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Elise Stefanik’s Desperate Bid for Trump’s V.P. Ends in Epic Fail

Stefanik’s complaint about the judge and clerk in Trump’s bank fraud trial has been thrown out.

Elise Stefanik sits in front of a microphone
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A state panel has smacked down New York Republican Representative Elise Stefanik’s ethics complaint against the judge in Donald Trump’s bank fraud case, a likely fatal blow to her soft campaign to be his vice presidential nominee.  

Stefanik eagerly declared in November that she had filed a complaint against New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron and his law clerk Allison Greenfield, by posting her letter in its apparent entirety to X (formerly Twitter). 

The Republican attacked Engoron and Greenfield for making donations to Democratic political campaigns, alleged that Engoron had “illegally” placed a gag order on Trump, and argued that the judge demonstrated “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance.” Her decision to post about the complaint was an obvious, if not desperate, stunt to signal to Trump that she is the ideal sycophant to join him in office, if he is elected.

Too bad for Stefanik, because her theatrics appear to have been in vain. According to a document obtained by The Daily Beast, her complaint was quietly rejected by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct in March.  

“The commission dismissed the complaint, having found no basis on the facts presented to commence an investigation,” wrote Robert H. Tembeckjian, the commission’s administrator and counsel, in the panel’s decision.

The Beast reported that it was unclear whether Stefanik was even aware that her ploy had failed. When asked, she reportedly demanded to know how the Beast could assert the complaint had been dismissed. 

In a statement to the outlet, Stefanik’s executive director, Alex DeGrasse, said, “New York’s court system is partisan, corrupt, and rigged. Chairwoman Elise Stefanik and House Republicans will continue to expose the blatant illegal lawfare and weaponization of the government and courts against President Trump.”

While Stefanik’s antics may have fallen flat, and her political aspirations been injured, she is only one small part of the GOP-backed barrage on the judicial system that seeks to hold Donald Trump accountable for his crimes.

Democrats Slam Biden Over “Disappointing” Immigration Executive Order

“We should be distinguishing ourselves from Donald Trump on immigration,” said one lawmaker in response to Biden’s executive order capping asylum.

Joe Biden looks down, frowning
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

President Biden’s executive order to shut down asylum is already drawing criticism—from within the Democratic Party.

Biden issued an executive order Tuesday that will shut down the southern U.S. border if the average number of border encounters exceeds 2,500, which it already has, and only resume them once the number drops to below 1,500. That means the order could go into effect immediately.

Several Democrats have already slammed the plan, which they say ignores established law requiring the granting of asylum to people with a credible fear in their home countries. A lack of legal paths to immigration has led to more people requesting asylum, and to some Democrats, the new restrictions seem similar to Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“I’m disappointed that this is a direction that the president has decided to take,” Representative Nanette Barragán, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said Tuesday morning.

“We should be distinguishing ourselves from Donald Trump on immigration,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told The Washington Post. “We should be offering the contrast.”

Some saw Biden’s order as more tough talk about the border that wouldn’t solve the underlying issues.

“I do not think that shutting down the border, quote unquote, is a remedy that will get us to where we need to be on immigration reform,” said Representative Sylvia Garcia.

Even Democrats in swing districts vulnerable to Republican attacks on immigration aren’t happy with the plan.

“I understand that the Biden administration feels like they need to do something,” said Representative Hillary Scholten, an immigration lawyer in Michigan. “It’s heart-wrenching to see that this is the something that they are choosing, knowing full well that this is not going to come close to solving the problem that we are experiencing.”

Biden has drawn fire for his immigration policies as president, drawing accusations that he has done little to reverse Donald Trump’s widely criticized actions. With Republicans opposing just about anything Biden enacts, he’ll need support from his own party for any plan to hold up. To Representative Alex Padilla, Biden should include more humanitarian provisions, as opposed to tough talk to win over Democrats and the wider public.

