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Desperate Steve Bannon Mocked for Pathetic Attempt to Avoid Prison

Donald Trump’s former adviser begged an appeals court not to make him go to jail.

Steve Bannon stands surrounded by security officers
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Steve Bannon’s last-ditch effort to avoid going to prison is eliciting more punch lines than sympathy.

The engineer behind the MAGA movement was convicted of contempt of Congress and originally sentenced in October last year. But he has evaded his prison sentence by demanding to see through an appeals process, which finally came crashing down last month.

Undeterred, the former White House strategist and staunch Trump ally filed an emergency request with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, begging it to spare him from carrying out his long-awaited four-month prison sentence, which is set to begin July 1.

Bannon put on a brave face, making threats Tuesday against the last two FBI directors, Andrew McCabe and James Comey, should another Trump presidential term come to pass. “Get your passport, get the hell out of the country because hey, we’re coming,” he said. “We will hunt you down.”

But behind closed doors, he seems to be shaking in his boots. “This just in from the man promising to hunt us all down,” wrote user Bradley P. Moss on X, linking to Bannon’s latest filing.

“On camera: ‘Bring it—they can lock me up but they’ll never shut [me] up!’ In Court filings: ‘Please, oh please don’t make me go to jail,’” wrote X user Mike Stivala.

“I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but Steve Bannon is going to prison,” wrote political consultant Rick Wilson in a post on X. “Perhaps he’ll have time to write a manifesto about His Struggle.”

The reference to Mein Kampf is especially apt, seeing as Bannon once said that Donald Trump reminded him of Hitler, a comparison he actually thought was complimentary. Bannon worked to build a MAGA party that “could rule for one hundred years.”

Now Bannon plans to take his appeal to the Supreme Court, according to the new filing. Good luck to him: Former director of the White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro, who was also convicted of contempt of Congress and imprisoned, tried a similar gambit, which Chief Justice John Roberts dismissed without even referring it to the full court.

Did Trump Just Accidentally Admit to Another Felony?

Donald Trump may have just implicated himself in another crime in his probation interview.

Donald Trump grimaces in court, hands clasped on the table. His lawyer sits beside him and in the background are two security guards.
Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images

Weeks after he was convicted of 34 felony counts in his hush-money trial, Donald Trump confessed to having a gun—which would be illegal with his felony conviction.

New York City Department of Probation officials questioned the convicted felon and Republican presidential nominee Tuesday in a presentencing interview, and part of the discussion concerned a gun registered to him in the state. Under federal law, convicted felons are not allowed to have guns or ammunition.

A city official told CNN that Trump mentioned a gun of his in Florida, possibly one of the three firearms listed on his New York City concealed weapons permit.

Trump turned over two of his three licensed guns to the New York Police Department on March 31, 2023, before he was arrested for concealing hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. The third gun was supposed to be “lawfully moved to Florida.” Palm Beach police told CNN that they weren’t aware of any gun Trump owned and that he hadn’t submitted one to them since his felony conviction.

After his 2023 hush-money arrest, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office suspended Trump’s gun license, and with his conviction, his license will be revoked, city police told CNN. A New York official said the information on the third gun “will be referred to local authorities in Florida to take whatever steps are necessary.”

It’s ironic that Trump may be in trouble for illegally having a gun weeks after his conviction at the same time that President Biden’s son, Hunter, was convicted on federal gun charges. But Trump doesn’t like to give the authorities what he believes is his property, even when the law says otherwise. Just look at the classified documents he tried to hoard at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He might be storing his gun not too far away.

Trump’s Messages to Followers Take a Disturbing Turn

In his latest fundraising email to his supporters, Donald Trump references the guillotine.

Donald Trump speaks at a lecturn and points with his finger off camera
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While team Trump’s fundraising emails have always been out there—even earning a dedicated Twitter account just to track the ridiculous rhetoric—their language has taken a notably dark turn recently. On Wednesday, that turn only intensified further when Trump’s campaign sent an email blast with the subject “Haul out the Guillotine!”

At first blush, it sounds like an encouragement of retribution in line with Trump’s recent comments seeking revenge and promising to unleash violence on his political enemies. But the email instead blames the other side for political violence, claiming “the sad and horrific truth is that this is still the sick dream of every Trump-Deranged lunatic out there,” adding, “and it’s not just me they want gone, they’re really coming after you!”

