Gaetz promises motion to vacate McCarthy ‘this week,’ urges speaker to reveal ‘secret side deal on Ukraine’

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Monday demanded House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reveal the details of a supposed “secret side deal” on Ukraine he claims was negotiated with Democrats and President Biden in order to avoid a government shutdown, before fellow Republicans are presumably set to vote on the speaker’s potential ouster later this week. 

After addressing the House floor, Gaetz told reporters on the steps of the Capitol that he still planned to introduce a motion to vacate McCarthy’s speakership “this week,” but not Monday as not all members were in town yet. Gaetz repeated that his fight against McCarthy, R-Calif., was not personal, despite the speaker’s assertion otherwise. 

Gaetz fell short of introducing his promised motion to vacate McCarthy but accused McCarthy of stepping outside the Republican conference in order to negotiate an agreement on a resolution over the weekend that avoids a government shutdown for another 40 days. 

“The speaker of the House gave away to Joe Biden the money for Ukraine that Joe Biden wanted. It is going to be difficult for my Republican friends to keep calling President Biden feeble while he continues to take Speaker McCarthy’s lunch money in every negotiation,” Gaetz said.

“Ukraine has lost the support of a majority of the majority. The last time there was a freestanding Ukraine vote on this floor, it was last week, 101 Republicans voted for it, 117 Republicans voted against it. According to the Hastert Rule, which Speaker McCarthy agreed to in January, you cannot use Democrats to roll a majority of the majority, certainly on something as consequential as Ukraine,” he said. “So for all the crocodile tears about what may happen later this week about a motion to vacate, working with the Democrats is a yellow brick road that has been paved by Speaker McCarthy. Whether it was the debt limit deal, the C.R. or now the secret deal on Ukraine.” 


Gaetz on the Hill

Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s harshest critics, speaks to reporters on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

“It is becoming increasingly clear who the speaker of the House already works for, and it’s not the Republican conference,” Gaetz said. “Mr. Speaker, I would ask that these questions be answered soon because there may be other votes coming today or later this week that could – be implicated by the answers to these questions. Members of the Republican Party might vote differently on a motion to vacate if they heard what the speaker had to share with us about his secret side deal with Joe Biden on Ukraine. I’ll be listening. Stay tuned.” 

Gaetz further argued before the House that funding for Ukraine and the border should not be rolled into one massive spending package and should instead be considered as single-subject bills, noting the “spirit of the January agreement” the House Freedom Caucus reached with McCarthy during his speakership fight. 

McCarthy on Capitol Hill

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talks to reporters Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, about an effort by Rep. Matt Gaetz to use a procedural tool to oust him. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


“You know how we should stand up for our border? Demand that the United States Senate take up our single subject appropriation bill that funded the border. It created Republican unity. We voted for it. It has the policy demands that the continuing resolution that Speaker McCarthy advocated for on this floor did not,” Gaetz said. “Our DHS funding bill requires E-Verify. And then hours later, after we passed that, the speaker wanted us to vote for a continuing resolution that didn’t include E-Verify.”

“Retreat is never a strategy to win anything,” he said. 

Gaetz swarmed by media on Capitol steps

Rep. Matt Gaetz said he plans to use a procedural tool called a motion to strip McCarthy of his office as soon as this week. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Gaetz also claimed to have spoken with former President Donald Trump on the potential motion to vacate – but declined to elaborate further. 

“You talk about chaos, as if it’s me, forcing a few votes and filing a few motions,” Gaetz told reporters. “Real chaos is when the American people have to go through the austerity that is coming if we continue to have $2 trillion annual deficits. You don’t know chaos until you’ve seen where this Congress and this uni-party is bringing us.”

Meanwhile, Fox News first reported Sunday that House GOP members are preparing a motion to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee report comes back with findings of guilt. 

The House Ethics Committee has been investigating Gaetz since 2021 on allegations, including campaign finance violations as well as claims of taking bribes and using drugs – accusations the congressman has vehemently denied. Gaetz also denies allegations leaked from a Justice Department sex trafficking probe said to have involved an underage girl.


It takes a two-thirds vote to expel. And Republicans are treading on thin ice with their majority. The House is down to 433 members. It’s unclear where things stand with federally indicted Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. If members are expelled, retire or die, the majority could be right on the edge for the GOP. 

Fox News’ Kelly Phares and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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AG Merrick Garland claims in interview he’d resign if Biden asked him to take action against Trump

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an interview that aired Sunday that he would resign if President Biden asked him to direct the Justice Department to go after former President Trump. 

During an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” Garland responded to critics who claim he is trying to ruin Trump’s chances at re-election in 2024 with the timing of DOJ investigations and indictments.

“That’s absolutely not true. Justice Department prosecutors are non-partisan, they don’t allow partisan considerations to play any role in their determinations,” Garland said. 

Garland named Special Counsel Jack Smith to lead the investigation into Trump. 


Garland speaks to House Judiciary Committee

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee holding an oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“The most important part of the regulations is that the special counsel is not subject to the day-to-day supervision of anyone in the Justice Department,” Garland said, assuring that he is not in communication with the president or any member of his office with regard to Trump. 

“If President Biden asked you to take action with regard to the Trump investigation, what would your reaction be?” CBS News host Scott Pelley asked Garland during the sit-down interview. 

“I am sure that that will not happen, but I would not do anything in that regard,” Garland said. “And if necessary, I would resign. But there is no sense that anything like that will happen.” 

Garland insisted during the “60 Minutes” interview he has never had to tell Biden “hands off” because “he has never tried to put hands on these investigations.” 


Meanwhile, Republicans accuse DOJ Special Counsel David Weiss of slow-walking the yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings and taxes, condemning the alleged “politicization” of the Justice Department. So far, the president’s son has been indicted for lying about drug abuse when he purchased a firearm. His plea deal fell apart over the summer. 

“This investigation began under David Weiss. David Weiss is a long-standing career prosecutor, and he was appointed by Mr. Trump as the United States Attorney for the District of Delaware,” Garland said. “I promised at my nomination hearing that I would continue him on in that position and that I would not interfere in his investigation.” 

“You are not participating in those decisions?” Pelley asked of the Hunter Biden probe. 

“No, Mr. Weiss is making those decisions,” Garland insisted.

“The White House is not attempting to influence those decisions?” Pelley pressed. 

“Absolutely not,” Garland said, insisting he would make a forthcoming special counsel report public to the “extent permissible under the law that is required to explain the prosecutive decisions – their decisions to prosecute or not prosecute, and their strategic decisions along the way.” 

Garland testifies before Congress

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Garland said he expects Weiss to also testify at the end of his report. 

President Biden is also under DOJ investigation into whether he improperly held classified documents after he was vice president, and Garland selected Special Counsel Robert Hur to head that case. Trump is facing two federal indictments for allegedly hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and for his actions related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 

“I have a good working relationship with the president,” Garland assured. 

Garland appeared to grow emotional when discussing his concerns about violence, particularly as judges and prosecutors assigned to the Trump cases have received death threats. 

“People can argue with each other as much as they want and as vociferously as they want. But the one thing they may not do is use violence and threats of violence to alter the outcome,” Garland said. “American people must protect each other. They must ensure that they treat each other with civility and kindness, listen to opposing views, argue as vociferously as they want, but refrain from violence and threats of violence. That’s the only way this democracy will survive.”

Garland sworn into House Judiciary hearing

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is sworn-in before testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Garland said his own family fled religious persecution in Europe during the Holocaust, explaining his devotion to public service and the rule of law. 


“We do not have one rule for Republicans and another rule for Democrats,” Garland insisted. “We don’t have one rule for foes and another for friends. We don’t have one rule for powerful and another for the powerless. For the rich or for the poor, based on ethnicity. We have only one rule, and that one rule is to follow the facts and the law, and we reach the decisions required by the Constitution, and we protect civil liberties.”

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Fulton County subpoenas ex-NYPD commish Bernie Kerik to testify in first Georgia trial of Trump election probe

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has issued a subpoena for former NYPD commissioner Bernie Kerik to testify in the first trial scheduled in Georgia later this month over allegations of election interference by former President Trump and more than a dozen of his allies 2020, Fox News Digital has confirmed. 

Ahead of the upcoming trial for two of the 19 defendants – lawyer Kenneth Chesebro and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell – scheduled to begin on Oct. 23 in Atlanta, Kerik received a subpoena to testify but plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, CNN first reported Monday. Trump and the 16 others will be tried separately. 

Kerik’s attorney Tim Parlatore told Fox News Digital he asked prosecutors that if Kerik was expected to testify as a part of a conspiracy case, would they be offering immunity. Parlatore stressed to Fox News Digital, however, that he did not ask for immunity for his client. 

“And when they said no, I said I don’t care either way, but to expect my client to testify under oath with no immunity … I think Mr. Wade needs to go back to law school,” Parlatore saidl, referring to special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who has been leading the election interference probe for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for nearly two years. 


Kerik at 9/11 memorial

Former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik attends a remembrance ceremony on the 22nd anniversary of the terror attack on the World Trade Center, in New York City on Sept. 11, 2023. Kerik was subpoenaed to testify in a Georgia election case. (BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

“No competent criminal attorney would allow Mr. Kerik to testify absent a grant of immunity,” Parlatore wrote in a letter to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office Monday. 

“To be clear, Mr. Kerik has done nothing wrong and rejects your claim that he is a co-conspirator in any alleged criminal conduct,” Parlatore wrote. “You made the public accusation, so now you must live with the consequences of Mr. Kerik (and presumably all other alleged unindicted co-conspirators) invoking their 5th Amendment rights and refusing to testify.”

Kerik has not been named as a co-conspirator in court documents, which include allegations involving several unnamed individuals.

The letter says Kerik will refuse to answer questions under oath without receiving written assurances from the district attorney’s office that he will not be prosecuted.

Jan. 6 committee views Kerik messages

An email excerpt from Bernard Kerik to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows show during the seventh Jan. 6 committee hearing on July 12, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Parlatore claimed prosecutors have already told him, “If we wanted to indict Mr. Kerik, we would have already done so,” but have so far refused to put any promises in writing. 


Fox News Digital reached out to the Fulton County DA office for comment but did not immediately hear back. 