“While some people point to how well an orderly and secure border polls, what polls even better is support for dreamers and farmworkers and other essential workers who happen to be undocumented,” said Padilla. “What polls the best is a combination of the policies taken together.”

Stormy Daniels’s Message About Melania’s “Abusive” Felon Husband

Daniels urged Melania to get out.

Nordin Catic/Getty Images/The Cambridge Union

After years of legal back-and-forths with Donald Trump, porn actress Stormy Daniels has one final message for his (supposedly) better half: Get out while you still can.

In an interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mirror published Monday, Daniels began rattling off reasons that Melania Trump should leave her husband of 19 years.

“He’s a convicted felon,” she began.

“He’s proven to be abusive. He was found liable for assault,” Daniels continued, referring to the outcome of his case with writer E. Jean Carroll.

But Daniels also questioned if she will be “done” with Trump now that the trial has ended, describing him as a “scarlet letter but worse.”

“That’s an orange stain that’s going to be on me for a very long time,” she said.

Still, Daniels is feeling celebratory about the outcome of the trial, adding that Trump had been “unchecked until now, but checkmate, motherfucker.”

A jury found Trump guilty Thursday on 34 counts of falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime in relation to hush-money payments dished out to Daniels in an effort to hide information during the 2016 presidential election.

It marked the first time in U.S. history that a former president had been convicted of a felony. Trump will be sentenced on July 11 at 10 a.m., mere days before the Republican National Convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Trump’s “Election Fraud” Henchmen Charged in Yet Another State

Kenneth Chesebro and two other key Donald Trump allies have been charged for their role in trying to overthrow the 2020 election in Wisconsin.

Alyssa Pointer/Getty Images

Kenneth Chesebro got smacked with a felony fraud charge by Wisconsin prosecutors on Tuesday. Largely considered the architect of the fake electors plot to flip the 2020 election to Trump, Chesebro was charged alongside Michael Roman, head of Trump’s 2020 Election Day operations, and fellow Trump lawyer James Troupis. All were charged with one count of forgery in the case brought by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Paul, according to court records.

The statute listed for the Trump trio’s charges, “forgery-uttering,” is a Class H felony in Wisconsin, essentially defined as touting bogus official statements or fake legal documents or public records as true while knowing they’re fraudulent.

Chesebro, as part of the fake elector scheme, attempted to send fake certified elector documents—which falsely claimed Wisconsin and Michigan electors chose Trump—to Washington, D.C., ahead of 2020’s presidential electoral certification process. The plot was spoiled when the documents infamously got stuck in the mail, leading to a last-minute scramble by the schemers to get the phony paperwork into the hands of then–Vice President Mike Pence in time to certify election results on January 6, 2021.

Chesebro is also named as a co-conspirator in Georgia’s fake elector charges, where he is cooperating with the state and has pleaded guilty to planning the goofily villainous scheme. Chesebro is reportedly also cooperating with prosecutors in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Tuesday’s charges are a first for Troupis and Roman, who join the vaunted ranks of at least a dozen other Trump lawyers and toadies who conspired to submit fake electors to certify the 2020 election for Trump. Troupis and Chesebro are also being sued by Biden electors in Wisconsin for the plot, where 10 other Republican electors settled a lawsuit in December 2023 forcing them to admit Biden won the 2020 election.

Republican Rep. Reveals Just How far GOP Will Go to Attack Fauci

Representative Brad Wenstrup says Republicans want to dig through Fauci’s personal emails.

Anthony Fauci sits in front of a microphone with his hands folded
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In the latest erosion of personal freedoms at the hands of Republicans, a GOP lawmaker has requested to dig through the personal emails of a private citizen. But it’s OK, because the citizen in question is Dr. Anthony Fauci, former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who Republicans are convinced has done something really wrong, despite his repeated testimony to the contrary.

Last month, Dr. David Morens, a former senior adviser at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before the GOP-led House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic about a disturbing set of emails in which he wrote that he’d been able to skirt requests under the Freedom of Information Act by deleting official correspondence and using his personal Gmail account.