Trump fundraising email screenshot: "HAUL OUT THE GUILLOTINE! Remember when that Sicko Kathy Griffin made the rounds parading my BEHEADED head when I was President?! The radical-left CHEERED! Obama and Biden were SILENT! And the Fake News BLASTED it everywhere! The SAD and HORRIFIC TRUTH is that this is STILL the Sick Dream of every Trump-Deranged lunatic out there! > And it's not just me they want gone, THEY'RE REALLY COMING AFTER YOU! SICK SICK SICK! Asking you ONE MORE TIME: Are you still voting TRUMP this November? >"

The emails, written by Trump’s campaign but styled to sound like they’re coming directly from Trump, intend to provoke supporters into donating. A fundraising email sent last week falsely claimed Biden directed the FBI to assassinate Trump, saying, “He tried to publicly torture and humiliate me … but he failed. He tried to raid my home and take me out with deadly force … but he failed.”

TrumpEmails, which has for years tracked and compiled all of Trump’s fundraising emails, noted in a Daily Beast article a few years ago, “At first, I found the breathless hyperbole amusing in a darkly comedic kind of way. After a while, though, I realized the target audience took things more seriously, and I started thinking about the impact of this messaging being mainlined into the inboxes of millions of voters.”

The flip-flop of baiting people to open the email with a call to violence before flipping to tell supporters they’re future victims of an extremist mob, just to shake a few shekels, is particularly noteworthy given that Trump has been trying to once again mobilize his insurrectionist base to violence on his command.

Alito Caught on Tape Whining His Corruption Was Exposed

The Supreme Court justice accused ProPublica of unfairly targeting him and Clarence Thomas.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito frowns
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Justice Samuel Alito is less than thrilled about all the news coverage on his seemingly compromised ethics.

In a secret tape released late Tuesday by Rolling Stone, the conservative justice can be heard arguing that a series of ProPublica pieces from 2023, which detailed lavish gifts Justice Clarence Thomas accepted from a Republican megadonor, was nothing more than a political hit piece.

Alito’s comments were recorded by advocacy journalist Lauren Windsor during the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3, an opportunity leveraged by many right-wing activists to cozy up to members of the nation’s highest judiciary.

“They don’t like our decisions, and they don’t like how they anticipate we may decide some cases that are coming up. That’s the beginning of the end of it,” Alito said, before going a bit conspiratorial regarding one of the nation’s most prestigious investigative news outlets: “There are groups that are very well-funded by ideological groups that have spearheaded these attacks. That’s what it is.”

“They look for any little thing they can find and they try to make something out of it,” Alito added. “That’s what it is.”

Last week, Thomas effectively admitted to pocketing favors from billionaire real estate developer and Nazi memorabilia collector Harlan Crow by retroactively amending his previous financial disclosures. The gifts included private school tuition for his nephew; the renovation of the home where his mother still lives; and undisclosed trips on the billionaire’s yacht and private jet, and at his private resort.

Another ProPublica piece revealed that Alito himself had also accepted undisclosed lavish gifts from Republican billionaires.

It wasn’t the only revelatory conversation that Windsor recorded with Alito that evening. In another tape released Monday, Alito forewent any illusion of neutrality, speaking with incredible candor about his belief that conservatives cannot negotiate with the left and need to focus on “winning,” while agreeing with a statement from Windsor that the country needs to return to a “place of godliness.”

AOC Brutally Drags Republican Hypocrisy Over Hunter Biden

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted that Democrats weren’t scrambling to defund federal agencies over a verdict they don’t like.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gestures as she speaks into microphones
Celal Gunes/Anadolu/Getty Images

Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez easily dismantled Republicans’ arguments that Donald Trump’s guilty verdict was rigged, while Hunter Biden’s was just.

“What would Republicans point to as a ‘two-tiered’ system of justice when the president’s son was just convicted of a crime?” Ocasio-Cortez asked rhetorically during a short interview with CNN’s Manu Raju Tuesday evening.

“I mean, if anything, this shows the difference that Democrats are willing to accept when our justice system works as functions and as designed. We’re not here contesting the results. We’re not here trying to defund the FBI or the Department of Justice because we don’t like the outcome of a given trial. We respect the judicial process,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

Some Republicans, such as House Speaker Mike Johnson, have been quick to assert that Hunter Biden’s conviction is somehow a completely unrelated “separate instance” of justice amid the so-called weaponization of the Justice Department that Trump’s allies have been alleging for weeks.

Many MAGA Republicans have quickly taken up a new lie: that even President Joe Biden’s son’s conviction is proof of a vast conspiracy against Trump.

Team Trump Suddenly Takes Back Its Message to Hunter Biden

Donald Trump’s team made one very obvious edit to its initial statement on the Hunter Biden verdict.

Hunter Biden walking outside
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

After Hunter Biden was found guilty of federal gun charges Tuesday, the Trump campaign released a statement that ended with well wishes for President Biden’s son—and then quickly took it back.

The initial statement sent to CNN, attacked the “Biden crime family” but seemed conciliatory to Hunter.

“This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine. Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit. As for Hunter, we wish him well in his recovery and legal affairs,” the Trump campaign said.