Parlatore previously confirmed to Fox News Digital in July that Kerik secured a deal with Special Counsel Jack Smith to hand over thousands of documents related to the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 

At the time, Kerik’s attorney noted that the documents could include exculpatory evidence for Trump, suggesting the former president’s investigators acted in good faith. 

Giuliani and Kerik in NYC

Then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik at the scene of the American Airlines flight 587 crash in Rockaway, Queens in 2001. (Todd Maisel/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Kerik’s legal team had initially refused to turn over documents to the House select committee probing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. They had cited attorney-client privilege, given that Kerik worked with Trump’s attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the probe. Parlatore said Kerik received a “standard proffer letter” before later agreeing to an interview with Smith’s office to answer questions related to the 2020 election aftermath and the Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, CNN reported.


Kerik, who served as the NYPD commissioner from 2000 to 2001, pleaded guilty in 2009 to felony charges of tax fraud and making false statements to the government. He spent about three years in prison before transitioning to home confinement and eventually supervised release. Trump pardoned Kerik for his past convictions in early 2020. 

Fox News’ Andrew Murray contributed to this report.

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Trump defends ‘phenomenal’ financial statements ahead of ‘disgrace’ of trial out of ‘corrupt’ NYAG James probe

Former President Trump defended his business and his name Monday morning before the “disgrace” of a civil trial against him stemming from “corrupt” New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, saying his financial statements are “phenomenal,” and blasting the “rogue” judge presiding over the proceedings for interfering in the 2024 presidential election.

The former president, who currently leads the 2024 Republican presidential primary field by a massive margin, arrived in court in Lower Manhattan Monday morning for a non-jury trial, presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron, after a New York State Appeals Court rejected Trump’s request to delay the civil trial.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media

Former President Donald Trump, center, speaks to the media upon arriving at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in New York. Trump is making a rare, voluntary trip to court in New York for the start of a civil trial in a lawsuit that already has resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud in his business dealings. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Engoron last week ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks outside New York Supreme Court ahead of former President Donald Trump’s civil business fraud trial on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 in New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

Engoron’s ruling comes after James sued Trump, his children and the Trump Organization, alleging that Trump “inflated his net worth by billions of dollars” and said his children helped him to do so.

Trump, speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, blasted the trial as “a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.” 

Former President Donald Trump sits in a New York courtroom

Former President Donald Trump, center, sits in the courtroom at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in New York. Trump is making a rare, voluntary trip to court in New York for the start of a civil trial in a lawsuit that already has resulted in a judge ruling that he committed fraud in his business dealings.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“We have a rogue judge,” Trump said. “We have a racist attorney general who’s a horror show, who ran on the basis that she was gonna ‘get Trump’ before she even knew anything about me–she used this to run for governor she failed in her attempt to run for governor…she came back and she said, ‘well, now I’ll go back to get Trump again and this is what we have.” 

“It’s a scam. It’s a sham,” Trump said. “Just so you know, my financial statements are phenomenal.” 

Trump said “no bank was hurt–they don’t even know why they have to be involved.” 

Former US President Donald Trump sits in a New York courtroom

Former US President Donald Trump (C) sits with his attorneys inside the courtroom during his civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, at a Manhattan courthouse, in New York City, on October 2, 2023. Former US president Donald Trump was in court Monday for what he slammed as a “sham” civil fraud trial against him and two of his sons, with the case threatening the Republican’s business empire as he campaigns to retake the White House. (Brendan McDermid-Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

“They’ve so testified,” Trump said. “They can’t believe they’re involved because they were paid back on time, there were no defaults there were no problems, and it was like a perfect client.” 

Trump said while James has focused on his businesses and his family, “people are being murdered all over the sidewalks of New York.” 

Former US President Donald Trump sits in a New York courtroom

Former US President Donald Trump (C) sits with his attorneys inside the courtroom during his civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, at a Manhattan courthouse, in New York City, on October 2, 2023. Former US president Donald Trump was in court Monday for what he slammed as a “sham” civil fraud trial against him and two of his sons, with the case threatening the Republican’s business empire as he campaigns to retake the White House.  (Brendan McDermid-Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

“There was no victim here–the banks were represented by the best, biggest, most prestigious law firms in the state of New York– actually in the country, some of the biggest law firms,” Trump said. “The banks got back their money, there was never a default, it was never a problem everything was perfect.” 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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Former Democrat offers advice for Texas mayor under fire for ditching Dem Party to join GOP

EXCLUSIVE: A Democrat-turned-Republican congressman has advice for Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who also decided to switch parties and become a Republican last week: Follow your “heart” and your “brain.”

Speaking with Fox News Digital as the four-year anniversary of his own party flip draws nearer, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., said he appreciated that Johnson came to the “same conclusion” as he did that the Democratic Party of years past was simply “no more.”

“I appreciate what he did, and, as the mayor of Dallas, he came to the same conclusion that I did. He just didn’t fit into the party anymore,” Van Drew said. “You know, I was just constantly arguing, voting against all the different things they wanted to do. And it climaxed with the Trump impeachment, which was baseless and false.”

“What they’ve done to our Department of Justice, what they’ve done to our FBI, what the attorney general has done, what the FBI director has done, what our secretary of state did and still does, all of this is awful,” he added. “[Johnson] knows that this is wrong, and he came to the right conclusion. And I’d tell him to follow his heart and his brain and he will be fine.”


Eric Johnson, Jeff Van Drew

Republican Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, left, and Republican New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew (Getty Images / File)

When asked if he had any regrets about switching parties in 2019, Van Drew gave the simplest of answers: “Not even in the slightest.”

“The more I see and the more I hear, the happier I am that I have changed,” he said. “I’m a conservative. There used to be room for something called a Blue Dog Democrat, a conservative Democrat. Those times are no more. I want people to know who are watching this, there is no longer really a conservative branch of the Democratic Party.”

“This is not your mother’s and father’s or grandmother’s or grandfather’s Democratic Party. This is an extremely left-wing socialist party that wants to completely change our republic and completely destroy the American experience. So, I am happy that I changed,” he added.

Van Drew said his strong feelings does not mean that Republicans, or anyone for that matter, are perfect, but it is a necessity to have “love of the United States of America in your heart and soul.”


Eric Johnson

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson (AP Photo / Tony Gutierrez / File)

“You have to believe in this great republic. And those are the kinds of elected officials and senators and congresspeople that we need,” he said.

After news broke last week that Democrat New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez was facing a federal indictment on bribery and corruption charges, which he denies any wrongdoing, Van Drew, who represents New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, confirmed he was “strongly considering” a run to unseat him.

Van Drew told Fox that, beyond Menendez’s alleged crimes, New Jerseyans are “tired” of high taxes, Democrats interfering in the relationship between parents and children, policies that degrade law enforcement, the amplification of “woke” culture in the military, and the controversial subjects being taught to children in schools.

“This is unbelievable stuff. And New Jerseyans by and large — yes, it’s a blue state, but they’re hard-working, good people that pay an awful lot in taxes and are trudging through life — they’re sick of it. So, it’s more than just about me. It really is about the United States of America. It really is about the state of New Jersey,” he said, noting that it has been more than 50 years since the state put a Republican in the Senate.


Jeff Van Drew and Bob Menendez

Republican New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, left, and Democrat New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (Getty Images / File)

“So, I’m going to think about it, you know, very seriously. I’m going to work my way through — it requires speaking to my closest friends. It requires speaking to my family and my advisers and other folks. I want to do this carefully and I want to make sure right now, though, I am focused on my job as South Jersey’s congressman,” he said.

However, Van Drew dismissed any timeline for when he might make a decision on a potential run.


“I’m going to think about it long and hard, make sure I’m doing the right thing for the country, the right thing for New Jersey and the right thing for my congressional district. I love my congressional district, so it is all very, very important to me. And I’m going to make sure that I do the right thing,” he said.

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Ramaswamy campaign asks RNC to slash the number of GOP presidential candidates on the next debate stage

Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign reportedly asked the Republican National Committee to significantly limit the number of GOP presidential candidates on stage for the party’s next presidential primary debate. 

In a letter to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Committee on Arrangements co-Chairs David Bossie and Anne Hathaway, Vivek 2024 CEO Ben Yoho requested that the RNC restrict the next debate stage to the four Republican candidates polling the highest nationally, after former President Donald Trump, according to The Hill. 

The campaign also asked the RNC to increase the donor threshold to 100,000. 


Vivek Ramaswamy at second debate

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during the second Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Sept. 27, 2023.  (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

“[A]gainst the backdrop of a chaotic second debate and the reality of a frontrunner who has declined to participate, we respectfully call on the RNC to revise its approach so that Republican voters can focus on serious candidates who have a viable path to beating Joe Biden – or whomever the Democrats put up to replace him,” Yoho wrote. 

Ramaswamy and Tim Scott

GOP presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., participate in the FOX Business Republican Primary Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sept. 27, 2023, in Simi Valley, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Time is running out. Early-state voting is rapidly approaching in January,” he continued, according to the letter obtained by The Hill. “Another unhelpful debate in November is not an option: voters deserve a real choice for who will best serve as our party’s nominee. Voters are not well-served when a cacophony of candidates with minimal chance of success talk over each other from the edge of the stage, while the overwhelming frontrunner is absent from the center of that same stage.” 


The RNC has already raised the threshold to qualify for the third presidential debate of the 2024 cycle. 

Trump in Michigan

Former President Donald Trump again opted out of the GOP debate and instead spoke at a campaign event at Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, Michigan, US, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.  (Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


To participate in the Nov. 6 event, GOP candidates are required to have two national polls that show them at 4% or higher, or they must receive 4% support in one national poll and two different early state polls. White House hopefuls are also required to meet a donor threshold of at least 70,000 unique donors, including at least 200 from 20 or more states each. That compares to the 3% polling threshold with a minimum of 50,000 unique donors required to participate in the Sept. 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. 

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Support for Biden in border region crumbling as crisis benefits illegals over Americans: Texas’ Mayra Flores

EXCLUSIVE: President Biden’s support in the heavily Hispanic border regions of Texas is crumbling as the migrant crisis continues to worsen and benefits illegal immigrants over American citizens, former Republican Rep. Mayra Flores told Fox News Digital during a recent interview.

Flores, who is running to reclaim her former seat in Texas’ 34th Congressional District from Democrat Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, warned that as “thousands and thousands” of migrants continue to pour into America’s border towns, crime is rising and the sour economic conditions facing the country are taking a harder toll on U.S. citizens living in those areas because money that could be used in local communities are instead being spent on the masses coming into the country.

