearly half a billion dollars and blocked him and his two eldest sons from operating businesses within the Empire State.

“Arthur Engoron, the N.Y. State Wacko Judge who fined me almost 500 Million Dollars (UNDER APPEAL) for DOING NOTHING WRONG, used a Statute that has never been used before, gave me NO JURY, Mar-a-Lago at $18,000,000,” Trump wrote, misrepresenting the details of a case that found him to have routinely misrepresented his financial details in order to secure better business loans. And Trump can only thank his own legal decisions for how the trial operated (or for being there in the first place). His attorneys did not ask for a jury in a trial that Engoron would later say did not require one.

“Now for Merchan!” Trump concluded the rant.

Somehow, that wasn’t the only Trump to share a tone-deaf message over the holiday weekend. His second son, Eric, issued his own strange note on Friday, retweeting another user’s post of a picture of the Trump family, captioned, “The family that gave up everything to Save America. Thank You!”

“And we will do it again!” wrote Eric Trump.

Texas GOP Official Begs Party to Stop Focusing on Abortion

“What are we going to do, stone women next?”

Demonstrators hold anti-abortion signs.
Anti–abortion protesters at a “Rally for Life” march and celebration outside the Texas State Capitol on January 27, in Austin, Texas.

A precinct chair in the Houston GOP is calling on her party to drop its anti-abortion platforms, warning that the state’s draconian restrictions to the medical procedure are alienating its base.

Speaking at the Texas Republican convention, Harris County Precinct 178 chair Gilda Bayegan claimed that she was “shocked” to learn how many of her constituents were no longer Republicans.

“I asked them, ‘What matters to you?’ It’s the things that all these people have been telling you to focus on,” Bayegan said, motioning to the people around the room while rolling through a list of issues, ranging from judicial accountability to border security. “Nobody told me that they wanted stricter abortion laws.”

“Every time we talk about abortion we are putting gas in the tank of the Democrats,” Bayegan continued. “I’m up here begging you not to make it one of our priorities.”

Texas has some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation, banning all use of the medical procedure except in the event of a severe medical emergency—though even that exception isn’t a given. Last year, Dallas mother Kate Cox became the first woman to challenge the state’s post-Roe emergency clause after learning that her fetus had a fatal genetic condition that would have jeopardized Cox’s health and future fertility if carried to term. But although Cox qualified for the procedure under Texas law, a district judge’s ruling allowing her to receive an abortion was effectively overridden by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who not only called for the Supreme Court to intervene in the case but also promised to convict abortion providers with felony charges, even if the procedure was court-ordered.

Still, Republican officials are continuing to milk the issue, proposing increasingly cruel ways to punish medical providers and women for giving or receiving reproductive care. Last month, leaked video footage captured Hood County GOP officials at a meeting supporting the death penalty for women and minors who seek abortion or even in vitro fertilization treatments.

It’s those kinds of initiatives, according to Bayegan, that serve as the metaphorical end of the road for voters. “One of my colleagues was in the health … committee. There was a guy in there saying ‘Make morning-after pills illegal, and prosecute anybody who uses them for murder.’ Murder?” mocked Bayegan. “What are we going to do, stone women next?”

But Republican attendees at the conference wouldn’t hear it. Instead, one man asked if she believed a “child in the womb was a human being,” while another man pressed Bayegan on her religious beliefs, asking if it mattered “what God believes in us” or if it only matters to win elections.

“If we lose this election, I want you all to think about the reality of what this country will become,” Bayegan replied.

This MAGA Conspiracy Theorist Might Be the Next George Santos

A Republican Senate candidate was just caught blowing campaign funds on strippers.

Retired NBA player Royce White stands on basketball court.
Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images for BIG3

Move over, George Santos—there’s another Republican politician with a taste for the finer things in life.

Royce White, the leading Republican candidate for the Senate in Minnesota, reportedly spent campaign funds from a previous failed political campaign on strip clubs, posh hotel stays, limousine services, and many other items that could only be described as personal expenses, reports The Daily Beast.

White, a retired NBA player, racked up the aforementioned ritzy expenditures, including more than $1,200 to a Miami strip club called “Gold Rush Cabaret,” during a failed run for Congress in 2022 while also taking part in Ice Cube’s “Big3” three-on-three professional basketball league at the same time. He might have gotten away with his two-year-old spending spree if he hadn’t decided to run for the Senate, as his violations of campaign finance law—which seem to rival Santos’s—went unnoticed in 2022.

“In nearly a decade of reviewing FEC disclosures, I’ve never seen a mess quite like White’s disbursements,” Jordan Libowitz, vice president for communications at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said to The Daily Beast.

White is a notorious conspiracy theorist, who’s gone from being a Black Lives Matter protester to an acolyte of Steve Bannon. He has also been accused of publicly opposing abortion while pressuring a woman to have one. Thanks to Bannon’s endorsement, White earned the endorsement of the Minnesota Republican Party in a landslide victory last weekend, garnering more than two-thirds of the vote.

With Minnesota’s Republican Senate primary set for August, Royce is not guaranteed to end up as the Republican nominee who will face incumbent Senator Amy Klobuchar in November. But the fact that he has made it so far to get a state party’s endorsement is telling. It’s anyone’s guess whether he makes it to November without criminal charges.

Trump’s Shocking Scheme: A Permanent Get Out of Jail Free Card

As Trump’s legal troubles pile up around him, he’s come up with a plan to make himself immune forever.

Steven Ferdman/GC Images

Trump is plotting ways to make it illegal to prosecute him for all the crimes he loves to commit if he retakes the White House—and he’s tapping GOP leaders to carry out the plan, according to sources who spoke with Rolling Stone.

“Even after a second term, he doesn’t think any of this is going to end,” one source told Rolling Stone. “He doesn’t think Democrats are going to quit coming after him.”

Trump has held meetings with “several” Republican lawmakers and attorneys about passing legislation to indemnify former presidents from nonfederal prosecutions, according to Rolling Stone—an idea he probably wishes he thought of during his first term and before getting hit with a dazzling array of criminal and civil charges over and over and over and over and over again.

Sitting presidents are granted presidential immunity for actions they take in their official capacity, but that doesn’t extend beyond the presidency or apply to activities unrelated to the presidency.

Trump has previously argued—including in a case now before the Supreme Court—that he has absolute immunity on the basis that everything he did as president qualifies as an official act. This, however, doesn’t absolve him from crimes he committed prior to and after his time in office, nor does it extend to nonfederal crimes.

Trump hinted at his new scheme during a break from his hush-money trial, telling cameras Congress needs to “pass lots of laws” to prevent “things like this” (Trump being charged for crimes). Whether the ploy will work is a matter of elections: Trump would need to win in November, and Republicans would need to control the House and Senate.

Despite that, efforts have been underway to shield Trump from prosecution, including the introduction of the “No More Political Prosecutions Act” introduced to the House in 2023 by Republican Representative Russell Fry, which seeks to move state and civil cases against current and former presidents and vice presidents up to federal courts, effectively freezing those cases. Simultaneously, Trump’s team has been working to revive and expand a Nixon-era Department of Justice memo prohibiting the prosecution of sitting presidents—and former presidents.