An hour later, the Trump campaign sent a statement to wider reporters and journalists striking the last line from the statement. Why did they do this? They haven’t commented, but Donald Trump himself is not known for being conciliatory. His holiday messages on social media always mention the “haters and losers,” even, famously, a 2013 tweet commemorating the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The rest of the campaign’s statement is not so surprising. The convicted felon and Republican presidential nominee is simply echoing some of the conspiracy theories spouted by his supporters in Congress and right-wing media, for instance that the trial is just a distraction from supposed bigger Biden crimes that have already been debunked.

Biden’s Israel Waffling Let This Company Scam Refugees

An Egyptian company is charging Palestinian refugees thousands of dollars to get out of Gaza.

Joe Biden gestures as he speaks into microphones
Ken Cedeno/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A new report from the Win Without War Education Fund, a progressive foreign policy advocacy group, details how the U.S. government’s failure to intervene in Gaza has allowed an Egyptian company to exploit American citizens and Palestinians desperate to secure passage away from the Israeli military’s ceaseless bombardment. 

For nearly eight months, there was only one way out of Gaza: the Rafah crossing, a thin strip of land on Gaza’s southern border. The crossing has since been seized by the Israeli government, preventing the transfer of essential aid and humanitarian workers, as well as blocking the only means of escape. Before Israel seized the crossing, the only way to use it would be to get your name on a list that is maintained by the Egyptian government.

To expedite the process, many families turned to one company, Hala Consulting and Tourism Services, which promised to help get people’s names on Egypt’s list—for a steep price. Hala is part of the Orjani Group, which is owned by Ibrahim Al Arjani, a close ally of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, and one of the most powerful men in Egypt. 

By the end of April, Hala had raked in at least $88 million by charging people to cross, according to an investigation from The Times. By the time Israel seized the border crossing days later, the price for a “coordination fee” had ballooned from $4,000 to $10,000 per name.  

The burden of this cost was far too steep for most Gazans, who have been forced to leave their homes, families, and friends amid the ruins of their cities. Instead, the price was thrust onto their family members and allies in the United States, who turned to private charities as a last resort for fundraising. 

Once Hala received money to add a family member to the list, it would still take up to a month for that person to move to the top of the list. In that time, a lot could change, as the dangers in Gaza are ever present.  

Family members of those trapped in Gaza were forced to pay Hala’s exorbitant fees because the U.S. government has refused to pressure Israel to stop its relentless assault. Washington has even failed to expedite the evacuation of U.S. citizens. 

Texas attorney Maria Kari, who works with hundreds of Americans who are trapped, or have family members trapped, in Gaza, said that the State Department has been slow and at worst unresponsive to her efforts to secure humanitarian parole for her clients and their families.

One woman interviewed for the WWWEF report, identified only by her first name, Shifa, turned to GoFundMe to raise money to get the names of her 50 family members in Rafah on the list after exhausting all other options.

“We’ve exhausted absolutely every avenue to save their lives,” Shifa, a Palestinian American lawyer, told WWWEF. “We submitted correspondence to the State Department. We’ve submitted all the applications to expedite this process. We’ve reached out to immigration attorneys. We have done it all; no response.”

Because of the high costs, waiting period, and lack of government support, Shifa was forced to make difficult decisions about which family members to prioritize. “Time is of the essence. We’ve exhausted every avenue possible,” she said. “They’re waiting to either leave or die.”

Ron DeSantis’s Signature Anti-Trans Law Brutally Shut Down in Court

A judge has struck down Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s ban on transgender care on the grounds that it is wildly unconstitutional.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks forlorn
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Tuesday that Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care for trans children is unconstitutional—taking down one of Governor Ron DeSantis’s signature “anti-woke” laws, which the judge described as “divorced from reality.”

In his ruling, Hinkle found that a “significant number of legislators” were motivated by animus to enact the trans health care ban. In legalese, a motivation of animus is an illegitimate basis to pursue legislation. Hinkle’s ruling provided numerous instances of legislators acting in prejudice against trans people, saying lawmakers “single-mindedly pursued the predetermined outcome sought by the Governor and Surgeon General” to ban gender-affirming care.

“Had there been no animus,” Hinkle wrote in his ruling, “gender-affirming care probably would not have come before the Legislature at all.”

Hinkle’s ruling also nuked every single part of the state’s requirements to severely restrict access to gender-affirming care—including requiring annual hand X-rays, in-person consent forms, restrictions on who can provide gender-affirming care and therapy, as well as excessive appointments and lab tests intended to make access to gender-affirming care cost-prohibitive to discourage people from pursuing care.

“If ever a pot called a kettle black, it is here. The statute and the rules were an exercise in politics, not good medicine,” Hinkle wrote.

