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Trump Openly Threatens to Imprison Political Enemies

Donald Trump is promising to take revenge on his political enemies if he returns to the White House. Take his word for it.

Donald Trump is yelling inside Trump tower. A crowd (dark, out of focus) is behind him as well as a U.S. flag draped from the ceiling in front of the window.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Upset over being convicted on 34 felony counts in his hush-money trial, Donald Trump is floating the idea of imprisoning his enemies if he’s elected to the White House.

The Republican presidential nominee brought up the idea during a rambling phone interview with Newsmax on Tuesday. Host Greg Kelly asked whether the trial and guilty verdict were a net positive for Trump, who didn’t even answer the question.

“Does that mean the next president does it to them? That’s really the question,” Trump replied. He went off on a tangent, discussing the “Lock her up” chants against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and how terrible it would be to put her in jail.

“I thought it would be a terrible precedent for our country,” Trump said about locking up Clinton. “And now, whoever it may be, you’re gonna have to view it very much differently. This is a bad, bad road that they’re leading us down to as a country.

“And it’s very possible that it’s gonna have to happen to them,” Trump added.

The former president’s allies have regularly mentioned jailing their opponents. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser, recently told Axios that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who led the prosecution of Trump’s hush-money trial, “should be—and will be—jailed.”

Bannon added that he wants “investigations to include [Democrats’] media allies.”

If elected president, Trump will have the full force of the Justice Department to use at his disposal, and could put a more dangerous attorney general than the likes of Jeff Sessions or Bill Barr in power, who acts on Trump’s election conspiracies and prosecutes his enemies. Trump could also have the federal cases against him dismissed, whether they’re about his mishandling of classified documents or his role in the January 6 insurrection. With these cases currently stalled, the only way to keep Trump from carrying out his plans may be to defeat him in November.

Biden Brags Immigration Policy Isn’t as Bad as Trump’s—It’s Worse

The new ban could make it harder for asylum-seekers.

Joe Biden speaks at a podium
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Joe Biden just made it a little easier to deport migrants from custody—and he’s proud of it.

The president’s new immigration policy changed critical language that was introduced during the Trump administration, swapping the “reasonable possibility” standard for deportation to an even higher “reasonable probability” standard, according to a Department of Homeland Security asylum fact sheet released Tuesday.

It also changed other processing standards in Title 8 immigration procedures, including making those who illegally crossed the border no longer eligible for asylum (except in the event of “exceptionally compelling” circumstances) and further tightening the eligibility guidelines for deportees who fear returning to their home countries.

The reasoning behind the timing of the change is a little transparent. Although poll predictions so far away from Election Day have proven to be historically unreliable, Biden has trailed behind Trump, despite the presumptive GOP presidential nominee being a convicted felon. On top of that, voters have resoundingly picked immigration as the number one issue fueling their decisions this election cycle.

“I would have preferred to address our issues at the border through bipartisan legislation because that’s the only way to actually fix our broken system,” Biden wrote in a statement. “But Republicans in Congress have left me no choice. So today, I’m announcing actions that bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum—unless they seek it after entering through established lawful processes.”

As shocking as Biden’s change is, Donald Trump could make things even worse if he is elected in November. Trump has promised to bring back President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback,” which used military tactics to conduct massive roundups of some 1.3 million immigrants, legal or otherwise, across the country, packing them into trucks and shipping them to locations without food or water, resulting in tragic and unnecessary deaths.

Trump is also expected to bring his former adviser Stephen Miller back to the West Wing as the leading expert on “America First” immigration policy. Miller has been vocal about a forthcoming reality of “large-scale raids” and “throughput facilities.”

Behind the scenes, Trump has played a big part in why immigration has become a focal point in the first place. He strong-armed Republican lawmakers into refusing bipartisan border deals to avoid giving Biden a win on the issue. He also stoked the flames of a standoff between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the federal government over lengths of concertina wire erected by the state that have prevented federal border agents from doing their jobs along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Furious Marjorie Taylor Greene Admits Republicans Are Totally Useless

The far-right representative is finally admitting the truth about Republicans once and for all.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks while pointing a finger angrily. Two reporters are in the background.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene seems to have grasped the obvious: The Republican Party is going nowhere.