“This is the poorest area in the nation and yet the funding is being used for the humanitarian crisis. And we’re not getting that money back for the people of South Texas,” Flores said. “If this issue is hurting New York tremendously, the biggest city in the country, and the mayor of New York says it’s going to destroy New York, well, what makes them think that small little towns here in South Texas can withstand thousands and thousands of migrants crossing illegally every single day?”

Noting the eye-popping number of migrants coming into the country in a single day, Flores said crime is also rising because of the criminals taking advantage of being able to join the floods of people crossing the border.


Mayra Flores and Joe Biden

Former Republican Texas Rep. Mayra Flores and President Joe Biden. (Getty Images / File)

“Two weeks ago, I was in Brownsville with a group of 50 women that had voted for Biden in 2020. Not a single one is voting for Biden in 2024 – not one out of the 50 women,” she said. “I asked [them], ‘Why are you not voting for President Biden in 2024?’ And they said, because of the economy – 80% said that the economy situation is what’s moving them to vote Republican in 2024.”

“But a huge majority also said because of the humanitarian crisis. They feel that the people that are coming in are being prioritized and not people that have been here for a long time. They’re also Americans, but many of them have been here for 20, 30 years and feel that they’re being ignored and that their needs are not being addressed,” she said.

“People that are crossing illegally into our country are getting all the help that they need while [Hispanic voters are] struggling to pay their rent, bring food to the table, get to work every single day. Gas is very expensive. So, they’re they’re looking at that. And that’s why they’re moving every single day towards the Republican Party,” she added.


Flores argued that it wasn’t just the border crisis and its impact on the economy that has voters in the region shifting toward supporting Republicans, “values” matter as well. Citing Democrat threats to “parents that don’t support gender ideology,” she said fears that kids could be taken out of homes with parents pushing back against such policies is another big reason for the split toward the GOP.

Former Republican Texas Rep. Mayra Flores

Then-Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Aug. 5, 2022, in Dallas. (Brandon Bell / Getty Images)

She said many people to whom she spoke didn’t know much about the Republican presidential race and the candidates vying for the nomination, that most of them were viewing the 2024 race as between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

“Every single one of them said that they were voting for [Trump]. Of course, they’re supporting me, but they are also supporting him, even though some say, ‘I’m not a huge fan. But when he was the president, we had a strong economy. And I remember being able to make ends meet every single month,'” she said.


When asked about Hispanic voters’ attitudes toward Trump and whether their votes might be the deciding factor in a hypothetical matchup between Trump and Biden, Flores said she “absolutely” thinks Hispanic voters are going to give Trump the win.

“I really do believe that just because just in my district alone, I have seen overwhelming support towards him. And it’s because they remember what it was like before Biden. They didn’t know what would happen when they elected Biden, and now they do,” she said.

Border Patrol agents stand in front of gate

Migrants wait in line to enter El Paso, Texas, under the watch of the Texas National Guard on May 10, 2023. (AP Photo / Andres Leighton / File)

Flores, who was defeated by Gonzalez in the 2022 midterms, said she decided to run again because she is “not done fighting for the people of South Texas.”

“I love my community, and things are getting a lot worse than last year. I really didn’t think that things were going to get worse, but things are getting worse, not just here at the border but also with the economy. And I just love my community very much. And I just can’t give up on our community. And that’s the reason why I will always continue to fight for this area,” she said.


If elected, Flores said, one of her main focuses would be on combating child sex trafficking and putting a stop to the U.S. being a top market for it.

“I want to change that. I don’t want us to be a part of that list,” she said. “I think it’s important that we work together to end child sex trafficking. And it’s something that I’m very passionate about.”

Former President Donald Trump on stage at an event pointing to the crowd

Former President Donald Trump (Julie Bennett / Getty Images / File)


“Under this administration, they’ve lost track of 87,000 children. We don’t know where these children are. And I want to focus on finding where these children are and send them back to their families, to their loved ones, and stop the trauma that many of them are going through right now and the abuse that they’re going through,” she added.

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White House prohibiting official travel to fossil fuel conferences, internal memo shows

EXCLUSIVE: The White House is prohibiting senior administration officials from traveling for international energy engagements that promote carbon-intensive fuels, including oil, natural gas and coal, Fox News Digital has learned.

The guidance — which originated from the White House National Security Council (NSC) — was revealed in a Department of Energy (DOE) memo issued internally to agency staff on Sept. 15 and obtained by Fox News Digital. The memo was authored by Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk who outlined travel restrictions and stated officials are required to obtain approval from the NSC before attending any global energy engagement.

“This guidance sets out a presumption that agencies and departments will pursue international energy engagement that advances clean energy projects,” Turk wrote in the memo. “It also outlines a process for seeking limited exceptions to pursue carbon-intensive engagements on a justified geostrategic imperative or energy-for-development/energy access basis.”

“The guidance rules out any U.S. Government ‘engagement related to unabated or partially abated coal generation,’” he continued. “Carbon-intensive international energy engagements are those ‘directly related and dedicated to the production, transportation, or consumption of carbon-intensive fuels that would lead to additional greenhouse gas emissions.'”


President Joe Biden speaks at climate summit

President Biden speaks at a United Nations climate conference on Nov. 11, 2022, in Egypt. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

According to the memo, carbon-intensive fossil fuels include coal, oil and natural gas.

In addition, the memo notes that the guidance became effective in November 2021 and applies to all international energy engagements. Turk issued a separate memo in early April 2022, which first outlined how the DOE would implement the NSC guidance and stated that energy engagements that promote carbon-intensive fuels may only be exempt if they advance national security or are essential to support energy access in vulnerable areas.


Turk’s September memo updated that guidance, stating that for all future engagements, “Departments and Agencies are required to submit exemption justifications to the NSC and receive NSC concurrence before proceeding with a covered engagement.”

The DOE referred Fox News Digital to the NSC, which didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Jennifer Granholm

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during a news briefing at the White House. (Alex Wong / Getty Images / File)

“The Biden Administration cannot continue to treat the fossil fuels industry as an enemy. Millions of people are employed in this industry which powers our entire nation, our military, our national security, and allows Joe Biden to jet off every weekend to his beach house,” Daniel Turner, the founder and executive director of Power the Future who reviewed the memo, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“This war on American fossil fuels is making us poorer, weaker and more reliant on China and OPEC for our energy,” he continued. “These petty, [hyperpartisan], childish games should end before it is too late.”


Since taking office, President Biden has pursued an aggressive climate agenda, seeking to boost green energy technologies like solar and wind while curbing domestic reliance on fossil fuels like those listed by the administration as “carbon intensive.” Biden has issued federal goals to ensure 50% of U.S. car purchases are zero-emissions by 2030 and that the power sector is carbon-free by 2035.

However, vehicles with internal combustion engines (gasoline-powered), make up more than 99% of all cars in the U.S. and about 99% of new car sales, according to J.D. Power. And approximately 60% of electricity in the U.S. is generated from fossil fuels, mainly natural gas, while 17% is produced form wind or solar power.

The White House refused to address Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry's comments about the Ukraine war's greenhouse gas emissions.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, right, has led large U.S. delegations to multiple international climate and energy conferences since early 2021. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / File | Stefan Wermuth / Bloomberg via Getty Images / File)

“From the day I came to office, we’ve led with a bold climate agenda,” Biden remarked during a United Nations conference last month. “We rejoined the Paris Agreement, convened major climate summits, helped deliver critical agreements on COP26. And we helped get two-thirds of the [world’s] GDP on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

As part of his agenda, Biden and senior administration officials have traveled to global energy conference to boost green energy development.


And officials have largely been absent from global fossil fuel summits like the World Gas Conference, which former Energy Secretary Rick Perry attended during the Trump administration. The Biden administration also opted against inviting oil and gas industry representatives to the White House Methane Summit in July.

“Tackling a challenge of this scale requires not just will and words, but action,” the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in a statement on July 26. “We are disappointed that the industries driving the most reductions in methane emissions, including the natural gas and oil industry, were not included.”

“API’s members are investing in advanced technology to detect and mitigate emissions, and thanks to industry action, average methane emissions intensity declined by nearly 66 percent across all seven major producing regions from 2011 to 2021. We continue to work with the administration to build on this progress.”

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Trump civil trial arising from NY Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit set to begin Monday

The civil trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against former President Trump and the Trump Organization is set to begin in New York City.

The non-jury trial, presided over by Judge Arthur Engoron, will begin Monday in Manhattan and comes after a New York State Appeals Court rejected the 2024 GOP primary frontrunner’s request to delay the civil trial.

The former president is listed among dozens of possible witnesses. 


Engoron last week ruled that Trump and the Trump Organization committed fraud while building his real estate empire by deceiving banks, insurers and others by overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Trump Tower exterior

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2023/07/10: Marquee at the main entrance to the Trump Tower building in Manhattan.  (Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Engoron’s ruling comes after James sued Trump, his children and the Trump Organization, alleging that Trump “inflated his net worth by billions of dollars” and said his children helped him to do so.


Engoron ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded as punishment, making it difficult or impossible for them to do business in New York. The judge said he would continue to have an independent monitor oversee the Trump Organization’s operations.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has said the investigation was politically motivated and a “witch hunt.” The former president has argued that his assets are worth far more than what is listed on annual financial statements and argued the statements have disclaimers.

New York AG at public safety press conference

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2023/07/31: State Attorney General Letitia James  (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)


“I have been unfairly sued by the Trump Hating Democrat Attorney General of New York State, Letitia James, over the false fact that I inflated my Financial Statements in order to borrow money from Banks, etc. The Judge in the case, Arthur F. Engoron, refused to allow this case to go to the ‘Commercial Division,’ where it belongs, because he is a Trump Hater beyond even A.G James who campaigned against me spewing horrible inflammatory statements which are False & Defamatory,” Trump posted Tuesday on his Truth Social after Engoron’s ruling. “I am not even allowed a Jury!” 

Trump went on to say the “facts of this case are simple.” 

Trump said he is “worth much more than the numbers shown on my financial statements,” and said the judge “didn’t even include my most valuable asset, my brand.” 

The civil trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against former President Trump and the Trump Organization is set to begin Monday in New York City.