During an interview on Fox Business on Tuesday morning, Representative Brad Wenstrup, the Republican chair of that subcommittee, confirmed that to follow up on Morens’s emails, he intends to dig through Fauci’s personal emails too.

“Dr. Morens said in his emails that, ‘Tony uses Gmail, too. I can contact Tony on Gmail, or I can just walk right into his office, or I can go to his house,’” said Wenstrup. “So, we have asked for Dr. Fauci’s Gmails, and I think it’s important that we get them.”

“Yesterday he said, ‘No, I never did any official business on my Gmail.’ Well, we’re gonna try and find out just as we did with Dr. Morens,” said Wenstrup. The Ohio Republican and foot doctor, who has opposed vaccine mandates, requested Fauci’s personal emails and phone records on May 29.

In his opening remarks before the subcommittee on Monday, Fauci testified that he “knew nothing” about Dr. Morens’s conduct and insisted that the two didn’t really work together. He also tried to put the Gmail rumors to rest.

“To the best of my knowledge, I have never conducted official business using my personal email,” said Fauci, who has previously said he has complied with all of the panel’s requests.

Wenstrup condemned Fauci during the hearing for his role in creating supposedly “oppressive” federal rules to usher Americans through the early days of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, taking aim at mask mandates and social distancing guidelines.

“Americans were aggressively bullied, shamed, and silenced for merely questioning or debating issues such as social distancing, masks, vaccines, or the origins of Covid,” Wenstrup whined.

Rooting through Fauci’s emails seems to be the latest pivot for Republicans, after they tried to pin everything from alleged misconduct to tedious safety measures on the former health official.

Judge Cannon Triggers Avalanche of Hate, Forcing Court Response

Everyone hates the judge overseeing Trump’s classified documents case so much that the court’s complaints page was flooded.

Judge Aileen Cannon portrait (blue background looks like a yearbook photo)
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

The federal judge presiding over Donald Trump’s classified documents trial, Aileen Cannon, is so unpopular that a federal appeals court was forced to announce it will no longer accept complaints about her.

The 11th Circuit Judicial Council, which oversees the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida where Cannon serves, said in a May 22 opinion that its clerk has received more than 1,000 complaints about Cannon since May 16.

The complaints “raise allegations that are similar to the allegations raised in previous complaints” and seem to be part of an “orchestrated campaign,” according to the council, which ordered its clerk to stop accepting complaints about Cannon.

Specifically, these complaints claim Cannon’s is delaying issuing rulings in the classified documents case as well as making incorrect rulings. Many complaints also ask that Cannon be removed from the case altogether.

Cannon’s conduct certainly appears questionable. On Monday, she agreed to hear Trump’s arguments that the FBI plotted to assassinate him—a completely made-up conspiracy theory. Last week, she blocked a gag order request from special counsel Jack Smith because it was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.” Last month, she effectively delayed Trump’s case indefinitely to resolve pretrial motions. Even one of Trump’s former lawyers, Ty Cobb, thinks that Cannon is doing a terrible job with the case.

And it’s not just Cannon’s favorable actions toward Trump that raise eyebrows—the infrequent trial proceedings don’t paint her in a favorable light. Cannon herself seems to be having trouble understanding basic legal proceedings and principles, leading to long explanations that she still doesn’t appear to grasp. One hearing with a Trump co-defendant devolved into a shouting match. Plus, her conduct has disillusioned some of her clerks, two of whom decided to quit as a result of her conduct on the classified documents case as well as an allegedly hostile work environment.

Legal experts think that Cannon’s actions could be part of a plan for the Trump appointee to eventually dismiss the case altogether. Trump has made no secret of how much he appreciates Cannon’s efforts. But thus far, the only responses to her actions have been the complaints to the 11th Circuit and online petitions, neither of which carry much weight.