The far-right congresswoman complained to Steve Bannon on Real America’s Voice that her colleagues wouldn’t support her quest to impeach Joe Biden.

“Republicans continually have their head up their ass and can’t figure out how to actually use the power that the people gave us,” Greene ranted.

“People are sick and tired of a feckless and useless Republican Party that never does a damn thing to stop any of this,” the far-right congresswoman added, referring to mass immigration from the southern U.S. border.

While Democrats would agree with the wording of her criticisms of the GOP, if not the substance, Greene still doesn’t realize that she is as much responsible for her party’s dysfunction as anyone. She tried and failed to oust Speaker Mike Johnson over Ukraine aid funding, earning her several enemies among her fellow Republicans in Congress. She hijacked a hearing about the Justice Department to insult Representative Jasmine Crockett, only to be turned into a trademarked meme for her efforts.

Instead of proposing any meaningful legislation herself, she is now working to defund the state of New York after Donald Trump’s felony conviction in his hush-money trial.

Green also tried to grandstand by attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci in a subcommittee hearing on Monday, only to be reprimanded by the Republican chair and thoroughly discredited by Fauci. Even her criticisms of Biden’s immigration policy may be unfounded: His latest executive order restricting asylum has been criticized as a Trump-like policy by Democrats.

Maybe one day it will dawn on Greene that she contributes to the many problems with the Republican Party. Or she’ll face electoral consequences from her fed-up constituents. But, in a district as red as the Georgia 14th, that’s not likely this November.

Colorado Republicans Send Horrific Message to Followers on Pride Month

There’s no other way to say this: The Colorado Republican Party is led by a bunch of bigots.

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post/Getty Images
Colorado Republican Party Chair Dave Williams

The Colorado Republican Party rang in the start of Pride month in ultra-fascist fashion, invoking a hateful slur used by the extremist Westboro Baptist Church and calling for people to burn all Pride flags.

In addition to the post on X (formerly Twitter), the Colorado Republican Party sent an email blast to its followers, heinously—and falsely—accusing queer people of being “godless groomers,” a bigoted conspiracy popularized by far-right extremists in recent years.

The email blast incomprehensibly claims “progressivism is a demonic lie” and links to a YouTube video from disgraced megachurch leader Mark Driscoll, who espouses homophobic propaganda in line with Christian extremists and has been repeatedly accused of “cultlike” abusive behavior toward other church leaders.

As Colorado’s 9News notes, the email also included a direct reference to 9News reporter Kyle Clark, who first reported news of the email and is frequently harassed by far-right extremists for his tireless work disassembling and rebutting far-right propaganda.

As Clark notes, “The [Colorado Republican Party]’s call to burn all Pride Flags reflects that the state party’s allegiance is to the values of state chairman Dave Williams, even more so than those of Donald Trump.” Williams, like Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, is a far-right politician who’s taken to inflammatory rhetoric to make a name for himself.

“In 2020, Williams proposed a same-sex marriage ban that the [Colorado Republican Party] and [Republican] legislative leaders wouldn’t back,” Clark added, citing the failed legislation.

In November 2022, an anti-LGBTQ extremist opened fire on patrons of a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and wounding 25 others. The Club Q shooting marked a peak in anti-LGBTQ hate that had begun ramping up in mid-2022 after Proud Boys attacked a children’s literacy event in California, inspired by the bigoted conspiracy that drag performers are “groomers.”

Extremist harassment and violence toward LGBTQ people exploded in 2023, fueled by far-right propagandists launching inflammatory accusations toward queer educators, Drag Story Hour events, internet darling Dylan Mulvaney, and corporations like Target for carrying Pride merchandise. The far-right outrage manifested in widespread legislative attacks on gender-affirming health care and violently harmful disinformation.

Elon Musk Begs Supreme Court to Take Up Trump Twitter Files Fight

The request could affect how evidence is collected in lawsuits.

Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Elon Musk’s X Corp. has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in its ongoing retaliation against special counsel Jack Smith, who was able to take a deep dive into Donald Trump’s social media account without the former president even knowing it was happening.

In a new filing, the company asked the Supreme Court to determine under what circumstances a tech company can be compelled to turn over information on its users, while being prevented from alerting those users that they’re being investigated.

Last year, Smith’s team was able to use a search warrant to obtain private communications from Trump’s X (formerly Twitter) account, including direct messages, location data, and his drafts from the weeks leading up to the January 6 insurrection. Smith was also able to issue a “nondisclosure order,” which prevented the company from notifying Trump.

X initially delayed responding to this request for information, and shortly afterward challenged the order in U.S. District Court, on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.

Instead of blocking the warrant as the company had hoped, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell found X in contempt, and as a result, the company was hit by hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Prosecutors had presented evidence to Howell demonstrating that alerting Trump to their investigation would likely endanger the evidence and interfere with Smith’s probe.

X tried to appeal Howell’s decision last July, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the initial ruling. Clearly dissatisfied, the company is taking its troubles to the highest court in the land.

“Dismissing these requests, the courts below diminished the constitutional interests at stake,” the petition said of the decisions of the lower courts. In the filing, X Corp. argued that the information in Trump’s social media account may have been subject to executive privilege. The petition argues that investigatory methods that do not offer the opportunity for a user to assert their privacy privileges may violate other privileged relationships, such as attorney-client, doctor-patient, and journalist-source.

The company is asking the high court to consider whether electronic service providers can be compelled by search warrants before the constitutionality of nondisclosure orders are decided, and whether the First Amendment allows for the “gagging” of such providers “in a highly public investigation” in which the government does not “demonstrate that disclosure would jeopardize the investigation’s integrity” or “disprove the workability of a less-restrictive alternative.”

Watch Tommy Tuberville’s Very Reasonable Response to Trump Conviction

Tuberville warned that “this is war.”

Tommy Tuberville points as he speaks
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images

You might assume that members of Congress, whose job it is to craft legislation, would be the preeminent obeyers of the rule of law. But you’d be incorrect.

Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville made that abundantly clear Tuesday, telling Newsmax that Americans should prepare for a civil war following Donald Trump’s conviction by a New York jury.

“People in our caucus … to me, they’re not really taking this as serious as we should,” Tuberville said. “American people need to wake up. This is a war; this is a war on our constitutional rights, our constitutional republic. This is not as much about Donald Trump as it is about the people in this country.”

Tuberville also claimed that Democrats were “anti”-American, insisting that the liberal party was looking to strip citizens of their privacy and censorship rights while conveniently forgetting that it was Republican leadership who pushed through the reauthorization of a domestic spy program in April and who are continuing to press for literary censorship in majority-conservative states such as Florida.

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 porn star Stormy 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 is scheduled to be sentenced mere days before the Republican National Convention, which has already crafted a contingency plan for nominating the felon even if he’s already behind bars.

Team Trump Pushes Terrifying Legal Ploy to Sabotage Next Election

Allies of Donald Trump have filed a lawsuit that will affect certifying election results.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s foot soldiers are trying to set the stage to rig the 2024 election in his favor.

The America First Policy Institute, a pro-Trump think tank, is backing the lawsuit of an election official in Fulton County, Georgia, who wants to be able to refuse to certify election results.

Julie Adams filed her lawsuit May 22, hoping to access voting records that she claims she was barred from seeing by Fulton County’s election director, Nadine Williams. Adams is also seeking a court ruling on whether her duty to certify election results is up to her discretion.

Adams has long been an election denier. She was a director for the Tea Party Patriots, which organized the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and also was “southeast regional coordinator” for the Election Integrity Network, according to Rolling Stone. The EIN was founded by a lawyer for the Trump campaign, Cleta Mitchell, who also is a prominent election denier.

It’s an early attempt by Trump’s allies to make sure he wins Georgia in November. In 2020, Trump lost Georgia by fewer than 12,000 votes—a margin of just 0.23 percent. Fulton County is a Democratic stronghold in the state, home to the city of Atlanta.