Donald Trump wearing a red make america great again hat

Former President Trump’s legal woes have been covered significantly by ABC, NBC and CBS, but prosecutors are rarely identified as Democrats, according to a new study.  (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Trump also said the banks “were paid back in full, sometimes early, there were no defaults, the banks made money, were represented by the best law firms, & were very ‘happy.’” 

“There were no victims!” Trump wrote. “On the front page of the financial statements there is a strong ‘disclaimer clause’ telling all not to rely on these financial statements.” 

Trump said the disclaimer clause “tells anyone reviewing the data, including financial institutions, to do their own research and analysis —it is a non-reliance clause, and could not be more clear.”


“Additionally to my being worth far more than is shown in the ‘fully disclaimed’ financial statements, again, not putting down a value for my biggest asset, brand, the company has hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, and very little debt,” Trump said. “It is a great company that has been slandered and maligned by this politically motivated Witch Hunt.” 

Trump was deposed as part of the lawsuit in April for the second time. During that deposition, the former president answered questions. The first deposition took place in August 2022, but Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Supreme Court prepares for new term by looking back, with likely impact on 2024 elections

As Americans look ahead to the 2024 presidential election, the Supreme Court is reaching back to past constitutional conflicts, just in time to have major political implications for voters to consider.

This judicial déjà vu will include not only the court’s hot-button caseload, but the nine members’ own conduct and accountability.

“The Supreme Court is going to be tackling so many of the issues that have divided America on political grounds. They’re not shying away from the controversial cases,” said Thomas Dupree, a former top Justice Department official who frequently litigates before the high court. “And any time the Supreme Court starts wading into these political issues, people react strongly. It’s already shaping up to be a blockbuster term.”

The term kicks off next week — the so-called “First Monday in October”— when public courtroom sessions will begin anew.


Supreme Court members

Members of the Supreme Court (L-R): associate justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and associate justices Ketanji Brown Jackson, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Elena Kagan and Brett M. Kavanaugh.  (Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images, File)

The argument docket includes: 

  • Gun rights and whether those under domestic violence restraining orders can possess guns.
  • The administrative state and separate appeals over curbing the power of the executive branch to interpret and enforce federal rules; and whether the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be effectively dismantled over its funding mechanism
  • Election redistricting and a challenge to congressional seat boundaries in South Carolina, which could be a prelude to more voting fights, some possibly involving Donald Trump
  • A free speech dispute over state laws that would force social media platforms to host third-party communications and prevent them from blocking or removing users’ posts based on political viewpoints

And another high-profile appeal could soon be accepted for final review, dealing with Food and Drug Administration approval authority over the abortion pill mifepristone.

All of these petitions could be decided by mid-2024.



But when it comes to public scrutiny of the court, the docket has become a benchwarmer of sorts to the justices themselves. A summer of revelations over questionable personal travel and growing calls for ethics reform have further divided them and lawmakers over whether anything can be done to police the highest court in the land, besides its nine members.

Some justices think it is time. New ethics rules would “go far in persuading other people that we were adhering to the highest standards of conduct,” Justice Elena Kagan said last week at a Notre Dame Law School event. “I hope we can make progress.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh a few weeks ago suggested his colleagues may take “concrete steps soon” to deal with the rising calls for reform. 

“We can increase confidence. We’re working on that,” he added.

supreme court's sotomayor and thomas

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and especially Clarence Thomas have been embroiled over media reports about their book deals, travel and financial dealings. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images, File)

In May, Chief Justice John Roberts said it was an “issue of concern.”

“There’s really no reason why members of the Supreme Court should not also have a binding ethical code that applies to other federal judges,” said Brianne Gorod, chief counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center. “But if they don’t act soon, I think it would be entirely reasonable for Congress to consider whether it’s appropriate for them to take some action to ensure that the court is being held to the highest ethical standards.”

But other members of the court have pushed back recently over calls for greater transparency.

Justice Samuel Alito in a recent interview resisted such suggestions.

“No provision in the Constitution gives [Congress] the authority to regulate the Supreme Court — period,” he said.


In a separate court filing this month, Alito also rejected calls for him to recuse himself in an upcoming tax case as “unsound” and that there was “no valid reason” for him not to participate. 

“Recusal is a personal decision for each justice,” he added.

David Rivkin, one of the lawyers in the appeal, co-authored recent articles published in The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section, which included exclusive interviews with the 73-year-old justice, including his comments on ethics. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., had urged Alito to step aside, citing the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Democrats’ effort comes after the nonprofit news organization ProPublica began reporting on the activity of Supreme Court justices, including revelations Alito had taken a luxury vacation in Alaska with a Republican donor who had business interests before the court.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas have been embroiled over media reports about their book deals, travel and financial dealings.

social media illustration

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether the Biden administration can continue working with social media companies to block digital disinformation amid claims conservative viewpoints were being suppressed. (iStock, File)

The Senate Judiciary Committee in July advanced the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act to the full Senate.  The bill would require Supreme Court justices to adopt a code of conduct and create a mechanism to investigate any such alleged violations.

“There’s definitely been a lot of internal debate in recent years among the justices themselves about whether they should adopt a binding ethics code,” already applicable to other federal judges, says Dupree. “If so, what should be in that ethics code? And it wouldn’t surprise me if, in the next year or two, the Supreme Court does voluntarily adopt some sort of code along those lines.”


Calls for greater openness also extend to the court caseload itself, especially its so-called “shadow” or emergency docket, an abbreviated decision-making process that has accelerated in recent years. These are cases that are presented to the justices on a time-sensitive basis in its earliest stages, lacking the transparency and deliberation of a typical appeal.


While designed to be temporary in nature, they can have an immediate effect by blocking nationwide enforcement of a challenged law or policy on issues like immigration,  pandemic restrictions and abortion access. These legal “applications” typically lack full briefing, oral arguments or written opinion.

Just this week, the high court is being asked to decide whether the Biden administration can continue working with social media companies to block digital disinformation amid claims conservative viewpoints were being suppressed. An enforcement injunction would remain in place until the case is fully litigated, a process that could take years to resolve.

While some justices have criticized the increasing use of the shadow docket on high-profile disputes, Alito has said critics have mistakenly labeled its use as “sneaky,” “sinister” and “dangerous.”

“And this portrayal feeds unprecedented efforts to intimidate the court or damage it as an independent institution,” added Alito, who joined the court in 2006.

A Fox News poll from late June found just 48% had confidence in the Supreme Court as an institution. It is the first time that number has dropped below 50% since the question was originally asked in 2014. Three years ago, 68% had confidence in the court, 83% in 2017. This erosion crumbles across the political spectrum, down 48 points among Democrats, 21 among Republicans and 37 among independents since 2017.


“Confidence in major institutions has been diminishing for a decade or more, but the loss of confidence in the Supreme Court is striking,” says Democratic Pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Daron Shaw. “With less than half of Americans confident in the court, and Democrats half as likely as Republicans to feel so, there is a clear perception the country lacks a non-political arbitrator of the laws of the land.”

Some progressives say that may be because the 6-3 conservative court seems overly eager to wade into controversial issues and overturn its own prior rulings.

The court last term prohibited affirmative action in college admissions; the term before, abortion rights from Roe v. Wade, concealed carry gun restrictions and clean-air standards were all tossed out, upsetting decades of Supreme Court precedent.

Woman voting at ballot box

The wild cards for the Supreme Court heading into 2024 are possible last-minute challenges to election laws: redistricting, voter registration requirements, provisional ballots, early voting and more. (George Frey/AFP via Getty Images, File)

“There have been times recently where there have been ideological divides with one side overturning precedent,” Kagan said last week. “I’m hopeful that it won’t have that year after year, case after case — at least it shouldn’t.”

“There is a real concern today that the Supreme Court is suffering from a legitimacy crisis because there is this sense that the decisions that the court reaches depend on the composition of the court rather than what the law is and what the law requires,” said Gorod of the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center

“And with new ethical questions popping up every day, new stories about potential conflicts of interest involving the justices, I think, undermine the court’s credibility in the eyes of the American people. And that’s a really, really troubling thing.”


The wild cards for the Supreme Court heading into 2024 are possible last-minute challenges to election laws: redistricting, voter registration requirements, provisional ballots, early voting and more.

Some court watchers see the potential of another Bush v. Gore, the 2000 presidential election case in which the Supreme Court effectively settled who would sit in the White House.  

And the wildest of wild cards — what is now just legal debate could soon turn into a monumental judicial debate over a provision in the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, disqualifying anyone from the presidency who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” 

A lawsuit from Colorado voters seeks to keep Donald Trump off that state’s primary ballot over his role in the 2020 election interference.


For now, the Supreme Court appears content to do its job quietly, free as much as possible from outside interference. It may be wishful thinking. 

“There’s a storm around us in the political world and the world at large in America,” Kavanaugh said this month. “We, as judges and the legal system, need to try to be a little more, I think, of the calm in the storm.”

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High-profile Supreme Court cases to watch in 2023-24

The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide several key cases in its 2023-24 term, which starts Monday.

Nearly three dozen appeals are on the argument docket. 

Several dozen more are expected to be added in coming months. The caseload is usually settled by February, with the term effectively ending in late June.

Other important appeals that may be added to the court’s calendar cover such issues as abortion medication, social media regulation, affirmative action in secondary school education, 2020 election interference prosecutions and other 2024 election disputes. 

Supreme Court justices

Members of the Supreme Court sitting for a group photo. Bottom row, from left, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Top row, from left, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.  (Jabin Botsford, File)


Important petitions already on the Supreme Court’s argument docket:


Arguments Tuesday, Oct. 7

AT ISSUE: Major gun rights case challenging the constitutionality of a federal ban on gun possession by individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders (DVROs). 

THE CASE: Zackey Rahimi, after being charged with separate state offenses in the alleged physical assault of his ex-girlfriend and another woman by use of firearms, pleaded guilty to a violation of federal law for later possessing a handgun despite an earlier restraining order. 

THE ARGUMENTS: This will be a key test of precedent from the high court’s 2022 ruling expanding gun rights outside the home. The Biden administration says “governments have long disarmed individuals who pose a threat to the safety of others.” Rahimi’s lawyers say the appeals court ruling striking down the DVRO ban was a “faithful application” of last year’s high court decision. 


THE IMPACT: What the justices decide could affect defendants like Hunter Biden and whether current and former drug users can be denied gun ownership. 

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Ltd.  