Lara Trump’s RNC Convention Is Looking for Event Space at Rikers

The RNC is preparing for a convention with Donald Trump in jail.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks into a microphone
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Donald Trump might already be in jail by the time he accepts the GOP nomination for president at the Republican National Convention—at least according to RNC Chair Michael Whatley.

Whatley told Newsmax Tuesday that the GOP organization is already planning for the possibility.

“We’re working on that right now,” Whatley said. “We expect that Donald Trump is going to be in Milwaukee, and he is going to be able to accept that nomination. And if not, we will make whatever contingency plan we need to make for it. But the fact is, he is going to be our nominee, and he’s going to be the 47th president of the United States.”

When pressed for the details on the “contingency plans”—such as whether Trump would have to deliver a speech from prison or if he would need to prerecord a speech before he was sentenced—Whatley said he couldn’t elaborate but added that “everything is being thought about” and everything was being “considered at this point in time.”

“We will have to wait and see what the courts present us with the opportunity to do, but look, Donald Trump will communicate directly with the American voters the way that he always does,” Whatley said.

“Believe me, Mr. Chairman, I can feel the audience right now upset that I’m asking these questions, but I have to ask them just because we are in such uncharted territory,” responded Newsmax host Rob Finnerty.

Meanwhile, the tides are turning against Republicans who dared to respect the rule of law and the judgment of 12 jurors who convicted Trump. After a weekend of waffling on the fate of former Maryland governor and Republican Senate candidate Larry Hogan, Whatley flatly said that the Republican primary winner “has to run his own race.”

“The RNC is not behind Larry Hogan?” pressed Finnerty.

“We are behind the Republican nominee, and we will support that nominee, but Larry Hogan is going to have to have that conversation with his voters there,” Whatley said.

“So the RNC won’t support Larry Hogan … as the guy on the ballot?” continued Finnerty.

“I didn’t say that. We’re making decisions based on investments in races every single day as we go forward with it,” Whatley said evasively. “Right now, we will evaluate it as we move forward in the election cycle.”

RFK Jr.’s VP Pick Brags She and Tucker Carlson Are “So on Same Page”

Nicole Shanahan says she has a lot in common with Tucker Carlson.

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In the conspiracy world, white supremacist conspiracy theorist Tucker Carlson is evidently a triumph of independent antiestablishment thought. At least if you ask Robert F. Kennedy Jr. running mate (and billionaire) Nicole Shanahan.

“I’m sitting across from Tucker, and he and I are so on the same page in every single way,” Shanahan boasted during a campaign stop last week in Maine, provoking cheers from the small audience. “We are on the same page because we have left ‘establishment thinking’ once and for all.”

While touting his campaign as a defiant underdog battling against the forces of establishment control, former so-called Democrat Kennedy has long been a conspiracy theorist who routinely finds himself apologizing for pushing antisemitic rhetoric and appalling conspiracies—like nonsensically claiming Covid-19 was created to spare Jews, and that vaccine requirements are worse than the Holocaust.

The anti-vax nonprofit Kennedy chairs, Children’s Health Defense, was a major propagator of anti-vaccine disinformation in 2021 and often found itself rubbing shoulders with QAnon-addled Trumpsters and election-denialist insurrectionists. According to The Washington Post, Children’s Health Defense has peddled the “great reset” conspiracy, which claims “global elites” (billionaires, like Shanahan?) planned to use the coronavirus pandemic to “push forward a globalist or Marxist plot to destroy American sovereignty and prosperity and control the population.”

Tucker Carlson was ousted at Fox News after repeatedly pushing the deeply racist ‘great replacement’ theory, a racist conspiracy that falsely claims nonwhite immigrants are relocating to the United States with the explicit intention of eliminating “white culture.” Great replacement is a staple conspiracy among the extreme far right, and has been frequently touted by racist mass shooters.

Shanahan’s embrace of Carlson, both ultrarich and espousing conspiracies either covertly or overtly rooted in racism, is just another example of how the “antiestablishment” label is often just a scam to get people buying into authoritarian, extremist ideologies.