“Where there is bigotry, there are usually—one hopes, always—opponents of bigotry,” Hinkle added, noting that medical professionals who treat people with gender dysphoria are frequently advocates for gender-affirming health care.

In Hinkle’s ruling, as with the preceding injunction leading to Tuesday’s ruling, Hinkle asserted “gender identity is real” and noted during arguments that even the defense—representing Florida’s surgeon general and Board of Medicine—acknowledged it as such. Hinkle also noted that the defense, which sought to uphold the trans health care ban, “explicitly admitted that prohibiting or impeding individuals from pursuing their transgender identities is not a legitimate state interest.”

Hinkle’s ruling further assessed that “gender-affirming care causes no harm to others—no harm to individuals who do not receive the care. Those who are not involved are not involved.” The court decision nukes any potential claim that access to gender-affirming care is somehow harmful to public health, a favored talking point of transphobes who simply can’t leave other people alone.

“You Are in a Cult”: Democrat Slams GOP Reaction to Hunter Biden News

Representative Jim McGovern called out Republicans’ conspiracy-laden response to the Hunter Biden verdict.

Representative Jim McGovern puts his hands on his temples as if in exasperation
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

At a House hearing Tuesday, Representative Jim McGovern called out Republicans who have started to spout conspiracy theories after President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was convicted on federal gun charges.

“The only ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ going on around here is on the other side of the aisle. People are saying that Biden orchestrated the conviction of his own son in order to justify the criminal charges against Trump,” McGovern said. “That is how you think when you are in a cult.”

McGovern also called out the Republicans who claimed that Democrats had “weaponized” the Justice Department to go after Donald Trump, but were suddenly celebrating Hunter Biden’s conviction.

“The contrast today is just staggering. Apparently when a Republican is convicted, it’s weaponization. But when a Democrat is convicted, the president’s son no less, that’s justice? I mean, give me a break,” McGovern said. “Hunter Biden was found guilty by a jury of his peers, just like Donald Trump, because this is our justice system at work.”

McGovern can point to any number of wild Republican reactions to the Hunter Biden verdict, ranging from Representative Thomas Massie’s contention that marijuana users should not be in jail for buying or owning guns to House Speaker Mike Johnson’s statement that the verdict doesn’t disprove his theory that the Democrats are using a “two-tiered” justice system to target Donald Trump. Representative Matt Gaetz even called the verdict “kinda dumb” on X (formerly Twitter), despite having a contentious past with Hunter Biden.

But regardless of how Republicans are dealing with the verdict against Hunter Biden, it doesn’t change the fact that the Republican presidential nominee is a convicted felon in the state of New York and still has pending cases against him in Georgia, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

More on the conspiracy theories floating around:

Jamie Raskin Torches Republicans’ Bonkers Hunter Biden Conspiracies

The Maryland Democrat compared his colleagues’ response to their reaction to Donald Trump’s conviction.

Jamie Raskin leans over a desk
Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Republicans quickly hailed Hunter Biden being convicted Tuesday on federal gun charges for failing to disclose his drug use while purchasing a weapon—despite their objections that Donald Trump’s felonies were the result of a corrupt judge and an inherently flawed system.

Democrats wasted no time pointing out the hypocrisy.

“Hunter Biden was just convicted of every single count that was brought against him by the U.S. Department of Justice,” said Representative Jamie Raskin while testifying before the House Rules Committee. “I have not heard a single Democrat—anywhere in the country—cry fraud, cry fixed, cry rigged, cry kangaroo court, or cry any of the many epithets that our colleagues have mobilized against the U.S. Department of Justice and our federal court system, despite the fact that Donald Trump was not even tried in federal court. That was at the state level.”

Raskin then went on to draw further comparisons between the trials of the first son and Trump, arguing that both had the right to a presumption of innocence, a right to counsel, a right to a jury of his peers, and a right to a unanimous verdict.

“And in both cases, a jury unanimously found against the defendant on all counts in both cases. And compare and contrast the difference in reaction between the Republicans and the Democrats,” Raskin said.

The ranking member of the House Rules Committee, Representative Jim McGovern, also had harsh words for the conservative party over their duplicitous moral stance.

“The contrast today is just staggering. Apparently, when a Republican is convicted, it’s weaponization. But when a Democrat is convicted—the president’s son, no less—that’s justice. I mean, give me a break. Hunter Biden was found guilty by a jury of his peers, just like Donald Trump, because this is our justice system at work,” McGovern said.

“After the verdict this morning, how can any Republican in their right mind argue that the Biden administration is weaponizing the [Justice Department] to hurt Republicans and to help Democrats? They just convicted the president’s own son,” he added.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, accepted the outcome of the case shortly after the decision was released—a stark contrast to Trump’s constant raving about a two-tiered judicial system.

“I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal,” Biden said in a statement. “Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that.”