Arguments Tuesday, Oct. 3

AT ISSUE: Whether the federal law providing funding to the CFPB is unconstitutional under the Appropriations Clause, nullifying a regulation promulgated at a time when the agency was receiving such funding. 

THE CASE: The consumer watchdog agency was created after the 2008 financial crisis. The specific challenge involves when lenders have the power to withdraw payments from delinquent borrowers’ bank accounts. 


THE ARGUMENTS: CFPB’s unique funding process operates outside the normal congressional appropriations process. It gets its money directly from the Federal Reserve, which collects fees from member banks. The CFPB director who imposed the regulation was shielded from removal by then-President Trump under a statutory provision the high court later found was unconstitutional. The Biden administration says an adverse high court ruling could raise “grave concerns” for “the entire financial industry” and “calls into question virtually every action the CFPB has taken” since its creation.

THE IMPACT: Republicans have long chafed at the CFPB’s authority, saying it wields too much unchecked power. Backers say the agency has fulfilled its mandate by forcing errant banks to return billions to consumers. Other quasi-independent agencies not subject to annual federal funding, like the Federal Reserve, FDIC, Postal Service and the Mint, also could see their authority curbed.  

RACIAL GERRYMANDERING: Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP

Arguments Wednesday, Oct. 11

AT ISSUE: Challenge to the Republican-controlled South Carolina legislature’s redrawing of congressional voting boundaries, which civil rights groups say disenfranchised Black voters. 

THE CASE: A federal court in January ordered the state to create a new congressional map in time for the 2024 election. The three-judge panel found the coastal 1st Congressional District now held by Republican Rep. Nancy Mace was an unlawful racial gerrymander, when Republican lawmakers shifted a sizable number of Black voters from Charleston County over to the state’s 6th Congressional District, which became more solidly Democratic than it was before. That seat is held by Rep. James Clyburn, a Democrat and longtime member of Congress who is Black. 

THE ARGUMENTS: The state in its appeal to the Supreme Court said the lower court “failed to apply the presumption of good faith” to the legislature when it created its map. Groups like the NAACP and ACLU challenging the boundaries said the GOP-led legislature adopted “perhaps the worst option of the available maps” for Black voters.

THE IMPACT: The ruling could broadly affect the 2024 elections and ongoing redistricting efforts in states like Alabama, Ohio, New York and Texas. There are more than two dozen pending lawsuits across 12 states challenging congressional maps. 

South Carolina supreme court

The exterior of the South Carolina Supreme Court building in Columbia (AP, File)

EXECUTIVE POWER: Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo

Arguments TBA

AT ISSUE: Potential far-reaching appeal over another legal effort to have the so-called “Chevron” deference overturned by the Supreme Court. That 1984 ruling says when congressional federal laws are not clearly defined, federal agencies should be allowed broad discretion to interpret and enforce those policies. 

THE CASE: Lead plaintiff Loper Bright Enterprises of New Jersey, represented by the Cause of Action Institute, challenges a federal mandate requiring Atlantic herring fishermen to pay more than $700 per day for monitors to ride their boats, observe their activities and report to the government.  


THE ARGUMENTS: A federal appeals court found the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) interpretation of a federal fishery law to be “reasonable.” The fishermen argue Congress never granted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the authority to force fishermen to pay for monitors. Groups supporting them say the “Chevron” precedent forces courts to defer to an agency’s interpretation of “ambiguous” statutes. Those supporting continued deference say an adverse ruling would sow “chaos” across the federal government and would concentrate rulemaking authority with unelected judges, who are not experts in specific policy matters.

THE IMPACT: Conservatives have long chafed at the “Chevron” decision. The high court has been incrementally reining in federal regulators, including a June 2022 decision limiting EPA authority over greenhouse gas emissions. Overturning “Chevron” or further weakening federal agency discretion would have enormous impacts on key areas like the environment, workplace safety, consumer protections, public health and immigration. The court has the option of broadly addressing the use of “Chevron” deference or clarify specific areas of its application by federal agencies.

OPIOID CRISIS-BANKRUPTCY: Harrington v. Purdue Pharma LP

Arguments December TBA

AT ISSUE: The Justice Department seeks to block a bankruptcy settlement for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, following thousands of lawsuits against the drugmaker dealing with the opioid crisis. Bankruptcy proceedings were paused by the high court until its final opinion is issued. 

THE CASE: The settlement has been criticized since it would shield the Sackler family, owners of the company, from personal liability over their role in the opioid epidemic.  

THE ARGUMENTS: The deal would allow Purdue Pharma to emerge from bankruptcy as a different company with its profits used to fight the health crisis. Members of the Sackler family would contribute up to $6 billion. The U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, represented by the Justice Department, opposes releasing the Sacklers from legal liability. 

THE IMPACT: Opioids have been linked to more than 70,000 fatal overdoses annually in the U.S. in recent years. The crisis was fueled in part by OxyContin and other powerful prescription painkillers. Recent deaths have been linked to fentanyl and other laced synthetic drugs, but the crisis widened in the early 2000s as OxyContin became prevalent.


Twitter rebrands to 'X'

Twitter’s logo (Monika Skolimowska)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Moody (FL AG) v. NetChoice, LLC; NetChoice, LLC v. Moody; NetChoice LLC v. Paxton   

AT ISSUE: Whether social media platforms’ handling of user content is protected by the First Amendment. 

THE CASE: Separate laws in Florida and Texas would require large companies like X, formerly Twitter, and Facebook to host third-party communications and would prevent those businesses from blocking or removing users’ posts based on political viewpoints. 

THE ARGUMENTS: The laws aim to address what some lawmakers call “censoring” of conservative messages and banning politicians like former President Trump for violating policies over offensive or “problematic” content. A federal appeals court had ruled for the tech industry in the Florida case, saying as private entities, those companies were “engaged in constitutionally protected expressive activity when they moderate and curate the content that they disseminate on their platforms.”

IMPACT: Trump and a coalition of 16 states are among those filing separate amicus briefs supporting Florida. The Biden administration has opposed the state laws.

Abortion pills pictured

Mifepristone (Mifeprex) and misoprostol, the two drugs used in a medicated abortion. (Robyn Beck, File)

Pending appeal that could soon be added to the Supreme Court’s argument docket:

ABORTION MEDICATION: FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine 

AT ISSUE: Lawsuit seeking to restrict access to mifepristone, one of two drugs typically used to induce a medicated abortion.

THE CASE: The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000 to end a pregnancy, and it is used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol. That pill combination is approved for use up to the tenth week of pregnancy. 


THE ARGUMENTS: Groups opposing the FDA say it failed to follow proper procedures when determining the drug’s safety risks. The Biden administration warned an adverse ruling would severely disrupt the way drugs are tested and brought to market. The Supreme Court has allowed the FDA to regulate the drug while the case is being litigated on its merits. While the case is still being litigated, a nationwide injunction could be issued by the judge, preventing medication abortions even in states where it remains legal. 

THE IMPACT: Any high court decision could impact 40 million women nationwide, and the Guttmacher Institute research group says more than half of all abortions in the U.S. use mifepristone. Supreme Court involvement in arguably the most contentious social issue could have enormous political implications in a presidential election year.

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Who will be the next GOP presidential candidate to drop out of the 2024 race?

With the thresholds to qualify for the next Republican presidential nomination debate rising, and crucial fundraising reports from the campaigns due in the coming days, the still relatively-large field of GOP White House hopefuls may be slashed in the weeks to come.

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who flirted with a 2024 run before deciding against it, has been saying for months that the field in the Republican presidential nomination race needs to shrink.

“If you don’t make the first couple of debates, then you probably have to have a tough conversation and get out of the race,” Sununu said.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who made the stage at the first two Republican showdowns, told Fox News in August that for his rivals who “haven’t made the stage” at the debates, “it’s time to go.”


Francis Suarez

Then-Republican presidential candidate Miami Mayor Francis Suarez delivers remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on June 15, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. Suarez dropped out of the 2024 GOP nomination race in August.  (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

So far, only one White House hopeful has called it quits.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suspended his campaign after failing to make the stage at the first Republican presidential nomination debate, a Fox News-hosted August 23 showdown in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the only one of the eight candidates on the stage at the first debate who failed to qualify for Wednesday’s second debate – a Fox Business co-hosted event held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California – says if he fails to make the stage at the third GOP presidential nomination debate, he’ll consider dropping out.


“If I don’t make that, we’ll re-evaluate where we are,” Hutchinson told reporters this week as he referred to the third debate, which will be held Nov. 8 in Miami, Florida.

When asked for clarification if his response meant he would consider dropping out, Hutchinson answered, “Sure.”

Asa Hutchinson considers dropping out of the White House race

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, speaks to reporters in Detroit, Michigan, on Sept. 27, 2023 (Asa Hutchinson campaign)

Michigan businessman and quality control industry expert Perry Johnson, who failed to qualify for the first two debates, is now mulling a pivot to run for the open Senate seat in his home state.

“Obviously, it’s no secret that I’ve had a lot of calls to run for this seat because they do want to win this seat. But at this point in time, my focus is right on the presidential [race], and, believe me, that’s taking all my time and energy at this point,” Johnson told Fox News on Thursday.

Former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, who previously served as an undercover agent in the CIA, also didn’t make the stage at the first two debates.

“My team and I are constantly evaluating whether we have the resources to chart a path to victory,” he wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I’m headed to New Hampshire to spread my message to the Granite State ahead of the First In the Nation primary. Educating voters on how to solve these existential issues is important, and hopefully other candidates will follow my lead.”

Will Hurd works to try and qualify for the second Republican presidential debate

Former Rep. Will Hurd, a one-time CIA spy who’s running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, addresses the crowd at the Salem GOP’s annual Labor Day picnic, on Sept. 4, 2023 in Salem, New Hampshire (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

GOP contender Larry Elder, a former nationally syndicated radio host and 2021 California gubernatorial recall election candidate, also failed to qualify for the first two debates.

Former President Donald Trump skipped the first two debates as he pointed to his commanding lead in the GOP presidential nomination race and said this past week that he won’t attend the third debate. 

Sununu, a vocal Trump critic, envisions a smaller field by the end of the year, just ahead of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary — the first two contests in the Republican nominating calendar.

“I think by the time you get to the end of December, you’ll have five or six different candidates going into Iowa, maybe three or four coming into New Hampshire,” Sununu predicted. “If that’s the case, a huge opportunity for the Republican Party.”