As November nears, this lawsuit foreshadows dangerous actions by Trump and his allies to ensure that he returns to the White House. He is more desperate this time to exact revenge and escape legal consequences, and has yet to face any repercussions for attempting to overturn the results in 2020. Trump himself has warned that “it’s gonna be a bloodbath” if he loses in November (he later claimed he was talking about the automotive industry) and said that 2024 could be the “last election we ever have.”

Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted last year for attempting to overturn Georgia’s election results, and the convicted felon and presumptive Republican presidential nominee has fought the charges every step of the way, most notably trying to have Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed from the case. Trump’s trial over the Capitol insurrection has also been held up by the Supreme Court, sending the message that his attempts to fix election results in his favor don’t carry any real consequences.

Former Trump Lawyer Shatters Republicans’ Big Conviction Lie

Joe Tacopina has thrown cold water on Republicans’ biggest lie about Donald Trump’s hush-money trial.

Former Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina speaking in court
Allison Dinner/Pool/Getty Images
Former Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina speaking in court

Former Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina roundly debunked Republicans’ core conspiracy to delegitimize Donald Trump’s 34 felony convictions—that his conviction is a politically motivated attack from Biden—calling it “one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.” Tacopina’s stinging rebuke was shared during a pre-taped interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation that aired Monday night.

“This is a state case,” said Tacopina. “This is different than the Jack Smith cases. This is not federal prosecution. Joe Biden—or anyone from his Justice Department—has absolutely zero to do with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. They have no jurisdiction over him. They have no contacts with them. They have no control, certainly, over him. So to say that Joe Biden brought this case is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard. We know that’s not the case. And even Trump’s lawyers know that’s not the case.”

Doubling down, Tacopina added, “People who say that, it’s scary that they really don’t know the law or what they’re talking about.”

Speaking with MSNBC, Tacopina assessed Trump is primarily seeking to use his conviction to raise campaign funds by casting himself as a martyr.

“How is he going to use this as a campaign boost? That’s the only thing he’s thinking, Tacopino said. “He’s clearly going to try now to use this to try to position himself as a martyr, and use this as someone who’s been politically attacked by his opponents, and that the justice system has been politicized. That’s how he’s going to use it.”

Tacopina represented Trump for his E. Jean Carroll civil defamation case and early into Trump’s criminal hush-money case, before he abruptly withdrew from both for unknown reasons.

Trump has spewed a stream of comically ignorant lies about his conviction while seemingly trying to rally his base to violence, and has indicated intent to appeal. If these claims are what he’s going with in pursuit of that appeal, we can reasonably expect it will be swiftly denied.

Eric Swalwell Expertly Skewers Republicans’ “Cult” of Trump

The Democratic representative had a long list of points to back up his claim.

Eric Swalwell gestures with a pen as he speaks
Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Representative Eric Swalwell slammed GOP lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, arguing that the blatant hypocrisy in their devoted defense of a freshly convicted Donald Trump was nothing less than cultish. 

“Guys, I’m starting to think you guys are in a cult,” Swalwell said. “That is your right, but it’s not your responsibility. I promise you, that’s not what your constituents would want.”

“So if you believe in states’ rights except when a jury in that state convicts your nominee for president: You might be in a cult. If you claim you back the blue but want to defund the police when the police go to your nominee’s house to retrieve national security secrets: You might be in a cult. If you’re supporting a guy whose felony convictions prevent him from getting security clearance: You might be in a cult,” Swalwell continued.

“And if the guy you’re supporting for president has felony convictions that prevent him from going to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic …”  

As he spoke, one lawmaker demanded that the California Democrat’s words be taken down. Swalwell continued in an alphabetized list of all the countries to which Trump can no longer travel.

“Egypt, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel …” Swalwell continued, well after his time had expired. “You might be in a cult.” 

Swalwell is no stranger to openly mocking his Republican colleagues. He’s also keeping a running timer on how long it’s been since House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan refused to comply with a subpoena to testify on his involvement in the January 6 insurrection. The counter is currently at 754 days. 

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.