Fauci Torches “Crazy” MTG for Her Insane Attacks

The former NIAID head did not hold back against Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Anthony Fauci smiles as he sits in front of a microphone
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After a tumultuous, side-winding hearing on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared particularly unimpressed by a line of questioning directed at him by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

During his testimony Monday before the House oversight committee about the origins on Covid-19, Greene torched Fauci, the medical leader of America’s pandemic response, refusing to refer to him as a doctor and claiming that he belongs “in prison” for committing “crimes against humanity.”

Afterward, Fauci took to CNN to explain how rhetoric like hers immediately and inevitably results in an increase in death threats for himself and his family.

“Whenever somebody gets up, whether it’s a news media—you know, Fox News does it a lot—or it’s somebody in the Congress who gets up and makes a public statement that I’m responsible for the deaths of x number of people because of policies or some crazy idea that I created the virus—immediately, it’s like clockwork, the death threats go way up,” Fauci told Kaitlan Collins.

“So that’s the reason why I’m still getting death threats. When you have performances like that unusual performance by Marjorie Taylor Greene in today’s hearing, those are the kinds of things that drive up the death threats because there are a segment of the population out there that believe that kind of nonsense,” Fauci said.

But Greene wasn’t the only representative who threw inexplicable curveballs at the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Several GOP lawmakers all played the same game while Fauci was in the chair: New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis and Arizona Representative Debbie Lesko tried and failed to implicate him in popular conspiracy theories with evidence they didn’t have; committee Chair James Comer wouldn’t let him speak, claiming he had too many questions to get through; and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan threw him such irrelevant questions that it caused Fauci to ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

“I have testified literally hundreds of times over the last 40 years, over [at] Congress, and there’s always been differences of opinion, differences of ideology, criticisms, and things like that,” Fauci told CNN. “But the level of vitriol that we see now just in the country in general—but actually played out during this hearing was really quite unfortunate.”

And, ultimately, those questions distracted from and derailed a hearing with a real purpose: to educate Congress to better protect the American people ahead of another pandemic, according to Fauci.

Only time will tell if they learned something.

Felon Trump’s Really Dumb Defense Reveals Republican Hypocrisy

It’s getting hard to argue that Republicans stand for “law and order.”

Donald Trump holds up his fist
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt doesn’t seem to have a sense of irony when it comes to calling Republicans the party of “law and order” in defense of their presumptive nominee, who as of last week is an actual felon.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Representative Adam Schiff discussed Trump’s menacing warning about the public reaching a “breaking point” when he is sentenced for his various crimes. Schiff said the former president’s comment was “clearly Donald Trump once again inciting violence, potential violence, when he is sentenced.”

The next day, Leavitt hit back at Schiff during an interview on Newsmax, and conveniently ignored her client’s felony convictions to accuse the Democrats of being lawless and violent. 

“Adam Schiff is a vile and disgusting human being, and the Democrat Party is the party of violence; they are the party that have called to threaten the lives of Trump supporters,” she said.  

“It’s Maxine Waters who said, ‘Do whatever you have to do to go after them.’ It’s Adam Schiff who lied to the American public for years over a fake ‘Russia-Russia-Russia’ hoax that was paid for and concocted by the Democrat Party, just like this political persecution of Joe Biden’s opponent is today,” she said. 

“Republicans stand for law and order, Democrats stand for violence,” Leavitt continued. “The violence we see taking place in our inner cities, at our southern border, and all around this world is the result of Democrat policies.”

One might want to set aside Leavitt’s mischaracterizations of Waters’s comment—in which the California representative encouraged her supporters to hound Trump officials, not his MAGA followers—and of Schiff’s failed investigation into allegations that Trump had colluded with Russian officials, but really they shouldn’t. It’s all symptomatic of the Trump press secretary’s necessary break with reality, as she embraces her new job description: selling a criminal as the “Law & Order president.”