GOP candidates on the debate stage

The second Republican presidential nomination debate, a Fox Business co-hosted showdown, was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, on Sept. 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

The July-September third quarter of fundraising came to a close on Saturday, with the campaigns required to post their figures in the next two weeks. 

A lackluster fundraising report could be the death knell for some of the candidates struggling to make the debate stage.


“I think a lot of these candidates are going to run out of gas as they try to drive to the next debate in Miami,” longtime Republican consultant Alex Castellanos told Fox News.

Castellanos, a veteran of numerous Republican presidential campaigns, said that some of the candidates will “soon have to take their ball and go home.”

“The time is coming soon for the smaller contenders to drop out so the field can begin to coalesce. Donald Trump can beat everybody, but he may not be able to beat somebody. That’s the test,” Castellanos emphasized.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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Migrant numbers hit highest ever recorded in one month: sources

Migrant encounters at the southern border hit an all-time record in September, Fox News has learned, with a massive 260,000 encounters as border officials struggle to cope with a historic crisis.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources tell Fox News that total migrant encounters for September have exceeded 260,000, which is the highest monthly total ever recorded. That number includes both Border Patrol encounters between ports of entry and Office of Field Operations (OFO) encounters at ports.

The record had previously been set last December, where officials encountered 252,320 migrants. Numbers lowered in 2023, and officials had pointed to a drop in May after the end of Title 42 as a sign its policies were working.


Sept. 20, 2023: Migrants mostly from Venezuela move into Eagle Pass, Texas. (Fox News)

But numbers soared in July and August, with CBP announcing last week that numbers had hit 230,000 in August. As the agency announced those numbers, agents were dealing with new daily highs. Recently agents have been encountering between 10,000 and 11,000 migrants each day, resulting in releases of migrants onto the streets in some instances.

CBP officials tell Fox that this new surge could not come at a more critical time with Washington D.C. battling over a spending. Border Patrol Agents are essential employees dealing with national security issues. That means, if the government shuts down agents must still work but would not receive a paycheck until the government re-opens. 

For those agents on the frontlines who are traveling to other sectors and are staying in hotels, their government credit card bills are still due and they are responsible for paying them — despite not receiving their paychecks if the government shuts down.

The House passed a “clean” continuing resolution Saturday afternoon that extends funding at current levels through mid-November, when another shutdown would be triggered if Congress fails to reach a longer-term agreement.


One agent told Fox that “a lot of us are being asked by our spouses, are we going to be okay? And the answer for many living paycheck-to-paycheck is ‘no.’”

Republicans in the House had been pushing for border security measures — particularly the House GOP’s signature border security and asylum reform legislation — to be included in any stopgap funding bill. A vote on a bill that included most of the “Secure the Border Act” failed on Friday after 21 hardline Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it.


Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., meanwhile, rolled out a measure Friday that would ensure that CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) staff are paid in the event of a shutdown. The bill is cosponsored by Republican Sens. Jim Risch of Idaho, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Dan Sullivan of Arkansas and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and it has been endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council.

The new numbers are likely to increase pressure on the Biden administration over the crisis, which has faced conservative and Republican criticism for its handling of the border. Republicans have blamed the crisis on the administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies, as well as its policies narrowing interior enforcement and expanding releases of migrants into the interior.

The administration has said it is up to Congress to provide more funding and immigration reform to fix what it says is a “broken” system. The White House, meanwhile, has claimed that the border measures included by House Republicans would eliminate CBP of 800 agents, triggering a “windfall for drug cartels.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Liz Elkind contributed to this report.

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McCormick lands major endorsement that could prevent another chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania

As they aim to flip a Democratic-held Senate seat in a crucial battleground state in 2024, the Pennsylvania GOP is working to prevent a repeat of last year’s crowded and combustible primary. 

Pennsylvania Republican committee members unanimously endorsed Dave McCormick Saturday as their party’s nominee in next year’s showdown against longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey. The race could ultimately decide whether the GOP wins back the Senate majority.

“I am deeply humbled to receive the unanimous endorsement of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. United as one, Republicans across Pennsylvania will win. We will defeat Bob Casey and bring strong leadership to Washington on behalf of the commonwealth,” McCormick said as he accepted the state party’s endorsement as it met in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, West Point graduate, Gulf War combat veteran and Treasury Department official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, earlier this month launched his second straight campaign for the Senate. 


Republican Dave McCormick launches his second straight Senate campaign in Pennsylvania

Republican David McCormick is joined by his wife Dina Powell as he arrives at the Heinz History Center to announce he will enter Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race and make his second bid for the office, this time against Democrat Bob Casey, Sept. 21, 2023, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

McCormick had been courted by national and state Republicans to run, and his candidacy gives the GOP a high-profile candidate with the ability to finance his own race that’s expected to be one of the most expensive in the country.

The Pennsylvania GOP’s endorsement will likely help McCormick avoid a crowded and combustible battle for the 2024 GOP Senate nomination like the one he faced last year. McCormick ended up losing the nomination by a razor-thin margin to celebrity doctor and cardiac surgeon Mehmet Oz, who secured a primary victory thanks to a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Oz ended up losing the general election in November to Democrat John Fetterman.

“It’s a gut check,” McCormick said, referring to last year’s narrow primary defeat.


The Pennsylvania GOP stayed neutral in last year’s Senate nomination battle, and its unusually early endorsement of McCormick this time around is notable.

McCormick, soon after he announced his candidacy, also won praise from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the campaign arm of the Senate GOP.

Sen. Bob Casey

Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., leaves the Capitol after a vote April 18, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Casey, who served a decade as the state’s auditor general and then treasurer before winning election to the Senate in 2006, is not expected to face any serious primary challenge for the Democratic nomination. Casey, the son of a popular former governor, is running for a fourth six-year term in the Senate.


McCormick on Saturday once again took aim at Casey, telling the crowd it lives in “one of the most consequential great states in this country, and we have one of the least consequential senators.”

He charged that Casey “has done virtually nothing” during his years in office and emphasized that the senator’s “voted lockstep” with President Biden.

Dave McCormick lands Pennsylvania GOP endorsement in 2024 Senate race

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick, right, lands the GOP 2024 nomination endorsement Sept. 30, 2023, in Harrisburg. McCormick is joined on stage by state GOP auditor general Timothy DeFoor and treasurer Stacy Garrity. (Dave McCormick campaign )

Senate Democrats are defending their fragile 51-49 majority in next year’s elections.


Republicans need a net gain of either one or two seats in 2024 to win back the majority — depending on which party controls the White House after next year’s presidential election. 

The math and the map favor the GOP, as the Democrats are defending 23 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including three in red states and a handful in key general election battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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GOP presidential candidates identify top issues facing Americans, from the economy to the border crisis

The 2024 presidential election will take place 401 days from now, and Republican candidates who are working to win their party’s nomination have outlined what they believe to be the key issue in determining who will serve as America’s next commander in chief.

Prior to the second Republican presidential primary debate Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation president David Trulio spoke with each GOP presidential candidate in sit-down interviews that covered a variety of topics.

Each of the candidates was asked what key message they wanted voters to hear from them. Many said they wanted voters to understand their approach to economic concerns, energy independence, restoring the American dream, the border crisis — but a few mentioned other issues.


Seven 2024 Republican presidential candidates took part in the second GOP presidential debate (Eric Thayer)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: “Cutting against the trends of Bidenomics”

“We need to restore the American dream in this country. People can’t get ahead. These are people that are working hard, they’re trying to raise families, they’re doing everything right, and they’re falling further and further behind. If we can’t make America work for those people, we’re not going to be successful.”

“What I can tell people is, it’s not just rhetoric from me. I’ve actually done it in the state of Florida. Our economy is ranked number one in America. We’ve had more in-migration than any other state, we’ve cut taxes every year, budget surpluses – I’ve actually paid down almost 25% of our state’s debt. That’s why we’re doing very well, and we’re really cutting against the trends of Bidenomics. We need to take that knowhow to Washington to be able to do that for the whole country.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: “The economy. . . . Everybody’s feeling it”

“The economy. Right now, you’ve got a lot of families hurting. We’ve got one in six American families that can’t pay their utility bill, 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, 50% of American families can’t afford diapers, rent is up, mortgage rates are up.”

“Everybody’s feeling it. That’s what we need to be talking about.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: “We don’t want a world that’s led by an authoritarian, communist dictatorship . . .”

“I want people to understand that America has to be a leader in the world – that it’s not optional. Because to leave a vacuum in leadership in the world means that our adversaries in China will fill it. We don’t want a world that’s led by an authoritarian, communist dictatorship that abuses its own people, tells them how many children they can have, tells them what they can listen to and speak to.”

“We want a world that has freedom, and liberty and opportunity. The only way to do that is to make sure we engage in the world. Whether that’s on the battlefield in Ukraine, helping the Ukrainians to defeat the Russian authoritarian regime, or whether it’s standing up for the Taiwanese to make sure that China knows that’s not a step they wanna take. The rest of the world is watching what America will do and what we won’t do. . . . A Christie presidency will be a presidency where America leads not just our country, but the world.”

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott: “We should finish our southern border wall . . .”

“I think the most important issue that we’re facing today is a crisis on our border. The fact of the matter is President Biden is selling off the construction material to finish the border. We should finish our southern border wall so that we stop the deaths of 70,000 Americans who have died in the last 12 months because of fentanyl.”

“Second, six million crossings. Reinstate Title 42 so that we reduce the number of illegal crossings, and then finally we have to stand toe-to-toe with China. It is not the strength of President Xi, it’s the weakness of President Biden.”


Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy: “Answering who we are as Americans”

“The revival of our national identity. Answering who we are as Americans. Back to that revival of national character that Ronald Reagan spoke about four decades ago. I think that we have an opportunity to answer that question with conviction in a way that goes beyond black or white or Democrat or Republican even. I don’t think that’s the real divide in this country. I think the real divide in the country today is between the majority of us who love this country and the ideals that we’re founded on . . . the ideals that Reagan so eloquently spoke of – free speech, prosperity, economic growth, meritocracy, the American dream that you get ahead in this country not on the color of your skin but on the content of your character.”

“A fringe minority in this country rejects those ideals, that goes so far to apologize for a nation founded on those ideals. That’s the real divide in this country.”

“What I hope everyone takes away from our debate tonight, not just from me, but I hope from every candidate on that stage, is a conviction in who we are as Americans. And once we’re able to answer that question – to my generation and younger – to revive that missing sense of national identity and pride in this country, then yes, I think our best days will still be ahead of us, and our economic challenges and our foreign policy challenges will be that much easier for us to address. I’m volunteering to be the commander in chief who leads us there.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence: “A Republican time for choosing”

“Ronald Reagan gave a speech in 1964 about a time for choosing, and he set the stage for a change that would come in America in a decade and a half later. I think we’ve come, as I said in a speech in New Hampshire recently, to a Republican time for choosing. I think the Republican Party today has to decide whether or not we’re gonna chart a future based on the timeless principles Ronald Reagan governed on: Commitment to American leadership in the world, a strong defense, limited government, free market economics, and traditional values or whether we’re gonna follow the siren song of populism unmoored to conservative principles. . . .”

“It’s that Republican time for choosing that I think will not only determine the success of our party in 2024, but I also believe it will lay a foundation for whether or not we provide the kind of leadership that not only earns the right to lead America, but has the right policies and principles to bring America back.”

“I know the American people… I believe the American people still believe in those timeless ideals, and I’m going to continue to work my heart out to make that choice clear to the people of this country every day.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum: Biden’s “energy policies are empowering foreign dictators”

“The economy is our number one issue, but you can’t separate our economy from our energy policy, and you can’t separate our energy policy from national security because energy security is national security. But on the economy, with interest rates at the highest rates they’ve been in 22 years, inflation eating into every family’s budget, they’re paying too much for their food, too much for gas at the pump. Farmers are paying too much for diesel.”

“It’s gonna take not just a course correction, but actually a 180-degree turn from the Biden administration, because Biden’s policies are inflationary, their energy policies are empowering foreign dictators, they’re destabilizing the world, they’re raising the cost on everything for American consumers, and they’re actually not helping the environment. If they were helping the environment, you’d say, well maybe we would bear the cost of destroying our economy, but it’s not even doing that. I would say that’s a horrible trade-off when we are outsourcing our economic future to places like China, if we’re going to get all of our EV batteries from China, and China is the world’s largest polluter.”

“Why is the Biden administration attacking U.S. jobs, attacking U.S. energy, attacking U.S. innovation, and then pursuing an energy plan that appears to have been written by China? Why would we be doing that? It’s a 180-degree change in direction . . . our national security depends on it.”


Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee (RNC) confirmed that the third GOP presidential debate will be held in Miami, Florida, in early November.

The frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House, former President Donald Trump, has yet to take part in any RNC-sanctioned debate. Trump has met all fundraising and polling requirements to participate, but he has refused to sign a loyalty pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee regardless of who wins the primary.

Trump on stage at Las Vegas campaign event

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on July 8, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

To participate in the third debate, each candidate must have a minimum of 70,000 unique donors to their campaign or exploratory committee, including 200 donors in 20 or more states. The RNC’s debate committee decided on the thresholds during a conference call earlier this month, according to sources with knowledge of the panel’s deliberations. 

The White House hopefuls must also reach 4% support in two national polls, or reach 4% in one national poll and 4% in two statewide polls conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina — the four states that lead off the Republican presidential nominating calendar.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Georgia indictment: First Trump co-defendant pleads guilty in Fulton County court

Scott Hall, an Atlanta bail bondsman who is one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the Georgia 2020 election interference case, pleaded guilty Friday.

He is the first defendant to take a plea deal. 

Hall, 59, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performing election duties. Prosecutors had accused him of trying to steal sensitive information from Coffee County, Georgia. He pled down from felony charges of racketeering and six conspiracy counts.

Under the agreement reached with prosecutors, Hall will receive five years probation and must testify in further proceedings. He was given a $5,000 fine, ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and is prohibited from administering elections again. 


Screenshot of Judge Scott McAfee's virtual Zoom hearing showing Scott Hall, left, and his attorney Jeff Weiner

In this image made from video from Judge Scott McAfee’s virtual Zoom hearing, Scott Graham Hall, left, stands with his attorney, Jeff Weiner, right, in Superior Court of Fulton County before Judge McAfee, not pictured, in Courtroom 5A on Friday, September 29, 2023, in Atlanta. Hall, a bail bondsman charged alongside former President Donald Trump and 17 others in the Georgia election interference case, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges on Friday, becoming the first defendant to accept a plea deal with prosecutors.  (USA Today via AP, Pool)

Hall must also write a letter of apology to the citizens of the state of Georgia and is under a gag order prohibiting him from speaking to the press.

He is a minor figure in the grand plot that District Attorney Fani Willis alleges Trump orchestrated to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and stay in power. Still, the plea deal is a win for Willis as she advances her racketeering case against Trump. 

Hall’s attorney Jeff Weiner, who was in court with him Friday, said that under the deal, his client’s record will be wiped clean after he completes probation. The agreement allows Hall to avoid the stress of “living under a serious felony indictment” without knowing when he might go to trial, the attorney told the Associated Press.

“This way, it’s over,” Weiner said. “He can sleep well and get on with his life.”


Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks in the Fulton County Government Center during a news conference August 14, 2023, in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Weiner told the Associated Press that his client does not know much about the alleged conspiracy and said he would be surprised if prosecutors were to call him to testify. 

The 98-page Fulton County indictment describes Hall as an associate of longtime Trump adviser David Bossie.

Hall is accused of conspiring to unlawfully access voter data and ballot counting machines at the Coffee County Election office on January 7, 2021. Trump allies had sought access to voting systems to support their claims that voting systems had been tampered with to steal the election. 

Authorities say that Hall and co-defendants conspired to allow others to “unlawfully access secure voting equipment and voter data.” This included ballot images, voting equipment software and personal vote information that was later made available to people in other states, according to the indictment.


Scott Hall mugshot

Former Republican poll watcher Scott Hall mugshot. Hall is a bail bondsman from the Atlanta area who is alleged to have helped Trump allies access voting equipment. (Fulton County Sherriff’s Office)

The District Attorney’s office has not commented on the plea deal. 

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

At another hearing Friday, prosecutor Nathan Wade revealed that the district attorney’s office planned to offer plea deals to lawyers Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro. The pair are due to be tried in court on October 23, even though their lawyers have argued that they do not know each other and are not accused of participating in the same acts, the Associated Press reported.

Powell faces charges related to a breach of election equipment in rural Coffee County. She allegedly hired a computer forensics team that copied data and software from the election equipment without authorization.


Chesebro was indicted in connection to a plan to have 16 Georgia Republicans falsely declare themselves “duly elected and qualified” electors and name Trump the winner of the state’s 2020 presidential election.  

Finally, on Friday, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones rejected requests by four other defendants, including former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, to move the charges against them from state court to federal court. 

Clark is charged with one count of racketeering and one count of criminal attempt to commit false statements.

Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Prosecutors cite Trump’s ‘death’ comment about Milley in repeat request for gag order

The Department of Justice is redoubling its efforts to secure a gag order on former President Donald Trump, citing his comments about the death penalty and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. 

DOJ prosecutors made a request for a gag order earlier this month, claiming that the former president could affect the legal procedure with his aggressive public statements. 

This request has been amplified by prosecutors after Trump wrote a series of accusations on platform Truth Social, criticizing Milley’s reported phone call to Chinese counterparts following the Jan. 6, 2021 protests.


Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump points to his supporters as he arrives at Atlantic Aviation CHS in North Charleston, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)

Trump wrote that Milley “turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads-up on the thinking of the President of the United States.”

“This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” the former president added.

Special counsel Jack Smith is pushing harder for the gag order following Trump’s comments about Milley.


Special Counsel Jack Smith

Jack Smith, US special counsel, speaks during a news conference in Washington, DC. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The defendant should not be permitted to continue to try this case in the court of public opinion rather than in the court of law, and thereby undermine the fairness and integrity of this proceeding,” prosecutors argued Friday.

The Trump team has vehemently fought requests for a gag order, claiming that it would be a violation of the former president’s civil rights.

The Trump legal team published a 25-page brief to condemn the DOJ’s request, citing freedom of speech and the necessity of transparency.

Milley speaks from the Pentagon

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)


“The prosecution would silence President Trump, amid a political campaign where his right to criticize the government is at its zenith, all to avoid a public rebuke of this prosecution. However, ‘above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content,’” the brief states.

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Ron DeSantis in California says his war of words with Gavin Newsom ‘is all business’

EXCLUSIVE – As he runs for the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis likes to target one of his favorite foils – Gov. Gavin Newsom.

But DeSantis, in an exclusive interview with Fox News, said that his war of words with California’s two-term Democratic governor isn’t personal.

“To me this is all business. I understand how this game is played,” DeSantis emphasized. “For him, it may be a little bit different.” 

DeSantis was interviewed on Friday, minutes before holding a campaign event at the LA Grain Harbor Facility at the Port of Long Beach — to take aim at Newsom and President Biden over electric vehicle mandates in the Golden State.


Ron DeSantis takes aim at Biden, Newsom, and Trump at a campaign event in California

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, holds a campaign event at the LA Grain Terminal, in Long Beach, California, on Sept. 29, 2023 (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

“California and Florida just have two very different models, and we’ve seen the results of those models. People have fled California since he’s been governor. That’s never happened before. California used to be the state everyone aspired to go to. A lot of them have moved to Florida, which we never had before when I was growing up,” DeSantis reiterated.

DeSantis argued “that’s just a difference in leadership and policy” and that “I think it’s also a window into the country’s future because what they’re doing in California – this is just a few years ahead of what Democrats in Washington typically want to do. California is kind of the leading indicator.”


“So all the policies they’re pursing here that are not working, you can bet your bottom dollar in a Biden second term or if [Vice President Kamala] Harris or Newsom are the candidate, that’s what they would want to do. So the choice is really – our country’s going in the wrong direction. The California model will simply accelerate our country’s decline. The Florida model provides us a model for American revival and reversing the country’s decline.”

Gavin Newsom is the Biden campaign's top surrogate at the second GOP presidential debate

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California sits for a media interview in the spin room at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, site of the second GOP nomination debate, on Sept. 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California (Fox News – Paul Steinhauser)

DeSantis’ reference to a potential Newsom 2024 presidential run is the latest rampant speculation from Republicans that Newsom’s secretly mulling a White House run in 2024 should something happen to Biden — but Newsom has repeatedly denied eyeing a presidential run next year.

The comments were the latest verbal fireworks in an increasingly bitter battle between DeSantis and Newsom — two governors with outsized national profiles who run the nation’s first and third most populous states.

The war of words between DeSantis and Newsom — which has been flaring for more than a year and a half — shows no signs of letting up.

Newsom went up with an ad on Florida airwaves last year that targeted DeSantis’ culture wars fueled politics and polices. “Freedom, it’s under attack in your state. Republican leaders, they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors,” Newsom argued in his spot.

Earlier this year, in taking aim at Newsom, DeSantis called San Francisco — the city Newsom served two terms as mayor — a “dumpster fire.”

The governors — who’ve long battled on social media over their very different COVID policies and restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic — this year have traded fire over the move by DeSantis to fly undocumented migrants from to California. The Florida governor has made border security a top issue in recent years and has repeatedly highlighted his efforts on the 2024 Republican presidential campaign trail.

“They’re perfect foils for one another. They both lead some of the biggest states in the country. They both have very prominent roles in their respective parties, and they both love attention,” longtime Republican strategist and communicator Ryan Williams told Fox News.

Williams, a veteran of numerous presidential and statewide campaigns, noted that “it’s in their best interests to attack one another. It gets both of their bases riled up. And it gives them a national platform to fight with each other.”

Newsom, speaking with Fox News Digital in the spin room at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library following Wednesday’s second GOP presidential nomination debate, took a jab at DeSantis as he critiqued the Florida governor’s debate performance.

“Nikki Haley laid him out,” Newsom argued. “He had a bad night.”


The two will debate each other in November.

Newsom, in an interview in June on Fox News “Hannity,” quickly welcomed a live showdown with DeSantis that was proposed by host Sean Hannity. When asked by Hannity if he’d agree to a two-hour debate with his rival from California, Newsom quickly responded “I’d make it three.”

After some cross-fire between the two camps, an agreement was recently struck to move ahead with the prime-time face-off.

Asked about the debate, DeSantis told Fox News Digital on Friday that “I think for me – he’s the one – you know Sean asked him to debate. He said yes. So then they asked me. I’m like ‘I’ll do it. Let’s do it.” And now he’s acting like ‘why do you want to debate me.’ Well I’m debating you because you asked to do it so let’s go and get it done.”

But DeSantis also emphasized “I do think it will be good, it will be instructive. These are the types of debates America really needs to have.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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Trump, DeSantis supporters battle for California’s presidential delegates: ‘Rig it for him’

The road to the 2024 Republican presidential nomination run through deep blue California this week – and not just because of Wednesday’s second GOP primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina all addressed the California GOP’s Fall 2023 Convention in Anaheim on Friday with multi-millionaire biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy set to speak on Saturday.

Behind the scenes at what’s being billed as the Golden State Republican Party’s largest convention ever is a brewing battle between allies of DeSantis and Trump over a recent state party rules change that could allow the former president to sweep all the state’s 169 delegates when California holds its presidential primary on March 5. California is the biggest prize among the dozen states holding Super Tuesday Republican presidential nominating contests.

While Trump — the commanding front-runner for months in the race to be the Republican Party’s 2024 standard-bearer — skipped the first two presidential debates, he made sure to show up at the convention, which will attract the state’s top conservative leaders and activists, some of whom will serve as delegates next year.


Donald Trump speaks at the California GOP convention in Anaheim

Former President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd after speaking at the California Republican Party Convention Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

While Democratic dominated California will likely once again be an afterthought in the presidential election, the state’s GOP primary could potentially give Trump a decisive victory in the party’s nomination race. And DeSantis allies are crying foul.

“The Trump team came in to rig the rules in their favor,” said Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general and deputy secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration who earlier this year founded the DeSantis aligned super PAC Never Back Down.

Last month Never Baack Down spokesperson Erin Perrine argued the rules change in California was a “Trump-inspired rigging”


The Trump campaign did support the new rules, which state that a GOP presidential candidate who wins more than 50% of the primary vote will be awarded all 169 delegates up for grabs. If no candidate reaches that mark, the delegates will be divided proportionally.

That’s a dramatic switch from past California GOP primaries, where presidential candidates battled for delegates in each of the state’s congressional districts, as well as for the statewide vote. The winner in each congressional district secured three delegates, with the candidate who won the largest number of statewide votes landing roughly a dozen more delegates.

Asked in an exclusive interview Friday with Fox News about the rules change, DeSantis took aim at Trump’s allies, arguing that they are trying to “basically rig it for him. To me, I think it should just be an open fair process and let the best person win.”

California GOP chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson told Fox News Digital that “our goal in our rules change was, number one to get compliant with the RNC [Republican National Committee] rules. Our previous rules did not allow for us to have our full delegation. We would be struck down half of our delegation. So we had to change the rules.”

While plenty of California Republicans have railed against the new rules, Patterson predicts that they’ll motivate presidential candidates to come to California to campaign and drive turnout, to help make the Golden State a key player in choosing the 2024 Republican Party presidential nominee.

“We wanted to make sure the rules were fair for everyone,” Patterson emphasized. “We think this gives the best opportunity for an even playing field for the presidential primary.”

 Delegate rules will be finalized this weekend, on the final day of the convention. But changing the current rules won’t be easy and efforts by DeSantis supporters face very high hurdles.

DeSantis, in his Fox News interview, once again took aim at Trump for not taking the stage at the first two GOP presidential nomination debates.

“You’ve got to earn the nomination. Nobody is entitled to anything. I know voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. They expect to hear from the candidates. They expect you to stand up in these forums and make your case, answer questions, even spar with the other candidates. So I think it’s a big mistake that he’s ducking debates. I think it’s a big mistake that he’s sending the signals that really the voters don’t matter,” DeSantis said. 


Trump, at the convention, once again touted his enormous polling lead over DeSantis and the rest of the GOP field.

“Have I done a number on that guy,” Trump said to the crowd. “Have we done a number on him.”

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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NRA mocks Biden’s new ‘gun violence prevention’ office with advice on its name

FIRST ON FOX: The NRA slammed President Biden’s launch of the first-ever federal office to address “gun violence prevention,” while criticizing the office’s director, who has repeatedly vowed on social media to help “defeat” the Second Amendment group.  

“The Biden administration’s new White House Office of so-called ‘Gun Violence Prevention’ might as well be renamed the ‘Federal Office to Disarm Law-Abiding Americans and Defeat the NRA.’ One doesn’t have to look far into Stefanie Feldman’s social media to see biases and agenda: a barrage of over 20 posts aggressively targeting the NRA, combined with promises of ‘big, bold’ executive action on gun control, paints a clear picture,” NRA spokesman Billy McLaughlin told Fox News Digital. 

Biden announced the creation of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention last week, with Vice President Kamala Harris leading the office and Stefanie Feldman serving as the office’s director. Feldman is a longtime Biden aide. 

“Every time I’ve met with families impacted by gun violence as they mourn their loved ones, and I’ve met with so many throughout the country, they all have the same message for their elected officials: ‘do something,’” Biden said in a statement leading up to the announcement. 


Joe Biden at lectern in Rose Garden

President Biden announces the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2023. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden said the establishment of the office will “send a clear message about how important this issue is to me and to the country” and will “centralize, accelerate, and intensify our work to save more lives more quickly.”

A review of Feldman’s X account shows a handful of messages, going back to at least 2019, vowing to defeat the NRA, former President Trump and gun manufacturers, while others praised gun control activist groups that pledged support to Biden during the 2020 election. 

“Vote Biden. Defeat the NRA,” Stefanie Feldman posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2020, adding that, “The stakes are high.”

“Brady is officially on Team Joe! Together, we’ll defeat Donald Trump. Then we’ll defeat gun manufacturers and the NRA,” Feldman posted in March of 2020, referring to a gun control nonprofit supporting Biden’s presidential campaign. 

Wayne LaPierre with red background

NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at podium. (NRA)

“Biden will be the gun safety president. He’s beaten the NRA before,” she wrote in another post in January 2020. 

“Joe Biden isn’t afraid of the NRA & gun manufacturers. He’s defeated them twice before (background checks & assault weapons/high-cap mag bans). As president, he’ll defeat them again. And, he’ll repeal the non-sensical liability protection for gun manufacturers,” she wrote in another post in 2019. 


Vice President Kamala Harris laughing

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the conclusion of the Investing in America tour at Coppin State University in Baltimore July 14, 2023. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Harris has issued similar posts, including a post last month saying, “@JoeBiden has taken on the @NRA and won. He can do it again,” which was accompanied by a campaign ad celebrating Biden’s determination to “ban assault weapons.” 

The post refers to Biden voting to ban semiautomatic firearms in 1994 as part of a major crime bill when he served as a Delaware Senator. The bill was passed by Congress, signed into law by former President Clinton and enacted a 10-year ban on the manufacture, transfer or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices.”


The law expired in 2004, when George W. Bush was president and Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. 

A Department of Justice study, published in 1999 that examined the short-term effects of the ban, found it “failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.” Another DOJ study published in 2004 determined the ban’s “effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

Colt M4 Carbine and AR-15 style rifles on wall display

A new Washington Post report detailed just how large gun culture in Texas is, contrasting it with the “majority of Americans” who want firearm restrictions. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats, however, have continued championing the bill as one that curbed mass shootings


A White House spokesperson told Fox News Digital in response to the NRA’s comment on the office and Feldman’s posts that the president “believes American kids shouldn’t have to learn to duck and cover before they learn to read and write.”

“President Biden believes we can’t have law enforcement officers being confronted with weapons of war on our streets. President Biden believes you can’t be tough on crime and soft on guns. And President Biden will continue to be unequivocal and relentless in working to make our communities safer and urging Congress to act on commonsense gun safety legislation that will save lives,” the spokesperson continued. 

McLaughlin argued in his comment to Fox News Digital this month that the Biden White House is “using gun control to divert attention from the Biden Crime Wave.”


“This administration is using gun control to divert attention from the Biden Crime Wave and their soft-on-criminal policies, destroying communities across America. Rather than spending his time on vacation and cozying up to the deep pockets of the gun control lobby, perhaps it’s time for Joe Biden to tackle the real issues and focus on the rising crime rates,” he said.

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